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A US trial for 10 defendants in a multimillion-dollar Jamaican lottery scam case has been delayed until early next year.

US District Judge Dan Hovland rescheduled the trial that was to begin July 17 in federal court in North Dakota to January 22, 2018, after one of the suspects' attorneys said he had a conflict next month and also needed more time to prepare.

Federal prosecutors didn't object to the change. US Attorney Chris Myers anticipates the trial might last as long as three weeks.

A total of 15 people are charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering in the scam that authorities said bilked at least 90 mostly elderly Americans out of more than US$5.7 million. The suspects could face decades in prison if convicted.

Nine of the 10 suspects facing trial are Jamaicans who pleaded not guilty earlier this year. They include Lavrick Willocks, who authorities allege was the mastermind. The tenth suspect is a US citizen who pleaded not guilty in August 2015.

Two of the remaining five suspects are in custody in Jamaica awaiting extradition, and three remain fugitives.

Authorities have dubbed the case "Operation Hard Copy," a reference to lists of prospective victims' contact information used by scammers. North Dakota authorities began investigating in 2012, starting with the case of a Harvey woman who lost her life savings of more than US$300,000 to the scam. The probe involves the FBI, the US Postal Inspection Service and the Justice Department's Office of International Affairs.

Source: AP

Reggae Sumfest 2017

3 wanted men arrested in major operation

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arrested -photo-1.jpgThe police are reporting that a major operation in the Kingston Western Division on Thursday, led to the arrest of three wanted men and three persons of interest -- one of whom was wanted for questioning in relation to the murder of two people and the injuring of another at the Coronation Market in downtown Kingston -- on Wednesday.

The man, whose identity is being withheld, was nabbed during an operation that began about 4:00 am and spanned several communities to include Tivoli Gardens, Golden Heights, Pink Lane, Charles Street and Hannah Town.

Two other persons of interest were also arrested during the operation.

One of the men is wanted for questioning in relation to the murder/shooting on Metcalfe Street. The other is wanted for questioning in relation to a murder in the Kingston Central Division.

Additionally, three men who were wanted for various offences including robbery and shootings were also arrested, while another three were arrested on warrants.

Ninety-seven males were processed and released.

court-case.jpgA man who is accused of sexually assaulting an underage boy was offered $200,000 bail when he appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court yesterday.

The accused, a 29-year-old computer technician, was recently arrested and charged following allegations that he held a knife at the boy's neck and buggered him after the youngster went to his home.

The accused was offered bail by Parish Judge Simone Wolfe-Reece on conditions that he surrenders his travel documents with a stop order in place and stays away from children.

He is to return to court on July 31.

11 year old girl's murder a reprisal say cops

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crime-scene-7.jpgThursday night, 11-year-old Taysha Hughes, also called Angel,a student of the Holy Family Primary Schoolwas murdered in Central Kingston in a hail of bullets.

Now, the Police are theorizing that her killing was a reprisal for the shooting death of alleged don, Nicholas Malcolm, in the community.

The police were reportedly processing the scene where Malcolm and a 12-year-old boy had been shot on Wildman Street about 10: 00 pm, when they were summoned to a second shooting on the nearby Fleet Street about 10:30pm.

They found Taysha along with four men suffering from gunshot wounds.One of the men, identified as 26-year-old Richard Allen otherwise called 'Finey', was wearing a mask, the police said.

Reports are that the girl was reportedly among three men standing on Fleet Street, when they were attacked by masked gunmen.

The police speculate that Allen was one of the attackers and was shot by his cronies.

portia-simpson-miller-jis-official-photo.jpgThe Court of Appeal on Friday morning dismissed the appeal brought by former People's National Party (PNP) president Portia Simpson Miller and four other party functionaries in the Trafigura case.

The decision was announced by Appeal Court President Dennis Morrison.

This paves the way for Mrs. Simpson Miller, PNP Chairman Robert Pickersgill, Regional Chairman Phillip Paulwell, former General Secretary Colin Campbell and businessman Norton Hinds to answer questions in open court.

The issue surrounds a $31 million donation made to the PNP by the Dutch firm Trafigura Baheer in 2006.

This raised questions regarding possible undue influence being exerted by the company which was seeking to do business with the Government of Jamaica at the time of the donation.

bolt-racers-grand-prix.jpgEight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt will run the 100 metres at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco on July 21, organisers announced on Wednesday.

The Jamaican sprinting legend is competing in his final season before retirement and will use the Monaco event as a warm-up for the world championships in London that start on August 5.

The world-record holder (9.58sec) won his first race of the year in Kingston earlier this month in 10.03sec, and is also due to run in Ostrava on June 28.

Bolt, who has won three Olympic 100m-200m doubles, will only compete in the 100m for his farewell at the worlds.

The 30-year-old saw his tally of Olympic gold medals reduced from nine to eight earlier this year, when the Jamaican team were stripped of their 2008 4x100m medals after Nesta Carter's disqualification for doping.

The police are reporting that wo females are in custody following the seizure of a M16 assault rifle, two magazines and 31 rounds of ammunition on Commission Road in Rockfort, Kingston yesterday.

And many persons are gleeful that finally women are being held for crimes and criminality. The general consensus is that women (sot these two specifically, but women in general) have long been enablers for gunmen who kill at will.

"They should be shown no mercy by the Courts as a strong message needs to be sent that the desire to eat a food is no justification for being an enabler of criminality which is exactly what these women are doing," one person commented on social media.

"I hope after thorough investigation, they are found guilty and or they give up their men.... and all are locked away. Time for this slackness to stop.. All these so call bad men don't live in silos, their female companion are aware of there dealings. LOCK THEM UP...", another person has commented.

While a third sums it up thus: "Yes!! Lock them up, question them thoroughly, they knew about them. These are the types of mothers, sisters, babymothers, etc..whom are aiding and abetting these notorious criminals. They too, shall get some serious sentences, especially, if there are any 'bodies' on these arms! Time for the justice department to start use these female "hoodlums" as examples. I am telling you, THEY KNEW ABOUT THEM!!! Lock them up!!!!!"

According to reports from the police, during a special operation about 5:30 pm, a premises was searched and the firearm and ammunition found in the ceiling of a room.

The females, whose identities are being withheld pending further investigations, were subsequently arrested.

A grade nine student at the Norman Manley High School in St Andrew was stabbed in the back by a Grade 11 student who should not even have been at school, reports say.

The injured boy was rushed to hospital where he was admitted in a serious but stable condition, while his attacker, an older boy, fled the compound.

"This morning, a Grade 11 student, who should not even have been at school, came here and stabbed a Grade 9 boy in the back," said principal Adaire Powell-Brown.

"It seems to be an attack that was carried over from an altercation between the two some time ago away from the school. So it was rather strange that he would follow the young man here to commit the act," added Powell-Brown.

The principal lamented that despite efforts geared at instilling discipline and respect in the daily lives of her students, some would rather subscribe to uncaring and violent ways to exact revenge.

The Hunts Bay police are investigating.

crime-scene-gun.jpgOn Friday afternoon, heavily armed men shot and killed a man moments after he left court where he was involved in a matter.

The deceased has been identified as Steven Malcolm, a senior member of the Nation Crocs gang that operates in Canterbury here in St James.

According to police Malcolm was shot about 11:30, shortly after he left court and was picked up by men in a motor car.

The police said that after going through the traffic light on Howard Cooke Drive the vehicle stopped on Queens Drive, where Malcolm reportedly got out to talk to men in a parked car, when heavily armed men alighted from another vehicle that was on the scene and peppered him with bullets. He was taken to the Cornwall Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Frightened pedestrians ran in different directions for cover, while motorists sped away from the scene but soon created a large build-up of traffic in the congested city.

The shooters, in an attempt to elude the police who were quick on the scene, abandoned their motor car after it hit an embankment.

Bill Cosby's wife reacts to mistrial

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cosby-trial.jpgCamille Cosby, the longtime wife of Bill Cosby, reacted in a lengthy statement about her husband's sexual assault case ending in a mistrial on Saturday morning.

After six days of deliberation, the Pennsylvania jury were unable to render a unanimous verdict on any of the three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault with which Cosby had been charged.

"How do I describe the district attorney? Heinously and exploitively ambitious," her statement began. "How do I describe the judge? Overtly and arrogantly collaborating with the district attorney. How do I describe the counsels for the accusers? Totally unethical."

Cosby continued in her statement: "How do I describe many, but not all, general media? Blatantly vicious entities that continually disseminated intentional omissions of truths for the primary purpose of greedily selling sensationalism at the expense of a human life." The 73-year-old philanthropist, who's been married to "The Cosby Show" creator since 1964, added that "historically, people have challenged injustices."

Cosby then said she was "grateful to any of the jurors who tenaciously fought to review the evidence; which is the rightful way to make a sound decision." She added that his trial ending this way was a "manifestation of justice, based on facts, not lies." She also thanked her husband's attorneys "for their hard work" along with her staff "for their continuous commitment to our family and me."

Cosby ended her statement by thanking her family, friends and supporters "who never gave up on us, despite it all."

cosby-trial.jpgCosby, who turns 80 next month, was subdued and seemed almost dazed when O'Neill declared the mistrial. The Hollywood icon left the courtroom without comment after sitting in his chair at the defense table for several minutes, simply gazing outward. At one point, counselor Angela Agrusa patted him on the shoulder.

He remains free on bail pending the new trial.

It took 52 hours for the predominantly white jury of seven men and five women to decide that it could not decide the case. "We, the jury, are deadlocked on all counts," said the note read by O'Neill on Saturday morning. Defense lawyer Brian McMonagle moved for a mistrial -- as he has done at numerous points during five days of deliberations -- but this time, O'Neill granted the request.

Missing 21-y-o Westmoreland woman found dead

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mising-girl-found-dead.jpgThe slightly decomposed body of a female who went missing over a day ago was discovered in a cane field, a short distance from her Westmoreland home on Friday.

The deceased has been identified as 21-year -old Shantel Wright of the Brown Bush section of Little London, Westmoreland.

Wright, otherwise called 'Shanti', a sales clerk of Bay Road, Llittle London, was reported missing on Wednesday, June 14.

Irate residents staged a major protest along the Little London main road calling for the removal of a police officer implicated in the young woman's death.

They claim items belonging to the cop were found near the body.

The report, received by Indecom, is that a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force will have information surrounding her death.

Indecom says a team from the Kingston office, to include additional forensic support, has been mobilized to assist the Western office with this investigation.

The agency says it has been in contact with the high command of the JCF regarding this incident.

Investigators will be banking on the results of a post mortem to determine the cause of death.

x6-trial-patrick-powell-oct-24-photo-2.jpgLawyers in the Patrick Powell case in which he is accused of refusing to turn over his weapon to the authorities during the investigation into the fatal shooting of Khajeel Mais in July 2011 are to make final submissions on June 28.

The defence rested its case on Thursday morning in the St. Andrew Parish Court shortly after the businessman gave an unsworn statement. Powell denied allegations that he refused to turnover his gun to the authorities. He made quite a few headlines when he begged the Parish Judge Vaughn Smith to "have mercy" in deciding on matter.

However, interesting as that might be, what Yardflex finds intriguing is that RJR News is reporting that checks by them have revealed that that if convicted for the offence under the Firearms Act, Powell faces a maximum fine of J$400 or 12 months in prison!

moravian-minister-sex-charge-ruperrt-clarke.jpgAllegations are that Minister Rupert Clarke helped himself to three sisters, with the youngest being just 13 years old.

It was disclosed at Monday's opening of the St. Elizabeth Circuit Court that Clarke has been charged with another count of having sex with someone under 16 years old.

The additional count is in relation to a 13 year-old girl who is the sibling of the two sisters with whom the 64 year-old Clergyman is also accused of having sexual intercourse.

Clarke, who was not present, is scheduled to appear in court on June 23 when it is expected that the prosecution will apply for the case to be transferred from St. Elizabeth to the Home Circuit Court in Kingston.

Clarke was taken into custody last December 28 by the St. Elizabeth Police after he was reportedly seen in a comprising position with a 15 year-old girl in a car along the Austin Main Road in the parish.

The 16 year old Porus High School student, accused of killing one of his schoolmates, was refused bail on Thursday when he appeared before the Mandeville Children's Court.

Investigators opposed bail and urged the Judge to keep him in custody for his own safety. The cops say this is based on intelligence they have received.

The teenager is to return to court on June 26 when bail will be considered.

The 16 year old was charged last week with the fatal stabbing of 17 year old Renaldo Dixon. Renaldo was killed during a reported altercation on the school compound last Wednesday.

However, attorney Shauna Kay Mitchell, who is representing the 16 year old student, contends that he was acting in self-defence.

crime-scene-gun.jpgIt is said that the love of money is the root of all evil and this played out in the murder of a Jamaican man by his US wife who had him killed so that she could cash in on a US$900,000 insurance policy.

The American ex-registered nurse in Brooklyn, New York has been convicted of hiring a hitman to murder her Jamaica-born husband in 2013 after two failed attempts at the victim's life. The gunman was also convicted of murder.

It took a jury less than three hours to convict 29-year-old Alishia Noel-Murray, for having her husband, 37-year-old Omar Murray, killed to cash in on nearly US$900,000 in life insurance claims. Jurors found Noel-Murray guilty of murder, attempted murder and weapon possession in the February 23, 2013 assassination of her husband.

Prosecutors said Noel-Murray plotted with her lover, Dameon Lovell, to hire a hitman for US$3,500 to kill Murray, so she could collect on three life insurance policies.

Lovell co-operated with prosecutors in exchange for 15 years to life in prison. It said the assailant, 29-year-old Kirk Portious, murdered Murray in their Lott Avenue, Brownsville, Brooklyn home.

Noel-Murray was convicted of first-degree murder following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog, and Portious was convicted by a separate jury of first-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Each defendant faces a life sentence without the possibility of parole when they're sentenced on June 29.

Cops hunt killers of family of four

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quadruple-murder-photo-5.jpgThe security forces have launched a major manhunt to capture those responsible for the brutal attack by gunmen on four members of one Hanover family in Mount Pleasant, last night.

National Security Minister, Robert Montague made the announcement in Parliament this afternoon (June 13).

The family of two teens and their parents were shot dead, when gunmen kicked in the door to their one bedroom board dwelling some after 11 o'clock Monday night.

Dead are 60-year-old taxi operator Curtis Walters, his 34-year-old common law wife Erica Leslie, otherwise called 'Caleesha,' their son 16-year-old I-yana Walters and daughter 14-year-old Curtina Walters.

Patrick Powell's case will NOT be dismissed

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Parish Judge Vaughn Smith on Wednesday morning rejected an application by defence attorneys for the case against Patrick Powell to be dismissed.

Powell is on trial for failing to hand over his licensed firearm to the authorities during the investigation into the 2011 fatal shooting of 17 year old Khajeel Mais.

During no-case submissions Wednesday morning, lead attorney Debra Martin argued that the prosecution has failed to prove a case against Mr. Powell.

She argued that when the request was made of him to produce the firearm he was in custody. Ms. Martin added that he had the constitutional right to remain silent while in custody.

She insisted that her client did not refuse the request to hand over his firearm, but told the police that he wanted to consult with his attorneys.

But prosecutors argued that he was given sufficient time to produce the weapon, but refused to do so. They urged the Parish Judge to reject the defence' submissions.

Judge Smith ruled that Mr. Powell has a case to answer.

The businessman is expected to testify in the trial on Thursday.

Duppy Film heads a list of 13 men the police have named as Jamaica's most wanted. Duppy Film, whose real name is Marlon Perry,is believed to be involved in numerous crimes in Kingston and St. Thomas,his home parish, consisting of a string of murders which include those of two policemen in December 2015.

Police also listed Akeem Johnson, otherwise called Bubus Parks, from Spanish Town as another wanted for several counts of murders and shootings committed in St. Catherine. He is said to frequent Spanish Town, Portmore, Linstead and other areas in the parish.

Adrian Robinson, otherwise called Rasta of a St. James address is also wanted murders and other crimes in that parish.

The other men on the list are Stephano Johnson alias Sarge; Delano Wilmot, also called Lanno and Preke Boy; Chenado Leslie, alias Blacks; Christopher Pesso; Rohan Smith, alias Dog; Wayne Drysden, otherwise called Shadow Mafia; Roger Broderick, alias Government; Yehark Walker, alias Prince; Oshane Cooper, alias OB; and Anthony Allison, alias Buju.

Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell said the police have warrants for the arrest of the men and are seeking the assistance of the public to capture them.

captain-burrell-photo-2.jpgThe Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, has announced that the government will work with the Burrell family to plan the funeral of the late President of the Jamaica Football Federation, Captain Horace Burrell. Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Minister Grange said: "Our country owes Captain Burrell a huge debt of gratitude for his work.

"A committee has been established which includes the JFF, the staff of the Ministry of Sports, and his family to make those arrangements."

Minister Grange announced that the funeral service is to take place at the National Arena on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 beginning at 10am with a Tribute Concert followed by a Service of Thanksgiving, in keeping with the family's wish for a celebratory event.

Interment will be at Up Park Camp.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has issued a bulletin to schools warning them against imposing unreasonable registration fees on students for the upcoming school year.

According to the ministry, registration packages should not be more than five thousand dollars.

At the same time, the ministry has now abandoned the term 'auxiliary fees' and replaced it with 'school support contribution'.

The Ministry insists that students should not be denied entry to schools because of their inability to pay school support contribution.

It says neither should the payment of school support contribution be a requirement for registration, graduation, examination, application to sixth form or access to any service at a public educational institution.

According to the ministry, schools must have discussions with their Parent Teacher Associations to determine reasonable amounts for school support contributions.

But it says before implemented, the ministry must first approve the amount.

At the same time, the ministry said it will partner with the National Parent Teacher Association of Jamaica to encourage all parents to pay school support contribution.

It says sixth form programmes will continue to attract tuition fees that will be set by the School Board and approved by the ministry.

Father charged in death of 2-year-old daughter

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shocked.jpgA father, whose two-year-old daughter was killed after he crashed his vehicle along the AGR Byfield Highway in St Ann, has been charged.

He is 24-year-old Omeal Riley of Roaring River in St Ann.

He has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

He has been granted station bail. Riley is to appear in court on July 6.

wife-murders-husband-for-insurance.jpgIt took a jury less than three hours to convict a Brooklyn woman of having her husband knocked off to cash in on $900,000 in life insurance claims.

Jurors on Thursday found Alishia Noel-Murray, 29, guilty of murder, attempted murder and weapon possession in the Feb. 23, 2013 assassination of her husband Omar Murray.

"She's a real monster," Murray's mother, Eunice Ashley Henry, 59, said after the verdict.

Henry clapped her hands in prayer and looked up. "I'm ecstatic. I'm overwhelmed," she said. "But I'm still missing my son."

Noel-Murray plotted with her lover, Dameon Lovell, to hire a hitman for $3,500 to kill Murray so she could collect on three life insurance policies.

Lovell cooperated with prosecutors in exchange for 15 years to life in prison.

The alleged shooter, Kirk Portious, murdered Murray in their Lott Ave. home in Brownsville.

Moments later, Noel-Murray called 911 while holding their 10-month-old son. She "seemed calm", a responding detective testified during the trial in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

Noel-Murray denied involvement in the slaying when she took the stand.

The jury has not yet returned a verdict for Portious.

The victim's mother, a home health aide originally from Jamaica, referred to her daughter-in-law as "the devil."

"She tried so many times to kill my son," Henry said.

mother-and-daughter.jpgThe decomposing body of 24-year-old mother Shantel Dyer was discovered buried in a concrete vault at her home in Pee Wee Lane, Negril, Westmoreland, Wednesday evening.

However, the whereabouts of her three- year-old daughter, Orlandi Miller remains a mystery.

Dyer's body was removed from . Her common law husband, who is said to be in America, is being sought in connection with her murder and the disappearance of the child.

Before he left the island towards the end of April, the three lived together at the Negril home.

It is speculated that Dyer, who was said to have been in an early stage of pregnancy, was killed by her boyfriend who accused her of getting pregnant by another man.

The police confirm that acting on a tip that Dyer was killed, her mother contacted the law enforcers who subsequently destroyed the vault discovered in the house where they discovered the decomposed body, tightly wrapped in over 30 garbage bags and three white sheets.

The body was positively identified as that of Dyer's by family members by a tattoo.

Kartel not affected by fire at GP

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Jailed dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel has apparently been unaffected by this afternoon's fire at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre. Kartel is serving a life sentence there for murder.

According to reports, the fire affected the George Davis Centre, at the institution which was once known as the General Penetentiary, and is today still referred to as GP. The George Davis Centre houses the mentally ill. They were all relocated to a safe section of the prison.

As expected fans of the Gaza general, Vybz Kartel, took to social media expressing their concern for the deejay.

He was recently relocated to GP, after having served a portion of his sentence at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre. There was a national debate that Kartel had been recording songs while incarcerated at Horizon.

GP on fire; inmates relocated

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The Tower Street Adult Correctional facility in downtown Kingston is on fire.

Reports are that the fire which began shortly after noon, in a section that houses the mentally ill, according to a correctional officer.

So far three units have responded to the blaze that is sending a huge plume of smoke into nearby communities.

The inmates are said to be relocated to an unaffected area of the prison.

Wanted Rockfort man surrenders to cops

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The police report that a man only known as 'Little Junior' of Barnes Road, Rockfort, Kingston who was listed as wanted on Sunday, has surrendered to the police.The police said Barrett's attorney escorted him to the police station today.

However, the police say two men are still left to turn themselves in.

Dwayne Barrett, also known as 'Nookie' also of Barnes Road, Rockfort in Kingston and Andrew Facey, otherwise called 'Andrew Phang' also of a Rockfort address in the parish are being advised to turn themselves in immediately.

According to police, Bartlett is said to frequent D'Aguilar Road, Glasspole Avenue and Shanty Town area of Rockfort, while Facey is said to frequent Adastra Road and La' Cruise Road also in Rockfort.

Anyone knowing their whereabouts is being asked to contact the Kingston Eastern Criminal Investigation Branch at 948-4200, police 119 emergency number, Crime Stop at 311 or 811 or the nearest police station. Persons can also share information with the police via the Stay Alert app.

peter-phillips-photo-2.jpgcaptain-burrell-photo-2.jpgLeader of the Opposition Dr Peter Phillips says he is saddened by news of the loss of Captain Horace Burrell.

"Jamaica will always remain grateful to Captain Burrell who, as the head of the Jamaica Football Federation, believed in the potential of our national players and took Jamaica's game to the global playing field," Phillips said in a release.

He noted that Burrell made a significant contribution to national development through football and the exposure of Jamaican players and he will be missed.

Burrell, who was 67 years old, died today. He was known to be battling cancer since last year.

Captain Horace Burrell has died

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captain-burrell-photo-1.jpgCaptain Horace Burrell, the president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) owner of popular restaurant chain, The Captain's Bakery and Grill and Captain's Aviation Services, has died

Reports are that 67 year-old Burrell died overseas this (Mon) afternoon after a long struggle with illness.

Burrell, a former captain in the Jamaica Defence Force rose to prominence with the military team before being elected to the JFF presidency in 1994.

He was instrumental in Jamaica's qualification to the 1998 FIFA World Cup Finals in France.

He was also a prominent figure in regional football holding several positions in the Caribbean Football Union and CONCACAF

The People's National Party (PNP) has labelled the murder of one of its party workers and shooting of one its councillors as a reprehensible act of violence.

Councillor for the Greenwich Town Division in Southwest St Andrew constituency, 56-year-old Karl Blake, was shot and injured while 52-year-old Maxine Simpson was fatally shot Sunday night. Blake remains hospitalised.

The police say Blake and Simpson were sitting outside the Caribbean Palm Community Centre along Spanish Town Road when armed men entered the premises and opened fire, hitting both of them.

In a statement Monday afternoon, the PNP said it is saddened by the incident.

The party is calling for the police to conduct a thorough investigation and to apprehend those responsible.

It is appealing to anyone with information to cooperate with the police in their probe.

5 dead in Orlando shooting

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Five people are dead following a shooting incident at an Orlando, Florida business headquarters this morning. The dead include the shooter.

The police, however, say there is no connection to terrorism and instead are pointing to a work-related incident, according to a CNN report.

Police reported earlier they were investigating a "multiple fatality" shooting at the facility.

Almost a year ago, Orlando was the site of the America's worst terror attack since 9/11. On June 12, 2016, a gunman killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub.

pnp-maxine.jpgThe People's National Party is in mourning following the murder of one of their stalwarts, Maxine Simpson, the assistant to Karl Blake, the councillor for the Greenwich Town division in the St Andrew South West constituency of Portia Simpson Miller. Councillor Blake was shot and injured in the attack which left his female assistant dead.

Ms Simpson was killed in the attack around 8 p.m Sunday at their divisional office at Caribbean Palms off Spanish Town Road in Kingston.‎ Blake who received shots to his upper body was rushed to hospital and underwent emergency surgery.

The police have yet to release details about the circumstances of the shooting.‎‎

In the meantime, several of Blake's colleagues in the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation have taken to social media to extend support.

"Please pray for Councillor Karl Blake who was shot not long ago. Our prayers at the KSAMC (Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corpoation) are with him. Condolences go out to the family [of] Mr Blake's personal assistant," Mayor Delroy Williams tweeted.‎

Councillor, Duane Smith tweeted: "My deepest prayers for my colleague Karl Blake who was shot and injured and my sympathies to the family of his secretary who was killed."‎

Lady Cooke passes away at 100

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cookies.jpgLady Ivy Cooke, an educator and the widow of former governor general, Sir Howard Cooke has died.

She was 100 years old.

The first announcement was made on Twitter this afternoon by former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson Miller: "Just heard that Lady Ivy Cooke, widow of Sir Howard Cooke has passed. She is now reunited with the love of her life. Walk good Miss Ivy," Simpson Miller tweeted.

Reports are that Lady Cooke died at the Andrew's Memorial Hospital in St Andrew Monday afternoon.

Sir Howard died in July, 2014 at the age of 98.

The union produced three children - Justice Howard Cooke Jr, Richard and Audrey.

In a statement a short while ago, Prime Minister Andrew Holness hailed Lady Cooke for her contribution to education in Jamaica.

Spanish Town triple murder victims identified

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Police have identified the three persons including a teenager who were murdered last night on Jones Avenue in Spanish Town, St. Catherine. Dead are 14 year old Travis Labbon, 43 year old Evette Bailey and 24 year old Mario Burkette otherwise called 'Rocky", all of Jones Avenue.

According to reports from the Spanish Town criminal investigation branch, CIB, explosions were heard in the community and the Police were summoned.

Upon the arrival of the lawmen, Labbon, Bailey and Burkette were seen with what appeared to be gunshot wounds to their heads in their home. A female who was also wounded was taken to hospital for treatment.

Persons with information are being asked to call the Police at 119, 811,311, 984-2874 or the nearest police station.

us-visa-webform.jpgThe Donald Trump administration has rolled out a new questionnaire for U.S. visa applicants worldwide that asks for social media handles for the last five years and biographical information going back 15 years.

The new questions, part of an effort to tighten vetting of would-be visitors to the United States, was approved on May 23 by the US Office of Management and Budget. According to a Reuters report, critics argue that the new questions will be overly burdensome, lead to long delays in processing and discourage persons from travelling to the United States.

Under the new procedures, consular officials can request all prior passport numbers, five years' worth of social media handles, email addresses and phone numbers as well as 15 years of biographical information including addresses, employment and travel history.

A State Department official said representatives will request the additional information when they determine it is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting. The State Department said the tighter vetting would apply to visa applicants who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or what it described as other national security-related visa ineligibilities.

While the new questions are voluntary, the form says failure to provide the information may delay or prevent the processing of an individual visa application.

Meanwhile, Reuters is reporting that immigration lawyers and advocates in the US have raised concerns about the new visa requirements. They stated that the request for 15 years of detailed biographical information, as well as the expectation that applicants provide all their social media handles, will likely catch applicants who make innocent mistakes or do not remember all the information requested.

President of the Iranian American Bar Association, Babak Yousefzadeh, says the new questions grant arbitrary power to consular officials to determine who gets a visa with no effective check on their decisions. He said the need for tightening the application process further is unclear.

flea-dog.jpg"If you lie with dogs, you get up with fleas" is a well known proverb and while the young ladies at a particular institution did not lie with dogs, nonetheless, there has been a proliferation of fleas at the school.

A flea infestation at one of the hostels at all-girls school Hampton in St Elizabeth caused the institution to re-open a little later than usual after the last mid-term break.

According to Wesley Barrett, the chairman of Hampton School, the issue which prevented the institution from re-opening last week has been resolved an classes will resume on Monday. He said that parents were advised over the Labour Day holiday that the school would remain closed due to a flea infestation.

Fleas reportedly infested a section of the compound near the boarding quarters just before the holiday.

Barrett says this was caused by dogs which have been occupying the cellar under one of the dormitories. Question: How many dogs did it take to cause such a severe flea infestation and how long were these dogs residents of the cellar?

According to a report on RJR, the school chairman says the area has since been sprayed and sterilised.

munga.jpgEntertainer Munga Honourable will be charged with murder today, the St Andrew South police have confirmed.

The artiste was taken into police custody again last Friday, after being released the previous day after being questioned about a recent murder in St Andrew; has been re-arrested and charged for the same offence.

The artiste, whose real name is Damian Rhoden, has been charged with the murder of Cleveland Smith, a nephew of fellow artiste, Mr Vegas.

Munga is still undergoing questioning and is expected to be slapped with the capital charge for the death of Smith, a resident of Ackee Walk in St Andrew, who was shot dead two weeks ago at a dance in the community.

There has been much speculation since the incident, as in 2015, Smith and Munga had an encounter in which the entertainer was chopped by Smith.

Mr Vegas, in reflecting on Smith's death, described him as having had mental challenges. He said efforts to get medical treatment for him were unsuccessful, with members of his family failing to get assistance from the police to take him to the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) up the day before he was killed.

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A woman is in police custody in Runaway Bay, St Ann, Jamaica after she allegedly stabbed her client to death while he was being searched by police.

The incident reportedly occurred on Wednesday morning.

The dead man remains unidentified, but the identity of the accused woman, believed to be a sex worker has been withheld by the police.

Indications are that the man and woman got into a fuss after they reportedly engaged in a sex act, for which the man was required to pay a sum of money.

However, at the end of the act, he sought to forcefully renege on the arrangement by taking back his money at knifepoint.

It was reported that in a rage, the woman used a knife to stab the man in his upper back while police personnel were searching him.

The man was taken to the St Ann's Bay Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, while the woman was taken into police custody.

carlos-hill.jpgCash Plus boss Carlos Hill is a free man today as the fraud case against him totally collapsed in court on Wednesday morning.

Hill was charged with fraudulently inducing persons to invest in Cash Plus, which collapsed in 2008 with more than $10 billion for over 40,000 investors.

Prosecutor Addley Duncan a short while ago told Justice Chester Stamp that the prosecution was offering no evidence against Hill.

The judge then ordered the jurors to return a verdict of not guilty.

According to Duncan, after the Cash Plus investments scheme collapsed in 2008, thousands of people were affected and he was expecting them to come forward to give statements.

However, Duncan said only one person who provided a statement showed up.

Duncan also said the prosecution would be hard-pressed to prove fraud against Hill because people from within the organisation would have been needed to testify but none came forward.

"I have looked at the case and decided that based on the evidence that we have, we cannot prove the case against him," Duncan said.

crime-scene-5.jpgThe correctional officer who was charged last week following a knife and gun attack on his wife is to make his first court appearance this week.

A statement on Sunday night from the Corporate Communications Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) said he will appear before the St.
Catherine Parish Court on Friday.

Balfor Barnett, 47, was charged last Wednesday with wounding with intent as well as illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Investigators alleged that Mr. Barnett stabbed and shot his wife, a 35 year old nurse, during a dispute on May 14. It was reported that Mr. Barnett, who is attached to the Horizon Adult Remand Centre, and his wife, had a quarrel at their New Harbour Village residence in St. Catherine after she took out a restraining order against him.

It is alleged that he used a knife to stab her in the chest. He then shot her in the abdomen with his licensed firearm.

munga-honorable.jpgDancehall deejay, Munga Honourable, is allegedly in police custody.

Reports are that Munga was taken into custody by the Hunts Bay Police after he turned himself in last evening.

According to reports in various media outlets, Munga is being questioned in connection with the fatal shooting of a man at Ackee Walk, St Andrew two weeks ago.

The man was killed at a dance in the community.

Munga Honourable has reportedly denied any involvementin the killing.

Munga, whose real name is Damian Rhoden, is knows for songs such as 'Bad From Mi Born' and 'Flippin Rhymes', 'Slap Weh' and others.

Bartender shot and killed

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA bartender was shot and killed in Albion, St. Thomas on Wednesday.

The deceased is 46 year old Roselyn Walker who resided in the community.

About 10:45 a.m., Ms Walker was returning to her bar when gunshots were heard.

She was later found face down with bullet wounds to the back of her head

Woman's body found in tank

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe body of a woman was found in a tank in Alexandria, St. Ann on Wednesday.

She is 62 year old Beverloyn Brown-Edwards of Dumbarton in the parish.

About 5:00 a.m., relatives realised that she was missing.

A search was carried out and the body found.

crime-scene-knife.jpgNo motive has been established for the fatal stabbing of Hyacintha Wright, the wife of Joseph Wright, former Mayor of Falmouth,.

Mrs. Wright, who was 78 years old, was found dead on Thursday afternoon.

The police were called to Mrs. Wright's business place on Trelawny Street about 4.15 in the afternoon, and there they found her body with stab wounds in her neck, Superintendent Clive Blair, head of the Trelawny Police, told .

