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Coronation Market Comes Uptown August 1

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More than 50 vendors who usually sell their produce at the Coronation Market in downtown, Kingston, will do so at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, on Hope Road, in Kingston, on Saturday, August 1.

A section of the centre will be transformed into a marketplace, showcasing the rich offerings of Jamaica's farmers. Push carts will also be available to carry bags to shoppers' cars.

The Farmers' Market is one of the first activities of the 'Independence Village', being established to feature daily and nightly events ranging from stage shows and concerts to exhibitions and expositions.

The market, which opens at 6:00 a.m. is one of the new initiatives of this year's Emancipation and Independence celebrations, being held under the theme: 'Proud and Free...Jamaica 53'.

Speaking at a JIS 'Think Tank' on July 24, Executive Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Delroy Gordon, said that discussions are ongoing with farmers.

"We are working closely with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA). We are also working closely with the higglers themselves at the Coronation Market, and Sweet Wood market, so we are expecting well over 50 vendors to be participating," he said.

Mr. Gordon is urging citizens to support the market and to "avoid the traffic to go all the way downtown."

"You will be able to get good farm products, good quality, and at a good price," he added.

The event is being organized by the JCDC, an agency of the Ministry of Youth and Culture.

independence-feature-delroy-gordon-executive-director-jcdc.jpgThe Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) is making additional arrangements for persons who cannot get in the National Stadium to view the Independence Grand Gala on Independence Day, August 6.

Large screens will be set up at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre (RWEC), Hope Road, in Kingston for viewing of the Grand Gala, the culmination of Emancipation and Independence Celebrations. The live streaming will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Executive Director of the JCDC, Delroy Gordon, said a decision has been taken to set up the screens to allow the public to share in the festivities.

"We recognise that the National Stadium is not going to be able to hold all the persons who want to go inside, so we have this year made special preparation to accommodate some of those who will not be able to make it, by creating a viewing site in the Independence village," he told JIS News.

The RWEC will be transformed into the Independence Village being established to feature daily and nightly events, ranging from stage shows and concerts to exhibitions and expositions. It will be opened from August 1 to 6.

"We are going to have big screens. There will be adequate seating. We will be having food and drinks," Mr. Gordon said.

The Executive Director said that persons can go to the centre anytime during the day (August 6) and remain for the viewing of the Gala.

Additionally, he said there will be an after-Gala party which will end at approximately mid-night.

"There is no cost, you just come; your best behavior is what is required," he added.

Emancipation and Independence Feature

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'Link Up and Labrish' Added to Celebrations

The Ministry of Youth and Culture is encouraging all Jamaicans to participate in the emancipation and independence celebrations that will be taking place across the island. This year, a major highlight of the 2015 Festival activities, being celebrated under the theme 'Proud and Free...Jamaica 53', is the 'Link Up and Labrish' discussion forum that will be held at the Independence Village, Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, 36 Hope Road, Kingston 10, from August 1-5, 2015, 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. daily.

The discussions will be presented as 'conversations' that will be managed by a moderator who will place in context, the sub-theme and issues or questions that are to be examined. Each session carries five panellists who will each present his or her view in an opening statement, and thereafter, the conversations will unfold with the active participation of audience members. Relevant Audio-visual presentations and performances will be included at strategic points in the conversations. The discussions will focus on issues relating to Jamaica's rich culture and seek to generate meaningful debate around the country's achievements and vision for the future of its diverse culture and heritage.

Some thirty Jamaicans, representing a cross section of cultural sectors and backgrounds, including youth have been recruited to moderate and sit as panellists. They include Ainsley Henriques, Amina Blackwood Meeks, Lesley-Ann Welsh, Chelsea Wallace, Dane Byrd, Dr. Dennis Howard, Miguel 'Steppa' Lewis, Nadeen Spence, Nickesha Lindsay, Laura Lee Jones, Aundre Rowe, Dr. Shelley Morgan, Orville Hall, Jennifer Small, Kerry Ann Henry and Dr. Donna Hope.

According to the Minister of Youth and Culture, Honourable Lisa Hanna, "Everyone should come out and be a part of these conversations. Our Emancipation/Independence observance is the perfect time for us to Link Up and Labrish, our youth and older persons in one space having a frank exchange about how we see ourselves and what is our value as a people. It is about sharing, learning and finding solutions on how to make our cultural heritage assets stronger and more viable on the world stage".

The opening panel scheduled for August 1 is dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the Morant Bay Rebellion. This special forum will be hosted by the Planning Committee, 150th Anniversary of the Morant Bay Rebellion at Rudolph Elder Park, Morant Bay in St. Thomas. The remaining sessions will be held at the Independence Village, Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre to include "Exploring the 'Culture' in Agriculture: Plant It, Use It, Sell It" on August 2; August 3 the session will be held under the sub-theme, "I Am Who I Am, But Who Am I?", while on Tuesday August 4 the local fashion industry takes center stage with the sub-theme "Behind the Cloth: Seamstress to Runway. The final session of Link Up and Labrish coincides fittingly with the staging of the World Reggae Dance Championship on August 5 with a conversation around the sub-theme "Folk form of Ramping? Dancehall: Movement of a People".

$250 million worth of counterfeit goods seized

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The Jamaica Customs Department is reporting that it confiscated more than $250 million worth of counterfeit goods at the island's ports of entry from January last year to April this year.

The items include more than 20,000 pairs of footwear, valued at $80 million, 1,920 bottles of perfume worth nearly $4 million, and four million sticks of cigarette valued at $120 million, according to Commissioner of Customs Major Richard Reese.

The other confiscated items include handbags, clothing, belts, hats, disposable razors and pharmaceuticals.

Some of the products were intended for the local market while others were destined for other countries.

Major Reese made the disclosure at the opening ceremony for Jamaica Customs' five-day intellectual property rights training seminar for 28 customs officers.

The Major Investigation Taskforce (MIT) has released the names of three suspects wanted for the murder of Constable Lynden Barrett.

They are Gratiano Green, otherwise called 'Beh Beh', of Regent Street and Tulip Lane in Denham Town; Nicholas Drummond also known as 'Ticki Dollar', of Christopher Road and Horatio Livine, alias 'Ratio', of Bread Lane, Denham Town, Kingston.

Barrett, who was attached to the Kingston Western Division was shot and killed in the vicinity of Wellington Street downtown Kingston on July 21.

Residents claim he was killed by the police after being mistaken for a gunman.

However, the High Command dismissed the claim and argued that forensic and ballistics tests revealed that the Constable was killed by hoodlums.

winston-sill.jpgGleaner photographer, Sill died in hospital on Friday after a period of illness.

He was 73.

"Sill's passing is a real loss to The Gleaner's editorial department and by extension the thousands of people who would have waited daily to see his images in print and online," Editor-in-Chief Garfield Grandison is quoted as saying.

Sill, who joined The Gleaner as a Freelance Photographer on August 1, 1991, primarily shot social pictures for The Gleaner and was the man behind the camera for THE STAR's poster girl feature.

"During his 24 years working with The Gleaner, Sill became very well known on the social circuit and earned the respect of many, including his peers," Grandison added.

One of Sill's nieces, Astrid Cooper, recalled how much he lived for the moment when he could capture an arresting image.

Sill was the father of three children: Winsome, Irvin and Garth.

If the contents of a video now doing the rounds on social media are to be believed then an innocent donkey was slaughtered recently for its meat.

The video shows a black man and an Asian pulling a donkey by a long rope, while persons standing by are making comments. The Asian man look tired and is seen taking a break and breathing deeply, even as some women discuss the situation and another Asian man in a chef's uniform stand by..

The donkey is tied to a post and then the grisly scene unfolds as one of them uses a knife to slaughter the animal.

The women sound shocked when they realise that the poor donkey is actually being slaughtered and that the animal will quite likely end up in the pot of a restaurant.

Is donkey meat safe to eat and is it legal in Jamaica?

Actually, there are many reports that donkey meat is safe for human consumption and there are persons who think it's time to add donkey meat to our menu.Those who have eaten donkey meat say it tastes "just like beef".

Donkey stew anyone?

The bullet-riddled bodies of two men, who were reported missing, were found in a parked car in Frome, Westmoreland on Tuesday.

They have been identified as 40-year-old Carlton Crooks of Lucea, Hanover, and 27-year-old phone technician Denton Hall of Esher Housing Scheme, also in Hanover.

Reports from the Savanna-la-Mar police are that missing person reports were filed for the two men at the Lucea Police Station on Saturday, after the men reportedly left their homes on Thursday, July 23, and had not been seen since.

On Tuesday afternoon, residents reported seeing a motor car that appeared to have been abandoned and summoned the police.

The bodies were found inside the car.

vybz-kartel-photo-24.jpgIdents of Swallowfield Avenue in Havendale, St Andrew say the demolition of incarcerated dancehall deejay Vybz Kartel's house on Tuesday has allowed them to breathe easier.

The house was demolished after an order by the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) approved a request from prosecutors during the now infamous trial, conviction and 35 year-sentencing of the deejay whose real name is Adidjah Palmer.


"Vagrants had taken up occupancy in the building and they were living in filth. We are so pleased that the house is no more and the terrible blot on our community is gone forever," one resident told Loop News.

Another resident said the vagrants would steal fruits and other items from their properties and made their lives a living hell.

"They would steal on a daily basis and it's like they perfected their craft to a T. It was very hard to catch them in the act. The place was very nasty and garbage was strewn all over. Now we can finally live in peace," the resident said.


The property was the scene of the brutal mauling death of Clive 'Lizard' Williams who was killed because he lost an illegal firearm belonging to Palmer, the prosecution argued successfully.

Their case was bolstered by the testimony of chief witness Leonard Chow, who told the court that he managed to escape death by scaling a high gate and hightailing it out of the area.

Chow said he too was marked for death. He has been in protective custody for years.

After the incident, the house was mysteriously torched and prosecutors claimed this was an attempt by Kartel and his cronies to hide forensic evidence.

Deportee jumps wall at US embassy stark naked

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A deportee last week breached security at the United States Embassy in Liguanea, St Andrew and scaled the walls of the well-fortified building in the nude.

The security breach came to light in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Tuesday when 43-year-old Lenroy Wiggins was brought before the court to answer to charges of trespassing and illegal exposure.

The court was told that Wiggins had made some threatening calls to the embassy on previous occasions and his photograph was posted on the Embassy's notice board for security officials to watch out for him.

He claimed he was unfairly deported from the United States and did not want to stay in Jamaica.

Wiggins plead not guilty to the charges and was remanded in custody until August 5.

missing-brothers-photo.jpgIt's been one week since twin brothers Tyrique and Talrique Arthurs went missing while visiting a relative in St James.

The boys, who reported 'disappeared' around 12:26 am last Wednesday, reside in Exchange, Ocho Rios and were promptly reported missing by their parents a few hours after.The police are still on high alert and that the family is stricken with grief over the whereabouts of the twins.

The police are urging members of the public to assist as much as they can to return the Arthurs twins safely home. Both boys are of slim build and about 107 centimetres (3 feet 6 inches) tall, however Talrique is of dark complexion while Tyrique is of brown complexion.

When last seen Talrique was dressed in a blue shirt and multi-coloured boxers and Tyrique was wearing a green shirt and blue boxers with green stripes.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Tyrique Arthurs and Talrique Arthurs is being asked to contact the Ocho Rios Police at 974-2533, the police's 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.

Vendor stabbed to death in daylight attack

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shocked.jpgYet another murder has occurred in the troubled community of West Kingston

This time the victim is an elderly woman. Police confirmed that the woman was stabbed to death on Wednesday morning.

The killing appeared to have robbery as its motive.

West Kingston has been under the gun for months resulting in a number of murders and shootings.

Popular UWI lecturer Charmaine Henry is dead

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charmaine-henry-carimac.jpgUniversity of the West Indies lecturer Charmaine Henry has died following a long illness. Her death on Monday has come as a shock to may of her students for whom she was a "favourite".

Henry taught public relations and communications at the Caribbean Institute for Media and Communication. (CARIMAC).

President of the Press Association of Jamaica, Dionne Jackson-Miller described Henry as a bright spirited individual.

"Charmaine had a beautiful, bright spirit. I visited her several times during one of her hospital stays and even when it was clear that she was very ill, she was still so energetic and full of life! She would talk about the nurses, and say how good everyone was to her, talk about her friends and colleagues and how much she valued their visits and caring. And she could be so funny! You'd laugh for half of the time you were with her. Hard to believe such a bright light has been snuffed out!" Jackson-Miller said.

A former student, Corey Robinson, who writes for the Daily Gleaner, was shaken by news of Henry's death and took to social media to express his sadness.

"Corey, is not how yuh start; is how yuh finish. I write this statement and tears come to eyes as I can still hear you say it. My motivator, my teacher, my friend, a wonderful spirit.

RIP Charmaine A Henry. No more pain," Robinson wrote on his Facebook page.

Cops probe double murder in Westmoreland

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The Whithorn police in Westmoreland are probing a double murder in Waterworks in the parish on Sunday

The deceased have been identified Rameish White, 24 of Waterworks and Jovaine Green, 27 of Old Road.

The police that shortly before 8pm White and Green were sitting under a tree in the community when a motorbike with two men aboard drove up. The men opened fire at both men who were later pronounced dead at hospital.

It's reported that White's mother was shot and killed last year.

Another relative was also shot.

gun-crime.jpgThe Kingston West Police were kept busy over the weekend responding to several shootings which left one man dead and four persons injured.

Police sources say there were at least seven shootings between Friday and Saturday.

Detectives have linked the incidents to feuds involving rival gangs from Tivoli Gardens, Denham Town and Torrington Park.

On Saturday, police were called to investigate an incident where gunmen went to premises on Metcalfe Street and opened fire.One man was shot.

A few hours later gunmen went to Third Street in Trench Town and carried out another shooting, leaving a man injured.

Meanwhile, Horace Cespedes,26 was shot and killed Saturday afternoon in Torrington Park.

Residents heard explosions and later found Cespedes body with bullet wounds.

In Tivoli Gardens in a section of the community known as 'Bumps' a man was shot and injured about 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon.

He was shot when gunmen traded bullets in the May Pen Cemetery.

Detectives say the man was among a group of persons preparing a grave for a gang member recently shot and killed, when they were attacked by rival gang members.

The police also reported a shooting in Golden Heights, Denham Town in which a man was shot and injured.

sangster-international-airport.jpgPolice attached to the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay,on Sunday arrested and charged an American woman with breaches of the Firearms Act.

It's reported that shortly before 11a.m. the woman was about to board a flight for Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

While going through the security check point her handbag was searched and an undeclared 9 millimetre round of ammunition was allegedly found.

She was taken in custody.

Cops say island-wide operation successful

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police-cars.jpgThe police say recent island-wide security forces operations have had the desired result, and more will be implemented.

The police-military operations were part of a major effort to curtail crime, and in particular murders, which are on the increase.

Scores of persons were arrested in the operations, which occurred in the 19 police geographic divisions.

Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, says the police saw a lull in criminal activities, over the period of the operations.

Two police officers killed a week apart over the past two weeks, and a number of killings in western parishes, have seen the number of murders gone pass 6 hundred, since the start of the year.

More water restriction in the pipeline

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water-restrictions.jpgReports are that water restrictions in the Corporate Area are currently under review and this could result in a further cut back in supplies by the National Water Commission, NWC. A decision is expected this week.

Some communities are now receiving water on alternate days.

Acting President of the NWC, Mark Barnett, says while the restrictions have slowed the decline in levels at the Hermitage Dam and Mona Reservoir, the situation is precarious. The Mona Reservoir is now at 24.5% of capacity and the Hermitage Dam 36.9%.

In the meantime, the NWC will be investigating reports that water is being purchased for car wash establishments. This is a breach of the Prohibition Notice.

police-station.jpgFour policemen, including a Superintendent, were questioned in relation to the beating of an inmate inside the Hunts Bay lock up last weekend.

The 29-year-old inmate is accused in connection with the murder of woman constable Crystal Thomas.

Thomas was killed as she stepped into a robbery on a public passenger vehicle on her way home from work. She was shot at point blank range in the head.

The suspect was found with severe head injuries inside a cell. He is hospitalised in critical condition.

US$2000 award for top Kingston College boys

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stephen-vasciannie-accepts-us2000-from-erna-radifera-donor-of-the-frank-subaran-awards.jpgThe top two students at Kingston College in the 2015 CSEC examinations will each benefit from a US$1,000 prize dubbed the Frank Subaran Awards for Academic Excellence.

At that start of this month, Erna Radifera, a Jamaican living in Washington DC, presented a cheque for US$2,000 to Jamaica's Ambassador to the United States of America and former Kingston College head boy Professor Stephen Vasciannie.

This money is to be used to fund two awards at KC in the memory of Dr Frank Subaran, a Kingston College old boy and brother of Radifera.

Subaran left Kingston College in 1959 with academic honours leading to an engineering scholarship. After leaving Kingston College, he read for a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and then a doctorate in telecommunications from the University of Edinburgh in 1970.

In his professional life, he worked at JAMINTEL, the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation, London, and INTELSAT, Washington DC.

In presenting the money to the Jamaican ambassador, Radifera noted her late brother's commitment to education and his willingness to support his alma mater.

Vasciannie thanked Radifera for her contribution and acknowledged that contributions such as this help to advance education in the country.

Spanish Town nurse is Nurse of the Year

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nurse-of-the-year-2015.jpgTreveen Palmer-Miller, a nurse who works at the Spanish Town Hospital in St. Catherine, is the new Lasco/Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) Nurse of the Year.

Palmer-Miller topped six finalists to cop the prestigious award at a ceremony in Kingston yesterday.

The award comes with a cheque for J$200,000 among a host of other prizes.

The runner up was Tashia Wedderburn-Harris of the South East Regional Health Authority.

Dr Adella Campbell, Programme Director and Lecturer at the Caribbean School of Nursing at the University of Technology, was awarded the third place trophy.

mex-wins-jamaica-2015.jpgJamaica's Reggae Boyz surrendered to Mexico 3-1 in the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup at Lincoln Financial Field here today, giving the Central American their seventh title.

Mexico captain Andres Gaurdado opened the scoring in the 31st minute, with follow-up goals from Jesus Corona (47th) and Oribe Peralta (61st) to break Jamaican hearts.

Substitute Darren Mattocks, a scorer in the 2-1 semi-final win against the USA in Atlanta last Wednesday, restored Jamaican pride with an individual goal in the 80th minute.

Jamaica made a confident start to the contest, spreading the Mexicans thin by using the flanks to good effect, but the Central Americans got into their slick-passing game and it was finished as a contest.

Mexico will collect US$1 million for lifting the crown, while Jamaica will pocket US$500,000 for being runners-up.

Jamaica had created history becoming the first Caribbean team to contest the Gold Cup final.

coronation-market.jpgMore than 50 vendors who usually sell their produce at the Coronation Market in downtown Kingston, will do so at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, on Hope Road, in Kingston, on Saturday, August 1.

A section of the centre will be transformed into a marketplace, showcasing the rich offerings of Jamaica's farmers. Push carts will also be available to carry bags to shoppers' cars.

The Farmers' Market is one of the first activities of the 'Independence Village', being established to feature daily and nightly events ranging from stage shows and concerts to exhibitions and expositions.

The market, which opens at 6:00 am is one of the new initiatives of this year's Emancipation and Independence celebrations, being held under the theme: 'Proud and Free...Jamaica 53'.

Speaking at a JIS 'Think Tank' on Friday, executive director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Delroy Gordon, said that discussions are ongoing with farmers.

"We are working closely with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA). We are also working closely with the higglers themselves at the Coronation Market, and Sweet Wood market, so we are expecting well over 50 vendors to be participating," he said.

