Reggae SumFest - July 17-23 - Montego Bay - Jamaica

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Ananda Alert for missing 12 year-old

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missing-child-devano-smith-photo.jpgA high-level Ananda Alert has been activated for 12-year-old Devano Smith of Wood Haven Avenue, Tree Oaks Gardens in Kingston 19 who has been missing since Tuesday, May 24.

He is of brown complexion, slim build and about 160 centimetres (5 feet 3 inches) tall.

Reports are that Devano was last seen at school about 2:45 pm, dressed in a khaki shirt and khaki pants and a blue epaulet. He has not been heard from since.

The police urge anyone knowing the whereabouts of Devano Smith to contact the Duhaney Park Police at 933-4280, police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





spelling-bee-chaunte-blackwood.jpgJamaica's Spelling Bee champion, Chaunte Blackwood has advanced to Thursday's final of the Scripps Spelling Bee being held in the US.

13-year-old Chaunte moved past 200 other spellers from across the United States and elsewhere to do battle for the coveted Scripps Spelling Bee Cup.

"I am thrilled and honoured to be among the top 45 finalists, down from 284, and I am am looking forward to this amazing experience here in Maryland", Chaunte reportedly told The Gleaner.

Her coach, Hanif Brown, himself a student, has been equally upbeat.

"Chaunte has already made it this far and we are hoping she will go all the way to the top," he said.

On Wednesday, Chaunte correctly spelt the word a-i-l-e-t-t-e and c-a-n-t-i-n-a.

Points from her preliminary test on Tuesday were added to her spelling score today. The final will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and ESPN starting at 10 a.m.

Chaunte, the Gleaner's Children's Own Spelling Bee champion, attends Ardenne High School in Kingston.





sex-offenders-registry-logo.jpgA total of 124 names were added to the Sex Offenders Registry between July 2014 and last December. The figure comprises 120 men and four women.

Janet Davey, Director in charge of Probation After-care Services at the Department of Correctional Services, says more than 80% of the offenders were charged with having sex with a minor. She says the list contains the names of ex-convicts and persons who received non-custodial sentences.

However, Ms Davey says the Sex Offenders Registry is underutilized. She is appealing to school administrators and others to use the registry to determine the suitability of prospective employees. She says the Department of Correctional Services is taking steps to ramp up its public education programme to increase awareness of the registry.

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Pastor/teacher charged for kissing student

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A student who was left traumatised after she was kissed by her teacher, who is also a minister of religion, reported the incident to her parents and the man has been arrested and charged.

The pastor, who teaches at a traditional high school in Clarendon, is said to be among four male teachers who have been arrested and charged with sexual abuse and child molestation in the parish.

Allegations are that the teacher, who conducts mentoring session at the school, was in a session with a female student when he kissed her.

The student told her parents who reported it to the school, which called in the police and the pastor was arrested and charged.





Labour Day in Pictures

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labour-day-1.jpgSenator Councillor Dr. Angela Brown Burke and Mr. Robert Hill, Town Clerk assist with the installation of a new door at the St. Tekle Haimanot Early Childhood Dev. Centre in East Rural St. Andrew. Garfield Bennett, Principal of the school looks on.

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Senator Councillor Dr. Angela Brown Burke giving a face lift to St. Tekle Haimanot Early Childhood Development Centre in East Rural St. Andrew as Councillor Pat Morgan from the Dallas Division also joins in.





Ganja sub committee set up

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cocaine-seized-photo-1.jpgBahamian arrested at Sangster International Airport

A Bahamian man who was allegedly held with cocaine at the Sangster International Airport on Friday, is now behind bars.

He has been identified as Burlin Mitchell Starr, 52, of South Beach, Nassau.

The police report that about 9 a.m., officers were conducting security checks in the departure hall when three parcels, wrapped in masking tape, were examined and found to contain two pounds of cocaine.

It has an estimated street value of J$1-million.Starr was later arrested.

He is scheduled to appear in court on May 27.





Abandoned baby found by fruit vendor

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shocked.jpgA one-day-old baby boy was found abandoned on Sunday, May 22 near the KFC in Old Harbour, St Catherine, by a fruit vendor.

The vendor found the baby with its placenta still attached in a black plastic bag and a hand written note nearby.

The note which appears to have been written by the child's mother stated that the she was a rape victim from Manchester and she could not abort the baby.

Also included in the note was the baby's birth date which was listed as May 21, 2016.

The vendor accompanied by the Old Harbor Police took the baby to the Spanish Town Hospital.





hands-behind-bars.jpgThee police officer, who is being held on suspicion that he had a female colleague killed last month, is now being probed for the 2013 murder of another police officer.

Information about the latest probe was disclosed by his attorney Peter Champagnie, who said detectives informed him of the development on Friday.

The suspect is being probed for the murder of Sergeant Courtney Simpson, who was attached to the Protective Services Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

Simpson, who was the bodyguard of then state minister Julian Robinson, was shot multiple times at his gate in Harbour View, St Andrew, on the night of April 8, 2013, by men travelling in a white motor vehicle.

The suspect is expected to face a number of identification parade this week.

The cop was held several weeks ago in relation to the murder of Corporal Judith Williams, who was shot six times while at a bus stop near her home at McKintyre Villa (otherwise known as Dunkirk), in Kingston, on Thursday, April 28.

The 54-year-old Williams was attacked by two men traveling on a motorbike. She died hours later.

A civilian was held shortly after, followed by Williams' colleague.





Trinidad in fear over ISIS terror threat

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isis.jpgThe twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago is facing a potential a terror attack from ISIS.

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is investigating an audio file, claiming that a terrorist attack will be carried out in Trinidad during the Corpus Christi holiday.

An unidentified man is heard warning citizens to stay away from the local shopping malls as he has received word of an impending terror attack. He also warned that the families of those involved in the plan have already been notified and he advises others to tell their families to stay inside.

"They planning a strike to hit the malls in Trinidad, ISIS, either between Friday/Saturday, or Thursday, Friday, Saturday," the voice says.

TTPS Head of Corporate Communications, Ellen Lewis urged persons to remain calm while police carry out their investigations. She has also reminded persons that the audio may be a hoax:

"It has been received and we are seeking to determine the source and whether it is credible...

"The intent is clearly to create panic and mischief as this is not the first [report] of its kind."





shocked.jpgA primary school principal who suffered the embarrassment of having his male member partially bitten off, was not shown the welcome sign when he turned up unexpectedly at his school last week.

The principal, who is on sick leave owing to the injury, drove onto the compound and when the students, teachers, parents and members of the community realised that it was him, drama unfolded.

The police had to be called to the school and the officers escorted the principal safely to his vehicle and watched until he drove away .

A parent, who was at the school last week when high drama unfolded, declared that the principal is no longer welcomed there

She said, "I attended this school, and now my children are here, and this type of embarrassment is distracting. The students are frightened and they don't trust him. They tell him they don't want him and dem run him weh. The police had to be called in and one of the officer cranked up him gun to scare away the children."

A father said he would remove his son from the institution if the principal in question continued working at the school.

"Mi a move my son and send him go another school 'cause a learn mi send my pickney go school fi learn, and pickney look up to principal. Mi nuh want nuh principal trick my child," he said.

Bryon Buckley, director, corporate communication at the Ministry of Education, confirmed that the ministry is aware of the disturbance which occurred at the school.

"A team from the ministry went there and spoke to the staff and the principal. He (the principal) was advised by the ministry not to be on the compound so as to quell things," Buckley said.

The St Andrew North police also confirmed that police were called to the institution to control the situation which had unfolded.





marvin-the-dancer.jpgDetectives from the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) have launched a probe into a recent 'dance routine' involving entertainer Marvin the dancer, his cronies and a female.

Head of CISOCA, Superintendent Enid Ross-Stewart said that police have since reviewed the online video of the incident. The video shows what appears to be a girl being humiliated on stage by Marvin the Dancer and at least three other men during one of his routines.

Police said they were now trying to find the girl to find out her age to determine whether charges could be laid against the dancer.

"If she is under age, the police would be able to act. In the case where the victim is adult, she would have to make a complaint to the police," one senior officer explained.

The officer went further to explain that if it is indeed a case where the alleged victim is mentally challenged - as it is being reported by some media outlets - a relative of the victim would have to make a report.

The footage which went viral last week shows Marvin the Dancer and his cronies chasing the female. In the video, it appears the female tries to get away but is cornered by the marauding males who force themselves on her while gyrating wildly.

The footage has triggered widespread condemnation from several groups.The dancer has since used his instagram page to apologize for the incident but this has done nothing to stop the reactions of concerned members of the public.





usain-bolt-wins-gold-200m-beijing-2015-photo-4.jpgUsain Bolt used his strong finish to win the 100 meters in 9.98 seconds at the Golden Spike meet in Ostrava, Czech Republic on Friday.

The Jamaican, who holds the world record in the 100m and 200m, recovered from a slow start but pulled ahead in the second half of the race to breeze unchallenged to the victory.

With the time, Bolt improved on his season's best of 10.05 in the Cayman Islands on Saturday. After that first race of the season, he needed treatment on a tight hamstring in Germany on the way to the Czech Republic.

He didn't appear to be limited on Friday. Ahead of the race, he said he would be happy with a time of 9.8.

New telecoms company enters the market

Cabinet has granted a mobile spectrum licence to telecommunications company, Symbiote Investments. The company will provide internet service in Jamaica. This is the third licence issued for the provision of mobile telecommunications service in the island.

Technology Minister Dr. Andrew Wheatley says Symbiote will have to pay US$20.8 million for use of the spectrum.

Dr. Wheatley says Symbiote, a Jamaican company, will increase competition in the telecoms market.

"A timeline is attached for full roll-out of the infrastucture and operations. I believe that within a year, we should see significant operations taking place and a full roll-out of this company," he said.

In the meantime, the Technology Minister says 500 persons are expected to be employed by Symbiote.





Woman stabs teen to death for hitting her son

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crime-scene-7.jpgA woman is in the custody of the St Mary police, after she stabbed a teenager to death on Thursday evening, May 19.

Dead is 15-year-old Devario Gardner of Bromley, St Mary.

It is being alleged that the woman stabbed the teen following a report from her six-year-old child that the teen had hit him.

The unfortunate incident occurred around 4:30 pm, according to initial police reports.

It is being further alleged that the woman approached Gardner with the allegations that he had hit her son. A dispute later developed and the woman took a knife and stabbed the teen in the chest.

Gardner was taken to the hospital, but was pronounced dead.

The woman was later taken into custody, where she is being held pending further investigations.

Gardner is said to be a student of the Jamaica Foundation for Life Long Learning in the parish.





A total of 14 high school students were arrested after being caught by the police on Wednesday afternoon at a house in Cooreville Gardens, St Andrew, where at least some of them were engaged in sexual activities.

They were released into the custody of their parents after appearing in the Family Court on Thursday. All 14 students were taken before the Family Court, accompanied by their parents, on charges of being in need of care and protection.

The students were taken into custody by personnel from the Hunts Bay and Duhaney Park police stations following a raid on the home in question, which is the residence of one of the boys who were involved.A 12-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl were among the eight boys and six girls who were arrested. The others were all 14-year-olds.

The police reported that the group of students was surprised by a police team at about 5:30 p.m. Of the group, two 'couples' reportedly admitted to have been engaged in sex at the time of the cops' arrival, but the others denied having been similarly engaged.

Arising from development, a senior police officer reportedly indicated that no sexual offence charges could be laid against the four students who admitted to having been engaged in sex, because they are all minors and the acts were voluntary on the part of all four.





merciless.jpgDancehall artiste Merciless will be seeking additional treatment on Wednesday after an attack by an iron-wielding assailant left him with bruises, cuts and a broken wrist.

The attack allegedly occurred on Monday afternoon when the 44 year-old deejay was at a mechanic shop in Free Town, Clarendon.

Eyewitnesses say that the deejay was approached by an unknown man who proceeded to severely beat him with a piece of iron, eventually breaking the deejay's wrist.

The deejay, whose real name is Leonard Bartley, was reportedly taken to the May Pen police station where the incident was reported.

The May Pen police have confirmed the incident.





usain-bolt-jamaica-flag.jpgFor Usain Bolt, the announcement that 31 athletes were caught doping in retests from the 2008 Beijing Olympics was "really bad news."

"It's rough. It's rough in the sport," the Jamaican great said Wednesday. "Something that's been tarnishing the sport for years."

Bolt was speaking a day after the International Olympic Committee announced that the 31 athletes could be banned from competing at the Rio de Janeiro Games. He said the World Anti-Doping Agency and others "are doing a very good job of cleaning up the sport. They've proven that anybody who has cheated, they're going to catch."

Bolt will run in the 100 meters at the Golden Spike meet in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava on Friday, his first race in Europe ahead of the Rio Games.

He said he believed that the crackdown on doping could prove successful.

"Hopefully, we can take steps forward in making the sports better and in the upcoming years we won't have these problems," Bolt said. "But, I think it's a process, and I think over time we will get better because they're doing such a good job."

In track, Russia is banned from competing because of a WADA panel report detailing state-sponsored doping. The IAAF has yet to decide if the Russian track team will be allowed to compete in Rio.

"I don't really think about it," Bolt said. "For me, rules are rules. I really don't make the rules, so, all I do is follow the rules. I can't really do anything about it."

Friday's race will be his second 100 after clocking 10.05 seconds in the Cayman Islands on Saturday. After that, he needed a treatment in Germany on the way to Prague.

"I had a tight hamstring after the last race but I went to see a doctor and he solved the problem," Bolt said. "I'm feeling pretty good right now. I'm feeling much better. I was training yesterday and everything was better."

The six-time Olympic champion will race for the eighth time at the Golden Spike meet, part of the IAAF world challenge series.

"I'll be very happy with at least 9.8," he said.

Bolt acknowledged his career might be coming to an end but was still not there.





Two children killed in fire

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fire.jpgA four-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl, were burnt to death when fire gutted a 10 bedroom house close to Studio One Boulevard in Kingston on Wednesday morning.

Close to 15 other persons were left homeless as a result of the fire.

Reports are that, at about 4:30am, persons saw smoke coming from a house located in the tenement yard and raised an alarm.

Fire fighters were quick on the scene but were unable to save the children.

Grief-stricken relatives of the deceased ran through the streets crying out when they discovered the children's fate.

"Mi want back mi cousin! Mi want back mi cousin!" a girl, who appeared to be in her teens, said.

The mother of one of the children, unable to cope with her loss, had to be rushed to hospital. A man, said to be the father of one of the children, had to be restrained from entering the burning house.

The entire house was destroyed.





Marcia Barrett, the cousin of the farm worker who died in Canada, has taken issue with the assertions made at the Ministry's news conference yesterday. Ms. Barrett remains adamant that her cousin, Sheldon McKenzie, was stripped of his labour rights under the farm work programme, which also tried to cut off his access to health care. The matter was publicised by the media in Canada.

Labour Minister, Shahine Robinson, denied that Mr Jackson was prevented from receiving health care. She asserted that less than a day after Mr. McKenzie fell ill the Jamaican Liaison office responded, and was kept abreast of developments concerning Mr. McKenzie. But Miss Barrett insists that apart from an initial conversation with Mr McKenzie's mother, there was no more communication with the Ministry's representative. She strongly opposes the Ministry's version of events.

She is also adamant that not enough was done by the Liaison Officer. In the meantime, Miss Barrett has not stated whether legal action is being contemplated. However, she has declared that she will now be more forceful as an advocate for other workers facing similar situations.





balfour-gordon.jpgcrime-scene-gun.jpgThe husband and wife pair abducted from their home in Hanover Wednesday night and later murdered have been identified.

The husband has been identified as 66-year-old Balfour Gordon and his wife has been identified as Aleth Gordon, 45.

The two, along with a worker, were abducted from their home in Elgin Town and taken to Mosquito Cove District, over three miles, where they were shot.

The three were abducted around 8:00 pm when the husband and his worker were washing his bus, Loop News has been told. They were taken away in the bus that was being washed.

The worker managed to make it to the hospital after the gunmen left them for dead. The attackers reportedly drove the bus back to the couple's home where it was left.





Mr. G accuse Dexter Daps of allegedly ordering death treats against his life.





damion-crawford-and-cliff-hughes.jpgCommencing May 25, former People's National Party (PNP) Member of Parliament Damion Crawford will be hosting his own current affairs programme on Nationwide Radio.

Nationwide senior reporter Abka Fitz-Henley tweeted the information a short while ago, along with a photo of Crawford signing the contract with station owner Cliff Hughes.

The programme called 'Straight Forward With Crawford' is to air on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8:00pm to 10:00pm.

On May 3, Crawford announced he would be hosting a radio programme but he gave no details.

"A now the place mash up... they gave Damion Crawford a radio show. Him alone and the mic... Crawford & Company and ur my company. It's shelled," he announced then.





policewoman-judith-williams-apr-29.jpgThe Police Constable implicated in the murder of one of his colleagues was not pointed out Tuesday during an identification parade.

Witnesses failed to identify the policeman under investigation for the murder of Woman Corporal Judith Williams.

He remains in custody as investigators continue their probe of the case.

Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, said other ID parades are scheduled in the matter.

Corporal Williams was shot dead at a bus stop in East Kingston three weeks ago, while on her way to work.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA Jamaican couple who was allegedly held with ganja in Guyana has been denied bail. They have been remanded to the New Amsterdam Prison until May 30.

The Jamaicans were allegedly found with 15.8 pounds of ganja, concealed in the false bottom of a suitcase while they were attempting to travel via the backtrack route to Suriname on May 12.

Benjamin Carrington, 29, and Dian Patterson, 22, who both gave their address as Papine St. Andrew, appeared before a Magistrate where they pleaded not guilty to the charge of being in possession of narcotics for trafficking.

Miss Patterson reportedly told investigators she was unaware of her boyfriend's business dealings.





Former Reggae Boy Fuller to retire

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reggae-boy-fuller.jpgFormer national striker Ricardo Fuller has called time on his playing career after taking part in a testimonial game to honour former stoke city defender Andy Griffin.

The 36 year old Fuller, who ended a three month contract with Oldham in January this year, says it will be his last parade on the field, having spent the last 15 years in the professional ranks.

Fuller played locally with Tivoli Gardens before moving overseas in 2001 to join Crystal Palace after which he moved to Preston North End, Portsmouth, Southampton, Ipswich and Stoke City, where he had his most successful stint.

He played 182 games for Stoke, scoring 43 goals. His returns at the international level were less impressive having netted just nine goals in 73 appearances.





500 pounds of ganja seized in St Elizabeth

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ganja-seized.jpgMembers of the Area 5 Narcotics police, on Sunday, made yet another major ganja seizure in the parish of St. Elizabeth.

About 500 pounds of ganja were found during an anti-narcotics operation in the Comma Pen community.

A search of a hut in nearby bushes, revealed the ganja which was in various stages of being cured in preparation for export. The ganja was seized and later destroyed. No one was arrested during the operation.





Taximan gunned down in Half-Way-Tree Sunday

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA taxi operator.was on Sunday night gunned down in Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew.

He has been identified A Lloyd Aitken of Hagley Park Road, Kingston 10.

Reports from the Half-Way-Tree police are that about 8:10 pm, police were alerted to Hagley Park Road, in the vicinity of the parish church, by the sound of explosions.





brother-and-sister-chevelle-jermain-lewis.jpgThe lives of sister and brother, Chevelle Asley Lewis and Jermaine Dominick Lewis were celebrated Saturday at Faith Temple New Testament Church of God in Portmore, St Catherine.

The two were killed in a motorcar accident last month after the vehicle in which they were travelling crashed into a house in Spanish Town.

A third form student at St Andrew High School for Girls, Chevelle was remembered for her active participation in school - tracks, swimming, Key Club, and dance - and her mischievous, yet loving presence.

Her brother Jermaine, a Kingston College alum, was remembered as a kind gentleman who, like his younger sister, was capable of making anyone smile.

"I'd like to think of Jermaine as the little giant with a heart of gold... who had a passion for life," his cousin Maurice Rose said in delivering the eulogy.

Former schoolmates reminisced on the brotherhood they shared.

An information technology technician, Jermaine was described as a promising individual who dreamed of owning an IT company some day.





Cops probe double murder in Clarendon

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThe Clarendon Police are probing a double murder in the parish Sunday night. A man and his common law wife were fatally shot at their home in May Pen.

Shortly after 9 o'clock, residents of Ivy Close heard explosions and called the police. The man was found with bullet wounds in bushes near his house, while his common law wife was found at the rear of the premises. She was also shot.

Senior Superintendent Fitz Bailey, Head of the Clarendon Police, who visited the scene, told RJR News that the cops are trying to establish a motive for the attack.

American woman charged for gun found in her luggage at airport.

An American woman who was last week arrested and charged with illegal possession of firearm and ammunition has been convicted.

After pleading guilty in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Thursday, May 12, Nikkii Adams, 33, an insurance underwriter of Georgia in the United States of America, was fined J$600,000 or 18 months at hard labour for illegal possession of firearm.

She was also fined J$500,000 for failing to declare the firearm.

Police officers arrested Adams on Tuesday, May 10 after routine checks at the baggage area of the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James, revealed a Taurus pistol in one of the suitcases.'





Public gatherings have been banned in Lacovia, St. Elizabeth following the fatal shooting of 56 year old District Constable Lewis Robinson in the community early Monday morning.

Head of the St. Elizabeth Police Superintendent Lansford Salmon made the announcement Thursday while addressing the issue of crime in the parish, at a monthly meeting of the St. Elizabeth Parish Council.

Superintendent Salmon says the ban applies to all public gatherings and entertainment activities, especially those held at night.

He said the ban will be lifted when calm is returned to the community which is now very tense.

In the meantime, Superintendent Salmon said two other communities in St. Elizabeth are facing similar bans.

They are Braes River, where there was a recent shooting which left two persons injured, and Barbary Hall. He indicated that the ban in Barbary Hall will be lifted at midnight Saturday.





crime-scene-gun.jpgFive persons who are allegedly linked to lottery scamming were shot and injured by a gunman in Mandeville, Manchester Thursday night.

The individuals were at a plaza when the man walked up and opened fire on them.

According to the head of the Manchester Police, Superintendent Vendolyn Cameron-Powell approximately 9 p.m. yesterday, a group of five alleged scammers were at the plaza on Caledonia Road when gunmen appeared and opened fire hitting all five.

The men were taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.

According to the police, the victims are not wanted, but are a target for gunmen.

Information about several illegal activities at bars and clubs along Caledonia Road has since surfaced.

"It is really a cause for concern and we can't do anything just now as it concerns these businesses because they have their license to operate," Cameron-Powell said.

They have been admitted to hospital. Their injuries are not considered life threatening.

Deputy Superintendent Hempford Wade of the Manchester Police told RJR News that one of the injured persons was linked to the lottery scam.





More good news for ganja

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ganja-licence.jpgThe Government of Jamaica has reiterated that it will be relying significantly on the establishment of a legalized marijuana and hemp industry to achieve the level of economic growth it has set itself.

"Jamaica cannot afford to miss this boat. Where there is no vision the people perish so we must change our mindset and get ready for success. We must be bold while ensuring we meet all of our international obligations," Finance Minister Audley Shaw, declared while opening the 2016/17 Budget Debate in Parliament on Thursday.

In that regard, he said he would be leading by example in his own constituency of Manchester North Eastern, taking steps to prepare farmers for their legitimate involvement in the industry and to establish extraction facilities to process and create value-added products.

"We will build an industry in Jamaica where we process and manufacture value-added products and not export raw materials. This is about an opportunity for small farmers who will now earn from land which is presently sitting idle," he said.

This, he said, was important to Jamaica's Tourism industry "where Jamaica will be positioned as the medical tourism capital for the world bringing Health and wellness to the world."

Jamaica is uniquely positioned, he added, to play a leading role in the medical marijuana industry.

Accordingly, he said the country "must move with a sense of urgency and turn ganja which has been a negative for Jamaica into a major asset creating wealth for our country."

Pointing overseas, he said the American market for legal marijuana is predicted to rise from US$6.7 billion in 2016 to US$21.8 billion by 2020.

"Canada has built a major industry which is opening up for full legalization next year. The Dutch ministry of Health is exporting medical marijuana to Canada, Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic. Israel which is the largest recipient of United Sates aid has over 12,000 medical marijuana patients and is leading the world in research on medical marijuana," he elaborated.





Kingston Mayor Angela Brown-Burke in China

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mayor-angela-brown-burke-photo-1.jpgMayor of Kingston, Senator De. Angela Brown Burke is representing Jamaica at the 12th China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industries Fair May 12-16, 2016.

Dr TANG Lixia, Director-General, Foreign Affairs Office, Shenzhen Municipal People's Government expressed his gratitude to the office of the Mayor for her commitment and dedication to promoting friendly relations between the two cities.

Brown Burke also expressed her appreciation to Dr Lixia and the Foreign Affairs Office of Shenzhen Municipal for the invitation to attend the Cultural Industries Fair and reiterated her commitment to the cause.

Senator Burke also noted that a meeting will be held between the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation and the Vice Mayor in Charge of International Relations and The Chief of Education Bureau in Shenzhen Education on May 12, 2016.

Shenzhen has 73 sister cities and friendship cities from 48 countries in five continents around the world. Their sister city network strives to include more members, generate concrete results and create mechanisms, which are ways to ensure that the cities would be able to connect with Shenzhen and other cities in the network, sharing resources and promoting cooperation across the spectrum in economic affairs and trade, education , culture, etc.

Mayor Senator Brown Burke returns to the Island next Wednesday.





The three teenage boys charged with the murder of Luciano's son, Menelik McClymont, were further remanded when they appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Thursday.

Parish Judge Simone Wolfe-Reece further remanded the accused teens citing that the case file was not yet complete. They will return to court on May 26.

Charged with murder are Jerome Coombs, 18, of Bob Marley Boulevard in Cooreville Gardens, Kingston 20; Camanie Shaw, 18; and Nashlyn Anderson, 18, both of Ambrook Lane, Kingston 10.

Luciano, who was present in court, left seemingly disappointed that the matter did not get under way.

McClymont, 19, died on Sunday, February 28, as a result of stab wounds he received on Saturday, February 27. According to reports, McClymont was stabbed several times, around 2:30 p.m. in the vicinity of Parkington Plaza on Half-Way Tree Road, St Andrew.

He was rushed to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.





Jamaicans will have to pay more for petrol, cigarettes, and even departure taxes in order to compensate for a raise in the income tax threshold. However, the country has been spared increases in general consumption tax.

With an additional $7 in gas tax imposed starting today, motorists will now pay about $31 in taxes on every litre of 87 octane gasolene at an expected ex-refinery price of $100 per litre.

Before yesterday's announcement, Jamaicans were paying approximately $24 in taxes on each litre of gas.

Light bills are also likely to increase, as the tax on heavy fuel oil has been revised and a Special Consumption Tax has been imposed on liquefied natural gas, which is mainly used in the generation of electricity.





Audley Shaw's budget

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audley-shaw.jpgFinance Minister Audley Shaw on Thursday announced new revenue measures aimed at raising $13.7 billion to help fund the $580 billion budget.

Here is the full list of the revenue measures:

1. Across-the-board increase in income tax threshold to $1,000,272.00

2. Increase in personal income tax on salaries of persons earning over $6 million per year from 25 per cent to 30 per cent

July 1, 2016

3. Increase in Specific Consumption Tax on petrol by $7 per litre

May 13, 2016

4. Introduction of Special Consumption Tax on LNG and revision of heavy fuel oil regime

May 13, 2016

*This means electricity bills will increase

5. Increase in Special Consumption Tax on cigarettes from $12 per stick to $14 per stick.

May 13, 2016

6. Increase in departure tax from US$14 to US$35

June 1, 2016

*This tax will now be denoted in US dollars.





hands-behind-bars.jpgPHILADELPHIA, United States (CMC) - The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency says several Jamaicans were arrested in a operation in Pennsylvania that targeted criminal immigrants, according to officers from its Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

Arrests were also made throughout Delaware and West Virginia.

The number of Jamaicans arrested was not disclosed, however, the ICE said all of those arrested have been convicted of crimes in the United States, or fell within the ICE's enforcement priorities for deportation.

Convictions include corruption of a minor, child pornography offences, indecent assault, robbery, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, driving under the influence, cocaine and heroin possession, and felony fraud.

In addition to the Jamaicans, nationals of Mexico, Uruguay, Kenya, El Salvador, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Argentina, Liberia, Honduras, Brazil, Ghana, India, Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, Bosnia, and Germany were also arrested.

Among the summaries of some of immigrants arrested is a 39-year-old Jamaican with prior convictions for possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance.

ICE said he was arrested on May 6 at a Philadelphia residence after being released from local custody and remains in custody pending a hearing before a federal immigration judge.

In fiscal year 2015, ICE said it conducted 235,413 deportations nationwide.

It said 91 per cent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offence.





hands-behind-bars.jpgTwo brothers, charged with the murder of businessman Trevor Meikle, were remanded when they appeared in the Mandeville Criminal Court Wednesday afternoon.

Steve and Alwayne Edwards were charged on Tuesday with murder and robbery with aggravation. They are booked to return to court on June 29.

Mr. Meikle was killed on April 17 while at his daughter's house in Ingleside, Manchester.

His attackers stole cash and jewellery.





reggae-sumfest-logo.jpgFans of Reggae Sumfest, Jamaica's premier reggae festival, will this year enjoy a real Reggae Night.

This was among the big changes announced for the 2016 staging of Reggae Sumfest. Also, the organisers have made the decision to drop the two International Nights this year. Additionally, there will be no foreign acts on Reggae Sumfest.