It's understood that Mrs. Wright was injured several months ago in another attack.

crime-scene-knife.jpgResidents of Runaway Bay, St. Ann have expressed shock and outrage following the fatal stabbing of an 88 year old woman, a resident of the community, on Wednesday.

The body of Nettie Rowe was found at her house shortly before midday.

It's suspected that she was sexually assaulted as well.

The house was ransacked; however, there was no sign of forced entry.

Investigators say Miss Rowe lived alone.

Frankie Paul is dead

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frankie-paul.jpgReports are that veteran reggae singer, Frankie Paul has died.

The sad news was reportedly confirmed confirmed by Paul's sister, Tisha Clarke, who spoke to artiste Wayne Lonesome about her brother's shocking death.

Lonesome went live on Facebook, and streamed the conversation between himself and Clarke, where she shared the news.

The clip has now received over 6.8k views, with many commentators sharing their condolences to the late reggae star.

This week, Clarke told The Gleaner that the latest bill she was issued regarding Paul's hospital treatment was quoted as $1.4 million in outstanding payments. "I don't have no more money because I have to buy prescriptions for him that they don't have at the pharmacy," she said.

According to Clarke, Paul had been a patient at the UHWI since April 2017, and was ill for an extended period of time.

hands-behind-bars.jpgReports are that correctional officer based at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre has been held by the police after allegedly stabbing and shooting his wife at their St Catherine home Saturday afternoon.

According to new reports, 35-year-old nurse Lisa Barnett and her husband Balfor Barnett were in their bedroom at 655 Nautilus Drive, New Harbour Village, Phase One when a dispute developed over unresolved matrimonial issues.

The police say an explosion was heard.

Shortly after, Mrs Barnett was seen running outside with what appeared to be a wound to the abdomen.

It is reported that she collapsed and was assisted to the Spanish Town Hospital by a neighbour.

Her husband fled the scene but has since been taken into custody by the police.

bolt-tribute-mason.jpgbolt-and-mason-at-carnival.jpgbolt-grave-digging.jpgUsain Bolt has been filmed in Portland, Jamaica digging the grave of his recently-deceased friend, Team GB Olympic silver medallist, Germaine Mason.

In the video 100 metre and 200m world record-holder Bolt, 30, can be seen helping to lay Mason to rest, with the British high-jumper set to be buried on May 21.

Mason, who won the silver medal at the Beijing Olympics, died in a motorcycle accident in Jamaica on April 20.

The 34-year-old, who was born in Jamaica, reportedly fell off of his bike on the Norman Manley highway in East Kingston at 4.20am, while trying to swerve to avoid oncoming traffic, and died at the scene.

Bolt and multiple international medallist Michael Frater were present quickly after the accident, with the pair part of the main convoy returning from a soca party.

Mason had been friends with Bolt since 2002, and the duo are pictured in many photographs together

The Jamaican posted a tribute to his friend shortly after the tragic accident.


A 25-year-old fitness trainer from St Catherine, who is accused of attempting to rape a female member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) after breaking into her home in April, is expected to face the courts next week Tuesday, May 16.

The fitness trainer, Chaddane Harris, was slapped with charges on the weekend of burglary and assault with intent to rape. Reports are that on April 24, Harris broke into the home of the female officer in Edgewater in Portmore, St Catherine.

He allegedly attempted to sexually assault her, but she resisted and made an alarm. It is further alleged that Harris, who fled the house, was captured a few hours later in Bridgeport. The police reported that they seized a bag with a pair of gloves and a razor from him.

Following investigations carried out by the police, Harris was charged.

butch-stewart-sandals.jpgAccording to an article written by Carl O' Donnell in Reuters on Wednesday, Butch Stewart's Sandals Resorts International, a privately held Caribbean resort operator that caters to couples, is exploring strategic alternatives including a potential sale of the company, according to people familiar with the matter.

The article states that sale would mark the first change in ownership for the company since it was founded 36 years ago by Gordon "Butch" Stewart, who built it into the largest non-government employer in Jamaica and created resorts across the Caribbean.

"Sandals has hired investment bank Deutsche Bank AG to explore sale options, including a sale of a majority stake in the company, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential."

O'Donnell states.

The valuation of the company could not be learned, but the sources said it could be worth well over $1 billion (£773.1 million), including debt. There is no certainty the move will result in any deal, the sources added.

The report states that Sandals did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

The company, which became famous for its commercials that feature couples lounging in its tropical resorts, owns 24 vacation properties in seven Caribbean countries, including Jamaica, the Bahamas, Grenada and Barbados.

Although Sandals caters primarily to couples, prohibiting children at most of its properties, it also operates a subsidiary called Beaches Resorts that welcomes singles and families.

Stewart began his career as a sales manager at Curacao Trading Company, before leaving in 1968 to found his first company, Appliance Traders Ltd, which distributed and serviced air conditioners.

When Stewart founded Sandals in 1981, the company began as a single hotel near one of the largest beaches on Jamaica's Montego Bay.He sought to differentiate it from competing resorts by emphasizing "all-inclusive" packages, which feature a single flat fee for lodging, meals and drinks.

In the early 2000s, Sandals attracted controversy because its couples-only resorts prohibited same-sex couples. It retracted the policy in 2004, after the London Underground banned Sandals advertisements in response to complaints from gay-rights activists.The article goes on to speculate that the company founded by Gordon " Butch" Stewart back in 1982 could be worth in excess of US$1 billion including debt.

assistant-police-winchroy-budhoo.jpgThe Jamaica Constabulary Force has again been plunged into mourning following the death of Assistant Commissioner of Police Winchroy Budhoo on Wednesday.

Budhoo reportedly died suddenly after reporting that he felt unwell.

Budhoo was assigned to the Strategic Operations Portfolio and has been credited with helping to bring about positive change to volatile St Andrew community August Town.

Cop shot and injured in Denham Town

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A police constable has been hospitalised after being shot during an operation in the Golden Heights area of Denham Town, West Kingston.

Initial reports are that the policeman was part of a team from the Mobile Reserve on operation in the Denham Town/Hannah Town areas of West Kingston, when they were fired on by gunmen.

The police returned the fire and the men fled.

The police say during the exchange, a bullet hit the ballistic helmet of a cop and fragments struck the constable in the region of his shoulder.

A police operation is now underway in search of the men.

In recent days, there has been an uptick in gang violence in sections of West Kingston.

Canada exports ganja to Cayman

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ganja.jpgThe Canada-based medical cannabis company CanniMed Therapeutics exported its first International shipment of cannabis oil to the Cayman Islands, as a way of testing the territory's potential as an export market.The company exported its first international shipment of cannabis oils this month, including 12,960 milliliters to a pharmacy here.

The shipment makes Canada the second country, after Jamaica, to export cannabis oils to Cayman since the product was legalised here last October.

While the Legislative Assembly legalised the oils for medicinal purposes, it did not approve local production, requiring legally viable product to come from abroad.

The Cayman Compass reports that the Foster's Food Fair-IGA pharmacy received its first shipment of the oils from Jamaica last month but in limited quantity for one patient. According to pharmacist Michael Anderson, they are now hoping to establish stock from Canada and will reserve Jamaica's more potent product for special orders.

He said the shipment was handled the same as other narcotic pharmaceuticals, requiring an import certificate through the Health Services Authority. While he has received several inquiries, he said many interested individuals had not received a proper prescription from their doctor.

"All cannabis oil products will require a prescription from a local physician in order to be filled at any pharmacy in the Cayman Islands," he said. "The company is planning to stock cannabis oil products at our pharmacy, but will also work with our suppliers to produce any specific formula a physician may request.

crime-scene-gun.jpgTwo men were killed and two illegal weapons reportedly seized early this morning following an alleged shoot-out between police and gunmen in a section of Trench Town called Zimbabwe.

The police report that they seized a Taurus 9 millimetre firearm with seven rounds of ammunition and a CSR sporting rifle with 10 rounds of ammunition.

One of the dead men has been identified as Devon Campbell, otherwise called 'Chicken'. The other man has not yet been identified.

The police say they came under sustained gunfire when they responded to explosions heard in Zimbabwe about 3 o'clock Tuesday morning. The gunfire was returned and two men were later found suffering from gunshot wounds. The men were taken to the Kingston Public Hospital where they were pronounced dead.

President of the People's National Party (PNP) Women's Movement, Jennifer Edwards, says Danville Walker must resign or be removed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness from all state board and statutory bodies.

This after Walker was found guilty of breaching the Contractor General Act by not providing, in a timely manner, information requested by the Office of the Contractor General (OCG). He fined the maximum $5,000 or 14 days in prison. The OCG probed allegations that the customs department under Walker's leadership allowed the export of 97 containers of scrap metal despite a ban on the industry at the time and without the requisite licenses.

Edwards says someone who has breached rules and regulations set by the government cannot turn around and enforce those rules.

She argues that Walker's engagement on government boards and statutory bodies raise questions of conflict of interest, ethics and integrity.

The Chapelton Police have launched a manhunt for a man who attempted to rob a woman of $1 million in cash Monday morning.

The police say about 10:15 a.m., a female employee of the Century Wholesale in Chapelton was about to enter the nearby National Commercial Bank with the cash lodgement when a man held on to the bag in which she was carrying the money.

The police say a tussle ensued and the bag broke.

That's when a security guard at the bank intervened. The police say the robber managed to grab $100,000 in cash, before escaping. The Chapelton Police are appealing to persons transacting business involving large sums of cash to seek their help.

germaine-mason-ig-2.pngA thanksgiving service for the life of Olympian Germaine Mason, will be held at 9am, Sunday, May 21 at the Hagley Park Seventh Day Adventist Church, 114a Hagley Park Road, Kingston 10.

Mason, who died in a motorcycle crash last month,will be interred at Long Road Grange Hill in Portland.

The national high jump record holder died when his Honda motorcycle crashed along the Palisadoes main road in Kingston on April 20.

He leaves behind mother Carol, father David, grandfather Eric, son Jelani, four brothers, three sisters, spouse Shari, and other relatives.

vybz-kartel-photo-29.jpgThe Appeal Court is set to hear the appeal of convicted dancehall entertainer Adidja Palmer, more popularly known as Vybz Kartel in February next year.

According to reports, the February 19 date was set on Tuesday morning during a case management hearing involving that lawyers for Vybz Kartel and government prosecutors.

The parties are to return to court in December for another case management hearing to ensure that all the documents are ready for the appeal.

Kartel and three others: Andre St. John; Sean Campbell and Kahira Jones were sentenced to life imprisonment in April 2014 for the murder of Clive "Lizard" Williams.

Mr. Williams was killed at a house in Havendale, St. Andrew, however, his body was never found.

Kartel's attorneys claimed the artiste was wrongly convicted and will be urging the Appeal Court to quash the conviction and sentence.

Peter Sangster, the politician and businessman who is to stand trial on a charge of forging the signature of former Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller is to reappear in court on June 5.

Sangster, the managing director of Jamus Communications Limited, appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court this morning, and had his bail extended

He is charged with uttering forged documents, forgery and obtaining money by false pretences.

Allegations are that between 2011 and 2013, Sangster solicited and obtained over US$600,000 from the chairman of the company.

The businessman reportedly promised to get a waiver for monies owed by the company to the Universal Service Fund.

Sangster is accused of forging a document purported to be the waiver.

A report was made to the police who launched an investigation into the matter.

companies-office-building.jpgHugh Jones, a director at the Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) collapsed and died on the job this morning.

One employee of the company was overheard saying that Jones who always had a pleasant disposition on the job, had just greeted her heartily before entering his office. Soon after, he collapsed.

Quick responses from emergency medical teams to save Jones' life were in vain as he appeared to have suffered a massive heart attack.

The COJ closed its offices in New Kingston following the sudden death.

They say normal operations will resume tomorrow.

Another employee said Jones.

A Trelawny pastor is now in lock-up behind bars after he was charged for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old member of his church.

Presley Smith, pastor of the Bunker's Hill New Testament Church of God in Trelawny, will face the Falmouth Parish Court later this week, after he was arrested and charged on Friday with five counts of buggery, five counts of gross indecent assault and five counts of grievous sexual assault.

Allegations are that between January 2016 and January of this year, Smith, 27, a native of Kingston but who currently lives in this rural Trelawny community, committed a number of sexual offences against a 15-year-old male student who hails from the district and is now residing in Montego Bay, St James.

Investigators have said that Smith turned himself in at the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) in Kingston on May 3 and was later transferred to Falmouth, where he was subsequently slapped with charges of buggery, gross indecency, and grievous sexual assault.

Reports are that the pastor had recently baptized the teenager.

mising-man-anthony-jackson.jpgThe body of a St Catherine man who has been missing since last Wednesday was found in Clarendon yesterday.

The body is believed to be that of 38-year-old Anthony Jackson of a Central Village address.

The body was discovered in a pit at an abandoned premises near Longsville Park sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning.

However, it was not removed until yesterday.

The police say this is not the first time bodies are being discovered in the area.

An investigation has since been launched to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the man's disappearance, while they await the results of an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

The funeral service for Cecil Prawl, the co-owner of the popular Gloria's restaurant in Port Royal saw a wide cross section of Jamaicans turning out to pay their final respects to a generous man.

Prawl died last month in when his high end utility vehicle crashed along the Port Royal main road.

Custos of Kingston Steadman Fuller and Member of Parliament Phillip Paulwell were among the hundreds who packed the St Peter's Anglican Church to pay their last respects to the late businessman.

Family and friends described Prawl as someone who treated everyone with respect, regardless of their social status.

Police investigators have been interviewing the brother and the aunt of the four- and six-year-old sisters who died Saturday after they were taken to the Bustamante Hospital with blood and mucus coming from their mouth and nose.

The two sisters were found bleeding at their home at Washington Court Apartments in Kingston, and were pronounced dead at hospital. The incident has shocked relatives and neighbours.

Police report that five-year-old Rosrick Deviana King and four-year-old Rosricka Devrickaye King were pronounced dead on arrival at Bustamante Hospital for Children Saturday morning.

According to the police, the children's mother, Rosden Hewitt, left them in the care of her 15-year-old son and went to Ocho Rios on a business trip.

The police said that about 6:45 am yesterday, Hewitt, who was still in Ocho Rios, was awakened by her son who told her that his sisters were motionless bleeding from the nostrils and mouths.

Police sources say the girls were unresponsive and parts of their bodies were blue when they were taken to the hospital's emergency room by a relative.

Doctors later pronounced them dead.

A police spokesperson said that investigators have some idea what happened to the sisters, but say this is based on reports from doctors who examined them.

As a result, the spokesperson says a post mortem exam will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

George Nooks on bail after cocaine charge

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george-nooks.jpgReggae singer George Nooks is now out on bail after he was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine.

Police say the 56-year-old entertainer was arrested in St Andrew on Friday after a plastic bag with a small quantity of white powdery substance, believed to be cocaine, was found in his 2016 Mercedes Benz sport utility vehicle.

The God is Standing By hitmaker was charged with possession of cocaine and offered bail in the sum of $80,000. He is to appear in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on May 17.

According to sources, he was taken to the Duhaney Park Police Station, where the plastic bag containing the white powdery susbstance was reportedly sealed and labelled "in his presence and view."

It's reported that Nooks' luxury vehicle was also taken to the station "for safekeeping" but Yardflex was unable to verify this, as calls to the entertainer have gone unanswered.

Sources say about 9 o'clock Friday evening a team from the Narcotics Division was conducting operations in the Duhaney Park area when they observed Nooks "acting in a suspicious manner with a brown paper bag in his hand as he walked towards a vehicle." Other reports are that Nooks was in the vicinity of Wedcome Drive.

"As the detectives approached him, he opened the vehicle and threw the paper bag inside," sources told The Gleaner.

The vehicle was reportedly searched "in his presence and view" and the paper bag retrieved. Police sources say the bag was found to contain "a small transparent plastic bag with white powdery substance resembling cocaine."

ganja-seized.jpgA police investigation has been launched into the seizure of more than 1,000 pounds of compressed ganja at two beaches in Hellshire, Portmore, St. Catherine yesterday.

The police report that during an early morning operation at Fort Clarence beach, detectives from the Narcotics Division found 483 pounds of compressed ganja in mangroves.

A man was arrested and a car seized.

The team then went to Waves Beach where a car was intercepted and searched, the police then found and seized 13 bags with 620 pounds of compressed ganja.

The driver was taken into custody.

The value of the drug has been placed at J$5.5 million.

Investigators suspect that the seizures are linked to the guns for drugs trade.

Market truck turns over; vendors injured

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Seven market vendors had to be taken to hospital Friday morning after a truck transporting them and their market goods overturned on the Newport main road in Mandeville, Manchester.

The extent of their injuries is not known.

The truck was was on its way to Kingston.

Reports indicate that the truck, which had about 15 persons on board, developed mechanical problems. The driver lost control of the vehicle and it overturned.

Most of the vendors' goods were lost.

Brothers shot dead in Anchovy

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Two brothers were shot dead in Nigger Ground in Anchovy, St. James on Friday morning.

They have been identified as 33 year old Omar Smith and 34 year old Odain Smith from Top Hill in Anchovy.

Reports from the Anchovy police are that the men left home for work about 6:00 a.m. They took a shortcut in Nigger Ground when they where ambushed.

They died at the scene.

mandeville-tax-office-shot-dead.jpgThe Manchester police questioned the boyfriend of an employee of the Mandeville ‎tax office in connection with her early morning murder.

The woman, identified as Keniesha McKenzie-Gayle, was shot dead, allegedly by her boyfriend who is an ex soldier of the Jamaica Defence Force.

The details surrounding the incident are not immediately clear.

However, it happened at the couple's home in New Green, about five kilometres outside of Mandeville.

The incident has shocked staff members at the Mandeville Collectorate.

Director of communications at Tax Administration Jamaica Meris Haughton says the Mandeville Tax Office has been closed for the day as staff members receive grief counselling.

Top cop says policeman's murder 'callous'

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police-commish-george-quallo-swearing-in.jpgNewly sworn in commissioner of police, George Quallo, has described the killing of a policeman on Friday by a suspect he was searching, as cruel and callous.

Commissioner Quallo added that it was unfortunate that the murder happened while the policeman, Constable Hanson, was performing his duties to serve and protect members of the public.

It's reported that the policeman, who was attached to the St Andrew North Division, was attempting to apprehend a suspect along Constant Spring Road when the man disarmed him and shot him in the head.

police-commish-george-quallo-swearing-in.jpgThe Opposition People's National Party has blasted as a "vulgar politicisation" the appointment of former Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) election candidates to the top posts at the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA).

Shane Dalling, a former JLP councillor, will take over as chief executive officer of the FLA. He will join a leadership team that includes board chairman Dennis Wright, a former JLP candidate for Portland Eastern and Dennis Meadows, the deputy chairman. Meadows unsuccessfully ran for the JLP in Trelawny Northern in the 2016 General Election.

Opposition Spokesman on National Security, Peter Bunting, says the Government is wrong for giving the top posts to the former political representatives.

According to him, the FLA is a sensitive entity that does work previously done by an arm of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and there should be not likelihood of political interference.

Last year, the FLA was heavily criticised over foul-ups involving the gun licence issued to Patrick Powell, the man who was freed of the murder of schoolboy Khajeel Mais.

Powell is still before the court for failing to handover his firearm for inspection.

Police Commissioner George Quallo is this afternoon appealing to members of the public to desist from sharing images and videos on social media from the scene where Constable Leighton Hanson was shot and killed yesterday.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force is on high alert following the shooting and injury of record producer Leighton "Livity" Coke early Sunday morning.

Coke, who is in stable condition, is currently hospitalised after he and a female were shot and injured in Hellshire, St Catherine.

The Corporate Communications Unit, the communications arm of the Jamaica Constabulary force confirmed the incident and is advising citizens to remain calm. Coke is the brother of imprisoned gangster Christopher "Dudus" Coke.

Coke is known on the entertainment circuit for his Live Up Records label, which started in 2005. Artistes he has worked with include Vybz Kartel (Money Pon Mi Mind), Mavado (I'm On The Rock), Flippa Mafia (Unfinished House), and Mr Vegas (I'm Blessed).

His record label also copped the EME's Best Compilation and Rhythm of the year for the Good Life Rhythm in 2010.

Coke is also one of the promoters of the annual West Kingston Jamboree. The stage show -- which had its beginning in1999 -- was restarted in 2014 after it was discontinued by the security forces following the unrest of May 2010.

The police in Montego Bay St James are now in search of a hand-cart man who they say severely chopped a female vendor at the Charles Gordon Market on Thursday morning and then fled the scene after she caught him stealing yam.

The police stated that the wounded woman has since been treated at the Cornwall Regional Hospital and admitted in stable condition.

Reports are that about 11:30 am on Thursday, the female vendor was at her stall outside the Market when she saw the hand cart man stealing yams from a neighboring vendor's stall.

She raised an alarm and the hand cart man told her that she was an informer before using a machete to chop her to her upper body and then fleeing the scene.

donald-trump-photo-1.jpg(CMC) -- A senior Antigua government minister says Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries will along with countries in Latin America speak with one voice opposing plans by the United States to target their nationals residing in the North American country to help President Donald Trump build his much touted multi-billion dollar US-Mexico border wall.US legislators are seeking to impose a two per cent tax on all remittances sent by nationals of Belize, the Cayman Islands, Haiti, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana and Suriname to friends and relatives.

These Caribbean countries are among a number of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean highlighted by the US legislators to help fund the wall, a major campaign promise of Trump and estimated at US$21.6 billion.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charles Fernandez, speaking on the state-owned ABS Television, said the new measures being advocated could result in the remittances system going underground.

"Whatever tax you put on it even though it sounds like a little bit, two per cent it could cause a number of people to want to drive this outside of the regulatory banking system and that could be of concern...because you could get into all kinds of monies moving around in actual hard currencies.

"The other thing about it is that the President had said...Mexico was going to pay for the wall, clearly now it is anybody who is doing transfers will pay for it.

"As regards to the Caribbean, I think Jamaica probably will be the biggest one affected. In 2015, Jamaica had something like US$1.5 billion sent from America alone to Jamaica in remittances," he added.

Suspect in Livity's shooting detained

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policeman-leighton-hanson-shot-dead.jpgThe Greater Portmore Police have detained a suspect in connection with the shooting of Leighton 'Livity' Coke yesterday morning in Hellshire, St Catherine.

Head of Operations at the Greater Portmore Police Division, Superintendent Leighton Gray, reportedly told The Gleaner that the man was detained yesterday when he turned up at the police station to claim a motorbike that was seized by the police in Hellshire following the shooting incident.

Head of Operations at the Greater Portmore Police Division, Superintendent Leighton Gray

Superintendent Gray says it is suspected that the bike was being driven by one of the gunmen who attacked Coke, but was left behind during the confrontation.

He says the suspect, whose identity is being withheld at this time, is from the west Kingston area.

He is still being questioned.

Meanwhile, the security forces remain on guard in west Kingston as investigations intensify into the shooting of Livity, who is the brother of drug kingpin Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.

Livity was ambushed and shot several times early Sunday morning at Hellshire Beach in St Catherine.

Hours after the shooting, police and soldiers took up positions at the hospital where doctors treated 'Livity' for gunshot wounds to the right side of his chest and left hand.

A woman who was travelling with him at the time was also shot multiple times.

Both Livity and the woman are still in hospital.

asafa-powell-and-usain-bolt-beijing-2015.jpgJamaican sprinter and former world 100 metre record holder Asafa Powell is now the holder of a Guinness World Record.

According to a release from the athlete's management, Powell has been named a record holder for most competitive 100 metre races completed in under10 seconds.

Powell has 97 such runs. The athlete, who refers to himself as the 'Sub-10 King', recorded his 97th sub-10 clocking with 9.94 seconds in an IAAF Diamond League race in Zurich last year.

According to the release, Powell will seek his 98th sub-10 run at the IAAF Diamond League opener in Doha, Qatar on Friday.

Leighton 'Livity' Coke, the brother of drug kingpin and formerTivoli Gardens don, Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, was Saturday night shot several times at the Hellshire Beach, in Portmore St Catherine. He is reportedly in serious condition at the Spanish Town Hospital after being shot up in Hellshire night.

According to a report in Jamaica's daily paper, The Gleaner, Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake is quoted as saying that Livity had just arrived at the popular Hellshire Beach when several men armed with guns approached his car and sprayed it with bullets.

Investigators say a woman travelling with 'Livity', was also shot multiple times.

Reports are that after Coke was shot, the vehicle sped away and but was chased along the highway by the attackers

Coke was, however, saved upon reaching Central Village, along the Mandela Highway, by about 15 heavily armed men who warded off his attackers.

He reportedly passed out and both he and the female were rushed to the Spanish Town Hospital where their condition is listed as serious.

The police say that measures are being put in place in Coke's West Kingston stong-hold, Hellshire and Spanish Town to prevent any outbreak of violence.

The police have also flooded parts of West Kingston in a moved to maintain calm.

Cop murdered in front of Merl Grove High School

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crime-scene-gun.jpgStudents and teachers at Merl Grove High School on Constant Spring Road ran for their lives on Friday afternoon when gunshots erupted and disrupted the normal hum of life.

Distraught students were convinced that this was a school shooting because, as they told YardFlex, the gunshots sounded like they were on the school compound. Those who were standing at the bus shed scampered in all directions, fleeing from the shots.

When the smoke cleared, a policeman lay dead uner the bus shed, his life snuffed out by an alleged robber.

Reports are that the policeman, identified as Constable Leighton Hanson, was responding to reports of suspicious men at certain premises when he was attacked by one of them.


An investigator at the scene said the cop was disarmed by the man and shot once in the head.

His attacker was shot by other policemen.

Both were taken to a medical facility where the cop was pronounced dead.

Motorists were advised to avoid Constant Spring Road in the vicinity of the Merl Grove High School where the shooting took place.

The robber who reportedly disarmed a police constable along Constant Spring Road in St Andrew and murdered him on Friday afternoon is dead. The man reportedly succumbed to his injuries while being treated in hospital.

Head of the Andrew North Police Superintendent Meveral Smith says the attacker was shot and injured after killing the policeman, identified as Constable Leighton Hanson at the bus stop at Merl Grove High School in St Andrew.

policeman-leighton-hanson-shot-dead.jpgAccording to one report, Constable Hanson was investigating reports of a robbery and stabbing incident on a bus in the vicinity of the Merl Grove High School. While the man was being searched by Hanson, he grabbed the policeman and engaged him in a tussle. The attacker grabbed the policeman's gun and shot him on the head, killing him.

After the shooting, the area was cordoned off chaos ensued as traffic piled up in all directions, creating a gridlock on Constant Spring Road, certain sections of Red Hills Road and roads leading off.

12 Trinidadians deported from Turkey

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CMC is reporting that at least 12 Trinidad and Tobago nationals are due to arrive home on Friday after they were deported from Turkey, but the police say they have no indication as to whether or not they are linked to nationals travelling to the Middle East to fight for the terrorist group, ISIS.

"We expect 12 persons who are reportedly deported from Turkey. They will be escorted here by Turkish agents. We do have information regarding some of the 12 persons, some of the information we have to verify. We have had limited information from the Turkish authorities," said Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police, Wayne Dick.

He told a news conference that while the 12 nationals 'at this point" will not be arrested" since they would be considered just "12 persons who are deported from Turkey".

"We have limited information from the Turkish authorities and we are hoping when they get here through continued efforts and investigations, we will learn why they have been deported," he said.

Last August, a Turkish newspaper reported that nine Trinidad and Tobago nationals were detained after the police nabbed a Syrian man suspected of attempting to smuggle them into southern Turkey to join the ISIS terrorist organisation.

The "Daily Sabah" reported that the police had stopped a car with a license plate from southern Mersin province when it entered south-central Adana province with 10 people, including the driver and nine Trinidad and Tobago citizens.

The paper reported that after an initial probe, police found the Syrian man, Asem H, was trying to take the Trinidad and Tobago nationals to the war-torn country, where they would have been recruited by ISIS.

The Syrian suspect was remanded in custody after an appearance at a local court, while the nine Trinidad and Tobago nationals were transferred to Adana Provincial Migration Management for deportation procedures, the report said.

(Source: CMC) -

police-commish-george-quallo-swearing-in.jpgPolice officers have been assured that justifiable use of force will be defended but Commissioner Quallo was keen to point out that he would not tolerate the abuse of ordinary citizens.

"Let's be clear, I will not stand for, or defend any of you my colleagues who wantonly abuse the rights of the citizens we swear to protect and serve," he declared. That's the promise from George Fitzroy Quallo, the 29th Commissioner of Police.

He was officially installed during a ceremony at the Police Officers Club on Hope Road in St. Andrew this afternoon.

The new commissioner argued that in some instances, the use of force would be required, especially in dealing with hardened criminals, and he vowed to protect his fellow officers in that regard.

"Yes, at times the police will, of necessity, respond with deadly force (but) colleagues, I will vigorously defend you when you have no option but to use justifiable force to protect your lives and the lives of our citizens. I make no apologies for taking this principled decision," he said.

butch-stewart-gordon-butch.jpgThe Appeal Court has dismissed the case brought by the Gordon "Butch" Stewart led Gorstew Limited against the State. The ruling was handed down on Friday.

The Court said it did not find favour with the appeal and promised to give its reasoning in writing at a later date.

Gorstew's attorney, Hugh Wildman, said the matter will now be taken to the UK Privy Council.

Gorstew appealed against a 2016 ruling by the Full Court to reject its application to challenge the decision of Resident Magistrate Lorna Shelly Williams to free three former ATL executives of fraud charges. Gorstew had applied to the Full Court for leave to seek judicial review of the 2014 decision of the Magistrate. Gorstew wanted the verdict quashed and the matter heard by another judge. But the Court described the application as vexatious and lacking merit.

Patrick Lynch, Catherine Barber and Dr Jeffrey Pyne were freed in August 2014 after the magistrate upheld no-case submissions by their attorneys. They were accused of distributing nearly $2 billion in interest and surplus to members of ATL's pension scheme without the consent of the company's Chairman, Gordon "Butch" Stewart.

Double murder in Gregory Park

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crime-scene-7.jpgTwo men were Thursday night shot dead by gunmen in Gregory Park, St Catherine.

The deceased have been identified as Alaska 'Lasco' Castillo, 33-year-old labourer, and Adrian Thomas, o/c Bill, 31-year-old bus conductor.

Reports are that, at approximately 7:30 pm, Castillo and Thomas were sitting in a vehicle along Watson Drive in Gregory Park, when a car drove up and occupants of the vehicle opened fire, hitting the two men several times.

The attackers escaped.

Police were summoned and the men taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead.

31 persons listed as wanted by cops in St James

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The St. James Police have listed 31 persons as wanted for serious crimes in and around the parish.

These individuals are asked to turn themselves in to the Montego Bay Criminal Investigation Branch immediately.

Among those listed are 37 year old Adrian Robinson otherwise called Rasta, who is wanted for murder and shooting, and 28 year old Shaneil Lutan, who is wanted for escaping police custody.

The 31 individuals are being asked to report to the Montego Bay Police Station by Thursday, April 27.

The public is also being reminded that it is a criminal offence to harbor these individuals.

Romanian ATM scammer still in jail

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The Romanian national Daniel Seteu and Jamaican Andre Sterling, both of whom are suspected to be part of the million dollar international ATM scamming ring appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court Wednesday.

The men were reportedly arrested between Monday and Tuesday last week at an ATM machine at the Pavilion Mall in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew.

Seteu was reportedly held with more than 20 fraudulent ATM cards and over $150,000 while allegedly making withdrawals from the machine in Sterling's company.

They were busted by members of the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch (C-TOC). Queen's Counsel Tom Tavares-Finson is representing Seteu and attorney Donahue Martin represents Sterling.

The police are reportedly hot on the heels of the other two Romanian nationals who are believed to be in the island, and who have also been implicated in the ATM scam that has reportedly so far cost Jamaicans over $50 million.

send-money-western-union.jpgIt could soon cost more for remittances to be sent to Jamaica.

A US Congressman has proposed to amend his country's Electronic Fund Transfer Act to impose a fee for remittance transfers to certain foreign countries, and for other purposes.

The Bill, introduced on March 30, 2017 in the US House of Representatives by Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers, seeks to fund US President Donald Trump's proposed wall on the US-Mexico border through a tax on remittances.

The Bill, which is being cited as the Border Wall Funding Act of 2017, proposes to tax remittances to Jamaica and 41 other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The plan is for a remittance fee equal to two per cent of the dollar amount to be transferred. The Bill has been referred to the US Congressional subcommittee on crime, terrorism, homeland security, and investigations. Congressman Rogers wants a speedy passage so it can take effect by this September.

A recent estimate suggests the wall could take more than US$21 billion to build over a three-and-a-half year period. Jamaicans sent about US$2 billion in remittances from the US last year.

If that level is kept up, they would pay close to US$40 million in the remittance tax.

man-waving-gun.jpgThe St Andrew businessman captured on video pointing his licensed firearm at several motorists along West King's House Road in St Andrew during Carnival festivities has been scheduled to appear in court next week Tuesday, May 2.

The police say 28-year-old restaurant manager Zachary Reid was charged with additional offences yesterday afternoon after being interviewed in the presence of his attorney.

The additional charges are failure to handover a firearm for inspection, assault at common law and illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.

Reid was initially charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and assaulting a police officer.

Denny Johns a Jamaican-born American who was indicted by US prosecutors for allegedly attempting to kill his wife and her sister in Queens, New York, was extradited on Tuesday. He was ordered extradited last month when he appeared before the St. Andrew Parish Court.