Gordon is urging citizens to support the market and to "avoid the traffic to go all the way downtown".

"You will be able to get good farm products, good quality, and at a good price," he added.

The event is being organised by the JCDC, an agency of the Ministry of Youth and Culture.

court.jpgThe police in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland have charged Jevaughn Flemmings in connection with the quadruple murder in Whithorn in the parish, which took place on June 12

Flemmings, 19, is charged with four counts of murder and is scheduled to appear before the Savanna-la-Mar Resident Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, July 28.

Meanwhile, detectives say they are continuing to follow every lead as they continue their investigation into the incident.

Information received is that about 4:40pm, Theodore Tenant, 21; Romario Drummond, 20; Demar Doeman,16; and 15-year-old Shawn Clayton all of Old Road District, Westmoreland were shot dead while they were at a shop in Whithorn in the parish.

Denham Town Health Centre to re-open on Monday

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The Denham Town Health Centre in Kingston is to re-open on Monday.

The facility was temporarily closed on Wednesday following concern about the safety of staff and patients, due to violence affecting the community.

Chairman of the South East Regional Health Authority, Dr. Andrei Cooke, says the decision to reopen the facility follows meetings with stakeholders including the police.

"We had consultations with the police high command and we had some discussions, and decided to resume normal clinical activities on Monday. The police have also assured us that they will be on patrol in the area ....." he said.

3 more held in aviation fuel theft

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aviation-fuel.jpgThree persons are in custody, in relation to the theft of fuel from Jamaica Aircraft Refueling Services (JARS) in Montego Bay, St. James.

They were arrested on Friday morning, on suspicion of breaching the Petroleum Quality Control Act and the Larceny Act.

This increases to five, the number of persons held.

Two employees were nabbed last month during an operation by security personnel at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.

Friday's pre-dawn operations were carried out by members of the Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA), the Financial Investigation Division, and Mobile Reserve.

The operation targeted three houses and a business place, where it is alleged that the occupants and owner were involved in the theft of the aviation fuel.

More than $2 million in cash was seized, along with documents, as well as electronic devices, including cellular phones and laptop computers.

On May 10 this year a fuel tanker was seen refueling at the JARS plant at Sangster International Airport. This aroused the suspicion of airport officials. A search was conducted and 4,000 litres of stolen fuel was found.

Millions lost in Arcade fire in Mo Bay

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fire.jpgFirefighters have estimated losses in a fire early Friday, at the Shoes Market on the corner of St. James and Strand Streets in Montego Bay at J$75 million do. About 35 shops were destroyed.

Four units responded to the blaze.

Vendor, Rosemary Miller, said she lost all her goods, "We got a phone call that the arcade was on fire and when we came - this is what we saw. I don't know how we will manage" she said.

The fire is believed to have started from a candle.

An operation was conducted in the market on Tuesday in which Jamaica Public Service personnel removed illegal connections.

A top level probe is in progress to determine the circumstances under which a suspect linked to the murder of Constable Crystal Thomas was found unconscious in a Corporate Area Police lockup.

The 29-year-old suspect, who is from Kidd Lane in Kingston 11, is in serious condition in hospital.

Sources say the incident may have occurred sometime on Saturday afternoon but were tightlipped.

According to a well placed police source between 3pm and 4pm on Saturday, the suspect was being housed in a cell at the Hunts Bay lockup when he reportedly requested to use the bathroom.

The detainee was later found lying face down in a cell with head wounds.He was taken to hospital where he underwent emergency treatment and is now reportedly on life support..

Questions are being raised about the length of time which elapsed between the alleged beating of the suspect and the time it took to transport him to hospital.

Allegations have surfaced that police personnel are linked to the beating of the suspect, however this has been denied by senior police personnel assigned to the St. Andrew South Police Division.

Meanwhile, Acting Commanding Officer for the St. Andrew South Police Superintendent Lennox Harper revealed that three state agencies are involved in the probe into the detainee being injured.Several statements have already been collected.'

"The prisoner was found on Saturday in the lockup at Hunts Bay in a state of unconciousness. We are not sure what happened. But what I can tell you is that it is being investigated at the highest level," said Harper.

Condolences pour in for Flossie Hazel Salmon

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The Consulate General of Jamaica joins with other fried and well-wishers in expressing condolences on the passing of Ms. Flossie Hazel Salmon.

Ms. Salmon who was 105 years of age, is the mother of Mr. Patrick Jolly, President of Tower Isles Foods

In a release, the Consulate General stated: "The Consul General wishes to express condolences to the family, other relatives and loved ones of Ms. Salmon and may their wonderful memories of her serve to comfort and strengthen them during this challenging time."

Jamaica has forged a deal to retire $3 billion in oil debts to Venezuela thanks to bond sales.

In a Friday statement, Jamaica said it has issued roughly $2 billion in bonds on the international capital market that will pay down the debt it accumulated through Petrocaribe, a Venezuelan program that provides fuel to countries at market prices but under generous credit terms.

Officials say a negotiated settlement with Caracas will dismiss about $3 billion in long-term debt in exchange for $1.5 billion. It was not immediately clear Friday if Jamaica's deal will retire all of its Petrocaribe debt.

The finance ministry said this week's bond issue transaction was "the largest capital markets fundraising ever undertaken by the government of Jamaica."

Jamaica's Petrocaribe settlement is similar to one the Dominican Republic negotiated with Venezuela earlier this year. That Caribbean country dismissed $4 billion in Petrocaribe debt in exchange for $2 billion.

On Thursday, IMF Communications Director Gerry Rice said the organization supports Jamaica's debt buyback.

"It's an important step in reducing the value of the country's public debt and will help to put debt firmly on a downward trajectory," Rice told reporters.

Jamaica is in the third year of a four-year $930 million loan package with the International Monetary Fund and it has passed consecutive tests without shortfalls.

Gun, ammunition seized at Faith's Pen

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ak-47-assault-rifle-ammo.jpgA man and a woman have been arrested as the Moneague Police seized one firearm and several rounds of ammunition on Spencer Road, Faith's Pen in St Ann on Thursday

Reports are that between 4am and 6am, the lawmen carried out an operation in the community where a house was searched.

One Mossberg shotgun along with six rounds of ammunition was seized.

The pair, who was taken into custody in relation to this incident, have their identities withheld pending further investigations.

The police have confirmed that a former national athlete has lodged a report that he was attacked by a female at an event.

Reports are that the former national athlete, who was a patron at 'Chill', an all-inclusive party held at Caymanas Polo Club in St Catherine last week, got into an altercation with a female patron.

The report said that the former national athlete was standing at the event talking to a girl when another woman attacked in a drunken rage, hitting the girl and slapping the athlete who was forced to take evasive action and defend himself.

During the altercation, it is said that the female patron was physically assaulted as the athlete pushed her to the ground. The athlete also received minor injuries in the tussle.

The female filed a report at the Central Village Police Station while the former athlete filed his report at the Duhaney Park police station.

Sources say the girl is not romantically or sexually involved with the former athlete so reasons for the attack remain unclear.

"The athlete said he was attacked by the girl who was drunk. She approached her, and he told her he didn't want to talk to her, and walked over to another girl. Then the girl attacked, slapping at him and the other girl, and in defending himself, he pushed her, and she fell," the officer explained in the report.

The girl, however, has filed a separate report at the Central Village police station, where she is alleging that the former athlete was the aggressor and she, the victim.

Deadly love triangle in St Catherine

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A love triangle turned deadly recently when a woman stabbed another woman who was found in a compromising position with her male lover at her home in St Catherine.

The deceased female has been identified as Dianne Brackenridge. Brackenridge, who is said to be in her early 40s, was with a male companion at his home when they were surprised by the return of the man's spouse.

Police confirmed that the main suspect, the man's spouse, reportedly returned home unannounced at around 12 midnight on Wednesday, and flew into a rage.

An argument reportedly developed between both women, during which a knife was used, allegedly by the spouse, to stab Brackenbridge several times.

She reportedly died at hospital.

Usain Bolt is back!

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usain-bolt-strikes-his-trademark-celebratory-pose-with-the-jamaican-flag.jpgOlympic champion and world record holder Usain Bolt blasted out a world championship warning with victory in the 100m at the London Diamond League meeting on Friday.

The Jamaican sprint king won in 9.87sec, the same time he set in winning his heat earlier in the evening, on a cool, damp night at the London Olympic Stadium.

Friday was his first appearance in six weeks with his only previous 100m race this year seeing him struggle to a modest 10.12sec in Brazil.

Justin Gatlin of the United States still leads the way with 9.74sec in the 100m this season, setting up an intriguing world championship showdown with Bolt in Beijing next month.

"Overall, it was a good run. I wanted to run faster but my start was very poor and that threw me off. It was all downhill from there," said Bolt whose season has been plagued by a pelvic injury.

"I feel like I am getting there and that's the good thing."

Michael Rodgers was second in the final in 9.90sec with Kemar Bailey-Cole of Jamaica taking second in 9.92sec.

"I need to work hard ahead of Beijing. I have to keep pushing myself," added 28-year-old Bolt who was running on the track where he won the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay gold at the 2012 Olympics.

"I feel pretty good. If I work on my start I will be fine. I need to be more consistent."

Bolt announced his return to form in the heats an hour and 20 minutes before the final on Friday.

After Britain's world indoor 60m champion Richard Kilty had been disqualified for a false start, Bolt made a hesitant start when the race got underway at the second time of asking.

But he overhauled Rodgers as he eased across the line in 9.87sec, the American finishing runner-up in 9.92sec.

constable-crystal-thomas-photo-1.jpgThe University College of the Caribbean (UCC) on Sunday conferred Police Constable Crystal Thomas posthumously with her associate degree.

The document was presented to her mother at the graduation ceremony, held at the National Indoor Sports Centre.

There was also a moment of silence by the graduating class for the slain constable, who had attended the institution.

The 24 year old policewoman, who was attached to the Denham Town police station, was shot dead last Tuesday night during a robbery on a bus on Spanish Town Road.

Members of the Central Executive of the Police Federation were in attendance at the graduation ceremony.

Three suspects have been held for her murder.

200 extra policemen sent to Montego Bay

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In a major push to curtail the crime wave in St James, the Police High Command has ordered the deployment of 200 additional police personnel to the parish this week.

The new batch of cops should arrive on Tuesday.

More than 120 people have been murdered in St James since January - the highest figure of all 19 police divisions.

The High Command imposed nightly curfews in several communities, following last week's slaying of six persons over a 24 hour period.

Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor, head of the St James Police, said the curfews, imposed on Friday, have been instrumental in curtail the violence in his Division since then.

He said the police will continue their manhunt for those involved in the violence.

Since the start of the year, 652 people have been murdered in Jamaica, up from 525 during the corresponding period last year.

American woman missing; last seen in HWT

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american-woman-missing.jpgThe police are looking for an American woman who they say has been missing since last Thursday.

She is 41-year-old Lori Sexon, a Caucasian of medium build and is about 163 centimetres (5 feet 4 inches) tall.

Sexon was last seen in Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew about 9:30 pm on the day in mention and has not been heard from since. Her mode of dress at the time is unknown.

Anyone knowing her whereabouts is being asked to contact the Matilda's Corner Police at 978-6003, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.

304 persons arrested for stealing electricity

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electricity-theft.jpgJamaica Public Service (JPS) is reporting that operations carried out in collaboration with members of the security forces, have resulted in the arrest of 304 people for the illegal abstraction of electricity, since the start of the year, to July 15.

In a release Sunday, JPS said crews have also pulled down 9,512 throw-up lines for the same period. The company has said they have been relentless in pursuing the perpetrators of electricity theft.

On Tuesday, July 14, the teams' latest move saw the St Catherine community of Windsor Heights in Central Village, being rid of 850 throw-up lines. One man was reportedly arrested, but several others fled from their residences to avoid being associated with the illegal connections.

On June 30, nine people were brought before the Spanish Town Resident Magistrate's Court for the illegal abstraction of electricity. The JPS said six of them pleaded guilty and were fined an average of J$150,000 each or six months in prison.

Following that, on July 1, five people were brought before the Linstead Resident Magistrate's Court for the same charge. Four pleaded guilty and were also reportedly fined an average of J$150,000 each.

JPS, in the release, also reminded non-paying users of electricity that regularisation is a straightforward process. The company also said it is anticipating that its Community Renewal programme in seven communities in Kingston, will assist in creating sustained regularisation through public education and practical assistance (such as house wiring), among other measures.

constable-crystal-thomas.jpgThe police are on the hunt for two females who were accomplices in a robbery which ended in the murder of a woman constable last week.

The cops have now launched a hunt for the women who they say are crucial to the probe into the death of Constable Crystal Thomas.

Three men have already been taken into custody and the cop's service weapon has been recovered by the police.

Thomas was shot at point blank range in the head after she was identified by one of the robbers as a police officer.

She had boarded a Toyota Coaster bus on her way to Portmore, St Catherine after she had completed her shift at the Denham Town Police station. Unfortunately the bus she boarded was being robbed by a gang of highway men.

She was shot and her gun stolen.

video-tape.jpgThe males were ruthless. There was about seven of them and they took turns on an allegedly mentally ill teenage girl in Zion, Trelawny last week.

Luckily for the girl they were foolish enough to tape the demented act. The video found its way on social media and went viral on the internet.

Now two males are in custody and police are on the trail of the other five.

The sexually disturbing assault includes the men urinating in the girl's face - despite her desperate plea for mercy - and repeated acts of forced entry into her private parts.

They also branded the girl an "idiot gal" and laughed merrily as they violated her and further scarred her mentally for the rest of her life.

The Office of the Children's Advocate has ordered an immediate probe into the matter and the Centre for the Investigation Sexual Offenses and Child Abuse (CISOCA) has reported that no stone will be left unturned in bringing the callous, uncouth perpetrators of this crime to justice.

bullying.jpgThe Inner-city Teachers Coalition (ICTC) says the move by the Ministry of Education to address the issue of bullyism should not be confined to gay students, as they gay students are more often the perpetrators of bullyism..

According to a press release from ICTC Saturday, "Statements that have been reported in the media that have been attributed to the minister has singled out the fact that students who practice or appear to be practicing alternative lifestyles are being bullied and that measures are now being put in place to reduce these incidents in our schools."

However, based on reports from the membership, the coalition is of the view that bullying of heterosexual students by groups practicing alternative lifestyles is much more widespread.

"These groups are known to prey on weaker students and intimidate them with a view to pressure them to join the alternative lifestyle that is being practiced by the group. Whenever the advances of members of the group is resisted, oftentimes the students are assaulted physically and sometimes even sexually," the release stated.

Chairman of the coalition Mark Malabver said the occurrence of weaker students being preyed on is most prevalent in all-girl's institutions.

The release also contended that many of these "critical" incidents go unreported for various reasons, including the fact that administrators are keen to ensure that the image of the schools in which these incidents take place is not tarnished.

In addition to this, many of the victims of this type of bullyism fail to report these matters for fear of reprisal from the group, as well as the stigma that is attached to attacks of this nature, the release said.

The ICTC is therefore calling on the Education Ministry to either offer clarity on the new policy initiative of bullyism or to redesign this new initiative to ensure that it deals with all aspects of bullyism in schools.

ICTC, according to Malabver, is a group of teachers that are primarily from inner-city schools who have decided to advocate on behalf of schools in the inner-city and rural areas.

The bloodletting continues in the parish of St James where a total of six people, including a woman, were gunned down in four different incidents between last night and early this morning.

Over the period, the police recorded two double murders, one in Norwood and the other in Rose Heights; while one murder was reported in Roehampton and another on Harbour Street, Montego Bay.

This week has been one of the bloodiest in the St James Police Division, which has so far recorded more than 120 murders since the start of the year.

Government owes NHT $45-billion

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nht-arrears.jpgThe Jamaican Governent owes the NHT some $45-billion in arrears.

Acting managing director of the trust, Martin Miller, made the revelation to the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) of Parliament on Wednesday.

He explained that the trust has been in discussions with the Ministry of Finance over the roughly $48 billion owed. "It is something that we are likely to hear some more on, shortly," he said.

Manhunt launched for 3 escaped prisoners

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manhunt-launched.jpgThe police have launched a manhunt for three prisoners who escaped from the Linstead lock-up in St Catherine on Wednesday.

They are Steven Burke, who is charged with robbery with aggravation, Odane Walker, charged with house breaking and larceny, and Clayton Williams who is charged for robbery.

Persons with information that can lead to their capture are being asked to contact the Portmore Police, 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.

Third suspect held in murder of policewoman

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constable-crystal-thomas.jpgA third suspect has been held for the murder of Constable Crystal Thomas who was killed on Tuesday night when gunmen hijacked a bus in which she was a passenger along Spanish Town Road in Kingston.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador Luis Moreno has expressed condolences to the family and colleagues of Thomas.

In a statement on Thursday, the Ambassador said Constable Thomas' bravery and quick action saved many lives and demonstrated her dedication to Jamaica and protecting her fellow citizens.

He said the Constable exemplified the code of the Jamaica Constabulary Force: Serve, Protect and Reassure.

licence-plate.jpgPersons who have applied for motor vehicle licence plates are facing a delay in getting them.

Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) confirmed on Wednesday that it is experiencing a shortage of the plates at revenue service centres and tax offices islandwide.

This is due to a delay in the delivery of supplies, as well as an unusual increase in the demand for plates in recent months.

TAJ said it was working with its suppliers to have the matter speedily resolved.

The Centre for the Investigation for Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) has secured the conviction of a male teacher, Randean Raymond, for Indecent Assault.

CISOCA indicated that Raymond pleaded guilty to the offence of indecent assault when he appeared before the Half Way Tree Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, July 8.

He was sentenced to six months in prison at hard labour, with the option of paying a fine of $100,000 and opted to pay his fine.

On Wednesday, May 17, a report was made at CISOCA that a female student was in a classroom with Raymond when he summoned her to sit beside him and laid his palm on her left thigh and rubbed it. He stopped when other students walked in the classroom.

Statements were recorded from the complainant and her mother. A member of the school community also gave a statement to the fact that the suspect admitted that he had committed the offence.

Members of the investigative team have been lauded by Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the Criminal Investigations Branch (CIB) Headquarters, Ealan Powell, for their comprehensive investigation of the matter and their duteous preparation of a strong case file.

He also had high commendations for the victim, her mother and other persons who came forward and gave statements.

"It is not always an easy thing to do. I commend the young woman for her bravery, as also her mother and other caregivers who supported her in her quest for justice," said ACP Powell.

The Kingston Western Police detained approximately 20 individuals during an early morning police military operation in the Division.

Similar operations are being conducted across several crime hot spots in the 19 Police Geographic Divisions.

Head of the Kingston Western Police Division, Senior Superintendent Cornwall 'Bigga' Ford, disclosed that a man investigators describe as a person of interest, as well as a small number of women, are among the detainees

SSP Ford said the operation, which got underway at midnight, will last for two days, and aims to penetrate the backbone of several criminal enterprises islandwide.

Up to newstime the detainees were undergoing processing by Kingston Western Detectives.

peter-bunting-photo-2.jpgNational Security Minister, Peter Bunting on Tuesday outlined the government's three-pronged approach to combat the current murder spike and the challenge of violent crime over the long term.

Mr. Bunting says government intends to strengthen the operational capabilities of the security forces; address the root causes of violence in the society, with various social intervention strategies; and bring important legislation to the House of Representatives to support the investigation and prosecution of criminals.

Speaking in Parliament, Mr. Bunting outlined that last year the country recorded the lowest number of murders in several years, at one thousand and five.