The format for this year's Sumfest will include two nights - Dancehall Night on Friday, July 22, and Reggae Night on Saturday, July 23.

CEO of Summerfest Productions Joe Bogdanovich says it has become too expensive to secure an international act, adding that it can cost up to US$2 million (J$248 million).

Reggae Sumfest will be staged from July 17 - 23 in Montego Bay.





Student held with gun at school

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hands-behind-bars.jpgAn 18-year-old student of Charlemont High School in Linstead, St. Catherine is in police custody after he was allegedly held with a gun Tuesday morning.

According to a police source, the student was at school when he was searched and a homemade gun with three rounds reportedly taken from him.

The police subsequently searched the student's home in Linstead, St. Catherine. Empty bullet casings were reportedly found.

The student is to undergo questioning.





oracabessa-high-student-rushane.jpgA Grade 10 student of the Oracabessa High School in St Mary was stabbed to death on Monday evening by two other classmates.

Initial reports are that theboy was walking near to the vicinity of Oracabessa police station, when an argument developed between him and another male student of the Oracabessa High School.

The dispute turned physical between the two. A third student intervened in the dispute and used a knife to stab the Grade 10 male.

An inspector, who was near to the police station, rushed to the scene and assisted the student. However, he was pronounced dead at hospital.

The two male students implicated in the incident are also Grade 10 students of the Oracabessa High School.

They were taken in custody.





hotel-collapse.jpgTwo construction workers on the Royalton Hotel site that collapsed on Tuesday are reportedly still missing.

The Ministry of Health reportedly made the disclosure at around midday.

The Royalton Hotel is being established on the property which is the former Grand Lido Hotel, and is undergoing major reconstruction. A section of the resort under construction collapsed at about 6am, injuring several workers.

Five injured workers were taken to the Noel Holmes Hospital in Hanover and the Savanna-la- Mar Hospital in Westmoreland, for treatment. One of the victims is reportedly in critical condition.

Reports are that the men were pouring concrete on a section of the construction site when it collapsed. Police and more than 20 firefighters and other rescue workers converged at the site.





Mother, 12-year-old son shot dead at home

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crime-scene-7.jpgA St James mother and her 12-year-old were murdered at home early Wednesday morning, the police report.

They are 49-year-old Yvette McLean and Devontae Haughton of Tucker District.

The two were attacked about 2:52 this morning by gunmen who kicked open their door and started firing on them.

Two other family members at the house were not harmed.

The mother and her son were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead.

Police are yet to establish a motive for the attack.





oracabessa-high-student-rushane.jpgRushane Murray, 16-year-old Grade 10 student of Oracabessa High School in St. Mary who was knifed to death by his classmates this week, has been described as a very quiet student, who was full of potential.

Rushane was a was on his way home when he was stabbed to death by another student following a dispute with a different male from the school.

"Rushane was a very quiet and pleasant young man, who had potential. He interacted well with his peers and had good respect for his teachers. He was never accused of any improper conduct," school principal Lofters is quoted as saying.

Murray was pursing Building Technology as his vocational area.

In the meantime, the school received several counselling and visits from various stakeholders on Tuesday to assist with the grief process.

These included officers from the St Mary Community Safety and Security Branch (CSSB), the Ministry of Education, head of the St Mary police, Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay and members from both political divides.

In the meantime, the principal of Oracabessa High School revealed that the male student, who is accused of stabbing Murray was brought before the school board once for behavioural issues. However, the board reverted its decision to expel the student and placed him along with 10 others in a special programme to transform their behaviour.

The police report that Rushane, who is from Herbert Swaby Avenue, Tower Isle in the parish, was on his way home from school at about 5:30 pm on Monday, May 9, when a dispute developed between him and the other student.The police say the dispute became physical and a knife was brought into play, which resulted in Murray being stabbed.

He was taken to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

The two students have not been charged and are still in custody.





hotel-collapse.jpgMinister of Local Government, Desmond McKenzie has ordered the immediate halting of construction at the Royalton hotel site in Negril, Hanover saying there have been numerous breaches.

According to McKenzie, the order halting the construction will initially be for 30 days, but will be extended if necessary.

He says a preliminary report into the incident indicates that substandard material was being used, work was being undertaken outside of permitted hours and construction was being undertaken in areas for which there had been no approval.

McKenzie has also acknowledged that the Hanover Parish Council has long been receiving reports about breaches at the construction site, however, it failed to intervene.

"I'm not offering any defence, but we need also to strengthen the capacity of the local authority to respond in a more meaningful way," he said.

Meanwhile, the Negril Chamber has called for a speedy probe into the building collapse at Royalton site.





AK47 seized in East Kingston

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gun-ak-47-dunkirk.jpgThe Kingston Eastern Police on Tuesday seized an AK-47 rifle during an operation in the vicinity of Wildman Street, Dunkirk in Kingston 2.

The police say no one was arrested in connection with the seizure.





KSAC this week broke ground with the CHASE Fund to commence the construction of the Family Park at William Grant Park.

According to Senator Mayor Brown Burke "The Family Park will not only be a place of fun, relaxation and togetherness, but will also re-emphasize the celebration and importance of The Family where parents and children, brothers, sisters,cousins, aunts and uncles, religious organisations, students and adults will come to enjoy the facility, and feel a sense of belonging, a sense of pride and a sense of love. Where children of all ages will come to play, and they will learn through play: developing social and cognitive skills as they learn how to be kind to one another, how to look out for each other, how to negotiate their differences; gaining self confidence as they master new skills and teach others what they know."

Mayor Brown explained that "This idea was born out of the necessity to have a facility for children and families in Downtown Kingston, where families living in close proximity wouldn't need to go very far to enjoy a world class interactive park with distinctively thematic activity and play areas that are 'attention-grabbing' yet educational."

The full project is estimated to cost in excess of $50.0 Million Dollars the CHASE Fund will take up a major portion of this project to the tune of $20.7 Million Dollars which will go toward the building of the Mother Hen Corner, Journey to Africa and The Seashell Amphitheatre.

The KSAC will be actively engaging other partners to assist in the funding to funding of the other themed areas which are:• The Mosaic Space• Reggae Avenue• The Main Family Monument• the Tuck Shop• the Walking Trail• the restroom facility Structural Engineer Scheed Cole will be responsible for the execution of these area.

"Over 95% of the material to be used in the construction of the facility will be recycled material and it is for this reason that we I am using this opportunity to launch our plastic bottle collection drive and appeal to residents of Kingston and St. Andrew and the wider Jamaica, whether at the

Level of the household or large companies to donate! donate! donate! as many of your plastic bottles as possible to help us with the completion of this awesome project, approximately 3million bottles will be needed," says Mayor Brown Burke. Collection zones across the municipality will be announced very shortly.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) have confirmed that a district constable was shot and killed in Lacovia, St. Elizabeth on Sunday.

Information is that the policeman was found dead in his Toyata Camry motorcar about 8pm.

He had gunshot wounds to his head and chest.

The deceased has been identified as 56-year-old Lewis Robinson, who was attached to the Santa Cruz Police station.

Residents heard loud explosions and summoned the police. Robinson's body was found along the Lacovia Main Road.

The St. Elizabeth police say investigations are ongoing.





faye-jacobs.jpgFormer Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate for Central Westmoreland Faye Reid Jacobs has died.

News of Reid-Jacobs' death was confirmed by the police who said that the former politician allegedly committed suicide by injecting a substance into her body.

She was found by relatives on Sunday, May 8 at 6:30 pm at her Mountainside Boulevard, Long Mountain, St. Andrew home.

Faye Reid- Jacobs in 2015 tendered her resignation as the party's candidate in the Central Westmoreland seat after electoral defeat by the People's National Party's Dwayne Vaz.

Reid-Jacobs was a financial consultant and the sister of the late Pauline Reid, former President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Reid Jacobs unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Central Westmoreland by-election for the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) against the People's National Party's Dwayne Vaz.

She resigned as the JLP's caretaker for the constituency less than one year after the defeat.

Reid Jacobs was the Executive Director of the consultancy firm Caribbean Integrated Financial Services Limited.





Suspect held for cop's murder

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hands-behind-bars.jpgA suspect has reportedly been held for questioning in relation to the murder Monday morning of a district constable in Lacovia, St Elizabeth.

The man was held Monday afternoon.

Lewis Robinson, a 56-year-old resident of the parish, was held up and shot after 2 o'clock and his firearm stolen.

Police report that Lewis' body was found in his car with a gunshot wound to his mouth.

Head of the St Elizabeth Police Division, Lansford Salmon, said residents in the area reported that they heard gunshots after 2 o'clock.

The attack in the area has left police in the division on high alert.





crime-scene-7.jpgSixty-four-year-old Clarendon pastor Leon Brown was killed on Monday afternoon and his wife seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash along the Clarendon Park Main Road.

The pastor was killed around 1:20 pm, after the Toyota Corolla he was driving slammed into a truck.

The pastor had just driven out of a gas station where he had stopped to buy petrol when the crash occurred.

It took a team from the Clarendon Fire Department more than half an hour to remove the couple from the mangled car..

Brown, the pastor of the Bethel Gospel Hall in Mocho died on the spot.

His wife has been hospitalised in serious condition.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA Portland security guard is now in police custody for allegedly raping a 10 year-old-girl in the community of Breastwork on the weekend.

According to the police, the child left her home and went to a nearby river with family and friends on Saturday afternoon.

It is alleged that after swimming, the girl decided to head home for a change of clothing, but did not return and family members became worried.

The police say the girl's sister went to investigate and found the child naked and crying.

An alarm was raised and the security guard was later picked up by the police.

Residents, however, converged at the Port Antonio Police Station demanding that the man be turned over to them.

The residents claim it was not the first time the security guard, believed to be in his 40s, was sexually molesting the child.

He is also said to be involved in a relationship with the child's mother.





faye-jacobs.jpgThe People's National Party (PNP) has joined in expressing condolences following the alleged suicide of former banker and politician Faye Reid Jacobs.

The police say Jacobs died yesterday two hours after she was taken to hospital after reportedly ingesting a chemical substance.

In a release, the PNP says it is saddened by this event and offered condolences to her family and friends.

The party also Reid Jacob's contribution to the political life of Jamaica.





Noting that the recent murder of two missionaries in St Mary was an unfortunate, but isolated incident, head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, ACP Ealan Powell, says that missionary groups are safe in Jamaica.

The police in Jamaican Police have emphasised that other missionary groups will be safe when they come to Jamaica.

ACP Powell is encouraging other missionaries who may have concerns to contact the police.

The bodies of 48-year-old, Randy Hentzel, and 53 year-old, Harold Nichols were found between April 30 and May 1.

Autopsies have revealed, that they died of gunshot and chop wounds.

Both missionaries lived and worked in Jamaica, for a Pennsylvania-based religious organization called Teams for Medical Missions.

The two men and their families did evangelism, bible ministry and built homes.

At the time of their deaths, the men were reportedly in the process of checking on the completion of the foundation for a home for a poor St Mary family, ahead of the visit by other missionaries, to finish the structure.





missionaries-killed.jpgThe group, Teams for Medical Missions, two of whose members were murdered in St. Mary, has postponed its upcoming trip fo Jamaica.

The announcement was made at a memorial service for the slain missionaries, Harold Nichols and Randy Hentzel, held on Saturday.

"Because of the circumstances, because of the part that Harold and Randy played in our teams, because of the fact that we house them in the Nichols' home, we felt it was unkind and unable for us to have the team come this week," said John Heater, Director of Teams for Medical Missions.

But despite the negative international publicity, as a result of the killings, it appears the team is looking to strengthen ties with Jamaica in the future.

The local police and a team from the FBI visited the crime scenes last weekend.





The issue of free movement of Jamaicans and other CARICOM nationals will be up for discussion at the regional Heads of Government conference scheduled to take place in July.

Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the matter was placed on the agenda at Jamaica's request.

It follows the recent actions of Trinidad and Tobago to deny entry to a number of Jamaicans.

Senator Johnson Smith said after several discussions with her Trinidadian counterpart, Senator David Moses, she was able to get a written response.

"He has now committed to retrofitting an appropriate area within the Piarco Airport to ensure that they are, by July of this year, more able to treat with Jamaicans and all nationals who use the Piarco Airport and are denied entry," she said.





Good news for Ganja

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ganja-licence.jpgA week after a new Board of the Cannabis Licensing Authority was appointed, the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) says it has signed off on regulations that will result in the development of a legal ganja industry in Jamaica. That is legal for medicinal, therapeutic and scientific purposes.

The regulations, as set out, will put the CLA in a position to start issuing licenses in the next few weeks for those interested in participating in the ganja industry. But before it reaches that stage, a few more things are to be done.

The regulations that were signed off on must now go to the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel where the document will be finalised for the signature of the Chairman of the CLA as well as the Minister of Justice, ahead of it being submitted for gazetting and entry into law.

The CLA will, in the interim, be convening town hall meetings in several parishes during the last two weeks of this month to discuss the regulations.

The CLA was created by the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015. It has powers to make and oversee the implementation of regulations for licences, permits and other authorisation for the cultivation, processing, distribution, sale and transportation of hemp, as well as ganja, for medicinal, scientific and therapeutic purposes.

The regulations that were signed off on do not deal with the hemp industry, which will be discussed in the future.





policewoman-judith-williams-apr-29.jpgThe Police High Command has promised further details on the probe into the brutal murder Corporal Williams, following confirmation that a suspect is in custody and the motorbike that was used by the killers has been seized by investigators.

Police sources have indicated that a least one serving member of the force is among persons being questioned about the murder.

The attack on Williams has been described as a 'hit' by senior investigators on the case. Now they are putting the pieces together to fully establish the motive behind the tragic incident, and the linkages that were involved.

Williams' murder has rocked her colleagues, many of whom have had to undergo grief counselling.





Dancehall duo Voicemail okay car accident

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Reports are that dancehall duo #Voicemail escaped life threatening injures Friday after the vehicle they were traveling in veered of the road and crashed into a ditch in Falmouth.

Hours later duo member #Qraig sought to assure fans and well wishers that despite being a bit shaken up they were ok.





prince-ermias-photo-1.jpgYardflex is no stranger to big ups, but this one by Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, the grandson of HIM Haile Selassie is special in more ways than one.

The Prince and his wife visited Jamaica last week, and we were privileged to hang out with him, and we must say, that Prince Ermias is the MAN.

Blessed love Prince...and come back for another visit soon. The welcome mat is always spread out for you and the family.

download the video here.





Popcaan pleads guilty

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popcaan-photo-4.jpgJamaican entertainer Popcaan on Tuesday pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer in Antigua.

Popcaan, whose given name is Andre Sutherland, was taken before a magistrate court in Antigua and Barbuda court on summary offenses.

He entered the guilty plea to the two charges, battery on police and was fined EC$1,000 (approximately $45,409) and obstructing a police officer. He was fined EC$1,000 (approximately $45,409).

If he fails to pay the fines, he faces six months imprisonment.

Popcaan was arrested in Antigua and Barbuda early Tuesday morning.





Popcaan fined, released from custody

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popcaan-photo-3.jpgFollowing his arrest earlier this morning Dancehall recording artist #Popcaan was moments ago released by police on fine after his legal team of Michael Archibold, Lawrence Daniels and Jermaine Rhudd filled the necessary paperwork.

This stemming from a brief altercation with what appeared to be a #police office during his performance. The incident seem to stem from a misunderstanding after a fan was being escorted off stage.





Proper preparation of ackee

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ackee.jpgAccording to Acting Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. De La Haye, ackee contains high levels of a toxin called hypoglycin and if not ripened properly, can potentially lead to death if consumed.

He says persons should thoroughly clean the fruit by removing the seed and the pinkish/reddish membrane.

Wash the ackee properly, cook before eating and dispose of the water used. Other foods such as salt fish, ground provision and rice are to be cooked separately.

Symptoms of ackee poisoning include vomiting, stomach cramps/abdominal pain, dizziness, diarrhoea and sweating.

The Ministry of Health says persons experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately and should have a sweet drink while on their way to the health centre or hospital.

ackee-cooked.jpg





hands-behind-bars.jpgA Costa Rican man, who was held along with a Jamaican woman with approximately 570 pounds of ganja and several barrels of fuel, Tuesday, pleaded guilty to Breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

He is 39 year old businessman Ragelio Dixon Austin.

However 26 year old Melinda Cole otherwise called Sherika Williams and Shelly pleaded not guilty to the charge when she appeared in the St. Elizabeth Court in Santa Cruz.

She was offered 200,000 bail.

Mr. Ragelio Austin is to be sentenced on May 13, while a mention date of June 13, has been set for Miss Melinda Cole to seek legal representation and return to court.

Two cases of ackee poisoning

In the wake of two cases of ackee poisoning since the start of the year, the Ministry of Health is warning the public to be careful in the preparation and consumption of the fruit.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, the Health Ministry said if ackee is not prepared properly, it can be harmful due to the potentially high levels of toxins.

Acting Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Winston De La Haye, says only fit and well opened ackees are to be used by householders.





popcaan-photo-3.jpgDancehall recording artiste Popcaan was last night arrested by the police in Antigua while performing at a stage show there.. The incident seem to stem from a misunderstanding after a fan was being escorted off stage. A report carried in the Antigua Observer this morning stated that the conflict began when a number of supporters climbed onto the stage and a police officer began removing them.

In the video shown below, Popcaan is seen intervening and saying on the mic not to handle them so rough. He also physically separated a patron from the police officer who reacted by strongly pushing Popcaan.

"Several patrons stepped in the way and another officer intervened to calm the police officer. The dancehall artist later reportedly responded by directing a diss song to the police officer further escalating the situation.

"The artiste then left the stage where he alleged a further conflict occurred and patrons began throwing bottles onto the stage.

In a further video the artiste - while being escorted by police officers into a vehicle - can be heard accusing the police of breaking open his mouth





Another cop attacked by gunmen

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police-cars.jpgA Corporal is in serious but stable condition after being attacked while on his way from work at the Guy's Hill Police Station in St. Catherine early Sunday.

It's reported that gunmen opened fire on his vehicle in Kitson Town in the parish - hitting him in the face and thigh.

The incident comes days after Corporal Judith Williams died after being shot in while on her way to work last Thursday.

The policewoman was shot multiple times in Franklyn Town, east Kingston; and a policeman was attacked and injured in Sandy Bay, Clarendon, while at home with his common-law wife on Thursday night.

Head of the Police Federation Sergeant Raymond Wilson said the spate of attacks on members of the force is frightening.

"I find it very difficult to understand the spate of attacks in recent days. We are aware of the shooting of our female colleague and to wake up to this this morning - it is quite heartrending for cops on the ground who require motivation in light of the spate of criminal activities to go out there and do a job when we ourselves are being attacked," Wilson said.

The policewoman subsequently died from her injuries.





The police have confirmed reports that a boat transporting Jamaicans to the USA, capsized off the coast of Bahamas, earlier today (April 30).

However, details of the incident have not been released.

The police say authorities also seized some contraband.

Concerned relatives have contacted Irie FM News, expressing frustration with being unable to get information about the incident.

The relatives fear their loved ones have drowned, however the police say they cannot confirm any report of deaths.





Missionary killed in St Mary

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american-missionary-randy-hentzell.jpgThe body of a missionary from Mango Valley in St Mary, was found Saturday afternoon at Wensworth in the parish.

The missionary, who has been identified as 48-year-old American Randy Hentzel, was found with his hands bound and a wound to the mouth.

Reports from the police are that about 8:00 am, Hentzel and another missionary went out on a motorcycle. Then, around 2:00 pm, Hentzel's body was found beside the motorcycle.

The police were reportedly summoned.

The other missionary has not been seen since.





McLeod clocks world-leading time

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hurdler-mcleod-jamaica.jpgJamaica's World Indoor champion Omar McLeod scorched to a world-leading and meet record victory in his first outdoor sprint hurdles race of the season at the Drake Relays in the United States ON Saturday.

Running in cold conditions and a negative wind, McLeod blazed to 13.03 seconds to win the event and break the previous record 13.14 which was set by fellow Jamaican Hansle Parchment in 2014. Parchment was third in Saturday's race in a season's best 13.42 seconds.

Reigning Commonwealth Games champion Kaliese Spencer was fourth in the women's 400 meter hurdles, clocking 56.39 seconds in her opening race of the season.

Another Jamaican, Ristanna Tracey was 7th in 59.08 seconds in the event won by Britain's Meghan Beesley in 55.43 seconds.





Jamaica and Cuba will sign a memorandum of understanding for multi-destination tourism between the two countries on Friday.

A similar agreement will be signed with the Dominican Republic in June.

Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, made the announcement on Friday at the opening of the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

He said Jamaica is taking proactive steps to leverage its long-standing relationship with Cuba, to boost arrivals through the arrangement with that country and the Dominican Republic.

"Cuba which is our neighbour 90 miles away, will allow visitors to arrive there and then come to Jamaica. I believe that now that Cuba now better relations with the entire region, this will enable us to have greater connectivity."

He said Jamaica is also in discussions with China and the aim is to concretise a tripartite agreement with China, Jamaica and Cuba.





ganja-seized.jpgA Haitian is among three men arrested on Saturday following a major ganja seizure on a beach near Pelican Cay, off the coast of Old Harbour, St. Catherine.

The other two men are Jamaicans.The police say the seizure of 650 pounds of ganja and three 15 gallon bottles of fuel has dealt another blow to the guns-for-drugs trade between Jamaica and Haiti.

The police say the ganja seized is worth just under $4-million

It's reported that about 4:45 p.m., the Marine Police were patrolling the Pelican Cay area when they observed the bottles of fuel ashore.

This aroused their suspicion, leading them to search the surrounding area.During the search, the ganja was found in plastic bags.

The three men, who were at the location, were held and arrangements are being made for them to be interviewed.

Investigators theorise that the drug was being prepared for pick-up.





ganja-seized.jpgNASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) - Two foreign nationals, including a Jamaican, are due to appear in court later this week after they were arrested at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) over the weekend.

Police said that the two women, the other from Amsterdam, were arrested after members of the Drug Enforcement Unit, acting on information, conducted a search of a suitcase where they uncovered just over three pounds of ecstasy pills

"The two women were subsequently arrested and taken into custody. Investigations are ongoing," a police statement noted, adding that the two unidentified women were taken into custody late Friday.





court.jpgA man held and charged in connection with the rape of a Jamaican woman in Trinidad, is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

The police report that the 38-year-old man was arrested at his home last Thursday, after he reportedly raped the 26-year-old woman at her home last week Sunday morning.

According to the police the woman was accosted by a man as she arrived at her home in Orchard Gardens, Chaguanas.

The man reportedly placed a knife to her throat and demanded that she hand over her belongings.

When she told him that she had nothing, he forced her into the house and allegedly raped her.

The man is expected to appear in the Tunapuna Magistrates Court on Monday to answer to charges.





ermias-emperor-haile-selassie-grandson.jpgHis Imperial Highness, Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie and his wife, Princess Saba Kebede, departed the island yesterday, following their nine-day visit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the State visit of his grandfather, the late Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie.

The Prince, who reportedly spoke with the state-controlled JIS News before leaving the Sangster International Airport, in Montego Bay, expressed appreciation to the Government and people of Jamaica, particularly the Rastafarian community, for making his visit memorable. He said he hopes to return to Jamaica soon.

Prince Sahle-Selassie said he cherished the fond memories of his visit and "it was very good to see that the legacy of His Majesty is still alive in Jamaica today."

Among his most memorable stops during his cross island tour was his visit to the Maroons of Accompong, St Elizabeth, he said.

"That was a great experience, also the visits to the different mansions of Rastafari: Bobo-shanti Hill, Nyah Binghi and the 12 tribes," he said, adding that visiting the high school named in honour of his grandfather, in Kingston, was also of great significance.

The Prince's visit involved a number of activities, including a floral tribute to National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey at National Heroes Park; courtesy calls on Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Leader of the Opposition Portia Simpson Miller, as well as tours of the historic exhibition, 'Rastafari: Unconquerable!' , at the National Museum of Jamaica in Kingston and Montego Bay

(JIS)





crime-scene-7.jpgA top level probe has been launched into the killing of two American missionaries who were ambushed in Albion Mountain, St. Mary on Jamaica's north east on Saturday.

One of the missionaries, 48 year old Randy Hentzel, was found shot to death about 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon. Then, shortly after 5 o'clock Sunday afternoon, the body of 53 year old Harold Nichols was discovered by a search team comprising the police and residents. The body had bullet wounds.

The police have not yet ascertained a motive for the killings.

It's reported that the men disappeared while on the way to meet their team in Albion Mountain where they were constructing a house for a family.

Terry Nichols, the wife of Harold Nichols, working with a Pennsylvania based medical mission, said that she and her husband had been bringing medical teams to Jamaica "every quarter for the last 20 years."

The couple moved to Jamaica in 2002 and since then have also been assisting in building small homes for persons "in unfortunate circumstances."





The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) has revealed that over $500 million worth of counterfeit items has been seized by them in recent years.

Alwyn Nicely, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Jamaica Customs Border Protection Division, says the seizures were part of a clampdown on breaches of intellectual property rights.

Speaking at a media briefing Thursday, Mr. Nicely said, "IPR, which is often seen as a victimless crime, is quite the opposite. We have, to date, seized and destroyed in excess of $523 million worth of goods (with items ranging) from illicit cigarettes to apparel."

He has also highlighted the dangers associated with the sale of counterfeit medication locally. He urged consumers to be cautious when purchasing pharmaceuticals as it was a matter of public safety.

"We must be absolutely sure that the things we are ingesting as medication are above board and legitimate," said Mr. Nicely.





police-commish-dr-carl-williams.jpgCommissioner of Police Dr. Carl Williams and the Police High Command have condemned the killing and have offered condolences to the family members, friends and colleagues of the slain policewoman.

"My heart goes out to the family members and colleagues of Ms. Williams who has passed under very tragic circumstances. I too mourn with you as she was a member of my immediate staff," Williams said.

"To her killers, the Jamaica Constabulary Force remains undaunted by this evil act. We will stop at nothing until her killers are brought to justice."

The Police High Command is also urging all officers both on and off duty to be extremely vigilant and to take swift and decisive action to protect themselves, family, colleagues and members of the public within the remit of the law.

The High Command also says the threat level against police personnel remains high.





policewoman-judith-williams-apr-29.jpgThe female police corporal who was shot six times by gunmen as she left her east Kingston home for work Thursday morning has died.

She has been identified as 54-year-old Judith Williams, who was attached to the Office of Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams.

police-commish-dr-carl-williams.jpg

The police say Williams died shortly after midnight at the Kingston Public Hospital.

Williams was looking forward to her retirement from the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

On Thursday morning, she had just left her home on Brae Street in east Kingston when she was surprised by two gunmen travelling on a motorcycle.

It's reported that the pillion pulled a firearm and opened fire, hitting her.

She was rushed to hospital where doctors made a valiant attempt to save her life.





Father of murdered 3-year-old found dead

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murdered-child-leashay-thomas.jpgThe father of the slain St James three-year-old child wanted in connection with her murder has been found dead.

Roosevelt 'Timmy' Thomas was found with multiple gunshot wounds at an abandoned house on Joan Avenue in Glendevon last night.

He had earlier escaped police custody while being interrogated at the Barnett Street police lock-up in the parish.

Thomas called a family member to say he was going to kill his daughter and dump her body at the beach.

He also threatened to kill himself.

Thomas reportedly went to the child's mother, took the child away and sent a text to his own mother to say the child was at the beaches.





policewoman-judith-williams-apr-29.jpgThe police say they now have a suspect in custody in relation to the murder of female police corporal, Judith Williams.

"We have a man in custody and he is being questioned in relation to a number of crimes, one of which is the killing of the female police corporal," said a senior detective in the matter.

Police say they were unable, at this time, to provide more details on the case.

Williams, 54, was attacked and shot multiple times as she made her way to work by gunmen traveling on a motor cycle in McIntyre Villa, also known as Dunkirk.

She died in hospital on Friday morning.

Her death has sent shock waves across the country and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).





fatal-crash.jpgA visitor to the island,, twenty-two-year-old Laura Arango of Revere, Massachusetts, USA, died in a motor vehicle crash in Hanover Tuesday morning.

Reports are that Arongo was a passenger in a white Toyota Voxy motor vehicle that was travelling on the Point main road in the vicinity of the Molasses Port, when it slammed into a parked truck at about 11:30 am.

It's understood that the car was travelling from the direction of Lucea towards Montego Bay, St James.

Miss Arongo and the driver were reportedly taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead and the driver admitted.

The Hanover police are investigating.





Dad flees as daughter's body found at beach

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murdered-child-leashay-thomas.jpgThe St James Police are now searching for Roosevelt Thomas for questioning in connection with the death of his 3-year-old daughter.

He's also known as 'Skinny' from a Flanker address in Montego Bay, St James.

The dead girl has been identified as Leashay Thomas, who lived with her mother in Flower in the parish.

Leashay's body was found floating in the waters of the Dump Up Beach in the second city Tuesday morning.

Reports are that a man, said to be the father, called a family member to say he was going to kill his daughter and dump her body at the beach.Thomas reportedly went to the child's mother, took the child away and sent a text to his own mother to say the child was at the beaches.

The matter was reported to the police, who conducted a search of the area Monday night but to no avail. They found the body Tuesday morning after returning to search for the missing child.





policeman-son-jquan-forbes-photo-1.jpgThe Police High Command has ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a Constable's son at their home in Olympic Gardens, Kingston on Monday night. It is understood that the boy used his father's service pistol to shoot himself in the head.