US prosecutors reported that on May 30, 2012, Johns was involved in a dispute with his wife when he pulled a gun and fired at her. The bullet missed and struck a wall in the couple's bedroom. Her sister who shared the apartment went to her assistance and tried to wrestle the weapon from Mr. Johns. During the tussle, the wife went under the bed to hide. Johns fired a bullet hitting his wife in the chest. He then placed the gun at his head and pulled the trigger, but it did not discharge.

He was captured in Westmoreland late last year. Johns was taken out of the island by US Marshals.

donald-trump-photo-1.jpgUS President Donald Trump was forced to ditch plans to find cash for his border wall in this week's spending bill.

Among the measures Trump was hoping would help to pay for the wall is a two per cent fee on remittances to certain countries including Jamaica. But the BBC says the president's close adviser, Kellyanne Conway, has said funding for the wall would be left out of a budget measure that must be passed by Friday.

Building the wall, paid for by Mexico, was a key campaign promise. Democrats had threatened to block the bill if money was earmarked for the wall, so its omission may now avert a government shutdown. But the president insisted on Twitter that he still supported the wall and that it would be built.

He reportedly told a private meeting with members of the conservative media last night that he might be open to funding the wall later in the year.

Gunshots rock carnival after-party

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The sound of gunfire temporarily slowed down the tempo on Carnival Sunday as the after-party at Heineken Rio was halted for about a half-hour.

Media reports are that the after-party came to a sudden halt about 8 p.m. after gunshots were fired close to the entrance.

Police said the shots were fired at the entrance, presumably by armed revellers. It is unclear whether anyone was hurt.

Following the incident, several persons left the venue but the majority who remained feasted on music and free Heineken at the bar.

However, about 8:30 p.m., the deejays, led by Nuphoric from Trinidad and Tobago rallied the crowd.

minister-babsy-grange.jpgOlivia "Babsy" Grange Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports is defending Government's position on the staging of Jamaica 55 celebrations amid a slew of questions and concerns raised by her Opposition counterpart Lisa Hanna.

Grange, in a 17-page response e-mailed to the media on Saturday, said that the celebration of Emancipation and Independence is an act to memorialise and pay homage to the struggles, sacrifices and triumphs of "our ancestors".

"For Jamaica 55 we have decided, as we did for Jamaica 21 and Jamaica 25, to include activities outside of the normal course of events to mark our Emancipation and Independence," she explained.

According to Grange, these activities include a series of projects to ensure that celebrations leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.

Hanna, in her Sectoral Debate contribution to Parliament earlier this month, insisted that Grange had embarked on a "culture of extravagance", noting that the ministry's budgetary allocation for the financial year 2017/2018 had seen a 130 per cent increase from last year's.

The former culture minister raised concerns about the $440-million budgetary allocation for the emancipation and heritage week celebrations this year, which she pointed out was $190 million more than the expenditure for the previous year.

JDF coast guard in police custody

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The Manchester police have taken a member of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) into custody regarding the death of a relative of the soldier.

The 29-year-old member of the JDF Coast Guard was picked up in Mandeville Friday.

The soldier is to be questioned in connection with the death of 51-year-old security guard Noel McDonald.

McDonald, who was attached to Marksman Security Company, was found dead Thursday at his home on Tavern Drive, in St Andrew.

Reports are that the police and several colleagues of McDonald went to his home at 41 Tavern Drive after he failed to report to work.

His body was found in a bathroom with multiple chop wounds.

The detained soldier is to be handed over to the St Andrew Central police who are investigating McDonald's death.

Jamaica copped its first gold at the IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas with a blistering run to win the women's 4x200m in a new championship record of 1:29.04 minutes.

Jamaica made a tactical switch and shifted Thompson from the opening leg to anchor and brought in the promising Sasha Lee Forbes for Anastasia LeRoy on the third leg and it worked wonders.

Jura Levy got things off to a wonderful start and once Shericka Jackson got into her stride the race was as good as over as Jamaica won by a huge margin.

The Germans were second in 1:30.68 and just outbattled the American in third in 1:30.87.

Justin Gatlin and the United States roared to victory in the men's 4x100m relay as rivals Canada and Jamaica dropped batons at the IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas on Saturday.

Run down by Canadian Olympic medalist Andre De Grasse in the earlier heats, Gatlin romped home in the final, leading the U.S. team of Leshon Collins, Mike Rodgers and Ronnie Baker to victory in 38.43 seconds.

Barbados claimed the silver and China surprised by taking the bronze.

Australia finished fourth ahead of France as both joined the medalists in qualifying for the IAAF world championships in August.

Reports are that three masked men -- armed with rifle and handgun -- stormed the Hayes Police Station in Clarendon Sunday morning with what is believed to have been ugly intentions.

The shocking incident occurred around 2:47am as the island has been experiencing inclement weather. The armed men arrived at the Hayes Police station in a car and two of the gang hopped out holding their weapons. However, a fearless cops immediately challenged the thugs an alert police officer challenged the men.

According to online reports, two of the men exited the vehicle wearing masks -- one armed with a rifle and the other with a handgun.

The man brandishing the rifle was about to fire on the station when he and his criminal friend were fired on by the alert cop.

The criminal with the rifle escaped in the motorcar and the man with the handgun escaped on foot.

One person has been killed an three others injured in an explosion at the RIU Montego Bay Hotel in Ironshore, St James.

Public Relations Officer at the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Emeleo Ebanks says the explosion happened in the main boiler room.

However, he said it was too early to determine the cause.

It's not clear who the victims were.

tesha-miller-photo-2.jpgReputed gangster Tesha Miller has finally been released from police custody without charge.

His attorney Bert Samuels said Miller was met by relatives on his release. Earlier Thursday, Kingston and St Andrew Parish Judge Vaughn Smith ruled that Miller must be charged by 6 o'clock or released from police custody.

Miller, who is believed to be the leader of the St Catherine-based Clansman gang, had been in police custody since April 4 when he was deported from The Bahamas.

In court this morning, his attorney Able-Don Foote described as sinister, the continued detention of the reputed gangster. Tuesday, Miller pleaded guilty to making a false declaration to Jamaican immigration officials and was fined the maximum $100.

However, he had remained in the custody of the police, who had indicated that he was the subject of a number of investigations. Last evening, Miller was interviewed by detectives from the Major Investigations Taskforce and the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime division.


Sprint superstar Usain Bolt was caught up in a fatal motorcycle crash in Jamaica which claimed the life of Jamaican-born Germaine Mason, who was a close friend of Bolt. Reports are that the two were among a group of athletes and entertainers who had attended a soca party at Kingston's Waterfront that evening.

Team Jamaica, a website run by Jamaican athletics supporters, said a number of athletes, including Bolt and Frater, were riding in a convoy with Mason when the crash took place, but other reports say that Bolt was on his way home when he heard of the accident and immediately made his way to the scene.

Mason, 34, who was a Jamaican star athlete and record holder prior to joining Team Great Britain and winning a silver medal in high jumper at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, died Thursday in the early morning crash which occurred near Kingston, police said, when he lost control of his motorcycle.

Bolt, Jamaica's eight-time Olympic sprint champion and 11-time world champion, and fellow sprinter Michael Frater were immediately at the scene.

"Usain Bolt was part of the group that came by and he was very, very emotional, and still is," police senior superintendent Calvin Allen told the BBC. "I understand they are very close friends."

Mason began competing for Britain, his father's homeland, in 2006 after having taken bronze for Jamaica at the 2004 world indoors and claimed silver at the 2000 world juniors in Chile and bronze at the 2002 world juniors in Kingston. Both the prime minister of Jamaica and the leader of the opposition have extended their condolences to Mason's relatives and friends.

Fuzz Caan, a senior high jump coach at British Athletics who worked with Mason during his time as Olympic champion, said "Germaine was an outstanding athlete and a truly lovely man. He had a wry sense of humour and was a pleasure to be around."

"The whole of the British Olympic Aassociation is incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Germaine Mason," said BOA chief executive Bill Sweeney.

"Germaine was a great athlete, an Olympian and a silver medal-winning part of Team GB who made history at Beijing 2008. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

Other British athletics stars were stunned and saddened at the news.

"This is just awful. Such sad news," tweeted 2012 London Olympic and three-time world heptathlon champion Jess Ennis-Hill.

"Heart goes out to friends and family of Germaine Mason on this sad day," tweeted 1992 Barcelona Olympic 100m champion Linford Christie. "R I P Germaine. Never forgotten."

Denise Lewis, the 2000 Sydney Olympics heptathlon champion, tweeted, "My condolences and deepest sympathy go out to Germaine Mason's family & friends. A tragic loss of such fun & loving person."

Beijing Olympic 400m hurdles bronze mediallist Tasha Danvers called it "a very sad day for track and field... He will missed."

Olympic silver medal high jumper Germaine Mason died in a motorcycle crash in Kingston, Jamaica, early Thursday morning.

Jamaican-born Mason was heading into Kingston at around 4.20am when he lost control of his motorbike along the Palisadoes main road and crashed, dying instantly.

The 34-year-old was reportedly riding in the front of a convoy with several other athletes. Many reports say that track star Usain Bolt, was among the athletes, but according to Yardfles sources, Bolt was not a part of the convoy. Bolt, who is a close friend of Mason's, reportedly arrived at the scene after the accident.


Mason, who has a five-year-old son, is Jamaica's record holder in the event at 2.34m, or 7.67 feet. He had been trained by the Stephen Francis-coached MVP, prior to 2006 when he left Jamaica to represent Britain. The high jump star, who was born in Kingston, lived in Jamaica, however, Mason, whose father is British, had dual citizenship.

The athlete competed in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and won a silver medal for Great Britain in the high jump event.

Mason continued to compete until he retired from the sport in 2016.

Mason had been with several athletes, including 100m and 200m world record holder Bolt, 2005 world championship 100m silver medallist Michael Frater, and former Bolton defender Ricardo Gardner before Thursday's crash occurred.

After news broke of Mason's death, several athletes poured out tributes on social media, including Johnson Thomson and Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness tweeted: 'Our sincere condolences to the entire sporting community.'

tesha-miller-photo-3.jpgReputed Clansman leader Tesha Miller was on Monday fined one hundred Jamaican dollars after pleading guilty to one count of false declaration.

Miller's sentence was handed down by Parish Judge Sanchia Burrell after pleading guilty to one count of using a fictitious name.

The reputed gangster was charged by the Immigration Investigation Unit last Tuesday following his deportation from Bahamas on April 4.

He was charged following allegations that he left the island using fictitious names. However, the police have reported that there are other matters pending against Miller.

A Romanian who is said to be the mastermind behind an automated teller machine (ATM) scam was arrested on Monday along with a Jamaican at the Scotiabank ATM at the Pavilion Mall in Half-Way-Tree.

Police report that the men were found with in excess of J$180, 000 by teams from the Half-Way-Tree and Hunts Bay CIB who were acting on information.

It is alleged that the men used department store cards from overseas to carry out the scamming.

crime-scene-7.jpgIt was a bloody Easter Sunday and Monday in Kingston 2 after two men were killed in separate incidents in the area.

On Sunday, 25-y-o Youlando Vaccianna of Hillside Crescent was gunned down by a lone gunman about 7:00 pm.

Reports from the Rockfort Police are that Vaccianna was allegedly walking along the roadway when he was approached by the man who pulled a firearm and opened fire hitting him several times. The gunman escaped.

Vaccianna was rushed to hospital after the police were alerted, however, he died while undergoing treatment.

Claudiu Precup, a Romanian man who has been charged in connection with the ATM scam uncovered locally, was remanded until Wednesday, when he appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court last week.

Precup faces multiple counts of fraud involving more than J$50 million.

He was charged one week ago by C-TOC investigators who reportedly held him in possession of more than 100 blank ATM cards.

Investigators said Precup and four other members of a fraud network have been targeting ATMs across the island, fleecing millions of dollars from several financial institutions.

The men have been installing devices in the machines, and capturing the personal information of cardholders.

Arrest warrants have been prepared for the other four Romanians who remain at large locally.

Two Romanian nationals who could be part of an international scamming operation were refused entry into Jamaica last week when they were intercepted at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay .

Head of the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime branch, Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP Clifford Chambers says two men attempted to enter the island but were refused entry by local authorities who have observed a recent trend of a number of foreigners, especially Romanians, setting up scamming operations in Jamaica. Elements from the Romanian criminal network have been fleecing millions of dollars from the bank accounts of individuals at ATMs across Jamaica.

Over $50 million has reportedly been been stolen by the men so far .

Immigration officials had been placed on alert for these individuals entering the island. They were sent back on a flight to Romania.

Regional security dosier indicate that one of the men had been arrested, charged and convicted of fraud-related offences in The Cayman Islands, while there are indications of the ATM scam extending to Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda and Canada.

This is while Claudiu Precup, a Romanian man who has been charged in connection with the ATM scam uncovered locally, was remanded until Wednesday, when he appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court last week.

gloria-s-rendezvous.jpgCecil Prawl, 49, one of the operators of the popular Port Royal seafood restaurant Gloria's, was killed following a motor vehicle accident early this morning.

According to reports from the Port Royal Police, Prawl was driving his black Lexus SUV along a section the Port Royal Main Road towards Port Royal when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed. Eye witnesses say Prawl was flung from the vehicle onto the road suffering severe head injuries.

Prawl, who was the only occupant in the vehicle, was taken to a medical facility but was pronounced dead soon after.

The police theorise that speeding was a major contributing factor in the crash.

Yardflex extends condolences to the family.

law-student-teresa-wilson.jpgA 27-year-old Jamaican law student arrested in the US over lottery scamming , pleaded guilty to the charges in October and has been sentenced to 16 months in federal prison.

Teresa Wilson was sentenced in March after pleading guilty October 19, 2016 for conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

As part of her sentence, the court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $270,000, which are proceeds of the offense. Wilson -- a resident of Montego Bay, St James just completed studies at the Norman Manley Law School.

Wilson is the third defendant to plead guilty during this investigation in the case. Jamaican Yanique Coach and American Dwayne Breary were previously sentenced to 12 months' and a day, and 6 months' imprisonment, respectively, after pleading guilty July 2016.

According to court documents, an 89-year-old victim in Virginia received phone calls from two people in October and November 2014, advising that she had won $3.5 million dollars from the Mega Millions Sweepstakes.

One of the callers identified himself as being associated with the sweepstakes, and the other purported be an attorney. The callers told the victim that her name had been entered into the lottery through a magazine subscription, but that the victim needed to pay fees and taxes before receiving her winnings.

From October 31, 2014 to November 25, 2014, at the direction of the callers, the victim complied and mailed $282,600 in cash to various locations in Florida and Georgia, concealing the money in magazines and cereal boxes.

The family of the victim learned about the large withdrawals of money from the victim's bank account and contacted the FBI. On March 6, 2015, the victim was instructed by the callers to send $150,000 in cash to an apartment in Orlando, Florida. On March 19, 2015, a third co-conspirator signed for and accepted the package upon delivery. Agents then executed a search warrant and recovered the package.

During the fraud scheme, Wilson, who was attending law school in Jamaica, had co-conspirators hold packages for her containing hundreds of thousands of dollars, which they had received from the victim in the United States. Wilson would then travel from Jamaica to retrieve the money or make arrangements for another co-conspirator to travel from Jamaica to do the same.

On Sunday, the death toll on the nation's roads since Thursday night, stood at seven, with a policeman numbered among the fatalities.

And with one day to go before the end of the Easter holiday, the Road Safety Unit is again urging road users to make safety a priority. Director of the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport Kenute Hare says the seven deaths on the weekend are the result of improper driver behaviour.

The fatal accidents occurred in Westmoreland, Clarendon, St. Elizabeth, St. Catherine, Manchester, and St. Ann.

According to Mr. Hare, the seven road deaths so far this weekend have pushed the overall figure this year, to 98.

3 brothers shot - 2 dead, the other stable

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThree brothers were shot - two fatally - when gunmen invaded their home in Freetown in May Pen, Clarendon, early this morning.

Dead are 19-year-old Richard Blake, and his 16-year-old brother Ricardo Blake.

Their thirteen year-old brother has been admitted in stable condition at hospital.

Police say about 12:30 this morning, the three brothers were at home sleeping when three armed men kicked-open the front door and asked for a particular person.

The armed men then shot the three brothers.

Tesha Miller charged

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tesha-miller-photo-3.jpgAlleged leader of the Clansman Gang, Tesha Miller, is to appear in court on April 18, after being charged on Wednesday with two counts of making a false declaration.

This was revealed in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court Wednesday. Miller's attorney, Able-Don Foote was about to make an application for Miller's release from custody - arguing that Miller was being held without charge from April 4 - when the court was informed.

The court was told that he left the island using assumed names. The court was also told that there are other matters pending against Miller.

The reputed Clansman leader has been in police custody since he was deported from the Bahamas last week.

Miller was named as a person of interest last year by Jamaica's Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch and asked to turn in himself to the authorities. Detectives reportedly believed Miller could assist them in their investigation of several of the murders recorded in Spanish Town and sections of Portmore during the first quarter of 2016.

DCP George Quallo named new police commissioner

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police-commissioner-george-quallo.jpgDeputy Commissioner of Police George Quallo is to be appointed Commissioner of Police effective April 18.

This afternoon, Quallo reportedly told daily paper, The Gleaner that he was advised by the Police Service Commission about the appointment around 3 p.m.

He also vowed that the team he leads will be able to effectively reduce crime.

"We will put this crime monster under control," Quallo said in a brief interview.

A 14-year-old boy in Northern Ireland has been charged with attempting to possess a sub-machine gun and 100 rounds of ammunition, after he was reportedly told by a Jamaican man to collect the items.

A report in the Belfast Telegraph says the teenager was detained during a police operation on Thursday. Police said he had handed over £150 for the ammunition to an operative, believing he could later purchase a machine gun. The accused appeared before a Magistrate's Court on Saturday, flanked by his father and three police officers.

During an interview with police, the boy provided a prepared statement naming a Jamaican man who he said had asked him to collect ammunition and a deactivated gun. He said he had ordered these on the Internet.

The accused was released on £ 500 bail.

The case will again be heard in court later this month.

Fifty-three-year-old businesswoman, Janett Moore, and her 19-year-old daughter, Tajona Rhoden both of a Pheonix Park, Dunbeholden, St. Catherine who were shot dead on Wednesday night, had been victims of a violent attack more than 15 years ago.

Moore's common law husband Wilfred Rhoden stabbed her several times and left her for dead on Old Stony Hill Road.

He then went to the family home in Kencot and inflicted wounds on Tajona and her two sisters seriously injuring them before he killed himself.

The police are investigating the killing of the two women, who were found suffering from gunshot wounds on Wednesday night.

Robbery has been theorised as the motive.

shocked.jpgThe Office of the Children's Registry (OCR) is reporting that it recorded more than 13,000 cases of child abuse for the period January to December 2015. It said it received reports of child abuse for 18 out of every 1,000 children living in Jamaica in 2015. This represents an 18.7 per cent increase over the previous year.

Greig Smith, Registrar at the OCR, made the revelation at Thursday morning's launch of National Child Month at GraceKennedy's headquarters in downtown Kingston. Smith said more than 9,000 of the cases represented children who were reported to the OCR for the first time.

"Persons still fear of the 'informer fi dead' culture but persons are coming. Henceforth, we would have recorded over 13,000, close to 14,000 cases compared to 11,900-plus the previous year. So more persons are really coming out to talk."

He urged, "What we really want to encourage is more chidren also because we are still seeing less than two per cent of the children still making the point"

He said there is still no system in place at the registry to determine how many of these reported cases have led to a prosecution.

Mother, daughter murdered in St Catherine

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crime-scene-7.jpgA mother, 53 year old businesswoman Janet Moore and her 19 year-old daughter Tajona Rhoden were brutally killed in the community of Phoenix Park in Dunbeholden, St Catherine on Wednesday night.

Reports from the Portmore Police are that about 10:10 pm explosions were heard and the lawmen were summoned.

Upon arrival the lawmen,found the two women in their home on the ground in a pool of blood suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

The mother and daughter were taken to the hospital were they were pronounced dead.

There are unconfirmed reports that the women were killed during a robbery attempt.

Investigations are continuing.

babsy-grange-minister.jpgFollowing Lisa Hanna's bombshell revelations in Parliament on Tuesday, in which she called out the Culture Ministry for a myriad of ills, ranging from nepotism to reckless spending, the Minister of Culture, Olivia 'Babsy' Grange has responded with a release slamming Hanna for her "hypocritical and irresponsible .... presentation which had the effect of besmirching professionals, alarming our partners and demotivating our volunteers".

See full text of Grange's letter below:

"I have noted the accusations mentioned in the presentation by the Member of Parliament for South East St Ann, Lisa Hanna, during the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives today (Tuesday).

I categorically reject the allegations of wrongdoing and will seek to provide a comprehensive response in the House.

The allegations of wrongdoing relate to the use of a consultant by the JCDC and the establishment of a Secretariat in the Ministry to coordinate activities to mark Jamaica 55 -- which is an expanded programme.

That the Member has chosen to allege wrongdoing on that basis is too extraordinary to be believed as during the tenure of the Member as Minister of Youth and Culture (between 2012 and 2016):

the same consultant was engaged by the JCDC; and the Minister maintained a Secretariat to coordinate activities to mark Jamaica 50, including the sale of commemorative pins.

At last count we found tens of thousands of pins hidden at various locations across the island and overseas. The investigation is continuing.

The hiring of consultants at the JCDC pre-dates my leadership as Minister and has been a necessary support resource to the Commission in the execution of its mandate.

The mind boggles at the thought that this Member, who fired the Project Director for Jamaica 50 Secretariat on assuming office and hired another at twice the pay, is now the one coming to the Parliament to tell the nation that she found a culture of extravagance.

The Member was hypocritical and irresponsible in her presentation which had the effect of besmirching professionals, alarming our partners and demotivating our volunteers.

I give the assurance to the nation that we are managing a credible programme in compliance with applicable rules and regulations including those that govern procurement."

lisa-hanna-photo-4.jpgSpokesperson on Information, Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna, had some shocking revelations to share at her sectoral presentation Tuesday as she exposed the reckless and excessive spending in the Olivia 'Babsy' Grange-led ministry.

Hanna ripped apart the culture of extravagance at the Culture Ministry and opened what can only be described as a huge can of worms as she questioned nepotism at the ministry, the function of the JCDC and, quite interestingly, the necessity of a Jamaica 55 Secretariat, among other things.

Sections of Hanna's presentation in Parliament can be read below:

"...I was overjoyed to hear the prime minister of Jamaica punctuate his 2017 budget speech with a firm commitment to fiscal discipline.

He said, "As an independent country, we must be disciplined in managing our own fiscal affairs. The only way... is to better manage the tax revenue we raise; plug the leaking revenues we don't raise [while] growing the economy."

But, Mr Speaker, I'm forced to ask, does he believe his own words? If he does, he seems to be the only cabinet member believing.

Despite my relatively few years in politics, I've noticed a "money-mek-fi-spend" philosophy has overtaken our governance structures. Some don't seem able to distinguish between campaign funds and taxpayers' resources.

What might be just cavalier when spending campaign funds becomes otiose, uncaring, incongruous and just plain old-fashioned dishonest as custodians of taxpayers money.

Take for example the over $440 million allocated to the Ministry of Culture this year by the GOJ for Emancipendence/Heritage Week Celebrations. This is over 100 per cent more than last year's budget of $191 million. Of that $440m, only $60million has been ear-marked for the JCDC whose mandate, as prescribed in The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission Act is to:

•promote cultural programmes and activities in communities throughout the Island;

• encourage and organise each year independence anniversary celebrations and other celebrations marking occasions of national interest etc.

That miniscule $60 million allocation to the JCDC is stated expressly in the budget to be for "promotion of cultural activities", more specifically restricted in a liner note to "promote at the local and national level the unearthed talents in the performing and visual arts".

So, with a sleight-of-hand, fully 85 per cent of the JCDC's statutory mandate has been removed from that agency and it has been limited to conducting music and drama festivals for children island-wide -- all this despite the JCDC Act neither being amended nor repealed.

So, Mr Speaker where has the rest of the $440m gone? The budget has allocated that money to the Ministry of Culture to "assist in the promotion of events commemorating Independence Day including the Grand Gala, Emancipation Day and National Heritage Week".

For those of you who might have missed it, there is an obscure note to the estimates of expenditure reserving $200 million of the $380 million remaining specifically for "Jamaica 55 Project."

But Mr Speaker, only you can help me to understand how, somehow, despite the presence of the JCDC, with its specific statutory remit, despite a fully staffed, budgeted for Ministry, despite the prime minister's commitment to fiscal responsibility, a separate creature called a "Jamaica 55 secretariat" has been established by Minister Grange to do the JCDC's job which is to plan and execute the festivities.

Is this how you plug the leaks in government expenditure or is this how you ensure that it is leaked to the right place?

I regret to report, Mr Speaker, that this is not the first time. A pattern seems to be developing in this ministry whereby established state agencies are bypassed in favour of personal consultants.

Mr Speaker, an external consultant was contracted to, in the words of his proposal letter (a copy of which I have) to "act as artistic director" for the 2016 Grand Gala.

The letter is dated May 27, 2016 and by June 22 the contract was awarded lock stock and barrel. The consultant's asking fee of $15 million dollars was adopted without negotiation. This fee was charged to design costumes, for choreography, team leadership "artistic direction" and to provide production assistants all of which could easily have been done by the JCDC at no cost.

My information is that the Ministry of Culture provided the production assistants promised by this Consultant, but not delivered and then arranged for the JCDC to pay an additional $2 million for these assistants. The end result was that $17 million was paid for expertise and services already available in the JCDC.

I have a copy of his contract. It provided for a contract period of June 16 to August 14, 2016 and for payment of 50 per cent of the fee on signing; another 25 per cent seven days after signing and the balance "within 7 days after implementation and submission of final report."

Yet I have right here a document headed "invoice" dated July 15, 2016. It is a very ragged and unprofessional letter written to the JCDC demanding full payment of the $15 million and the due date on the Invoice is July 15, 2016 the same date as the date of the so-called "invoice".

This invoice fails to specifically describe any of the services or to itemize how the fee is chargeable vis-a-vis each service but simply repeats the vague description of services in the Proposal letter and demands full payment. This payment was made three weeks before the Grand Gala even took place. The final cost of Grand Gala 2016 $65 million.

This "artistic director" is the same consultant whose company, is owned 50/50 with a partner. The said partner had been engaged to head the Jamaica50 Secretariat at the Ministry of Culture in 2011.

When I took over the Ministry in 2012, I found a project proposal from this partner to spend $2.5 billion. I recall the former and current minister's public outrage when the plan to implement that proposal was foiled and discarded.

This culture of extravagance had to change and, by 2015, I was able to put a stop to this "money-mek-fi-spend' culture that I inherited in 2012.

We began as soon as I took office and gradually brought the gala costs down closer to sanity. In 2015, our policies had succeeded in reducing the gala cost to $40million. We did this by using the state agencies that were in place and dispensing with these expensive external consultants.

Now, as soon as the government changes, this same consultant returns to this same ministry in 2016 and is able to burst the budget pipe so big that the leak becomes a flood! In 2016, the gala cost had already increased to $65 million. Is this the "fiscal responsibility" of which the prime minister spoke?

Mr. Speaker, I'm reliably informed that the artistic director's business partner who prepared the Jamaica 50 $2.5billion proposal is now the current minister's paid senior advisor whose responsibilities include the Jamaica 55 project.

As such, perhaps it would cause some discomfort had any part of the 2016 Grand Gala tender come in on his company's letterhead so his business partner, the artistic director, was awarded a $15m contract in his personal capacity in a most non-transparent process.

Now that one of the business partners controls "Jamaica 55" project imagine what kind of contract a bloated budget of over $380 million can be accommodated for the artistic director?

Is this how the prime minister defines "fiscal responsibility"?

Mr Speaker why is Jamaica 55 a milestone year in any event? Didn't the Prime Minister say that we must "be disciplined in managing our own fiscal affairs" and "better manage the tax revenue we raise"? Is this a national or a political priority? If the invitation to the Jamaica 55 launch at Vale Royal tomorrow night (Wednesday, April 5) is anything to go by, this "milestone" year of independence will be a grand affair.

Can I propose to the prime minister, that he begin with Jamaica 55 in exercising his newly found spiritual conversion to fiscal discipline? What's the role of the Jamaica 55 secretariat? From where does its authority to spend taxpayers' funds (or even advise on its spending) arise?

Are the Jamaica 55 funds being spent painstakingly to the adherence of the Government Procurement Rules? What's the purpose of a "consultant" when the JCDC has a Board with a clear statutory remit? When will all this end? Are going to see a "Jamaica 56" secretariat next year? Perhaps the role of the JCDC Board has been usurped. No one with any management knowledge would expect the current board with its 31 members to be effective or efficient.

Furthermore, it's my understanding that this current board suffers from the same "money-mek-fi-spend" virus. They have not only increased board fees to themselves, but done so retroactively.

Blow to prime minister's credibility

Prime Minister, your credibility has already taken a blow, having told people that the $1.5 million give back would be revenue-neutral and having flip-flopped on your opposition to sourcing funds from the NHT.

The Ministry of Culture's questionable actions exacerbate this credibility deficit and make a further mockery of the PM's stated commitment to fiscal discipline.

If the PM is serious about better management of the tax revenue we raise, then he should start in the Ministry of Culture and with a tightening of the exclusions under 1.2.1 in the Procurement Guidelines Handbook which were intended to cover creative and artistic choice only, but have been stretched beyond reasonable limits to allow for the procurement of management and consultancy services without transparency.

Government has cut the budgets for CHASE and the Student Loan Bureau by $222 million yet people are expecting to extract "the last pound of flesh" from the pockets of most, if not all Jamaicans, especially the poorest of the poor.

These people won't be content to exchange their last pound of flesh to attend ad hoc Independence activities intended to make them feel good when they can't pay their child's "free school fee" or money to pay the increased property taxes.

Mr. Speaker, I would've loved to have devoted my limited time today presenting policy directives geared towards cultural development and youth opportunities.

But the truth is, until we get rid of this "money-mek-fi-spend culture", we will never have the resources to help our youth and hone our cultural talents.

Plus all the speeches we make as politicians will be useless rhetoric. Mr Speaker, as elected MPs we have a responsibility for nation building.

On this side, we see nation building as investing in our institutions and in our human capital. It is clear from the intentional actions of this government that wasteful extravagance of our taxpayers money is the order of the day and they are more intent on benefiting a "few special friends".

We saw it in when they appointed only one "special" Jamaican contractor as the subcontractor to the Chinese for all-island infrastructural work under the JDIP, we saw it again when they appointed a few "special" contractors for the $800 million all-island bushing programme, and we see it again here in the Ministry of Culture with this "special artistic director" and the $200 million Jamaica 55 secretariat.

Mr Speaker, our citizens are watching us more closely than ever before and they can see through the smoke and mirrors that are used to intentionally obscure this perpetual "money-mek-fi-spen" culture that this administration seemingly can't do without.

tesha-miller-photo-2.jpgReputed leader of the notorious Klansman gang, Tesha Miller, was deported from The Bahamas yesterday, however reports are that the elusive gangster had carried the cops in The Bahamas around the fairy-tale mulberry bush for a month, in their attempt to find out exactly who he was.

Miller, who had been wanted for questioning by the Jamaican authorities, ended up in the Bahamas, but it was only his Jamaican accent that gave the fugitive away, after a long month during which he gave several aliases to the cops in The Bahamas.

After they recognised his Jamaican accent they contacted the Jamaican authorities and Tesha Miller's cover was blown wide open.

Last week Tuesday, news surfaced that Miller had been caught in The Bahamas and was scheduled for deportation the following day, but it was many days before the fugitive gangster was sent home. Miller was deported from Nassau, the capital, on a 2:40 pm flight.

His expulsion comes almost a year after he was deported from the United States, where he spent two years in prison on a charge of illegal entry.

tesha-miller-photo-1.jpgMembers of the police force are now closely monitoring sections of the St Catherine North Division and surrounding areas following the deportation of reputed Clansman Gang leader Tesha Miller from The Bahamas on Tuesday.

The police division includes volatile communities in the vicinity of Spanish Town - such as Thompson Pen, Tredegar Park, St John's Road, Rivoli and De La Vega City - where the Clansman Gang operates.

Miller was in police custody up to Wednesday morning. Police said he was scheduled to be deported last week Tuesday but the deportation was delayed because of security reasons. He was held by Bahamas authorities last month after entering the Caribbean island illegally.

The alleged gangster was deported from the United States last year. Months after his return, he was named as a person of interest by Jamaica's Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) and asked to turn in himself to the authorities.

Detectives reportedly believed Miller could assist them in their investigation of several of the murders recorded in Spanish Town and sections of Portmore during the first quarter of 2016. According to one of his relatives, Miller keeps fleeing the island because he believes his life is under threat from both the police and criminals.

cocaine-seized-photo-1.jpgA Jamaican man was arrested on narcotics smuggling charges Monday after he was caught with cocaine while dressed as a pilot at New York's John F Kennedy International Airport, US authorities said.

The man has been identified as Mario Hudson.

US Customs and Border Protection said Hudson claimed he was a "dead-heading crewmember" after stepping off a flight from Kingston.

"Dead-heading" is reportedly an airline industry term for someone flying as a passenger on company business to get to another airport for work.

However, during a search of Hudson's baggage, officers reportedly found five pounds of cocaine with a street value of US$85,000. The officers also found fraudulent Delta Air Lines identification.

Hudson was subsequently and charged.

shocked.jpgA brazen kidnapping attempt of a parent by a disgruntled former employee led to gunshots being fired on the compound of St Andrew Preparatory School on Cecelio Ave in Half-Way Tree Wednesday morning.