However, he says 12 hundred murders could be recorded by the end of this year. Mr. Bunting outlined that the figures for other categories of serious and violent crimes are all down.These include shootings, down by 8%, rape down by 25%, aggravated assault down by 14% and robberies down by 16%.

The National Security Minister said what the country is experiencing this year is not a general surge in crime, but rather a spike in murders. He revealed that Area One, which comprises St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland has the highest murder rate, with St. James having a murder rate of two and a half times higher than the rest of Jamaica.

Mr. Bunting attributed a third of all the murders in area one to the illegal lottery scam, and says half of the murders committed across the island are gang-related.

father-killed.jpgA father who went to collect his daughter at a medical facility in Albion, Montego Bay St. James this afternoon was shot and killed.

Dead is 27-year-old Kenroy Colquhoun also called Nardo of Felicity Road in the parish.

Reports are that shortly after Colquhoun drove his motorcar onto the premises of the medical centre to pick up his child, he was pounced upon by a group of gunmen who opened fire hitting him all over his body.

He ran from the car and collapsed on the ground.

The police, who were summoned, removed several spent shells from the scene.

No motive has yet been established for the killing.

constable-crystal-thomas.jpgThe motorcyclist involved in Monday's crash, which claimed the life of a policeman attached to the Westmoreland Division, has been charged.

Head of the Westmoreland Police, Superintendent Beau Rigabie, disclosed that the man was charged yesterday with manslaughter. It's not yet known when he will appear in court.

Constable Curtis Lewis, 21, died after being mowed down while on traffic duty in Negril. The policeman and a colleague were on the Bowens road in Sheffield when they signaled the motorcyclist to stop. It's alleged that he disobeyed and continued driving. Constable Lewis was hit down and later died at hospital.

constable-crystal-thomas.jpgThe Area 4 Police are reporting that two of the main suspects in last night's murder of policewoman Constable Crystal Thomas were captured early this morning and are now in police custody.

"This is indeed a sad time for the Constabulary losing such a young member of the organisation under such tragic circumstances. The men and women of the JCF have however responded well and our work late last night and early this morning has led to the capture of two men who we believe were part of the group which murdered the young Constable. At this time we are not naming the suspects as interviews have to be done and also identification parades," Quallo said.

Reports are that Constable Thomas had just left work at the Denham Town Police Station and boarded a bus for home. It is further reported that a robbery was taking place on the bus. The gunmen held up the driver at gunpoint and while the bus was traveling along Spanish Town Road, ?ordered the driver to turn off the main road.

The brave female police officer, realising what was happening challenged the men and was fatally shot.

ACP Quallo said that during the course of today, he will be meeting with the staff of the Denham Town Police Station and that counsellors from the JCF will be on hand to assist.

court-case.jpgA jury has just freed one of Jamaica's most feared gangsters, Uriel James, of the 1999 murder of security guard, Errol McGeachy. The 12-member jury returned the 9-3 not guilty verdict after more than five hours of deliberation.

Trial judge, Bertram Morrison, told James he was free to go. However, James will remain in custody because he has two other murder cases pending before the court.

James, popularly known as Rooksie, had given an unsworn statement denying any involvement in the beating death of McGeachy. He is the reputed gang leader of the Rose Town-based Discipline Gang in Kingston.

The trial started in the Home Circuit Court on June 18 after the court accepted a statement given by the main witness who has died. James is represented by Queen's Counsel, Jacqueline Samuels Brown and attorneys-at-law, Patrick Bailey and Linda Wright.

Attorney-at-law, Kathy Pike led the case for the Crown.

Two men were shot and killed early Sunday by a licensed firearm holder in Huddersfield St. Mary when they reportedly attempted to rob a taxi operator and his passengers.

Their identities have not been released.

Deputy Superintendent of the St. Mary Police, Gary Flash, says about 5am, five persons including a taxi operator were en route to Huddersfield when the incident occurred.

The men ordered the passengers out of the vehicle and proceeded to rob the taxi-operator. A licenced firearm holder, who was nearby, was alerted and responded.It's alleged that one of the robbers pointed a weapon at the licenced firearm holder who opened fire.

Both men were shot.They fled and their bodies were later found.

jamaican-jeron-perkins-shot-dead.jpgPolice in Miami, Florida are probing the shooting death of a Jamaican man on Tuesday afternoon.

The dead man has been identified as 25-year-old Jeron Perkins

Police in Plantation County reported that Perkins' body was found beneath a large tree just feet from a Del Oro apartment complex's parking lot.

The cops said a neighbor informed them that Perkins lived in the complex and had recently moved there from Jamaica where he has two children.

Residents reportedly told police that they heard six to seven loud explosions after a car pulled up. The car then drove away.

Police in the county say they are looking for a four-door white Kia motorcar.

2 held in gruesome murder of 15-y-o girl

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The police have taken two persons in custody following the brutal slaying of a teenaged girl in Westmoreland on Thursday.

The child has been identified as 15-year-old Camella Ledgister, also known as 'Princess'.

Police report that Camella's body was found by her father with its throat slashed and head bashed at about 6:30 AM Friday.

kimani-ffriend-basketball.jpgJamaica's basketball star Kimani Ffriend is expected to stand trial today for a second time in Serbia on a vehicular manslaughter charge.

Ffriend was incarcerated in the European country after the car he was driving struck and killed 30-year-old account executive Nevena Dragutinovic on November 3, 2012.

He was ordered to stand trial after a high court judge accepted weaknesses were in the first trial.

The Jamaican was in custody for two years before being found guilty in September 2014 and sentenced to three years.

The story made headlines across Serbia because of the Jamaican star's status in that country and the fact that Novena was the girlfriend of a popular singer.

gun-shooting.jpgA young couple was murdered in the Middle Road area of Glendevon, in St James, shortly after four Monday morning.

Armed thugs barged into their house and open fire on them, killing them on the spot. The house was then set on fire.

The deceased couple was identified by neighbours as 'Shandel' and 'Bev'.

It is believed that their killing is related to a recent outbreak of violence in that part of the once volatile Glendevon community.

According to reports, residents heard heavy gunfire shortly after four and soon after, the couple's house was seen on fire.

The police and the St James fire brigade were alerted.

Upon their arrival at the scene, the bodies of the couple were seen inside the burnt out building.

Initial investigations revealed that the two suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

man-killed-in-quadruple-murder-drummond.jpgCommissioner of Police, Dr Carl Williams has condemned the brutal killing of four males, including two juveniles in Old Road district, Whithorn, Westmoreland on Sunday.

The police have identified them as: 21-year-old Theodore Tenant, 20-year-old Romario Drummond, 16-year-old Demar Doeman and 15-year-old Shawn Clayton all of Old road district in the parish.


According to the police, about 4:40 pm, the four males were at a shop, when three armed men barged into the premises and opened gunfire at them. The police were summoned and on their arrival the males were seen with gunshot wounds. They were taken to hospital where two were confirmed dead, while the other two males died while undergoing treatment.

"As I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the four victims, I want them to be assured that the killers will find no rest until they are found and brought to justice," said Williams

"We (The JCF) have just concluded a relentless manhunt for the principal murderer of the four men in St Elizabeth in May this year and we will not rest until the killers in this latest incident are caught. Citizens please cooperate with the police, tell us what you know, let us put an end to the senseless killings," he added.

Anyone with information that can assist the police in their investigations is being asked to contact the Jamaica Constabulary Force Criminal Investigations Branch (CIB) headquarters at 922-4487 or 922-4741, police 119 emergency number, Crime Stop at 311, the nearest police station or utilize the Stay Alert App which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store on all Android devices.

Man held in murder of Grade 9 student

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The police have detained a suspect in connection with Thursday's murder of fifteen year old Camila Legister at her home in Hartfield, Westmoreland.

The body of Camila, a Grade 9 student at Williamsfield All Age School, was found with the throat slashed and the head bashed in at her home in the community on Thursday evening.

According to the police, Camila's father came home about 6:45 and found her body.

Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, said the suspect was picked up on Friday.

A postmortem will be conducted Monday.

Pablo's Exotic Club burns

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pablos-fire.jpgPablo's Exotic night club in Kingston was gutted by fire on Saturday afternoon.

The building was completely razed after a blaze broke out at minutes after 2:00 PM.

With water restrictions on in full force, water trucks had to be used until firefighters arrived on the scene with the precious liquid to douse the inferno but by that time the building was completely gutted.

The incident caused a traffic snarl on Eastwood Park Road as motorists had to be diverted unto Burlington Avenue as the fire was being put out.

There was also a build-up of traffic on Constant Spring Road as the firefighters fought the blaze from two sides. At one point owners of adjacent buildings were concerned as the fire threatened to spread to their properties.But the fire was eventually brought under control.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

ricky-chin.jpgWaterhouse Football Club is to appoint a new president within the next two weeks and undergo major restructuring following the resignation of club president Ricky Chin on Thursday. Club Chairman Bruce Bicknell confirmed last week that Chin had tendered his resignation, and it has been accepted.

"Ricky has served the club well, and he worked hard," Bicknell said, emphasising that the parting has been amicable.

"There is no bad blood. He did a lot of good for the club, but now we have to move on. A new president has already been selected, and we will announce that in the next two weeks. We will also be undergoing major restructuring, hoping to start the new season on a good note."

Chin resigned after being in charge of the club for more than six years as president of the 2013 Premier League Champions. He said the pressures that came with running one of the country's most successful football clubs was too much for him alone to bear.

"I have stepped down as president," he confirmed on Thursday night on Nationwide Radio.

"I no longer can deal with it. I think I have given six extremely good years. When I came to Waterhouse, I said after the first year I wanted Waterhouse to move away from being not known, to being one of the top clubs in the Caribbean. I did a little better than that. We became the top club in the Caribbean."

Waterhouse is a three-time Champions Cup winner and three-time Premier League champion. The club campaigned successfully at the Caribbean Football Union Club Championships last year, winning their zone. However, financial challenges forced the club to withdraw from this year's competition. They were subsequently fined by the CFU.

Chin said he alone could not sustain the club along its path to growth, suggesting that he was not getting enough support.

"Its whole heap of work, and the organization can't operate off one person's vision or one person's personality," he said. "It has to be a collective thing. It has to be people all sitting together and weigh the pros and cons of all conversations; and coming from that, we arrive at a decision."

Chin said his shoulders had started to wilt under the pressure of running the club.

"I had not smiled since perhaps the week before the Red Stripe Premier League semi-finals," he said.

crime-scene-7.jpgDetectives are trying to ascertain the circumstances which led to the death of a fifteen year old girl in Hartfield, Westmoreland.

The body of Camila Legister , a Grade 9 student at Williamsfield All Age School, was found with the throat slashed and the head bashed in at her home in the community on Thursday evening.

According to the police, Camila's father came home about 6:45 and found her body.

In another incident, two men were shot one fatally in White Hall on Thursday.

Dead is 27 year old Omar Hillman otherwise called Silver Bigs. It's reported that about 1:00 pm, Hillman, who was a mechanic, was repairing a bike when two men drove up on a motorcycle and opened fire.

Hillman and another man were shot.

The other man ran off and managed to reach the police station to report the shooting.

He was taken to hospital and admitted.

Hillman died on the spot.

Jamaican pilot still in prison in Quatar

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pilot-in-jail-quatar-paul-stephens.jpgJamaican pilot Paul Stephens has not been released from prison in Qatar. The authorities say they have now received official word from the Qatari government that the Jamaican is still behind bars.

It appears that Stephens may soon be freed, however, as according to the foreign affairs ministry, at the end of last month Stephens would have spent a total of three years and nine months of his five-year sentence.

"The ministry understands that there is provision in the Qatari legal system for the remission of three months' sentence for each year to be served," the ministry explained in a release yesterday.

On Tuesday Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs Edmund Bartlett had issued a release claiming that Stephens had been freed from prison. But at that time Nicholson said he had received no such news from Jamaican embassy officials in Kuwait.

On Wednesday, Nicholson questioned what he said was unwarranted interest in the case, stating that he would not comment any further on the matter. Persons close to the case have accused the ministry of not doing enough to press the Qatari Government to pardon Stephens, but some have cautioned against Jamaica appearing to take a particular posture in a case in which a person has been convicted of sexual molestation of a minor.

Taximan killed while passengers in the car

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe Clarendon police have launched a man hunt for two men who allegedly held up and murdered a taxi man last night.

The dead man has been identified as Anthony Morgan otherwise called 'Fatta' of Wood Hall district in the parish.

It is reported that about 7:30 p.m. yesterday, the two men boarded the taxi at Guinep Tree in May Pen with three other passengers, destined for Wood Hall. About five minutes into the journey on reaching an area called Bucknor, the men attacked the driver, slashed his throat and shot him twice.

The men escaped on foot into nearby bushes. The three passengers were unharmed.

It is alleged that he was killed in a dispute over a female.

Investigations continue.

Some employees of the National Workers Union (NWU) are on go slow, even as the major bank accounts of the union reportedly remain frozen pending a quiet dispute still in court..

Reports are that the workers are upset about delays in receiving their salaries. They say they are yet to be paid for last month and only received part of May's salary.

The workers say there has also been a delay in the payment of salary deductions, resulting in a backlog.

According to reliable YardFlex sources, the bank account of the union was frozen some three months ago by the court because payments were not made to a worker who had taken the NWU to court and won.

"They refused to pay the man because they were too busy giving themselves big salary increase and big Christmas bonus. The big wig even collect him vacation pay already and him don't gone on vacation yet. And is not now them not paying over people's decductions. Is long time, even before the freeze. Plent people have tales of woe about them credit union deduction that the NWU take out of the workers' salary and don't pay over. Not to mention the statutory deductions. That is a whole 'nother story," the worker told YardFLex on condition of anonymity.

Calls to the NWU went unanswered.

Ganja education campaign launched

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ganja-image-1.jpgNational Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) says it is taking action to stem the prevalence of drug use among young people by educating them.

This comes on the heels of reports that students were ingesting marijuana in candies and the recent legislative amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act, which created several opportunities for the use of marijuana in Jamaica because of the decriminalisation of small amounts of the weed.

The NCDA, with the support of the Ministry of Health, yesterday launched a public education campaign themed "Ganja: Know the Facts, Know How to Act".

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Tucker told journalists that the campaign is expected to inform the public on the boundaries of the legislation, an individual's rights and liabilities under the Act, behavioural responsibilities in the new legislative environment and the NCDA's role in supporting and protecting vulnerable populations.

He said that through the campaign, the council is hoping to reduce by 30 per cent the number of persons arrested for the possession of more than two ounces of ganja in public places and the caseload of criminal courts for ganja possession. He said the council was also hoping to see a decrease in the number of students ages 13-18 who start smoking ganja while still in school.

The director said that the NCDA was working outside of the public education programme to inform the youth.

"There is also work being done with the Ministry of Education to infuse the messaging into the health and family life education programme; and also there is a lot of work being done on the ground in the community. We're actually in communities doing town hall meetings [and] interacting with the people on the ground; meeting with the youngsters on the corner, just having discussions about what the reality is," he said.

According to the Jamaica Secondary School Survey of 2013, the overall lifetime prevalence of marijuana use in the youth population is 20 per cent, with the average age of marijuana first use being 13 years.

$2-billion owed in arrears to the NHT

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nht-arrears.jpgThe National Housing Trust (NHT) is reporting that borrowers now owe $2 billion in arrears.

The figure was disclosed at a meeting of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAC) on Wednesday.

When asked about the collection of arrears, acting Managing Director of the NHT, Martin Miller, said the entity determines whether the reason for non-payment is deliberate delinquency or the borrower facing financial challenges.

He said that the NHT has started to use debt collectors to help reduce arrears.

It was also revealed that the Housing Trust suffered a $100 million shortfall in inflows from its contributors during the last financial year.

top-cop-carl-williams.jpgPolice Commissioner Carl Williams has expressed regret at a statement made at a media briefing earlier this week where he rated his performance as head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

Commissioner Williams has stated that giving himself a performance rating of ten out of ten was not meant to be taken seriously. Speaking last night on TVJ's All Angles he acknowledged the uproar it has caused.

"I am sorry that I said it," he said, adding that "it clearly was not intended to be taken seriously."

The issue has triggered heated responses and tremendous public debate since it arose on Monday. It's argued by many that the Commissioner should not be rating his performance in that manner with the country seeing an increase in murders.

Acknowledging the validity of that criticism, the Commissioner said "I wouldn't rate myself... I would leave it to you to rate me."

The Police Commissioner sought to explain the context of the comments and his reasons for answering in that manner. He said it was a flppant response given to a flippant question and was not meant to be taken seriously.

A Constable who was a part of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller's security detail is now being investigated by the High Command for alleged involvement in the guns-for-drugs trade between Haiti and Jamaica.

Constable Kenneth Reid, who is attached to the Protective Service Unit, appeared before the Corporate Area Criminal Court on Wednesday.

Reid was charged in May after allegedly being involved in the Spanish Town based Klansman Gang.

The 23 year old cop was assigned to protect the Prime Minister's residence at the time of his arrest. His girlfriend, Kerry-Ann Smith, and another accused gang member, Sheldon Walters otherwise called "Termite," have also been charged. The three have been charged under the anti-gang legislation.

The Constable is also accused of providing information to the gang.

In court on Wednesday , investigators from the Communications and Forensic Cyber Crime Unit reported that they have recovered text messages from the constable's phone showing him receiving money transfers from Haiti. C-TOC investigators theorised that the transfers were part of the guns for drugs trade.

They requested more time to provide additional information to the court.

Defence attorney Peter Champaignie applied for bail, claiming that the authorities have failed to provide evidence linking his client to gang activity. Senior Magistrate Judith Pusey ordered that investigators provide the additional statements by next Wednesday when a bail hearing is to be held.

Intelligence sources confirmed that Reid was arrested in May, while on duty at the Prime Minister's private residence. It's understood that the requisite background checks were conducted on the policeman. However, the report did not identify anything that would have raised suspicions about Reid's antecedents.

alcohol.jpgJamaica is said to have as many bars as churches - one on every corner. When it comes to spending big bucks on advertising and marketing and the sponsorship of events targetting the 18-35 age group, alcohol companies are the big spenders.

So it's no surprise that Jamaicans are imbibing more and starting at a younger age too.

Now, the Ministry of Health has outlined plans to reduce the harmful consumption of alcohol by three per cent over the next three years.

The National Strategic and Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of non-communicable diseases has been approved by Cabinet. This was disclosed by Health Minister, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, at a National Alcohol Policy Workshop yesterday.

Quoting statistics, Dr. Ferguson said alcohol remains the most widely used substance among adolescents. Ten percent of students interviewed reported getting drunk an average three times and 12% reported consuming five or more alcoholic beverages

The Ministry plans to implement World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations for the reduction of the harmful use of alcohol. There will also be a social marketing campaign, designed to discourage harmful use and raise public awareness, especially among the youth, about alcohol-related health risks, including cancer.

Illegal radio station owner charged

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A Kingston businessman accused of operating an illegal radio station in downtown Kingston has been charged.

Christopher Hooper,37, was charged this afternoon by C-TOC with breaches of the Radio and Telegraph Control Act.

Hooper surrendered to the police on Monday, three weeks after they shut down the radio station on Tower Street. He's to appear in court on July 22.

On June 25, members of C-TOC, along with representatives from the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica and the Spectrum Management Authority, raided a building where the station, Jam Air 88.7 FM, was transmitting.

The police found the station broadcasting on automation.

It's reported that the Broadcasting Commission and the Spectrum Management Authority called in the police after the operator allegedly refused to obtain a broadcast licence.

us-50-dollar-note.jpgThe police have arrested four people in connection with the use of counterfeit US$50 notes in Highgate, Port Maria, Oracabessa, and Gayle in St Mary.