Dead is 14 year old J'Quan Forbes, a student of Wolmer's Boys School. His father, who is attached to the Denham Town Police Station, is facing a charge of negligence.

Reports are that shortly after 7 o'clock, the child was reprimanded by his father about an email he received from his school about his academic performance. Following the discussion, the policeman went to bed. An explosion was later heard.

When the policeman went to his son's room, he was found with a wound to the head and the service pistol as well as a note beside him.





Couple found dead in car in Portmore

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crime-scene-7.jpgA man and a woman were found dead in a motor car on Meadowvale Drive in Portmore, St Catherine.

Dead are: 37-year-old Michelle Murdock of St Paul Avenue, Caymanas, and 49-year-old businessman Patrick Johnson of Cougar Drive, both in Portmore.

Reports are that about 3:15 am, explosions were heard and the police summoned.

When the lawmen got to the location, both Murdock and Johnson were found with gunshot wounds inside a Mazda motor car.





MISSING: Two Americans cruise ship passengers

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missing-cruise-ship-passengers.jpgPolice in Trelawny are seeking the public's assistance in locating two American nationals who were passengers on a cruise ship that docked at the Falmouth Pier on Tuesday, April 26 and went missing.

They are 33-year-old Hayden Gerson and 32-year-old Alisha Frank. Gerson was dressed in light coloured shorts and a grey t-shirt while Frank was dressed in a red short skirt and red open back blouse.

Reports from the Falmouth Police are that about 9:26 a.m., both disembarked the vessel allegedly to make a trip to Montego Bay, St. James; they have not been seen or heard from since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Hayden Gerson and Alisha Frank is being asked to contact the Falmouth Police at 954-3222, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThree alleged robbers, including a woman, were injured Tuesday night during a gun battle with the police in Clarendon.

Shortly after 8 o'clock, persons held up and robbed patrons at a bar in Cross Keys, Manchester. They escaped in a car but were pursued by the Manchester police, aided by a Jamaica Defence Force helicopter, to Four Paths in Clarendon.

One of the police vehicles was damaged by the getaway car during the chase. A gun battle then followed and one of the men who escaped from the vehicle was captured in bushes.





A boat captain who goes by the name Man O War has been arrested by the police and slapped with ganja related charges.

Man O War, whose given name is Cregg Donald, was charged by the narcotics police with possession of ganja, dealing in ganja and taking steps to export ganja.

The police say Donald was arrested after a white Toyota Hilux, owned and driven by him, was searched at a yacht club in St. James and one knitted bag with compressed ganja amounting to 31 pounds was found.

Man O War is one of two persons to be arrested and slapped with ganja-related charges by the Police Officers attached to the Narcotics Division along with the Marine Police.

In the first incident, on Wednesday, an American man was arrested when a boat, docked at the yacht club, was searched and twenty-five packages of compressed vegetable matter resembling ganja was found, weighing approximately 130 pounds.

Five 15-gallon barrels of fuel was also found on the boat. The man's identity is being withheld pending further investigations.





Big drug bust at a yacht club in Montego Bay

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ganja-seized.jpgThe Narcotics Police have arrested two men, including an American, following two drug busts at a yacht club in Montego Bay, St James.

One hundred and sixty pounds of ganja was seized in the operations.

In the first incident, on Wednesday, the American was arrested when a boat, docked at the yacht club, was searched and twenty-five packages of compressed ganja weighing 130 pounds seized. Five 15-gallon barrels of fuel were also found on the boat.

The American's identity is being withheld.

On the following day, the cops arrested Cregg Donalds otherwise called "Man O War", a Boat Captain of Oracabessa, St. Mary at the yacht club. A pick-up owned by him was searched at the yacht club and a knitted bag with compressed ganja weighing 31 pounds was allegedly found.





Jamaican on cocaine charge in Bermuda

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cocaine-seized-photo-1.jpgA Jamaican national accused of importing a quantity of cocaine into Bermuda was charged in the country last week.

Charged with importing cocaine is 30-year-old Tyrone Brown, who was not required to enter a plea to because it must be heard by the Supreme Court before.

Reports are that Brown attempted to enter the island with roughly 900g of cocaine to the which has a street value of between BMD$95,700 (approximately J$11.7 million and BMD$209,625 (approximately J$25.6 million) if sold on the streets of the island.

The presiding magistrate ordered Brown further remanded into custody until May 2, at which point he is expected to be scheduled to appear before the Supreme Court for arraignment.





Robber killed in shoot-out with cops

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crime-scene-7.jpgOne man was shot and killed during a confrontation with the Police on Cottage Road, Montego Bay, St. James last weekend.

The police said that a .38 Taurus revolver with two live rounds was recovered after the shooting.

A car, with the men aboard was reportedly spotted along a section of Cottage Road by the police who gave chase. A gun battle reportedly ensued, and the men, while trying to make they escape crashed their car into a wall just outside the gate of the Montego Bay Cricket Club.

Residents in Montego Bay said that the deceased is one of two men who were believed to have been involved in robbery.

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





Big names for JAMPRO Board

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junior-reid-photo-1.jpgSeveral high profile individuals have been appointed to the board of Jampro,an Agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.

Heading the eight-member board is Grace Kennedy Chief Executive Officer Don Wheby. The Deputy Chairman is President of the Jamaica Manufacturers Association Metry Seaga.

Other board members are Businessman Zachary Harding, Digicel Executive Peter Lloyd and company executive Yoni Epstein.

The other members are Honey Bun Executive Michelle Chong, Sandals Executive Gary Saddler and Supreme Ventures Director Ian Levy.





$300,000 reward for capture of QQ

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The St. Ann Police have increased to $300,000 the reward for information leading to the arrest and charge of 50-year-old Brian Forbes, otherwise called QQ, of Drumily in St. Ann.

Forbes is wanted in connection with the April 25, 2015 murders of 15-year-old Amoya Brown and 25-year-old Demari Smith.

It was reported that a dispute developed with Mr. Forbes and the two, who were his neighbours, about a noise disturbance. Ms Brown and Mr. Smith were both chopped with a machete. They died while being treated at hospital.

Forbes has since been on the run.

Anyone knowing his whereabouts is being asked to call the St. Ann's Bay Police at 972-2211, Crime Stop at 311, Kingfish at 811, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





policeman-son-jquan-forbes.jpgPolice detectives are investigating the fatal shooting death of a child on Monday night was an accident or if it was suicide.

The dead child has been identified as JQuan Forbes,a student of Wolmer's Boys' School in Kingston and the son of a detective constable assigned to the Denham Town Police Station.The policeman has been admitted in hospital after he collapsed after making the gruesome discovery.

Reports are that the policeman left the gun at home and the child picked up the weapon when it reportedly went off and JQuan accidentally shot himself. However, detectives are probing several angles in the matter - one of them is that the child may have intended to kill himself.

Reports are that the father had an argument with JQuan about an email, and instructed the boy to complete his homework. The policeman reportedly fell asleep and was awakened by an explosion in the house. The body of the teen was found on the floor in his room close to the service firearm of his father.

Sources report that a suicide note was also found at the scene.





ruel-reid.jpgEducation Minister, Senator Ruel Reid says that the withdrawal of mandatory auxiliary fees in high schools will not create major financial challenges for the institutions. He has outlined that the schools will be adequately funded from the money that will be set aside for the new policy.

Since the announcement of the policy change, there have been concerns about the source of funding for high schools. Stakeholders are worried whether the government subvention can plug the budget gap that is expected.

Reid has sought to assure that not all schools will receive the same amount. He asserts that parents are still free to contribute to the schools, but it will not be mandatory.

And despite the Minister's assurance, more concern has been voiced about the pending policy change. Retired Principal, Esther Tyson, is questioning the sustainability of the move.

She fears that the benefits will not be proportional as some schools need it more than others.





Canada to legalise ganja in 2017

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canada-marijuana-rally-flag.jpgAn announcement by Canada's health minister Jane Philpott that the government will introduce legislation to make the sale of marijuana legal in 2017, with four-twenty (April 20) - an unofficial holiday among ganja advocates. Hundreds of weed heads demonstrated outside Parliament in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 20.

According to reports, this would make Canada one of the largest Western countries to legalise widespread use ganja. Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed for legalisation during his electoral campaign.

Responding to concerns, Philpott pledged to keep marijuana "out of the hands of children and profits out of the hands of criminals", during an announcement on the 20th of April. The day is in fact recognized as an unofficial holiday among cannabis advocates.

Canada already accepts medical use of the drug, and some argue that making marijuana legal would significantly cut down the demand and strain on the country's justice system.

"We will work with law enforcement partners to encourage appropriate and proportionate criminal justice measures," Philpott said.

The announcement was met with a demonstration outside Parliament on Ottawa, involving hundreds of marijuana users.

Critics oppose the change, saying that it could potentially harm the people's health, but a former Toronto police chief appointed as the government's point person on legalisation (Bill Blair), argues that marijuana regulation will be similar to that of alcohol.

"We control who it's sold to, when it's sold and how it's used, and organised crime doesn't have the opportunity to profit from it," he told Reuters.





gayle-and-natasha.jpgWest Indies cricketer Chris Gayle is calling his daughter Blush.

He took to Instagram on Wednesday evening to announce the baby's arrival and sing praises to his baby mama, Natasha Berridge.

"We would like to welcome the arrival of our beautiful daughter 'Blush' to this world 2 hours ago, Thank God. #GoodHealth&Strength - The greatest gift and feelings anyone would want. Great experience witnesses every bit of it. Have to give my blessings to Tasha, strong woman.#Amen," he wrote.

It is thought that Gayle is calling the baby Blush to make light of a media fiasco he was involved in sometime ago in Australia, where while complimenting a reporter, he told her, "Don't blush, baby."

"Don't 'BLUSH' baby turned into Real Life event!" one of his followers commented.





Fourth suspect held in murder of Luciano's son

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luciano-son-menalik.jpgProsecutors reported on Thursday that a fourth suspect is to be charged with the murder of 19 year old Menelik McClymont, the son of reggae artiste Luciano.

The disclosure was made when the three teenaged boys charged with McClymont's murder appeared before the Corporate Area Criminal Court. They were remanded until May 11.

Eighteen-year-old students Jerome Coombs and Kemanie Shaw of Ambrook Lane, St. Andrew, along with 18-year-old Nashlyn Morgan, were charged on March 4.

Menelik, who was a student of Maths Unlimited, was attacked and stabbed several times by a group of men at Parkington Plaza on February 27. He died a day later at hospital.





Celebs burn a spliff in honour of 'Weed Day'

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ganja-smoking.jpgApril 20 marked a special day in marijuana history as there were several events held locally and internationally to mark the annual four/twenty celebrations.

From early Wednesday, celebrities around the world took to social media to begin the festivities and spread the word to get the momentum going. Snoop Lion, Wiz Khalifa, and Rihanna were among the international celebrities who made posts to their Instagram pages 'lighting up' the weed.

On the local circuit, artistes such as Jesse Royal, Inner Circle, and Raging Fyah also endorsed the annual 'holiday'. Social media app SnapChat also got in on the action by releasing a Bob Marley filter yesterday morning in an observation of the 4/20 celebrations.

Though the 4/20 celebrations seemed to have started over the last decade or so with the relaxation of marijuana laws across the globe, allowing festivities to become more mainstream, several articles posted yesterday highlighted the fact that the day has been observed as 'Weed Day' since the 1970s.

According to Vox.com, Steven Hager, a former editor of the marijuana-focused news outlet High Times, told the New York Times that the holiday came out of a ritual started by a group of high-school students in the 1970s. Hager explained that a group of Californian teenagers ritualistically smoked marijuana every day at 4:20 p.m. The ritual spread, and soon 4/20 became the code for smoking marijuana. Eventually, 4/20 was converted into 4/20 for calendar purposes, and the day of celebration was born. One other common belief is that 4/20 was the California police or penal code for marijuana and smokers would use the code whenever they were about to light up, but there's no evidence to support those claims.

As support for the decriminalisation of marijuana grows globally, several businesses have emerged with marijuana-based products as their main sellers. As a result, many businesses are today looking to capitalise on the 4/20 'holiday' and its benefits.





Curfew for all students in St James

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A curfew is now in place for all students in the parish of St James.

According to the police, all students under 17-years-old in the parish must be at their homes by 9 pm.

Head of the St James police Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor says only children in the company of their parents will be overlooked by the police.

The measure was taken as criminals have been reportedly luring children into illegal activities and encouraging them not to go to school.

However, not everyone is in support of the curfew.

SSP McGregor says the police are challenged by residents in some communities in the parish whose residents are not receptive to the curfew.

He says the police are working hard to change this view and notes that cooperation is needed to keep children safe and away from criminal activities.

From January 1 to April 2, St James has recorded a ten per cent decrease in crime when compared to the similar period last year.





Robber shot dead by householder

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crime-scene-7.jpgOne of four armed robbers who held up the occupants of a house and robbed them of an undetermined amount of items Thursday morning was shot and killed by one of the householders.

The incident reportedly occurred shortly after 4 o'clock, when the men invaded the home in the Bickersteth community and proceeded to rob the householders.

A licensed firearm holder, who was among the householders, challenged the robbers.

After the shooting subsided, one man was found lying on the veranda in a pool of blood. The Uzi submachine gun was taken from him and handed over to the police.

A trail of blood was noticed leading from the house into the bushes. The police are now combing the bushes in search the escaped robbers.





prince.jpgWord of Prince's death sparked a massive outpouring of grief on social media, outside his famed studios and even from the White House.

Fans rushed to record stores to pick up albums and other Prince memorabilia. Some said the icon's death "is what it sounds like when doves cry," a reference to his monster hit from 1984.

"As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all. Funk. R&B. Rock and roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader and an electrifying performer," U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement. " 'A strong spirit transcends rules,' Prince once said -- and nobody's spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative."

Kaleena Zanders cried in the car as she drove to Amoeba Music in Los Angeles on Thursday. She spent $173 on Prince-related items at the store, including a vinyl edition of Prince's iconic album "Purple Rain."

"Prince means the future, because he's changed music, everyone in music, he's influenced every person," she said, "and I believe that he represents our future, and it kind of died with him in a way."

Fans camped out by Paisley Park, the artist's home and recording studio, leaving bouquets of flowers and signs at a makeshift memorial.





Music legend Prince dies at home in Minnesota

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prince-photo-1.jpgPrince, who defined the sound of the '80s with songs such as "Kiss" and "Purple Rain" and defied the music industry in a fight for creative freedom, died Thursday.

The 57-year-old singer was found unresponsive in an elevator at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson said.

Paramedics tried to perform CPR but were unable to revive him, the sheriff said. He was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m., less than 30 minutes after sheriff's deputies responded to a medical call at the scene.

Authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death, Olson said. An autopsy is scheduled to take place Friday.

Prince's publicist confirmed his death but didn't provide details about the possible cause or who was with the musician.

"It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning," publicist Yvette Noel-Schure said.

A man called 911 at 9:43 a.m. from Prince's estate, first reporting an unconscious person and then reporting a death, according to a transcript of the call released by authorities.

"The person is dead here. ... And the people are just distraught," the man said as he struggled to find an address to give the dispatcher.

The person who died, deputies soon discovered, was Prince. Authorities haven't identified who made the call to 911 or details about the circumstances surrounding the call.

Source: CNN





Bolt targets three-peat, sub-19 seconds 200m

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usain-bolt-wins-gold-200m-beijing-2015-photo-4.jpgSprint superstar Usain Bolt says he is aiming to top off his legacy by a three-peat running the first ever sub-19 seconds 200 metres.

"Just to defend my titles, to do the three-peat. That's my main goal. That's my main focus," Bolt said. "My secondary goal is to try to run sub-19. That's something I really want and I hope that everything goes smoothly and I can get it. That would be a big step for me."

He made the announcement at the official opening ceremony of the flagship Hublot store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Bolt has already swept the 100m and 200m sprints at the last two Olympics and added gold in the 4x100m relays in both Beijing (2008) and London (2012) with his Jamaican teammates.

Bolt said he would ramp up his preparations carefully so he can end his Olympic career with a flourish.

"I really want to be at my best leading up to the championships. I have two months before (Jamaican) trials and three and a half months before the championships," he said.

Bolt said he would run his first race in Cayman, then in Ostrava and then to his coach's June meet in Jamaica before the trials and then on to the Diamond League meeting in London.





Car wash attendant shot dead

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crime-scene-7.jpgA 27-year-old car wash attendant was shot dead in the Raymonds area of Hayes in the parish just after 8 last night.

According to reports, Anthony Ferguson, a labourer of Raymonds, had just retired to his apartment when loud explosions were heard. Residents summoned the police who found the Ferguson lying in a pool of blood.

Investigators say Ferguson was attacked by gunmen and who kicked down the door to his apartment before opening fire, killing him on the spot.

"So far what we know is that the deceased is a car wash attendant who worked in the area, and he was at home when he was attacked and killed," an investigator told The Star.

Since the start of year, the Hayes community has seen an upsurge in violence, with scores of persons being shot and killed.





The Education Ministry has announced plans to increase subvention to secondary schools as it moves to abolish auxiliary fees come September.

Speakingat a graduation ceremony for school principals, Education Minister Ruel Reid said the current contribution of $11,500 that the ministry pays for each student will be increased to $19,000.

Reid says the 65 per cent increase will facilitate the removal of auxiliary fees.

Reid also said the education ministry will add $2 billion to the school tuition assistance programme to facilitate the increased payments it will make to schools.

The removal of auxiliary fees was one of the Jamaica Labour Party's election promises.





money-hidden-in-shampoo-bottle.jpgAn American visitor who was arrested at the Sangster International Airport more than a week ago after allegedly being found with more than US$100,000 has been charged with money laundering. He is scheduled to appear in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court Wednesday.

35-year-old Dalton Forrester of Brooklyn in New York was arrested on April 9 by detectives from the Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC). According to the police, he was in the process of clearing customs when irregularities were detected. He was found with a little over US$101,000.

Forrester was unable to provide a satisfactory account for the cash. He has been charged with Cross Border Movements of Funds, Concealment of Criminal Property, Bringing into Jamaica Criminal Property, Possession of Criminal Property and Conspiracy to Possess Criminal Property.





CCU was wrong says police commissioner

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karl-williams-police-commish.jpgCommissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams says the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), blundered when it sent out information about the arrest of four men following a major drug bust off the coastline of Belmont in Westmoreland on Saturday.

The commissioner said the information from lawmen on the ground during the operation was that four men were arrested subsequent to the interception of a 28-foot vessel laden with some 798 kilograms of cocaine, which has an estimated street value of J$900 million.

However, the information disseminated by the CCU on Sunday said the four men arrested were observed abandoning the vessel and running off in different directions. CCU said then that the men were pursued and taken into custody.

Since their arrest on Saturday, the four men have been released.

The police commissioner said investigators were satisfied that there was no evidence linking the men to the vessel intercepted and seized.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA St. Andrew businessman was arrested by investigators attached to the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC), following a probe into the unauthorised sale of different brands of hair on the local market.

The 43-year-old man was arrested following a raid at a house in Meadowbrook Estate Monday night.

C-TOC investigators seized several large boxes of hair valued at $500,000.

The suspect is now facing charges under the Trademark Act and Intellectual Property breaches.

C-TOC conducted the operation after the registered rights holder of several brands of hair being sold locally, filed a complaint with the branch.

Inspector Clarence Bailey, Head of the Intellectual Property Unit at C-TOC, said hair brands such as Nappy Annie, Yaman and Afro-Kinky were being sold illegally by the businessman.

He said the businessman will be charged this week.





Ishawna releases T-shirt dress line

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ishawna-photo-6.jpgDancehall artiste Ishawna, has launched her infamous 'Legendary T-Shirt Dress"' just in time for the summer. The controversial T'Shirt dress that turned heads and made headlines last year is now available in stores in Kingston.

Ishawna, signed to mega label Downsound Records, first wore the simple yet sexy white number to guest host an episode of Season 8 of the Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall Reality Show.

She has been turning heads consistently with her style over the years and recently won 'Fashion Icon of the year' and Young Hot & Hype Female in this February's staging of the 2016 Youth View Awards.

"This dress represents my style and flavor, bold, fun and risky. I like to push the envelope with my music and my style and the dress is an example of this, Raunchy and Stylish," Ishawna shared.

The Legendary T-Shirt Dress line is available in Jamaica in Black, White and Gray, and can currently be purchased in Kingston at Shop NecessiTs, Bargain Mall in Clock Tower Plaza, Half Way Tree.





Kartel stretches hand from inside prison cell

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vybz-kartel-photo-26.jpgJailed dancehall deejay Vybz Kartel will be reaching out to various schools across the island through his school refurbishment programme, his team has told the media.

The self-proclaimed 'world boss' has been spearheading the project from inside his prison cell as he wants to give well needed help to schools falling apart.

Kartel's affiliate, Jeffrey Hype, reportedly told local tabloid the Star that the artiste has a number of new projects up his sleeve following his latest business venture with Gaza Vybz Rum.

"We have a school ting weh we a try put in order fi support some school and help some school, and try refurbish some school right now. We a go around and look some school weh want help. You know seh Vybz Kartel is all about children are the future," Hype was quoted as saying.

In responding to this kind of outreach, university lecturer and cultural researcher Dr Donna Hope-Marquis told the tabloid that it would seem that this is a strategic move on the dancehall artist's part.





British woman arrested for cocaine

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A British woman has been arrested in connection with the seizure of 25 pounds of cocaine at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James.

The police say about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, drugs valuing an estimated J$13 million was found hidden in a false compartment in the woman's luggage. She was detained for questioning.

Her identity is being withheld pending further investigation.

Meanwhile, investigators have theorised that some of the cocaine from the multi-million dollar shipment that was intercepted in Westmoreland yesterday was destined for the Jamaican market.

However, a senior investigator says there are indications that the bulk of the cocaine was to be shipped to other countries.

Thirty-six bales of cocaine were found on board a vessel at Belmont Beach during a joint operation between the Police Narcotics Division and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard valued at US$7.2 million or just above J$900 million.





Triple murder on Old Harbour Road

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe police have launched a investigation into the brutal murder of three men on Old Harbour Road in Spanish Town, St Catherine Friday night.

Dead are: 37-year-old Shawn Baccas otherwise called 'Rugo', 58-year-old Derwin Prince otherwise called 'Rasta', carpenter and 37-year-old Anthony Rose otherwise called 'Mark' all of Old Harbour Road addresses in the old capital.

Reports from the Spanish Town Police are that about 10 pm, the three men were at a bar on Old Harbour Road playing a game of dominoes when two men entered the establishment.

The men reportedly ordered drinks at the bar before opening gunfire on the unsuspecting group. All three were rushed to hospital where they were pronounced dead. The gunmen escaped in the area.

In the meantime, detectives are appealing to anyone with information that can assist with their investigations to contact the Spanish Town Police at 984-2305, 811 or Crime Stop at 311.





Woman arrested at JFK for cocaine in coffee

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cocaine-coffee.jpgA Jamaican woman was arrested at Kennedy Airport in the United States, for trying to smuggle three pounds of Cocaine hidden in two bags of Coffee inside her suitcase.

27 year old Sharese Lee Ann Drake, of Windsor Heights St Ann arrived at JFK Airport from Montego Bay, on Wednesday.

Reports in the NY Daily news yesterday are that Customs and Border Protection Police Officers searched her suitcase and found a plastic coffee bag containing white powder.

Drake was taken to a private search room, where the officers found a second bag full of powder. Both tested positive for cocaine.

The estimated value of the cocaine is more than 50,000 USD.

Drake was arrested and handed over to Port Authority Police.

She will be prosecuted by the Queens District Attorney on drug smuggling charges.

Drake is being held on Rikers Island on $50,000 bail.

She hails from the parish of St Ann and is Runaway Bay resident.





Eight-year-old molested by mother's lover

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shocked.jpgThe Child Development Agency (CDA) says it is currently investigating reports of the sexual abuse of an eight-year-old girl in Highgate, St Mary.

Media reports are that the child was sexually assaulted by a mechanic who is romantically involved with her mother.

The child was reportedly also treated at hospital following the assault and has since been released.

However, there is no confirmation that her abuser has been arrested.

Head of the CDA Rosalee Gage-Grey says her office is currently investigating the matter which was reported to them last week.

She says the CDA has already made contact with the eight-year-old girl.

Gage-Grey says the CDA is in contact with the Highgate police, but are still unable to declare whether the child's abuser has been arrested.

According to media reports the incident occurred some two weeks ago when the man visited the child's house.

The accused reportedly fled when the police sought him for questioning.

However, according to reports he has since been operating normally in the Highgate area.





Cop shot dead by licensed firearm holder

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constable-shane-francis.jpgcrime-scene-gun.jpgConstable Shane Francis, assigned to the St Ann police station was shot dead by a licensed firearm holder in White River, Ocho Rios, St Ann, on Sunday.

Reports are that Francis, 30 was leaving the party when he had an argument with the licenced firearm holder. It is alleged that Francis pulled his licensed firearm and approached the man who also pulled his licensed firearm and fired two shots hitting Francis to the left side of the chest and right hip.

He was rushed to hospital by other police personnel who were present, but he was pronounced dead.

Reports are that the shooter has turned in himself.

Meanwhile, the High Command of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) say that a "top-level" probe has been launched into the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of Constable Francis.

The High Command is expressing condolences to the family and colleagues of the slain policeman and has offered the support of the JCF Chaplaincy Services Branch, which has been tasked with providing counselling.





Sade Serena hits Billboard with Shaggy collab

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sade-serena-shaggy-dum-remix.jpgJamaican songstress Sade Serena's latest EP, titled 'Jerk Sauce', has officially entered the Billboard chart.

The singer collaborated with platinum-selling recording artiste Shaggy on a her latest hit song called Dum, a track from the EP, which is a vibrant mix of R&B, pop and dancehall. The single peaked at number 23. She topped the South Atlantic Heatseekers chart at number one and Jerk Sauce is now steadily climbing the R&B Chart.

As Billboard describes the song as an infectious hip-swaying number, Sade Serena described her journey to get there. "Growing up, I have always looked up to Shaggy and other reggae artistes like Sean Paul and Elephant Man that paved their way into mainstream success," says Sade. "To have a diamond-selling artiste like Shaggy on my record is a dream come true for me."

The BET Music Matters artiste also recruited Grammy Award-winning producer J-Vibe for Dum.





bunny-wailer.jpgEntertainer Bunny Wailer and Maxine Stowe are at the centre of a controversy along with Dr. Michael Barnett regarding the visit to Jamaica by Prince Ermias the grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie.

The visit has sparked tension between some members of the Rastafarian community who believe that the offical motorcade being planned should also drive through Trench Town. However, the organisers say that is not on the cards and have suggested instead that effort will be made to have the prince visit Trench Town on another occasion.

Prince Ermias visit to Jamaica will mark 50 years since his grandfather's historic visit on April 21, 1966.

ermias-emperor-haile-selassie-grandson.jpg





Bogdanovich the new owner of Reggae Sumfest

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joe-bogdanovich-and-ishawna.jpgDownsound Records CEO, Josef Bogdanovich is reportedly the new owner of one of Jamaica's most recognised music brands, Reggae Sumfest.

Although Downsound is remaining tight-lipped about the recent acquisition, several sources have confirmed to Yardflex that Bogdanovich has bought the entity.

Reggae Sumfest organisers were quoted as saying that they had persons who were "interesed" and that they would put out a release at the appropriate time.

Downsound representatives could not be reached for comment.





ruel-reid.jpgHow can the information miniser have no information?

On Wednesday at the post Cabinet media briefing, the Information Minister Senator Ruel Reid had no knowledge about the swearing in of Everald Warmington as a Minister of State in the OPM.

In what has been described in one paper as an "oafish performance" the Information Minister was clearly uncomfortable at the postCabinet press briefing.

He subsequently is quoted as saying that plans are underway to restructure that portfolio.

On Thursday, following the Throne Speech, Reid said people are accustomed to the information portfolio being at the Office of the Prime Minister, but that is no longer the case.

"My response is largely policy and I speak on behalf of the cabinet to do the press-cabinet briefing," he said.

"We'll have to calibrate much closer to the extent that I will field questions from the public to make sure that there is a seamless movement of information so (if) I am asked questions, I have the information, or I'll have to respectfully seek the information and get back to the press."





The value of the cocaine shipment that was seized in Westmoreland Saturday morning has now been placed at just under J$1 billion.A total of 798 kilograms of cocaine was seized during the joint police-military operation in Belmont Beach in the parish.

Reports are that the cocaine has a street value of US$7.5 million or approximately J$909 million.

Jamaican law enforcement officials had initially estimated the value of the cocaine at approximately US$6 million or J$720 million.

Saturday morning's operation was conducted with assistance from the United States.

In a statement, the Jamaica Defence Force said a US Maritime patrol aircraft spotted a vessel suspected of illicit trafficking and passed the information to the Jamaica military.

The four men held in connection with the cocaine shipment are to be questioned in the presence of their attorneys.





crime-scene-7.jpgroad-accident.jpgA St. Catherine family has been plunged into mourning after a brother and sister died in a motor vehicle crash early Saturday.

They have been identified as Chevell Lewis, 14, a student of St. Andrew High School for Girls and Information Technology Technician Jermaine Lewis,24 of Eltham Acres in Spanish Town.

The police report that the incident occurred about 5 o'clock along Brunswick Avenue.

It is not clear how the crash occurred.

The Nissan Tiida, which was being driven by Lewis, plunged into a house before overturning.

Lewis had to be cut from the wreckage.





Man shot and killed at KFC drive-thru

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA man was shot and killed at the KFC in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth shortly after 10 Thursday night.