Police sources say no one was injured in the shooting.

The drama unfolded at the nearly 100 thousand dollars per term preparatory school after the mother dropped her child off at school and was surprised by the gunman who reportedly forced his way into the woman's car. Police reports are that the woman, whose name is being withheld, drove the car onto the school compound and crashed it into another vehicle before escaping.

Police sources say a licensed firearm holder, who was watching the incident unfold, then challenged the gunman and the shootout ensued.

crime-scene-7.jpgThe names of the those killed during Sunday morning's hacking incident in Norwood, St James have been revealed by the police.

They are 60-year-old Lascelles Bracket, who is said to be the perpetrator of the hacking, and his victim 62-year-old Herman Pryce.

Three other victims remain in hospital in serious condition.

The police say the incident took place about 10:30 a.m. yesterday in a shop when Bracket demanded to be served for a second time after he had been already served. He pulled a machete and chopped three elderly men who were also in the shop.

Police say he ran into a house where he chopped Pryce, a maintenance worker who lived in the dwelling.

Residents who came to Pryce's assistance were also attacked. Bracket was subsequently mobbed and killed by the residents.

Pryce was taken to hospital, along with the other injured men, where he was pronounced dead.

ruel-reid-2016.jpgInformation Minister Senator Ruel Reid says that Monday's Cabinet discussion is unlikely to result in a roll back of the much criticised property tax increase which came into effect on April 1.

He said the government will be implementing a robust public education programme to ensure those who cannot afford to pay their property taxes are aware of their options.

He added that the public will be informed of Cabinet's position on the matter at a media briefing on Wednesday.

With the Government maintaining its position on the property tax, the Parliamentary Opposition has declared that it will take up the issue again in the House of Representatives this week.

Phillip Paulwell, Leader of Opposition Business in the Lower House, says the issue will be raised at the next sitting of the House.

"We believe that the imposition of these new rates is really unconscionable and we are going to be quite vociferous in our presentations in Parliament on Tuesday," he said.

The purpose of that approach, he said, was to convince the Government of the importance of a rollback and a process of consultation regarding the tax.

The Opposition walked out of the House on March 22 after calling for the Andrew Holness administration to roll back its tax package.

Eight months in jail for drunk pilot

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hands-behind-bars.jpgAn airline pilot who was so drunk he appeared to pass out in the cockpit before takeoff was sentenced on Monday to eight months in jail in Canada.

Miroslav Gronych, 37, pleaded guilty last month to having care and control of an aircraft while he had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit.

The Slovakian pilot was escorted off a Sunwing Airlines plane in Calgary on December 31 before a flight scheduled to end in Cancun, Mexico.

The court heard that when Gronych got on the plane, he struggled to hang up his coat, was slurring his words and was staggering. The court was also told the co-pilot suggested Gronych should leave the plane, but he eventually returned to the cockpit, sat down and appeared to pass out with his face resting on the window.

Judge Anne Brown also banned Gronych from flying for one year after his release. She noted he has been in treatment for alcoholism, has abstained from drinking since the event and has been "thoroughly shamed."

The court heard that Gronych, who is married and has two young children, has lost his job.

The defense had asked for a three- to six-month sentence while the prosecution asked the judge to give Gronych one year in jail.

His defense lawyer told the court last month that Gronych couldn't sleep the night before his flight and felt like he was coming down with a cold. He took a couple of shots of vodka and a Tylenol, and planned to wake up in time to let people know he wouldn't make the flight. He didn't set an alarm and was awakened by a call asking him where he was, his lawyer said. He drank the rest of the bottle of vodka and left for the flight.

When police arrived, they found his pilot's wings were pinned upside down. They smelled alcohol on his breath and he couldn't stand up straight.

Sunwing ,a low-cost Canadian carrier, has said it has a zero tolerance policy on crew members consuming alcohol within 12 hours of going on duty.


At least one investor in failed ponzi scheme OLINT is expressing disappointment at the payout made by the fund set up to compensate victims.

Cheques for investors who lost money in the scheme were issued on March 20, 2017.

The scheme was started by David Smith in Jamaica in 2005 then operations were later moved to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Administrator for the US versus David Smith Remission Fund says all victims received a pro-rata share representing 2 .815 per cent of their recognised loss amount.

It says this is because the US$5.2 million of forfeited funds currently available for remission is less than the US$187.4 million in losses incurred by the victims.

However, one investor who shared a copy of the letter sent to him with The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre said he was disappointed with the payout.

He's receiving approximately US$2,000 after investing close to US$100,000 in OLINT.

The letter said cheques must be cashed or deposited no later than June 19, 2017 or the money would be re-allocated to other victims.

Has Vybz Kartel given his life to God?

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vybz-kartel-photo-30.jpgThe jury is still out on whether or not there is any truth to online reports that jailed run-di-oplace deejay, Vybz Kartel has given his life to God. A popular website claims to have the complete text of a letter allegedly sent to popular Irie FM personality, Mutabaruka. from the pen of Addi the Teacher. Please note, however, that Yardflex sources have confiormed that Muta has received no such letter. Anyway, please see text of alleged letter below:

"I feel like a huge burden has been lifted off me. Like the woman at the well, I was searching for things that could not satisfy, but glory be to the most high God, I am now drinking from a well that can never run dry.

To all my family, friends and fans out there who are missing me and longing to see me, have no fear, if it is God's will, it will be done and you will see me soon. But do not get too caught up in Vybz, seek and find Jesus Christ and you will have all that you need. I wish for you the peace that I have found. Please seek and find Jesus Christ. My baptism is in the work and I am just waiting on the prison's Chaplin to provide me with a baptism date. I love you and I will see you soon. I no longer want to be called "world boss". God is the boss of the world and I am his child. Almighty God mi seh... Adijah Palmer."

hiv-positive-george-flowers.jpgGeorge Flowers, HIV-positive man, who was born in Jamaica, is wanted by the Canadian government on a number of counts of sexual assault.

Reports are that Flowers, who fled to Jamaica, had unprotected sex with more than a dozen women in Canada whom he met at bars, without disclosing his HIV status. Four women, including his wife, have reportedly made complaints against him. Three of the women are now HIV positive and the women said if they knew he was HIV positive, they would not have been intimate with him.

In 2012 the Toronto police issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for George Flowers, 43 - also known as Mr. Flowas.

It's alleged he has known since 1996 that he carries the HIV virus, which causes AIDS, but did not disclose his status.

Mr. Flowers worked in Toronto in the entertainment business and met the women he befriended in bars and other venues, police said.

The Criminal Code specifies that anyone who is HIV-positive must apprise their sexual partners, and charges can be laid regardless of whether the infection is transmitted.

In 2014 he was ordered to be extradited by a Jamaican court, but a judicial review of the court ruling was sought, and the Judicial Review Court is shortly to hand down a ruling on the motion that he brought before it.

The motion involved asking the Judicial Review Court to quash the decision of the local court to order his extradition.

In the appeal filed on November 25 last year, Flowers argued that he should be released because Jamaica does not have a corresponding law for the offense for which he is being extradited. He also pointed out in the appeal that contracting HIV during consensual sex with a person who did not disclose his or her status does not constitute the offense of inflicting assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.

Flowers had also claimed in his appeal that if he was forced to disclose his HIV status to the women, his Constitutional right to privacy would have been breached.

justice-minister-delroy-chuck.jpgLawyers of George Flowers, a man who is wanted for sex crimes in Canada is suing the Jamaican Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck.

The matter set to be heard in the Supreme Court next week.

Flowers, a Jamaican-born Canadian fugitive who has filed contempt of court proceedings against Minister Chuck.

Don Foote, one of the attorneys representing Flowers, has claimed that Chuck breached the law when he signed an extradition warrant for Flowers last year while there was a challenge in court about the legality of his extradition.

Foote has accused the minister of breaching his client's constitutional rights.

Flowers, who is HIV-positive, is wanted by the Canadian government on a number of counts of sexual assault.

Reports are that he had unprotected sex with more than a dozen women whom he met at bars, without disclosing his HIV status. Four women, including his wife, have reportedly made complaints against him. Three of the women are now HIV positive and the women said if they knew he was HIV positive, they would not have been intimate with him.

Property tax hike 'devastating' says Wayne Chen

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wayne-chen.jpgProminent Manchester businessman,Wayne Chen, says the property tax increases are devastating.

Chen, speaking Sunday on RJR's That's a Rap, revealed that the new rates were having a negative impact on many home owners, particularly retirees in Manchester.

He cited, as an example, "a distress call just a day ago... of one lady; this lady is close to 90 years old, and her property tax this year is over two hundred thousand dollars."

While conceding that "there is a need to finance government operations," and acknowledging that "there's a logic in a tax that is collectable, and for services that are provided by Local Government," he said this unfortunately "collides with the reality of a society where inflation has eaten away the pensions and incomes of Jamaicans."

As a result, he said, "some of these folks will not be able to pay the property tax."

There was still scope for a review of the rate increases, given the demonstrated hardships being faced by some property owners, he said, and urged the government to respond positively to any such appeal.

He conceded, however, that "if the taxes are not collected there, they will have to be found somewhere else."

The Realtors Association of Jamaica is predicting gloom for some home owners when the new property tax regime goes into effect this week.

The revised rates for new property tax regime, which takes effect on April 1, will be based on a 2013 valuation.

The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association has already told its members not to pay property tax until the government provides an explanation on how the rates are calculated.

It said some hotels will be required to pay as much as a 980 per cent increase in property tax.

andrew-holness-photo-5.jpg"Andrew is a youth, but he is not a good youth," Damion Crawford, youthful People's National Party member, said -- to huge rounds of applause -- in reference to PM Andrew Holness at the arena on Sunday.

In the new PNP president.he declared that Holness is not fit to run the country.

Crawford, the former St Andrew East Rural MP, said he had heard the criticisms that Phillips, at 67 years old, cannot match Holness, at 44 year old, in an election race.

But the one-time politician said he was not fazed because age was not a factor in a Maths race when Holness does not have the formula.

He said the former finance minister has proved himself in his past cabinet positions over the past 21 years.

peter-sangster.jpgBusinessman and politician Peter Sangster has been charged by the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) in relation to the forging of former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller's signature, among other things.

The alleged forgery relates to a document purporting to approve "waiver" of levy owed by a telecoms company of which Sangster was a director.

Sangster is also accused of soliciting and obtaining payment of several thousand US for the "waiver".

Sangster -- who was a candidate of the Jamaica Labour Party (East Kingston and Port Royal) in the 2011 General Election -- was reportedly taken into custody Tuesday.

The Cherry Gardens, St Andrew, resident was charged Friday with obtaining property by false pretence and uttering forged document.

Sangster, 47,who is the nephew of former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Alfred Sangster, is expected to appear in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court this week for a possible bail application.

Sangster is believed to have forged Simpson Miller's signature in 2013 to give the impression that she waived the multimillion dollar levy owed by Jamus Communications Ltd.

Jamus Communications was three years earlier granted a licence under the JLP government to provide telecoms service in Jamaica.

MOCA detectives believe that Sangster -- who was caretaker for the East Kingston Constituency at the time -- solicited and obtained monies from Jamus Communications operating partners Ricardo Cruz and Saul Perez to secure from the government the waiver of the levy overdue to the Universal Service Fund. It is believed that cash, in excess of US$150,000, was transferred to Bank of America accounts in New York -- one under the name Peter and Tania Sangster and the other Sangster Group LLC MOCA last year obtained a court order in the US to search for Sangster's assets in that country and to secure the banking records of Peter and Tania Sangster and Sangster Group LLC. It is believed that LIME -- as the company was then called -- terminated Jamus Communications' services due to the overdue levy which was about US $570,000 at the time.

Tears flow as Portia says goodbye

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prime-minister-portia-simpson-miller-photo-2.jpg"It has been a privilege of a lifetime to have served as your president. I will never forget you," said Simpson Miller, bringing to a close her 26-minute speech with the sounds of Whitney Houston's 'I will always love you' echoing from the speakers at the National Arena.

Portia Simpson Miller has concluded her farewell as president of the opposition People's National Party (PNP).

Addressing the Special Delegates Conference of the PNP at the National Arena in Kingston, where Dr. Peter Phillips was installed as the new president, Mrs. Simpson Miller appealed to her supporters to now give their wholehearted support to Dr. Phillips, as he takes the mantle of leadership.

The "Portia-rites" must now become the "Peter Brigade" she declared.

"Now more than ever, Jamaica needs a strong, vibrant and united party to defend the interests of the people. We must be the eyes and the ears and the voices of the people. Now more than ever, Jamaica needs a People's National Party, guided by our timeless democratic socialist traditions. We must embrace our foundation, mission, principles and ethics. We must create programmes to enhance the quality of life of our people," she said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller, who succeeded P.J. Patterson as PNP President in 1992, and served twice as Prime Minister of Jamaica, said it had been "the privilege of a lifetime" to serve in those two capacities.

Tesha Miller to be deported to Jamaica

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tesha-miller-photo-1-thumb.jpgThe Police say steps are now underway for the alleged leader of the Clansman Gang Tesha Miller to be deported to Jamaica.

Miller was held in the Bahamas and is in police custody.

He has been on the run since last year when he was named as a person of interest

The police had said that they want to question him in relation to murders and other violent crimes in St Catherine.

Miller's attorney Bert Samuels was not available for comment.

Popular businessman Edward Zacca Jr,who has been operating in downtown Kingston for more than 20 yearswas robbed and beaten during what is being labelled a brazen daylight attack downtown last week.

According to reports, Zacca Jnr was walking along Princess Street last Thursday when he was held up by three armed thugs.

Zacca Jnr who demanded his chain and other valuables.

He tried to resist but was struck to the ground and assaulted.

"They went as far as tearing the shirt off my back," Zacca is reported as saying.

He made desperate calls for help but no one came to his aid.

"I was on the ground calling out for someone to help me but no one provided assistance," he said.

The news of the attack has left members of the business community in fear as this comes less than two weeks after a 71-year-old vendor and a pregnant woman were attacked by criminals in separate incidents downtown

tesha-miller-photo-3.jpgAlleged leader of the Clansman gang, Tesha Miller, has been held by the police in The Bahamas.

Reports are that Miller was taken into custody yesterday by Bahamian authorities on suspicion that he illegally entered the Bahamas.

Tesha Miller has been wanted by police in Jamaica for questioning for the past seven months.

In August, the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch, C-TOC asked Miller to make himself available for questioning at the Major Investigation Division on Spanish Town Road, Kingston.

Miller subsequently fled the island.

Peter Phillips to name new PNP Shadow Cabinet

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peter-phillips-photo-3.jpgNewly installed President of the opposition People's National Party (PNP) Dr. Peter Phillips, says he will revamp the current members of the party's Shadow Cabinet.

Dr. Phillips will be appointed Leader of the Opposition after Portia Simpson Miller retires from that office on April 2. He will then be in a position to shape the Shadow Cabinet, in keeping with his own priorities.

"We need to have the discussions with the current members (of the Shadow Cabinet), review the team, watch their operations, so in the course of a few weeks we'll be back with you, certainly before the end of April," he is reported as saying at the National Arena on Sunday afternoon, where he officially succeeded Simpson Miller as PNP President.

Moravian sex pastor back in court

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moravian-sex-pastor-rupert-clarke.jpgThe sex abuse case against 64-year-old Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke will be mentioned in the St Elizabeth Circuit Court Thursday.

Reverend Clarke was arrested on December 28 last year by the police in St Elizabeth after he was allegedly caught in a compromising position with a 15-year-old girl in his car along the Austin main road in the parish.

After being charged with offences relating to that alleged incident, charges of a similar nature were laid against Clarke in relation to another member of the family of the 15-year-old.

Murdered policeman identified

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The policeman who was shot dead late Saturday in Clarendon has been identified as Corporal Kevin McLean, 37, of Colleyville in Manchester.

He was assigned to the Chapelton Police Station in Clarendon.

The police report that shortly before 8pm, Corporal McLean was on his way home from work.

On reaching a section of the Grantham main road in Frankfield, he reportedly saw gunmen robbing two Chinese nationals. The gunmen reportedly opened fire on the policeman.

He was pronounced dead at hospital.

Anyone who may be able to assist the police in their investigation is being asked to contact the Frankfield Police at 904-4507, Police 119 emergency number, Crime Stop at 311 or the nearest Police Station.

court.jpgA man and his lover who hail from St Catherine have been convicted for sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl, from two incidents arising in 2010.

The two sexual abusers have been names as Jody-Ann Lindo and David Walters. They were convicted by a jury in the St Catherine Circuit Court last Thursday..

Lindo was convicted on charges of indecent assault and aiding and abetting indecent assault. was found guilty for indecent assault and carnal abuse. The crimes occurred on separate occasions in January 2010 when the complainant, who was 9 years old at the time, went to spend time with Lindo and Walters.

On the first occasion -- the child who was allowed to spend the weekend with the couple -- was awoken by Lindo and taken to a room where she was forced to perform oral sex on Walters, who then had sex with her. On a subsequent occasion the complainant again went to spend time with the couple during which time Lindo used her finger on the child.

The matter was brought to light after the complainant had to seek medical attention.

The couple will be sentenced April 6.

shocked.jpgA nurse attached to St. Ann's Bay Hospital in St. Ann has revealed that at least five sexual abuse cases involving children are seen weekly at the facility.

Carmen Johnson, nurse and departmental manager at St. Ann's Bay Hospital, said the increase in the number of children being sexually abused is alarming.

She said what is more alarming is that the children affected are as young as three years old

The revelation was made today during a violence against women and children march put on by the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ).

The nurses marched from the Association's headquarters in Cross Roads, St. Andrew to the childrens' monument at Secret Gardens on Church Street in downtown Kingston.

crime-scene-gun.jpgThree business operators -- two men and a woman -- were killed by gunmen in Dias, Hanover Friday night.

The deceased have been identified as 49-year-old Peter Aitchison, 49-year-old Noel Mair and his 47-year old spouse Marcia Johnson, all of Dias.

Reports are that about 8:20pm armed men went to a restaurant in the Dias square, operated by Aitchison where they opened fire killing him and Johnson.

The men then went to a bar operated by Mair in close proximity and shot him dead, before escaping the community.

No motives have been established for the attacks.

crime-scene-knife.jpgBarbara Moncrieffe, the co-owner of Moncrieffe's Patio Shop, has been killed, her husband is now battling for life in hospital and two of their teen workers injured in a wild attack at their workplace Friday afternoon.

The attack which occurred shortly after 12 o'clock was allegedly carried out by a 30-odd-year-old male employee, who was not scheduled to work today at the Old Hope Road outfit.

The slain woman reported died on the spot.

The workers, one 19 and the other 18, are cousins. They reportedly received multiple stab wounds to their torsos.The mother of one of the teens said her daughter was seriously injured and was set to undergo emergency surgery. She further said her daughter named her attacker as she arrived at the Kingston Public Hospital.

The attacker escaped but was later apprehended by the police in a nearby bar.

charged.jpgA 53 year-old Jamaican man has been charged with the attempted murder of his partner in Antigua.

Linsome Boyd was charged after 47 year-old Althea Henry was found on a road on Monday.

She was lying on a piece of cardboard with a large, blood-splattered rock next to her head.

The Jamaican was later arrested.

Miss Henry is in critical condition.

Brazil is tracing around 5,000 shipping containers that contain meat products, to determine if the supplies have come from any factories under investigation.

Brazilian authorities are investigating 21 meat processing plants amid allegations of malpractice by staff in relation to meat quality.

Blairo Maggi, Brazil's Minister of Agriculture, told an international news conference that containers with meat from the plants under investigation will be returned.

The minister also said that only six companies are authorised to ship beef abroad, and he is confident the authorities can trace all the meat that has been shipped.

Cop seek Sadan Lloyd Mullings of Elgin Town

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crime-scene-knife.jpgThe police are seeking 26 year-old Sadan Lloyd Mullings of Elgin Town, Lucea in Hanover, who is wanted in connection with several serious crimes in western Jamaica and St Ann.

The police are urging Mullings to immediately turn himself in to the nearest police station.

Reports are that about 9:00 pm last night a team of police from the Mobile Reserve and Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) was conducting operations at Armadale, Alexandria in St Ann in search of men implicated in the quadruple murder in Westmoreland on Saturday, March 18.

The police say the lawmen strategically cordoned the premises and instructed the occupants to exit. However, explosive devices were reportedly thrown at the police team. The devices were two grenades, one of which JDF soldiers managed to prevent from detonating.

The policeman who was injured in the incident is said to be recovering, while the gunman who was killed remains unidentified.

Meanwhile, the police say Thursday night's incident "clearly demonstrates the brazenness, and the level of arsenal in possession of criminal elements".

'Bully beef' Ban still in place

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corned-beef-in-tin.jpg corned-beef.jpgDonovan Stanberry, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, said the ban remains in place until the Jamaican authorities have completed their investigations.

"Our team is going to go down to Brazil some time next when we would have gone there, we would be in a position to verify and satisfy ourselves that the (direct) sources from which our corned beef comes are wholesome, so that we can advise the country accordingly," he asserted.

Earlier, the Industry and Commerce Ministry had said it was satisfied with the response from retailers in withdrawing Brazilian corned beef from the shelves since Monday's recall.

It said the major distributors of the product have been cooperating. However, Mr. Stanbury, said there will be challenges in monitoring the general retail trade.

"Of course it is easier to monitor the situation in the larger establishments and get compliance. The greater challenge is monitoring the compliance in some of the smaller establishments in the market and so on because we would not have enough human resources to go to every single establishment (so) we are depending on people complying voluntarily, taking responsibility of their health in terms of consumers not buying and people understanding that this is a precautionary measure," he declared.

The police are this afternoon seeking a man implicated in a grenade-throwing incident on Thursday, in which a police sergeant was injured and an alleged gunman killed.

Brazil urges Jamaica to lift corned beef ban

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corned-beef-in-tin.jpgcorned-beef.jpgThe Brazilian embassy in Jamaica is urging the Government to reconsider the ban on corned beef imports from the South American country.

The Jamaican authority on Monday issued an immediate ban on corned beef products coming out of Brazil, due to wide scale investigations into the sale of rotten beef and poultry by Brazilian meat processors.

In a statement on Thursday, the Brazilian embassy said the 21 meat processing companies under investigation do not have export arrangements with Jamaica. The embassy said the companies that export to Jamaica operate within all licensing and health regulations.

It stated that the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture has a rigorous inspection service for animal products with permanent auditing, monitoring and risk assessment. The embassy said it is in contact with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries for any clarification needed on the matter.

The police are maintaining a strong presence in the community of Armadale in St. Ann following last night's incident which left a policeman injured, a suspect dead and another on the run.

Police have confirmed that they were in search of two men wanted in connection with a quadruple killing in Bath, Westmoreland last week.

Deputy Superintendent Richard Hylton, in charge of crime for St. Ann, on Friday afternoon said that an extensive search of the area was carried out with assistance from the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

He said the operation is ongoing to locate the other suspect, while the security forces ensure that the area remains safe for citizens.

According to Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake, in charge of Strategic Operations, the police surrounded an unfinished building when a man threw two hand grenades and opened gunfire. One of the grenades exploded, injuring a policeman.

The police returned gunfire and one of the suspects was shot.

Brazil's president on Tuesday said the scandal over the sale of expired meat is an economic embarrassment for the country.

President Michel Temer sought to downplay the scandal, calling it a "fuss" and noting that only three of the more than 4,000 meat packing plants in Brazil have been forced to close.

The European Union, mainland China and Chile have halted some meat imports from Brazil, a major blow to the struggling economy of the country that is among the world's largest exporters of meat.

Brazilian investigators charge that health inspectors were bribed to overlook the sale of expired meats. Police also allege that the appearance and smell of expired meats were improved by using chemic

Cambio worker shot dead in Montego Bay

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA cambio worker was shot and killed while on his way to work in Montego Bay, St James on Tuesday morning.

The deceased has been identified as Richard Smith of a Bogue, St James address.

Reports are that sometime after 8 am, Smith, who was a cashier at a cambio along Barnett Street, was walking to work when he was pounced upon and shot by an unknown assailant.

He ran but collapsed and died a short distance from his workplace.

The Montego Bay police are investigating.

2 men detained in murder of medical doctor

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hands-behind-bars.jpgTwo men have been detained in connection with last Friday's fatal shooting of 72 year-old medical doctor Garth Officer.

Superintendent Derrick Champagnie, head of Crime for Area Five Headquarters, disclosed that the men, who are from Grants Pen in St. Andrew, were detained last weekend.

Superintendent Champagnie said arrangements are being made for the men to be questioned.

About 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Dr. Officer was shot as he drove up to his office, which is also his home on Charlton Avenue in St. Andrew. He was attacked by two men on a motorcycle.

Corn beef still selling downtown

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Despite the recall on corned beef, some street vendors and wholesales in downtown Kingston continue to sell the product.

While acknowledging that a ban is in place, sellers reportedly told a popular news team that they would not stop selling corned beef saying they could not absorb the financial loss. They say it is up to consumers to determine if they want to buy the product.

Meanwhile, it was a different case in the Cross Roads area of the city where corned beef was removed from store shelves. The Commerce Ministry has cautioned customers not to eat corned beef until further notice.

The import ban was imposed after news came that several major Brazilian meat processors have been selling rotten beef and poultry and had allegedly bribed auditors to look the other way.

The ministry said the implicated Brazilian companies supply 99.5 per cent of the corned beef being sold in Jamaica. It said the National Food Recall Committee will meet to determine next steps and inform when it will be safe to consume corned beef.

GraceKennedy says consumers with corned beef can return them to retailers for a refund.

Andrea Coy, head of Domestic Foods at GraceKennedy, says representatives from the company's merchandising division have started to remove the product from the shelves.

She, however, stressed that GraceKennedy has always taken product quality and safety seriously and its suppliers have consistently provided certification that they have met the required standard of international regulators.

She said a team from Grace Foods will be making an urgent trip to Brazil to meet with suppliers and conduct further investigations into the matter.

missing-british-woman-janina-harris.jpgA British woman, who was last seen in Montego Bay, St James has been reported missing since Friday.

She is 37-year-old Janina Harris, who is of slim build and about 165 centimetres (5 feet 5 inches) tall. She is said to walk with a limp.

Reports from police in Montego Bay are that Harris was last seen in the parish about 6:00 pm, in the vicinity of Pier One.

She was dressed in an orange blouse, white leggings and a pair of grey heels.

The police say all efforts to contact her have proven futile.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Janina Harris is being asked to contact the Montego Bay Police Station at 684-9080-5, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.

72-year-old doctor murdered at his gate

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA 72-year-old medical doctor identified as Dr Garth Officer,was gunned down outside his St Andrew home on Friday afternoon.

Dr Officer practised at Charlton Avenue, Grant's Pen in St Andrew.

Reports from the Grant's Pen police are that they were summoned at about 4:30 pm after residents heard explosions, and discovered Officer in the driver's seat of his vehicle, slumped over the steering wheel.

He had suffered several gunshot wounds.

usain-bolt-the-big-man.jpgThe statue commissioned by the government to honour track and field legend, Usain Bolt, is expected to be completed in time for the country's 55th Independence celebrations in August.

That's the word from Sports Minister Olivia Grange, who says the eight-foot sculpture will be mounted in the Statue Park at the National Stadium in Kingston.

The statue is being designed and created by renowned Jamaican sculptor Basil Watson. Grange says the statue will serve as a lasting tribute to the global sprint star, whose world record breaking performances in the 100 and 200-metre sprints have left the world in awe.

Bolt has announced that he plans to retire after the World Championships in London later this year and Grange says the unveiling of the statue will coincide with his departure from international competition. Statues of three other outstanding Jamaican athletes: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Asafa Powell and Veronica Campbell-Brown, are also slated to be mounted inside Statue Park as part of the development of the National Stadium complex.

Grange was speaking at the recent media launch of the JN Racers Grand Prix, which will be Bolt's final competitive race in Jamaica.

Cops probe quadruple murder and double murder

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The police are investigating six murders: four in Bath, Westmoreland and a double murder Barrett Town St James late Saturday.

The four killed in Westmoreland are Timothy Bernard,23, otherwise called Tim, Demario McIntosh, 19, Glendon Nannan,68 and 54 Carl Banhan,54 otherwise Calla - all from Bath. The police report that shortly after 9pm on Saaaturday, the men were among a group of person at a bar and cook shop in the area when two men - with pillion riders, drove up on motorcycles.

quadruple-murder-photo-2.jpgThe pillion riders came off the motorcycles and opened fire on the group. The four men sustained bullet wounds and were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead.

Meanwhile the police in St James are investigating Saturday's double murder in Mount Zion, Barrett Town. The Corporate Communication Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force said the men were shot and killed by unknown assailants in the community. One of the men has been identified as Donovan Ricketts, 40, a shop keeper of the community. The other man has not been identified.

quadruple-murder-photo-3.jpgIt's reported that around 9:45pm, residents heard explosion and summoned the police. On arrival, Ricketts and the unidentified man were seen with what appears to be multiple gunshot wounds.

They were pronounced dead at hospital.


A $180 million lawsuit was dropped on RJR Communications Group and the Jamaica Mortgage Bank (JMB). Banker Dalton Myrie, a former loans officer at JMB is suing for defamation.

Myrie said in court documents that the "false and defamatory" information was provided to the media entity by the bank, where he worked for 20 years.

He's also seeking an injunction preventing the media entity or its servants or agents from republishing the defamatory material that was first published in February 2016.

Documents filed in Supreme Court recently said that despite Myrie's impeccable record, he was the subject of a sting operation and was wrongly charged for corrupt performance of his role as a loans officer with the JMB. The suit claims that RJR inaccurately reported the circumstances of his arrest and charge.

Robert Collie -- the attorney representing Myrie -- stated in court documents that the former loans officer was forced to resign from the mortgage bank but was exonerated by the court due to lack of evidence.

Myrie has said in court documents that the reason for his arrest is that a senior JMB official had a vendetta against him due to his (Myrie's) role in revealing to the JMB Board that the official had threatened a JMB client. He said the official was sanctioned by the Board, which triggered the conspiracy that lead to his arrest. He claimed that a client of the bank was also forced to participate in the plot against him.

latoya-nugent-tambourine-army.jpgReports are that Tambourine Army co-founder Latoya Nugent is currently being transported to the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) in a "non-responsive" state. Sources report that she was having seizures earlier and was taken to the Duhaney Park Health Centre for treatment.

The police "claim she is in shock," and she is not talking to anyone the source said. Further claims by the Tambourine Army associate are that the officers are being really unprofessional and getting hostile when people try to record them" adding that their actions are a "gross disregard for human rights".

Nugent, who is of a St Andrew address, was arrested yesterday and charged with three counts of using computer for malicious communication under section 9 (1) of the Cybercrimes Act of 2015. She was scheduled to appear before the Half Way Tree Resident Magistrate's Court today.

Nugent allegedly published information on social media maligning several individuals as sexual predators. Formal complaints were made to the police by some of the individuals, following which she was called into the Cybercrimes Unit of C-TOC with her attorney, but she refused. A warrant was subsequently prepared and she was arrested.

british-girl-dies-portland-jamaica.jpgA Denbighshire teenager who left Wales to sail around the world with her family 10 years ago has fallen to her death in Jamaica.

Bethany Smith, 18, was working as a deckhand on a luxury schooner.

She fell while working high up a mast of the 196 ft (60m) vessel Germania Nova which was berthed in the Jamaican town of Port Antonio, Portland.

Her mother Sarah is in Trinidad, whilst her father David is working in the Netherlands.

The teenager spent her early years in Glyndyfrdwy, Corwen, but her parents set sail from Aberystwyth in April 2007 in their yacht "Cape" along with her younger brother Bryn.

After spending three years cruising around the Mediterranean, the family sailed on to the Canary Islands and west Africa where they spent a further two years before crossing the Atlantic in March 2012.

They have since toured the Caribbean islands extensively, writing about their travels online.

Writing in a blog last year, Ms Smith's mother said the family was delighted she had got a job as a trainee on the Germania Nova.

She joined the crew of the schooner in February last year, later crossing the Atlantic on the vessel for the summer charter season in the Mediterranean.

Jamaican police said Ms Smith was cleaning the schooner's mast on Tuesday afternoon when the ropes became undone and she fell on to the deck.

She died later in hospital from multiple injuries.

Jamaican man dies in ICE custody in the US

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The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency says a 47-year-old Jamaican man in its custody has died at Lafayette General Hospital in Lafayette, Louisiana. ICE said the cause of death is believed to be cardiac arrest.

It said Roger Rayson, who was transferred from the LaSalle Detention Facility to LaSalle General Hospital on February 11 for nausea, vomiting and increased pain, died on Monday. ICE said LaSalle General Hospital diagnosed Rayson with Burkitt Lymphoma (non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma).

Consistent with agency protocols, the appropriate state health and local law enforcement agencies have been advised of the death, as have the [US] Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility," ICE said, adding that it has also informed Jamaican consular officials and the deceased's next of kin.

ICE said Rayson was arrested on November 24, 2014, by US Customs and Border Protection in Miami for possession of cocaine. On April 24, 2015, Rayson was convicted of importation of cocaine and sentenced to 30 months incarceration by the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The Federal Bureau of Prisons released Rayson to the custody of New Orleans ICE on January 28, 2017.

Rayson is the second detainee to pass away in ICE custody so far this year and his death comes as US President Donald Trump has vowed a hiring surge of 10,000 immigration and customs officers to accelerate the deportation of unauthorised Caribbean and other immigrants. (Source: CMC)

lesbian-gay-activist-latoya-nugent.jpgExecutive of women advocacy groups WE-Change Latoya Nugent, who is also an LGBT and women's rights activist, has been charged with breaches of the Cybercrimes Act after allegedly maligning several individuals as sexual predators on social media.