The notes bear the serial number MB25837080A and are being used mainly in supermarkets, petrol stations, and at places of entertainment in the parish, the police said.

The public has been urged to be cautious of people who attempt to use US$50 notes to carry out transactions and to make proper checks to ensure that the notes are legitimate.

At the same time, the police have appealed to people with information that can lead to the apprehension of other perpetrators in the counterfeit scheme to contact the St Mary police at 994-2452, 994-9873, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.

Joan Gordon-Welby switches from JLP to PNP

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joan-gordon-webley.jpgFormer Jamaica Labour Party Member of Parliament for East Rural St Andrew Joan Gordon-Webley has walked the floor. Gordon-Welby has switched allegiances and is now a member of the ruling People's National Party (PNP).

Speculation has been rife for almost a year that Gordon-Webley had been at loggerheads with her former political colleagues and reports emerged on Tuesday that the strong-willed politician had grabbed up her marbles and left the opposition ranks.

On Wednesday, Gordon-Webley confirmed the speculations.

"Yes I have applied for membership and have been accepted," she told Loop News.

Gordon-Webley was not sure if she would put up herself for candidacy in the representational arena.

"I am prepared to serve the party and do not necessarily have to run in a seat. We are in discussions now," she said.

As a matter of course, persons who switch from one party to the next are not assured of being automatically shoved into the representational side of party politics. Gordon-Webley was also the JLP caretaker for the South East St Andrew constituency soon after she returned to the island from abroad.

pilot-in-jail-quatar-paul-stephens.jpgAn unofficial report has emerged that 40-year-old Jamaican pilot, Paul Stephens, who had been locked up in a Qatari prison for close to three years for alleged sexual molestation of a minor, has been released.

Opposition spokesman on foreign affairs Edmund Bartlett issued a release yesterday, saying that Stephens has been freed, but up to late afternoon the foreign affairs ministry did not have any official news on this development.

Foreign Minister Senator AJ Nicholson noted that officials at the Jamaican Embassy in Kuwait had earlier this year indicated that Stephens could soon be released. Nicholson, however, explained that he would not be able to get any official word, until today, due to the time zone difference between Jamaica and Kuwait.

Bartlett, who has in recent months accused the foreign affairs ministry of not being strident enough in its submissions for Stephens's release, said it was his constant dialogue with the Qatari ambassador in the United States, Mohammed Jahan Al-Kuwari, and the diplomat's own efforts that had helped to drive the appeal.

The Opposition spokesman noted that by the time he intervened, the Government had missed two opportunities to ask for pardon for Stephens. Those opportunities would have been presented during the observance of Muslim celebrations such as Ramadan which, under Qatari customs, allow for amnesties.

world-bank.jpgThe World Bank is warning that the current warm weather around the world could push up global food prices in coming months.

The warning came even as the World Bank said bumper crops for certain agricultural produce and cheap oil drove global food prices to a five-year low at the end of May. But it said the El Nino phenomenon, rising oil prices and a stronger U.S. dollar were threatening global food prices.

The world has already seen an 18 per cent decline in the price of wheat over the eight months to the end of May.

The price of rice fell 14 per cent in the same period, while corn price declined by six per cent.

Water restriction tightened again

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In the face of a continuing rapid decline in inflows into the major Corporate Areas Water Supply Systems, the

National Water Commission (NWC) is now forced to increase its water supply restrictions to customers in the

Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) served by the Hermitage/Constant Spring, Mona, Hope and Seaview water supply systems with immediate effect.

The new water supply regime will see most areas receiving water on alternating days in a bid by the water utility to both serve as many customers as possible and stretch the dwindling supplies.

The new Water Management plan means that areas which are supplied on a Tuesday will then be supplied again on the subsequent Thursday and Saturday, and so on while the areas supplied on the Wednesday of that week will be supplied again on the subsequent Friday and Sunday. While some areas in the Corporate Area will continue to receive supplies daily either based on the system that serves them or where they are located on the network, most areas will now receive every other day. Regrettably, despite our best efforts, some areas may still encounter challenges in being supplied. The Commission will seek to serve these areas via trucks.


Rio Cobre and Constant Spring Supply

Day 1 4am to 8pm
Eastwood Park
Moreton Park
Red Hills Rd
Patrick City
Duhaney Park
Meadowbrook Estate
Central Ave
Sullivan Ave
White Hall
Chancery Hall
Mannings Hill road

Mona Filter Plant
Day 1 4am to 8pm
New Kingston
Cross Rds
Slipe Rd
Marescaux Rd
Glenmore Rd
Kingston Public Hospital
Marcus Garvey
Trench Town
West Kingston
South Camp Rd
Oxford Rd
Arthur Wint Dr

Hope Filter Plant
Day 1 4am to 8pm
Hope Pastures
Gordon Town
University Hospital
University of the West Indies
University of Technology
Upper sections of Old Hope Rd

Rio Cobre and Constant Spring Supply
Day 2 4am to 8pm
Washington Gardens
Cooreville Gardens
Red Hills, Forrest Hills, Belvedere, Kirkland
Chisholm Ave
Maxfield Ave
Seaward Dr
Cargill Ave
Balmoral Ave
Ballater Ave
Molynes Rd
Sundown Cres
Olympic Gardens
Washington Gardens
Bay Farm Rd
Seaview Gardens
Hagley Park Rd
Richmond Park
Delacree Park
Cherry Gardens

Mona Filter Plant
Day 2 4am to 8pm
East Kings House Rd
West Kings House Rd
Mountain View Ave
Deanery Rd
Norman Gardens
Rollington Town
Franklyn Town
Windward Rd
Harbour View
Port Royal
Hope Rd

Hope Filter Plant
Day 2 4am to 8pm
Mona Heights
August Town
Old Hope Rd
Beverly Hills
College Common

3 shot dead in Central Village

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gun-crime.jpgFive men were shot, three fatally, last night in Zion Hill, Central Village, St. Catherine. The attack by gunmen took place about 9 o'clock.

It's reported that the men were near a shop when they came under attack. No motive has been established for the attack.

The shooting took place hours after the police announced that financial rewards will now be provided for persons who provide information about illegal guns in their community.

The initiative, dubbed "Get the Gun", was announced by Police Commissioner, Dr. Carl Williams.

Dr. Williams said the campaign is to combat the increased availability and use of illegal guns in Jamaica.

gun-crime.jpgPersons will soon receive financial rewards for informing the police about illegal guns in their community.

The initiative entitled the "Get the Gun" Campaign was announced by Police Commissioner, Dr. Carl Williams on Monday afternoon.

The Commissioner said the campaign is to combat the increased use and availability of illegal guns in Jamaica. It will also help the police tackle the guns for drugs trade.

"This campaign is designed to intercept illegal guns coming into our country, to seize illegal guns from the hands of criminals and to ultimately to reduce the number of guns available for daily use in murders

The Get the Gun Campaign will feature a rewards scheme to encourage members of the public to provide information, systematically reducing the number of guns in murders."

He said the details of the campaign will be released in coming weeks.

Guns for Drugs trade

The Police Commissioner says the police have identified 39 syndicates involved in the guns for drugs trade between Jamaica and Haiti.

He said in the past two weeks, one of the syndicates was dismantled following the arrest of the leader who was found with a shipment of guns.

The Police Commissioner said those linked to the networks are operating in certain parishes.

"They are mostly in southern parts of Jamaica, Clarendon, St. Elizabeth , Manchester and St. Catherine but they are also present in the eastern parts of the country," he added.

The two Jamaicans and the Vincentian who were held earlier this week in Antigua and Barbuda in connection with a major drug seizure have been released.

Following 48 hours in custody, the three were released on Thursday after being questioned in relation to the seizure of more than EC$4 million worth of drugs.

According to the Antigua Observer newspaper, although the men were released, the probe will continue. It's reported that in the early morning hours of June 30, the police found more than 230 pounds of marijuana valued at EC$2.3 million and 49 kilograms of cocaine worth over $1.7 million in a house.

The drugs, which were packed in crocus bags, were confiscated, while two of the three men who were allegedly at the premises were detained.

The third man was picked up elsewhere.

adventist-logo.jpgThe mother of a fifth form student at a Seventh Day Adventist High school in Kingston is greatly concerned over the fact that her son was cheated out of prizes at the school's graduation on Sunday.

According to a YardFlex source, the youngster, who held a prominent position within the school body and has been receiving Principal's Awards continuously during his time there, was expected to receive several top prizes at graduation. However, the only prize he got was for 'most improved' in one of the sciences.

"But how him must get most improved and he always comes first in that particular subject?" the Yardflex source asked. "How him must top himself?"

According to the source, whose child also attended the school years ago, the Christian institution is "anything but". One teacher, who is now the principal of the prep school, was notorious for beating the children mercilessly when he was the Grade 6 teacher. The former prep school principal has since fled the institution to join the police force.

"They show favourtism to kids of Adventist pastors and Adventists in general. So much so, that it was a daughter of a pastor who received all the science awards. And to think that she transferred from Wolmer's Girls to that school in fifth form but was still allowed to scrape up all the science accolades. And she wasn't even at the graduation to collect the awards. What a damn shame!" she declared.

She noted that all the other top prizes were awarded to a girl who received a 2.7 GPA two years ago and has not made the honour roll since.

"That girl was selected as the valedictorian; out of nowhere she was called up to receive all the top awards, including a scholarship to the Adventist institution, NCU. As expected, that girl's family is deep in Adventism, so it's not surprising that she was chosen," the source added.

"I know that my son was cheated. I have all the proof and I intend to get justice. It's too late for my son, but I hope that nobody else's child will be a victim of this system," the mother is reported as saying.

The school is run by the East Jamaica Conference of Seventh Day Adventists in Jamaica and has a reputation for frequent visitations by demons who come in and possess students from time to time.

Cops bust car-stealing ring

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The police made a bust on a car stealing ring in St James on Wednesday.

The bust was made in the district of Roehampton.

Five vehicles, including one which was reported stolen on Tuesday night, were seized.

Police report that motor vehicle parts valued at thousands of dollars were found in bushes nearby.

No one was arrested.

US admits that it was wrong

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us-logo.jpgThe US State Department has admitted that it was incorrect with the claim that the Jamaican government monitored private online activities without appropriate legal authority.

A statement on Thursday from the US Embassy in Kingston said an inaccuracy was published in the Internet Freedom subsection of the 2014 Jamaica Country Report on Human Rights Practices.

The U.S State Department said it has corrected the report.

It said as part of the process to develop reports, the U.S government accommodates robust exchange between civil society, the media, and government leaders.

It said it welcomes feedback on the report with the objective of maintaining the most authoritative, comprehensive and factual review of the global state of human rights.

When there are inaccuracies, the Department of State said it documents the errors online and issues corrections to ensure the integrity of the reports.

$1 million reward for quadruple murderer

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Head of the St Elizabeth Police Division Superintendent Lanford Salmon says that a J$1-million reward is still being offered to anyone who assists in the arrest of Anward Hinds, otherwise called 'Kirkie'.

Hinds is said to be linked to at least seven murders in the parish from October 2014 to present, the latest being a quadruple murder in May. News of the brutal murder of four farmers - Archibald Brown, 60; his brother George Brown, 57; Maurice Sanderson, 40; and Ezra Wright, 73, in the remote community of Claremont in North West St Elizabeth, rocked the nation on May 27.

Police reports say that about eight o'clock that night, during a power outage, three of the four victims - Archibald Brown, Sanderson and Wright - were playing dominoes by candlelight at a small shop operated by Wright's granddaughter, when three armed men entered.

They are said to have pushed the young woman away and opened fire on the three men, shooting them multiple times. They died on the spot. The men reportedly encountered George Brown some distance away, shot him and slit his throat. The tragedy is suspected to have been triggered by a dispute between Wright and criminal elements, believed to be remnants of the Stone Crusher gang, operating in the mountainous terrain on the St Elizabeth/St James border.

Salmon disclosed that a joint police/military operation has been ongoing in sections of the parish, including Claremont, since last Thursday.

"We won't relent until he is captured," he said.

Salmon said that 'Kirkie', who is from Claremont and frequents St James and places in St Elizabeth such as Pisgah, Breadnut Walk and Ginger Hill, is believed to be the leader of the gang creating the unease among residents. He said that he is about 26-years-old, five feet four inches tall, may be sporting cornrows, has "duck" legs, has a wart on his left cheek, and is a bit darker than the photograph of him.

Salmon said that the two other men who were involved in the Claremont incident are still at large and even they and others of his "cronies" are "eligible" to be rewarded with the J$1 million if they assist in having the gang leader arrested.

People with information can contact 119, Crime Stop at 311, Kingfish at 811, the Black River Criminal Investigation Branch at 965-2026, or the nearest police station.

Two Jamaicans and a Vincentian were nabbed by law enforcement officials in Antigua and Barbuda with over 230 pounds of ganja and more than 49 kilos of cocaine.

The men were reportedly held early Tuesday morning, June 30, when personnel from the Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy conducted an operation in a rural community.

According to Caribbean360, an online source for Caribbean news, the ganja, which was found in crocus bags, has an estimated street value of over EC$2.3 million (US$851,851) while the wholesale value of the sealed packages of cocaine is over EC$1.7 million (US$629,629).

According to reports, the Jamaicans have been in Antigua for a while and the Vincentian recently travelled to the island. They are now facing drug charges.

Ban on the smoking of ganja while driving

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ganja-smoking.jpgMinister without portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Dr Morais Guy, said a provision is to be added to the Road Traffic Act to prohibit smoking of ganja while driving.

He said if a person smokes ganja while driving or in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place, he or she would be fined J$10,000.

"We feel that we have the obligation and the responsibility to ensure that people who are driving should not be smoking at the same time," Dr Guy said in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (June 30).

He was closing the debate on the report of the Joint Select Committee of Parliament on the Road Traffic Act, which was adopted. The Act seeks to, among other things, implement more stringent regulations to govern the use of the nation's roadways.

In his contribution to the debate, Minister of Health, Dr Fenton Ferguson, noted that impaired driving due to alcohol, and other drugs, such as ganja, must be addressed under the Bill.

"Research shows that cannabis impairs cognitive and psychomotor skills and a zero tolerance level should be adopted that prohibits the presence of any amount of drugs in the blood while driving," he said.

He noted that many countries, such as the United States of America (USA), have adopted such measures. Dr Ferguson said the passage of an improved road safety Bill is a significant step towards the protection of road users.

man-hangs-himself.jpgThe grand-daughter of a 95-year-old man from Clarendon who hanged himself says her grand-father was in agony and complained of constant pain as a result of a goiter on his neck.

"He always said he wanted to die to get relief from the pain, but none of us believed that he would do it," explained Anita Hamil. "He may be 95 but my grandfather was a strong strong man do not look are act 95 he had the best memory he was strong so I do believe he's capable of hanging himself."

Reports are that about 8:00 pm, 95-year-old Leslie Davis of Prospect Drive, Osbourne Store was found hanging by an extension cord from a tree at the back of his yard. The police were summoned and the body removed to the morgue for postmortem.

Responding to comments online that the police should investigate thoroughly to make sure that there was no foul play, Hamil said, "They are investigating it and that's my grandfather and he has a loving family that would not do such thing to him. He was sick; he was in a lot of pain days up on days he kept saying he wants to die no one knew he would do such thing; he didn't wanna suffer anymore so he ended his suffering hanging his self wasn't the right way to go about it but when he realized he might live much longer he just took his own life."

local-government-minister.jpgThe Government will be heading to the House of Representatives tomorrow with a Bill to postpone the Local Government Election.

According to the agenda for the sitting of the House e-mailed to the media this afternoon, the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation General Election (Postponement) Act and the Parish Councils General Election (Postponement) Act, will be taken through concluding stages.

Local Government Minister Noel Arscott dismissed a claim by his Opposition counterpart, Desmond McKenzie, of delay tactics in announcing the date for the polls.

The Parliamentary Opposition has been demanding that the date for the Local Government election be announced.

Cabinet has issued drafting instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel to change the legislation allowing for parish councils to serve for four years from the current three year term.

Infant School Quiz Competition

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christiana-leased-wins-infant-school-quiz-champs.jpgChristiana Leased Primary and Infant School students, in late May, walked away as champions in an Infant School Quiz Competition organised by the Manchester Parish Library.

They took the title from Mandeville Infant School who were the winners in the inaugural event last year.

Regional director for the library services in Manchester and St Elizabeth, Lorraine McLean, said that the competition is endorsed by the Ministry of Education Region 5 Early Childhood Unit.

She said that the event was conceptualised to expose the children to quiz competitions at an early age, and enable them to reap the benefits gained from participation.

"[The] setting [will] prepare their young minds for active mental exercise, which [will] improve their memories, stimulate alertness, encourage teamwork and self expression. The competition [will] also engender a love for reading, as it provided a means of revision and also heightened cultural awareness from an early age," McLean said in a news release.

Other participants in the competition this year were Bethabara Infant, Mandeville Infant and Porus Infant.

The major sponsors of the event were Sagicor Life Jamaica, Burger King, Golf View Hotel, and Three Angels Pharmacy.

obama-and-brazil-president.jpgWhen Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff learned in 2013 that the National Security Agency was listening in on her phone calls and reading her emails, she was none too pleased.

She canceled a long-planned state visit to the United States and used an address at the United Nations General Assembly to blast the United States for what she called a "totally unacceptable" violation of her country's sovereignty and accused the United States of breaking international law.

But tonight, over two years later, Rousseff will be wined and dined by President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden during a private "working dinner" at the White House. It's part of a two-day fence-mending trip and an opportunity for the two presidents to move beyond what the White House acknowledges as a "turbulent patch" between the Western hemisphere's two largest economies.

Earlier in the day, the president gave Rousseff a tour of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial, pointing out various inscriptions of King's writings and speeches as they walked along the giant stone monument.
The two leaders will participate Tuesday in a series of formal meetings and also hold a joint news conference.

Obama has found himself in this predicament often in the past two years as he has tried to restore relationships with key allies angry over the NSA surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013. The president has repaired his relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel with meetings, phone calls and even a beer after she expressed outrage about the NSA spying on her cellphone conversations.

Just last week, Obama called French President Francois Hollande to patch their relationship following reports the United States spied on him and his two predecessors. In the phone call, the president reiterated a commitment that the United States is "not targeting and will not target the communications of the French president."

This will be the second meeting for Obama and Rousseff since the NSA spying revelations in 2013. They previously met on the sidelines of the Summit of Americas in Panama in April.

But even as the two leaders attempt to move beyond the spying that damaged their relationship, the White House won't say whether Obama will formally apologize to Rousseff.

"We have not made it a practice to issue apologies related to our surveillance activities," White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said during a conference call with reporters to preview Rousseff's visit last week. "What the president has done is make changes based on our very thorough review of programs."

Rousseff's visit to the White House "signals the fact that we are moving forward in terms of our positive relationship" and will allow the two leaders to move forward on a number of "stalled" areas, Rhodes said.

The US State Department on Friday released its 2014 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

In its report for Jamaica, the US said, while the Government has not limited the use of Internet access, there are reasons to believe that private online conversations by citizens have been monitored by the Government.

"The Government did not restrict or disrupt access to the Internet or censor online content," a section of the report said under its Internet Freedom category.

"There were credible reports, however, that the Government monitored private online communications without appropriate legal authority," it read.

This, the report said, was according to the International Telecommunication Union, which stated that 38 per cent of citizens used the Internet in 2013.