The dead man has been identified as Maurice Campbell, aka Junior, a 41-year-old farmer of Georges Valley in the parish and also of Montego Bay, St James.

According to a police report, Campbell was in his vehicle at the popular eatery's drive-thru when he was approached by an unknown assailant.

The assailant shot Campbell several times before escaping in an awaiting motor vehicle. No motive has been established for the killing.





crime-scene-demo.jpgThe body of a woman found in Salt Pond Gardens, Portmore, St. Catherine on Saturday has been identified as that of a 26 year old resident of New York.

According to the New York Post, Tanesha Ford, who was a medical assistant, secretly took a flight to Jamaica on Saturday afternoon and was gunned down hours after she arrived in the island.

The police are not clear how the mother of a 4 year old ended up in Portmore, hours after she landed in Montego Bay. Her body was found with multiple bullet wounds.

The newspaper says her family reported her missing on Tuesday. They were unaware that Miss Ford was in Jamaica.

She visited the island last year for her grandmother's funeral.

Her identity was confirmed by her cousin after he received a text message with the crime scene photo from a Jamaican relative.





Pregnant mother shot dead

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crime-scene-gun.jpgTwenty-nine-year-old Kayon Grizzle of a Green Island address was reportedly shot and killed at her home on Wednesday night. She was eight months pregnant..

Reports are that about 8:30 p.m., Miss Grizzle was at home with her three children ages ten, eight and six, when a man kicked opened the door and entered the dwelling.

He then dragged Miss Grizzle outside, after which shots were heard.

The cops were alerted and, upon their arrival, found Grizzle lying in a pool of blood with gunshot wounds.

Grizzle was reportedly eight months pregnant.





crime-scene-7.jpgThat is the question the family 14-year-old Ryan Clarke, his friends and the community are asking.

Young Ryan's body was found in bushes in Tivoli Gardens on Wednesday.

Head of the Kingston Western Police Division, Howard Chambers said the body of the teen was found behind the Edward Seaga Sports complex at approximately 4:00 pm.

"The report we received is that the child went missing the day before but the parents had not reported the case to the police," Chambers told Loop News.

Authorities say they are yet to determine what was the cause of death but have since stepped up their investigations in the matter.





A member of the Duppy Flames gang was shot and killed during a joint police/military operation near Harbour View, St. Andrew, early Wednesday morning.

The operation has resulted in the fatal shooting of one man, the capture of two others and the seizure of an assault riffle.

Over 200 security personnel are involved in the operation.

However, police are now making efforts to ascertain whether the dead man is Marlon Perry, alias Duppy Flames, the reputed leader of the gang.

The police have been pursuing Perry who is wanted for a number of murders, for several months.





jamaican-passport-bordo.jpgA Jamaican, on Monday, pleaded guilty to identity theft in Charleston, West Virginia.

According to a news release from Acting U.S. Attorney Carol Casto's office, 31 year old Roland Jason Duckett admitted he used another person's identity in an attempt to obtain a U.S. passport.

Duckett said he entered the U.S. from Jamaica in 2007 and stayed until after his visa expired. The release states that in August last year, he paid another individual for the use of identification documents, including that person's birth certificate and Social Security card.

Duckett used the documents to obtain a West Virginia driver's license in the individual's name. Last November, he mailed a passport application from Charleston in an attempt to obtain a passport. His application was flagged for fraud.

Agents with the Diplomatic Security Service of the U.S. Department of State determined Duckett's true identity.

The Jamaican faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced on July 8.





Brace for increase in the price of rice

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Jamaican consumers have been advised to brace for a 10 to 15 per cent increase in the price of rice from Guyana following a hike in the cost to import gain.

Managing Director of Jamaica Rice Mills Derrick Nembhard says in mid-March, the Guyana Rice Development Board introduced a pricing schedule which requires Jamaican importers to pay US$400 per tonne if they are importing 1,500 tonnes or more.

However, if the Jamaican importers want less than the 1,500 tonnes they will have to pay more than US$400 per tonne.

Nembhard says as a result of the increase in the price of rice imported from the region, the cost is being passed on to consumers.

Recently, the Jamaica Rice Milling Company signed agreements with the Guyana Rice Development Board to import a total of 80,000 tonnes of rice from Guyana during 2016.

However, Nembhard says the Guyana Rice Development Board independently arrived at the pricing schedule.





US judge throws out lawsuit against Red Stripe

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red-stripe.jpgA US federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought against the makers of Red Stripe for labeling it as Jamaican style beer, though it was being made in the United States, starting in 2012.The judge dismissed the class action without prejudice.

The plaintiffs, Aaron Dumas and Eugene Buner, sued Diageo-Guinness, claiming they bought Red Stripe because its label calls it "Jamaican Style Lager" with "The Taste of Jamaica."

They sought class certification and damages for false advertising, unfair competition, business law violations and negligent and intentional misrepresentation.

Red Stripe has been brewed in Jamaica since 1938, and imported to the United States since 1985. Diageo bought the rights to Red Stripe in 1993 and moved production for the North American market to the United States in 2012.

District Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz dismissed the complaint on April 6, stating that a reasonable customer would not be misled by the visible packaging into believing that Red Stripe is brewed in Jamaica with Jamaican ingredients.

He wrote that the mere fact that the words 'Jamaica' and 'Jamaican' appear on the packaging is not sufficient to support a conclusion that consumers would be confused regarding the origin and ingredients of the beer.





Jamaican among 3 policemen charged in the BVI

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hands-behind-bars.jpgA Jamaican is among three policemen in the British Virgin Islands who have been arrested on several charges, including the theft of thousands of US dollars from alleged drug dealers.

The Jamaican has been identified as Shawn Henry, a member of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force. He has been accused along with Pamphill Prevost of Dominica and Simon Power, a resident of the British Virgin Islands.

The three have been charged with theft; acquisition, possession or use of proceeds of criminal conduct; removing property from the territory; possession of a controlled substance with intention to supply another; and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The policemen, who were arrested last Tuesday following a near two-year investigation, were denied bail when they appeared in a BVI court on Friday.

The cops are accused of stealing approximately US$20,000 from an alleged criminal.

On Friday, prosecutors told the court that the three cops, who were members of the Proactive Unit of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, used intelligence to conduct sting operations during which they would intercept alleged criminals and steal a portion of the narcotics and monies seized.

In addition to those charges, Prevost and Power have been indicted for three counts of theft. Both policemen allegedly stole US$14,000 from an alleged drug dealer. Prosecutors say they also stole between US$60,000 and US$80,000 from two other drug dealers in October 2012, in addition to 158 kilogrammes of ganja.





Two murders in St Ann Friday night

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crime-scene-7.jpgTwo persons were killed in separate incidents in St Ann on Friday night.

The first murder occurred about 9:30 pm in Runaway Bay. Reports are that Donald Clayton, a 57-year-old farmer of Bellaire, Runaway Bay, had a dispute with a man when a knife was used to stab him several times. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The second murder occurred about 11:35 pm.

Twenty-five-year-old Romaine Pryce, a welder of Wharf Street in St Ann's Bay, was shot and killed by unknown assailants as he stood at the intersection of Musgrave Road and Marcus Garvey Way in St Ann's Bay.

Pryce was approached by two men who opened fire at him. No motive has been established in that killing.

The St Ann police are investigating both murders.





derrick-rochester.jpgDerrick Rochester, a former PNP member of parliament and proponent of workers' rights under the National Workers Union, has died.

Rochester, who had been ailing for some time, passed on Saturday afternoon at age 76.

Former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and party members have contacted Rochester's wife Beryl, and family members, offering condolences.

Rochester first entered politics at the local government level in the 1960s and became member of parliament on different occasions.

His work as island supervisor for the NWU has resulted in a better quality of life and training for bauxite workers. He also received a national honour in recognition of his work after retiring from representational politic in 2002.





Million-dollar payout for man beaten by cops

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On Friday, the Court of Appeal awarded $1million to St Ann resident Eric Gordon, who said he was beaten unconscious by four police officers at the Ocho Rios Police Station.

Gordon said he was beaten by the cops in July 2000 after he went to present his driver's licence.They were identified as constables Delroy D Clarke, Ricordo S Morgan, Dionne W Williams and Inspector Nathan Boreland.

The victim sued the state and the police officers over the assault. However, the cops denied assaulting Gordon, and it has been asserted that Clarke and Morgan were not at the station at the time of the incident. It was also alleged that Gordon injured Boreland's thumb when the cop was trying to restrain him.

According to court documents, Gordon said he had gone to the station to present his licence after he was cautioned about a defective tyre during a traffic stop. Gordon said everything went downhill after he asked the officer, to whom he presented his licence, his name.

He was left with a concussion, fractured ring finger, fractured bone in right hand and was unable to work for 12 weeks.A medical report said that the trauma to Gordon's head "might have repercussion later".

Gordon lost his lawsuit in the Supreme Court but on Friday the appellate court upheld his appeal and awarded him the $1million.





Employees of the National Workers Union (NWU) are demanding a meeting with the leadership of the trade union to discuss growing concerns regarding its affairs.

A two-page letter addressed to NWU General Secretary Granville Valentine, was signed by senior employees including a Vice President, a Deputy Island Supervisor, Assistant Island Supervisors, as well as rank and file employees,

The concerns surround the reported lack of meetings of the NWU's management committee and the slow pace in filling the post of financial secretary, following the death of the person who had held the post.

Additionally, the employees expressed outraged over the reported collapse of the staff health insurance scheme. The cash crunch affecting the NWU has also resulted in the non-payment of statutory and third-party deductions.This has resulted in legal action against employees whose homes, motor vehicles and personal loans have fallen in arrears.

The workers are demanding a full list of all Union members, copies of annual returns, and details of the Union's financial accounts.

It is understood that the Union's management has ignored the request to meet, and that the employees are restive and vowing to take action.





crime-scene-7.jpgCommuters battled in vain in traffic on Friday evening after two shootings on Red Hills Road led to cops cordoning off the crime scenes and diverting the traffic into even more horrendous traffic.

According to reports, the first incident occurred in the vicinity of Calabar High School at about 5:15 p.m., and then shortly after in the vicinity of Lee's Food Fair, less than five minutes away.

The Constant Spring police could not confirm if the incidents are related, however, reports are that a man believed to be a taxi operator was shot and injured. Eyewitnesses say a man on a motorcycle rode up beside the motor car and opened fire.

The police have reported that two men were rushed to the Kingston Public Hospital for treatment.





ganja-image-1.jpgAmericans are more supportive of marijuana legalization than ever before, and that support has led to 23 states passing medical marijuana laws and another four states legalizing recreational marijuana use. In November, voters in states including California, Florida, Massachusetts, and Nevada could weigh in on the issue too. With advocates ramping up their efforts to win support for marijuana legalization in these states, let's take a closer look.

California

California is the biggest marijuana battleground state in 2016. The state was a pioneered in medical marijuana laws, but it's taken a back seat on recreational marijuana legalization since Proposition 19, a pro-pot ballot measure, failed to pass in 2010.

That could change in November. Various advocates are pitching pot plans they hope will pass muster with voters this November, but the one generating perhaps the most enthusiasm is the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, a proposal spearheaded by billionaire tech entrepreneur Sean Parker that has found support among both advocates and doctors.

Florida

After a well-funded anti-pot campaign financed by billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson derailed medical marijuana legislation here in 2014, marijuana advocates have doubled down on their efforts to get a decriminalization measure enshrined in law in 2016.

That earlier pro-pot measure failed to get the 60% of votes necessary to change the State's constitution by only by a couple percent, and recent polls suggest that advocates have the votes necessary for approval this time around. According Public Policy Polling, 65% of Florida voters approve of the medical marijuana initiative that will be on the state's ballot in November.

Massachusetts

Some of the Bay State's top politicians are lobbying against its passage, but voters could have the final say on legalizing recreational marijuana if the question makes it onto the ballot in November.

Massachusetts voters decriminalized marijuana in 2008, and legalized medical marijuana in 2012. This year, voters could build upon their pot-friendly track record if they decide residents should be allowed to possess 1 ounce of marijuana outside their home, and 10 ounces of the herb inside their home.

If a majority of Massachusetts voters say "yes," then it could become the first state (not including Washington, D.C.) east of the Mississippi to legalize recreational marijuana.

Nevada

Residents of the Silver State will decide in November if they want to approve initiative petition 1, a proposal that would tax and regulate pot similarly to alcohol in the state.

The state's legislature declined to take up the measure last year, but if petition 1 passes this fall, then individuals will be allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana. Like most states, the ballot measure establishes a network of licensed dispensaries and taxes marijuana substantially.





panama-papers.jpgThe fallout from a leak of four decades' worth of confidential records known as 'The Panama Papers' continues around the region.

Authorities in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) said the release of some 11 million documents has prompted them to investigate whether there have been any breaches of financial regulations in the territory.

The BVI has long played a prominent role in the offshore financial industry, and it figures notably in the leak of files from the Mossack Fonseca law firm.

Financial regulators in the BVI issued a statement saying they will pursue a thorough investigation through the BVI's competent authorities, and further action will be taken, where necessary.





Earthquake rocks Grenada and T&T

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A 5.7 magnitude earthquake rocked sections of Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago Thursday morning.

The National Disaster Management Agency in Grenada has confirmed that there were no reports of damage but said they would continue to monitor the situation.

Reports from the Seismic Research Centre at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad stated that the earthquake occurred around 8:22 a.m.

The Caribbean Disaster Management Agency has said it will also continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary.





Scammer on fraud charges in the US

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hands-behind-bars.jpgA Jamaican man who allegedly scammed a New Jersey resident out of nearly a quarter million dollars was yesterday charged in the US with conspiracy to defraud.

30 year old Ricardo Reid was charged following an investigation that brought US agents to Jamaica in 2014 and led to his arrest February 1 this year. According to court records, Mr. Reid, an alleged leader of the Partners 'n' Crime gang, bought and sold lists of individuals through criminal brokers.

The indictment states that Mr. Reid and others would call potential victims to tell them they had won an overseas lottery and had to pay registration fees and taxes to collect their winnings. If the victims fell for the scam, they were instructed to make payments via wire transfers using Western Union or Money Gram.

Other times, they were told to send cash or money orders to co-conspirators in the United States, who would smuggle the cash into Jamaica. Court records say Mr. Reid and co-conspirators would continue to demand advance payment of taxes as long as the victims could pay or until they realised they had been scammed.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThree men were killed in an alleged shoot-out with the Savanna-La-Mar police on Great Georges Street in Westmoreland early Friday morning.

Reports are that shortly after 3 o'clock, the police were alerted to a disturbance at the Lu's Lucky Supermarket.

On their arrival, they saw a group of men at the back of the building. The police say the men opened fire and a shoot-out ensued.

When the shooting subsided, three men were found with gunshot wounds. They were pronounced dead at hospital.





hands-behind-bars.jpgFour suspects including two women who are said to be associates of Marlon "Duppy" Flames Perry, one of the country's most wanted fugitive were detained on Tuesday during a major police/military operation in Yallahs, St Thomas.

The operation was aimed at capturing Perry, however, a source said he was able to elude the dragnet.

A large detachment of police and military personnel using helicopters conducted the operation.

Perry is wanted for several murders in St. Thomas.

They include the December 22 murders of two members of the police force Corporal Kenneth Davis and Constable Craig Palmer.They were shot dead at a shop in Poor Man's Corner in St.Thomas.

The Police High Command is offering a reward of J$1.5 million for Perry's capture.





Bolt to start the season in Cayman

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usain-bolt-wins-gold-200m-beijing-2015-photo-3.jpgDouble sprint world record holder Usain Bolt will take the track in his first 100m race, since winning the world title last year in Beijing, when he contests the event at the Cayman Invitational Truman Bodden Sports Complex in Grand Cayman on May 14.

This will be Bolt's second appearance at the Cayman Invitational since 2013 when he won in 10.09 seconds. He will face the Cayman national record holder Kemar Hyman in the event, as well as compatriot and Commonwealth champion Kemar Bailey-Cole.

In a statement, he said: "I am pleased to announce that I will be competing in the 100m at the Cayman International T&F meeting on May 14. It will be my first international competition in 2016 and my second time to run in Cayman. I always enjoy competing in the Caribbean and look forward to meeting my fans in Cayman"

World 400m champion and Olympic 200m champion Allison Felix will be making her 2016 competitive debut at the meet but is yet to decide on the event she will contest.

Fellow American sprinter Carmelita Jeter, the 2011 world champion, will compete over her specialist distance of 100m and will line up against Jamaica's Natasha Morrison.

Action in the men's 200m will see Jason Young facing world championships finalist Zharnel Hughes who competes for Great Britain, Miguel Francis of Antigua and Barbuda and Kenyan record-holder Carvin Nkanata.

Jermaine Gonzalez will take on Delano Williams in the men's 400m and the women's 400m hurdles will have Janieve Russell, Shevon Stoddart, Ristannana Tracey and American Kori Carter, who ran a NCAA and personal record of 53.21 in 2013.

Former schoolboy champion and 2013 200m World Youth Champion, Michael O'Hara, fresh into the pro ranks, will make his debut while, Tyler Mason will contest the men's 110m hurdles where he will face home town favourite Ronald Forbes and Americans Aleec Harris and Spencer Adams.





marcus-mckenzie.jpgIt was reported by RJR News that there is tension among staff at the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) over the hiring of the Marcus McKenzie the son of Local Government and Community Development Minister Desmond McKenzie.

NSWMA sources revealed that is now on the agency's payroll, the story said.

The NSWMA is an agency of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development

The hiring of McKenzie's son has not gone down well and employees are citing nepotism.

According to a NSWMA insider, the appointment of McKenzie has come as a surprise, as on Friday March 11, a memorandum was circulated to staff advising that there is freeze on hiring and contract renewals until further notice.

Employees say eyebrows were raised when the memorandum was recalled.

When contacted, McKenzie confirmed that he was employed to the Commercial Services Department effective Monday. His role involves soliciting new customers.

The agency has since denied the reports.





Ganja licences put on hold

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ganja-licence.jpgThose hoping to enter the legal ganja industry will have to wait a while longer as the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) says it has had to push back the date for accepting applications.

The Authority had announced that the process would have started yesterday.

However, in a press release today, it said the transition to a new Government has caused some delays in getting certain regulations approved.

Chairman of the CLA, Dr Andre Gordon says a meeting needs to be held with the Minister of Justice who has to review and approve them for the industry to be able to begin operations.

However, it says the Authority expects that it will start reviewing applications before the end of the month.The Cannabis Licensing Authority has indicated that 11 types of licenses across five main categories will be made available to interested persons.

The categories are cultivator, transportation, processing, retailing, and research and development.





beenie-man-photo-8.jpgDreadlocked entertainer, Moses Davis, aka Beenie Man, is reportedly building a church in Waterhouse.

Interestingly, however, construction on the building was forced to grind to a halt recently owing to violence in the area.

Beenie Man was speaking with ZIP 103 FM when he disclosed the issues with the building of his Ethiopian Orthodox church.

Of course, this begs the question: How will worshippes worship there without fear?

Meanwhile, Beenie Man is gearing up for the release of his latest album Unstoppable. The title track released earlier this year features international artist Akon.





Over $50 million stolen from Scotia bank

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Investigators from the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch (CTOC) are probing the theft of more than $50 million from Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS).

The Director of a courier company, hired to service the bank's Automated Banking Machines (ABMs) is under investigation.

He was questioned three weeks ago by Fraud Squad detectives.

BNS called in CTOC in December after it conducted an audit and discovered that millions of dollars supplied to the courier service to place in its ABM's were diverted.

It's believed that more than $55 million was stolen.

The cops are expected to lay charges.





audley-shaw.jpgIt appears that Finance and Public Service Minister Audley Shaw's explosive announcement that the money collected from a special tax on fuel was placed in the Consolidated Fund instead of a special fund set aside for that purpose should not have been such a shocker after all, in light of deliberations which took place in Parliament late last year, an expose in Jamaica's national newspaper, The Sunday Gleaner, has revealed..

Shaw and Prime Minister Andrew Holness had given a commitment in the run-up to the February 25 national polls that the money set aside for the oil hedge would be used by the Jamaica Labour Party administration to help fund a new tax policy to provide relief to hundreds of taxpayers.

But Shaw told a Private Sector Organisation President's Forum last week that now that he has taken over the country's purse strings he has found out that the money has been spent or otherwise budgeted.

"We had suggested that part of the payback of the $1.5 million tax break would be use of the tax on fuel that was supposed to be a special fund that was set aside," Shaw told the forum.

"We have found that the oil hedge fund was not set aside, that it is actually already accounted for in the Consolidated Fund," added Shaw.

However, according to the report, Hansard, the official verbatim records of Parliament, shows that during a sitting of the Lower House last September, Shaw, the then opposition spokesman on finance, was given a full account of what was being done with the money by then Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips.





peter-phillips-photo-1.jpgOpposition Spokesman on Finance, Dr. Peter Phillips, says the Andrew Holness administration will have to impose new taxes in order to fund its income tax relief plan.

He says this is based on the IMF agreement, and the disclosure by Finance Minister Audley Shaw about monies he thought were available to finance the plan. There has been increased discussions about the matter, since Mr Shaw stated that monies he thought were available for the plan did not exist.

The government has committed to providing income tax relief to persons earning up to $1.5 million annually. Dr Phillips says this will be done by new taxes because the current administration will have no other options. He sees the IMF programme as the biggest factor. This as he sees no relaxation of the 7% surplus requirement which is critical to the agreement with the Fund.

And Dr Phillips has outlined further reasons why he asserts that there will be new taxes. He says Mr Shaw's utterances are in conflict with the JLP's ten point plan.





norman-manley-airport.jpgAn investigation is being carried out by the Border Protection Unit of the Jamaica Customs Agency and the police following the discovery of two firearms in cargo at the Norman Manley International Airport on Thursday.

According to a statement from Jamaica Customs, members of the Contraband Enforcement Team and the police seized the two disassembled firearms which were concealed in electronic equipment. It's reported that during routine checks of cargo that arrived from the US, officers were alerted to inconsistencies.

Further checks led to the discovery of a 9 millimetre Ruger Special pistol with a magazine, an Olympic Arm point-2-2-3 rifle with 3 magazines and a scope concealed in the cargo.

Jamaica Customs is making arrangements to acquire a fixed portal scanning unit. Commissioner of Customs, Major Richard Reese, says the equipment will result in increased revenue as well as improved border protection. Customs officers will be able to accurately identify products in containers and detect suspicious items.

Reese explained that with the scanning unit, containers can be viewed vertically or horizontally. He added that the equipment is expensive and the agency is looking at various proposals to see how best it can be financed.

Major Reese added that Customs officers will be able to access information from the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) system relating to shipments so if images do not match an alarm will be triggered.





hands-behind-bars.jpgOne of the women arrested on an extradition request in western Jamaica last week is wanted in the state of North Dakota in the United States on a 66-count indictment for her alleged involvement in the lottery scam.

Prosecutors revealed this morning that Kimberly Hudson, who is eight months pregnant, has been indicted on one count of attempting to and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 48 counts of wire fraud, 15 counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering.

Hudson was denied bail when she made her first court appearance before the Corporate Area Criminal Court on Monday. She is one of the eight persons who were taken into custody during a series of police operations targeting persons suspected of being involved in lottery scamming.

The others are Alrick McLeod, Dahlia Hunter, O'Neil Brown, Xanu Morgan, Korme Gray, Dario Palmer and Jason Jahalal.Seven of the eight were remanded until April 13.

Prosecutors told the court that authorities in North Dakota have alleged that Hudson was part of a criminal organisation operated by a Jamaican man identified as Labrick Wilcocks in the US and elsewhere. Allegations are that members of the organisation, including Hudson, allegedly conspired to run a lottery scam that fraudulently induced persons in the US and elsewhere to send millions of dollars to Jamaica to cover fees and taxes for lotteries they never won.Prosecutors alleged that a total of 80 elderly victims were convinced to send more than $5.6 million in fees to the criminal organisation.





crime-scene-7.jpgThe Claremont Police are reporting that the two alleged praedial thieves who were beaten and chopped to death in Bensonton Thursday afternoon, were spotted with a goat in a motor car.

Information from the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) is that at about 12:30 pm, residents saw the two men in the vehicle with a stolen goat.

Residents from the area intercepted the vehicle - it is alleged that the men fled but were subsequently caught.

One of the men was severely beaten, while the second thief's throat was slashed. Both men were taken to the hospital where they were pronounced dead.

The St Ann Criminal Investigative Branch (CIB) are following several leads.

Police are urging anyone with information as to the identities of the men and as it regards to the incident to contact the Claremont police at 972-3244, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





Busy's big break

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busy-signal-photo-12.jpgDancehall recording artiste Busy Signal was heard in an American ad campaign this week which features Fast and Furious actor Jason Statham, for the launch of the new LG G5 smartphone expected to be released today April 1.

The song 'Watch Me Now' was also recently chosen by international beverage company Diageo through the Smirnoff brand, as the title track for their ongoing ad campaign in Europe.

Last year, his Major Lazer produced hit EDM dancehall single 'Bumaye/Watch Out For This' was used in a global Pepsi advertisement which featured football superstar Lionel Messi.

Soldier, principal in murder/suicide.

The police have confirmed a murder-suicide, which occurred in the Hope Village district of Williamsfield in Manchester yesterday, involving 42 year-old Jamaica Defence Force soldier, John Williams,and Gail Anderson, 42, principal of the Hope Village Early Childhood Institution.

Reports are that the bodies were found at approximately 3:40 p.m. with gunshot wounds to the head. A licensed firearm was also recovered from the scene.

Residents are said to have heard loud explosions and summoned the police.





'Kartel became a cannibal,' says Chronixx

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vybz-kartel-photo-23.jpg"Gangsterism, Cannibalism ... because Vybz Kartel overtime became a cannibal. When you listen his music it was very cannibalistic. It became so pleasant to the human like there is a thing in us that craves chopping up people and beheading people and cut out a man inside," entertainer Chronixx said in a radio interview.

Chronixx also brought Vybz Kartel's single Kill Dem All And Done under the microscope, selling the idea that the content was not positive for youth, yet they crave such material.

chronixx-photo-8.jpg"When you see how youth react to a song that says go and kill everybody, kill dem all and done ... and everybody excited," he said, laughing.

However, after a huge backlash from Kartel fans, Chronixx posted the following" "for all true supporters of Vybz Kartel as a true talent... you have all right in the world. Put every other element aside, Vybz Kartel as a student of the music and our culture is an undeniable and exceptional talent who has proven himself to be a fearless creative soul on this earth."





200 lbs of ganja seized in St. Elizabeth

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ganja-seized.jpgAn anti-narcotics operation in St Elizabeth on Wednesday resulted in the seizure of approximately 200 pounds of ganja.

The ganja, which was found in an open lot in Burnt Savannah, has a street value of $1.4 million.

No one was arrested in that incident.





crime-scene-7.jpgTwo in one week!!!??? And both are from Mandeville, Manchester.

For the second time this week a Jamaican woman has died suddenly in the British Virgin Islands.

According to BVI News Online, the second person to die is Suzette Edwards-Frett who was employed to the British Virgin Islands Health Services Authority.

It's reported that she got married a few days ago to a court employee.

She recently posted pictures showing her in a bed at a hospital in the BVI.

On Monday, another Jamaican woman, 38-year-old Tracy Forbes, died suddenly at her Long Trench home in the BVI.

The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force said investigations so far have not indicated anything suspicious regarding her death.

However, a post mortem will be conducted.





By Stephen A. Cooper

bob-marley-photo-3.jpgIf he were alive, the Honorable Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, O.M. (Order of Merit), would have celebrated his 71st birthday on February 6. Even with the thirty-fifth anniversary of his tragic death from cancer coming this May, Bob remains the most recognizable ambassador of reggae music the world over.

Marley's timeless appeal and continued relevance stems in no small part from the stirring political, racial, and social consciousness painstakingly infused in his songbook. From tracks like One Love to War (adapted from Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I's historic speech before the United Nations General Assembly in 1963), Them Belly Full (But They Hungry), Get Up, Stand Up, Concrete Jungle - and many, many more of his songs - Bob Marley used the bully pulpit of international music stardom to disseminate the treasure of his accumulated moral wisdom.

No different from the revelations of a learned Rasta elder "reasoning" in a sacred Nyabinghi drum circle in the woods, Marley's lyrics offer much more than mere artful, pleasant sounding ditties set to an engaging tune; unlike lyrics of today, they are not window dressing whose only purpose is to accompany a deep base or gyrating beat.

Instead, through artful poetry, a beatific voice, and his magnetic charisma, Bob Marley spurred dancing and singing. But critically, and I submit, the reason his music stands the test of time: Bob's lyrics challenge listeners' hearts and minds. From staunch supporters to his fiercest critics, Bob's songs force everyone to recognize oppression, unfairness, and inequality - in all its multifaceted, nefarious forms.

This is why there can be no doubt: If Bob Marley was alive today he would denounce - using the strongest, most acerbic terms - the leading Republican candidate for President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. A small sampling of Marley's discography and musical mainstays evidence the disdain the reggae star would have held for the billionaire mogul.

donald-trump.jpg

To prove the point, imagine the following hypothetical conversation between Trump and Marley, using each man's publicly spoken (or sung) words except where otherwise indicated by brackets ("[ ]").

Donald Trump and Bob Marley (An Imagined Conversation)

TRUMP: That's one of the nice things [Bob]. I mean, part of the beauty of me is that I'm very rich. [Indeed, I have been known to say:] The second-greatest day of a man's life is the day he buys a yacht, but the greatest day of a man's life is the day he sells it.