Nugent, a high ranking Tambourine Army member, was charged with three counts of Using Computer for Malicious Communication and is scheduled to appear before the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Wednesday.

Nugent allegedly published information on social media accusing individuals of being sexual predators. Formal complaints were reportedly made to the police by some of the individuals, following which she was called into the Cybercrimes Unit of C-TOC with her attorney, but she refused and even mocked the police in a series of posts on social media.

"Me feel disappointed dat fi a Counter Terrorism unit, de police cyah find me all now. Me not even hiding. Look how many people know which part me deh. Me Facebook location also on. Ah wah really a gwaan, lol!" she wrote on Monday evening. Nugent later added: "Six police officers (plus) assault rifles for the feminist lesbian with a computer. The state is coming for me."

A warrant was subsequently prepared and she was arrested and charged on Tuesday evening. Nugent is an outspoken advocate on LGBT and women's rights.

tax-increase.jpgMotorists and cigarette smokers will begin paying more today as several of the tax measures announced last Thursday by Finance Minister Audley Shaw are now in effect. There has been an across-the-board increase of 20 per cent on motor-vehicle licences and related fees.

The Special Consumption Tax (SCT) on alcoholic beverages has also gone up, from a single rate of $1,120 per litre of pure alcohol to $1,230 per litre.

The SCT charged per stick on tobacco products has moved from $14.00 to $17.00. This will be applicable to cigarettes, cigars as well as cigarillos.

Carreras, which is a major distributor of cigarettes in Jamaica, has increased the prices for its products, as a consequence, effective today.

It is expected that the cigarette tax will result in $826 million flowing into the Government's coffers.

rapist-pastor-paul-hanniford.jpgPaul Hanniford, the pastor who was on Friday sentenced to 20 years in prison for having sex with a minor, has filed a notice of appeal. The notice was filed on the weekend. Defence attorney Lyndel Wellesley has confirmed that Hanniford, pastor of City Mission Pentecostal Church, will be challenging his sentence on the basis that it is excessive.

The attorney said that he was not criticising the judge for her decision, but argued that there are persons convicted of murder and other serious crimes who have been given lighter sentences.

Hanniford was found guilty in January by a jury. Prosecutors led evidence that he sexually assaulted a 13 year-old girl at his home in 2015.

Gun, ammo found as cops raid 'Back Road'

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handgun.jpgThe unofficial red-light district of Port Henderson Road in Portmore, St Catherine, known as Back Road was raided by the cops on Saturday morning, during which a 9mm pistol was found and more than 50 persons -- including three minors among 30 females -- were detained.

The near four-hour operation was led by Superintendent of Police Leighton Gray and involved 73 police personnel. A Walther PPK .380 pistol was also recovered in a separate operation miles away in Old Braeton.

Superintendent Gray told the media that the targeted operation was pointed at four nightclubs along the stretch where scantily clad women parade daily, from dusk to dawn, much in the view of passersby.

"They were two different operations. Port Henderson was a cordon and search, carried out along specific targets, including four nightclubs," Gray explained.

"At one of the clubs, persons were searched while exiting. Nothing was found then, but on searching the club, a firearm was found at the rear under a shelf with four rounds of ammunition," he added.

The lawmen's other major find was three female minors among the 50 persons detained.

"It is of note that the operation was also targeting human trafficking and reports of underage children, some, we understand, allegedly involved in prostitution," said Gray.

"However, the three we found, two 17-year-olds and one 16, were patrons at the club. They were processed and handed over to their parents and guardians, who were warned. Two of the club operators were also taken in and warned in that regard," he pointed out.

20 years for rapist pastor Paul Hanniford

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rapist-pastor-paul-hanniford.jpgPentecostal pastor, Paul Hanniford, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for raping a 13-year-old girl.

The sentence was handed down last week in the Home Circuit Court in downtown, Kingston, by presiding judge, Lorna Shelly Williams.

The defense had called four character witnesses.

Hanniford's lawyer, Linden Wellesley, says the sentence was fair.

However, he believes the current atmosphere regarding abuse and violence against women and children influenced the judge's decision.

Meanwhile, the mother of the 13-year-old girl paced the corridors of the court preaching.

She says while she's grateful for the sentence handed down Pastor Hanniford, who was like a brother to her, should've been given 25 to 30 years in prison.

Meanwhile, the mother says she's fearful.

crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police are yet to establish a motive behind the shooting death of a female shopkeeper was shot dead in Clarendon on Saturday afternoon.

Dead is 55-year-old Novelette Glashen of Bullards Content near Four Paths in the parish.

Reports from the Four Paths police were that about 5:38 p.m., Glashen was standing at the front of her premises, when she was pounced upon by unknown assailants, who opened gunfire, hitting her multiple times.

She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The Four Paths police are investigating the incident.

Glashen is not the first female business operator to be killed by gunmen in Clarendon over recent months.

No bail for Peter Abrahams' alleged killer

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peter-abrahams-photo-1.jpgNorman Tomlinson, the man accused of murdering outstanding journalist, Peter Abrahams has been remanded in custody.

Tomlinson, 61, was remanded until March 15 when he appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court Tuesday.

He was instructed to retain the services of an attorney for his return to court.

Tomlinson -- who is the husband of Abrahams' helper and a resident of Cyprus district in Red Hills, St Andrew -- was charged with murder on February 21.

Abrahams was found dead at his home in Red Hills, January 18.

A post-mortem examination revealed that his injuries were deliberately inflicted.

The 97-year-old Abrahams was born in South Africa, but came to and fell in love with Jamaica, which he made his home for many decades.

Donald Trump's Women's Day tweet backfires

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donald-trump-photo-3.jpgPresident Donald Trump tweeted a message of support for International Women's Day on Wednesday. It didn't go down well.

With his woeful track record of sexist and misogynistic behavior, Trump's claim to have "tremendous respect" for women rang hollow for many Twitter users.

American citizen shot dead in St Catherine

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA man from West Virginia in the United States was shot dead in Troja district, St Catherine Monday morning.

Dead is 49-year-old Donovan Powell.

Reports from the Riversdale police are that about 2:00 am, Powell was at home with a female companion when armed men gained entry to the house and opened fire at him.

The men then demanded a large sum of money from his female companion who complied, the police today reported. Powell was pronounced dead at hospital.

shelly-ann-fraser-pryce-facebook-photo-1.jpgDouble Olympic gold medallist, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce this morning announced on social media that she is pregnant, and posted emojis which have led to speculation that the athlete is carrying twins.

"All my focus heading into training for my 2017 season was on getting healthy and putting myself in the best possible fitness to successfully defend my title in London2017," the wrote MVP Track & Field Club athlete who is married to Jason Pryce.

"But life is filled with many blessings with God. So here I am thinking about being the greatest mother I can be with my biggest blessing and the promise God made me," she said on her official Facebook fanpage.


She added that moving on to the journey of motherhood "I look forward to seeing you all in 2018 when I return to competition on the tracks and around the World."

She concluded by thanking her sponsors NIKE, GraceKennedy and Digicel "for their unwavering support and a loyal fan base that's willing to join and share in my journey", adding that "children are a heritage from The Lord, offspring a reward from him".

The superstar sprinter's post was followed by a number of congratulatory messages from fans and fellow athletes alike with Elaine Thompson, the current double Olympic sprint champion posting "I can't wait to hear aunty Elaine. Congratulations boo I'm excited."

Yard News Headlines

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  • Rene Preval, a low-key technocrat who led Haiti as President during the devastating January 2010 earthquake and a messy and prolonged recovery, has died
  • Jamaica should receive approximately 170 million US dollars from the International Monetary Fund, IMF, following a review of the country's performance, come Apri
  • A Gleaner report says well-known attorney-at-law Harold Brady has reportedly been struck from the list of persons licensed to practice in Jamaica.
  • The National Water Commission NWC says, several of its water supply systems continue to be affected by limited rainfall, and increased water demand.
  • Barack Obama's spokesman President Donald Trump's accusation that his predecessor ordered his phones to be tapped is "simply false"

extortion-letter-from-criminals.jpgA ‎release from the Commissioner of Police (Acting) Miss Novelette Grant has instructed Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime (CTOC) Branch, Mr. Clifford Chambers to deploy all available assets into the investigation of extortion letters to business owners from the criminal underworld.

"A hotline number has been established at CTOC to receive calls from business operators or anyone who has received any of these letters or telephone calls demanding extortion money. The number is 967-1389. Calls can also be made to 1-800 Corrupt (1-800-267-7878) or Crime Stop‎ at 113.

"In the meantime, the Police are advising persons who have received letters not to pay. It is well known that once you start paying extortion money, ‎it becomes very difficult to stop."

Below is part of the contents of the letter.

"This letter serves to inform you that as of now you will be required to pay a sum of money to this system every month end to operate a business here," a part of the document which the criminals are distributing stated.

"If you choose to close your business establishment and move elsewhere, you may do so at your own free will, however this system will be placed in all three counties Cornwall, Middlesex and Surrey therefore if your business or identity comes across the radar in any of the other thirteen parishes or in another area within this parish you now operate it will be treated as a violation and you will be killed," the letter stated.

The letters goes on to state that zero tolerance will be taken towards late payment.

"Avoiding payments (will) result in whatever action that is deemed fit to teach you the importance of compliance and punctuality," the letter stated.

donald-trump-photo-2.jpg(AP) -- President Donald Trump's revised travel ban will temporarily halt entry to the United States for people from six Muslim-majority nations who are seeking new visas, allowing those with current visas to travel freely, according to a fact sheet obtained by The Associated Press.

Trump was to sign the new executive order today.

The directive aims to address legal issues with the original order, which caused confusion at airports, sparked protests around the country and was ultimately blocked by the courts.

The revised order is narrower and specifies that a 90-day ban on people from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen does not apply to those who already have valid visas.

The White House also dropped Iraq from the list of targeted countries, following pressure from the Pentagon and State Department, which had urged the White House to reconsider, given Iraq's key role in fighting the Islamic State group.

The fact sheet cites negotiations that resulted in Iraq agreeing to "increase co-operation with the U.S. government on the vetting of its citizens applying for a visa to travel to the United States."

Two arrested in extortion letter scam

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extortion-letter.jpgThe police are reporting that there is a letter is being circulated to business operators in Clarendon and Manchester from alleged extortionists.

In the letter, there are demands of up to $100,000 in extortion money from the operators.

The police say two men were arrested in Mandeville yesterday and 15 of the letters seized. The men are currently being interrogated and will be charged with multiple criminal offences.

Investigators have also identified the masterminds and other members of this criminal network and will spare no effort in bringing them to justice.

And investigators say they expect to make more arrests shortly as they are in possession of close circuit television footage of men distributing the letters.

The police are also urging business operators not to pay extortion money to anyone but to call them whenever they receive the letter.

Another One Voice gangster killed

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Another man who police claim is associated with the 'One Voice' gang operating in the parish of Hanover has been killed.

On Saturday night, Winston Swaroop, who reportedly was a financier of the gang, was shot by the police..

The Hanover police are reporting that shortly after 9:00 pm on Saturday, members of the security force were on patrol in the Williamsfield, Dias area of the Parish when two men on a motorcycle were signalled to stop.

The police said the pillion opened fire at them and they returned fire, hitting him. The driver of the motorcycle reportedly escaped but it is not clear if he was hurt.

The police said they recovered a 9 mm pistol with five live rounds from the pillion.

This follows the killing of Omario 'Duplex' Burrell, a senior member of the 'One Voice' gang on the night of February 3 in a shoot-out with the lawmen.

nikki-z-photo-3.jpgHapilos Entertainment Group announces that Nicole Duhaney better known as Nikki Z, will assume the duties of Vice President of Client Projects and Content effective immediately.

Her role according to the company president entails of securing clients and projects, on hand interaction with clients regarding project and content, market and promotion. "Nikki Z is our choice because we wanted that person with broad industry knowledge and experience that would also give us the physical, grassroots presence on the ground necessary to provide the assistance and clarity our clients need to navigate the digital distribution process within the global market place", Hapilos Entertainment President, Kelly Dudley stated while further adding "She is also best suited to help us bring more of our artists and producers behind the music out on to the global stage. This is in line with our plans to offer promotional tours for the artists we distribute and the labels we distribute for."

Speaking of what clients could expect from her and the company, Nikki explained "You can expect me to be very proactive with our clients in getting to know their expectations and also being very clear and transparent on what it is we can provide as a distribution service. From this point on I want everyone we cater to, to feel secure in knowing we are working tirelessly to reinvent and find new ways to market and push sales of our music."

harold-brady-taller-photo.jpgThe Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council has struck off senior attorney Harold Brady from the roll of attorneys in Jamaica and he will no longer be able to practice law in the jurisdiction.

has here are reports that well-known attorney-at-law Harold Brady has been struck off the list of persons licensed to practice in Jamaica.

According to sources, the decision was taken this afternoon by a disciplinary committee of the General Legal Council.

It comes a week after Brady was reportedly found guilty of professional misconduct by a panel of his peers.

He was reportedly found guilty on allegations of misappropriation of funds.

The ban was handed down Saturday by

Efforts by Loop News to reach Brady for a comment proved futile but he's likely to appeal the decision that came a week after the disciplinary body found him guilty of professional misconduct.

He was found guilty of misappropriation of funds and failure to account for monies received.

The case against Brady stems from a $140 million transaction in relation to the Factories Corporation of Jamaica, which he represented.

On Thursday, Brady told Loop News that he filed an affidavit that day confirming that $127M had been paid over. He said that the affidavit was accompanied by proof of payment.

"The accounts were audited and it's now established that the funds were paid over by electronic transfer but obviously that was overlooked," said Thursday.

jamaican-woman-visiting-texas.jpgHOUSTON, Texas -- A Jamaican woman was whisked back on a flight to Jamaica and her visa revoked after she arrived at the Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas on Wednesday night.

The woman's family members sought answers from US media outlet KHOU 11 News, who aired their story.

Veronica Gaubault, who was sent back to Jamaica, told the Houston media that US Customs and Border Protection revoked her visa after customs agents inspected her iPhone, iPad and other belongings.

Her cousin, paediatrician Kareen Smith said she waited for approximately four hours before customs agents told her that Gaubault would not be allowed to enter the country. They "just decided they were not going to let her in", she told KHOU 11 News.

A statement from the US Customs and Border Protection said that "It is important to note that issuance of a visa or a visa waiver does not guarantee entry," adding that "a CBP officer at the port of entry will conduct an inspection to determine if the individual is eligible for admission into the US".

When asked why the woman's belongings were searched they said it was for "administrative causes," KHOU 11 News reported.

Smith said text conversations between her and Gaubault were also scrutinised.

"She visits me, she visits other family we have in New York or Florida, and she goes home," Smith said. "She never overstays her time. She always honours her visa, and for some reason, this is the first time she's been denied."

Legislation allows the US Customs and Border Protection Agency to take steps deemed necessary before allowing travellers to enter the US.

your-piece-of-jamaica-from-anywhere-in-the-world.jpgSo it was my Aunt Hyacinth in Canada and my Uncle Joe in Washington whose devastation struck me after I told them that we only sell buns locally in Jamaica. I thought to myself that night, we got to find a way to share the love through our buns on a larger scale.

With that great thought we are happy to announce that you can now do this through our online Shopping Store and we have partnered with DHL Express that your buns reach you within 48hours of delivery

Let Me Recap: Follow the simple steps below to Order your Buns now, once you click that is when we start baking, as your buns are made especially for you. They are then picked up by DHL Express then by your doors step within 48hours, not that's amazing!


  • Click the "Buy Now!" Button below
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ganja-image-3.jpgDesmond Campbell, a Jamaican man who is wanted in the United States for drug trafficking, has been held in Spanish Town, St Catherine. He had been on the run from US authorities since 2009 was caught in the old capital during a joint operation by Jamaican and United States law enforcement agents.

Campbell, skipped bail in 2009 while awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to drug trafficking in a New York court. Prosecutors allege that from 2007 to 2009, Campbell was a major player in an international drug network which shipped tonnes of marijuana in containers from Kingston to the United States.

He is facing extradition and will appear in the St Andrew Parish Court this week where the case will be heard.

Campbell is facing 30 years to life in prison.

Teenage girl killed by another teen at party

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe police have identified the 16-year-girl killed at a birthday party in Hanover Sunday night as Shaniekey Brown.

Brown, who is also called Ribbon, is a student of the Merlene Ottey High School.

She's of a Jew Hill address in Johnson, Hanover.

The accused -- who is a female -- is from a prominent high school in Hanover.

Both the accused and deceased are from the same area.

According to the Corporate Communication Unit, the incident occurred at a birthday party around 10:45.

Following an altercation, the accused reportedly left the party and returned with a knife that was used to stab Brown in the neck and shoulder.

3 held in Cherry Gardens murder of Indian man

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held.jpgThree men have been arrested in connection with the murder of Indian businessman Rakesh Talreja, who was shot dead during a robbery at his Cherry Gardens home in St Andrew on Thursday, February 9.

Investigators, acting on information yesterday, reportedly spotted a Nissan Tiida motorcar that fit the description of the car that was allegedly used in the robbery and subsequent murder of Talreja.

The vehicle was intercepted on Deanery Road in Kingston and the driver was arrested. Further investigations led the officers to an address in the Kingston East area, where the other two men were held and placed in custody, the Corporate Communications Unit today reported.

On February 9, Talreja and a friend were at his home when four men entered his premises and proceeded to rob them, after which the men opened fire on the two. Talreja was pronounced dead at hospital while his friend was treated and released.

hands-behind-bars.jpgPolice officers at the Norman Manley International Airport on Wednesday arrested an American man after he was found in possession of six rounds of ammunition.

Reports are that about 1:00 pm, the man arrived at the airport to board a flight destined to Miami, Florida in the US, when anomalies were detected in his suitcase security x-ray. His luggage was searched and six .38 rounds of ammunition were found in a leather pouch.

He was subsequently arrested and is to be interviewed in the presence of his attorney.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) on Tuesday took its Love Me To Live, Don't Love Me To Death initiative to Portland as it continued its campaign against crime, particularly domestic violence.

Scores of residents who attended the meeting were counselled by Superintendent Velma Thomas Gayle on human trafficking, drugs and domestic violence.

Meanwhile, Deputy Superintendent Rex Swearing, head of the Portland, police decried the fact that 30 per cent of Portland's murders were domestic-related.

He said now that 400 police officers have been trained in conflict resolution, more of these situations will be prevented in the future.

lisa-hanna-photo-4.jpgThe Police High Command has launched a probe into online threats against Opposition Spokesperson on Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna, by persons claiming to be fans of jailed entertainer Vybz Kartel.

Social media trolls have been hurling threats at Hanna following comments she made on Nationwide Radio calling for authorities to place a ban on some of Vybz Kartel's music. Hanna's social media pages have also been the target of the trolls.

Head of the Cybercrimes Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force Inspector Warren Williams is warning persons that it is a criminal offence to make threats on social media.

Inspector Williams said persons should be aware that they could be charged under the Cybercrimes Act if they use technology to intimidate others.

Speaking about Vybz Kartel on Nationwide 90 FM yesterday, Hanna questioned whether corruption is involved in the recording of songs by the incarcerated artiste.Assistant Police Commisioner Devon Watkis said police are not taking the threats lightly.

Among the comments posted by 'Kartel fans' on Hanna's Instagram page are:

:Yuh want a gaza box

Like u wah get wah lizard ... just saying , Jamaica is not American, why u trying to compare #vybzkartel with #bujubanton , aren't they at two different places ...if so be the case why u guy never do it like American... remember they still haven't find lizard body so how is he in jail ...and just mine they do the same to you ...think before u talk and just go find something productive a

like you want we kid nap and rape you ### big educate woman like you nuh have no more then a topic of vybz kartel like you want man shoot up yah house later badness it name Gaza you can't stop

I use to admire you, but u get bright when u ago talk bout kartle music must get banned, y you banned.

Another prominent senior citizen murdered

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The latest fatality among the retired community in St Andrew is 83-year-old retired agronomist, David Lacey.

The Constant Spring police are now searching for suspects in relation to his murder.

Lacey's body was found with stab wounds at his residence in Aylsham, St Andrew on Friday.

Indications are that the police have not yet established a motive for the murder.

Lacey's killing follows closely behind the murder of South African-born but devoted journalist and public opinion commentator in Jamaica for decades, Peter Abrahams, in Red Hill, St Andrew, recently.


A post-mortem on Abrahams' body revealed that the 97-year-old died from head injury with a blunt instrument.

Abrahams lived alone and moved around his home in a wheelchair.

Cops probe double murder in Comfort, Manchester

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police say they are following several leads into Sunday's incident where gunmen shot and killed two men in Comfort District, Manchester.

Police say one of the leads is that the murders could be linked to the deadly lotto scam trade.

Police report that shortly after 9:00pm Kemar Reid, 33, and Sollando Thompson, 26, were standing at Reid's gate in the company of Thompson and another man fixing a camera when residents heard explosions and raised an alarm.

Police said when they arrived at the scene of the attack, Reid and Thompson were seen with gunshot wounds. They were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead. The third man escaped unhurt.

Senior police sources have indicated that Reid was before the court for lottery scamming, while Thompson was also listed as a person of interest by the police

Investigators said they reportedly recovered more than 10 spent shells from the scene of the crime.

peter-abrahams.jpgReports are that large sum of cash was withdrawn over a period of time from the bank account of award-winning journalist Peter Abrahams leading up to his murder. It is said that the withdrawals were not made by the 97-year-old Abrahams.

The veteran journalist, who lived alone in REd Hills, St Andrew, died, January 18,of what had appeared to be natural causes. Then the shock came as it was revealed recently that Abrahams was murdered.

On Tuesday, the St Andrew North Police Division charged 61-year-old Norman Tomlinson of Cyprus district, in Red Hills, for Abrahams' murder. Tomlinson is the husband of Abraham's helper. He was charged after being questioned at the Constant Spring Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) Office, in St Andrew.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Abrahams' injuries were deliberately inflicted. Abrahams was born in South Africa, but came to and fell in love with Jamaica, which he made his home for many decades.

JenCare owner Jennifer Samuda has died

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jennifer-samuda-jencare.jpgJennifer Samuda, the owner of the popular and trail-blazing JenCare Skin Farm has died.

Mrs Samuda, who was reportedly battling cancer, died on Tuesday night.

Samuda, a former auditor, founded JenCare Skin Farm in 1989, when skepticism was rife about that line of business. She, however, persevered and made her mark in the field, succeeding as the leading skin care and spa business in the island, before setting up branches in New York, Miami and Trinidad and Tobago.


The success she reaped led to many recognitions including a nomination for the Jamaica Observer's Business Leader Award and the NCB Nation Builder Award in the category of Women in Business.

In a Gleaner Interview in 2010, Samuda said, "when I started this business in the 1980s, people did not recognise or have as much respect for an entrepreneur as they do today. Instead, people looked forward to working for someone and did not strive to start their own businesses. Nowadays 'entrepreneurship' has become a buzz word."

JenCare is now being led by Samuda's daughter, Peta-Gaye Samuda-Palmer.

Robbery at Island Grill Red Hills Mall foiled

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robbery.jpgSecurity personnel from KingAlarm Systems thwarted a robbery at a popular food chain on Red Hills Road in St Andrew yesterday.

Workers who arrived at the Island Grill restaurant located in the Red Hills Mall were pounced upon by gunmen while they opened the establishment.

The police reported that around 7:30 yesterday morning, two armed men entered the premises and "held up" the workers.

"It wasn't a hostage situation. They were robbed of two cellphones. They did not get anything else, no money or anything because KingAlarm intervened and the men fled," a constable from the Constabulary Communications Unit said.

hampton-heather-murray-principal.jpgThe Board of the Hampton School for Girls has apologised to Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid over the way they handled his request for a full report regarding principal Heather Murray's appearance on January 5, at the hearing of the alleged rape case against a minister of religion.

The ministry in a release Sunday said board members, at a meeting held yesterday, endorsed an earlier apology to Reid from board chairman, Trevor Blake.

According to the ministry, Blake, in his apology dated February 3, withdrew an earlier statement to Murray's lawyer, which was shared with the media, indicating that no agreement had been reached at a January 11 meeting for her to go on two week's leave to prepare a full report for the board and the minister.

Blake's letter stated inter alia: "I unreservedly withdraw my letter of January 16, 2017, and apologize sincerely for releasing same to the press. I am aware of your commitment to education and to good outcomes for all of those within the system, and regret the impression my letter caused."

held.jpgAn ex-convict was on Saturday held with a loaded submachine gun along Molynes Road in St Andrew. Police subsequently searched his home in Red Hills and found another firearm and several rounds of ammunition.

According to the constabulary's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), lawmen were conducting vehicular checkpoint operations on Molynes Road when the man, who was driving a Nissan motorcar, was signalled to stop. He complied and was searched along with the vehicle.

The search of the vehicle revealed an Intratec submachine gun loaded with two 9mm rounds.

Further reports are that the lawmen swiftly obtained a warrant and escorted the man to his home in the Red Hills, where one Ruger 9mm pistol and two-hundred assorted rounds of ammunition were seized.CCU said the 57-year-old "lawbreaker" was then taken into custody where it was discovered that he had served a 21-year prison sentence and was only released 3 years ago.

crime-scene-7.jpgThe body of a 35-year-old Tanijah Howell a teacher of Charlemont High School teacher was on Saturday found in bushes in Barrett Hall, St Ann.

Howell hailed from Linstead, St Catherine.

The police did not give any more information on the his death.

Also on Saturday, the skeletal remains believed to be that of a female was discovered along the Priory main road in St Ann. Residents reportedly stumbled on the bones with female clothing beside it.

Amieka Mullings was Monday arrested and charged under the Cyber Crimes Act after she posted pictures on social media claiming that her ex-boyfriend is wanted for rape, assault and murder.

Swift investigations by the police revealed that the information was false, malicious and tantamount to malicious communication under the Cyber Crimes legislation.

Mullings, 35, was detained, interrogated in the presence of her attorney and charged.

Persons are asked to exercise caution in the material they post online and transmit to others, as they may unwittingly be participating in criminal acts.

kevin-nelson-killer.jpgKevin Kemoy Nelson, the man accused of killing reggae singer Anthony Cruz's daughter, Shanice Smith, and her mother inside their Sunrise home reportedly called and texted friends and family members to tell them what he'd done.

Kevin Nelson 32, was married to Karen Lyle, the 40 year-old mother of Shanice Smith.

According to the arrest report, a neighbor told police he'd heard gunshots on Friday night. And Kevin Nelson's sister said he came to her house Friday night and said he'd gotten into an argument with his wife, Karen Lyle and killed her, the report said. When the sister asked Nelson if he was kidding he said yes, the report said.


Then on Monday morning, Nelson made a 911 call and told the police that there had been gun shots in his area, 2 people were dead and that he was the shooter. The cops immediately went to Nelson's house in Sunrise, but he locked himself inside the house and refused to respond to the police.The report said that during the standoff between Nelson and the police on Monday morning, Nelson texted his dead wife's brother.

"Shanice, Karen and me are all dead. The cops is here and the news crew," the text said, according to the report. An hour later he called Lyle's brother and told him he'd killed Karen Lyle and 15 year-old Shanice Smith, the report said.


One of Lyle's friends said she received several text messages from Nelson, the first at 10:20 a.m. Monday, less than an hour before the 911 call, the report said.

Nelson told the friend Lyle was cheating on him, lying to him, talking down to him and embarrassing him on a regular basis, the report said. He also said he believed she was having sex with her ex-husband, according to the report.

"I am sorry for everything," his last text read.

When the friend called Nelson, he said "I am sorry to inform you that Karen is deceased," the report said. When she asked what happened to her, Nelson said "I shot her," the report said.

The friend also asked about the teen. "I shot her too," he said, according to the report.

Shanice Smith, who was an 'A' student, had attended Piper High School in Sunrise.


Anthony Cruz, who has always been very vocal about his love for his only daughter, posted a photo of Shanice on Facebook Monday, hours after the tragedy.

"I can't believe they kill my one and only daughter in ft. lauderdale," he wrote.

Nelson, 32, is facing two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of 40-year-old Karen Lyle and her 15-year-old daughter, Shanice Smith,

Nelson remained behind bars without bond Tuesday.

US Prosecutors say a Jamaican man has been sentenced to serve more than three years in federal prison for threatening an immigration judge.

Attorney G.F. "Pete" Peterman says 42-year-old Delroy Anthony McLean was sentenced Tuesday to serve three years and five months.

McLean was in federal immigration custody awaiting deportation at the Stewart Detention Center in southwest Georgia. Prosecutors say he threatened during a hearing at that facility to "bash the head" of an immigration judge. They say he also threatened the judge's husband and repeated his comments outside the courtroom.

McLean was found guilty during a trial in October. Prosecutors say he is expected to be deported to his native Jamaica after he serves his sentence.

Source: AP

2 men charged in death of teen Shanika Grey

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missing-school-girl-shanika-grey.jpgTwo men have been charged in relation to the death of 15-year-old Green Pond High student Shineka Gray.

The men have been identified as 23-year-old Mario Morrison of Bamboo district, Hanover and 31-year-old Gregory Roberts, Taxi Driver, of Maroon Town, St James. Both men were charged with murder following an interview with the Police on Thursday, February 9.

Gray's body was found with multiple stab wounds on February 1, three days after she was reported missing towards the end of January.

Following investigations, both men were taken into custody.

Commander of the St James Police Division, Senior Superintendent Marlon Nesbeth on Thursday gave assurance that the men would be charged before the weekend.

Missing woman found dead with body parts missing

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crime-scene-knife.jpgThe decomposing body of a missing woman was found Saturday morning.

The deceased has been identified as 46-year-old Eroline Chin of Heywood Hall.

Details are sketchy at this time, but residents on the scene said that some of Chin's body parts are missing and that she was found naked.

Reports are that Chin was an alcoholic and suffered from a heart condition.

It is reported that Chin was last seen Saturday, February 4.

Relatives said she often wandered from home whenever she drank.

Cops probe beheading death of St Mary woman

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crime-scene-knife.jpgInvestigators have not yet established a motive for the beheading of a woman in Heywood Hall, St. Mary.

Residents found the torso of 46 year-old Erolyn Chin in bushes Saturday morning. The head was found nearby.

Ms Chin was reported missing on Wednesday.

Superintendent Fabian Farquharson, Commanding Officer for the St. Mary Police, is appealing to members of the public with information which could assist the probe to contact investigators.

Man's head found in plastic bag

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crime-scene-knife.jpgThe head of a male was discovered in a plastic bag Friday morning in Spanish Town, St Catherine.

Police officers were patrolling Burke Road about 12:10 when a black plastic bag was discovered with a human head belonging to a male.

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

Investigations continue.

Antiguan cops on lookout for alleged Jamaican rapist

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The police in Antigua & Barbuda are investigating reports that a Jamaican man, accused of rape, has sought refuge in that Eastern Caribbean state.

The Antigua Observer newspaper reports that a photograph has been making the rounds via social media for several weeks, warning women to be on the lookout for the suspect.

The man is accused of a rape in Jamaica.

The newspaper quoted Inspector Frankie Thomas as saying that the police in Antigua-Barbuda are aware of the report but have no concrete information to suggest that the Jamaican is in the country. Despite this, he said investigations will continue and contact might be made with counterparts in Jamaica and other law enforcement agencies.

alkaline-questioning-photo-1.jpgAlkaline's attorney Peter Champagnie says he will be going to court if his client is not released by Monday.

The law allows investigators to hold the dancehall deejay, whose real name is Earlan Bartley, for a certain period of time without him being charged.

Champagnie maintains that Alkaline is fully cooperating with the police as their investigation continues. Is the Vendetta deejay being treated as a suspect or a witness?

Alkaline spent the weekend in jail without charge

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alkaline-photo-11.jpgIt was certainly not a good weekend for "Champion Boy" deejay Alkaline. He has been in police custody since Thursday undergoing question in relation to the January murder of Rohan Morris in Kingston and spent the weekend behind bars despite not being charged with any crime.

The hashtag #FreeAlkaline trended on social media as dancehall fans vented, however, there were some fans who said that the Vendetta deejay was trying too much to be like the World Boss, Vybz Kartel and that Alka needs to be careful. Kartel is serving time in prison for murder.

There is still no word yet on whether or not Alkaline will be charged with any crime. Heads the Criminal Investigations Branch, ACP Powell, says that detectives are currently reviewing the material gathered from their interview of the deejay and will be making a decision soon. Morris was shot 15 times and killed in Maverly on January 13. Investigators say that his 5-year-old daughter witness the gruesome murder.

Jamaicans fearful about Trumps's immigration antics

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donald-trump-photo-1.jpgUndocumented Jamaicans in the United States are on edge over President Donald Trump's immigration policy, Jamaican immigration attorneys are urging calm and prodding those nationals who can to legalise their status.

"This is not a good time to be in the United States without proper documentation," cautioned Joan Pinnock, a leading voice on immigration matters and head of the Jamaican American Bar Association.

In an interview with a Jamaican newspaper, Pinnock reportedly said that while President Trump's recent executive order did not include Jamaicans and other Caribbean nationals, they needed to be reminded that he had campaigned on deporting all illegal aliens from the country.

Pinnock said that legal residents (green card holders) who qualified should "take the next step and become citizens". She sought to assure those who are sceptical that they would not lose their Jamaican nationality if they became US citizens and would instead enjoy dual citizenship.

According to Pinnock, those who are undocumented could legalise themselves through a petition by a relative such as an adult child. Warning that the current situation "is not a joke", the attorney said that there were currently 500 Jamaicans in detention who had exhausted all legal channels and are to be deported soon.