State minister in the Ministry of Technology Julian Robinson has challenged US authorities to provide proof of the allegations laid against the Portia Simpson Miller-led Government.

bounty-killers-brother-mark-price-st-kitts-photo-1.jpgMark Price, the brother of dancehall artiste Bounty Killer, plead guilty to larceny of a cellular Phone in St Kitts on Monday.

Price reportedly paid a fine of EC$3,000 for the theft of the phone and EC$3,000 to the complainant.

He was arrested just before Bounty Killer and his entourage were about to board a flight from the Eastern Caribbean island.

The instrument belonged to a customer service representative who was assisting Price with his customs and immigration documents.

The woman realized that the phone was missing and attempted to call it but the calls went to voice mail.

Price was nabbed when surveillance camera footage revealed that he snatched the phone.

fire-at-wortley-home-for-girls.jpgNineteen female wards of the state are to be relocated from the Wortley Home on Constant Spring Road in St. Andrew after the facility was extensively damaged by fire on Monday afternoon.

Eight wards, who were at the home when the fire broke out were evacuated. There were no reports of injuries. The other girls were at school.

Divisional Head of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Superintendent Shaun Martin, says six units extinguished the blaze.

Meanwhile, Youth Minister Lisa Hanna said while none of the girls were physically injured, they were visibly shaken up by the incident. As a result, the CDA has deployed a team of Clinical Psychologists and Social Workers to provide emotional support to the wards.

The CDA and the Board of Management at the Wortley Home have secured temporary accommodation for the 19 girls who occupied the facility at an undisclosed location in the Corporate Area for the remainder of this week.

"Further, we have made contact with the SOS Children's Village in Stony Hill and they have indicated that they are able to accommodate the girls on a long term basis until a decision is made to permanently relocate the girls or to renovate the dorms at Wortley." Hanna said.

Chief Executive Officer of the Child Development Agency, Rosealee Gage-Grey said the CDA is moving swiftly to return a sense of normality to the girls. She added that she is grateful that there were no casualties or fatalities in this morning's incident.

The cause of the fire is still unknown and investigations into the early morning blaze are still ongoing.

Jamaica to host gay pride celebration in August

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Jamaican gays and lesbians will be staging its first Pride celebration in August, the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) has announced.

PRiDEJA 2015 will be held under the theme. "The Pride of a People: Breaking the Rules of Oppression".

JFLAG is using crowd funding site GoFundMe to raise funds for the project, noting on the website that "Every dollar raised will support our mission to bring our diverse community together for a moment of celebration."

The exact date of the celebration has not been disclosed as yet but JFLAG said "This independence festival will be attended by over 1,000 persons."

"Planned events include an opening ceremony, a symposium, a cultural show, a flash mob, sporting activities, a trade show for LGBT businesses, and a party," the lobby group said.

The event already has one high-profile supporter in the form of Jamaican recording artiste Diana King. King, who revealed she was a lesbian three years ago, took to social media on Sunday to share JFLAG's plea to the "World" to support Jamaica's first Pride celebrations.

Pride celebrations are held across the world to celebrate the LGBT community.

August is the same month as Jamaica's Independence celebrations.

bounty-killers-brother-mark-price-st-kitts.jpgBounty Killer's brother, Mark Price, in handcuffs at the RLB International Airport in St Kitts on Saturday morning.

Mark Price, the brother of dancehall deejay Rodney "Bounty Killer" Price, was arrested in St Kitts and Nevis on Saturday after allegedly being caught on camera stealing a cell phone.

According to a report in the West Indies News Network, Mark Price was part of a 10-man entourage with his famous brother at the RLB International Airport on Saturday morning, about to board a flight from St Kitts, when the incident occurred. Allegations are that the phone of an airport customer service representative went missing while she was assisting Price with his immigration form.

Call to the phone went straight to voicemail. A surveillance camera check reportedly showed Price picking up the phone from the counter as he left. Police confronted and arrested the suspect in the departure lounge.

After the phone was retrieved, it was reportedly discovered that the battery, SD and SIM card were taken out.

Mark Price is reportedly now in custody in St Kitts. His brother, Bounty Killer, who was in St Kitts for a performance, departed on a flight and headed back to Jamaica.

YardFlex was unable to get through to BOunty Killer or his representative for a comment.

Several Jamaicans deported from The Bahamas

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fred-mitchell-immigration-minister-bahamas.jpgSeveral Jamaicans were among more than 420 people deported from the Bahamas during the first 23 days of this month. Haitians comprised the majority of the deportees.

Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell has confirmed that the authorities were continuing the reparation exercise on a weekly basis and there are presently 180 people at the Detention Centre.

According to Mr. Mitchell, during the period June 1 to 23, 369 Haitians, 13 Jamaicans, eight Brazilians and 14 Cubans were repatriated.

Persons from India, Peru, Mongolia and Bangladesh were also awaiting deportation.

The Perry Christie Government has come under criticism from local and international human rights groups over its deportation policy.

Mr. Mitchell told reporters that the Department of Immigration is continuing operations to identify illegal immigrants.

us-supreme-court-upholds-same-sex-marriage-nationwide.jpgThe United States Supreme Court on Friday ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal right across the United States. In a landmark 5-4 decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, asserted that marriage is a constitutional right for all.

"No union is more profound than marriage,'' he wrote, backed by the court's four more liberal justices.

Writing one of the dissenting opinions, Chief John Roberts said the constitution "had nothing to do with it".

Before the ruling on Thursday, gay couples could marry in 37 states in addition to Washington DC.

Now the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.

Loud cheers erupted outside the court after the ruling was announced, said the BBC's Paul Blake at the Supreme Court.

The case considered by the court concerned Jim Obergefell, an Ohio resident who was not recognised as the legal widower of his late husband, John Arthur.

"It's my hope that gay marriage will soon be a thing of the past, and from this day forward it will simply be 'marriage,'" an emotional Mr Obergefell said outside the court on Friday.

The first state to allow same-sex marriage was Massachusetts, which granted the right in 2004.

In recent years, a wave of legal rulings and a dramatic shift in public opinion have expanded gay marriage in the US. In 2012, the high court struck down a federal anti same-sex marriage law.

US President Barack Obama welcomed the decision and called Obergefell to personally congratulate him and the other plaintiffs in the case.

A Police Constable Lincoln Lennon, believed to be linked to a criminal network targeting persons travelling from the Norman Manley International Airport, has been charged. Lennon was charged on Tuesday by investigators probing robberies along the Palisados main road.

Investigators say the Constable and his alleged cronies were involved in an attempted robbery last week Tuesday which resulted in a gun battle along the thoroughfare. It is reported that on June 16, at about 9:30 pm, several persons were travelling in car from Port Royal when they were intercepted by a vehicle with three men aboard.

The men attempted to rob them and this led to a shoot-out with a licensed firearm holder. The robbers sped off and the car was later found abandoned. Investigators recovered spent shells at the crime scene and this led them to Constable Lennon. He has been charged with illegal possession of a firearm, attempted robbery and shooting with intent.

The Constable, who is attached to the narcotics division, is also charged under the anti-gang legislation. Investigators are trying to determine whether the Constable is linked to a series of robberies along the airport road and is likely to face additional charges.

HIC focuses on 'healthy lifestyle'

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heart-institute-of-the-caribbean.jpgThe Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) Foundation is aimed at ensuring that all Jamaicans are able to access its services regardless of their ability to pay. Furthermore, the organisation is increasingly focused on public health awareness, motivating Jamaicans to adopt a health healthy lifestyle.

The Foundation's main initiatives include:

1. Our Community Clinic

Special prices are offered on our procedures on designated days - on Saturdays in Kingston - appointments are necessary.

2. The Free Emergency Angiogram Initiative

In honour of our 10th anniversary, we announced that we would be providing emergency angiograms, a diagnostic procedure valued at JMD 821,912.50, free of cost (conditions apply). The conditions are outlined below. The patient would only have to cover the cost of the angiokit which is JMD 47,500. This initiative is aimed at opening access to emergency cardiovascular care.

  • All patients hospitalized for a cardiac problem who are told that they need an emergency angiogram during their hospital stay
  • All patients who go to an accident and emergency and are told that they need an emergency angiogram
  • If a patient is having a heart attack or chest pain after hours (8pm -8am) and come to our 24 hour emergency chest pain centre - a physician evaluation will be provided free of cost, and if it is determined that an emergency angiogram is necessary, it will also be provided free of cost.

JUTC to reduce adult fares for the summer

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jutc-buses.jpgThe Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) says it will be slashing fares for adult passengers by $20 this summer.

In a release this afternoon, the JUTC said from Sunday, July 5 to Saturday, August 29, adults will pay $100 instead of $120 on its regular services.

It says premium and express services will not be included in the special summer fare arrangement.

According to the JUTC, all adult commuters including students between the ages of 12 and 20 in uniform, who customarily do not get concession fares during the summer months, on holidays, and weekends, will qualify for the discounted summer fare.

"This limited summer special is to induce these commuters to take our buses and experience the JUTC service," said JUTC managing director, Colin Campbell.

The JUTC says between 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 it increased its passenger load by almost six million moving from 52. 3 million in 2013/2014 to 58.2 million for 2014/2015.

Journalist David Ebanks is dead

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david-ebanks.jpgDavid Ebanks, respected Jamaican journalist of many years, has died. RJR News understand that he passed away at his St. Andrew home on Monday evening, after ailing for sometime.

David Ebanks worked at Radio Jamaica for several decades, starting in the 1950s. He worked in various capacities but distinguished himself in the News Department as RJR's Parliamentary reporter for many years. He was also a regular host on the long-running current affairs programme, Exposure.

He rose through the ranks to briefly become head of the News department, before leaving RJR in the early 1990s. Thereafter, he worked very briefly at Power 106 FM, then joined Irie FM as a reporter for more than a decade. In response to the news, the Board and management of Radio Jamaica Limited have expressed regret at the passing of David Ebanks.

The Board and management, in a statement, noted that David worked as a journalist covering both news and sports on local and overseas assignments for many years, and also served as a broadcaster on the station.

JIS website and 5 others hacked by ISIS!

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jis-website-hacked-by-isis.jpgjis-logo.jpgThe Jamaica Information Service (JIS) says five websites hosted by the organisation were also defaced after Monday night's breach of its own system. The websites are the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, GC Foster College, Social Development Commission (SDC), Houses of Parliament and Jamaica National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The GC Foster College website has been successfully restored and the others are expected to be restored shortly, JIS says.

Probable Islamic State militants hacked into the website last evening, forcing a shutdown of the site. Up to 10:00 pm Monday, people who visited the site came upon a message which read:

"Hacked by Team System Dz: I am Muslim & I love jihad. I love Islamic state (heart)"

The message also stated: "Message to all the peoples of the world and especially to governments, Islamic State List to restore the rights of Muslims who have been killed by your governments savage and unjust, Islamic state will restore dignity for Muslims. Will purge the land of the Muslims from the hypocrites infidels. It intervenes you will equip you to dwell in cemeteries. Op USA & Israel. Hackers Islamic State/.2015" Facebook".

By 10:00 pm, the landing page for the website was blank, except for a message stating "hacked by holako".

JIS reports that technical problems were experienced on the website between 9:02 pm and 9:38 pm. It was taken offline for maintenance shortly thereafter.The government agency says its web team conducted restoration and recovery procedures within four hours.

Preliminary findings reveal that the attempts of the "hactivists" at breaching the system did not result in access to sensitive information but was constrained to "surface defacement." The Agency is confirming that no data was corrupted. Cyber security teams from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Technology Ministry are assisting the web team with the investigations.

Number portability a reality at last

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In a press release Sunday, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell announced that effective 12:01 am, Monday, all systems are in place to facilitate number portability by individuals and businesses.

In this regard, both fixed-line and mobile telephone customers in Jamaica will be able to switch networks and retain their original numbers if they so desire.The first port would become possible at 9:00 am on June 22, 2015.

The release said that the minister received the update en route to the island from official business in the Russian Federation and declared that "it is with a sense of relief and satisfaction that I have received official notification that the tedious process of facilitating number portability has been successfully completed and the Jamaican consumers can now change from one telecommunications service provider to another and retain his/her original number".

He continued: "However, the greatest test is the successful implementation of each request and ultimately the satisfaction of the consumer. Like all new systems of this magnitude, there may be minor glitches, but our expectation is that if and when there is such an occurrence that this will be addressed expeditiously and at a minimal inconvenience to the consumer."

The notification was conveyed to the telecommunications minister by chairman of the Number Portability Working Group, Herman Athias, who was charged with the responsibility of monitoring and assessing the progress of the porting process on a daily basis and provides the Minister and the regulatory authorities with regular updates.

Darren Powell's assets frozen

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daren-powell.jpgThe Supreme Court has ordered that the assets of prominent businessman,former West Indies fast bowler and PNP Caretaker for North West St. Elizabeth, Darren Powell, be frozen.

His assets was ordered frozen last week Wednesday by Justice Lloyd Hibbert.

He made the order after Powell was sued for failing to make full payment after he purchased a Supermarket in Malvern, St. Elizabeth.

Documents show that the company, Quintex Limited and its director James Chin have sued Powell for damages in excess of $35-million.The lawsuit was filed in April this year.The Court order freezing Powell's assets was obtained in June.

Allegations are that in March 2012, Powell entered into a sale agreement to purchase a Supermarket from Mr. Chin's company.The agreed purchase price was $38-million.

The Supermarket was re-branded using one of Powell's middle names, Lyle. But documents supplied to the Court show that the former West Indies Cricketer has only paid over $15-million.

Mr. Chin and Quintex are alleging that Powell has attempted to avoid calls placed to him and is dodging efforts to have him pay his debt.

In his defence, Powell accepted that he entered into a sale agreement to purchase the supermarket. But he says Quintex and its Directors misrepresented to him that they owned fixtures, equipment and leasehold improvements for the property.

In November last year, PNP delegates in North West St Elizabeth selected Powell as their preferred candidate to challenge the JLP's JC Hutchinson in the next general election.

President and CEO of Canada-based company Timeless Herbal Care Courtney Betty feels that yearly tourist arrivals could surpass the three-million mark if Jamaica is promoted as a health and wellness destination, featuring marijuana.

"We... think that, by advertising Jamaica as a destination for health and wellness, which include marijuana, [we] will be able to increase the number of visitors coming to [the island]," said Betty, who is also an attorney-at-law.

"When we are talking about medical marijuana, we are talking about the food you eat, we are talking about the other aspects of it. Our company does not support smoking... it's not part of our business model. It's all of the other elements. It's clothing. There are so many pieces that this industry is going to be transformed," said Betty during an interview with the Jamaica Observer last Monday immediately after making a presentation at the 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

Betty expressed certainty that the tourism industry can benefit hugely from medical marijuana as the island is already famous for the herb.

"Jamaica is already internationally known for marijuana, even though we [Timeless Herbal Care] are now looking at the medical side, we see many products that can be integrated into our spas and into our tourism experience. So we are working with the hotels and also with the tour guides to implement a programme to add this as another element of marketing Jamaica's tourism," disclosed the Jamaican-born Betty who once held a senior position at the Fair Trade Commission.

Jamaica seeks EU visa waiver

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aj-nicholson.jpgForeign Affairs Minister, Senator AJ Nicholson today told the Senate, that Jamaica will be seeking a visa waiver from the European Union for Jamaicans to travel to the region.

He was responding to questions from Opposition Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte.

In May, the EU signed short-stay visa waiver agreements with 5 Caribbean countries, including, St. Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

The agreement will allow the nations to travel to EU visa-free, for a period 90 days in any 180-day period.

Citizens of the EU will also be able to travel to any of the nations without visa requirements.

Shame and scandal in the PNP family?

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comrades-raymond-pryce.jpgWhat a bangarang tek place at Braes River over the weekend with the comrades!!! Seems like a certain comrade wants to overthrow young turk, Raymond Pryce, but he has party backers who will have none of it.

Councillor Errol Hummingbird (Ipswich Division of St Elizabeth North Western) was one person at the meeting at Braes River who made it clear that his backing was for Pryce.

"It is about time Comrades... We need to reason. What is it about the young man that you don't like? Yuh say him is a liar. All a we a damn liar...," he roared.

Hummingbird said some followed the crowd and crucified Christ, noting that, similarly, Pryce is being "pushed out", and some residents who are doing so are without a valid reason for their action.

"It's time for a showdown now. Raymond dem coming after yuh and dem coming after mi too, but let them come. I am not afraid. If this is the end of my career then so be it. I will go down in a flame of glory, not with my head between my knees," he passionately declared.

Hummingbird is set to be replaced by Mugabe Waite as the councillor candidate in his division. Waite is brother of Basil Waite, an ex-senator and former candidate for the St Elizabeth North Eastern.

Minister of Youth and Culture and Member of Parliament for St Ann South Eastern Lisa Hanna, who was guest speaker at the conference, said that Pryce is one of the young Comrades that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller in her "wisdom" chose to represent the party.

She urged supporters to exercise discipline in their dealings, particularly as children were in the room and media personnel. Hanna cautioned Comrades to refrain from using the public forum to address the particular issues.

Police 'death squad' probe intensifies

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court.jpgThe Independent Commission of Investigations, INDECOM's high profile probe into a death squad which is alleged to have operated within the Police Force has expanded beyond Clarendon.

In 2012, INDECOM had indicated that its investigation was limited to the Clarendon Police Division.' Eleven Policemen attached to the Clarendon division are currently before the court in connection with INDECOM's probe.

Source says INDECOM's investigation into the organized killing of unarmed criminal suspects by a team of Police personnel is not limited to Clarendon. It's understood that Police personnel in parishes, including St. Mary and St. Andrew are now under scrutiny.

Yesterday, Police Constable, Sherwood Simpson, who was accused of being part of a team of Policemen who forced an unarmed man into bushes, shot him and left him for dead was convicted in the Gun Court.

In 2013 when he was charged by INDECOM, Constable Simpson was based in St. Mary. Evidence heard in Simpson's case is similar to allegations in several of the cases INDECOM currently has before the Court in which Policemen in Clarendon are accused.

The Court was told that the complainant, Rayon Mahoney, who was on a gun charge for which he was later acquitted, reported to the Police Station in Castleton. Constable Simpson was said to be among a team of Police personnel who intercepted Mahoney shortly after he left the Police Station and carried him into bushes.

Mahoney was shot by one of Simpson's colleagues while Simpson stood nearby and watched to ensure there was no civilian witness to the criminal act.

But Mahoney survived to give evidence in Court and testified that it was Constable Simpson who gave his police colleague clearance to shoot him by saying - 'yow finish him off'.

While prosecutors summed up evidence against him in Court yesterday, Constable Simpson wept. He's to be sentenced next week.

Doctor on sexual assault charge

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A 53 year old medical doctor based in St. Ann is in police custody charged with the sexual assault and attempted rape of an employee.Hewas scheduled to appear in court on Friday.

The doctor was arrested on Wednesday by a team from the Kingston branch of the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).He was later charged in connection with the incident which allegedly took place in January this year.

The doctor has been charged with grievous sexual assault and attempted rape. It's alleged that the incident took place during the woman's first day on the job at the doctor's private practice.

Investigators assigned to the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch (CTOC) have widened their probe into Friday morning's major gun and ammunition seizure in Hellshire, St. Catherine.

Five men were arrested in what is believed to be a gun smuggling operation on the island's south coast.

Sources say investigators theorize that the seizure of nine handguns and 700 rounds of ammunition is linked to the guns for drugs trade.

The men were travelling in a vehicle from St. Elizabeth when it was intercepted on Municipal Boulevard by a team from CTOC.

Public to be educated on responsible ganja use

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ganja-use.jpgThe Jamaican government says it will be undertaking a public education programme to discourage irresponsible ganja use and protect the vulnerable.