MARLEY: [Donald,] [y]ou see[m] [like] men sailing on their ego trips. Blast off on their spaceships. Million miles from reality. No care for [an average Joe], no care for me." (Stiff Necked Fools)

[Donald, don't you know?] The greatness of a man is not how much wealth he acquires . . . . Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold. (Zion Train)

TRUMP: [Fine, fine, I get it Bob. Money doesn't impress you. [But,] [l]et me tell you, I'm a really smart guy.

MARLEY: Here comes the conman coming with his con plan . . . . (Crazy Baldheads)

TRUMP: [Bob! I don't know why you are being so mean . . . . After all,] I have a great relationship with the blacks. I've always had a great relationship with the blacks. [That being said about "the blacks", you should know:] Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.

MARLEY: [Donald, you] don't want to see us unite. 'Cause all [you] want us to do is keep on fussing and fighting. [You] don't want to see us live together. (Top Ranking)

TRUMP: I will build a great wall [Bob] . . . .

MARLEY: Why can't we roam this open country? Oh, why can't we be what we want to be? We want to be free!" (Three O'Clock Roadblock).

Let me tell you my friend if you gonna live this life, it's not good for you to build strife. (Craven Choke Puppy)

To divide and rule could only tear us apart. (Zimbabwe)

TRUMP: [Look here Bob,] [w]e need to make America great again.

MARLEY: [Donald, really, I] [c]an't take your slogans no more. . . . [just] can't take your slogans no more . . . . (Slogans)

You can fool some people sometimes, but you can't fool all the people all the time. (Get up, Stand up)

TRUMP: [Ok, Bob, no more slogans. But just so you know, so there is no mistake about this,] I do not wear a rug. My hair is one hundred percent mine.

MARLEY: [You] crazy, [Donald,] crazy. [And] we gonna chase . . . crazy baldheads [like you] out of town. Chase [you] crazy baldheads out of town. (Crazy Baldheads).

Mr. Trump walks off in disgust and Bob Marley shakes his head sadly.

MARLEY: Pressed on [his] conscience. Oh yeah. And [he] live[s] [his life] on false pretense every day - each and every day. Yeah. These are the big fish, who always try to eat down the small fish, just the small fish. I tell you what: they would do anything to materialize their every wish. Say: Woe to the downpressors . . . they'll eat the bread of sorrow! Woe to the downpressors . . . they'll eat the bread of sad tomorrow. (Guiltiness)

About the Author:

Stephen Cooper is a former federal and D.C. public defender. He writes full-time and lives in Woodland Hills, California.

Stephen A. Cooper, Esq.
stevecooper7214@gmail.com





tesha-miller-photo-1.jpgtesha-miller-photo-2.jpgReputed Clansman leader Tesha Miller has been deported to Jamaica by the US government after serving a prison sentence there. He had been convicted in the United States in 2014 on a charge of illegal entry.

According to reports, Miller along with other deportees,wass being processed at Mobile Reserve and subsequently released.

Police said they have been keeping a watch on communities within Spanish Town, which is the seat of the gang. There has been a simmering leadership dispute within the gang, and Miller's brother, Craig Miller, was shot and killed at a premises on March Pen Road in Spanish Town last year.

Elan Powell, Assistant Commissioner of Police said systems are in place to ensure that order is maintained.

Miller fled to the United States after he was freed of gun and robbery charges by the Court of Appeal in March 2013. He was sentenced in the High Court Division of the Gun Court to seven years' imprisonment for illegal possession of a firearm and 15 years for robbery with aggravation, which led to him filing the appeal.





Taximan killed in car accident

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crime-scene-7.jpgA St. Ann taxi operator was killed in a motor vehicle collision early Tuesday morning on the White River main road in the parish.

Dead is 37-year-old Ian Harrow of Lewis District, St Ann.

Reports from the Ocho Rios Police are that at about 1:25 am, Harrow was travelling towards Prospect, St Mary in a white Toyota Corolla motorcar, which collided head-on with a Toyota Corona motorcar travelling in the opposite direction.

A third vehicle collided in the back of the Toyota Corona motorcar. The motorists were assisted to the hospital by lawmen.

Harrow was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead, while the other two drivers were treated and released from hospital.

A source from the St Ann Traffic Police could not confirm to Loop News the total number of persons who received injuries in the accident, however eyewitness reports had suggested that up to eight persons were injured.





Another person dies from swine flu in Jamaica

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swine-flu-symptoms.jpgAn elderly female has died from the H1N1 Virus or Swine Flu, bringing the number of deaths related to H1N1 to seven.

Two health officials are among the victims who have died as a result of the Virus.

Acting Chief Medical Officer at the Health Ministry, Dr Winston De La Haye has confirmed that a seventh person has died from H1N1.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton is to provide an update on H1N1 or Swine Flu and Zika Viruses being reported across the country today.

The ministry has reported close to 70 confirmed H1N1 and five Zika cases.





hands-behind-bars.jpgAccording to www.barbadostoday.bb, 63-year-old O'Conner Newton was held in Barbados after he passed out 68 packages of cannabis on arrival from Kingston on March 18.

He has been charged with possession, possession with intent to supply, trafficking and importation of two pounds of cannabis.

Reports are that upon arrival, Newton was interviewed by police and was later referred to the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he passed out 68 packages of cannabis he had ingested.

It is not clear if he has been appointede a lawyer.





jamaican-woman-tracy-forbes-bvi.jpgTracy Forbes, a 38 year-old mother of three was found unresponsive at her Long Trench home in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) on March 28.

Her sudden death has left the Jamaican community in BVI in shock, with a popular Jamaican broadcaster in the island expressing grief.

Forbes, who is originally from Manchester, Jamaica had been living in BVI for close to 10 years.

According to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) investigations so far indicate nothing suspicious.

The island's police force noted that upon inquiries they were told that Forbes had gone to bed after midnight and was later found unresponsive by her partner at around 3am.

A post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of Forbes' death.

Forbes leaves behind her partner and three children, including a one-year-old.





NWA manager killed in St Thomas

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crime-scene-7.jpgA parish manager at the National Works Agency (NWA) was killed by gunmen in Lyssons, St Thomas shortly after midnight this morning.

He has been identified as 30-year-old Theos Blake.

Blake was shot dead as he visited friends on Lyssons Road in Morant Bay.

The police's Corporate Communications Unit says the incident happened about 12:05 a.m. when Blake was attacked by armed men. Explosions were heard and Blake's body was found, face down, by his friends.

So far no motive has been identified for the killing. The police continue to investigate.





cocaine-flight-attendant-marsha-reynolds-and-dad.jpgThe real-life "Jackie Brown" flight attendant who allegedly ditched two suitcases full of cocaine at a Los Angeles airport tearfully defended herself to her broken-up father.

"Somebody gave her the bag," her sullen dad told The Post on Saturday outside the family home in South Jamaica, Queens.

The father, who wouldn't give his name, recalled the emotional encounter with his little girl, 31-year-old Marsha Gay Reynolds, just before she landed behind bars on Wednesday.

"She broke down, of course," he said slowly, in a hushed voice. "She said she didn't know what was in" the luggage. "I'm not in a good place right now," he confessed, looking at the ground.

Prosecutors aren't buying her story and believe Reynolds had carried drugs before and only got cold feet after being randomly stopped at an LAX checkpoint for airline workers.

The JetBlue worker was heading to board a flight to La Guardia Airport on Friday when she kicked off her Gucci heels, dropped her bags stuffed with 60 pounds of drugs - $3 million worth - and bolted, according to police.

"She knew if she dropped both [her bags and heels], she'd be able to run away more quickly," said Marshall McClain of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association. "She was then able to hotfoot it out of the terminal, down an up escalator while barefoot, where we assume she got into a car and took off to parts unknown."

McClain told the Los Angeles Times he doesn't think it was Reynolds' first rodeo.

"I don't believe anybody would trust a mule with that amount of dope the first time out," he said.

Following the drug dump, Reynolds, who is a nursing student at Mercy College, caught a flight to New York and holed up in the Hilton hotel near JFK Airport, sources said. She surrendered to authorities Wednesday and was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine.





missing-cop-ewan-duncan.jpgThirty-two-year-old police constable Ewan Duncan has been missing since Friday, February 12.

Duncan, who was attached to the Mobile Reserve lived in Fellowship Hall, Oracabessa, St. Mary

He is of brown complexion, stout build and is about 180 centimetres (5 feet 11 inches) tall.

The Oracabessa Police say about 4:30 a.m., on February 12, Duncan left home to go swimming and has not been seen or heard from since.

At the time he went missing, he was wearing a white turtle-neck shirt, grey jeans pants and grey sneakers.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Constable Ewan Duncan is being asked to contact the Oracabessa Police at 975-3233, Port Maria Police Station at 994-2223, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





audley-shaw.jpgThe Minister of Finance, Audley Shaw, says the government will have to find a new source of funds to help finance its planned income tax break for workers earning up to $1.5 million.

According to Shaw, the JLP had assumed that the money collected from the gas tax could be used to partially fund the tax break, but he said those funds had already been used up in the consolidated fund under the previous People's National Party administration.

He made the disclosure at a Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica breakfast on Tuesday.

However, many analysts had taken the JLP's tax break apart in the run up to the February 25 general elections and told them louldly that the plan was simply not feasible.

According to Shaw the government remains committed to implementing the income tax break, which was promised during the recent election campaign. It forms a part of the Jamaica Labour Party's 10-point Plan for Growth and Job Creation.

The JLP had planned to use an estimated $9.5 billion from the gas tax to help fund the measure that is expected to cost the country $12.5 billion.





Fraud squad police believe they have cracked a fraud scheme in which a business place was fleeced of over $62 million by one of its managers.

Detectives assigned to the Fraud Squad at the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) reported that, on Monday, they arrested and charged 37-year-old Taneka Stewart-Blake, of a Mahoe Avenue address in Old Harbour, St Catherine.

Reports are that Stewart-Blake was a manager at a prominent business place in Mandeville, Manchester between December 2008 and December 2015.

It is reported that she misrepresented the daily sales at the company and pocketed $62,753,681.

The matter was reported to Fraud Squad and an investigation subsequently launched.

Stewart-Blake was arrested and charged on Monday, March 21 and is to appear before the Corporate Area Criminal Court on Wednesday, March 30. She has not been offered bail.





Health officials in Jamaica are highly concerned about the state in which a Jamaican man working at the United States military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba was transferred to Kingston for emergency medical care.

Heightening the concerns of health officials is the non-response by US Embassy officials in Kingston to request for information to guide them on the course of treatment of the injured man who said to be in critical condition at the University Hospital of the West Indies.

Reports are that the man, who was employed to a Jamaican contractor at the US military base, developed a dental abscess and sustained complications after attempts were made to drain it.

Reports are that no medical data on the sick man was supplied at the time of transfer, no were local health officials notified prior to arrival.

According to sources in the public health sector here, attempts to get assistance from the United States Embassy have been unsuccessful.

As a result, one local health official has suggested that the Jamaican government put measures in place to ensure that a similar incident is not repeated.





JetBlue flight attendant remains in custody

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The JetBlue flight attendant accused of attempting to smuggle nearly 70 pounds of cocaine through Los Angeles International Airport will remain in custody in a New York jail.

The judge overseeing the case, Viktor V. Pohorelsky, had originally granted 31-year-old Marsha Reynolds $500,000 bail during a hearing in a Brooklyn court Thursday, a decision he made in large part because she surrendered herself, he said. But a judge in Los Angeles, from where she fled to New York, overturned the decision late Thursday and Reynolds' attorneys failed today in New York federal court to have the L.A. decision overturned. So she will remain in police custody until April 7, when she will appear in front of a California court.

It is unclear when she will be transported to California by U.S. Marshals.Reynolds was charged with possession with the intent to distribute cocaine after she allegedly dropped a suitcase full of the drugs at an airport security checkpoint at LAX airport on March 18, before fleeing. She turned herself into authorities in New York Wednesday.

A family spokesman, Allan Jennings, said after Thursday's bail hearing that Reynolds maintains she did not know what was inside the bag when she was at the airport.

LAX police soon after found 11 packages of cocaine wrapped in green cellophane and labeled, "BIG Ranch" inside one of the bags Reynolds had left behind, the affidavit says.The cocaine weighed just over 68 pounds. Wholesale, the drugs would be worth about $750,000 in Los Angeles, said Special Agent Timothy Massino, a spokesman for the US Drug Enforcement Administration. On the streets of Los Angeles, Massino said the retail value of the cocaine could be as high as $3 million.

Security threats from "insiders," including airline and airport employees and workers hired by contractors, have been a focus of the TSA, particularly after the December 2014 arrest of several Delta Air Lines baggage handlers. Prosecutors allege they smuggled guns, including an AK-47, from Atlanta to New York.





cocaine-flight-attendant-marsha-reynolds-photo-3.jpgThe former Mis Jamaica contestant and JetBlue flight attendant arrested in an LAX cocaine smuggling case is "a very accomplished young lady" and the allegations are "completely out of character," her attorney said.

Dennis J. Ring said it was too early in the case to answer specific allegations against Marsha Gay Reynolds but defended her character. He said she is a U.S. citizen born in Jamaica who had competed in beauty pageants in the past. She was studying to become a nurse while working for JetBlue, he said.

Reynolds is a former beauty pageant contestant and has been a New York-based JetBlue employee for six years. She is also a full-time nursing student.

Her New York lawyer, Brad Mazarin, told ABC News she is in "high spirits," calling her a "very nice young lady." But the case is now out of his hands, he said.Reynolds, who worked for JetBlue Airways, kicked off her heels and fled Terminal 4 around 7 p.m. Friday, just minutes after she was randomly selected for additional screening, according to a criminal complaint filed this week. Barreling the wrong way down an escalator, Reynolds sprinted out of the terminal and disappeared outside.

cocaine-flight-attendant-marsha-reynolds-photo-4.jpgTSA officials did not pursue her because they were concerned her abandoned luggage might have contained explosives, the complaint said. When they did investigate her luggage, they found it loaded with 70 pounds of cocaine.

Now, questions are being asked about how Reynolds was able to elude authorities. Even though her airline crew member badge had been scanned at a security checkpoint moments before she fled LAX, authorities were unable to identify her until the following day. It took until Saturday for authorities in Washington, D.C., to identify Reynolds from the database, according to a source with knowledge of the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because of a lack of authorization to discuss the case with the media.

An FBI spokeswoman said investigators learned Reynolds' identity hours after the 31-year-old boarded a flight Saturday from Los Angeles International Airport to New York, where she resides.

The TSA officer who had scanned her badge told airport police he remembered her last name, according to the source with knowledge of the case. That information should have been enough to stop Reynolds from boarding a second flight, the source said. The difficulty in identifying Reynolds - and the ease with which she managed to escape the terminal Friday - highlighted serious security flaws at the nation's second-largest airport, said Marshall McClain, president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Assn.





Scores of gay squatters who ere eviceted from a house in an affluent neighbourhood in 2013 are right back where they started. The men, who have been accused of being a nuisance since they returned some three months ago, reportedly keep growing in numbers

Estimates are that over 30 cross-dressers and homosexuals are now living at the St Andrew residence much to the disgust of their neighbours.

"Dem need fi go somewhere else. They are a nuisance to us around here," said a female resident, while another added that they often steal water and fruits from trees.

A domestic helper said, "When we a come or leave work, we afraid cause dem will rob we."

However, claims of nuisance, were quickly denied.

"A nuh we a di trouble makers. A di one dem weh go New Kingston rob people and dem ting deh," he said.

It is not known who is the owner of the property.





luciano-son-menalik.jpgThe funeral service for Reggae singer Luciano's son Menelik McClymont will take place on Friday, April 3 at Meadowvale Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Red Hills Road.

His stepmother Sonia Sterling who confirmed the arrangements said he will be buried at the Meadowrest Memorial Park in St Catherine. According to a report in the Jamaica Observer the singer is not handling his son's death very well.

His wife told the paper that Luciano has to be cancelling his shows and added to that some promoters are threatening to sue. While promoters are unfeeling towards the grief he has been going through his wife said the entertainment community has been very supportive.

luciano-messenjah.jpg

"A couple of artistes pass through and offer dem condolences... Beres Hammond, Marcia Griffiths, Tony Rebel. It really make a difference. And we have been getting text from people far and wide," she was quoted as saying.

Luciano's son was stabbed several times on February 27 at about 2:30 pm. He was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Three teenagers have been arrested and charged for his son's murder.





Feds Block JetBlue Flight Attendant's 500K Bail

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The JetBlue flight attendant who kicked off her Gucci heels and ran leaving 70 pounds of cocaine behind at LAX will have to stay in jail a little while longer.

Marsha Gay Reynolds, 31, appeared in Brooklyn Federal Court on Thursday where a judge granted her a $500,000 bond. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alicia Washington asked the judge to delay Reynold's release pending an extradition appeal by a federal magistrate judge in Los Angeles.

Reynolds reportedly abandoned 2 suitcases containing $3 million worth of cocaine at a random checkpoint screening at LAX airport Friday.

The 31-year-old nursing student flew back to Queens where she surrendered to federal agents on Wednesday.

She faces 10 years in prison if convicted on possession of cocaine with intent to distribute charges.

Washington told Magistrate Viktor Pohorelsky Reynolds was a flight risk.

"The defendant's co-conspirator also has tried to flee to Jamaica (the Caribbean Island) as recently as last night," she said.

Washington said Reynolds' unidentified accomplice has access to forged travel documents.

Wearing grey Converse sneakers and jeans, Reynolds appeared in court with her mother and Allen Jennings, a controversial Pentecostal preacher who was accused of sexual harassment when he was a city councilman.

Jennings and Reynolds' mother put up their homes to secure her 500K bond.

"Miss Reynolds is a very good young woman,," Jennings said in open court. "She may not have been fully aware of what was in the bags."

Jennings added that Reynolds flew back to NY using her JetBlue credentials which were still valid until Thursday when JetBlue suspended her.

Reynolds, who is a former beauty queen in her native Jamaica, is studying to be a nurse at Mercy College. She also ran track at New York University.





cocaine-flight-attendant-marcha-reynolds-photo-1.jpgNEW YORK (AP) - A JetBlue flight attendant accused of trying to sneak a suitcase full of cocaine through Los Angeles International Airport and making a dramatic dash to escape says she might not have been sure what was in her bag, a spokesman for her said Thursday as prosecutors suggested she had smuggled before.

Marsha Gay Reynolds, a former Jamaican beauty queen and college track athlete, turned herself in Wednesday to face a federal drug charge.

Authorities said they found 70 pounds of cocaine in her luggage at LAX on March 18 after she was flagged for a random security screening, flung off her high heels and bolted barefoot down an upward-moving escalator. They said she ran out of the terminal and crossed the country to New York.

Reynolds' spokesman Allan Jennings, representing her family and her defense lawyer, said, "She may not have been fully aware of what was in the bags."

cocaine-flight-attendant-marsha-reynolds-photo-2.jpg

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Alicia Washington told a court that last week was "not the only time the defendant has engaged in this conduct." Washington didn't elaborate, and Jennings said he was surprised by the claim.

A U.S. magistrate judge set bail for Reynolds at $500,000 and then warned her parents and two friends from her church they could lose their homes if she flees. He gave prosecutors a day to appeal before Reynolds can be freed.

Reynolds, a 31-year-old Jamaican-born U.S. citizen, graduated from New York University and ran track there. She was a runner-up in the Miss Jamaica World 2008 pageant, which sends the country's representative to Miss World contests.

Leaders of the Jamaica pageant were "shocked and surprised" at news of Reynolds' arrest, said organizer Laura Butler, who doesn't know Reynolds. She said Reynolds apparently had traveled to Jamaica to compete while living in New York, as the contest allows for women of Jamaican heritage living elsewhere.

Reynolds arrived last week at a security checkpoint in LAX's Terminal 4 wearing jeans, heels and a black suit jacket and carrying her known crew member badge, an FBI agent's sworn statement said. She was off duty at the time.

Asked to step aside for a random check, Reynolds nervously looked around and made a cellphone call as she was led to a screening area, the statement said. When a Transportation Security Administration officer asked her for identification, she dropper her bag, ditched her Gucci shoes and took off, an affidavit said. A TSA officer said he didn't pursue her because his primary concern was her abandoned luggage.

In it was just over 68 pounds of cocaine, worth as much as $3 million on the streets of Los Angeles, authorities said.

JetBlue Airways Corp., which suspended Reynolds, said it was cooperating with the investigation.

Prosecutors said Reynolds "took advantage of her position as a crew member" and "abused the trust" she had. If convicted, Reynolds could face at least 10 years in prison, prosecutors said.

The TSA has been concerned about security threats from insiders, including airline and airport employees, particularly after several baggage handlers were arrested in December 2014 on charges of smuggling guns from Atlanta to New York.





missing-teens-tabuka-britania.jpgAnanda Alerts have been activated for two teens - Britania Esty and Tabuka Thompson - who have gone missing on Saturday, March 19.

Britania, 15, of Bedward Gardens was reportedly last seen at the National Stadium around 9pm, dressed in a white blouse, white shorts and a pair of white shoes.

The teen, of dark complexion, slim build and is about 154 centimetres (5 feet 1inch) tall, has not been heard from or seen since.

The police have urged anyone knowing the whereabouts of Britania Esty to contact the Papine Police at 927-2047, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.

The other disappeared teen, 14-year-old Tabuka Thompson of a Hope Town Road address in St Andrew, was last seen in Tavern in the parish, about 7:15pm - wearing a black pants and white blouse.

The child has not been heard from since, while efforts to contact her have proven futile

Tabuka is of dark complexion, medium build and about 152 centimetres (5 feet) tall.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Tabuka Thompson is being asked to contact the Papine Police at 927-2947, the police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





charly-black.jpgDancehall DJ Charly Black, who is currently in Brussels, Belgium is expected to leave the country's capital Wednesday, following bomb attacks on an airport and a metro station on Tuesday.

Reports are that Charly and his team are all safe.

Meanwhile, dancehall artiste, Spice, is breathing a sigh of relief after returning to Jamaica following a performance in Brussels, Belgium.

She returned from a month long tour which ran from February 17 to March 19.

She started in Berlin, Germany and ended in Brussels, Belgium.





Jimmy Riley dead at 61

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jimmy-riley-and-son-tarrus-riley.jpgReggae legend Jimmy Riley, has died.

Reports are that the reggae singer, who is the father of Tarrus Riley, died Wednesday morning in New York after a battle with cancer. He was 61.

Born Martin James Ziggy Norman Riley, 22 May 1954, he was recognised mainly as a soloist but was also a member of The Sensations and The Uniques.

Jimmy is known for the hits Love and Devotion and Give Thanks And Praise.

He topped the UK reggae chart with his version of Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing.

Tarrus Riley's label mate, Alaine, was among the first of a long list of members of the entertainment fraternity to show support.





james-fortune-and-wife.jpgGrammy-nominated gospel singer James Fortune has begun serving five days in a Texas jail for assaulting his wife during a 2014 argument.sp

Fort Bend County jail records show the 38-year-old Fortune turned himself in Monday night in Richmond, about 20 miles southwest of Houston.

Fortune earlier this year month pleaded guilty to assault on a family member, in a plea deal. Fortune must also serve five years of probation, do community service and not have any contact with his estranged wife.

Fortune's hits include "Hold On" and "I Trust You."

In court, a prosecutor read a victim impact statement from Fortune's wife in which she wrote, "I hope in all of this you get help. Serious help. Although this probation might be like a slap on the wrist, I hope you look at it as a moment to better yourself and change something within you for your future."

This is the second time Fortune has pleaded guilty after hurting a family member.

In 2002 he took a plea deal for six years of probation after burning his four-year-old son in hot water.

Investigators said Fortune said it was a form of discipline.

The boy was burned over 40 percent of his body.

Source: AP





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police are trying to determine the motive behind the deadly attack on a Nigerian man in the northern Jamaica parish of St. Ann.

The bodies of Edward Omoregih, 60, and his wife were found with bullet wounds by their driver at their home in Free Hill in Bamboo, early Tuesday.

Mr. Omoregih was pronounced dead on the scene, while his wife has been admitted in serious condition.

Investigations continue.





Massive raid in Tivoli

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police-cars.jpgThere was a massive operation underway in sections of Tivoli Gardens in Kingston.

Police, in a pre dawn raid on Tuesday, swooped down on sections of the West Kingston community, searching for guns and wanted men.

"The clamp down is part of an initiative to bring the recent crime situation under control and to go after some persons we believe are key players in the ongoing gang feud that has once again triggered tension in the area," a senior officer told explained.





kingston-college-schools-challenge-quiz-team.jpgThe row engulfing this year's staging of the popular Schools' Challenge Quiz competition is escalating with the threat of legal action by Camperdown High and strong discontent being expressed by Kingston College.

Former Jamaican Ambassador to the United States and Professor of International Law at the University of the West Indies, Stephen Vasciannie has sent a letter to Television Jamaica's General Manager, Claire Grant.

Vasciannie told Grant that the recent deduction of four points from Kingston College during their quarter-final match, which resulted in KC being belatedly declared losers to Campion College, is unfair and unjust. He warned the TVJ General Manager that the integrity of the competition, which has a rich history, is at risk.

The Professor said fairness should result in the match being awarded to KC.

Vascaiannie noted that, at the end of the match, it appeared that Kingston College had won by four points. According to Professor Vasciannie, his understanding from persons present at the studio when the match was recorded is that the judges held that Kingston College had mispronounced the name "Absalom".

He said, on examination, it is evident that there was nothing wrong with the pronunciation of "Absalom". Ambassador Vasciannie's letter was copied to the Chairman of the RJR Communications group, Lester Spaulding.

Vascianne is a former President of the Kingston College Old Boys Association.

The SCQ competition was engulfed in controversy earlier this week when an incorrect tally of the scores resulted in a rematch being ordered between Camperdown and Ardenne High, which Ardenne won. Camperdown has threatened legal action in the matter.





toronto-mayor-rob-ford.jpgControversial former Toronto mayor Rob Ford is dead

Rob Ford, the former Toronto mayor who polarized voters with his brash, uncompromising political style and became an international celebrity for his drug and alcohol use while in office, has died. He was 46.

His family confirmed his death today, saying he had been fighting cancer.

He became known internationally in 2013 after Toronto police said they had obtained a video that appeared to show Ford smoking crack cocaine.

Ford had remained a councillor after withdrawing from the 2014 race to keep his job in Canada's largest city. He withdrew after being hospitalised with an abdominal tumour and endorsed his brother, Doug, who would lose out to John Tory.

A statement from his office announced the death of the "beloved son, brother, husband and father".

"A dedicated man of the people, Councillor Ford spent his life serving the citizens of Toronto.

"The family asks that you respect their privacy and join them in their grieving and their prayers."

Swept to the office in 2010 on a platform pledging to "stop the gravy train", Ford would soon become involved in a number of highly publicised incidents.

After months of denials about the content of the video, Ford admitted to smoking crack, but said he was not an addict. After reports of a second video emerged of him smoking crack, he decided to enter rehab.

It was reported yesterday that he had been in a palliative care facility.





Dr Winston De La Haye, the Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in the Ministry of Health, was held up and robbed by gunmen in the upscale Acadia area in Constant Spring on Saturday.

Dr De La Haye and his wife reportedly went to pick up their child on Acadia Drive in St Andrew, when they were accosted by two armed men.

Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), Assistant Commissioner Elan Powell, said on television on Saturday, that the couple was robbed of cash, cell phones and jewelry, but was not harmed by the attackers.

The robbers were said to have made good their escape on foot in the area.

Dr De La Haye was recently appointed to act in the senior post within the Ministry of Health, following the retirement of the former office holder, Dr Marion Bullock-Ducasse.





butch-stewart-gordon-butch.jpgHotelier and chairman of the Jamaica Observer sewspaper, , Gordon 'Butch' Stewart made the headlines last week when he dropped a 17.5 billion dollar lawsuit against his print media rival, the Gleaner company.

According to Stewart's paper, the lawsui stated that the report that "the shares of businessman Gordon 'Butch' Stewart in Gorstew have been frozen due to his failure to pay legal cost to the tune of J$40 million to one Noel Sloley is false and defamatory.

"This publication was and is factually incorrect. The freezing order in question is in respect of costs claimed by Jamaica Tours Limited, which is the subject of ongoing litigation in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal."

There has so far been no response from the Gleaner, but online has been buzzing. Most of the comments have been supportive of the intended action, but a few have been critical.

Brlow are a some of the comments:

"I am no lawyer here...but let me see if I can reason this out.

Some time in March 2009 (Observer Article dated March 15, 2009) United States and local agents, in a ground-breaking development, swooped down on the offices of Jamaica Tours Limited, owned by the family of Opposition Senator Noel Sloley, to trace the origin of a vexatious e-mail that allegedly libeled Gordon 'Butch' Stewart...Fast forward to 2016...Jamaica Tours Limited is claiming Legal Costs. You can only claim legal costs when you triumph in the Courts. So, I guess its safe to say JTL/Noel Sloley did. That now leads us to the issue of the frozen shares. So the shares were frozen not because of "failure to pay legal cost" but the freezing order in question is in respect of costs claimed by Jamaica Tours Limited, which is the subject of ongoing litigation in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. Hhhmmm, sounds like someone is splitting hairs."

"Mr Stewart you want tell us that the Gleaner print a misleading story on there web site Friday and now today Monday it cause you significant damage and also resulted in significant losses, you know that what you mention you got to prove the " significant damage" and "significant losses" to the courts to be compensated, now I can understan the false and defamation lawsuit.