She noted though that some of the fear among our people "are unfounded", noting that a Diaspora Task Force on Immigration, established shortly after Trump became president, would be officially launched later this month "to help our residents understand the immigration system".

crime-scene-gun.jpgIndia's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has sought a report from the Indian High Commission in Jamaica, about the murder of an Indian man, at his home in Cherry Gardens, on Thursday.

According to reports today (Feb 11) in news nation, the minister also asked the High Commission to ensure the best possible treatment to 2 wounded Indian nationals, and to coordinate with the affected families.

The minster tweeted the response after her attention was drawn to a news report that a Vasai youth was shot dead by four unidentified men at his Kingston home, in a case of suspected armed robbery. Dead is 25 year old Vasai youth Rakesh Talreja of Cherry Gardens.

In a phone call to the Talrejas, the minister said the Indian High Commission in Kingston would follow up the case with the local police.She also assured the family of assistance in completing formalities and bringing back the body. Two of the young man's relatives are expected to travel to Jamaica soon and begin arrangements for taking the body back to India.

The Constant Spring police still have no leads in the killing of Rakesh, a salesperson at Caribbean Jewellers. Reports are that on February 9, gunmen entered Rakesh's home in Cherry Gardens, Kingston 8, which he shared with two other Indian nationals, with an intention to rob. The robbers took cash and cellular phones, before reportedly shooting Rakesh three times in his back.

The robbers also shot Rakesh's 2 Indian roommates in their legs, before escaping.

Rakesh was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The other 2 wounded men were admitted and treated.

Anderson Cooper disproved the White House's list of terrorist attacks it claimed the media underreported in the simplest way possible: By showing clips of his own coverage of those attacks.

"Not only did we cover many of attacks the White House released, we covered them heavily," he said Monday night on "Anderson Cooper 360." "I know because I was there on the ground reporting a number of them. '360' was in Ottawa, Canada, October of 2014, [and] that's on the list."

Also on the manifesto was the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, the 2015 terror attack in Paris, France, and the 2016 assault on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. All three of those stories, and many others on the list, dominated the news cycle for weeks. The Orlando incident even made news a few weeks ago after the widow of the attacker, Omar Mateen, was arrested over allegations of obstruction of justice, among other charges.

The list includes dozens of attacks that received extensive media coverage, some that authorities have said don't appear to be connected to terrorism at all, and several that resulted in no deaths.

Alkaline to spend the night in police custody

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alkaline-questioning-photo-1.jpgDancehall entertainer Alkaline is to spend Thursday night in police custody.

Detectives of the Criminal Investigations Branch (CIB), who began questioning the artiste at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, said he will remain in custody for further questioning Friday morning.

Alkaline, whose given name is Earlan Bartley, turned himself in to the police Thursday morning accompanied by his attorney, Peter Champagnie.

He is being questioned as part of a probe into the January 13 murder of Rohan Morris in Marverly, St. Andrew.

Government announces $710 billion budget

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The Government of Jamaica has announced that it intends to spend $710 billion this year to finance its objectives.

The government on Thursday afternoon tabled estimates which are 20 per cent higher than last year's budget.

Debt repayment will account for 44 per cent of the spending. In fiscal year 2017/18, debt repayments will cost $310 billion. This is up 38 per cent from last year due to an increase in principal payments.Public sector wages and salaries will cost $193 billion. It includes monies set aside to meet salary increases that are now being negotiated.

The rest of the money is allocated across the programmes the government sets itself to achieve this year as well as money to be spent on capital projects. But the government has not said how it will finance the plans. Normally 90 per cent would be from revenues with the rest to come from loans and new borrowings.

Finance Minister Audley Shaw is scheduled to open the 2017/18 Budget Debate on March 9, when he will inform the nation how the budget will be funded.

alkaline-photo-11.jpgThe killing of Morris is said to be linked to an ongoing feud between two gangs in the community of Maverley.

"It is believed that (Alkaline) can assist (police) with the investigations," a news release from the Jamaica Constabulary Force said.

Alkaline is being represented by popular defense attorney Peter Champagnie.

Through his attorney, the entertainer made contact with authorities, advising that he would turn himself over to the police for questioning on Thursday morning.

When news broke that the Vendetta deejay was wanted to assist the police in their investigations, he took to social media to denounce it as LIES.

alkaline-questioning-photo-1.jpgReports are that embattled dancehall deejay Alkaline has been transferred to the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) headquarters in Kingston to undergo a second round of questioning in relation to a murder case.

The deejay, whose real name is Earlan Bartley, reported to the Area 4 police headquarters in Kingston at 9:25 am on Thursday.

He was wanted for questioning in relation to the murder of Rohan "Head" Morris of Three Oaks Garden in St Andrew. Morris was shot more than 15 times by armed thugs at his home in January. Sources say the 28-year-old unemployed man was slaughtered while next to a five year old child believed to be his daughter.

alkaline-dancehall-artiste.jpgSuperintendent Stephanie Lindsay, head of the constabulary's Corporate Communications Unit, says dancehall artiste Alkaline whose real name is Earlan Bartley, is being asked to report to the police in relation to a murder which took place in Maverley on January 13.

Lindsay says the police had tried to get in touch with the New Level Unlocked deejay personally, but were unsuccessful.

On Tuesday, social media accounts for the Jamaica Constabulary Force asked the artiste, to report to Harman Barracks in relation to the murder of Rohan Morris.

He was given until 5:00pm on Wednesday.

us-embassy-jamaica-kingston.jpgWASHINGTON, United States (AFP) -- US embassies could ask visa applicants for passwords to their own social media accounts in future background checks, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Tuesday.

Kelly said the move could come as part of the effort to toughen vetting of visitors to screen out people who could pose a security threat.

He said it was one of the things under consideration especially for visitors from seven Muslim majority countries with very weak background screening of their own -- Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

"We're looking at some enhanced or some additional screening," Kelly told a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee. "We may want to get on their social media, with passwords," he said.

The legal team representing embattled Jamaican sprinter Nesta Carter is currently finalising its submission to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to appeal the sprinter's disqualification for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

However, Carter is allowed to compete pending the outcome of the CAS proceedings, this after the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) received confirmation from the IAAF outlining that the sprinter had not been issued a suspension after retroactively testing positive for the prohibited substance methylhexaneamine.

JAAA president Dr Warren Blake said he had received confirmation from the IAAF after writing to CEO Olivier Gers and enquiring about Carter's eligibility to compete.

Carter is now expected to start his season shortly after going nearly 17 months since his last race.

Carter will compete this Saturday at the Milo Western Relays at the Montego Bay Sports Complex as a member of MVP's 4x100m relay team.

alkaline-photo-11.jpgDetectives from the Criminal Investigations Branch Headquarters are seeking dancehall entertainer Earlan Bartley otherwise called, 'Alkaline' for questioning in relation to the murder of Rohan Morris.

The police say they believe he can assist them with the investigations.

Bartley is being asked to report to the Area 4 Headquarters, Harman Barracks in Vineyard Town, Kingston 2 by 5 p.m., on Wednesday, February 8.

Happy Birthday Bob Marley!

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happy-birthday-bob-marley.jpgToday, Bob Marley would have been 72 years of age.

bob-marley-photo-5.jpgIn the 31 years since his untimely death, Marley still remains the most-popular figure in Reggae music. Succumbing to cancer at age 36 in 1981, Marley had become a global ambassador for the music he helped make famous.

Marley's passing shook the reggae and music community to its core; yet, his legacy remains intact through his timeless music catalog and talented children.


Marley was born in the village of Nine Mile in Saint Ann Parish in Jamaica (also the birthplace of Marcus Garvey). Marley's father was a white Jamaican man of English descent and his mother was a native of Jamaica. Discovering music as a teenager, Marley befriended Neville "Bunny" Livingston (aka Bunny Wailer) who shared his dreams of becoming a musician. Through singer Joe Higgs, the pair met Peter McIntosh (aka Peter Tosh) who also had similar ambitions. Recording his first songs in 1962, Marley and his friends would eventually be renamed The Wailers, after being discovered by a local record producer.

Marrying Rita Anderson (now Marley) in 1966, Marley and his bride made a sojourn to the United States to live near his mother in Wilmington, De. Marley soon teamed up with American singer Johnny Nash ("I Can See Clearly Now") and nabbed a deal with CBS Records. Marley and the Wailers went on tour with Nash before their label deal went sour and the band ended up stranded in London in 1972. From there, Marley contacted Island Records' founder Chris Blackwell and was advanced funds to record the hit album "Catch A Fire."

Police kill leader of One Voice Gang

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The reputed leader of the One Voice gang based in Hanover was reportedly shot and killed by the police last night.

Police are reporting that the gang leader was killed in a shootout.

He has been identified as 21-year-old Omario Burrell, also called Duplex of Mount Pleasant district in the parish.

The Hanover Police say a firearm was recovered at the scene.

They say Burrell was fatally shot during a confrontation with a police team in Mount Pleasant district.

The police say the incident has been reported to the Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Independent Commission of Investigations.

crime-scene-gun.jpgA female student of the Camperdown High School in Kingston who had been reported missing, died in hospital Saturday afternoon from natural causes.

The police's Corporate Communication Unit says the girl, Brittany Thorpe, fell ill Friday after leaving school and was taken to hospital. However, persons who assisted her and the medical team treating her were unable to contact her family, who, on Friday, reported her missing.

She died yesterday afternoon while undergoing care. The police say Brittany's family was aware of her illness.

They say stories being circulated on social media about her demise are not true.

missing-school-girl-shanika-grey.jpgA second man is now in custody as the police say they have made a significant breakthrough in their investigations into the killing of 15-year-old Green Pond High School student Shineka Gray.

Head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay says the suspect was apprehended during an operation in St Thomas yesterday afternoon. She says he will be handed over to the St James Police in short order. Superintendent Lindsay also confirmed that another man was taken into custody by the St James Police yesterday (Friday).

She says the police are well advanced in their investigations and will inform the public about the reason the 15-year-old was killed after they have gathered all the facts.

The partly decomposed body of the grade ten Green Pond High School student was found in bushes in the community of Irwin Meadows St James on Wednesday, three days after she was reported missing. It's reported that she was last seen heading to a taxi stand after attending the funeral service for a former student at the same institution.

portia.jpgPeople's National Party president Portia Simpson Miller is to demit office on April 2.

A week earlier on March 26, the party will host a special delegates' conference to choose its new president.

Simpson Miller, a short while ago, announced at a meeting of the party's National Executive Council in Manchester that she will submit her resignation as Opposition Leader to Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen, after her March 16 contribution to the Budget Debate in parliament.

She said she will resign as Opposition Leader but will remain the Member of Parliament for St Andrew South West.

Young female Burger King worker missing since Friday

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missing-burger-king-worker.jpgNicole Brown, a young female worker at Burger King in Cross Roads has reportedly been has been missing since Friday.

Reports are that Miss Brown was last heard from via WhatsApp when she was at home on Friday at around 1 pm. Brown did not report to work and attempts to call her phone went straight to voicemail.

A voice note from a Burger King worker about the disappearance states that police entered into Brown's residence by kicking in the door and discovered that the blue barrel was missing and all of its contents were thrown out on the floor. Also missing was Brown's bed sheet and pillows. "Wha unnu gather from that," she said.

Reports are that the body of a woman was found in a blue barrel in St Thomas on Sunday.

missing-hanover-woman.jpgResidents in Hanover believe that the decomposing body of a woman that was found in Prospect yesterday is that of 30-year-old Tasha Gordon.

Deputy Superintendent of Police from the Hanover division, Ainsley McCarthy, said yesterday that people who knew her are putting this theory forward.

Gunmen allegedly abducted Gordon, who has been missing since January 9, after they killed her employer, Marvin McIntosh, at his businessplace in Prospect.

The deputy superintendent said based on the level of decomposition of the body that was found, the individual has been dead for more than two weeks.

Another teenage girl missing

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missing-teen-sheree-clarke.jpgThe family members and police have launched a desperate search to locate a 14-year-old female identified as Sheree Clarke, of Christiana, Manchester who has been missing since Thursday, February 02.

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

Reports from the Christiana Police are that about 7:30 a.m., Sheree was last seen at home dressed in a blue tunic and beige blouse and a pair of black shoes. All efforts to contact her have been futile.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Sheree Clarke is being asked to contact the Christiana Police at 964-2250, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.

missing-school-girl-shanika-grey.jpgInvestigators have intensified their probe into the murder of a 15-year-old girl in St. James and reports are that one man is now in custody.

Shanicka Grey, who lived in Mount Salem, Montego Bay disappered from home and was found dead yesterday. The body, which had stab wounds, was discovered in Meadows of Irwin about 5:30 in the afternoon.

Shanicka was a student of the Green Pond High School. Detectives say they are following leads in the case.

missing-school-girl-shanika-grey.jpgThe partially decomposed body of a female has been found in bushes in Irwin, St James.

The St James Police immediately visited the scene, about a mile from Irwin High School.

Reports are that Shineka went to KFC after attending a classmate's funeral and was last seen on January 29, 2017 being followed by friends to the Bogue taxi stand by the Arcade in Montego Bay Jamaica.

She did not return home and was subsequently reported missing.

25 years in prison for rapist taxi driver

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hands-behind-bars.jpgTwenty-nine-year-old labourer Loveroy Henry, a taxi driver in Old Harbour, St Catherine was this week sentenced to 25 years in prison for abduction and rape.

He was sentenced in the St Catherine Parish Court to seven years for abduction and 18 years for rape.

The Court heard that in 2013, the complainant who was 17 years old, was travelling in Henry's taxi when he drove off the route to a secluded area. He reportedly forced her to have sex with him and then took her to her home where the girl reported the ordeal to relatives.

A report was made to the police and an investigation launched by the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse. This resulted in Henry being charged with rape and forcible abduction. On January 19, 2017, he was found guilty in a unanimous guilty verdict handed down by the jury.

moravian-sex-pastors-and-lawyer.jpgThe two Moravian ministers charged with having sex with an underage girl have backed away from a threat to file legal action against their alleged victim.Gardner's new attorney, Peter Champagnie,says he advised his client against bringing civil action against the woman at the centre of the case.

"I don't want the impression to be given that there is any threat or intimidation by way of suggesting that there will be civil action against the virtual complainant in this matter. It is inappropriate," high profile celebrity lawyer, Peter Champagnie is quoted as saying.

"What my client elects to do after the criminal case is a matter entirely for him, but, certainly, at this stage, the matter is before the criminal court, and that is where it is going to be ventilated," he said.

Lambert Johnson, the attorney who represented Gardner and Gibson at the time they were arrested and charged, described the allegations against them as a witch hunt. In addition, Johnson asserted that the evidence provided by prosecutors was "riddled" with inconsistencies and bereft of credibility, cogency, or corroboration.

As a result, the attorney indicated that the two Moravian ministers were instructed to file civil action against the complainant for defamation, malicious prosecution, and false imprisonment. But Johnson's statement drew condemnation from the chairman of the General Legal Council, Allan Wood, who described it as deeply concerning.

Ski Mask gang high ranking member killed by cops

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe alleged third-ranked commander of the St James-based Ski Mask criminal gang, Jermaine Samuels, was on Monday killed in an alleged confrontation with the police in Settlement district, Old Harbour Bay.

The police said in a news release yesterday that the Ski Mask gang, which operates out of Barrett Town, St James, is responsible for numerous murders, shootings, rapes, and other crimes committed in western Jamaica.

Samuels, who was otherwise called "Bad Bwoy", was said to have fled the parish following the death of the gang's reputed leader Oswyn Jarrett, otherwise called "Ski Mask", along with five other members. The six were killed during a joint police/military operation in the Goodwill community of St James on January 14.

The police said yesterday that a Bersa 9mm pistol and seven 9mm rounds of ammunition were seized during Monday's incident. The matter has also been reported to the Independent Commission of Investigations and the inspectorate of the Constabulary.

Pastors and police rep for high-profile molesters

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Pastors and policemen have at least one thing in common, they are the most high profile group whose names are called in child molestation cases.

According to reports, the Head of the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), Superintendent Enid Ross-Stewart, told a parliamentary committee that the majority of alleged high-profile perpetrators of sexual offences against underage persons are pastors and policemen..

Ross-Stewart did not provide data on the number of policemen and pastors who've been accused or later found guilty of carnal abuse in recent years.

Her disclosure comes as public spotlight remains on the church community following the recent arrest and charge of three pastors from the Moravian Church in Jamaica for alleged sex offences.

Meanwhile, the CISOCA head said for last year, her office received 1,094 reports of alleged sexual intercourse involving underage persons.

Of that number, 664 reports came from Kingston.

However, Ross Stewart lamented that the conviction rate is among the lowest compared with other categories of sex offences.

A St Catherine man charged with sexually molesting a five-year-old girl will spend more time behind bars as he was remanded when he appeared in the St Catherine Parish Court on Wednesday..

Reports are that the five-year-old is the man's relative.and that his brother threatened persons who attempted to report the matter to the police. Eventually, the Child Development Agency and the police were alerted and carried out a probe into the matter.Both men were later arrested.

The alleged molester is to return to court this Friday.

Meanwhile his brother, who was charged with threatening a crown witness, was granted bail in the sum of $150,000. As a condition of his bail, he has to relocate to another address in St Catherine. He was also warned to keep away from the victim and witnesses in the case.

The General Legal Council has said it is deeply concerned about a statement by an attorney representing clergymen on sexual assault charges.

In a statement published in the Sunday Gleaner, the Council said the attorney noted that he had been instructed to file suit against the complainant for defamation, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment.

The Council explains that a criminal prosecution is commenced by the laying of charges. The matter is then to be regarded as being before the court or sub judice.

The General Legal Council said it is highly improper for statements to be published which may have the effect of either threatening or intimidating the complainant or any witness in the matter.

It added that this includes effect which creates the risk that the course of justice may be impeded, obstructed or undermined.

The General Legal Council says the statement is not in keeping with proper standards of the legal profession. As such, it is urging attorneys to desist from such practice.

Last Monday attorney-at-law Lambert Johnson, who represents Moravian pastors Paul Gardener, 54, and Jermaine Gibson, 36, said his clients have instructed him to file a lawsuit against the State for defamation, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment.

Both Ministers of Religion have been charged with carnal abuse and indecent assault.

Klansman Gang member to be sentenced today

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Jordan Markland, a member of the notorious Klansman Gang, which operates in Spanish Town and environs, will be sentenced today -- the first to be found guilty under 2014 anti-gang legislation.

Ministers of Parliament passed the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisation) Act in the House of Representatives to give police the power to disrupt and suppress criminal organisations across the island.

Markland will be sentenced when he appears in the St Catherine Home Circuit Court today.

The accused, who was charged on July 4, 2015, was among several members of the feared Klansman and One Order gangs operating in and around Spanish Town, the St Catherine capital. He was held by detectives from the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime (C-TOC) Investigation Branch and the St Catherine North Division.

Other Klansman Gang members also charged were Sheldon Walters, otherwise called 'Terminate', Marlon Tulloch, otherwise called "Gappy"; Horace Swaby; and Jason McLean, otherwise "Daeda". Members of the fearless One Order Gang who were also charged by the police are Aston Daley, otherwise called "Daley Bwoy", Kemar Thompson, otherwise called "Spider Man"; Jahnoi Laing, otherwise called "Rhin" and Nigel Laxbour, otherwise called "Tineyo".

Deputy Superintendent of Police Samuel Blake, head of the Anti-Gang Unit at C-TOC, while noting that public support was critical to success, appealed to the public to help the police in their fight against criminal gangs.

JDF soldier now a suspect in murder of colleague

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court.jpgThe Jamaica Defence Force soldier who was detained last week as a Person of Interest in connection with the fatal shooting of a member of the military in Rock River, Clarendon, is now considered a suspect.

The soldier, who is on detention at JDF headquarters at Up Park Camp, was questioned last week. He is scheduled to be questioned again this week in connection with the murder of Lance Corporal Michael Fraser.

The soldier was shot by gunmen at his house in Rock River last Wednesday.

It's reported that the wife of the soldier under investigation was at the house at the time of the incident. She was not harmed.

A senior investigator says the police are trying to determine whether the killing stemmed from the existence of a love triangle.

Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Kamina Johnson Smith says Jamaicans should remain calm despite tension over the new executive orders signed by President Donald Trump, one of which bans travellers from seven Muslim-dominated countries.

"It is very important in these matters that we remain calm and responsible," Johnson Smith said in a release on Monday.

There has been panic among Caribbean migrants in light of the developments over the weekend.

But Johnson Smith says it is extremely unhelpful that people are inciting panic on matters that are very complex and very technical and subject to a lot of uncertainty even in the issuing state.

"The Ministry is making every effort to ascertain the scope of these orders and it is important that we not conflate them, because there is more than one order and they deal with entirely different things," she said.

Johnson Smith said the Jamaican government is examining these issues and noted that the ministry is in contact with the US Embassy here and the State Department overseas through Jamaican missions there.

The police are expressing concern about the increasing number of women being abducted and raped by men posing as taxi operators.

Superintendent Enid Ross Stewart, head of the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), says that the hunt is on for the suspects.

They have been linked to cases in Kingston as well as Portmore, St Catherine, over the last two weeks.

Unregulated taxis should not be used by commuters... If they have to take them, make sure they capture the license plate number and send it to somebody so that somebody knows where they are and which car they are in," she suggested.

She said investigators suspect that there are other cases which have not been reported.

hands-behind-bars.jpgSt Catherine man who was convicted of the murder of a senior citizen whose house he lived in, and whose body he burnt then buried, has been sentenced to life imprisonment in the Home Circuit Court.

Trial judge, Justice David Fraser, has recommended that Clifton Harrison serve 32 years before being eligible for parole.

Harrison was charged with the death of Louise Barnes, 69, of Old Harbour in St Catherine.

In the trial in November of last year, evidence was led in the St Catherine Circuit Court that in 2009, Harrison killed Barnes at her home in Old Harbour.

He then burnt her body and buried it on the Thetford Farm in the parish.

Relatives of Harrison did not believe stories of Barnes' disappearance from Harrison, and filed a missing person's report.

Intense police investigations led to the arrest and charge of Harrison for the murder.

Cop critical after being shot by gunmen

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA police officer is in critical condition in hospital after he was shot in the head by men in a car that was being pursued by the cops in Olympic Gardens, Kingston, Saturday night.

Reports are that about 8 pm, the detective, who is attached to the Kingston Central CIB branch, was part of a team carrying out investigations in Fletchers Land when they gave chase to a black BMW motorcar, fitting the description of one which was used to transport men involved a recent murder.

The pursuit of the car ended in Olympic Gardens when men alighted from the vehicle and started firing at the police.

The detective sergeant was shot in the head and rushed to the Kingston Public Hospital where he was admitted in serious condition.

A 19-year-old of a Kingston address was subsequently taken into custody for questioning.

The Kingston Central police are investigating.

Jamaica: In light of recent cardiac mishaps with young Jamaican student-athletes, the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona's Research Days 2017 staging slated for February 1-3 on the grounds of the Mona Campus, will reveal the latest results from ongoing research into Electrocardiographic (ECG) testing for local athletes.

In addition to the update on the programme, at Mona's Research Days 2017, student-athletes from identified schools will be offered free ECG tests as part of the continuing "Cardiac Screening in Youth Athletes" executed by lead researcher Dr Lisa Hurlock.

The ongoing research aims to prove whether or not the ECG screening, which is a five minute, simple, pain free test, is a viable tool to help screen for traces of heart disease which may lead to 'sudden cardiac death' in Jamaican athletes. The ECG test is also cost effective as it is relatively affordable in comparison to other screening tests.

An ECG examination traces electrical activity in the heart and according to Dr. Tahira Redwood, Resident in Internal Medicine at the University Hospital of the West Indies, the tests are crucial in early detection of heart attacks or other heart related issues.

trinidad-election-rowley-new-government.jpgPrime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has described as an "act of desperation" the letter written by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar to United States President Donald Trump regarding the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) legislation.

The government and the opposition legislators have been at odds over the passage of the legislation enacted by the United States government in March 2010.

Earlier this month, the Keith Rowley government bowed to opposition demands that the legislation be sent to a joint select committee (JSC) of Parliament even as Finance Minister Colm Imbert, accused the opposition of being "deadly scared" of having to meet with some of the criteria outlined in the legislation, including having to report US bank accounts to the appropriate American authorities.

"They want to be able to say that they are not supporting the legislation because they are awaiting word from the US President or that he is considering their request," Prime Minister Rowley said.

GK Money Services to launch in February

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GraceKennedy subsidiary GK Money Services Ltd, which will in February launch its mobile money product, GK MPay, indicates that it expects to compete strongly around the issue of security.

GK's competitors in the mobile money market are Quisk, currently used by National Commercial Bank, and Conec, a mobile wallet developed and marketed by the Jamaica Cooperative Credit Union League.

CEO Don Wehby said Monday, "GK compatible with most phones and both mobile networks. It is also extremely safe, as customers won't have to worry about losing their money if they lose their phones as the service is properly encrypted. It is so easy to use that even those who are not as technologically savvy will find themselves understanding it after the first use."

To be launched on February 7, the product allows transfer of cash to any other person with a mobile phone; pay their bills; top up any pre-paid mobile phone and pay for goods and services, and has a wallet limit of $150,000, similar to other mobile money products on the market.

JIS mourns passing of former executive

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jis-winifred-risden-hunter-jan-27.jpgThe Jamaica Information Service (JIS) has expressed regret at the passing of its former Executive Director, Winnifred Risden-Hunter.

Risden-Hunter, affectionately called "Winnie" served the organisation from 1984-1989. She died on January 24 after a brief illness. She was 86 years old.

The former JIS Executive Director had a long and distinguished career in communications serving as Director at the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation; Member of the Editorial Advisory Committee, Jamaica Observer; and at Breakfast Club, KLAS Radio.

She was also Director of Public Relations, Jamaica Tourist Board from 1973 to 77.

Risden-Hunter served as Press Secretary to former Prime Minister Edward Seaga from 1982-84.

In recognition for her service, she was awarded the Commander of the Order of Distinction in 1988.

Risden-Hunter leaves behind nephew Peter Risden; niece Suzanne Risden Foster; grand nieces and nephews Luke, Rachel, Victoria, Ethan, Katherine; and friends.

CAPTION: Late former Executive Director of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Winnifred Risden-Hunter.

hands-behind-bars.jpgAn inmate who has been linked to a scam which was being operated from one of the island's correctional facilities has pleaded guilty to six counts of Attempting to Obtain Money by Means of False Pretences.

Andrew Lee Pryce, who was charged with breaches of the Larceny Act, appeared before St. Andrew Parish Court on Tuesday.

He was serving a sentence for similar offences.

On January 5, Pryce was charged with breaches of the Forgery Act.

The charges resulted from an investigation which led to the arrest and charge of correctional officer Toraine Tulloch last month.

It is reported that Mr. Tulloch, who allegedly conspired with Pryce, posed as a policeman and entertainment producer and fleeced several persons of large sums of money.

Pryce is to return to court on Monday in relation to other charges connected to the scam.

Babsy Grange 'sad' at Lindy Delapenha's passing

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babsy-grange-minister.jpgMinister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, has expressed deep sadness with the passing of the late Lloyd Lindbergh 'Lindy' Delapenha.

Delapenha, 89, died peacefully this morning at the Kingston home of his daughter, Marie Claire.

He had suffered a number of strokes recently and lost his speech two weeks ago.

5 in custody after police operation in St Thomas

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hands-behind-bars.jpgFive persons were taken into police custody during a special operation in St. Thomas on Wednesday night into early Thursday morning.

Two were arrested in connection with a firearm and ammunition at a house in Danvers Pen. This is the second firearm recovered in St. Thomas in less than 24 hours.

Three other men, arrested in nearby communities, will be questioned in connection with other crimes committed in the parish.

Michael Lee Chin Head of the Economic Growth Council (EGC) will host top Israeli businessmen in March as he seeks to woo substantial investments from that country to Jamaica.

Lee Chin accompanied Prime Minister Andrew Holness to Israel two weeks ago on what he described as a trade mission. The EGC head urged with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to set up a meeting with the principals of the leading companies in the Middle East country.

"I said, 'Please, Prime Minister, can you help us do that - organise the 50 top companies in Israel and I'll come back in the next two months and speak to them and tell them why they should come and invest in Jamaica'?" Lee Chin told stakeholders in the education sector yesterday at Jamaica House in St Andrew.

The EGC chairman discussed with senior technocrats and the leadership of tertiary institutions the role of the education and training sectors in achieving the national goal of five per cent gross domestic product growth in four years.

"The ambition is to sell Jamaica to the most eminent Israeli companies so that they can invest in Jamaica. That was my mission," said Lee Chin, who told the gathering that he was shocked at questions being raised in the press about the trip to Israel.

"I am thinking that if we need growth, we need to go everywhere in the world that can give us growth, and if Israel can give us growth, I don't care, I am going there."

soldier-found-lance-corporal.jpgA member of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) has been placed under military detention as investigators intensify their probe into last night's murder of a soldier.

JDF Civil Military Cooperation and Media Affairs Officer Major Basil Jarrett said the soldier is under detention at the army's Up Park Camp headquarters.

However, he declined to give further details.

Meanwhile, the Clarendon police are still questioning a woman in connection with last night's murder of 31-year-old Lance Corporal Michael Fraser in the community of Rock River in the parish.

The investigators say the woman is the wife of another soldier and was found at the home of Lance Corporal Fraser.

Investigators say it appears that the soldier, who was shot in the head, may have been attacked by two men.

The police are currently investigating the authenticity of an audio recording purportedly of a teenager from the Waterhouse area being tortured by an adult male and his cronies.

The disturbing voice note along with what is purportedly a picture of the missing female - who has dark skin and is said to be from the Waterhouse area - has been circulating online.

The Hunts Bay Police said they have heard the voice note and are probing its authenticity. They are calling on anyone with additional information to share it with the authorities.

In the 40 second voice clip, a female is heard begging and pleading for her life while an attacker is heard in the background barking instructions to her and warning that, if she fails to comply, he will harm her.

"Please sir, do no kill me please," the distraught female can be heard saying.

As the teen pleas and begs for mercy, the voices of other males can be heard in the background of what sounds like a car.

"Hey don't try run... if you do that I going @#$..," a man is heard shouting.

crime-scene-gun.jpgThe body of a young male found in the vicinity of National Heroes Circle Thursday morning has been identified as that of Grade 8 student, Roshane Smith from the Denham Town High School.

The hands of the 13-year-old were bound and the face covered with a shirt. There were also what appeared to be gunshot wounds to the head, a release from the Education Ministry said.

School administrators report that Roshane was last seen in school on January 19.

Education Minister Senator Ruel Reid has expressed sadness at the loss of another young life and extended condolences to Roshane's immediate family and members of the school community, especially to his classmates.

Killer caught on CCTV still not identified

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The St Ann police have not yet been able to ascertain the identity of a man, who was captured on CCTV camera shooting Runaway Bay businessman Alfred Whorms.

Whorms, 66, was shot dead at his business place on Wednesday, January 18. The video, which is circulating on social media, shows the man dressed in a safety hat and vest entering the business establishment.

The man proceeded to search for something before shooting the distracted Whorms, who was seen reading a newspaper shortly before.

Superintendent Gary Francis, head of the St Ann police, said he was aware of the video being circulated but did not know who released the video to the public. He said the police have not yet identified the man in the video.

team-jamaica.jpgUsain Bolt's famed triple-triple--three gold medals in three Olympic Games--has vanished, following teammate Nesta Carter being found guilty of doping in the 4×100 relay in the Beijing Olympics

The International Olympic Committee re-tested a sample of Nesta Carter from the Beijing Games and found the presence of the prohibited substance methylhexaneamine. As a result, Carter was disqualified, and took his entire team's performance down with him.

"The Jamaica Olympic Association shall notably secure the return to the IOC, as soon as possible, of the medals, the medallist pins and the diplomas awarded in connection with the men's 4x100m relay event to the athlete and his teammates," the IOC said in rendering its decision.

Methylhexaneamine, a stimulant, is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, and numerous athletes in various sports have been disqualified for its use. Initially marketed as a nasal decongestant, it was removed from shelves in 1983.

Caricel's injunction bid rejected by Supreme Court

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caricel-logo.jpgThe Supreme Court has rejected the application for an injunction and judicial review to block the revocation or suspension of the telecommunications licence issued to Symbiote Investments.

The Supreme Court handed down its decision a short while ago.

Symbiote, which trades as Caricel, was trying to prevent the Government of Jamaica from yanking its licence which was issued last year.

The licence was granted despite disapproval from the Contractor General.

The licence had also come under additional scrutiny from the US Embassy, which in turn, revoked the visas of some Caricel officials.

Second murder in August Town; man stabbed to death

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crime-scene-knife.jpgThere has been another murder in August Town, St. Andrew.

A man is dead following a dispute on Tuesday morning on Gold Smith Villa Road.

It is reported that around 7:00 a.m., the man was engaged in an argument. During the dispute, a knife was used to stab him.

The man was taken to hospital where he died while undergoing treatment.

A suspect is in police custody.

This is the second killing in the community after it recorded zero murders in 2016.

hands-behind-bars.jpgTwo brothers were on Monday charged by investigators assigned to the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), Spanish Town Office on allegation of sexual assault and threatening a witness.

Charged with grievous sexual assault is 38-year-old security guard Inglesias Williams, while his brother, 36-year-old Joel Williams, otherwise called Roger, was charged with threatening a crown witness.

Both are of a Job Lane address in Spanish Town, St Catherine.