Justice Minister, Senator Mark Golding said that the National Health Fund (NHF) and the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) have finalised the details of the programme, which is expected to get underway soon. Golding was addressing a town hall meeting Tuesday at the St Luke's Anglican Church in Cross Roads, St Andrew.

He said that the campaign will discourage ganja use by children, pregnant women, and people who have certain mental disorders. "They shouldn't be using it (ganja)," he emphasised.

Under the Dangerous Drugs Act the capacity of the NCDA has been strengthened to take action with respect to vulnerable groups.

The minister said that the council will also be undertaking training of the police to deal with people who may appear to be dependent on ganja. He reminded the public that smoking of ganja in public spaces, or within five metres of such areas is prohibited, in a manner similar to cigarettes.

"You must show due respect for others, and not smoke in a public space where others may be," he said.

Public spaces include the workplace, and any place for use of, or is accessible to the public such as sidewalks, bus stops, restaurants, offices, educational institutions, pharmacies, hospitals, areas used by children, supermarkets, and parks.

The town hall meeting was held to explain and address concerns by the public on the amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, commonly referred to as the Ganja Law.

The legislation makes possession of two ounces or less of ganja a non-criminal but ticketable offence.

1 escapee caught; 8 others still on the run

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One of nine detainees who escaped from the Savanna-la-mar Police lock up in Westmoreland early on Thursday night has been recaptured.

Oshane Blair was held on premises near the police station.

The other men, including murder suspects, remain on the run. They are Junior James, Richard Kerr, Romain Esson, Odane Brown, Carlington Godfrey, Alton Maxwell, Steve Vassell and Kicoy James. A statement from the police says Esson, who is 21 years, was charged with murder and shooting with intent.

Maxwell, who is from Naggo Head, St. Catherine was facing charges of murder, illegal possession of a firearm and escaping police custody

The other murder suspect, is thirty-three-year-old Steve Vassell otherwise called 'Strength', of Shortwood Road, Kingston 8.

It's reported that the men escaped by digging a hole in the ventilation area in the roof.

Charleston shooter arrested

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charleston-shooter-arrested.jpgDylann Storm Roof, the man who allegedly entered a South Carolina church last night and massacred nine people at their weekly bible study meeting, has been escorted in prison stripes onto a plane to be extradited from North Carolina.

The 21-year-old was arrested shortly before noon on Thursday in Shelby, NC, 250 miles north of the targeted church in Charleston, SC.

At 6.20pm local time he was seen in a jumpsuit, chains, handcuffs and a bullet-proof vest being chaperoned by dozens of armed police officers on to an airplane at Shelby-Cleveland County Regional Airport bound for South Carolina.

Survivors of the massacre claim Roof sat in the room for over an hour before standing up and saying: 'You rape our women and you're taking over our country. And you have to go.'

He was detained after a member of the public spotted his car and called 911. Police say he surrendered without contest and was taken into custody when an officer approached his black Hyundai.

'In America, we don't let bad people like this get away,' said Charleston Mayor, Joseph P. Riley, Jr. at a press conference announcing the arrest.

Men plead guilty to lottery scam involvement

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court.jpgTwo men pleaded guilty to their involvement in the lottery scam when they appeared in the St. Elizabeth Circuit Court.

They are auto mechanic Triston Tomlinson, 20 and Domar Robinson,21, both of Bigwoods in Darliston, Westmoreland.

The men are charged with knowingly possessing identity information.

The court has ordered a social enquiry report and sentencing is set for June 26.

On January 2 last year members of the St. Elizabeth Proactive Investigation Unit were on patrol along High Street in Black River when they observed two men acting suspiciously.

Both men were accosted and found to possess identity information of persons living in the US.

court.jpgA policeman from St Ann, Sergeant Orden Nelson, who was accused of beating a prisoner in custody breaking his arm in the process three years ago, was arrested and charged by INDECOM on Thursday morning.

Nelson was taken before the St Ann's Bay Criminal Court where he was offered bail in the sum of J$150-thousand .He's charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.

INDECOM reported that in 2012, Sergeant Nelson arrested the complainant, Luke Murray, for using indecent language.This led to a tussle between the two after Mr Murray allegedly resisted arrest.

Nelson called for reinforcement and Murray was taken to the St Ann police station.It's alleged that the policeman used a baton to beat Murray, breaking his arm.

INDECOM investigated the matter and ruled that there was no justification for the beating.

In court defence attorney Oswest Senior Smith said his client strongly denied the allegations and insisted that the report given to INDECOM by Mr Murray was false.

Nelson is to return to court on July 17.

A father and son duo who robbed a shop in Guy's Hill, St Catherine, didn't fare too well at all. The get-away vehicle crashed not far from the scene of the crime and residents pounced upon the duo, beating the father to death, even as the son escaped.

However, his luck was short-lived because his mother subsequently marched him to the police station. The man was handed over to the police about 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday by his mother. Investigators said that further investigation will be conducted with a view to charge the accused man. He is expected to be charged with robbery.

Reports are that on Monday, about 6:30 a.m., the accused and his father, Egetan Taylor, reportedly robbed a shop in the rural farming community.They escaped in a Fiat Uno motor car which overturned at Tavern Hill, Guy's Hill.

An angry mob descended on the men and Taylor was beaten and chopped to death in the process.

The suspect, who is now in custody, managed to escape and was been sought by the police.

Yah So NOT so nice for Potential Kidd

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potential-kidd-everything-govern.jpgDeejay Potential Kidd made his name with the gimmicks tune 'A Yah So Nice', but the truth is that yahso really not so nice for the kid. He is listed as 'WANTED' by the police

Cops say they are seeking the deejay for questioning in relation to the ongoing violence in the Trench Town area of western Kingston.

The western Kingston police, who have seen an upsurge of violence in the division in recent weeks, have since listed the dancehall artiste as a person of interest.

The artiste, born Dwayne Taylor, is of a Trench Town address, and was listed among 34 other persons following last week's shooting of four people in Coronation Market, which the police say is linked to a break-in at a wholesale owned by a popular Tivoli Gardens family.

On Monday, a man was killed and a woman injured behind the Kingston Public Hospital, and the police theorise these recent incidents of crime and violence are linked to an ongoing fight between gangs.

According to head of the western Kingston police division, Senior Superintendent Cornwall 'Bigga' Ford, Potential Kidd "is influencing the violence in Trench Town."

He further stated an illegal firearm that was purchased in the community had been confiscated by thugs and is believed to be the root of the problem.

Ford said police intelligence operatives are checking the information received and the entertainer will be questioned in relation to this information.

The police requested those listed as persons of interest to turn themselves in to the police as of 8 a.m. yesterday.

A few have reportedly complied, however, up to late yesterday afternoon, Potential Kidd had not turned himself in to the police.

Potential Kidd is known for songs like A Yah So Nice and Everything Govern.

Bike thieves rob $700,000 from businessman

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Bike robbers who have been staging robberies in the Corporate Area over the last week, struck again on Monday, stealing more than J$700,000 from a businessman along Lyndhurst Road in the afternoon.

It's reported that shortly after midday, the businessman parked his Toyota Rav 4 in front of the JUTC depot to have lunch at a nearby restaurant when two men on bike rode up. They smashed the back window of the vehicle and removed a bag with the cash.

It is reported that the men had trailed the businessman from a nearby cambio.

Over the last week, men on bikes have been attacking persons after they conducted transactions at financial institutions in the Half-Way-Tree area.

A policewoman and a female auto parts dealer were robbed of a combined $400,000 in separate attacks on Friday by men on motor bikes.

Ganja Business Clinics

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The Cannabis Development and Promotions Secretariat comprised and coordinated by The Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Institute

The Ganja Growers and Producers Association (formerly the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association) & The National Alliance for the Legalization of Ganja will host a business clinic at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Wednesday.

Introduction to Cannabiz


(1) to explain the Dangerous Drug (2015) Amendment Act and the role and function of the Cannabis Licensing Authority.

(2) to expose our members in particular to the wide range and variety of cannabis plants / strains and products that the regulated cannabis industry entails, how to get started, which support agencies exists and to link them with potential cooperatives, partners, local and international investors.

Upon hearing the news of a police raid on bleaching products, bleachers have refused to bow.

"More bleaching cream deh bout."

"Is a good ting seh me stock up."

"Bleaching nah stop no matter what them try," are some of the comments from hardcore male and female bleachers who swear by the bleaching products and spend thousands of dollars annually to achieve their 'browning' complexion.

On the weekend, cops from the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC).reportedly seized more than 2,000 bottles of bleaching cream in various locations within the Corporate Area. No one was arrested in connection with the seizures.

Assistant commissioner of police, (ACP) Devon Watkis, revealed that after a series of investigations, a raid had been launched to seize the highly coveted creams.

The raid was carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Health.

It is well known that prolonged skin whitening, popularly referred to as bleaching, can lead to lethal health risks.

Some of these dangerous skin fairness cocktails contain steroids, hydroquinone and tretinoin among others and are likely to cause skin cancers, permanent pigmentation, and liver damage.

Although he gave the gunmen who had invaded his home in the dead of night the cash they demanded, 47 year-old Rohan Bent, was still shot and killed.

Bent was at his Clarendon home with other people about 2:00 am Monday when four gunmen gained entry to his home by placing a ladder against an open upstairs window and barged in.

They held Bent at gunpoint and demanded cash and the whereabouts of a safe.

He yielded to their demands and gave them the cash he had in his possession, however he never gave up any information about a safe.

Angered, the gunmen shot him repeatedly before ransacking the house. When their search for a safe came up empty handed, the gunmen relieved the other occupants of the house of their cellular phones before leaving them cowering in fear.

Some persons in the area said they saw a white car leaving the community with a ladder on top.

Please stop exporting cocaine in fried fish!

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cocaine-in-fried-fish.jpgThe story of a 38-year-old woman arriving on a flight from Jamaica to Miami last weekend packed with cocaine-laced fried fish is disturbing on many levels.

Fried fish is one of the delicacies that Jamaican living abroad look forward to. Fish fried in Jamaica has a special taste and flavour that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Many Jamaican who are stuck in foreign lands look forward to a piece of fried fish and breadfruit in the worse way.

So it's not fair for drugs smugglers to abuse this in such a way. UScustoms are now going to target every fried fish for drugh from now on. As soon as they detect fried fish, they are just going to dump it.

Come on smugglers, have a heart when trying to be creative. Don't spoil up we fried fish thing like that man.

According to the police report, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents at the Miami International Airport seized over 2 pounds of cocaine concealed inside fried fish Saturday in the luggage of the passenger, whose name has not been released.

During an X-ray examination of the passenger's luggage, CBP OFO officers at the airport noticed anomalies in some of the cooked fish. Upon further examination the officers observed that the bellies of some of the fish were sewn together and certain fish felt thicker than the rest. CBP OFO officers discovered approximately 2.3 pounds of cocaine and subsequently seized the illicit substance.

man-nephew-counterfeit-notes.jpgThe popular saying 'guh mek some money' has taken on a literal meaning even as the Manchester police have confirmed that two men were charged for possession of and manufacturing counterfeit notes.

The men have been identified as Paul Graham, 60, and his 30-year-old nephew, Tyrone Graham.

According to police reports, members of the Proactive Investigation team, acting on information, went to their home in Union district, Hatfield, Manchester, about 8:00 pm, and found the men making the fake money.

The total sum seized, including some partially made notes, was J$72,000.

The counterfeit notes were seized on Monday.

Additionally, a printer, sheets of parchment paper, ink cartridges, a stencil knife, and a ruler that were used in the process, were seized by the police.

The police say that the younger Graham was released from jail late last year after serving six months for a similar offence.

The two men are suspected to be part of a larger network that is manufacturing counterfeit notes in the parish.

ganja-licence.jpgThe Ministry of Justice has scheduled a town hall meeting aimed at raising awareness of the amendments made to the Dangerous Drugs Act, often referred to as 'the Ganja Law' at the St Luke's Anglican Church Hall in Cross Roads, Kingston, Wednesday evening.

The ministry said that the meeting will seek to address misconceptions held by the public about the law relating to the possession of ganja and will provide an opportunity for questions on the controversial subject.

Topics to be discussed include the possession of ganja, use of ganja as a sacrament and cultivation for personal and medicinal/therapeutic use.

Presenters include Minister of Justice, Senator Mark Golding; director, Criminal and Civil Justice Administration Division, Kathlene Arnold; and Legal Officer at the Justice Ministry Jamila Simms.

The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act was brought into operation on April 15 this year making possession of two or less ounces of ganja a ticketable offence.

Additionally, the Bill prohibits the smoking of ganja in public places, and makes provisions for the granting of licences, and permits to enable the establishment of a regulated industry for ganja for medical, scientific, and therapeutic uses.

It also provides for the creation of a Cannabis Licensing Authority.

Ponzi schemes on the rise again

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A re-emergence of unregulated investment schemes which have been trying to solicit business from local investors has caught the attention of the police with initial checks being carried out into their operations.

The matter is being handled by the Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch, C-TOC. Two weeks ago the Financial Services Commission, FSC, issued an advisory cautioning investors about solicitations by International Financial Services Limited which it said is not licensed to sell securities in Jamaica.

The spotlight is also on another entity, World Ventures Holdings. Head of C-TOC, Assistant Commissioner Devon Watkis, last night said the police have taken preemptive steps.

The FSC says members of the public should verify the registration of any entity or individual offering an investment opportunity by checking the Commission's website.

The Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit is advising members of the public to be cautious when purchasing meat in Riversdale, St. Catherine, following the slaughter of two pregnant cows on a farm in the community.

According to the unit, pregnant animals must not be slaughtered unless inspected by a registered veterinary surgeon, who certifies that the meat is fit for consumption. Head of the Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Francis, says there are also instances where the carcasses are transported in unsanitry conditions and this poses health risks.

Francis has urged members of the public with information on the slaighter of the cows in Riversdale to contact investigators as soon as possible.

GSAT results Wednesday

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gsat-results-2015.jpgThe Ministry of Education says the results for this year's sitting of the Grade Six Achievement Test, GSAT, will be released to all Regional Offices on Wednesday.

In a release this morning, the Education Ministry said principals are asked to liaise with their respective Regional Offices to collect their packages commencing at 2pm.

It says this is to facilitate easy access and to quickly indicate to parents and students all placements following the sitting of the examination.

38,470 students were registered to sit this year's GSAT examination which took place on March 26 and 27.

diaspora-conference.jpgMembers of the Diaspora and Jamaicans at home will gather at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in St James, from June 13 to 18, to participate in the sixth staging of the Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference.

Activities will include a business and cultural exposition, a range of meetings to address investment opportunities and social activities, culminating with a Diaspora Day of Service.

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

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

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, tells JIS News that the last staging saw a record number of diaspora members in attendance. He is hoping the number will increase in 2015.

"Our intent is to have 1,000 local participants and hopefully, we will have an equal amount from the Diaspora in attendance at the conference," he says.

Since its inception in 2004, the event has grown, and in 2013 more than 1,500 participants attended the conference.

He notes that efforts are being made to increase the turnout through the deliberate targeting of the Diaspora outside of the traditional areas of the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Canada.

Since the conference was officially launched in February 2015 by Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, Mr. Brown says several others have been held to promote it overseas, noting that the first international launch was held at the St. Georges Episcopal Church, in New York.

"Consequent upon the New York launch, we launched in Canada from the 12th of April to the 19th of April. There were launches in Toronto, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal and all launch events have gone fairly well," he adds.

So far, over 1000 persons have registered for the conference.

bigga-ford.jpgHead of the Kingston Western Police Division, Senior Superintendent Cornwall 'Bigga' Ford, believes a recent break-in at a wholesale on Spanish Town Road is behind Thursday's shooting in West Kingston

SSP Ford says four persons were shot in the Coronation Market and one in Tivoli Gardens near to Darling Street. He warned that police would be pulling out all the stops to capture those responsible.

"I just want to use the opportunity to let Jamaica know what is happening in the area," said Ford.

"In the last five weeks the division was peaceful and quiet. These latest attacks are in retaliation to a recent incident where the wholesale of a well-known businessman was robbed," the senior cop added.

Police said more than $1 million worth of items were stolen from the business.

"Since this incident there have been a series of attacks, which have so far claimed the life of one person," Ford told the Observer.

He said that in response to the developments police have not only increased their presence in the area but have also identified some of the individuals who they believe are key players in the ongoing feud.

He says all five are at hospital.

Copyright Act debate continues

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copyright.jpgCopyright stakeholders will be watching today's Parliamentary debate closely on the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to increase protection for Jamaica's copyright holders.

One of the main issues being discussed is the extension of copyright protection from the life of the author plus 50 years, to the life of the author plus 95 years from the end of the calendar year in which it was made.

The Bill also notes that the current Copyright Act does not explicitly protect intellectual property rights over digital networks.

"Without clear protection in the digital environment, e-commerce activities in Jamaica by musicians, performers, publishers and authors would be at risk, and the right holders would not be able to derive the potential revenue from this stream of commerce provided by the Internet," the Bill's memorandum of objects and reasons points out.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton thinks that the copyright industry has potential for economic growth and the creation of wealth across all sections of the society.

14-year-old killed by gunmen

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Gunmen reportedly shot four males, killing a 14-year-old and another, in the Malcolm Heights community of Lucea, Hanover early this morning.

Reports are that the four were asleep in a house in the area when gunmen broke in and shot them.

The injured men have reportedly been admitted to hospital in serious conditions.

The police's Corporate Communications Unit has confirmed the incident but said the scene is still being processed.

A woman has been taken into custody as the police investigate a narcotics trafficking ring which reportedly involves one of their colleagues.

A 43-year-old constable, who has been a member of the Force for 20 years, was held on Sunday during a raid involving MOCA.

The constable, who is assigned to the Kingston Central Division, is facing drug charges. A statement from MOCA said the woman was arrested after the cop was taken into custody.

According to reports, the constable was stopped by a MOCA team while travelling on the Palisadoes main road. He was en route to the Norman Manley International Airport. His vehicle was searched and ganja along with US$7- thousand and more than J$100-thousand reportedly seized. Investigations led MOCA detectives to a house in St. Catherine.

During a search of the premises in Bridgeport, ganja and cash were seized and the woman taken into custody.

18-year-old charged with bestiality

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court-bestiality.jpgMany persons lost their composure in the Spanish Town RM Court on June 9, when it was announced that an 18-year-old man from Milk River, Clarendon, had been charged with bestiality.

Reports are the teenager was doing construction work in Old Harbour, when he was allegedly caught having sex with a goat "wheel barrow" style.

When the allegation was read out in open court, the usually stern-faced RM Lyle Armstrong had a smile on her face. It took a few minutes before order could be returned to the proceedings.

The accused was granted bail in the sum of $80,000 with 1 to 3 sureties.

He is to report to the Old Harbour Police on Tuesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 6 a.m and 6 p.m.

Cocaine Ras begs judge for mercy

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court-bestiality.jpgA Rastafarian man who was caught trying to export a quantity of cocaine was slapped with fines and imprisonment when he appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's (RM) Court Monday.

Charged with possession, dealing, taking steps to export and conspiracy to export is Bentley Lewis.

He pleaded guilty to all charges.

The court was told that when Lewis was cautioned, he said, "Yes, mi know a coke Is a man give me fi go foreign."

Senior RM Judith Pusey asked the accused: "Why shouldn't you go to jail for this?"

He said: "Mi a beg yuh likkle leniency, beg yuh likkle mercy. When I was doing what I did I did not think of the consequences."

The court heard that the drug weighed one pound, six ounces.