"But you also admitted that the freezing of assets is true but it pertain to the Jamaica Tours Limited and not one Mr Noel Sloley. Now you know that if Mr Noel Sloley is Jamaica Tours Limited or a part of then the story only is deceptive and not entirely false, I wish you we'll, knowing fullwell this going to take years to litigate if you really got a case."





crime-scene-7.jpgshocked.jpgThugs on the weekend shot up the Morgan Bridge police station in Grange Hill Westmoreland, causing one police officer to sustain minor injury

Reports are that shortly after 3 o'clock Saturday morning, the man who has been now been detained, stormed into the guardroom and said he was there to make a complaint.

It is understood that while the man was making the complaint, several gunshots were heard being fired in the station yard.

When the shooting subsided, several bullet holes could be seen in the wall and window of the police station.

The shooting incident comes just days ahead of the visit of newly appointed security minister Robert Montague in Westmoreland for a town hall meeting.





luciano-son-menalik.jpgThe three boys charged with the murder of Menelik McClymont, 19, the son of reggae artiste Luciano, were denied bail when they appeared in court on Thursday.

The three, two of them students, were remanded until April 21, after prosecutors strongly opposed bail.

Jerome Coomb,18,Kemanie Shaw , 18 and Nashlyn Morgan, 18, were charged on March 4, following an investigation by the CIB.

Menelik, who was a student of Maths Unlimited, was attacked and stabbed several times by a group of men at Parkington Plaza on February 27.

He died a day later at hospital.





bob-marley-photo-3.jpgThe Marley family chalked up another victory when a United States court sided with them in a lawsuit filed against a company that sold shirts with the late Bob Marley's image.

The estate of the Jamaican icon had filed a suit after low-cost T-shirts - featuring a photo of a speaking Marley next to the yellow, green and red colors associated with his Rastafarian faith - went on sale at Walmart, Target and other major US retailers.

In 2011 a Nevada jury awarded over $2 million in damages and legal fees to firms owned by Marley's children that said they had lost an order to sell T-shirts at Walmart as the unauthorized rival was distributing a similar product.

The defendants lodge an appeal but that was rejected on Friday by a federal court which agreed that the non-family companies violated the 1946 Lanham Act, a key US law on copyright infringement.





Another doctor dies from Swine Flu

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swine-flu-pig.jpgA second medical doctor has died from H1N1 (Swine Flu) related complications.

The doctor, Denise Duncan Goffe, is the sixth person to have died since the virus was first reported here in January.

Duncan Goffe, who was just over 60 years old, had been admitted to the University Hospital of the West Indies.

The acting chief medical officer, Dr Winston De La Haye, says she was in the high-risk group as she had other complications.





Police scoop up 10 wanted men

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hands-behind-bars.jpgWanted men - most of whom were wanted on charges ranging from rape to murder - have been apprehended by the Westmoreland police.

The 10 were picked up as the police executed 300 warrants since the start of January, David White, the superintendent in charge of the Westmoreland division, told Loop News.

Among the offenders were motorists wanted on road traffic violations.

"We are stepping up our drive," said White, who is well-regarded within the police force.

At the same time, the senior cop said that 'Jawbone', one of the most wanted men in the western end of Jamaica is now on his radar. He's wanted for a number of murders and is known to frequent the areas of Waterworks, Savanna-la-Mar and Whithorn in the parish.

"We won't stop until we get this man. He's our number one priority, I can emphasize, until we get him off the street," said the superintendent, who took over the Westmoreland division last year.

Meanwhile, White said that his men have recovered nine or 10 firearms since January. The figure, he said, is more than the total number of firearms recovered in 2015.





dahlia-harris.jpgPlaywright, artistic director, actress, broadcaster, communications practitioner and marketing specialist, Dahlia Harris has been appointed as Director of Culture in Education at the Ministry of Education, Information and Youth.

Harris, who was Principal Director of Culture under the previous PNP administration, was dismissed following a dispute with senior members of the then Lisa Hanna-led Youth and Culture Ministry.

Her appointment comes as the Andrew Holness administration begins to ring the changes in its first few weeks in office.

She is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, where she pursued a double major in mass communications and literature.She has served as a member of the Board of the Creative Production and Training Centre, and the Entertainment Advisory Board of the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment.





JUTC puts plans on hold

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jutc-buses-photo-1.jpgThe state-run Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) has put plans to charge passengers who pay with cash a higher bus fare on hold.

In January, the JUTC announced that come April persons who pay with cash will have to pay a fare of $120.

The company said persons who use the JUTC smarter card will continue to benefit from the current fare of $100.

However, JUTC Marketing and Communications Manager, Clinton Clarke, says arising from the change in administration the management of the bus company took the decision to put the plans on hold.

Clarke says the matter is under evaluation and the public will be informed when a final decision is made.

Nevertheless, he says the JUTC is still encouraging users to obtain and use smarter cards.





The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) has confirmed plans to discontinue the practice of giving extra answer sheets to students sitting two of its exams, but says that this will not place candidates at a disadvantage.

The change applies to the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).

The council says it is aware that some people are concerned about the new policy. However, it has sought to assure the public that it has a new booklet which has adequate space for students to write answers.

The council says the new booklets were used on five previous occasions and it did not receive any complaints that CSEC or CAPE candidates needed additional answer sheets.

According to CXC, it has done adequate research and is confident that the space provided in the new booklet is more than adequate for the expected responses.

The CXC says in an effort to ensure that no candidate is disadvantaged, the new answer booklets, also provide a general area, at the back of the booklet to facilitate candidates who write significantly more than is typical.





No breakthrough in murder of man by gays

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crime-scene-7.jpgFollowing the killing of Nicholas Beadle at the hands of alleged homosexuals last month, police say they have yet to make any breakthroughs in bringing the still-at-large perpetrator to justice.

Beadle, 27, was stabbed to death while on his way home from work on February 25 as he navigated through a path in the vicinity of West King's House road. He died while receiving treatment in the hospital.

The deceased man's family is now waiting for an arrest with a heavy heart, and hoping police find his assailants.

"My son died, and now you hear them saying they are stepping up security," said the victim's father. "That not helping me again! I already have my loss. This is one of our biggest losses."

No motive for the attack appears to be that of robbery.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe Clarendon police say they are following several leads into the murder of a businessman in the parish late yesterday evening.

Dead is 48-year-old Everton Mundle otherwise known as Iga of a Harris Street address.

Mundle, who owns a nightclub in Denbigh, was playing a game of football with friends in the community.

It's reported that during the game armed men approached him and opened fire hitting him several times.

No one else was injured in the attack.

Mundle was pronounced dead upon arrival at hospital.





BSJ now charging GCT, as required by IMF

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Effective Monday, the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) will begin charging General Consumption Tax (GCT) on all services it provides as part of instructions issued from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to the Government of Jamaica.

A newspaper advertisement said the BSJ is now a registered taxpayer.

Among the services offered by the BSJ are laboratory testing and product certification.

Dr. Winston Davidson, BSJ Chairman, said the multi-laterals raised concern about what they considered an anomaly in the operations of the BSJ.

"The Ministry of Finance, through the World Bank project, has decided to charge the Bureau of Standards GCT on all transactions. That has caused an increase in the budget by millions of dollars. There is no increase in the profit margin to the Bureau, just that it has dug into our budget by nearly over $20 million, this never happened before but since the iMF conditions require that, we just have to comply with that," he said.





cop-killed-hanover-accident-photo-1.jpgThe police have released the identity of the constable who was killed in a horrific three-vehicle crash on Sunday afternoon on the Orange Bay main road in Green Island, Hanover.

cop-killed-hanover-accident-photo-2.jpg

He has been identified as 20-year-old Demoy Witter, who was attached to the Negril Police Station in Westmoreland.

The crash, which occurred about 3 o'clock, involved a Toyota Altis, a coaster bus, and a Honda motor car, which was driven by the policeman. Two policemen and three foreigners were also injured.

Reports are that the Honda Civic may have drifted into the path of the Coaster that was traveling in the opposite direction and it resulted in the collision.

The policemen and the foreigners were released from hospital on Sunday night.

Pictures of the crash site reveal a mangled Honda Civic, crushed to a quarter of its original size.

cop-killed-hanover-accident-photo-3.jpg





A major crisis is looming on the already sick public healthcare sector amid reports that more nurses are being recruited for overseas jobs.

According to the president of the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) Janet Coore Farris, more nurses likely to leave the island next month, when British recruiters arrive.

The current atio of one nurse to 40 patients in some health facilities in Jamaica is in stark contrast to the international standard of one nurse to five patients, she explained, adding that the situation will worsen. These registered nurses "don't even have to have their degree in nursing; they will just have to have a certificate," she said.

Such is the extent of the demand for these nurses, she elaborated, that they will not need to have specialist training, just experience working in the particular area.

Mrs Coore Farr said the United States, Canada and England are interested in Jamaican nurses because they are well trained.

Furthermore, she said, Jamaican nurses are eager to take up jobs overseas because of the improved salaries.

"They are going to be paying them anywhere between L36,000 to L40,000... and that... works out to be anywhere between six-point-something (Jamaican) dollars to seven-point-two million dollars a year. So, we really do have a crisis on our hands," she declared.





Court orders Butch Stewart's assets frozen

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butch-stewart.jpgThe court has ordered a freeze on the assets of local hotelier and media mogul, Gordon "Butch" Stewart, until he pays up some outstanding legal costs.

This after Noel Slowley went to the Supreme Court yesterday (March 11), and got an order freezing Stewarts share in his company Gorstew Limited, to recover legal cost amount to $40 m.

The order will remain in force until Stewart pays the money.

The matter stems from an application Stewart made in the Supreme Court in 2009, claiming that he was liabled in an email allegedly sent from a computer at Mr. Slowleys company in Montego Bay.

Stewart was instructed by the court to have forensic experts search the computers at Mr. Slowley's company.

Stewart claimed then that the search was stopped by the directors of Slowleys company and Stewart sought to have the directors jailed for disobeying a court order.

The matter was thrown out by the court and attempts by Stewart to appeal the ruling also failed.

The court awarded damages to Slowley and his company in the amount of over $40 m.

In court on Friday, Slowley applied for and was granted an order to freeze Stewart's assets until the money has been paid.





Two held in attack in Norwood

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThe police have held two persons in relation to Tuesday's attack in Norwood, St. James that left three people dead.

The police say the two were accosted between yesterday and this morning.

They say the detainees will be processed and interviewed.

The police also say they are maintaining a presence in the sometimes-troubled Norwood community.

Gunmen yesterday walked into a cook shop in the community and opened fire killing three men.

The police have said the shooting stemmed from a dispute between the operator of the cook shop and a woman over a cellular phone.





curacao-gerrit-schotte-en-cicely-van-der-dijs.jpgThe Court of Justice in Curacao has sentenced former prime minister Gerrit Schotte to three years imprisonment after he was found guilty of bribery, forgery and money laundering charges.

The court also ruled that his long-time partner, Cicely van der Dijs, be sentenced to 18 months in prison.

In addition, the court Friday said that the former Curacao prime minister cannot participate as a candidate in any elections for the period of five years.

Schotte, the leader of the MFK party, was appointed the country's first prime minister in October 2010, He served for two years before members of his own administration quit and formed a new government. Schotte labelled the move as coup sponsored by The Hague.





carson-trump-presidential-debate.jpgBen Carson, the former pediatric neurosurgeon who dropped out of the Republican presidential race last week, endorsed Donald Trump on Friday, praising his "guts" and "energy."

"There are two different Donald Trumps," Carson said at the billionaire's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. "There's the one you see on the stage and there's the one who is very cerebral, sits there and considers things very carefully. You can have a very good conversation with him. That's the Donald Trump that you're going to start seeing more and more of."

Trump agreed with that assessment.

"I probably do agree. There's the public version ... it seems to have worked over my lifetime," he said. "I think it's different than the personal one."

Moments later, though, Trump seemed to reject that idea.

"I don't think there are two Donald Trumps. I think there's one Donald Trump," he said.

When asked about Trump's past criticisms of his candidacy, Carson said, "We buried the hatchet. That was political stuff."

"We move on," he added.

Trump gave a rambling speech in Iowa in November in which he called Carson a "pathological" liar and compared it to child molestation.

"If you're a child molester, there's no cure, they can't stop you. Pathological, there's no cure." Trump said at the time.

Carson said on Friday that he opposed to efforts within the Republican Party to derail Trump's candidacy.

"What I have seen recently is political operatives ... trying to thwart the will of the people," Carson said. "I want the political process to play out."





swine-flu-pig.jpgThe Medical Officer of Health for Clarendon, Dr Kimberly Scarlett Campbell, has reported that the parish has recorded three suspected cases of the Influenza A or H1N1 Virus.

The cases which were recorded in February are yet to be confirmed as lab results are still outstanding.

However, Dr Scarlett Campbell reported to the Clarendon Parish Council at its monthly sitting yesterday that there has been an increase in the number of undifferentiated cases of flu in the parish and she believes this is due to the H1N1 virus.

She noted that the Clarendon health department is aware of the threat of the H1N1 and is reporting that there is sufficient medication available to treat suspected high risk cases.

Additionally she said the parish will be hiring a public health inspector who will be responsible for inspecting institutions such as schools, police stations and lock-ups to ensure adherence to prevention and control standards.

As a preventative measure, the Medical officer said the health department has embarked on a massive immunisation programme for its frontline healthcare workers at hospitals and health centers as they are seen as a high risk group.





crime-scene-7.jpgThe decomposing body of a St James High School teacher was discovered at the house at which he was living in Trelawny, by police Wednesday morning.

He has been identified as Dexter Dacres.

According to the police, they were summoned to the swanky New Haven Heights neighbourhood, by residents who detected a foul odour coming from the teacher's home.

Upon their arrival, the cops discovered the decomposing body wrapped in a sheet. It had multiple stab wounds.





Triple murder in Norwood

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crime-scene-7.jpgA large contingent of police and soldiers converged at the scene of a triple murder in the Shanty Town section of Norwood in St James, on Wednesday.

Reports are that three men were among patrons at a cook shop when they were shot by men who alighted from a motor car.

The attackers then made off in the waiting motor car.

A tense calm now exists in the community.





41-y-o woman shot dead in St Elizabeth

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe St Elizabeth police are investigating the shooting death of a 41-year-old woman who was killed early Wednesday morning morning.

The police have named the victim as Marva Salmon of Southampton, which is just a few miles south of Santa Cruz.

Early reports, but as yet unsubstantiated, from the police indicate that the weapon used in the shooting death of Salmon was unlicenced.





Over the last few weeks, a number of carjacking incidents have plagued the capital city, Kingston. Late Tuesday night, a young couple was carjacked on Beechwood Avenue causing them to flee for their safety.

Only last week, a member of the diplomatic corp was confronted by a man in the middle of the street forcing him to stop the car while two other men jumped into the back seat and tried to overpower him.

A struggle ensued as the assailants attempted to make off with the vehicle.

In February a prominent architect was also carjacked with young men also jumping into the back seat demanding money and taking away his firearm. In this instant, the carjackers acquired his details and demanded he meet with them with a sum of money to recover said firearm.

The architect died subsequently from unrelated circumstances.

More recently, an elderly member of a prominent business family was carjacked in Jacks Hill where demands were made for money.

Again last month, three young women making their way home from a soca party stopped at a traffic light in the Holborn Road vicinity only for three men to jump into the back of the car and demand that the keys to the vehicle and money be given to them. The incident was reported to the police.

Back in January, a head of a prominent security company was carjacked on Old Hope Road. The trap set, saw him being distracted by a man stepping in front of the vehicle while two others jumping into the back seat demanding money and the keys to the car.

Superintendent Jacqueline Green of Constant Spring Police Station, responsible for St Andrew North Division said: "We regard carjacking as a form of robbery and in most cases the criminals see something in the car that they want such as the driver's fancy jewellery, a computer bag or high-end smartphone.

They tend to employ a technique whereby they bump into the victim's vehicle and as the driver goes to investigate, he/she gets robbed."

"If a driver should suspect a carjacking will take place, he or she should drive into a well-lit area or pull into the nearest police station. Always ensure that your car doors are locked and the windows are up; particularly the rear windows. Don't display or leave valuables in your car. Look alert and be extra careful when pulling up or stopping at intersections and stoplights," she said.





'You are welcome...but,' Cuba tells Obama

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barak-obama-in-jamaica.jpgCuba's state newspaper said Wednesday US President Barack Obama will be warmly welcomed when he makes a historic visit later this month, but warned him not to expect political concessions.

"The US leader will be welcomed by the government of Cuba and its people with the hospitality that distinguishes them and will be treated with all consideration and respect," official daily Granma said in an editorial.

But it hastened to add: "No one can harbor the slightest doubt about Cuba's unconditional adherence to its revolutionary and anti-imperialist ideals."

Obama will visit the island March 21 and 22 -- the first visit by a US president since Calvin Coolidge in 1928, and a symbolically charged capstone to the rapprochement that he and Cuban leader Raul Castro announced in December 2014.

Before announcing the visit, Obama had insisted he would only travel to Cuba if the communist government made progress on reforms in areas such as human rights.

But Granma warned him not to be a pushy guest, quoting Castro himself as saying: "We will not allow ourselves to be pressured on our internal affairs. We have won this sovereign right with great sacrifices."

The editorial reiterated the Castro government's demands for the United States to return the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, end its more than 50-year-old embargo on Cuba, and fully normalize ties in areas such as immigration.

Obama's Republican opponents accuse him of betraying the cause of human rights in Cuba by engaging with the Castro regime.

Cuesta said a softer touch would ease doubts and encourage those who believe the country should move in the direction of greater rights but are wary of Washington's intentions.

Since taking over nearly a decade ago from his older brother Fidel, the father of Cuba's 1959 revolution, Raul Castro has slowly opened up the Cuban economy. But the political system is still completely dominated by the regime, and dissidents regularly face crack-downs and arrest.





Usain Bolt to compete in May

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usain-bolt-wins-gold-200m-beijing-2015-congratulated-by-fans.jpgWorld 100m and 200m record holder Usain Bolt is expected to hit the track sometime in May according to his coach Glen Mills

Speaking after the launch of the Racers Grand Prix a short while ago at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, Mills confirmed that Bolt will have several races before he participates in his club's Grand Prix.

"Usain will definitely compete in May but as to the actual date and time I am not able to say at this time" he said.

As to Bolt's preparation, Mills said: "I am happy with how he is progressing at this time."

'I killed him because he tried to rape me'; note found at slain teacher's house

"I killed him because he tried to rape me" is the note allegedly found at the house of slain St James High English Language teacher Dexter Dacres. Condoms and lubricants were also said to be found in the English language teacher's bedroom.

Reports are that Dacres, 53, who lived alone was last seen on Saturday in the company of a boy who he said was a relative of his, residents report.

Dacres' decomposing body was discovered at his home in New Haven Heights, Granville, Trelawny Tuesday morning.





Was NCB employee's murder a contract killing?

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ncb-employee-karetha-robertson.jpgInvestigators are trying to determine whether a contract was taken out on the life of Karetha Robinson, the National Commercial Bank employee who was abducted and killed last week.

A senior investigator told RJR News that detectives are following several leads.

The body of the 43 year old banker was found on Friday in Pembroke Hall, St. Andrew, hours after she was abducted from her home in Greater Portmore, St. Catherine. The body had a bullet wound to the neck.

Her stolen Toyota Rav4 was intercepted by a security team along Hilary Avenue in St. Andrew.

Two men fled from the vehicle, and are still being sought by the police.





Burnt body of African national found

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe badly burnt body of an African national was found in Westmoreland on Monday.

He has been identified as Mofolumeso Adunfa.

Police report that residents in Ashton District discovered Adunfa's charred body about 10:00 AM.

The residents called the cops and they arrived and processed the scene.

Details are unclear but the police are treating the death as murder and are now trying to establish a motive for the killing.





Missing US visitor found hale and hearty

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missing-us-visitor-meckling.jpgThe police have reportedly located the American woman who went missing in Montego Bay, St James on Saturday.

She is said to be in good health.

Police on Monday reported that 32-year-old Aaren Meckling, a citizen of the United States of America, was vacationing at a resort on Kent Avenue in Montego Bay and was last seen leaving the resort about 2:00 pm the day she went missing.

They have not released details of her whereabouts, or if she did, in fact, go missing, or was just hanging out with friends.





crime-scene-7.jpgThe police in Clarendon are investigating the shooting of two men, one fatally, in the parish within hours on Thursday night into Friday morning.

In the first incident at about 8:20 p.m. on Thursday night, a 50-year-old labourer of Bullards Content was shot and injured by a lone gunman in his community.

The victim was at home in his yard, when he was pounced upon by a lone masked gunman, who opened fire with a handgun.

The man under attack ran off and later learnt that he had been shot in the right hand.

The police responded to an alarm that was raised, and took the injured man to hospital, where he was treated for the injury.

About 2:50 on Friday morning, 29-year-old Odane Wright was shot and killed by unknown assailants in another section of the parish.

Residents reported hearing explosions in an area of Effortville called 'Buzz Rock', and summoned the police.

Upon the arrival of the lawmen, Wright's body was found in a pool of blood in his home, with what appeared to be gunshot wounds to the head and elsewhere on his upper body.





jamaica-world-table-tennis-champioship.jpgJamaica secured a bronze medal in group four action at the World team Table Tennis Championships in Kuala Lumpar.

The team of Michael Hyatt, Kane Watson and Mark Philips defeated Panama 3-1 in their division four playoff match to take 75th place overall at the Championships

Hyatt stopped Jose Guerra 11-9, 11-7, 11-8, Philips beat Arturo Siu 11-7, 11-5, 11-8, while Hyatt also won in three sets beating Omer Avi-tal, 12-10, 11-4, 11-5.

The Jamaicans ended their participation with four victories and one loss.

Meanwhile top seeds China and Japan will contest tomorrow's division one final following semi-final wins over the Korean Republic and England respectively.

China and Japan will also contest the women's final following semi-final wins over Chinese Taipei and the Democratic Republic of Korea.





court.jpgA coroner's jury in Cayman, considering the death of a Jamaican couple two years ago, returned verdicts on Friday after hearing evidence about the couple's volatile and abusive relationship.

They found that 21 year-old Nichelle Anna-Kay Thomas died from multiple chop wounds and the manner of death was unlawful killing.

For 39 year-old Devon Roy Campbell, the jurors found that the cause of death was hanging. His death was ruled a suicide.

The jury of three men and four women heard evidence over three days.

Miss Thomas's body was found on February 9, 2014, in a closet at the Bodden Town home where she worked as a part-time helper.

The police found Mr. Campbell's body hanging from a tree in the back yard.

The couple reportedly met in Jamaica when Ms. Thomas was 17 and still in high school. She went to Cayman in May 2012 and lived with Mr. Campbell.

The jurors heard that Mr. Campbell was jealous and controlling, and various witnesses testified that they had heard him threaten to kill her, for various reasons, particularly if she tried to leave him.





luciano-photo-1.jpgThree 18 year-olds -- Nashlyn Morgan, Jerome Coombs and Kemanie Shaw -- have been charged in connection with last month's fatal stabbing of 19-year-old Menelik McClymont, the son of reggae artiste Luciano.

Jerome Coombs, and and Kemanie Shaw, both 18 year-old students, were charged on Friday.

Nashlyn Morgan, another 18-year-old, was also charged.

The three are to appear in court on Wednesday.

Mr. McClymont, who was a student of Maths Unlimited, was attacked and stabbed several times by a group of men at Parkington Plaza on February 27.

He died a day later at hospital.





hands-behind-bars.jpgThirty-eight-year-old Mark Grey, a medical doctor practising in Manchester, has been charged with grievous sexual assault and procuring abortion arising from a case in which he has been accused of impregnating a 12-year-old girl.

The allegations against him were that twice in 2014, the doctor had sex with the then 12-year-old child, who became pregnant on both occasions. It was alleged that the doctor aborted both pregnancies.

Further allegations were that on a third occasion, in 2015, the doctor again had sex with the minor, and again she became pregnant. The third pregnancy was reportedly aborted at a local hospital.

Attorney Hensley Williams, who appeared on Grey's behalf in court on Wednesday, said there was no forensic evidence to substantiate the crown's claims, and no independent witness to support the allegations against his client.

Williams, in his bail application, argued that the complainant, who is now 14 years old, is suffering from a mental illness. He said his client has denied the allegations which were made by the girl.

Dr Grey was granted bail in the Mandeville Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday in the sum of $200,000 with surety.

The case will again come up for mention on May 4.





A good Samaritan was instrumental in the rescue of a young man who was severely beaten and flung in the Sandy Park Gully, in St Andrew, where he was left for dead early Saturday morning.

"First me think it was a girl," Lance Brown, a man who saw him in the gully Saturday morning, reported.

Brown said he thought the person was dead until he went down into the gully and saw that he was still breathing.

Reports are that the victim stopped in the area to make a call when he was attacked by a group of men who, after savagely beating him, threw him into the gully.

Brown - who came upon the man in the gully around 7:30 am - called the Matilda's Corner Police.

He was taken from the gully by a team from the Half-Way Tree Fire Station which was summoned to the scene. The man was rushed to the University Hospital of the West Indies for treatment.





jordan-foote-trinity.jpgHoly Trinity Manning Cup footballer Jordan Foote has lost his battle with cancer.

Jamaican Schoolboy Football announced Foote's passing in a Facebook post on Saturday morning.

"SchoolBoy Football team would like to offer our condolences to the family of Holy Trinity high School player Jordan Foote who has lost the battle against cancer," the post said.

Foote had been diagnosed with bone cancer last summer and missed the entire 2015 schoolboy football season. His left leg was amputated five inches above the knee in November, with several organisations donating money towards helping to pay for the surgical procedure on the youngster.

However, Foote's football coach Devon Anderson reported last month that the cancer had worsened and indicated that the situation was dire.

"We just have to hope for the best but expect the worst, and know if the inevitable comes, it comes, but I hope it doesn't come for now," Anderson, the coach of Holy Trinity's Manning Cup team, said.

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





about-swine-flu.jpgA 29-year-old woman who was pregnant with twinsreportedly died of the H1N1 virus, popularly called Swine Flu, at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).

The woman is the fourth swine-flu related death in Jamaica since cases of the virus were first reported locally in early February, 2016.

A medical doctor, 50-year-old Suzanna Roye, who had also been hospitalised at the UHWI, was the first patient to die from H1N1-related issues in Jamaica. A 49-year-old woman, who had other illnesses, died a week later, followed by an 84-year-old woman days later.

The virus has been classified as a category one illness, which requires medical practitioners to notify the relevant public health authority within 24 hours of suspecting a case of severe acute respiratory illness.





flippa-mafia.jpgKemar Davis, the brother of Jamaican entertainer Flippa Mafia, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison in the United States.

He was sentenced in a New Jersey courtroom yesterday for his role in a major drug ring which US authorities say Flippa Moggela directed from Jamaica and his New Jersey home.

Kemar and another brother, Roger Davis, both pleaded guilty for their roles in the ring, which reportedly shipped kilogrammes of cocaine between the states of California and New Jersey.

Roger Davis is serving a 10-year prison sentence.

Flippa Mafia, whose given name is Andrew Davis, is awaiting sentencing following his conviction last December on charges of first-degree distribution of cocaine and second-degree money laundering.





Another vendor murdered in Ocho Rios

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crime-scene-7.jpgA vendor was shot and killed by an unknown assailant in Exchange, Ocho Rios, St Ann on Monday night.

Dead is 29-year-old Richard Lewis of Middle Street, Exchange.

Reports were that are about 11:40pm, Lewis was walking along Middle Street in his community, when an armed man approached him and shot him several times.

Lewis ran from where he was shot, but collapsed along Green Street in the community.

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

Just under a month ago, a female vendor was murdered in Ocho Rios, in the Pineapple area of the resort town.





andrew-holness-photo-3.jpgJamaica's new prime minister, Andrew Holness, will receive a basic salary of $7.3 million, in addition to $1.2 million in travel allowance, while leader of the opposition, Portia Simpson Milller will get $6.4 million and the minister of finance $5.9 million.

Other cabinet ministers and the Speaker of the House get $5.5 million per year while junior ministers get $4.8 million. Parliamentary secretaries and the deputy speaker get $4.1 million. All other parliamentarians - those who do not hold executive positions - get just under $3.5 million per year. Senators get $17,000 per sitting or for committee meetings.

But its not just salaries, the Leader of the Opposition gets $276,000 per year as housing allowance while junior ministers and parliamentary secretaries get $207,000.

Housing allowance is not given to backbenchers or the deputy speaker. All mp's except backbenchers get $78,000 as subsistence per year and most get a telephone allowance each year amounting to $30,000.

prime-minister-portia-simpson-miller-photo-3.jpg

All mp's are also entitled to a chauffeur and constituency secretary. That constituency secretary gets $956,000 per year and the chauffeurs get between $469,000 and $500,000 basic but that can be supplemented with commuted overtime and subsistence which can run an additional $190,000 to $260,000.

Cabinet members, junior minsters and parliamentary secretaries are also allowed household help with ministers getting 2 and the junior ministers and parliamentary secretaries one each.

The household staff are paid by parliament at a cost of $481,000 each per year.





Major clean-up underway in Mo Bay

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A major clean-up is being undertaken by the National Works Agency (NWA) following heavy rains in St James and Hanover last weekend, leading to several streets in downtown Montego Bay being flooded.

Janel Ricketts, NWA Community Relations Officer, told RJR News that improper garbage disposal also continues to be a contributing factor in drains being blocked.

"We have so far targeted the South Gully in the Princess Street area and we will be moving from here on to the Creek Street Area and from here we will focus on the North Gully," she said.