Inglesias was charged following investigations that he allegedly sexually assaulted a five-year-old girl last year.

moravian-president-paul-gardner.jpgMoravian clergymen Dr. Paul Gardener, 54, of Burbank Avenue, Kingston 19, and 36-year-old Gibson of Lyndale Close, Kingston 20, were on Monday arrested by the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offence and Child Abuse (CISOCA) and charged with carnal abuse and indecent assault.

According to a report from the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Corporate Communications Unit, in 2002 Gibson allegedly engaged in a sexual relationship with the girl while he was a minister in the church.

It was further reported that two years later Gardener, who was also a minister at the time, also had a sexual relationship with the said girl.

The complainant recently went to the police with a report in the wake of allegations against a St Elizabeth Moravian pastor, Rev Rupert Clarke, who the police said they found in "a compromising position" with a 15-year-old girl.

Yesterday, Johnson said that his clients have instructed him to file a suit against the complainant and he would be pursuing the matter later on.

Readers have commented on the threats by the lawyer and use of "intimidatory tactics", presumably to drive fear into the alleged victim.

Here are some of the comments:

"Threatening lawsuits already! Wow! Accusing the accuser of all kinds of dirty tricks before the case is even mentioned...interesting!

"Eeediat law suit this, .How can you claim malicious arrest agains the complainant and not the police ?.Who you trying to intimidate ?You both was sharing this youngster? I wont even say God help you. He shouldn't. Hope the victim overcome this and have a healthy and productive life,"

"Traumatic experience are filed in the brain of a child??, and can be recalled.

The counter-suit is silent intimidation of the accuser.. We could have others, who might find the strength and courage, to speak up, if they too had similar experiences.

What was secretly done years ago, is openly done today. Big men and 'schoolas': no shame or fear..

For the under 16 to tell of their experiences to a parent or anotger adult, would reap disbelief and chastisement. How dare they point a finger at these' honorable men or women'?.

Let the court deal with it; and the chips should fall where they may. I would like to remind us all, that the Almighty God does not slumber ir sleep. When he says ";be sure your sins will find you out"-, he means it."

moravian-president-paul-gardner.jpgFormer president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, Dr Paul Gardner and the former deputy Jermaine Gibson now join their co-worker Rupert Clarke,on sex charges.Clarke, 64, another Moravian minister, is currently before the courts for alleged sexual misconduct.

He has been charged with having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

The two newest members of the clergy were slapped with charges following investigations by detectives from the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).

Earlier media reports had stated that Moravian Women Allegedly Abused By Pastors Beginning To Speak Out.

Dr Gardner quit as earlier this month amid allegations of sexual misconduct within the organisation. Gibson, who was his deputy, also resigned.


x6-trial-powell.jpgBusinessman Patrick Powell, who was freed of murder of Kingston College schoolboy, Khajeel Mais, is still before the court for a gun case.

A new trial date is expected to be scheduled on February 16, when the main actor in what was the high profile X6 Murder Trial returns to the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court in relation to the charge of failing to turn over his licensed firearm.

Powell is accused of failing to turn over his firearm to police investigators probing the shooting death of Kingston College student Khajeel Mais in 2011.

The case was on Monday rescheduled for mention in February, as a result of an outstanding Supreme Court transcript of evidence given by the investigating officer and a member of the Firearms Licensing Authority during the so-called X6 murder trial in the Home Circuit Court.

The transcript was requested by Powell's attorney, Deborah Martin, who said in court yesterday that her client would like to bring closure to the matter.

Teens shot, man murdered in Norwood, St James

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA man was shot and killed and two male teens shot and injured during an attack in the inner city Norwood community in St James, on Monday night.

The deceased has been identified as 24-year-old labourer Kemoy McLennon, also called Loco of Irie Lane, Norwood, St James.

Reports are that sometime after 7pm, McLennon and the two teens were at his home which was invaded by gunmen, who opened fire on the occupants of the house.

The three were shot and taken to hospital where McLennon was pronounced dead.

No motive has been established for the attack.

crime-scene-tape.jpgA second form student of the Mona High School died yesterday after collapsing in Half-Way Tree.

Dead is Darnell Foster, who the Ministry of Education say was rushed to hospital "where he regrettably died."

Minister of Education Ruel Reid, who is currently in the United Kingdom participating in an Education Forum, has expressed condolences to the family, and will visit the school on Thursday morning on his return to the island.

The Education Ministry said that its Trauma Response team has been dispatched to the school where grief counselling is being offered to staff and students.

pentecostal-pastor-paul-hanniford.jpgA man of the frock in the Pentecostal church, Pastor Paul Hanniford has been convicted in the Home Circuit Court for having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.The incident took place two years ago.He's to be sentenced on February 24.

Newspaper reports say that Tuesday's in-camera trial featured testimonies from the victim who is now 15 years old, and her then five-year-old brother who witnessed the incident at the pastor's home. Kingston

Prosecutor Natallie Malcolm led evidence that fifty-five-year-old Hanniford, the pastor of a Pentecostal church, took the two children to his house under the pretence that they were going for a "drive out". According to the prosecution, the pastor gave the five-year-old boy cornflakes and put him around a dining table.

The 13-year-old girl indicated to the pastor that she wanted to use the bathroom and Hanniford accompanied her. He later removed her from the bathroom, took her to a bedroom and assaulted her.

Prosecutors led evidence that the five-year-old boy on hearing his sister crying, rushed to the room and saw the pastor assaulting his sister. Hanniford later returned the children to their mother at his church.

Prosecutors said on reuniting with his mother, the boy made several attempts to tell her about the attack in the presence of the pastor but was shut down by the minister. On the boy's fourth attempt, however, he blurted out an account of what happened.

The following day, the mother repeated what she had heard to the church elders.

Dissatisfied with their response, she took the matter to the police and Hanniford was later arrested and charged.

scam-alert.jpgA 27-year-old businessman has been extradited to the United States of America on lottery scam charges.

He is Lavrick Willocks, otherwise known as "Lav", of Tortuga Drive in Greenwood in St James. He was extradited on Thursday to face charges of Attempt and Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, Wire Fraud, Mail Fraud and Money Laundering Conspiracy.

It is alleged that Willocks is one of the masterminds behind a syndicate which defrauded several US citizens of more than US$5 million. A warrant was subsequently issued for his arrest and extradition.

Willocks was arrested while at a hotel in Kingston on November 16 last year. He was brought before the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court, where he waived his rights to an Extradition Hearing and was ordered extradited.

He was picked up at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre on Thursday and flown to the United States where he was handed over to US marshals.

Revenge? St Ann businessman shot and killed

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThere is speculation that revenge could be the motive following the shooting death of businessman Alfred Whorms, on Wednesday morning in St. Ann.

Mr. Whorms, 66, had just opened his hardware store in Runaway Bay, when he was accosted by gunmen and shot in the face.

His body was discovered by an employee.

Mr. Whorms had been involved in a court battle following the shooting of a farmer in Alexandria in April 2011.

He shot and killed 42-year-old Alton Thompson during an altercation at his Grants Mountain property.

The shooting sparked two days of riots, during which police and fire units were damaged.

road-accident.jpgA 71-year-old man died after the vehicle he was driving plunged off the Flat Bridge into the Rio Cobre in Bog Walk Gorge, St Catherine early Sunday

Police have revealed his identified as Jeffrey Anglin, of Willowdene in St. Catherine.

Deputy Superintendent of the Jamaica Fire Brigade in St Catherine, James Lee, says his team was alerted about the incident around 8 o'clock.

"On arrival, the fire brigade did not see anything as the car was completely submerged. The police summoned a wrecker - the car was removed and they saw a body in the car. The body was removed and taken to the Spanish Town Hospital by the police," Lee said.

He took the opportunity to again warn motorists to be careful when using the Flat Bridge. The Bog Walk Gorge was closed to facilitate the removal of the vehicle,

court-case.jpgA taxi driver who diverted from his regular route to a secluded area with one of his passengers, whom he allegedly sexually assaulted, has been convicted of the offence.

The 29-year-old driver of Old Harbour, St Catherine, was found guilty of both rape and abduction in the St Catherine Circuit Court on Thursday.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 27.

He admitted to having had sex with the complainant, who was age 17 at the time of the incident, claiming that the act was with consent.

Police name Mo Bay's 10 Most Wanted

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wanted-man-2017-photo-1.jpgReputed leader of the Ratty Gang, Ryan Peterkin, who also goes by the moniker 'Ratty', is one of the most wanted men on the list of the 10 most wanted recently released by the St James Police Division.


According to head of the St James Police Division Senior Superintendent Marlon Nesbeth, Peterkin and his Ratty Gang are responsible for "several spates of shootings and murders in the Cambridge police area".


SSP Nesbeth recounted that on December 30 last year, during a confrontation with the police, two members of the notorious gang were shot and killed.


"We were confronted by members of that gang who fired at the police and based on our training, we were able to manoeuvre tactically, to the extent that two of these members were shot and killed."


In addition to Peterkin, SSP Nesbeth also pointed to Shaneil Luthan, who is convicted for murder, but who escaped custody two years ago; as well as Arnold Gayle, also called 'Guy', who is also wanted for murder.


Others rounding off the St James police 10 most wanted list are: Jevaughn Campbell, also called 'Cooking Oil' of Mt Salem; Marcus Robinson, alias 'Rasta'; Adrian Robinson; Kevin Hemmings, also called 'Skelly', Alex Madourie, otherwise called 'Popcorn' or 'Pop'; Delano Wilmot, commonly called 'Lano' of Mother Lane, Cambridge; and Stephano Johnson otherwise called 'Sarge'.


Cops shot during tussle with detainee

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crime-scene-7.jpgTwo police constables were Wednesday night rushed to hospital after they were shot while taking a detainee into custody at the Coral Gardens Police Station.

The Corporate Communications Unit says the detainee attempted to disarm one of the cops who lost his balance in the attempt.

That's when the cop's weapon reportedly went off firing one round injuring him and another constable.

The constables were taken to hospital for treatment.

crime-scene-gun.jpgTwo children were among three people who were last night shot dead during a series of attacks in Williamsfield, Hanover.

One-year-old Daquan Davidson and five-year-old Kimani Johnson were killed about 10.50 p.m. when gunmen opened fire on their house.

Their mother and two teenagers were injured.

The police say about five minutes earlier, the same gunmen kicked off the door to the nearby house of 34-year-old Hopeton Lee and fired several shots killing him.

However, Lee's girlfriend and children who were also at home were not harmed.

hampton-heather-murray-principal.jpgCEO of the Hampton School Board, Trevor Blake, says that.principal of Hampton School, Heather Murray, will not be sent on leave, as was announced last week by Education Minister, Ruel REid.

The CEO, In a letter to Reid -- and copied to the media --- said the Board had concluded that Murray's actions "did not amount to evidence of professional misconduct in her capacity as a teacher".

Blake further stated that the school is approaching a period of examinations and the withdrawal of Murray would have 'deleterious' effects on those taking exams, and the whole student body.

Last Wednesday, Reid told the media in a release that Murray had been sent on leave. According to him, the decision was taken at a meeting with senior ministry officers, Murray, members of the Hampton School Board, and the Munro and Dickerson Trust at the ministry's head office at National Heroes' Circle.

Kingston, Jamaica: The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus and the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) have announced a unique arrangement, where PSOJ member companies will be able to benefit from evidence-based research from the Mona Campus when focusing on areas that contribute to the growth agenda. The university will also be paying more attention to those research areas guided by the Economic Growth Council's eight identified areas of growth.

The plans were announced as part of the launch of the 18th staging of the UWI Mona's Research Days at the Exhibition Seminar Room, Faculty of Medical Sciences Teaching & Research Complex on Tuesday, January 10.

The 2017 Research Days will present a range of research projects across the Mona Campus' various faculties departments and institutes, showcasing the immense scope of its efforts to add to the region's existing body of knowledge. It also will highlight the relevance of Mona's research to the lives of everyday Jamaicans.

Professor Archibald McDonald, Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal, UWI Mona, said his organization's contribution is to the benefit all communities.

"Research and innovation are only worthwhile if they have direct beneficial and positive impact on the welfare and livelihoods of the community we serve," said Prof McDonald in his welcome.

PSOJ president Paul B. Scott revealed that the two entities have brokered an agreement to offer more scholarships to fund research.


Prof. Archibald McDonald (second right), Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UWI Mona Campus discusses future plans for the UWI/Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) partnership with (from left) Dennis Chung, PSOJ CEO; Former Governor General of Jamaica, Professor Sir Kenneth Hall; Prof. Denise Eldemire-Shearer, Chairman of the Research Days Steering Committee and Paul B Scott, President of the PSOJ at the UWI Research Days 2017 launch held on Tuesday, January 10 at the Exhibition Seminar Room at the Faculty of Medical Sciences Teaching and Research Complex, UWI Mona Campus.

"In our small island nation we must realize that we cannot develop businesses without research. We the private sector must drive innovation," said Mr. Scott.

He went on to say that the private sector must engage partnerships relevant to their own goals.

"We must support research and development, done efficiently and scientific as it is at the UWI... You have our support and confidence," Scott declared.

UWI Research Days 2017 will give insight on over 70 areas of research across the University's programmes under the theme, "Driving Development through Research and Innovation". The research on display will include work from Humanities and Education, Medical Sciences, Faculty of Law, Institute for Gender and Development Studies, Mona Social Sciences, Mona Geoinfomatix Limited, The Centre for Disability Studies, The Disaster Risk Prevention Centre, Caribbean Child Development Centre and The Consortium for Social Development And Research.

"Partnerships such as these show the importance of UWI Research Days, which is relevant to this country," said Professor Denise Eldemire-Shearer, UWI Mona Research Days Steering Committee Chairperson. "UWI facilitated and executed research is necessary, because since we are a local institution, we have an understanding of the local situation -- culturally, economically, politically, and socially."

Professor Eldemire-Shearer went on to outline a few of UWI's contributions to national policies.

"Firstly, the PATH (Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education) was influenced by the early research of Patricia Anderson and Michael Witter in 1991. Our environmental law has been fashioned by the research done by Professor Mona Webber and company over in the Marine Sciences; and currently, the climate change policies are being influenced by the work of Professor Michael Taylor and his group. UWI research has shaped Jamaican national policies from 20 years ago through to now," she expounded.

Attendees at UWI Research Days 2017 on the Mona Campus will also be able to view interactive displays over three days from February 1 - 3, 2017.

- END -

About The UWI: Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI's seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. For more information, visit (Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the "The", hence The UWI.)

For further information, please contact: Carlette DeLeon at 876-383-9768 or e-mail at

Teen shot dead in Hanover

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe Hanover police are now probing the murder of a teenager who was shot multiple times in his community, Sunday night.

The deceased has been identified as 18-year-old Royan Gowan of Claremont, Hanover.

Reports are that about 10 pm, residents of Claremont heard several loud explosions and alerted the police, who upon their arrival, saw Gowan suffering from what appeared to be gunshot wounds to his head and other parts of his body. He was rushed to the Noel Holmes Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

No motive have so far been established for the killing.

burchell-taylor-bethel-baptist.jpgPastor of the Bethel Baptist Church in St. Andrew, Reverend Dr. Burchell Taylor, will be the new speaker at the 2017 National Leadership Prayer Breakfast this Thursday.

This was confirmed by Reverend Dr Stevenson Samuels, Chairman of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast Committee.

Dr. Taylor replaces Moravian minister Bishop Stanley Clarke, who withdrew as speaker last week amid a sex scandal currently involving the Moravian Church in Jamaica.

The president and vice president of the Moravian Church have also vacated their positions following the case now before the court involving a senior pastor and a minor.

Father, daughter killed after tree falls on house

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father-and-daughter-killed-tree-falls-on-house.jpgA father and daughter died on Tay Street in the community of Buckfield, St. Ann early Monday morning after a tree fell on their house.

Shaun Shaw, otherwise called Randy, and his 13-year-old daughter, Sandy Shaw were killed while they slept.

Mr. Shaw's 11-year-old son was also injured.

Residents say they heard a rushing sound as well as screaming coming from the house about 2:15 a.m. They investigated and found Mr. Shaw and his daughter dead in the house, while his son was rescued and taken to hospital.

moravian-sex-pastor-rupert-clarke.jpgThree senior members of the local Church community were scheduled to be questioned by investigators from the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) on Monday, following allegations of sexual misconduct being made about them.

This was disclosed by Superintendent Enid Ross Stewart, head of CISOCA. She declined to reveal details of the investigations, but commented that the men are high ranking members of the Church.

The investigation comes on the heels of the recent arrest and charge of Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke. Reverend Clarke is accused of having sex with a 15 year old girl.

The clergyman, who is under investigation regarding other allegations, is scheduled to return to court on February 13.

Hampton principal Heather Murray says sorry

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hampton-heather-murray-principal.jpgPrincipal of the Hampton School Heather Murray has issued an apology for her action at the bail hearing of Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke a week ago.

Clarke is before the St Elizabeth Parish Court on a charge of having sex with someone under the age of 16 years.

According to Murray, she was so immersed in the emotional trauma of the hurt and embarrassment which the wife of the accused was experiencing, that she failed to realise that her presence in the precincts of the Court could possibly be misconstrued as taking the side of her husband rather than the victim.See full text of apology below:

The past few days have been among the most difficult periods of my life.

I attended the in camera arraignment of Rupert Clarke at the special request of Mrs Yvonne Clarke, my sister and friend, who relied on me for total support during a period of intense physical and emotional distress.

This state of personal turmoil rendered her incapable of being present at the Black River Courthouse while the Resident Magistrate was considering an application for bail.

On a personal level, I had become so immersed in the emotional trauma of the hurt and embarrassment which the wife of the accused was experiencing, that I failed to realise that my presence in the precincts of the Court could possibly be misconstrued as taking the side of her husband rather than the victim. In my sisterly embrace and response of loyalty to her, I failed to take into account that my being there could expose my office or the institution I head to any hint of controversy or cloud of misunderstanding.

At the start of the new school term yesterday (Monday) morning, I apologised to my ladies who greeted me with love and understanding. Now that I have also apologised to the Munro and Dickenson Trust, as well as the Hampton School Board, I hereby offer a fulsome apology to the education community and Jamaica for my presence and actions in Black River which have been misinterpreted as support for the individual accused of rape and molestation of a fifteen year old girl.

The very thought that this might have been conveyed, grieves me deeply. It would contradict everything I have stood for over my lifetime as a teacher, Principal, mother, wife and woman. In this regard, my record of protecting all those under my care can withstand the most exacting scrutiny. There are countless teachers, pupils, parents and workers in the field who can all attest to my resolute and consistent stand against any form of sexual abuse or exploitation.

I also accept that it was imprudent and inappropriate for me to take any steps in the precincts of the Courthouse, irrespective of the legal stipulations, which could interfere with the rights of the free press or impede the work of media practitioners in the pursuit of duty.

Finally, I pledge that I will continue to faithfully serve and protect the children under my care as I have always done throughout my forty years of service to the education system of Jamaica.

Heather Murray (Mrs.)

January 10, 2017

hampton-heather-murray-principal.jpgHeather Murray, principal of the all-girls, St Elizabeth-based institution, Hampton School, has been sent on two weeks leave.

According to the Education Ministry, Mrs Murray is also expected to go for professional counselling services given what was described as her recent emotional stress.

At the same time, the school board has been given until January 30 to submit a full report to the Education Ministry on Murray's action outside the St Elizabeth Parish Court last week Wednesday, January 4.

Television footage showed Murray attempting to block the media from taking images of Rupert Clarke, the 64-year-old pastor of the Nazareth Moravian Church charged with having sex with a minor.

moravian-church.jpgmoravian-president-paul-gardner.jpgOn Thursday, President of the Moravian Church in Jamaica Dr. Paul Gardner and Vice-President Jermaine Gibson resigned from their positions.

Thursday's resignations in the Moravian Church came days after Dr. Thompson produced e-mails contradicting claims by the church leadership that it had no previous knowledge of allegations of misconduct against Reverend Clarke.

The turmoil inside the church has been rapid since the arrest of Reverend Rupert Clarke on sexual offence charges.

An independent committee is said to be probing allegations against them. Dr. Thompson argues that the time has come for an overhaul of procedures within the Moravian Church.

As the Church reels from another round of conflict within its ranks, it is being asked to take a different approach to its problems.

Former Moravian Minister Dr. Canute Thompson, has called for the denomination to begin the process this weekend.

The e-mails between Dr. Canute Thompson and Dr. Gardner date back to 2014.

PM Holness in Israel

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andrew-holness-photo-4.jpgPrime Minister Andrew Holness has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make an official visit to Jamaica, following a meeting yesterday in Jerusalem.

The two men discussed possibilities for cooperation in water, agriculture and domestic security.

"Jamaica, like Israel, is a strong democracy, and we have long admired the advances that Israel has made in technology, particularly in cyber security and in agriculture, and in other areas. The potential for cooperation between our two countries is great and Jamaica is very interested in exploring those areas of cooperation," a Jamaica House release quoted Holness.

"The Jamaican people and the Caribbean region is a zone of peace, and we wish peace for all the peoples of the world. And we do extend our sympathies to the people of Israel for the very unfortunate attack on your soldiers recently.

moravian-bishop-stanley-clarke-jan-13.jpgReports are that Bishop of the Moravian Church, Stanley Clark has withdrawn as speaker for this year's National Leadership Prayer Breakfast.

Chairman of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast Committee, Rev Dr Stevenson Samuels, has confirmed that Bishop Stanley Clark, former President of the Moravian Church in Jamaica, advised the Breakfast Committee that the current controversy engulfing his denomination could overshadow the message he would wish to deliver to the nation at the breakfast.

He condemns the alleged actions of his colleague minister and regrets the harm inflicted on the victim, her family, the church and the nation. The Committee will announce his replacement on Monday, January 16.

The National Leadership Prayer breakfast will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Thursday, January 19, 2017, under the theme: God Empowered Intervention for Transformation.

crime-scene-gun.jpgA security officer, who is also reported to have been a businessman, was attacked and shot dead on Thursday night while playing dominoes on Sydenham Avenue in Spanish Town, St Catherine.

His licensed Sig Sauer 9mm pistol was taken by the lone gunman who sprung the attack, the police reported.

Dead is 55-year-old Trevor Cole of Horizon Park in Spanish Town.

Police reports indicated that Cole was among a group of people playing dominoes at a shop at about 9:30 p.m., when the gunman approached and opened fire, hitting Cole several times.

Cole was pronounced dead at hospital.

No one else was injured in the attack.

moravian-minister-sex-charge-ruperrt-clarke.jpg"Shockwaves" is the term being used to describe the possible arrest and charge of two prominent churchmen.. It is reported that they are likely to be charged next week as investigators are finalising statements.

The Jamaican church leaders are under investigation by CISOCA as well as the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB).

According to a senior investigator, the police have collected several statements from persons alleging that they were sexually abused.

The investigator said that the two individuals are "major" figures in the church community in Jamaica and their arrests will create more shockwaves.

The news comes a little more than a week after Moravian Pastor Rupert Clarke was charged for having sex with a minor in St. Elizabeth.

He is facing more trouble as investigators have collected additional statements against him. They say more charges are pending when he returns to court on February 13.vv

obama-cry-farewell-speech.jpg"For all our outward differences, we are all in this together," he said, warning that naked partisanship, racism, and inequality all threaten democracy. "We rise or fall as one."

"All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into the task of rebuilding our democratic institutions."

The incoming Republican president has smashed convention, vowed to efface Obama's legacy and hurled personal insults left and right, while in a virtually unprecedented move US intelligence has accused the Kremlin of seeking to tip the election in Trump's favor.

Democrats, cast into the political wilderness with the loss of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives plus a majority of statehouses, are struggling to regroup.

Obama painted the task ahead as a generational challenge.

- Emotional finale -

"A faith in reason and enterprise and the primacy of right over might," he said, had allowed the United States to "resist the lure of fascism and tyranny during the Great Depression, and build a post-World War II order with other democracies."

"That order is now being challenged," said Obama in comments that resonate as Americans ponder whether Russia helped to put Trump in the White House.

"First by violent fanatics who claim to speak for Islam; more recently by autocrats in foreign capitals who see free markets, open democracies, and civil society itself as a threat to their power."

"The peril each poses to our democracy is more far-reaching than a car bomb or a missile."

Obama's last trip on Air Force One was a pilgrimage to Chicago, where he addressed a sell-out crowd of some 18,000 not far from where he delivered his victory speech eight years ago.

Diehard fans -- many African Americans -- braved Chicago's frigid winter to collect free tickets, which were selling for upwards of $1,000 a piece on Craigslist.

They were joined by First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill -- who the president described as "family" in an emotional finale to his speech.


Wiping a tear from his eye, Obama paid a poignant tribute to his own family, his daughter Malia who was present and Sasha who stayed in Washington because of an exam, and the first lady who he addressed as his best friend.

"You took on a role you didn't ask for and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humor," he said. "A new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model. You've made me proud. You've made the country proud."

Obama also acknowledged that his historic presidency was not a panacea for the country's racist past.

"After my election, there was talk of a post-racial America," he said. "Such a vision, however well-intended, was never realistic. Race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society."

- Life after White House -

With an approval rating hovering around 55 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll, Obama still carries considerable political weight.

Some 51 percent of Americans polled believe that Trump is doing a bad job as president-elect.

Trump's unorthodox politics have thrown the 55-year-old Obama's transition and post-presidency plans into flux.

Having vowed a smooth handover of power, Obama has found himself being increasingly critical of Trump as he prepares to leave office on January 20.

After that there will still be a holiday and an autobiography, but Obama could find himself dragged backed into the political fray if Trump were to enact a Muslim registry or deport adults brought to the United States years ago by their parents.

Police in St Elizabeth have confirmed reports of intimidation against the family of the 15 year-old girls who was allegedly sexually molested by Moravian Pastor, Rupert Clarke.

However, they say that they are still investigating, although no statements have been given.

Police charged the 64-year-old clergyman after they said a patrol then found him with the girl in a "compromising position" in his parked motor vehicle near Nain, St Elizabeth, on the night of December 28.

Clarke, who was granted $800,000 bail on January 4, is to return to court on February 13.

Since news broke about the incident, there have been raging debates on social media, which have been aggravated by the action of Hampton School Principal Heather Murray, who attempted to blocked television cameras at Clarke's bail hearing.

In the face of condemnation for her attendance in court, Murray issued a statement explaining that she had gone to give support to her friend, who is the pastor's wife, but the calls for her resignation as chief administrator at the all girls school have not ceased.

ganja-seized.jpgTwo men were taken into custody by the police during an operation in St Catherine in which 550 pounds of compressed ganja with an estimated value of $1.5 million was seized.

The police say the men's identities are being withheld pending further investigations.

The police say about 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon a team was conducting an anti-narcotics operation on West Avenue in Sydenham, St Catherine, when the ganja was discovered in a storeroom at an establishment.

The police theorise that the ganja was prepared for export.

Meanwhile, the police are reporting that a St James woman was arrested yesterday at the Norman Manley International Airport for breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

The police say the woman was intercepted by detectives as she attempted to board a flight for Montserrat.

The police say her suitcase was searched and nine-pounds of compressed ganja were found.

She was subsequently taken into custody.

Six people, including two women, believed to be a part of a lottery scam syndicate operating out of Westmoreland and St James, were last week arrested and charged under the Law Reform Act.


Police report that they have charged Christiana Curtis, 22, customer service agent of 34 Coral Gable, Independence City in Portmore, St Catherine; Landique Woodbourne, 25, of Cambridge, St James; Fabian Ramsey, 27; Viviene Duncan, 39; and Gideon Wright, 22, all of Lambs River in Westmoreland; and Danny Williams, 31 of Darliston district in the same parish.


The accused, said to be members of an organisation which has affiliates islandwide, were subsequently released on station bail and are scheduled to appear in the St James Parish Court on February 1.


Police said they were arrested during a series of operations carried out by the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) between January 3 and 9 in Westmoreland, St Catherine, and St James, following allegations that they defrauded a 56-year-old, retired United States citizen of over $3 million.

The care and protection case for the 15-year-old St Elizabeth girl involved in the rape and carnal abuse case against Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke is to go before the St Elizabeth Parish Court on Thursday.

The teenager and another sibling from the same home are now in State care. Reports are that the teenage girl is one of 10 children from a poor family in the extremely rural community; her mother reportedly moved to St Elizabeth after the death of the children's father.

Sources say the family now lives in an abandoned building in an area off the beaten path without plumbing and electricity.

It has been noted that this is the kind of condition which enables lustful men and sexual predators to prey on young victims under the guise of being their saviour.

moravian-sex-pastor-rupert-clarke.jpgThe sense of outrage over the actions of Moravian Pastor Rupert Clarke

Here are some of the comments:

"I wish that women from all denominations, who were abused by pastors and other men of the cloth would step out and speak out. Too many of them have got away with it. These wolves in sheep clothing should be exposed. Young people's lives have been scarred while these scoundrels live lofty lives and don't care one damn."

"This is a big problem in society, and the church is no different. Many of the.leaders think it is okay to be an untouchable, because they wear a collar, or have a religious title, whilst the sins of the rest of us becomes an issue. God said it in His word, Numbers 32: 23; "Be sure your sins will find you out".

We are a bunch of 'churchgoers' who believe in the creature (pastors, bishops, etc) and not the Creator. But for His Grace and Mercy, we would all be outcasts. Too many of these leaders set rules but do NOT abide by the guidelines of the Word. Noise and emotions only, to scare people into believing, but not surrendering the old nature. This man and many others in the church, are predators, practicing; wolves in sheep's clothing.

"Can a leopard change its spots? No, but hearts can be transformed. From the abundance of the heart, flows the issues of life. This behaviour did not creep upon the pastor Clarke, if true, this is his secret practice, away from the pulpit.

If what is being said by Dr Thompson about the handling of a report on pastor Clarke's previous behaviour, by Dr Gardener, then this might be a tip of the iceberg. How many more of this kind of behaviour, is known. "Did congregants condone, look the other way, deny or gossip?

Too many spots, too many wrinkles, too much religious practices and NO relationship with Christ. We worship with our lips but our hearts are so far from God. Hearts of DARKNESS. May God be Merciful and heal those taken advantage of; the very vulnerable and young children."

"It is sad to admit but there's really double standard in the churches today. I have discovered this painful fact. There are two set of rules. Some do and will get away with it and judgement on some for the said offence. I pray we will all do as the Bible states that there should be no biases. God is NOT bias."

"My mother used to say, every day bucket go a well one day de bottom left right there. I guess that the church conducts a system of see,hear and speak no evil. They point to others and fail to see that four fingers are pointing right back at them. Now with this revelation what can the head of the church say in their defense - protecting the pastor and the church image I guess. Those who rant, rave, stomp and shout are the same ones doing exactly what they are telling people not to do - Jimmy Swaggart is a good example."

"The "Church" is merely used as another social climbing organization. This sexual assault of a minor by any geriatric minister may not have happened without his access to tax exempt church funds and whatever hopes and dreams his vehicular motel fueled in this youngster's head. This morally depleted social climber needs to be allowed to fall freely to earth. The Organization which has allowed anyone to abuse privileges needs to have their comeuppance. The Ten Commandments is an easily understood document which church leaders may be able to find in the Bible."

"This church leader knew that this Pastor was a sexual predator years ago.They knew what he was involved in hence the reason for his transfer.It does not matter if this Mr Thompson is an ex minister.His story holds facts.Mr Gardener needs to explain what he knows and when he heard."

Authorities on Tuesday removed 1.4 kilograms of cocaine -- estimated to worth $455,700 on the street -- which had been hidden in a female passengers groin area at the Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James.

The Jamaican woman, who the police said resides in Canada, was at the security checkpoint about 2:30 pm, where she was scheduled to board a Sunwing flight destined to Toronto.

During a search of her body, the illicit drug was found wrapped in a cylindrical parcel in a green and black sock hidden in her underwear and tucked in her groin area, the lawmen reported.

She was subsequently taken into custody. Her identity is being withheld pending further investigations.

Two brothers have been hospitalised after they were attacked by gunmen in Race Track, Clarendon.

Reports are that shortly after 3:30 this morning, armed men kicked in the door of a house in Race Track, near Denbigh in May Pen, and opened fire on two brothers, one five years old and the other 16, while they slept.

They were rushed to hospital where they have been admitted. The 16-year-old is said to be in serious condition.

The Clarendon police are investigating.

moravian-minister-sex-charge-ruperrt-clarke.jpgThe Education Minister Ruel Reid has asked for a full report on all the developments regarding Hampton School principal Heather Murray's presence and actions at court on Wednesday.

She says she was supporting the wife of Reverend Rupert Clarke, the head of the Nazareth Moravian Church in Manchester; the pastor is charged with having sex with a minor.

Murray, who is the head of the all-girls institution, says she is a good friend of Pastor Clarke's wife. Report s are that the minor who the Moravian pastor was caught having sex with also attends Hampton School

Reid has also called for a discussion with the Mrs Murray and the chairman of Hampton School so the matter can be resolved. The meeting should take place by next Wednesday.

Reverend Clarke, who is the head of the Nazareth Moravian Church in Manchester, has been offered $800,000 bail after being charged with having sex with a minor.

He is to return to the St. Elizabeth Parish Court on February 13.

jamaican-man-killed-norval-barrett.jpgThe fiancé of Norval Barrett, the man who was shot and killed during a police pre-planned firearms operation in Cayman, has shared several photos of herself alongside her now deceased fiancé, wrote on Facebook, "Baby wake up please, I need you."

The former accountant also made another post which read, "The love of my life even though you fly away to sleep. Sleep baby sleep until I'm there to wake you up again. I will always love u my baby, words aren't enough to say. RIP my dear lover and friend Norval Maconia Barrett the great one. Shhhhh baby sleep."