Lewis was fined $150,000, or six months for possession; $250,000, or six months

for dealing; $350,000, or eight months for attempting to export, plus 12 months for conspiracy. If the fines are not paid, the sentences are to run concurrently, but consecutive to the 12- month sentence.

A fingerprint order was also made against Lewis.

8-year-old commits suicide; found hanging

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shocked.jpgA family is in mourning following a child's suspected suicide at his home in Gordon Town, St Andrew on Tuesday.

The deceased is Chad Robinson of Dublin Castle in the community. He reportedly went missing around 9pm. He was later found hanging by his shoelaces from a ladder in the yard.

The Gordon Town police was summoned and the body was removed.

mothers-enterprise-operator.jpgThe operator of Mother's Enterprise, Richard Foreman, was arrested and charged on Thursday by the Fraud Squad.

Foreman has been charged with creating public mischief after allegedly filing a false report to the police.

It's reported that last year, the 56 year old businessman gave CARMAX Limited a vehicle to sell.

Following the collapse of the car dealership, Foreman went to the Half-Way-Tree Police Station last month and reported the vehicle stolen.

An investigation was conducted and it was discovered he had filed a false report.

Foreman, who is represented by attorney, Peter Champagnie, has been released on J$200-thousand station bail.

He's booked to appear before the Corporate Area Criminal Court on July 15.

Shooting in downtown Kingston leaves 4 injured

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A section of downtown Kingston is tense following a shooting in the busy market district, which left four persons injured.

Reports are that armed men travelling in a car went to Lizard Town, near Coronation Market, where they shot and seriously injured a man, known only as "Bigga". Three other persons were shot in the attack, but their conditions are not known.

Senior Superintendent Cornwall "Bigga" Ford, head of the Kingston Western Police, has appealed for calm in the area.

"With support of the police high command I have put all the resources necessary in that location, he said"

According to Superintendent Ford, the shooting stemmed from a recent break-in at a store. This reportedly led to the shooting death of a man from West Kingston.

shanique-myrie.jpgShanique Myrie who made headlines by taking the Barbados Government to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) after she was denied entry is entering representational politics.

Peoples' National Party (PNP) insiders confirmed that Myrie has been given the nod to represent the PNP in the next Local Government elections.

On Sunday at the PNP's Olympic Gardens Divisional Conference,delegates endorsed her application to represent the party.The incumbent is the Jamaica Labour Party's Christopher Townsend.

A recommendation regarding Miss Myrie was presented at Wednesday night's monthly Constituency Executive meeting.

A source said it is now left to the Party's Region Three executive to ratify Myrie's application.

In a landmark ruling the six-member CCJ panel ruled that Myrie was wrongfully denied entry by Barbados border officials in March 2011.

She was awarded damages after she filed a lawsuit claiming she was subjected to a dehumanising cavity search by a female immigration officer.

14-y-o-student-executed-leon-grant.jpgThe double murder on Tuesday of 14-year-old Leon Grant and 20-year-old unemployed Travis 'Shane' McKenzie, both of Malcolm Drive, Lucea, has brought to 14 the number of homicides recorded by the Hanover police since the start of the year.

The brutal slaying of the Rhodes Hall High School student and his brother during a pre-dawn attack at their home in Lucea on Tuesday has left the community in shock and the school in mourning. At Rhodes Hall High School, traumatised staff members and students were fighting to come to grips with the tragedy.Principal Loreen Aljoe said the slain teen possessed leadership qualities.

"He was assisting because I guess he had that kind of leadership quality about him. He is a leader. The others looked up to him. So for us it's a loss. We never got the opportunity to see Leon graduate," Aljoe lamented.

She said Leon was well-liked by his peers and the teaching and ancillary staff.

"When we came this [Tuesday] morning we had teachers crying, students crying, everybody, because

Leon was a popular student here. So everybody knows Leon," said Aljoe.

She explained that Leon was one of the school's success stories, having drastically changed for the better since grade seven following the intervention of teachers.

The incident occurred about 2:00 am Tuesday, when masked men kicked open the front door to the home and started shooting.

Leon was hauled outside the house and shot execution style, even as his mother hurled a hammer at his killers, a police source explained.

This led the detectives to surmise that McKenzie may have been the target of the attack because the shooters did not attempt to harm his mother when she went to her son's assistance.

Investigators later removed spent shells, fired from AK-47 and M-16 rifles, .9mm and .45 pistols, from the scene.

Meanwhile, the Hanover police have taken one man into custody in connection with the murders. Investigators have linked the murders to the multi-million-dollar lottery scam targeting United States citizens, most of them elderly.

Their 24-year-old sister and stepfather have being treated for gunshot wounds sustained during the shooting.

An incident on Labour Day in which a car belonging to a family member was shot up foreshadowed Tuesday's attack.

direct-flights.jpgA new direct flight from Ireland to Jamaica will be added for summer 2016, according to the tourism Ministry.

The flight, added through Falcon Holidays and Thomson Holidays, both part of the Tourist Union International (TUI) Group, is as a result of continuous upward trends in stopover visitor arrivals from Europe. The European Conglomerate TUI Group, has been helping to drive significant growth out of the European market, the ministry says.

Making the announcement Saturday at the 54th annual general meeting of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Dr Wykeham McNeill said TUI will roll out its new charter programme from Dublin, Ireland using a Thomson Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Beginning June 2016, the service will run six flights weekly with holiday packages running for two weeks, thereby adding an additional 12, 222 room nights for the destination.

"We have TUI's assurance that should this short programme be successful they will consider expanding into the following summer," Minister McNeill noted.

He had more good news of increased airlift out of Europe later this year. Commencing November 29, Ving, a subsidiary of Thomas Cook Nordic, will operate new service from Gothenburg, Sweden via Oslo Norway, to Montego Bay.

Also, commencing mid-December the fortnightly service, which TUI Sweden operated from Stockholm to Montego Bay last winter, will be doubled to weekly flights for the 2015/16 winter season, the release stated.

The ministry explained that the renewed thrust in Europe is bolstered by the fact that arrivals from January to April 2015 out of that market went up by 9.1 per cent over the corresponding period last year, with a total of 95,177 stopover visitors gracing Jamaica's shores.

Zika virus spreads from Brazil to Dom Rep

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zika-virus.jpgAs the Jamaican authorities put preventive measures in place for the zika virus, the Dominican Republic is reporting that it has recorded its first case of the mosquito-borne illness.

A 12-year-old girl from Puerto Plata has become the first person to contract the virus in that country. According to a newspaper report, the patient is hospitalised in a private clinic in the northern city. No further information on her condition has been revealed.

A month ago the Brazilian media reported on a number of zika virus infections in Bahia state and other places. The virus is transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The main clinical symptoms in patients are fever, conjunctivitis, muscle pain and a rash.

Jamaica's Ministry of Health has been urging persons to eliminate mosquito breeding sites to prevent the Zika virus from reaching Jamaica.

A Detective Constable suspected of being involved in a major drug network,was arrested Sunday morning during a sting operation along the Palisadoes Main Road in Kingston.He is a 20-year veteran of the Police Force,

It's understood that investigators from Major Organised Crime and Anti-corruption agency MOCA intercepted the constable's vehicle and seized more than 19 parcels containing ganja.A large quantity of US currency was also allegedly seized in the vehicle.

Investigators theorised that the policeman was travelling to the Norman Manley International Airport to drop off the shipment of ganja.It's understood that MOCA moved in on the policeman after placing him under surveillance.

His St Andrew home was also raided as part of a drug trafficking and money laundering investigation.

Head of the St James Police Division, Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor, says the shooting of a parent at a school in the parish on is linked to lottery scamming. Sheldon Dennis, 28, was killed because of a dispute over the proceeds from the illegal scamming activity.

Cops have since arrested a man in connection with Friday morning's murder of Dennis, a parent at the St Mary's Preparatory and Kindergarten School. Reports are that Dennis had arrived at the institution to drop off his two children when he was chased by gunmen and shot repeatedly.

Students and school staff have been severely traumatised by the incident which caused classes to be suspended for the day.

prime-minister-portia-simpson-miller-photo-3.jpgThe high death toll on the roads has been a cause of concern for Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller who urged Jamaicans to take greater personal responsibility for road safety, even as the Government implements strategic measures to make the use of the nation's roads safer for all.

Since January 1 this year, 150 people have died in road crashes, a figure which represents an increase of nine more deaths when compared to the corresponding period last year.

Addressing the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association's (JGRA) National Road Safety Month launch, at Coore's Fesco service station in Angels, St. Catherine, Simpson Miller said that as part of efforts to reduce road crashes Government will be updating the Road Traffic Act and continue to carry out various public awareness campaigns.

She said the Government is also looking at implementing more electronic surveillance systems in order to curb speeding and the running of red lights.

She also said that it will take the combined efforts of all Jamaicans to reverse the developing trend of increased deaths due to road crashes.

"The most direct and effective action to improve road safety is personal responsibility by road users," she said.

lisa-hanna-photo-3.jpgMinister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna was on Sunday night hospitalised after a car crash on the Spanish Town leg of Highway 2000.

According to reports, Hanna was travelling in a Toyota Corolla motorcar which crashed after trying to swerve out the way of the scene of another accident. Her driver was also injured.

Hanna is said to be suffering from chest pains after the air bag opened on impact. She was taken to hospital by security minister Peter Bunting who was also coming from an event where Hanna was in attendance.

The Youth and Culture Minister took to social media to thank well wishers. She also shared a photo of the mangled remains of the vehicle involved in the accident.

"Thank you for the concern. There was an existing accident on the highway and the cars had no lights, we swerved out of the way. God is great! I was on the passenger side in the front. P and I were able to walk out of the car and taken to the hospital," she said.

Hanna was said to have undergone x-Ray examination and CT scans.

She is expected to be released from hospital on Monday.

Reports reaching YardFLex are that a member of the Jamaica COnstabulary Force recently attacked his girlfriend and removeD one of her body parts because he became suspicious that she was cheating on him.

According to various accounts of the incident, the policeman from Portland was having an affair with the woman, but things apparently went sour because he became suspicious of her activities, which he linked to infidelity.

The cop reportedly reached breaking point recently and proceeded to cut out the woman's vagina and douse her with a substance similar to acid.

Please note that the picture below is very graphic.


Lottery scammer arrested in Kingston

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Police attached to the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch (C-TOC) arrested a man on suspicion of being a lottery scammer in Kingston on Thursday.

According to the police, the man, whose identity is being withheld pending further investigation, was detained on suspicion of breaches of the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions) (Special Provisions) Act during an operation on Windward Road in Kingston.

Reports are that about 11:15am, a premise was searched and several sheets of paper containing identity information of other persons were found (lead sheet).

He is expected to be charged with possession of identity information and using premises to possess identity information after being interviewed in the presence of his attorney. The C-TOC is also working with its international partners to ascertain victims overseas in an effort to have additional charges laid against him.

Cop shot on JUTC bus in Papine

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jutc-bus.jpgWhile the members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force were staging a major sick-out on Thursday, one of their own was the victim of gun violence.

Reports are that a constable was shot and injured by gunmen in Papine, St Andrew on Thursday.

At about 9am, the policeman was travelling on a Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus when the criminals tried to stage a robbery.

The lawman reportedly challenged the robbers and was shot. The CCU further reported that one of the alleged robbers was also shot and injured. Both men were rushed to the University Hospital of the West Indies where they were admitted.

The incident happened amid protest action being taken by rank and file members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

Students, staff and parents were sent scampering for cover at the St Mary's Preparatory and Kindergarten School in Montpelier, St James on Friday morning, after gunmen attacked a male parent and slew him brutally in their presence on the school compound.

The dead man has been identified as 28 year old Sheldon Dennis.

The murder occurred at about 7:30 am. Police report that Dennis was dropping off his two children when he was pounced upon by two gunmen. He was shot while sitting in his car.

Dennis reportedly ran from his vehicle and was chased by the gunmen who shot him multiple times in front of his children and other students, as well as parents.

water-tank.jpgThieves have made off with the water tank at a primary school in St. James and YardFlex is making a special appeal for the culprits to return it.

Classes at the Anchovy Primary School in St James were not held on Thursday due to a robbery at the school.

Thieves stole a 600 gallon water tank that supplies the school, between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, forcing the staff to call off school due to the lack of water.

The robbery has cast a pall of gloom over the school community as it will take some time for the water tank to be replaced and it was unsure whether classes would resume on Friday.

The tank supplies drinking water as well as water for sanitation purposes.

In the meantime, is there any Good Samaritan out there who can assist Anchovy Primary with a replacement water tank?

Businessman murdered on Padmore Drive

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A businessman was shot dead by gunmen along Padmore Drive in Kingston on Thursday.

He has been identified as 51-year-old Mark Champagnie of Maverly in St Andrew.

Police report that Champagnie received a phone call and was summoned to Padmore Drive. Upon his arrival, two gunmen pounced and shot him several times. He died on the spot.

Cops from the Major Investigation Team are theorising that Champagnie was the victim of a contract killing.

armzhouse-records-logo.jpgAlleged high ranking member of the One Order Gang based in Spanish Town, Everton 'Rado' Minott has been taken into custody in the United States by police and is being held without bail.

Rado was reportedly wanted on several charges in Jamaica.

Rado, who also has strong connections to the music industry, is the CEO of the Armz House Records label, and the producer of dancehall deejay Mavado's popular anti-gun song, Gal Over Gun. He was shot and injured on May 14, 2010, and was a patient a the Spanish Town hospital.

Reports are that Rado was arrested in Miami, Florida in mid-May on cocaine trafficking, money laundering and gun related charges. Armzhouse Records is known for hit projects like the First Capital riddim, Head of State riddim and Fire Supreme riddim.

This is the second music producer held by US authorities in the past six months with well-known dancehall-reggae producer Anju Blaxx facing lottery scamming charges in a North Dakota prison.

Jamaican planning to travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the Summer Olympic Games next year will have an easier time getting there as the South American country has abolished the previous visa requirement for citizens of the island.

Brazil's most recent ambassador to Jamaica, Antonio da Costa e Silva, whose tour of duty ended on May 31, and Jamaica's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Arnold J Nicholson signed the Visa Abolishment Agreement at the Jamaica Pegasus last Wednesday.

The abolition builds on a special visa cooperation between the two countries which was signed in time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup last year and extended the validity of visas from short periods to five years.

Jamaica's Ambassador to Brazil Alison Stone Roofe explained that the visa abolition does not mean that inspection at the port of entry will be discontinued. In fact, she said "scrutiny is even stricter where there is a waiver".

Stone Roofe added that the visa waiver does not apply to those who intend to become employed, engage in research, traineeships, studies and social work, undertake technical assistance, or pursue missionary, religious or artistic activities (such as musicians and singers).

Prospective visitors should note, the ambassador added, that they need a yellow fever vaccination certificate and that their passports must be valid for more than six months at the time of entry.

Police promotions announced

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police-federation-logo.jpgMore than 50 rank and file members and several senior officers have been granted promotions. This paves the way for them to take home improved salaries. Approximately 50 Sergeants have been elevated to the rank of Inspector.

Officer in charge of the VIP Division, Superintendent Barrington 'Rocky' Simpson, is among nine Superintendents elevated to the rank of Senior Superintendent. The others are Dean Taylor, formerly of the Major Investigation Task Force, Millicent Sproul Thomas, Dermorth Lawrence, Anthony Morris and Calbert Edwards and McArthur Sutherland.

Acting Head of the St. Thomas Police Division Deputy Superintendent Charmine Shand, and Merval Smith of CIB headquarters, have also been promoted to the rank of Superintendent.

kubba-pringle.jpgClive 'Kubba' Pringle, operator of the MXIII Lawn in Negril's West End and a member of the Negril Resort Board has died.

Reports reaching YardFlex are that the popular businessman and philanthropist suffered a massive stroke last week and was subsequently placed on life support. Confirmed reports are that Kubba was taken off life support this week and passed away.

He was 57 years old.

Pringle, known in his native Negril as 'Kubba', was a stalwart in entertainment circles, where his influence extends beyond the shores of Jamaica. Vice-president of the Negril Entertainment Association, Kubba was famous for, among other things, starting the Bob Marley Birthday Bash in that tourist town in 1991, two years after returning permanently to Jamaica from the US.

YardFlex will have more updates later.

fugitive-rapist-leblanc.jpgA Hancock man, who fled the country to avoid being prosecuted on a dozen charges alleging he raped a child is under arrest in New York after being deported from Canada, investigators said.

The alleged two-year flight of Scott Elrond Leblanc, 59, formerly of 156 Forest Road, to avoid prosecution came to an end Thursday when he was arraigned as a fugitive from justice at the Niagara County Court in Lockport, N.Y.

He waived extradition and is being held in the Niagara County Jail pending his return to New Hampshire. Hillsborough County Deputy Lt. Brian Newcomb said he is expected to be back in the state within 30 days.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, a warrant was issued for Leblanc's arrest on Aug. 21, 2013 by Hillsborough County Superior Court, Northern District, in Manchester after he failed to appear in court on 12 counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault.

The charges stem from indictments alleging that between 1995 and 2000, Leblanc sexually assaulted a child under the age of 13 in Hancock.

Leblanc allegedly fled the state in August 2013 after learning of the impending indictments against him. Investigators believe he actually left the country.

On Tuesday, they received information from the U.S. Marshal Foreign Field Office in Jamaica that Leblanc had arrived in Montego Bay, Jamaica from Toronto, Canada.

Jamaican law enforcement officials refused Leblanc entry into the country because, Newcomb said, of the pending arrest warrants and returned him to Toronto where Canadian law enforcement officials refused him entry, again because of the serious charges.

Canadian authorities deported Leblanc who was placed into the custody of U.S. Marshals based in Buffalo, N.Y.

Cable service provider Flow will start to remove some of its channels on Monday, June 1, following an order from the Broadcast Commission of Jamaica (BCJ).

Flow advised its customers of the move in an email on Saturday.

The BCJ last month insisted that 19 unauthorised channels be removed from Jamaican cable television providers' platforms by May 31.

Flow advised customers that beginning June 1, 2015, the following channels will no longer be carried by the cable company: Encore East; Encore Suspense; Encore Family; FLIX; Showtime East; Showtime Showcase; Showtime 2; Showtime Extreme; Showtime West; STARZ West; The Movie Channel West; The Movie Channel Xtra; The Movie Channel East.

What's more, during the period of the next 6-8 weeks, Flow said it will continue the removal of some additional channels from its lineup; these include: STARZ East, STARZ Edge, STARZ in Black, STARZ Kids and Family, STARZ Cinema, ENCORE Action, ENCORE Black, ENCORE Classic and ENCORE Western.

The company, however, has introduced a suite of new Fox Movies services which it said "boasts a strong lineup of nine premium movie channels".

mark-golding-ganja-law.jpgMinister of Justice, Senator Mark Golding, says the successful implementation of the new law regarding possession of small quantities of ganja will require the discretion and judgement of the police. Mr. Golding said discretion and judgement on the part of the police is not an unusual requirement for the performance of their duties.

"As is usual, when laws which affect the police's mode of operation are introduced, the police are sensitized within the context of the relevant policy of the Ministry of National Security," he explained.

The Minister added that operational guidelines are also issued to ensure implementation in a manner that meets both the objective of law enforcement and the policy objectives of the new law. Responding to questions tabled by Opposition Senator, Robert Montague, in the Senate, regarding the amended Dangerous Drugs Act (Ganja Law), on May 29, Senator Golding said that the police are not presently equipped with weighing apparatus in the field and are therefore not able to determine scientifically the precise weight of ganja in the field.

"However, two ounces of ganja are substantially more than a large spliff," the Minister noted.