She disclosed that $10 million was spent on drain cleaning in the area two weeks ago.





ncb-employee-karetha-robertson.jpgNational Commercial Bank employee, Karetha Robertson, was abducted from her home in Portmore Thursday evening by two men and subsequently killed.

Her body was found in Pembroke Hall, St Andrew on Friday morning with a gunshot wound to the head.

Police report that when Robertson arrived at her Portmore, St Catherine home on Thursday night, she was attacked by two men who bundled her into a motor vehicle and sped off.

Her body was found hours later.

A Toyota Rav4 sports utility vehicle, which was being driven by Robertson, was found at Hillary Avenue off Red Hills Road in St Andrew.





NCU professor Teran Milford collapses and dies

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ncu-professor-tehran-milford.jpgThe Northern Caribbean University has confirmed reports that "stalwart" of the institution Dr Teran Milford collapsed and died this morning.

Milford was reportedly engaged in his regular morning routine of walking with his wife, Audrey, when the incident occurred.

His most recent position at NCU was Dean of the College of Education and Leadership.

A representative of the university said the institution is now in a state of shock and mourning.





Oh what a tangled web we weave...!!!!

Pictures of anal sex and oral sex taking place between a well-known lecturer at a prominent university and one of his students have been leaked on social media and the reaction has been wild!

Many persons suspected that the married lecturer and his female student, with whom he was very chummy, were getting their groove on ... and the explicit picture confirmed it. The big question is: Who took the pictures and who leaked them online?

The pictures which were leaked showed the face of the female clearly, but the lecturer's face was not in any of the photographs released.

The official word from the university is that they were ignorat of the pictures and the allegations, but the matter would be investigated.





shocked.jpgWhat happens in Vegas may not always stay in Vegas.

Officials in Clark County, Nevada, home to Sin City, issued an official warning about a syphilis outbreak after confirming 694 new cases of the sexually transmitted infection, 615 of them in men, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. That's a 128% increase over the number of cases confirmed in 2012.

The increase gives Nevada the dubious honor of the state in the western U.S. with the highest rate of syphilis, according to the Associated Press.

"We are considering this an outbreak because disease rates in our community are continuing to climb and we see no plateau at this point," Chief Health Officer Joe Iser said in a statement to the Review-Journal.

In its early stages, the bacterial infection can cause open sores called chancres that are often mistaken for a symptom of some other condition, according to the CDC. In later stages of the condition, it can cause rashes across the body, or invade the ocular or nervous systems, potentially leading to life-threatening complications.

While some of the increase in syphilis rates could be tied to population increases or increased detection rates, the AP reported, health officials say an increase in inconsistent condom use as well as anonymous app-assisted hookups hold some of the blame.

That latter explanation is more complicated than it seems, since meeting people online is just one potential risk factor for contracting a sexually transmitted infection.

"It's never as simple as being 'just' about an app," Debby Herbenick, an Indiana University sexual health expert, told Mic's Nicolas DiDomizio in 2015. "I have had a few students who have met sex partners through Tinder and gotten an STI through such encounters, but I've also had students who have gotten STIs from people they were dating or had sex with at a party, who they had just met."

Las Vegas disease investigator Elizabeth Adelman told the AP that health authorities had "sought permission for a passive presence on platforms such as the gay website Adam4Adam, so users can reach out to them for information. Other popular apps that officials are looking at include Tinder and Grindr."

Source: AP





It will cost more to go to Champs this year

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It's all systems go for the 106th staging of the ISSA Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships following the launch of the event at the Spanish Court Hotel on Wednesday.

Among the changes for the event will be increased ticket prices which will see patrons paying $1500 for the bleachers and $4500 for the Grand Stand on the final day (SaturdayMarch 19 ).

Title sponsors Grace Kennedy have also thrown in an additional incentive of $25,000 for the school of any athlete who breaks a record at this year's event.

The championships will get underway on Tuesday, March 15, while the first set of finals are set to be contested on Wednesday's second day.

The competition comes to a close March 19 with Calabar and Edwin Allen seeking to defend their respective boys and girls titles.





hands-behind-bars.jpgJamaica Labour Party activist Rameish Simpson, who was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, is back in police custody for breaching his bail condition.

Simpson, who was out on J$3 million bail, was ordered to be at home during the hours 6.00 p.m to 6.00 a.m daily, but according to reports when the St. Thomas police visited his house about 6.00 p.m on Teusday he was not there.

He reportedly turned up 15 minutes later and was taken into custody. His attorney, Hensley Williams, attended the Yallahs Night Court to argue that the curfew breach was not major.

However, due to the absence of Simpson's file, the judge could not address the matter, as a result of which he is scheduled to return to court on Thursday.

Simpson and his cousin Richard Simpson were charged in December, after a firearm and ammunition were allegedly found in a vehicle in which they were traveling.





Male teacher found with throat slashed

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crime-scene-7.jpgPolice investigators are working feverishly to apprehend the killers of a teacher in St. Mary on Monday.

The body of 44 year old Orville Francis was found at his house in Wilderness about 4:30 p.m un Monday.

The throat had been slashed.

No motive has yet been established for the killing.





2 dead in St Ann crash

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crime-scene-demo.jpgThe St. Ann traffic division has launched a probe into the circumstances surrounding a fatal collision, which claimed the lives of two men and the injuring of two others Monday, on the Llandovery main road, Runaway Bay, St. Ann.

Dead are 26-year-old Donavan Haye, of Clarks Town, St. Ann and Nicholas Henderson.

Reports are that about 3:00 p.m., the driver of an Isuzu tipper motor truck was travelling along the roadway, when on reaching a section of the roadway, collided with an Isuzu box motor truck, which was travelling in the opposite direction.

Four men received multiple injuries and were taken to hospital where Haye and Henderson died while being treated and the other two admitted.

Investigations continue.





chris-gayle-and-leanna-parents.jpgChris Gayle is definitely our 'Good Deed Person of the Week'.

The highly controversial superstarcricketer has used his Instagram account to highlight the needs of a student who is seeking help with funding her leukaemia treatment.

The student, Lee-Anna Walker is a fifth form student of St Hugh's High School who was diagnosed with leukaemia and is in need of funds to assist with her bone marrow transplant.

The treatment will cost L35,000.

Gayle is not just lobbying for the worthy cause, he is making his own contribution.

"Well, I actually get to meet Lee-Anna Walker not too long ago in Triple Century and I'm donating USD 20,000 towards her treatment," Gayle wrote.

"For those who willing to assist here's the details. Bank Name: Victoria Mutual Building Society. Bank Address: 10 Duke Street, Kingston. Bank Swift Code: VMBSJMK1. BOJ Account No: 7005. For further credit to: VMBS Customer Name Antoinette Francis. VMBS Acct number 401183926. #PrayersMoveMountains," the post continued.





crime-scene-7.jpgA passer-by made a grisly discovery on Wednesday afternoon while walking along Spanish Town Road in Kingston.

Police reports are that the lifeless body of an infant was found along a section of Spanish Town Road.

According to a report from the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), the baby was found at 447 Spanish Town Road, located near the Ameco complex.

The police report that the person discovered the body of the infant around 4:14pm, after which the police were summoned and the corpse removed.





Omar Davies collapses; hospitalised

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omar-davies-photo-2.jpgTransport and Works Minister Dr. Omar Davies collapsed Monday morning and was rushed to The University Hospital Of the West Indies (UHWI), The STAR understands.

Sources revealed that the longstanding PNP member collapsed following his exercise regime.

Davies, 68, took a leave of absence as Transport Minister last March, announcing that he was advised to do so by his doctors.





kc-founders-week-bust.jpgIt was quite a hair-raising scene outside the North Street campus of Kingston College on Monday morning as more than 70 tenneage boys were barred from sitting their mock exams for CSEC and CAPE because their hair was either "too high" or "not on one level".

Students who arived for the 7:45am start of their exams were screened at the internal gate by Mr Walker, the guidance-counsellor-turned- dean-of-discipline whose shiny bald pate glistened in the early morning sun. Stern and expressionless, he held the gate firmly and efectively blocked the entrance of any student who his mind told him was not adhering to the institution's rigid and questionably silly rule on hair. Mr Walker pointed out quite pompously that "many of these boys are repeat offenders". (Repeat offenders!!?? What the hell!! Since when did having a light fade or hair that is higher than two inches constitute a crime? Why is KC labelling these impressionable boys in this derogatory manner. A "repeat offender" conjures up negative images of weed-smoking, knife-brandishing, house-breaking, thieving thugs...none of which could conceivably be applied to 99 per cent of the well-groomed, articulate boys who were cruelly banned from siting their exams.)

Playing the role of a black St Peter holding the gate to heaven, the righteous Mr Walker arrogantly decided who was sinner and who was saint, but it was obvious that many times he erred. (Yes, he screwed up.) There were several instances of boys with identical hair cuts walking up to the gate, but some were ushered through the pearly gates, while others were condemned to purgatory, looking very confused...and scratching their hair

"But my youth, how him just let through (name deleted) and him hair look even higher than yours?"

"Dem man deh pon di tracks team."

"Jah know Star. A same way so it go. Better me go a my yaad. Dawg, mi wi link you pon Whatsapp."

One very vocal mother, who was clearly fed up with the perennial nonsense from the once-prestigious all boys institution which is now living off its impressive legacy, was the voice of the voiceless. It was perhaps she who called the Gleaner company to do a report on the pointless activities, which she branded "cruel and spiteful", mainly because it was carried out on a morning when Grade 11 had Mathematics, an exam which every Grade 11 student must sit.

Naturally, her chiding remarks did not sit well with St Peter, who in turn scathingly told the reporters that "It's parents like these who stir up the boys," even as he tried his best to explain away this senseless act of locking the students out of their important exams, which will directly impact their status for graduation. "We have warned them many times about their hair. It is on the back of their exam timetable. I am here every morning," were his frail, pathetic excuses.

The mother in turn heaped damnation on the cruelty being executed by the oh-so-holy man, and was equally scathing in her retort which reiterated the spitefulness of this entire exercise. "Why did you choose to do something as spiteful as this during mock exams? Does the punishment fit the crime? How can you send out people's children to wander the streets of downtown, especially in a time like this when there is so much tension in the air over the Election results? Kingston College has surely dropped the ball big time on this one," she was overheard saying, as she requested prayers over the phone from Pastor Dionne Bryce-Wells from the Temple of Restoration.

Actually, the full extent of this cruel act was further made obvious when a smirking St Peter later informed the boys and the three parents present that all those who did not sit the exam would be given a big fat zero on their report - NOT ABSENT. Also, this would impact on whether or not these boys would be eligible for graduation.

Oh! to what ridiculous depths has Kingston College plunged?





pnp-horace-chang.jpgThe People's National Party (PNP) is denying that it is planning to use the courts to prevent the inauguration of Andrew Holness as Prime Minister.

Dr Horace Chang, General Secretary of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), made the claim on Sunday; however, PNP General Secretary Paul Burke, in response, declared that the statement was unsubstantiated.

"There are many bad rumours going around; the PNP has no plans to carry out any court action to stop Mr. Holness from being sworn in. We will accept the democratic results of the 2016 general election," Burke said.

Meanwhile, the Political Ombudsman is urging all Jamaicans to ignore rumours and speculation regarding the final count of ballots.

"I'm urging us to be attentive to what we are hearing in the press, be calm and let us see what the official count will be and when the Director of Elections will advise Jamaica on the final outcome of the elections," she said.





table-tennis-kane-watson.jpgJamaica's three-man male team made the perfect start at the World Table Tennis Championships in Malaysia as they blanked Morocco 3-0 in Group 4 on Monday.

The team, which comprises Kingston College old boys Kane Watson and Mark Phillips, along with US-based Michael Hyatt, made light work of their opponents to begin life in a higher class, having won group five at the last tournament.

They turned back Morocco 3-0 in their Group P encounter. Hyatt won 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 in the opening game while Watson took his game 13-11, 11-5, 11-7 and Phillips won 11-4, 12-10, 11-3.

Jamaica sits in second spot in the group with two points, one behind Morocco on 3 after they came back to beat Ghana 3-0.

The team now gets a bye in the second round and will next be in action in the third round against Laos on Tuesday. Laos meanwhile opened their campaign with victory over the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In possibly the biggest upset of the opening day, 23rd seeded Democratic Republic of Korea defeated the 10th seeded Chinese Taipei men's team who had won bronze in 2014.

A total of 87 men's and 78 women's teams representing 94 countries are in Kuala Lumpar at the Championships participating in 4 different divisions.

English-based player Christopher Lewis failed acquire his Jamaican passport in time to represent the country.





Omar Davis regains consciousness

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omar-davies-photo-1.jpgGeneral Secretary of the People's National Party, Paul Burke is reported as saying that Transport and Works Minister, Dr Omar Davies has regained consciousness.

Davies, who is the People's National Party Member of Parliament for St Andrew South, collapsed Monday morning and was rushed to hospital.

It is the second time in months that Davies has had to seek emergency medical attention.

The last time he also had to take leave of absence as Transport Minister.





Second swine flu death recorded in Jamaica

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swine-flu-pig.jpgThe Health Ministry is reporting a second death linked to the H1N1 virus commonly called (Swine Flu).

At the same time, the number of confirmed cases is now up to 10.

Acting chief medical officer in the Health Ministry, Dr Winston De La Haye, says the second patient to have died was a 49-year-old woman who had "other complicating illnesses".

She died at the University Hospital of the West Indies on February 23.

However, De La Haye says the positive result from a test for H1N1 was received only yesterday.

Fifty-year-old medical doctor, Suzanna Roye, who was also admitted at the UHWI, was the first patient to die from H1N1-related issues.

In the meantime, De La Haye says Jamaica remains on high alert for a possible spread of the virus.

"What we really want to stress is persons to do the appropriate hygiene," he said.

The virus was first reported in Jamaica in early February.

Swine Flu is a category one illness which means that within 24 hours of suspecting a case of severe acute respiratory illness, medical practitioners must report it to the health authority.





luciano-messenjah.jpgMenelik, the 19 year-old son of reggae star Luciano, was stabbed and killed in the vicinity of Maths Unlimited in Parkington Plaza on Saturday evening.

"The youth ah go school, and dem lay wait him, him pass some yute, and dem say 'weh yu a look pon mi so?'. Some little unnecessary tings mi see that gwaan wid dem yute ya, dem anxious fi kill, is like dem have bitterness inna dem heart. Him come out and go inna altercation and before yu look. knife pop out and dem stab him up. Last night, mi de a hospital the whole night, dem really try with him," Luciano, whose real name is Jepther McClymont, said in a video posted online.

He made an appeal to the public for any information that can lead to the apprehension of those responsible for his son's death. The stabbing occurred in the .

"Right now, mi need some information. Anyone with information who know these culprits, cause dem drive off inna vehicle. These culprits cannot just get away with taking an innocent life," Luciano pleaded.

The police confirmed that 19 year-old Menelik McClymont, a student of 21 Westminister Crescent, Kingston 10, was killed on February 27th at 2:30 pm. He was stabbed by three men in the vicinity of Maths Unlimited in Parkington Plaza, Kingston 10. He was taken to the Kingston Public Hospital where he eventually succumbed to his injuries at about 1:30 am. on Sunday morning, February 28th.





Merry makes his move

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merritone-winston-blake.jpg

This is how Winston Blake's death was announced on social media:

WINSTON MERRITONE BLAKE
NOVEMBER 19 1940-FEBRUARY 27TH-5.29AM-2016--
THANKS FOR THE MERRINESS
MERRITONE MOMENTS R FOREVER





merritone-makes-his-move.jpgIn paying tribute to Winston Blake of Merritone Sound Sstem, boyhood friend, Anthony Matthewss, had this to say:
"So long my boyhood friend,as we got older we saw less and less of each other,but whenever we met it was as if we never lost a day.To the family I extend my sincere condolences.Remember him as he was,A nicer person was almost impossible to find.RIP"

Matthews has thousands agreeing with his statement because the reality is that Winston Blake was impossibly nice.

Winston didn't have to wait to be introduced to plant a fat kiss on your cheek; it was as if his soul simply connected with everyone he met along life's journey and his way of acknowledging that fusion of the spirit was with a fleeting, but impactful kiss in which his lips brushed lightly against your cheek, as his eyes twinkled in delight at your 'what-the-hell-just-happened?' expression.

As Fernande Price stated in her Facebook tribute: Will forever miss ur kisses."

Yardflex sends condolences to the friends, family and Merri-makers on the death of a legend.

Let the music play on!





merritone-winston-blake.jpg

With the sudden death of sound system giant and Kingston College old boy, Winston Blake of thelegendary Merritone Sond System, party-goers have been posting their tributes all over social media in tribute of a great man.

Read a selection below:

soulselector
Blessings to the Blake family on the passing of the peerless Mr. Winston Blake---a true Foundation Man of Jamaican music.

Jangas
Like Byron Lee, a musical institution. Will miss his regal entries on a Thrusday-night, decked-out in flowing robe and martching tie-head. Not to mention his selections, his horns, and his descant sing-alongs. Rest well 'Merri'. You have made us all merry.

NoMore_MarioDean
Yes sir!! A great innings, well played. Marvelous works brethren, just marvelous. Those merritone sessions bwoy, good, good music and pure mellow vibes. A Great! Great Jamaican without a doubt. Well done sir! Let out the music selectors!! Nuff music, few tears. Stepped out for awile but Never to be forgotten.

Defender
RIP Winston "Merritone" Blake.
Fortis Cadere Cedere Non Potest

wes taylor
Well played my Brother. You were part of my happy and joyous youth. From Springfield in St. Thomas, to Copa, Peyton Place, Wembley (Dunoon High), Red Hills Road, New York and so many marvelous sessions. You will be missed but your music and Memories lives on in my heart. ONE LOVE
Wes (bunny toe) Taylor

Juney
I loved partying with the one and only Merritone too...From JA to New York...RIP Mr Music Man...

General89
My taught and prayrrs to the family.we have lost a giant RIP my friend

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Fond memories of the happy times at the Turntable Club on Red Hills Rd in the 70"s. Merritone was undoubtedly the best in dance and party music selection.....Nuff respect!..RIP...

Tony tuff
Was always a pleasure to listen to this brother play and yes those n y sessions will never be forgotten .rip WB





Music legend Winston 'Merritone' Blake is dead

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merritone-makes-his-move.jpgLegendary sound system operator, Winston 'Merritone' Blake, died at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) in St Andrew, Saturday morning. He was 75.

His friend and neighbour, Michael Hall, said Blake suffered a stroke in January and was recuperating at home. However, on Wednesday he was admitted to UHWI after complaining of not feeling well. Things took a turn for the worst on Friday and he died today at 5:30 am.

Blake was also a music producer and promoter of talent contests that helped to launch the careers of his wife Cynthia Schloss and Beres Hammond. He produced several of Schloss' hit songs including Love Forever and Surround me With Love. She died in 1999.

Blake was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican Government in 1995. He is survived by brothers Trevor and Monty (Tyrone died in 2012)





JLP victory at the polls; wins elections in Jamaica

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jlp-election-celebration.jpgThe Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has emerged winners at Thursday's general election and will form the next Government of Jamaica.

The victorious party which is led by Andrew Holness, secured 32 of the 63 seats in Parliament, while the PNP won 31. Holness' wife, Juliette, a first-timer, also won her seat and will walk into parliament with her husband for the swearing-in ceremony.

This is Holness' first general election win and the party has been in full celebration mode since Thursday evening.

Thursday's defeat is the second general election disappointment for the ruling party led by Portia Simpson Miller. The PNP also lost the 2007 election.

This was Jamaica's 17th parliamentary election since the country gained Universal Adult Suffrage in 1944, and the 13th since Independence in 1962.





Jamaican to head public health at Harvard University

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jamaican-head-public-health-harvard-university.jpgJamaica-born American epidemiologist, Michelle Williams, is to take over in July, as head of Public Health in one of the world's top universities, Harvard.

Williams who was born in Kingston, Jamaica, migrated to New York with her family at age seven.

According to the Boston Globe, Williams will be the first black person to lead a graduate school at Harvard and the first woman to head the public health school.

Williams is excited about her new endeavour.

"I am honoured and excited by the opportunity to lead the Harvard Chan School, and grateful to President Faust for inviting me to serve in this role at such a crucial moment for public health in the United States and around the world," Williams said.

She has won awards for teaching and mentoring from Harvard, the University of Washington, the American Public Health Association, and the White House.

"Michelle Williams is an eminent epidemiologist, an outstanding teacher and mentor, and an energising leader and institutional citizen, impassioned about the power of public health to change people's lives for the better," said Harvard President, Drew Faust in announcing the appointment.

Williams said she hopes to elevate understanding and appreciation of public health, a discipline she said "is everywhere and nowhere at the same time."





Funeral for Nesbeth's wife March 12

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nesbeth-wife-anne-marie-photo-2.jpgThe wife of reggae artiste, Nesbeth, will be laid to rest at a funeral servove tp be held on Saturday, March 12 at the New Life Assembly of God Church, 148 Constant Spring Road, Kingston 8.

The 'nine-night' will be held on Friday, March 11 at Paradise Court in Arnett Gardens.

Nesbeth's wife Ann-Marie Elliot, died last Wednesday in the United States (U.S) of undisclosed complications.

Nesbeth who was slated to perform at the recently concluded Youth View Awards (YVA's) canceled his performance as a result of his wife's death.

An official statement from the artiste's management team stated that he was asking for privacy during this time but that he is thankful for the great show of love he has been receiving.

"The family of the singer would like to thank everyone for their heartfelt love and continued support in this time of grief while requesting that their privacy be respected as they bereave a great loss," the release stated.

Elliot was 32 years old.





7 JLP supporters shot in Cantebury, St. James

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jlp-supporters.jpgSeven Jamaica Labour Party supporters were shot yesterday evening shortly after 7 o'clock during an attack by gunmen in Canterbury, St. James. A teenager is among the injured.

Head of the St. James Police, Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor, said that the individuals are aligned to the JLP candidate for St. James Central, Heroy Clarke. He explained that the group had stopped at a shop for drinks when a silver car drove by, from which shots were fired. Two of the seven persons are considered serious.

In the meantime, Jamaica Labour Party General Secretary Dr. Horace Chang is worried that the incident will have repercussions. He questioned the timing of the upsurge in violence while noting that politics is often used to cover inter-gang rivalry. Mr. Chang also expressed concern about reprisals.





A total of 24,721 or 63% of special services voters cast their ballots yesterday ahead of the general elections on Thursday.

This represents a decrease from 68.3% in the 2011 polls. Of the 10,041 JCF members on the list, 5,322 or 53% cast their votes, down from 56.2% at the last polls.

In the case of the military, 930 cast their ballots, from a possible 2,569, or 36%, which is less than the 39.8% in 2011.

Orrette Fisher, Director of Elections, has reported that the voting process went smoothly yesterday.

There was also a reduction in the number of election day workers who cast their votes. From a list of 26, 498, some 70%, or 18,469 voted, down from 74.6% in the 2011 elections.

Voting for police, military and election day workers takes place three days before the rest of the population. Special service voters' ballots are placed in individual envelopes, which are then sorted the night after they vote, and will be counted on election day, along with the ballots cast by civilian non-election day workers.

While the Electoral Office has determined how many ballots have been received, there is no indication of how the electors have voted as the envelopes remain sealed until the counting on election day.





Attack on JLP supporters gang related

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jlp-supporters.jpgHead of the Area One Police Division, Assistant Commissioner Winchroy Budhoo, says the attack on a group of opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters on Kings Street in St James late Monday, was gang related.

According to Budhoo, the area remains tense and additional police personnel will be sent to the area to maintain calm.

The shooting earlier sparked a road block by residents.The road is now clear.

The police report that a group of party supporters was standing along the road having drinks when a car drove up and shortly afterwards a man got out and started firing.

A Peace Management Initiative team is now in the area.





The police have issued an advisory that the security forces will maintain a strong presence at the People's National Party (PNP) mass rally at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex in St. James.

The advisory, issued on Sunday said the police and army will provide security for supporters.

It added that no item that can be used to cause serious harm or injury or any illegal item, will be allowed - including firearms, knives, drugs, ice picks, machetes, umbrellas and glass bottles.

According to the advisory, persons attending the rally will be subjected to search and no provisions will be made for the storage of prohibited or restricted items.

Licensed firearm holders have been advised to leave their weapons with the local police or make alternative arrangements for safekeeping, as no firearms will be kept by the Freeport Police.





ganja-image-1.jpgThe Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has announced that it will be ready to accept applications for ganja licenses for Monday, April 4, 2016. The regulations that will allow for the granting of licenses have now been drafted and are currently being reviewed ahead of finalisation and approval, which is expected in the next two weeks. These regulations will immediately allow for the publishing of application forms as well as the furnishing of information to potential licensees on eligibility criteria and the terms and conditions of licenses.

Under the regulations, eleven types of licenses across five main categories will be made available to interested persons - cultivator, transportation, processing, retailing, and R&D - ensuring coverage over the entire value chain for the medicinal marijuana industry. The regulations make special provisions for small farmers, cooperatives, and small-scale processors to participate in the industry with distinct requirements and licensing fee structures in place. Residency requirements and local participation in companies have also been included as a critical component of participation in this nascent industry. Licenses will also be available for importation for research under conditions stipulated by the CLA.

As a special concession to ensure the participation of small growers in the new industry, the CLA will waive the up-front payment of licensing fees for this category of licensee for the first year of operations. Once the interim regulations have been agreed, the Authority will continue its consultations, including the hosting of a series of town-hall meetings across the island, where it hopes to gather additional information to refine the licensing regime and build-out the full industry management framework that will underpin the emergence of Jamaica's new, legal ganja industry.

With this done, the Authority expects to be able to put forward an expanded and more comprehensive set of regulations by May 2016 that will seek to address other areas of the industry. "We made a commitment to the people of Jamaica that the Cannabis industry would be in place by the end of the fiscal year, and we will meet that commitment," said Dr. Andre Gordon, Chairman of the CLA.

G. Anthony Hylton, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, who has portfolio responsibility for the Authority, noted his pleasure with the pace with which the nine-month old agency has delivered on its mandate.





missing-teen-davia-sulton-photo.jpgA search has been launched for 18-year-old Davia Sulton of Verene Avenue, Kingston 10, who went missing under questionable circumstances last Tuesday, February 16.

Davia, otherwise called 'Dae Dae', is reportedly of dark complexion and slim build.

According to reports from the Half Way Tree Police, Davia was last seen at home around 12:30pm wearing a pink blouse, blue and white pants and a pair of white slippers.

Efforts to contact her since have proven futile.

Lawmen have urged anyone knowing the whereabouts of Davia Sulton to contact the Half Way Tree Police at 926-8184, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





St Thomas teen commits suicide

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andel-bennett-suicide-victim.jpgThe community of Lladeway in St Thomas is in mourning following the suspected suicide death of the loss of 17 year-old Andel Bennett, who is suspected to have taken his own life early Saturday morning.

According to a report from the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), Andel was found around 6am, hanging by his neck from a piece of rope that was tied to a tree near the yard.

The teen, who was found by a horrified relative, had purportedly been seen alive about an hour before his body was discovered.





JLP supporters beat JUTC driver

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jlp-supporters.jpgChairman of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) Garnett Roper has reported that one of the company's bus drivers has been hospitalised after he was beaten, allegedly by a group of Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters.

A report has been made to the police.

"The reports we received are that the driver was carrying a group of supporters from the JLP when they attempted to remove a section of the emergency exit," Roper is quoted as saying.

According to Roper, the driver instructed the men to stop and he was attacked and beaten.

Meanwhile, Managing Director of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) Colin Campbell says the State-owned bus company will bill the Jamaica Labour Party for the repairs to the 22 buses that were damaged when the party chartered them to transport supporters to its mass rally in Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew yesterday.

Campbell said all but one of the 22 damaged buses have been repaired so far.

"In most cases they have damaged the vents in the roof of the buses to be able to get on to the roof," Campbell said in a news release Monday.

The managing director said the JUTC requires better behaviour from party supporters.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA major stand-off in Spanish Town, St. Catherine on Friday afternoon involving the police and an ex-member of the Jamaica Defence Force resulted in roads in the middle of the town being blocked by protesting bystanders.

The dispute started shortly after 2pm when the police, who were carrying out routine checks, confronted a motorist who was accused of operating an illegal taxi. The driver of the vehicle, an ex-soldier, reportedly objected to being arrested.

This led to a major stand off between him and the police.

A video recording of the incident, showed the man resisting the police while boisterous bystanders registered their support for him.Head of Operations in the St. Catherine North Police Division, Superintendent Ralsford Hardy said the ex-soldier was eventually arrested and is in custody.

He said a gun was also seized in the incident and charges will be laid against the ex-solider.





'Bad gas' interim report ready

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The interim report on bad gas in the petroleum retail trade is now complete and will submitted to Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell on Monday.

The report was compiled by the Petroleum Trade Reform Committee which was set up to probe the source of the contaminated fuel.

Chairman of the Committee, Noel daCosta, says the group is also seeking to find out who is responsible for the bad gas which caused widespread contamination in the market.

"This is just an interim report but we expect the Minister to give us some feedback to the direction to go in once he looks at it.....the immediate issue was the presence of bad gas in the market and how it got there,"daCosta said.

He also said complaints collected by the Consumer Affairs Commission were included in the report.

The final report is to be submitted following the Energy Minister's review.





patrick-roberts-pnp.jpgThe ruling People's National Party (PNP) believes that its candidate for West Central St Andrew, Patrick Roberts, has a good chance of defeating the incumbent in the constituency, Opposition Leader Andrew Holness.