Since Martin's post, there has been an outpouring of support from her friends on Facebook who have sent condolences, while others reacted to the post by noting that they heard the tragic developments on the news.

According to police, the operation to execute a firearms warrant and detain a 34-year-old Jamaica man went awry when the suspect exited the premises with a firearm.

A number of shots were fired and the suspect was injured.

Two tactical medical officers, one of whom is an advanced EMT, were part of the operation.

They immediately provided primary medical aid to the suspect and executed basic life support protocols until the ambulance arrived.

Caribbean Airlines (CAL) has been forced to make changes to its flight schedule after a gunman shot and killed five people at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida on Friday.

The Trinidad-based airline said that due to the incident in which at least eight other people were injured, some services had been affected.

Caribbean Airlines said BW 3481 will depart Fort Lauderdale at 7:15 a.m. on January 7 and arrive at Piarco International Airport at noon.

It said that BW 036, which makes a stop in Kingston, Jamaica, will operate on January 7 as BW 3036.

The estimated departure time from Fort Lauderdale is 3:10 p.m., with the estimated arrival time at Norman Manley International Airport Kingston at 4:50 p.m.

"Customers booked on the above services are also advised that no date change penalties apply," Caribbean Airlines said.

"All Caribbean Airlines services to and from Hollywood International on January 7 will operate as per the regular scheduled times."

Police said Esteban Santiago, 26, had been arrested after he surrendered following the shooting incident at the baggage claim area of Terminal 2 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood

The suspect was taken into custody uninjured.

The Ministry of Health is reporting that two imported cases of malaria have been confirmed in Jamaica.

In a release this afternoon, the health ministry said the infection was found in a Jamaican who was living in Ghana and returned to the island in November 2016, while the second person is an Indian national who entered the island in March 2016.

Last year, there were three imported cases of malaria infection.

The symptoms of malaria include fever, chills, headache, sweats, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.

Malaria was eradicated from Jamaica in 1961. However, there was an outbreak in 2006 and an emergency response led to a re-elimination in 2009.

The malaria parasite is transmitted to humans by the infected bite of the female Anopheles mosquitoes called "malaria vectors". There are more than 30 anopheline species that transmit malaria and Anopheles albimanus is considered the principal vector for transmission in Jamaica.

The infected persons are currently under observation.

The Ministry of Health is urging Jamaicans to be cautious when travelling to countries affected by malaria.

The Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control, (JCTC), is taking issue with several activities which it argues amount to breaches of the framework convention for tobacco control.

It is also seeking urgent legislative intervention to deal with other forms of restrictions on the promotion of tobacco use.

Board Member, Deborah Chen, says close monitoring is needed because of the many ways in which the framework convention is being breached.

She argues that without proper regulation, tobacco use could be openly promoted and the risk increases for usage by young persons.

Meanwhile, the coalition is also seeking urgent legislative action to tackle certain types of advertising which it believes harm the public.

"Right now, in the absence of the comprehensive tobacco control legislation - we are pushing for the full comprehensive legislation to be done. We would like an update as to where the government is, in relation to that legislation because that is what will protect the public - particularly our youth as we are very concerned about them getting encouraged to start smoking," said board member for the Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control, Deborah Chen.

And the government has indicated that by the end of this year, data from research currently being conducted will be available to guide its decision in finalising regulations.

caricel-logo.jpgIt will be known later this month if an injunction will be granted blocking the revocation or suspension of the telecommunications licence issued to Symbiote Investments. The Supreme Court will hand down its decision on January 24.

The gag order remains in effect until the ruling.

Symbiote, which trades as Caricel, is trying to prevent the Jamaican Government from revoking its licence which was issued last year.

The licence was granted last year, despite disapproval from the Contractor General's Office and it has come under additional scrutiny from the US Embassy which has since revoked the visas of some officials of Caricel.

moravian-minister-sex-charge-ruperrt-clarke.jpgThe St Elizabeth police have now opened a wider investigation into sex crimes allegedly perpetrated by a 60-year-old Moravian minister of religion.

The pastor was last night arrested and is now facing the possibility of rape and carnal abuse of a 15-year-old girl.

The police report that about 9 o'clock last night, a team was on patrol in a community near Black River when they observed a parked car that aroused their suspicion.

They went to investigate and reportedly found the pastor in a compromising position with the child.

He was immediately taken into police custody.

Police investigators spent several hours today questioning a parent of the child and other family members.

crime-scene-knife.jpgA man who resides in the United States, who visited the St Ann's Bay Police Station with a stab wound over a week ago, died in hospital on Tuesday, the police are reporting.

The deceased is 69-year-old Dalbert Clarke, otherwise called 'Delroy', a retired plumber of Orlando, Florida and Discovery Bay, St Ann.

Clarke reportedly turned up at the Runaway Bay police station about 3:00 am on Monday, December 26, with a stab wound to his abdomen.

He was assisted to the St Ann's Bay Hospital, where he was admitted in a serious condition.

There has been no indication of the circumstances under which the stabbing took place.

He reportedly succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday.

The police are asking anyone with information that can assist with their investigations, to contact the St Ann's Bay police at 972-2209, police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.

missionaries.jpgOne of the suspects in the killing of two American missionaries in St Mary in April last year has escaped police custody.

Twenty-five-year-old Dwight Henry, otherwise called 'Dougie' and 'Chino' of Wentworth, St Mary escaped this afternoon.

It's understood that Henry, who was being held at the Oracabessa Police Station, complained about feeling ill.

He was taken to the Port Maria Hospital this afternoon where he reportedly escaped.

Head of the St Mary Police, deputy superintendent Dwight Powell, confirmed the escape but was unable to say how Henry escaped.

Henry was charged with murder and illegal possession of a firearm in June last year.

Andre Thomas was also charged by the police in June 2016 in relation to the murders of the missionaries.

Forty-eight-year-old Randy Hentzel was found dead in Wentworth district in St Mary on Saturday, April 30, and his missionary colleague 53-year-old Harold Nichols was found dead the following day.

New York Times has designated Kingston as one of the top 52 Best Places to Go in 2017, much to the delight of tourism partners and stakeholders.

New York Times, one of the leading newspapers in the United States, made the announcement today, listing Jamaica's capital at number 24.

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) described the designation as an "enviable" one, saying in a news release Wednesday that it comes on the heels of the first anniversary of Kingston being named a UNESCO Creative City of Music.

In highlighting the attributes of Kingston, the New York Times article cited the city's cultural offerings such as the One World Rocksteady Music Festival, the newly opened Peter Tosh Museum and the dub club music parties.

The article also named local spots Usain Bolt's Tracks & Records and Chateau 7 Gourmet Jerk Centre as must-go places to eat, while Courtyard by Marriott and Spanish Court Hotels were recognised as ideal places to stay.

moravian-minister-sex-charge-ruperrt-clarke.jpgManchester-based pastor Robert Clarke, 64, a longstanding minister of the Moravian Church, was granted bail when his matter was brought up in the St Elizabeth Parish Court on Wednesday.

Minister Clarke was charged with rape and having sexual knowledge of a person under 16; he was offered bail in the sum of J$800,000 with one or two sureties.

As a condition of his bail, the Moravian pastor is to report to the Mile Gully Police Station every Saturday between the 6:00 am and 6:00 pm. A stop order has also been placed on him and he was ordered to surrender his travel documents.

The allegations are that about 9:00 pm on December 28, a motorised police patrol in the deep-rural community of Austin in Myersville, south east St Elizabeth, close to the Alpart plant in Nain, came upon a parked car in a secluded area. Further inspection revealed the pastor and a 15-year-old in what the police described as a "compromising position".

Cops seek help in catching St Ann's Most Wanted

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st-ann-most-wanted.pngThe St Ann police are appealing to the public for information that will lead to the arrest of six men wanted for various crimes in the parish, ranging from shooting to murders.

The men are:

• Fifty-one-year-old BRIAN FORBES o/c 'QQ' or 'Cutie', a farmer of Drumily District, Claremont. He is wanted in connection with the murder of 24-year-old Demar Smith, also called 'Chumpy', a bus conductor of Drumilly, and his girlfriend, 15-year-old Amoya Brown, of Good Hope, Clarendon. Both were chopped to death just before daybreak at a house in Drumily, on April 25, 2015.

Forbes is said to frequent bushes on properties belonging to ALCAN.

• DWAYNE CHRISTIE, otherwise called 'Cojack', is wanted for the shooting death of 40-year-old Ronald Gayle, a farmer of Davis Town in Cave Valley, St Ann, on September 30, 2016.

• NICOY CUNNINGHAM, otherwise called 'Hype' of Belle Air, Runaway Bay and Cave Valley, is wanted for the offence of murder committed on April 8, 2016 at Lot 149 Belle Air, Runaway Bay.

• ALBERT DYER o/c Mojo of Douglas Castle, St Ann is wanted in connection to a murder committed on April 10, 2010 also in Douglas Castle.

• Thirty-seven-year-old SHAWN ANTHONY MACOE of Lot 106 Veneta Court, Southborough, Portmore in St Catherine and Greenwich Estate in Steer Town, St Ann is wanted for a shooting committed at Back Hampstead in Runaway Bay on December 7, 2016.

• Twenty-seven-year-old CHRISTOPHER BROWN of Steer Town, St Ann, Princess Street, Kingston and Majestic Gardens, Kingston 11 is wanted in connection to a shooting committed at Roaring River, Steer Town on December 9, 2016.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of these men can contact the police at 972-9008, 311 or 119.

crime-scene-gun.jpgMore details are emerging from the Police High Command on the man behind Wednesday's gun attack on the Hunts Bay Police Station. Reports are that Jason Campbell was a contract killer linked to several murders across the country.

Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, says detectives are going through several cases Campbell might have been linked to. A Glock pistol, 23 rounds of ammunition and a bullet proof vest were taken from Campbell.

Meanwhile, regarding the shooting at the Hunts Bay Police Station. the official police report says that at about 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, a 20-year-old man was leaving the police station when gunshots rang out. He had just reported on condition of bail.

Two policemen were about to conduct patrol duties when they observed the man being chased by an individual firing gunshots. The policemen called out to the shooter and he reportedly turned his gun on them. The report says the gunman kept firing at the police, during which one of the cops fell to the ground.

The gunman continued shooting while he approached the two officers, when other cops emerged from the building and challenged him. He ran across Marcus Garvey Drive still firing at the police.

A gun battle ensued, and in the process, a female pedestrian was shot and injured and the gunman shot. All three injured persons were taken to the Kingston Public Hospital, where the gunman was pronounced dead.

Five policemen, who gave statements, reported that they fired 60 rounds during the incident. Six cars parked near the station were hit by bullets.

crime-scene-gun.jpgShortly before 5am on New Year's Day residents heard explosions in New Town, Sandy Bay, Hanover.

The body of 39 year old Tedford Grizzle was found about an hour later on the road with wounds to the head.

Five spent shells were found at the scene.

The police are investigating.

hands-behind-bars.jpgThe man who is accused of killing his girlfriend on Boxing Day in St Thomas has turned himself in to the police.

Odaine Keyes has been wanted for questioning in relation to the killing of 19-year-old Tashoy Barrett, who was found with her throat slashed on Boxing Day at the home that the two shared.

Keyes could not been found since the incident.

Reports are that he turned himself in about 9:30 Sunday morning to the St Thomas Police. He was accompanied by relatives.

About 11 women were killed in domestic disputes in December alone. In total, about 25 women were killed in 2016, compared to 15 in 2015.

crime-scene-knife.jpgA 15 year old boy is among several persons killed with just twelve hours into the New Year. He was stabbed on Constant Spring Road in St. Andrew.

The police report that the incident occurred between Central and South Avenue in the vicinity of Savannah Plaza as the teenager was walking .

The 15 year old was approached by men who was stabbed him.

It's believed that his cellphone was stolen by his attackers.

The teenager was pronounced dead at hospital.

crime-scene-gun.jpgA taxi operator was killed along the Johnson Town main road in Lucea, Hanover.

He is 39-year-old Bruce Brown of Kew District in Lucea.

It is reported that approximately 2:30 a.m, motorists who were passing the area saw Brown's body and alerted the police.

The body had what appeared to be a single gunshot wound to the left ear.

His black Toyota motor car is missing.

It is believed that his assailants threw him from the vehicle and made off with it.?

Man who shot up police station killed

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe man who opened gunfire inside the Hunts Bay Police Station this afternoon was killed by police, it has been reported.

The police said the gunman, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, went to the police station with the intention of killing a man who was reporting to the station regarding a criminal matter.

His target and a woman were reportedly shot and have been taken to hospital for treatment.

crime-scene-gun.jpgThe St Thomas police are investigating yet another domestic murder after the body of a young woman was reportedly found at the home of her boyfriend in the community of Arcadia in the parish Sunday morning.

Dead is 19 year-old Shamaine Tashoy Barrett of Arcadia, St Thomas.

Reports are that after a friend of Shamaine failed to reach her by phone, Sunday morning, they went to her boyfriend's house, where they discovered her body inside with the throat slashed.

An alarm was made.

Police say the boyfriend is being sought for questioning.

Barrett was a student of Paul Bogle Vocational school.

Barrett's aunt said her niece was last seen alive sometime after midnight, when she left church.

2016 murder figures surpass those for 2015

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crime-scene-knife.jpgWith just a few days left in 2016, the police are reporting that 1,300 people have been murdered so far this year.

Last year's murder figure of 1,192 was surpassed last month.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Ealan Powell, head of the Criminal investigation Branch, has highlighted several factors which he believes have contributed to the increase in murders, chief among them being lack of respect, one person for the other.

"To disrespect somebody is the easiest thing to do, and people interpret that in many, many ways, and that results in death, so gangsters, if you come across their turf, you're disrespecting the gang, and it ends in death," he said.

The same problem obtains in domestic relationships he said, citing simple disputes between couples, in which the woman says something to the man, "which he interprets as being disrespectful to him... it's going to result in death."

crime-scene-gun.jpgChristmas Day ended in horror in the St James community of Hendon, Norwood, Sunday.

It's reported that shortly after 7 p.m three men and a woman were shot dead and a second woman injured at a shop.?

They were playing dominoes when a car with several men aboard drove up.

It's reported that the occupants got out of the car and opened fire on the group, killing the? four people on the spot. The deceased have been identified as 27-year-old Monique Woolery of Llandilo, Westmoreland and 5th Avenue in Montego Hills, Jason Anderson, 30, of Nelly Lane, 39-year-old Leo Mitchell, otherwise called 'Fire' of Columbus Square, Norwood, and 43-years-old Yorken Silvera, of Norwood.

According to the Montego Bay Police, about 7:30 Ms Woolery and a male companion were walking along Nelly Lane when a white motorcar drove up.

Armed men alighted and started firing shots at the couple, who ran into a nearby shop to take cover. The men continued firing at them while in the shop. Ms. Woolery and four other persons were shot and injured.

The injured persons were taken to the hospital where they were pronounced dead.

A 16-year-old girl was treated and released for non-life threatening injuries.

Ms. Woolery's male companion escaped unhurt.

The St. James Police are appealing to the public for information to assist in their investigation into the incident.

17 persons killed between December 23 - 26

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police are reporting a high number of murders over the Christmas weekend in Jamaica, with 17 killed during the period, December 23 to early on the 26th.

Among them were four shot at a shop in Hendon, Norwood in the western parish of St. James on Christmas night. A fifth person was shot and injured in that incident.

The latest statistics come at the tail-end of a dismal year for the country, with the murder count easily outstipping the 2015 figure.

Data obtained from the police revealed that just over 1300 hundred murders have been committed since January, significantly ahead the 1192 people killed in all of 2015.

In the face of such daunting statistics, the Police High Command is again promising to put in place additional anti-crime measures across the country.

Sunday's target

Regarding Sunday's shooting in St. James, investigators say they believe the gunmen were targeting a single victim.

Manhunt launched for US soldier missing in Jamaica

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police-photo-1.jpgPolice in Jamaica have launched a search for a twenty-nine-year-old member of the US army, who has been missing since Friday, December 23.

The US soldier has been identified as Roshain Brooks of Brooklyn, New York.

He is of dark complexion, medium build and is about 170 centimetres (5 feet 7 inches) tall.

Reports from the Mandeville Police are that about 3:00 p.m., Brooks was last seen on Brumalia Road, Mandeville, Manchester wearing a blue T- shirt, blue denim pants and a pair of red shoes. Efforts to contact him have proven futile

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Roshain Brooks is being asked to contact the Mandeville Police at 904-1577, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.

crime-scene-knife.jpgThe Montego Bay police are probing the circumstances surrounding the murder of an unidentified woman whose corpse was discovered with stab wounds in that resort city on Christmas morning.

Reports are that about 8:00 am Sunday, the police, who responded to a call, discovered the body along Church Lane, lying in a pool of blood with stab wounds to the neck.

The deceased was reportedly last seen about 7:30 pm Saturday, entering a building - near where the body was found - in the company of a male.

The Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch (CTOC) has launched a probe into the theft of more than J$15 million from an account held by the Ministry of Health at National Commercial Bank.

It's believed that thieves hacked into the account and removed the money between May and last month.

Hackers made off with $6 million between May and June this year. They struck again last month, removing an additional nine million dollars from the account.

A senior investigator revelaed that hackers began targeting the account when the Ministry placed it online earlier this year.

The special account deals with HIV/Aids and is funded by overseas agencies.

The Ministry has confirmed that $6 million has since been recovered by the bank, following intense investigations.

The Ministry says the breach occurred due to malicious software or malware.

Malware are computer programmes designed to infiltrate and damage computers without the user's consent. They can be used to gather sensitive information or gain access to private computer systems.

St Thomas butcher shot dead at home on Christmas Eve

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA St Thomas man was shot and killed at his home during an alleged robbery on Christmas Eve.

He has been identified as 49-year old Wilbert Squire, a meat vendor of Brown's Lane in Morant Bay.

The police say about 9:20 p.m., Squire was in his yard when he was attacked by two armed men.

He was shot several times in the upper body, killing him on the spot.

lobbyist-dr-wayne-west.jpgDr Wayne West, Chairman of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society (JCHS) is urging Jamaicans to have a heightened awareness of how a recent vote in the United Nations to affirm the mandate of an Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity can affect laws in the country.

Jamaica was one of 77 countries which voted to block the mandate of the Independent Expert; however 84 countries voted for the expert to carry out his mandate to protect the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) people.

But that vote by Jamaica and others opposed to the appointment failed. That UN expert, who was appointed on November 1, is now free to do his work.

Dr West nevertheless praised the Jamaican Government for "taking a very sensible stand," on the issue, arguing that the rights being promoted by the new Independent Expert "are really based illogical premises, and are going to lead to great harm."

He told RJR News that, while he has no problem with protecting LGBT people, he is worried the agenda of the UN appointed independent expert is broader than protecting the LGBT community from discrimination.

"The expert himself has articulated that his agenda is actually integrating these concepts into the society, via things such as the education curricular that children are exposed to," he said.

Accordingly, he stressed that "while I do not want violence against anyone, it is wholly illogical to integrate abnormality as normal in the society."

The resolution must now be taken to Parliament for ratification, but Dr West says he fears "activist" judges in Jamaica may follow their counterparts in Belize in implementing the mandate of the LGBT expert through the courts.

"We must make our Parliament aware that we do not want that to happen, and if an activist judge does it, we need challenge it...," he declared.

Dr. West has sharply criticized the UN as an agency, set up to find solutions to global problems, which is now going beyond its mandate to advance the LGBT agenda.

250 pounds of ganja seized in St Bess

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ganja-seized.jpgTwo hundred and fifty pounds of compressed ganja valued at about J$1.5 million were seized by the police in St Elizabeth on Christmas Eve.

According to the police's Corporate Communication Unit, the ganja was seized on the Pedro Plains about 12:45 a.m. yesterday.

The police say they were in the area when a group of men were seen loading parcels onto a vessel. When the men saw the police they ran leaving the parcels behind. Upon inspection the parcels were discovered to be five knitted bags containing compressed ganja.

No arrests were made.

St Lucia considers medicinal marijuana in 2017

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medical-ganja.jpgPrime Minister of St Lucia, Roosevelt Skerrit, says his administration will discuss the issue of medical marijuana in the coming year.

Skerrit who was a guest on a local radio programme on Wednesday said the topic must be discussed in a focused and informed manner, in order to take full advantage of the use of the herb, which many have sworn has saved their lives.

"We have started the conversation. I think we maybe need to put a better structure in place where we can have a more structured, informed dialogue or discussion on medical marijuana, to see how we can take advantage of this.

I think in the New Year you will see a more focused, more structured approach to the discussion...I think that if there is a plant in our country which people are swearing by as having saved their lives or assisted them in reducing the pain or managing their ailment, then I think it is important for there to be a very serious discussion about it, and to see how we can go about taking advantage of this development," the Prime Minister said.

He suggested that Dominica could adopt and tweak measures from other countries that have been successful in the use of medical marijuana.

The Prime Minister said while the government is not opposed to the eventual legalisation of marijuana several things must be carefully considered before such a decision is brought forward.

The issue of marijuana legalisation has been heavily discussed in Dominica. .

In Dominica, marijuana has been classified as a 'Class B' drug, as a result, it is illegal to possess, cultivate, or sell the substance.

Mystery illness of 83 JDF recruits bugging doctors

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Medical authorities have not yet been able to identify the specific respiratory infection that struck 83 Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldiers at the army's New Castle training base in St Andrew.

So far the dreaded Influenza A (H1N1/swine flu) virus has been ruled out, according to Chief Medical Officer Dr Winston de la Haye. He told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that none of the tests for other viral infections have uncovered any definitive results.

"So far we haven't got a definitive indication of anything specific, and it is with that in mind that we have included PAHO (Pan American Health Organization). They are ready to assist in widening the net of possible pathogens (even those that we don't have the capacity to test for) sending samples to CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States) or CARPHA (Caribbean Publich Health Agency) in Trinidad to do further testing. The aim is to identify the organism and zero in effectively in terms of treatment," he explained.

Dr de la Haye stressed that, apart from the resemblance to H1N1, it is difficult to put a finger on the cause of the symptoms. "It's really just clinical presentations that we can comment on. The presentation being so severe in some, suggesting a possible H1N1," he stated.

2 shot dead at hairdresser in Negril

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crime-scene-gun.jpgTwo men were Thursday afternoon shot dead at a hairdressing parlour in Negril, Westmoreland.

The names of the deceased are yet to be established.

Reports are that about 1:20 the two young men were among other customers at the hairdressing parlour in Negril when gunshots were heard.

Upon the arrival of the police who were summoned, one of the two young men was found slumped in a hairdresser's chair, while the other was found lying outside the establishment, both suffering from gunshot wounds.

The Negril police are investigating.

deputy-commissioner-novelette-grant.jpgDeputy Commissioner of Police Novelette Grant is to act as Police Commissioner effective January 7, 2017.

A day earlier, the current commissioner Dr Carl Williams will go on pre-retirement leave.

The Police Service Commission says Grant will act for 90 days.

It also says it intends to publicly advertise for the post.

Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams resigns

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police-commissioner-dr-carl-williams-photo-1.jpgPolice Commissioner Dr Carl Williams has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor and has resigned the post.

Accordinghe Gleaner has obtained a copy of a letter Williams wrote to the Police Service Commission indicating that he will proceed on early retirement effective January 6.

He also indicated that his decision to step down as police chief was based on personal reasons.

"My retirement is provided for on the basis of my age and years of service," Williams wrote in the letter, addressed to chairman of the PSC Professor Gordon Shirley.

"Having enlisted in the JCF [Jamaica Constabulary Force] in February 1984, it has been my honour to have given more than three decades of tireless service to my country," he added.

Williams was appointed Commissioner in September 2014 after his predecessor Owen Ellington also resigned from the post, in a bid for early retirement.

Williams' decision to step down follows a tough year for the police.

Since the start of the year, nearly 1,200 persons have been reported killed, a near five per cent increase when compared with last year.

The St Catherine North Police have intensified their presence across the division in light of the discovery of an alleged plot by members of the Tesha Miller faction of the Clansman Gang to carry out significant violent attacks in the division during the festive season.

According to police, based on intelligence garnered by the Jamaica Constabulary Force plans are being made to carry out shootings against rival gang members in several communities.

The areas of target include Top Banks, the Spanish Town Bus Park, the Spanish Town Centre, and March Pen Road and its environs.

The police say with the absence of Tesha Miller another man, Akeem Jackson or Johnson, otherwise known as 'Bobo Sparks', has played a lead role in a number of murders and shootings in the division.

The police also say Jackson is the St Catherine North's most wanted man.

Miller is still a Person of Interest and is wanted for questioning.

The police are appealing to both men to turn in themselves immediately.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Tesha Miller or Akeem Jackson is being asked to call the police.

Cops detain 30 in Majesty Gardens

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More than 30 men were detained on Tuesday morning during a joint police/military operation in Majesty Gardens, off Spanish Town Road in St. Andrew.

Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, head of the JCF's Corporate Communications Unit, said, among the persons picked up, is a man who was wanted by police for a case of shooting with intent.

She said the community has been tense since a drive-by shooting on Monday night, which resulted in the death of a man. He has been identified as 23-year-old Carlos Green of Majesty Gardens.

It is believed that Mr. Green was by the side of the road when armed men approached and shot him all over his body.

Superintendent Lindsay said the shooting has been linked to a feud involving members of the 'Unruly Gang'.

She said the security forces will continue to maintain a presence in the area.

JDF recruits recovering from mysterious illness

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The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) has said about half of its recruits who fell ill last week with respiratory problems have recovered and returned to training at the Twickenham Park range in St. Catherine.

More than 50 recruits were afflicted with flu-like symptoms which Ministry of Health personnel had suspected was the H1N1 virus.

Major Basil Jarrett, JDF Media Affairs Officer, said it started out with two trainees falling ill.

"We didn't think anything of it because recruits go through a very intense and rigorous training programme and sometimes their body just breaks down... but when a third recruit fell ill, we started to connect the dots and we suspected that we might be dealing with something a little bit bigger than typical recruit fatigue," he argued.

However, he said tests by the Ministry of Health have cleared the recruits.

"They came in, they did some tests on the recruits, they swabbed the recruits who were still out at the area and up to yesterday, about 57 of the recruits had reported symptoms. But with testing done by the Ministry of Health this morning, I can confirm that we are not dealing with H1N1," Major Jarrett asserted to RJR News.

He said the other trainees are recovering well.

The Ministry of Health has called in the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to assist in finding what has caused eighty Jamaica Defence Force soldiers in training to have fallen ill.

One trainee is reported to be in critical condition. This prompted a team from the Ministry of Health to tour the facility in Twickenham Park in St. Catherine Tuesday afternoon.

Dr. Winston De La Haye, Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, has said it is not the H1N1 they had initially suspected.

"So far, we have had no result which is positive for H1N1, which is one of the diagnoses entertained, neither is there any other influenza type virus. Other viruses can present those types of symptoms," he informed.

Hence, he said PAHO has been called to test samples to rule out other organisms, such as mycoplasma and legionella.

Although the cause of the illness is still unknown, Dr. De La Haye said the ministry has recommended that the JDF ensure that all future trainees are given vaccination for the influenza virus to minimise the recurrence of such an incident.

In this case, the chief medical officer said trainees who presented symptoms were isolated and all the healthy individuals were given the influenza vaccine.

Recently, a letter writer to The Gleaner complained that Scotiabank Jamaica had increased charges to encash a cheque from $140 to $1,358.

Commerce Minister Karl Samuda has described the decision of to increase by more than 1000 per cent the fee to encash cheques drawn on other banks as preposterous.

Samuda says the Government will be seeking to improve the way it presents information on bank charges to help customers

He says this increase in the cost to encash cheques at Scotiabank is unexplainable.

According to Samuda the bank seems to be ignoring the impact that these charges will have on small businesses.

taxi-man-leo-henry-is-dead.jpgThe taxi driver, who was shot by a security guard at a staff party at the Grand Bahia Principe Hotel in St Ann, after he stabbed his ex-girlfriend has died at hospital.

The police have identified the cabbie as 39-year-old Leo Henry, of Belle Aire Meadows in Runaway Bay, St Ann. Henry was reportedly a popular taxi driver on the Brown's Town to Discovery Bay route.

Reports are that sometime after midnight altercation developed between a female hotel staff member and Henry, who is her ex-boyfriend. He reportedly stabbed the woman on both legs and on her left hand.

A senior security officer at the hotel intervened in the incident and fired his gun and shot Henry. The bullet exited the man's body and hit the 17-year-old son of the hotel employee in his side.

Henry later succumbed to his injuries late Tuesday morning.

The 17-year-old remains in serious, but stable condition at the hospital.

The shooting resulted in chaos, bringing an end to the party as Romain Virgo - who was the featured act - had to abandon his performance.

crime-scene-gun.jpgA supermarket attendant was shot and killed by unknown assailants who ensnared him on his way home from work in the parish of St James on Saturday.

The deceased has been identified as 21-year-old Jacob Sinclair of a Cambridge address in the parish.

Reports are that about 9:30 last night, Sinclair was walking in the Train Line section of Cambridge when he was ambushed by unknown assailants who shot him. He died instantly.

While no motive has been established for the killing, the St James Police their investigation.

Ex-cop dies a week after being shot

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ex-cop-leroy-rowe.jpgcrime-scene-gun.jpgA former member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force who was shot two Saturdays ago in Montego Bay, St James died of his injuries Friday.

Forty-five-year-old Leroy Rowe of Accompong Town, St Elizabeth, passed away in the Cornwall Regional Hospital where he'd been undergoing treatment since being attacked on Saturday, December 10.

Rowe was shot by an unknown assailant while conducting business along Barnett Street.

The killer remains at large.

Husband stabs 50-year-old wife to death in Hanover

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crime-scene-knife.jpgAnother case of domestic violence has claimed the life of a woman after she was stabbed to death during a dispute with her husband at their home in Hanover on Friday.

Jennifer Garrison, 50, of Dias in Hanover, died after being stabbed multiple times with a knife by her husband.

Deputy Superintendent Andrew Nish, acting head of the Hanover Police, said the husband is in police custody and is expected to be charged shortly.

He said a team is conducting grief counselling with family members.

DSP Nish said this was the third time in recent weeks that a domestic dispute in the parish had turned deadly.

Last week, an 18-year-old woman was killed by her alleged ex-boyfriend and an elderly man was also reportedly killed by a woman.

car-crashes-into-departure-lounge.jpgTwo people sustained injuries when a motor car crashed into the glass facade of the departure lounge at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston this morning.

One of those injured is the driver of the motor car. The other is a traveller who was sitting in the departure lounge when the vehicle crashed into the glass facade. The extent of their injuries is not known. Their identities have not been released.

It is reported that the driver does not have a licence to operate a vehicle. He remains in police custody.

Head of the Police Traffic Division, Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen, says the incident happened about 6:45 a.m. as two brothers, one of whom was the driver, dropped their mother at the airport.

He is reminding drivers to ensure that their engines are switched off before leaving their motor vehicles.

A St Elizabeth man is to appear in court on January 3 next year after he allegedly left the island on a fake Bahamian passport.

The police say 26-year-old Tim Joseph, otherwise called Marvin 'Curtis', a farmer of Waterloo district in St Elizabeth has been charged with uttering forged documents.

The Norman Manley Airport Police say Joseph boarded a flight destined for London, England under the name 'Marvin Curtis'.

On arrival at the Gatwick International Airport, he was being processed when immigration officers detected that his passport was forged and so he was denied entry and returned to Jamaica.

Woman who stole baby from hospital for court today

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court-case.jpgThe medical assistant charged for stealing a one-day-old baby girl from the University Hospital of the West Indies on December 9 is to appear in court Friday.

Forty-seven-year-old Lorna Williams -- who is of a Mountain View Avenue, Kingston 2 address -- is to appear before the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

The mother reportedly fell asleep with the baby in her hand after receiving medication and awoke, around 10:30am, to find her missing.

The baby was found in Williams' care in Rollington Town, in St Andrew, about five hours later.

edward-braithwaite-to-sir-wth-love.jpgEdward (E.R.) Braithwaite, the Guyanese author of the seminal book, To Sir With Love, which became the basis of a hit move by the same name, has died at age 104.

Braithwaite passed away on Monday in Rockville, Maryland, in the United States.

He had taught at Howard University for many years.

Named Eustace Edward Ricardo Braithwaite at birth, on June 27, 1912, he attended Guyana's prestigious high school, Queen's College, then City College of New York.

He later moved to Britain and fought in the Royal Air Force, but later, even with the benefit of a Cambridge degree in engineering, he was denied a job in a related field because he was Black.

Desperate for meaningful employment, he turned to teaching and wound up in an unruly class in a London slum school. It was that experience in which he helped to turn the lives of his students around while also detailing his experience of racism in Britain that he chronicled in To Sir With Love.

Later he served as a diplomat representing his country, Guyana, at the United Nations and in Venezuela.

He spent much of his later life as a lecturer and wrote several other books.

A police officer on the scene confirmed to Loop News that the alleged ex-lover of the woman was apprehended.

He is now in police custody, where he is to be questioned by investigators.

The incident drew scores of onlookers as a police forensic team examined the crime scene.

Baby thief a no-show in court

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stolen-baby-uhwi.jpgThe medical assistant accused of stealing a day-old baby girl from the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) did not appear in court on Wednesday.

No reason has been given for the no-show of 47-year-old Lorna Williams.

She is expected to appear in court by Friday.

Ms Williams, a resident of Mountain View Avenue, Kingston 2 was charged on Friday with Child Stealing.

She was arrested five hours after the baby was found at her home in East Kingst