Roberts, the founder of Shocking Vibes Records and councillor for the Molynes Gardens division of the constituency, lost by 1,039 votes to Holness in the 2011 General Election.

He is expected to do better against the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader this time around, against the background of his performance as a councillor and a strong campaign team that includes former JLP MP Joan Gordon-Webley.

Delano Franklyn, campaign spokesperson of PNP, declared the party's intention in the constituency at a press conference earlier this week.

"The primary objective is to ensure that we retain all 42 seats and to win others where we can, and one of those that we are focusing on as best as we can, because we believe that we have a real chance in that particular constituency, is the one where the incumbent is currently the leader of the Opposition... we will be doing every thing that we can to bring that constituency into the willing column of the PNP," Franklyn said.

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jlp.jpgA team from the private sector tasked with reviewing the opposition Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) tax proposal has punched holes in the suggested reforms and has concluded that it will not work.

The three page document titled "Assessment of PAYE Reform Proposals-Private and Confidential" assessed the JLP's proposal to remove personal income tax from the salaries of those earning up to $1.5m annually and it found the proposal wanting on various levels.

First the tax team assessed if the proposal was equitable and certain....and said it is not. It said is borne out in the fact that people earning a few hundred thousand dollars more than the $1.5 million may be worse off than those earning that sum...because of the tax they would have to pay.

It did an assessment on two salary levels...one earning $1. 5 million now...and the other earning $1,592,800

It says excluding the impact of other statutory deductions...the person earning more money would take home $157,000 because of his tax liability with the JLP's proposal.

The tax team said given that distortionary impact...people earning up to $1. 8 million may ask their employees for a salary cut, just to take home more money.

The team said the proposal would discourage people from seeking more money either from bonus, overtime, promotion or pay increases which may marginally increase their annual income above $1.5 million .The team said the same issue would arise for those earning marginally above $5 million.

Those people would be required to pay tax on all their income without a threshold...and may also request a pay cut to ensure more money is available to take home.

The tax team says such moves may create "significant headaches for payroll administrators" who would have to contend with shifting tax obligations for employees who may earn monies over the tax threshold.

The private sector tax team says JLP's tax proposal not feasible and it would be better if the government revisits the Private Sector Working Group's tax proposals which were submitted in 2012...because that document is clearly a more preferable approach to income tax reform.





furtyle-brain-ripleys-feb-18.jpgDancehall artiste Furtyle Brain is generating major international attention with his inclusion on the February15th edition of the popular Ripley's Believe it or Not!.

Last year, the artiste made the unprecedented move to implant a pair of goat horns in his head. But that decision may be paying off with international recognition from the inclusion in the popular illustrated comic strip.

"I was really surprised when I was told I made Ripley's, I wasn't expecting it. When I checked my phone the day it was published, I was seeing a lot of missed calls, and then some elders start link me and say congratulations, dem see the ting in the paper, and in the evening, mi go buy a paper and see say the 'Hornboss' mek Ripley's, by night, it all over Facebook. This is like a huge deal," Furtyle Brain said.

Ripley's Believe It or Not! has been presenting the incredible and the unusual in illustrated form since Robert Ripley's first "Champs and Chumps" comic published on December 19, 1918.

Several comments on the comic's website expressed incredulity at the feat. One comments said: "Furtyle Brain, what the devil?', while another suggested "sounds like old Furtyle Brain is mostly manure', and yet another remarked that "Furtyle Brain could be a rapper's name'.

The Pocket Money deejay, whose real name is Kenardo Robinson, says he hired a Canadian-based surgeon to perform the surgery in Jamaica, that the surgery cost thousands of dollars, and he experienced severe pain with his implants which gives him occasional headaches.

He is known for the singles, Hunting Time on the Bad Indian 'riddim' for producer Dinearo and Fi Yu Body Gyal for Chase Mills Records.

The deejay's a new single, Get Gal Easy, was officially released on February 19.





andrew-holness-opposition-leader.jpgThe People's National Party (PNP) is insisting that Andrew Holnes, Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), has more questions to answer, following his disclosures regarding his Beverly Hills, St. Andrew home.

Addressing a media briefing on Wednesday, Delano Franklyn, PNP Campaign Spokesman, said the Party has conducted its own investigation with the assistance of experts and has concluded that the figures presented do not add up.

Franklyn said the response was not a satisfactory one and raised further questions.

"We do not intend to spend a lot of time discussing anymore the issue having to do with his house - but some areas are unsatisfactory. His quotation of 52 million dollars is not in keeping with experts in the field..."

On Monday, Holness said the construction of his house was financed through savings, salary, bank loans and suppliers' credit.

Franklyn said the PNP has other concerns about the loans secured by Holness from financial institutions.

The PNP wants to know if they were secured or un-secured loans; "and if they were secured loans, what assets were used to secure these particular loans."





JLP candidate alleges intimidation by gunma

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jlp.jpgBeverly Prince, Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate for St. Andrew East Central, has declared her intention to file a report with the police on Thursday, following an incident in which a man fired shots while her campaign team was in the constituency on Wednesday.

According to Prince, the incident took place in Kencot.

She said she was doing door-to-door campaigning when several gunshots were heard. Shortly afterwards, she said, a man rode up on a bicycle, informed her group that it was he who had fired the shots, and declared that "no Labourite" was welcome in that neighbourhood, before riding off.

She said the police went to the scene and collected statements.





The police have offered a reward of $500,000, even as they have launched a multi-agency probe into the disappearance of a Boston Whaler Vessel (motorboat) which was assigned to the Marine Police Division, and was discovered missing from where it was docked in Negril, Westmoreland on February 11.

A is also being offered for information leading to the recovery of the vessel, a grey 28-foot Boston Whaler boat with 'JCF 282' written on the side, and fitted with two 200-horsepower Yamaha engines.

Reports were that the vessel was last seen on Wednesday, February 10 about 10:30 pm., and was discovered missing the following Thursday at about 10:00 am. Since then, a diligent search operation has been on at all fishing beaches locally, with a view of locating the missing vessel.

In October last year, the United States Embassy handed over 10 boats to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to assist in the country's crime-fighting efforts at sea

The 37-foot Boston Whaler vessels, donated by the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, are valued at US$1.5 million.

The police are appealing to anyone with information that can assist with the investigations to contact the Marine Police Headquarters at 923-9728, the Criminal Investigations Branch (CIB) Headquarters at 922-4487, the police 119 emergency number, Crime Stop at 311 or 811, or the nearest police station.





peter-phillips-photo-1.jpgDr Phillips on Tuesday morning responded to questions asked of him by Jamaica Labour Party Leader Andrew Holness concerning the purchase of his house.

Dr Phillips, in a written statement, said he and his wife purchased the house in 1991 for $1.5 million, through a mortgage from Victoria Mutual Building Society.

The loan was repayable over 20 years, with monthly repayments over the period.

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Below is the full text of the responses given by Dr. Phillips to each question:

Q 1. Dr Phillips, as a parliamentarian earning practically the same salary as the Leader of the Opposition, how did you afford the house you presently live in, which is valued at multiple times your salary?

A. My house was purchased by me and my wife (a practicing attorney-at-law) on the open market on June 21, 1991 for J$1,500,000 with mortgage funding from Victoria Mutual Building Society repayable over 20 years and repaid via monthly payments over that period in accordance with the mortgage terms.

Q 2. Were you a part of the Cabinet of Jamaica which created FINSAC, and which took away the property of many hard-working Jamaicans and decimated the entrepreneurial class?

A. Finsac Limited was incorporated on January 29, 1997 by the PNP administration of which I was a part to rescue the savings of many thousands of ordinary Jamaican depositors and policy holders whose savings were loaned by those institutions to entrepreneurs (borrowers) who were unable, unwilling or forgot to repay the money they borrowed. That rescue was funded with taxpayers' money which expenditure was recouped by realizing that property voluntarily mortgaged by the borrowers to the institutions as security for the money they borrowed.

Q 3. If the answer to question 2 is yes, did you acquire any of the properties taken over by FINSAC, or benefit in anyway whatsoever.

A. No.

Q4. Did members of the Cabinet that created FINSAC acquire properties taken over by FINSAC.

A. I am unable to speak for individual members of the Cabinet of the day, but expect each individual is able to speak for him or herself.

Q5. Do the answers to questions 2, 3 and 4 explain your unwillingness to complete and release the FINSAC report?

A. It is the FINSAC Commissioners, not me, who are to complete the report (having already been paid millions for their services). They have not done so or, if they have, they have not sent it to me. I am not withholding the FINSAC report from release. I cannot release something I have not received.

6. Do you own or have a beneficial interest in a house in Beverly Hills?

A. No.

7. Are there members the Cabinet who have offshore companies?

A. I do not have one. I have no knowledge of whether or not any other cabinet member has one. They can speak for themselves.

8. Will you declare any assets you have overseas?

A. I have no assets overseas and all my assets (and the assets of my spouse) have been declared annually in accordance with the law since 1989.

9. Will the officers of the PNP, including yourself, testify and come clean about Trafigura?

A. I have not been asked to testify. I believe that those who do testify will do so truthfully.

Peter D. Phillips





crime-scene-gun.jpgA craft vendor was shot and killed in Red Ground, Flanker, St. James late Monday.crime-scene-gun.jpg

She is 38 year old Jefett Johnson of Red Ground, Flanker.

Reports are that Miss Johnson was watching a group of men playing dominoes when armed men approached and started firing.She was found with bullet wounds and later pronounced dead at hospital.





jps.jpgJamaica Public Service (JPS), the country's sole electricity distributor, recorded a big turnaround in profitability last year.

Profits at the power company amounted to more than US$28 million. That is up almost four times over the US$7.5 million reported in 2014.

The higher profit was realised despite revenues falling by 26 per cent, in line with the decline in the cost of electricity.

The cost of selling electricity fell much faster, allowing more of the company's earning to go to its bottom-line.





Underdogs West Indies Under-19s stunned favourites India Under-19s by five wickets in a low-scoring final of the ICC Youth Cricket World Cup, to crown themselves World champions for the first time in their history here yesterday.

Chasing 146 for victory at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, the Caribbean side were reduced to 77 for five in the 29th over before they were bailed out by a brilliant unbeaten half-century by Man of the Match Keacy Carty, to get home in the last over with a mere three balls to spare.

Carty stroked an unbeaten 52 off 125 balls with two fours and added a precious 69 in an unbroken sixth-wicket stand with the consistent Keemo Paul who struck a busy 40 not out off 68 deliveries with a four and a six.

Entering the final over of the game with three runs needed, Paul got the winning runs when he charged seamer Khaleel Ahmed and top-edged a pull over the wicketkeeper for four, to spark wild celebrations in the West Indies camp.

"I feel very good right now. Words can't even explain how I feel right now," an overwhelmed Young Windies captain Shimron Hetmyer said. "How the guys played today showed we were supposed to be champions today and we came out on top."

The victory had earlier been set up by the irrepressible Alzarri Joseph who tore through the India Under-19s top order with a fine exhibition of fast bowling, to send the innings tumbling to 145 all out off 45.1 overs.

He claimed three for 39 from his 10 overs, while seamers Ryan John (3-38) and Paul (2-17) provided excellent support, as India faltered badly after they were sent in - crashing to 50 for five in the 18th over and never really recovering.

Sarfaraz Khan top-scored with 51 off 89 balls and Rahul Batham got 21, but they were just two of three batsmen to make it into double figures.





crime-scene-7.jpgThe headless body of a man was found on Tuesday morning in Port Maria, St Mary, the police have confirmed.

The gruesome find was made at about 9:30 am in the parish capital.

While no further detail was forthcoming from the police, local reports indicated that the body was found naked under a tree. The head was later found in a gutter nearby.

While local residents claimed to know the deceased man, his identity has still not been indicated by the police.





Tributes have been pouring in for Love FM's veteran news and sports editor Arbedene 'Dean' Reid who passed away very suddenly on Friday morning.

An employee at the station confirmed that Reid unexpectedly died on Frday after a "very brief" illness.

"He was at work up to yesterday (Thursday) and he started complaining that his stomach was hurting. A co-worker took him to the doctor who then sent him on to the hospital - Andrews Memorial," she explained.

Reid was treated and sent home that very night, but the following morning, the husband and father died at home.

"It is a shock to us all. Dean was here at work every single day. He started with the station 23 years ago and the only time he was absent was when he was on leave," the devastated co-worker said.

Reid was remembered as a joyous personality and dedicated professional, who was very God-fearing.

Meanwhile, condolences poured in on Love 101 FM's website from the ardent listeners who have been tuing in over the years to listen to reid's programmes on air.

R.I.P man of God. My condolences to the family of Love 101 and his wife and children. I am not really a sports fan, I know about sports. I enjoyed listening to him on Saturday morning, he was passionate about the sports.

Condolences to the love family and immediate family on loose such stalwart one that was very devouted Bro Reid. R.I.P

Mr. Reid you were a true stalwart and preacher of righteousness. I have never met you in person but your daily reminder of the coming of the Lord and the need to always be ready will always reside with me. Thank you sir. Rest in peace. Meet you in Beulah land. Take care until then. LOVE family and his immediate family take courage, it was a race well run. Fro: Bro. Hutchi.

Word from his own heart "My passport is update to enter those pearly gates my visa stamped and issued from mount Calvary" so he is in his rest. Rest in peace Uncle Son Reid

Condolences to the family of Bro Reid and Love FM. Its really sad... Bro Reid has been a man with a huge heart who loved God with all his heart. His morning programme the 'Sounds of Sanity' has been a blessing to be each time I tuned in. My prayers are with you!!!- Rev. Monica Mckenzie





andrew-holness-opposition-leader.jpgDetails have emerged surrounding the purchase of the Beverly Hills, St. Andrew property by Opposition Leader Andrew Holness.

This comes against the background of questions raised by Dr. Peter Phillips concerning the Opposition Leader's finances and details surrounding the purchase. The property was purchased by a St. Lucian based company called Admat Incorporated in 2011, when Holness was the Minister of Education.

Admat Incorporated's registered address is 10 Manoel Street, Castries, St. Lucia. The Registered Instrument reportedly bears the signature of Holness in his capacity as a Director. However, it's unclear if he remains a Director at this time.

According to a copy of the transfer document from the registry of the Titles Office, Holness, signed as a Director of Admat to purchase a piece of land in Beverly Hills, St Andrew in March 2011.

The property, which was previously owned by at least five individuals, was bought for US$300,000, or J$26 million at the time.

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It must be noted that serious questions were asked of Mr. Holiness re this matter by members of his own party in mid 2015 to the point where some of the party's financial backers threatened to withhold funding until Holiness declared his source of funds to undertake this expensive acquisition.

5 Questions for Andrew Holness re his Beverly Hills mansion

1. What is the hidden connection between Andrew Holness and this 'Admat Incorporated, Castries,St. Lucia'?

2. Why was an offshore shell company used as a vehicle by Mr. Holness to purchase the property?

3. If the land was brought ("About seven years ago I purchased an undeveloped piece of land which I originally intended to hold and develop sometime in the future ~2008".), why wait until 2011 to get a registered title?

4. What is the reason for using a St. Lucian registered Company, instead of the Holness name? Is there some kind of fancy tax shelter business going on?

5. How did Andrew Holness acquire the funds to purchase this property and erect the mansion which is rumoured to cost in the region of 200 million Jamaican dollars?

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police-station.jpgThe police have determined that the deadly attack on a JLP motorcade in the hotbed community of Flanker, St James, was gang related.

According to the man in charge of the St. James Police Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor, a high level probe into Wednesday's incident along Kodak Street, in Flanker stemmed from gang warfare. One man was shot and killed, and three other persons wounded in the incident .

A total of 12 motor vehicles were also damaged in the incident.

The top cop has revealed that the incident took place close to the home of Javin Campbell, who was shot and killed at a JLP mass rally in Sam Sharpe Square on Sunday.

SSP McGregor explained that no permission was granted for a motorcade to take place in Flanker given the prospects for reprisal, following Sunday's fatal shooting.

The St. James Police are again calling for good sense to prevail during the election campaign.

Wednesday's incident follows the deadly shooting at the Jamaica Labour Party's mass meeting in Montego Bay, on Sunday night in which 8 persons were shot, 2 fatally.





Andrew Holness to sue Portia Simpson Miller

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andrew-holness-jlp-meeting.jpgLeader of the Opposition Andrew Holness says he will be taking action against the Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, this following reports that Simpson Miller would take legal action if Holness does not apologize for a comment he made in reference to her during a television interview.

Holness responded to the threat of legal proceedings that he had not received the letter from her attorney and that he has also asked his attorneys to investigate her describing him as an" enemy of the State" with a view of taking similar action.

The Opposition leader described the legal move against him as a ploy to avoid the pre-election debate, to be staged by the Jamaica Debates Commission.

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And attorney at law Bert Samuels, who is representing the Prime Minister, is requesting more than a written apology from Mr Holness.

Samuels is contending that an apology alone would not negate the perceived damage.

Simpson Miller is alleging that the Opposition Leader defamed her in the television interview during nomination day proceedings on Tuesday.





Portia demands apology from Andrew

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prime-minister-portia-simpson-miller-photo-3.jpgPrime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has accused Opposition Leader Andrew Holness of defaming her on Nomination Day and has written to him demanding an apology.

The letter states that if there is no apology within the next three days, then Simpson Miller will institute legal proceedings against Holness.

The Prime Minister contends that the comments have lowered her in the estimation of right-thinking members of society.

Attorney-at-law Bert Samuels of the firm Knight, Junor & Samuels is handling the case.

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Cuban woman arrested in Jamaica for forgery

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hands-behind-bars.jpgA Cuban who was arrested at the airport on Monday for Forgery, Uttering forged documents and Conspiracy to deceive is to appear in the Corporate Area Residents Magistrate's court on Friday.

She has been identified as 29-year-old accountant Yamile Alvarez Hernandez of Sancti Spiritus, Cuba.





Canadian arrested at Norman Manley Airport

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hands-behind-bars.jpgA Canadian was arrested and charged for breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Act at the Norman Manley International Airport yesterday.

He is 42-year-old Garnett Ricketts of Ridgemore Crescent in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

The police say Ricketts was about to depart the island for Barbados when his luggage was searched and approximately Two pounds of ganja was found.

He was later charged for taking steps to export and dealing in ganja.

He is to appear in the Half-Way Tree Resident Magistrate's Court next Tuesday.





jamaican-professor.jpgJamaican born Professor of Theology and Ethics at Emory University's Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Noel Erskine, is the 2016 recipient of the Atlanta Jamaica Association's (AJA) Black History Month Award.

Professor Noel Erskine, who hails from St. Thomas and is the former Pastor of the Ulster Spring Baptist Church in Trelawny, has been recognized for his over 35 years of service to the Jamaican and Caribbean communities in Atlanta. Dr. Erskine has also been honoured for his extensive work in chronicling black history as well as his study of black religion.

A member of the American Academia of Religion and Black Theology, Rev. Erskine also serves on the Advisory Council of the Secretariat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas in Atlanta.

Presenting the award at the AJA's Annual Black History Month celebration at the St. Timothy Methodist Church in Atlanta, on February 6, was Immediate Past President of the AJA, Mr. Errol Ritchie.

Jamaica's Honorary Consul in Atlanta, Mrs. Jewel Scott, lauded Professor Erskine for his outstanding contribution to the Jamaican community and the awareness he has brought to the Jamaican and Caribbean communities about black religion.

Accepting the award, Professor Erskine called on members of the audience to unite and work together to make Jamaicans in the Diaspora and those at home, the people God has called them to become - a people with love and concern for those edged out on the margins of society.





culture-passport.jpgPrimary and secondary school students who are already registered participants under the Ministry of Youth and Culture's Culture Passport programme are to benefit from targeted initiatives being hosted by the Ministry's Culture Agencies and selected cultural communities during February, which is being observed as Black History and Reggae Month.

Culture Passport allows young people to experience Jamaica's culture and heritage. The initiative forms part of the Ministry of Youth and Culture's ongoing efforts to fulfil its mandate to share with Jamaicans the depth of Jamaica's cultural heritage. Culture Passports provide students free or reduced cost access to several heritage sites, museums and cultural performances. Students can access Culture Passports by becoming members of their school's Culture Club programme which currently operates in over 200 primary and high schools island-wide. The Culture Club programme was developed by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) which manages the programme on behalf of the Ministry.

The Culture Passport programme is the brainchild of the Minister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna who, in developing the initiative, noted that Jamaicans, particularly youth, are largely unaware of the country's culture and heritage.

Students drawn from a number of Culture Clubs in primary and secondary schools across the island will also be able to participate at reduced rates in all Black History and Reggae Month activities being hosted by other divisions of the Institute of Jamaica. These include the Jamaica Music Museum, the Natural History Museum, Liberty Hall, and the National Gallery.

Passport holders will also be able to access an exhibition called BJCM- Jamaica's First World Heritage Site mounted by the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica. The exhibition highlights the cultural heritage of the Blue and John Crow Mountains and opens on February 16.

Two of the island's cultural communities, Moore Town and Accompong are also supporting the Culture Passport initiative, having reduced access fees for tours of the communities.





crime-scene-7.jpgDetectives are trying to ascertain the circumstances which led to the killing of a couple at their home, in Edinburgh, Newport, Manchester on Monday.

Dead are 72-year-old Lanzel Gregory and his 67-year-old wife, Coretta. About 8 o'clock Monday evening, the police were called to the area by residents who became suspicious after not seeing the couple for several hours.

Their bodies were found with what appears to be stab wounds. Investigators are awaiting the results of a post mortem. According to the police, the couple's

Toyota Camry was missing.





Four persons killed in horrific car crash

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car-crash-three-dead-photo-1.jpgFour persons were killed in a vehicular crash on Spanish Town Road in St Andrew Monday afternoon.

The incident, which took place near Six Milles, occurred about 3 o'clock.

Three persons died on the scene while the fourth died in hospital on Tuesday.

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The names of the four victims have not yet been released, but police report that three males and a female were killed in the crash.

Three of the victims were earlier thought to be police officers but subsequent checks confirmed that they are not members of the police force.





Police capture wanted man, find gun in bushes

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hands-behind-bars.jpgA man who was wanted by the police for several gun-related crimes, 30-year-old Jermaine Williams, otherwise called 'Marlon, of Central Village, St Catherine, has been captured.

Williams, who was wanted by the Central Village Police for seven counts of shooting with intent,.was held by the police assigned to the St Catherine North Division.

According to police reports, at about 10:45 am they were on operation when they went to search a premises. They were reportedly greeted with gunfire, which was returned. During a ceasefire, Williams was found at the back of the premises and was subsequently arrested.

One Taurus 9mm pistol along with five rounds of ammunition was also found in bushes.





elephant-man-photos-4.jpgWhile Elephant Man is rejoicing being allowed to walk free from a case of rape, assault and buggery, he must not forget that he wasn't proven innocent of the alleged crime of rape, buggery and assault.

Instead, Elephant Man walked free because the alleged victim died.

It would have been respectful to hear him offer even one word of condolence to the alleged vicitm who died and was buried three weeks before the ccccase was called up. The alleged victim must have been on good terms with Elephant Man at some point since the alleged incident reportedly took place at his house.

"Believe me, mi overwhelmed. Mi just a give God thanks. Mi haffi give him the glory because it wasn't easy. When me hear dem say 'not guilty', a the best thing cudda ever happen to me. To God be the glory," he is reported as saying.

According to Elephant Man, he had dedicated the last four years of his career to this case in an effort to prove to his fans that he was innocent of the charges.But, he has yet to prove his innocent, except that every man is innocent until proven guilty.





MISSING: 16-year-old Cameisha Saulas of Guys Hill

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missing-teen-cameisha-saulas.jpgAn Ananda Alert has been activated for 16-year-old Cameisha Saulas of Copper District, Guys Hill, St Catherine who has been missing since Sunday, January 31.

She is of dark complexion and slim build.

Reports from the Guys Hill Police are that Cameisha left home for Linstead and has not been seen since.

Her mode of dress at the time she went missing is unknown.

The police have urged anyone knowing the whereabouts of Cameisha Saulas to contact the Guys Hill Police at 994-3333, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





Bike man in Chancery Hall attacked by men in orange

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThe man is now battling for life in hospital after reportedly being attacked by men clad in orange shirts at Chancery Hall in St Andrew on Nomination Day.

Chancery Hall is located in the St Andrew North West Constituency of the Jamaica labour Party's Derrick Smith.

The man, according to the police, was riding a motorbike when he was attacked by the men who were travelling in a white motorcar.

The victim was not wearing any clothing that would suggest he was aligned to any political party, police say.

He was stabbed several times, slashed in the face and gutted.

His attackers escaped but police, who were quick on the scene rushed the man top hospital where he has been listed in critical condition.





Sparta and Rebel gang feud rages in Flanker

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe police report that between 40 and 50 spent shells were recovered on the scene of the shooting in the crime ravaged community of Flanker in Montego Bay, St James on Nomination Day

It is not quite clear the number of persons who were injured when the bus carrying Jamaica Labour Party supporters was shot up in the community.

The Flanker community has been racked by an ongoing gang feud between member of the Sparta and Rebel gangs who have been at loggerheads for several weeks.

On Sunday at a JLP mass rally at Sam Sharpe Square, three persons were murdered and six others, including four women, were injured after a shooting close to the end of a lengthy address by Opposition Leader, Andrew Holness.

The dead men have been identified as 22-year-old Javin Campbell, otherwise called 'Javinci' of Flanker, who is a top tier of the Sparta Gang and Nicholas Irving, otherwise called 'Chow', who is a known affiliate of the Rebel Gang.

It is not known if the attack on the bus is a continuation of the ongoing gang feud.





jlp-motorcade.jpgThe police say no permission was given for a motorcade through Flanker, St James yesterday which ended with one man being killed, three others injured and 12 vehicles damaged.

Below is the full release from the police:

The St James Police are reiterating their call for good sense to prevail during the election campaign season.

This call comes against the background of the killing of one man, whose identity has not yet been ascertained, and the injuring of three other persons who were part of a political motorcade on Kodak Street in Flanker, St James yesterday.

Twelve motor vehicles were also damaged in the incident.

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"Police intelligence assets are on the ground continuously monitoring the situation," disclosed Senior Superintendent (SSP) Steve McGregor, "and this information informs the decisions about the granting of permission for marches and motorcades.

"We are appealing to organisers and party officials to heed all instructions and warnings given in the future," the SSP said, highlighting that no permission was given for the ill-fated motorcade through Flanker St James.

"In fact, there were explicit warnings against it," he said, explaining that this was because of heightened tensions in the area as a result of the shooting death of two men from the community and the injury of three other persons at a Jamaica Labour Party mass rally in Sam Sharpe Square in the parish on February 8.

The Montego Bay Police are continuing their investigations and are asking anyone who may be able to help them to contact detectives at 953-6191, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





One dead as JLP bus shot up in Flanker

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crime-scene-7.jpgA motorcade of about eight vehicles carrying Jamaica Labour Party supporters was shot at in the hot bed community of Flanker in Montego Bay, St James on Nomination Day.

The police have confirmed that at least one man is dead on Kodak Street in Flanker and several others injured. The incident occurred about 11:30 am.

The busload of Labourites were on their way to support incumbent Member of Parliament, Horace Chang.





Police constable held for school teacher's killing

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

The resident, sustained minor lacerations.

Loss is estimated at J$30 million .





No school on Election Day, February 25

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

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

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

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

Schools will reopen on the following day - February 26.

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





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

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

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

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

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





Well-known gangster among two killed at JLP rally

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

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

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

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

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

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





Vendor's throat slashed in Ocho Rios

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

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

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

Upon their arrival, they found Ms Collins' body.

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

She also leaves a baby boy.





Jamaican parliament dissolved

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

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

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

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

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





JLP candidate Peter Abrahams withdraws from race

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

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

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





Hair dye alert! Bigen banned in Britain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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





Marley Natural™ debuts premium cannabis products

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

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

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Marley Natural's inaugural product line includes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





2 men gunned down on Donmair Drive

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

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

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

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

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

The third person managed to escape with minor injuries.

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





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

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

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

Investigations continue.





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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





Sex change for 2 Jamaicans born as girls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





House speaker Michael Peart resigns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





Search on for plane that crashed in St Elizabeth

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

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

The aircraft has reportedly not yet been located.

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





Triple murder in Trelawny

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

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

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

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





General elections in Jamaica February 25

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

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

Nomination Day has been scheduled for February 9.

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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





Constable and ex-cop on drugs trafficking charges

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

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

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

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

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

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





Soldiers shoot dead young Correctional Officer

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

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

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

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





Nearly 100 held in Back Road clean-up operation

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

Read Thorne's full statement below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

My client has lost his right to a fair trial!





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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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





Zika Virus could affect Olympics in Rio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

Master J is described as "a good youth".

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

Nicholson refused to apologise or even comment on the matter.





Missing Sav-la-mar baby found in St Elizabeth

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

Sandals has issued the following statement in response:

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

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

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

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





Jamaica confirms first confirmed Zika virus case

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





Zika virus cases in the US climb to 20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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





Jamaican man freezes to death in the US

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

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

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

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

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

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





Passenger crushed trying to hop onto bus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





Linstead man murdered

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

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

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

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

An investigation has been launched.





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Animals! Just nasty," another woman exclaimed.

It is the latest incident of its kind in Jamaica.

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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





Bisexual Jamaican man granted asylum in Britain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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





PE teacher charged by CISOCA

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

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

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

According to the JCF release, investigations are still ongoing.





Businesswoman charged for beating student with bat

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

She is set to appear in court next Wednesday.

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

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

The injured teen reported the matter to the police.

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

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

Sources at the school said the students were study partners.