He said that in situations where it may not be clear whether or not the amount of ganja exceeds two ounces, but it is reasonable to infer that the ganja is for the person's own personal use, the policy of the Ministry of National Security is that, rather than expending the police's time and other resources in proceeding with a criminal charge for possession that will ultimately be unsuccessful if the amount is less than two ounces, the police should proceed on the basis that the amount does not exceed two ounces and may issue a ticket.

Also, he said a person who has been wrongly ticketed for a substance that is not ganja may decline to pay the ticket.

The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015 became effective on April 15, and makes provision for development of a medical marijuana industry.

Hurricane preparedness tips

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hurricane-season.jpgThe Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30, with the peak season from mid-August to late October.

A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone or severe tropical storm that forms in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage to coastlines and several hundred miles inland. Hurricane can produce winds exceeding 155 miles per hour as well as tornadoes and mircrobursts. Additionally, hurricanes can create storm surges along the coast and cause extensive damage from heavy rainfall. Floods and flying debris from the excessive winds are often the deadly and destructive results of these weather events.

To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:

• Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.

• Know your surroundings.

• Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.

• Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.

• Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.

• Make plans to secure your property:

• Cover all of your home's windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8" exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Another year-round option would be installation of laminated glass with impact-resistant glazing. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.

• Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.

• Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.

• Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.

weather-map-2015-may.jpgThe National Meteorological Service says a Tropical Wave currently east of Jamaica is expected to move west across the island Sunday afternoon. In addition a persistent trough will maintain unstable weather conditions across Jamaica until Wednesday.

The forecast over the next three days is for widespread showers and scattered showers especially during the afternoons. It was expected that all parishes would experience either showers or thunderstorms on Sunday.

A small craft warning remains in effect for offshore areas of southern waters due to strong winds and choppy seas in the vicinity of showers and thunderstorms.

June 1, marks the start of the hurricane season, the forecast is for six to 11 named storms, three to six hurricanes and up to two major hurricanes.

mexican-demonic-game.jpgThe Ministry of Education has issued a ban against students playing the game Charlie Charlie Challenge, following reports from several schools across the island of very disruptive behaviour by students who engaged in the game.

The Charlie Charlie Challenge, a Ouija board style game to try and summon a Mexican demon, has been a trending topic on social media.

In a release on Friday, Chief Education Officer Grace McLean instructed schools to monitor students to ensure they are not allowed to play the game.

The ministry has further advised school personnel to immediately contact the regional offices if they need help and further support to address the situation.

The ministry stressed that it issued the ban following reports of very disruptive behaviour by students who participate in the game. Students reportedly display demon-possessed or paranormal behaviour while playing the game.

Parents and guardians are also being called to monitor their children carefully outside of school, as based on the reviews of the Charlie Charlie Challenge, it can have serious psychological effects on children.

The bulletin further argued that parents and guardians should note that the playing of this game can also result in "serious physical harm to our children."

Daily intake of passports doubled at PICA

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jamaican-passport-bordo.jpgThe Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency, (PICA), is reporting that since last week it has processed more than ten thousand passport applications. The figure is expected to increase ahead of next Monday's increase in passport fees.

Chairman of PICA's Advisory Board, Dr. Leachim Semaj, says the daily intake at the agency's offices has doubled and preparations are being made to accommodate more customers for the remainder of this week.

Applications are being processed at the National Indoor Sports Centre following last week's rush on PICA's head office. In the meantime, despite the surge in passport applications, Dr Semaj has suggested that the expenses associated with moving operations from the head office, may cut into whatever will be earned from the exercise.

admiral-bailey-photo-1.jpgEntertainer Glendon 'Admiral' Bailey on Wednesday pleaded guilty to fraud charges filed against him after he attempted to renew a passport in another man's name in February.

Bailey was fined $160,000 in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.

He was arrested and charged on February 23 with two counts of uttering forged documents, two counts of obtaining a passport by false pretence, two counts of possession of forged documents, and a count each of attempting to obtain a passport by false pretence and conspiracy to defraud.

Bailey was reportedly held after he attempted to renew a passport in the name Michael George Sullivan at the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency on Constant Spring Road, St Andrew.

Defense attorney Tom Tavares-Finson reportedly told the court that Bailey had been using the passport, for which the entertainer is charged, for at least three decades.

Four elderly men were shot dead while playing dominoes at a shop in Claremont, in St Elizabeth, on Wednesday night, police say.

Police identified the dead as Archibald Brown, 60, a farmer of Claremont, Ezra Wright, 73, farmer and shopkeeper of Claremont, 50-year-old Maurice Sanderson, also farmer. The fourth man was not positively identified early Thursday. Police say he too was elderly.

Reports are that the men were playing dominoes during a power cut about 8:30 pm at a small "board shop" operated by Wright when gunmen opened fire.

Police sources say the perpetrators are believed to be remnants of the Stone Crusher gang, operating in rugged terrain on the fringes of the Cockpit Country on the border of St Elizabeth and St James. Hundreds of school children across the length and breadth of Jamaica have been playing a dangerous demonic game that originates in Mexico with dire consequences.

Somewhat similar to the occult-based Ouija board game that took off in the seventies and eighties, this Charlie Charlie Challenge summons the spirit world and uses lead pencils to get answers. Schools have already started rounding up the perpetrators within their walls and have been considering the appropriate punishment. The principal of one prominent all-girls school on Constant Spring Road went around to every classroom on Wednesday and marched out all the girls who confessed to - or were pointed out by their peers - as having taken part in the demonic game. They were ordered to write about the incident before being sent back to classes.

In one of these incidents, it was reported that a Grade 8 Seventh Day Adventist student was the one who led the game with the pencil, and the demon caused the paper to lift up off the desk in the class-room, causing all the girls to scatter, screaming and running in fear. Teachers reportedly rushed out of the staff-room, leaving their lunches, to go and investigate the situation.

Other students at various other schools have been living in fear ever since having traumatic experiences with the demon, Charlie, with parents even reporting that their children cannot sleep at night and being terrified of the dark.

YardFlex spoke with a prominent pastor about the matter of demons and he noted that this thing about demon possession in schools has been going on for a very long time. He says that he has been called regularly to pray for students, some of them as young as ten years old, who are demon possessed.

"I did not know about this latest one from Mexico, however," he told YardFlex. "As parents we need to ensure that our children are covered. We need to pray with them, pray for them and see to it that they develop their own personal relationship with God. Young people are always on the lookout for a new type of excitement, and they don't see the church as the institution to provide this. That is why they get trapped into so many negative things - the spirit world, occult, drugs, perverted types of sexual intercourse and profane music are just some of them," the reverend declared.

YardFlex noted that a few students who are student leaders have posted on Twitter about the need to stay away from this serious game.

"What kind of foolishness this everybody a do? When exam time come oonu can't find pencil to do exams, but all of a sudden everybody a find pencil to play Charlie game," a very popular Kingston College sixth former reprimanded his followers on Twitter.

Meanwhile, some scientists have been saying that the game isn't demonic, it simply about gravity.

richard-medley.jpgSome residents of Denham Town, West Kingston, yesterday staged a protest in front the police station in the community against last Friday's fatal shooting of a music promoter.

The mid-morning demonstration was disrupted by the police, but the placard-bearing residents marched to North Street where they blocked the road with debris that they set ablaze.

The police were able to bring that situation under control and maintained a presence in the area.

Yesterday's protest is the second since Richard 'King' Medley's killing around 2:00 am at his girlfriend's home on Elgin Street in the West Kingston community.

His lover, who was present at the time of the killing, and residents are claiming that Medley was killed in cold blood.

The woman said that Medley came to her house around 2:00 am, and that police came knocking her door a short while later and were allowed inside after saying they were searching for gunmen.

The woman said that the police came inside the room where she and Medley were in bed, and after a brief conversation told Medley to get his phones and come with them. She said Medley was shot several times while reaching for his cellular phone.

She claimed further that after Medley -- a father of three children -- was killed, a gun was planted on him by the police.

The Independent Commission of Investigation is probing the incident.

mark-wignall.jpgAfter writing for the paper for 15 years,veteran columnist Mark Wignall has been fired by the Jamaica Observer.

Journalist Cliff Huges on his radio show on Power 106, Cliff Huges Online, earlier today said that Wignall had informed him that he was indeed dismissed by the newspaper. Wignall enjoyed a large readership of his columns.

Wignall's dismissal appears to surround a column written by him earlier this month in the Sunday Observer entitled 'Should Karl Samuda retire to the political tar pits?'

In the said article, Wignall maintains that alleged intimidation of JLP voters took place thus stopping them from voting in a general election in which Karl Samuda was a PNP candidate for St Andrew North Central.

The Jamaica Observer subsequently published a grovelling apology and made it clear that it was distancing itself from the Wignall story.all! Mark Wignall! He writes nothing but trash!"

4-million for Labour Day activities

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labour-day-roundup-lloyd-b-smith-at-railway-lane-basic-school.jpgThe Government has allocated some $4 million for the National Labour Day activity and the main parish projects across the island.

The funds will be used to improve and upgrade recreational sites, parks and play areas for children in keeping with the theme: 'Labour of Love: Nurturing our Children'.

Acting Principal Director for Culture and Creative Industries in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Dr. Janice Lindsay, told JIS News that the Parish Councils will receive $2 million to assist with the parish projects.

The remainder of the money will go towards rehabilitation of the Rudolph Elder Park in Morant Bay, St. Thomas, which is the designated National Labour Day Project this year.

"Even though we have allocated some $4 million for Labour Day, the money is just a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed to complete them," she noted, and called on the generosity of sponsors and volunteers to ensure the success of the various undertakings.

Dr. Lindsay informed that several public and private sector entities have pledged their support to the national project, with the South African High Commission donating concrete benches and tables for the Rudolph Elder Park.

Other sponsors include: National Housing Trust (NHT), First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union, Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB), Purity Bakery Jamaica, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Island Dairies Limited Jamaica, Caribbean Broilers Jamaica Limited, Barco Caribbean Limited, Berger Paints and EdgeChem Jamaica Limited.

More Caribbean countries on ZikV alert

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zika-virus.jpgTwo other Caribbean countries have joined Jamaica in placing their citizens on alert for the mosquito borne Zika virus.

Public health authorities in the Cayman Islands have issued an alert for the virus which has been circulating in the Pacific and North-Eastern Brazil.

Also known as Zika-V, it is similar to dengue and chikungunya and is transmitted mainly by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, as is the case with those other diseases.

Dr Kiran Kumar, Cayman's Medical Officer of Health, said on the weekend that, while there has been no case in the Caribbean, the alert is being issued as a precautionary measure.

"The public is urged not to be alarmed in hearing the name of another mosquito borne disease. Instead, it is encouraged to take precautionary measures against transmission...whether in the Cayman Islands or on travels," he said.

Trinidad & Tobago's Ministry of Health on Thursday issued an advisory, asking that citizens prepare for mosquito-borne diseases that come with the approaching rainy season, including the Zika virus.

Last week Jamaica's Health Ministry said it was taking the threat of the virus seriously and urged members of the public to eliminate mosquito breeding sites.

Pastor charged with rape of teenager

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The police have reported that 53-year-old Elvis Thompson, a pastor of Cave District in Westmoreland has been charged with having sexual intercourse with a minor (a person under 16 years).

The pastor, who was also charged with sexual assault, was charged on Friday, May 22.

It was reported that in 2014, the alleged victim, who sent to his house to collect payment for goods. She was then reportedly assaulted and raped.

The matter was reported to the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), and a file was prepared and sent to the Defender of Public Prosecution-Paula Llewellyn-who ruled that he should be charged.

Prisoner hospitalised with TB

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tb-tuberculosis-basics.jpgA prisoner who was being housed at the Kingston Central police lockup has been diagnosed with Tuberculosis. The inmate, who reportedly fell ill two weeks ago, has been hospitalised.

Superintendent Michael Scott, Head of the Kingston Central Police, on Sunday night, confirmed that the prisoner was being treated for the infectious disease. He said the Ministry of Health had been called in.

So far there are no indication other prisoners were exposed to the disease, according to Superintendent Scott, however, a source said police personnel assigned to the Kingston Central lock-up are concerned they could be exposed to tuberculosis following the recent case.

It's understood that the police are not trained to deal with the contagious disease, and do not have the requisite resources to respond to suspected cases.

Tuberculosis, commonly known as TB, is a bacterial infection that can spread through the lymph nodes and bloodstream to any organ in your body. It is most often found in the lungs. Most people who are exposed to TB never develop symptoms because the bacteria can live in an inactive form in the body. But if the immune system weakens, such as in people with HIV or elderly adults, TB bacteria can become active. In their active state, TB bacteria cause death of tissue in the organs they infect. Active TB disease can be fatal if left untreated.

Because the bacteria that cause tuberculosis are transmitted through the air, the disease can be contagious. Infection is most likely to occur if you are exposed to someone with TB on a day-to-day basis, such as by living or working in close quarters with someone who has the active disease. Even then, because the bacteria generally stay latent (inactive) after they invade the body, only a small number of people infected with TB will ever have the active disease.

toya-son-joe.jpgFuneral home, Brite Lite, promised a celebrity funeral for late entertainer Latoya 'Toya' Jackson and they delivered. A white hearse with a glittering glass casket, a lavish keepsake funeral booklet, water bottles with Toya's picture on them and a full-set marching band were some of the special effects at the service for the singer, who was the common-law wife of Downsound Records CEO, Joe Bogdanovich.

Leading the mourners were Bogdanovich and the one child of their union, six-year-old Josef, along with Toya's mother, Crystal Gayle, who was deeply affected by the death of her only daughter. Joe was a somber figure who looked as if the reality of the situation was just beginning to sink in, while little Joe was they typical six-year-old who is still too young to fully comprehend the impact of this ceremony.

Although Toya was a dancehall artiste, the fraternity did not represent at the Hagley Park Seventh Day Adventist Church on Sunday morning and the church had many empty benches. That aside, however, those who turned out remembered Toya as a wonderful, caring human being. Gospel singer, Carlene Davis, paid tribute through the song Been Through Enough, while Pulse CEO, Kingsley Cooper read the eulogy.

Songwriter Black Pearl gave a very long tribute, which was at times amusing and ended by saying that he knew that Toya's soul was all right because she had gotten baptized before she died. Downsound artiste, Harry Toddler, noted that "Toya's death reunited the Downsound Records camp".

'Joe Loves You' and 'Boss Lady Toya' were some of the words on the numerous wreaths placed by her casket. Among the mourners were Ninja Man, Fantan Mojah, British Link Up's Owen 'Roy Fowl' Clarke, and Supreme Promotion's Isaiah Laing.

Jackson died in the United States in May from diabetic complications. The 30-year-old had been ailing for nearly two years.

Interment followed at Dovecot Memorial Park in St Catherine.

The National Indoor Sports Centre, will be used next week in the processing of applications for passports.

The decision was taken, after thousands of persons converged on the Constant Spring Offices of the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency, PICA, to apply for a passport, ahead of the increased fees which take effect on June 1.

The June 1 date was announced yesterday, after complaints that the initial date of May 26, was too soon.

Chairman of the advisory board to PICA, Dr Leachim Semaj, says come next Tuesday, the Sport Centre will be used in the processing of applications.

Dr Semaj says, all offices of PICA, saw an increase over their daily quotas, with Kingston seeing a 50% increase, over the 1 thousand per day quota.

In the meantime, Dr Semaj states, that any further extension to the implementation date for the increase, will have to come from the cabinet.

dominic-mcdowell.jpgThe next general meeting of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association

(JaRIA) is scheduled for Wednesday the 27th of May 2015, 6:00 pm, in the

Vera Moody Hall (Music School Auditorium) at Edna Manley College for the

Visual and Performing Arts.

The Guest Speaker will be Dominic McDowell who will address the topic

"Ganja Legislation and Production: Economic Implications for Jamaica's

Entertainment Industry".

Mr. McDowell is the Plannning & Business Development Specialist for

Medicanja Limited which was incorporated and launched in the latter part of 2013 by Dr. Henry Lowe. The objective of Medicanja is to undertake cutting edge research, development and commercialization of value added products and services related to medical ganja and hemp for the local, regional and international markets. McDowell oversees and implements planning and business development policies, objectives, and initiatives with respect to Medicanja Ltd. He is also responsible for product standardization, and maximizing, brand promotion, and funding and grant proposals.

The date of the meeting was changed from its normal schedule as student examinations are underway at the college.

ganja-smoking.jpg1. Czech Republic

The Czech Republic, located in central Europe, is still getting a grasp on its newly minted medical marijuana law, which was passed in early 2013. Many people are still having a hard time actually finding medicine to help cope with their medical needs, but it seems that the situation is improving. There is also widespread decriminalization, in which Czech citizens are allowed to grow up to five plants, or be in possession of certain amounts of cannabis without fear of being criminally prosecuted.

2. Ecuador

The South American nation of Ecuador, which shares a continent with the only country on Earth to have fully legalized cannabis in Uruguay, may be on its way to legalizing marijuana itself. The country has a long and rich history, filled with issues resulting from the international drug trade, and subsequent War on Drugs. Currently, possession of small amounts of cannabis is permitted, if it is for personal use and there is no intent to distribute. However, the Ecuadorian government could be poised to earn big bucks by legalizing in terms of tax dollars and potential trade revenue.

3. Jamaica

Though many people may have thought marijuana was already legal in the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica, that's simply not the case. However, it does look like the country's leadership is leaning toward going that route. Just recently, the country took a big step in relaxing its laws on possession, and also decriminalized it for a variety of reasons, including religious ceremonies and medicinal use. Jamaica may be swayed in coming years by increasing pressure from its in-house Rastafarian movement, as well as tourists from places like the U.S. where legalization is quickly sweeping the country.

4. Mexico

One way to help cut down on the illegal drug trade, and the power of the drug cartels as a result, would be for the nation of Mexico to give its prohibition laws a second look. There has been plenty of talk over the past several years about the Mexican government looking at legalization marijuana and other substances, but political pressure from the U.S. government has helped keep those laws on the books - for now. The power of criminal organizations, including the infamous cartels that operate along the border, has been shown to be weakening as a result of American decriminalization, and Mexican leaders may be swayed to vote for legalization if it means a lessening of violence and corruption.

5. Canada

From America's southern border to its northern one, Canadians have been able to enjoy relatively more lax marijuana laws compared to the U.S. Places like British Columbia are famous worldwide for supposedly growing some of the finest marijuana in the world, and it is one of the major sources of the plant into the United States. There are a majority of Canadian citizens who want to see the plant legalized, and much of what policymakers decide to do will likely come as a result of how the U.S. handles legalization going forward.

6. Spain

Certain places in Spain have also been called 'The New Amsterdam' due to their high concentration of private cannabis clubs. Operating in a somewhat gray area within Spanish law, these clubs take advantage of new laws that have decriminalized possession, although the manufacture and sale of cannabis is still illegal. It appears that Spain is one of the countries that will ride the momentum of the legalization movement, and make more policy moves based on what happens as a result of its decriminalization efforts.

7. Uruguay

Uruguay, of course, has made a name for itself by becoming the first and only country on Earth to fully legalize marijuana. The laws themselves are still being ironed out, but Uruguay has taken an enormous leap by being the first country to put a legal marijuana market into place on a country-wide scale. The market itself will be tightly regulated on all fronts by the government, but prices are estimated to be incredibly cheap compared to what people are paying in Colorado and Washington.

8. The Netherlands

The Netherlands - and more specifically, Amsterdam - has been a prime destination for marijuana tourists for a long time now. The city's infamous 'coffee shops' have attracted visitors from all over the world, seeking to partake in the world famous Dutch marijuana trade. Of course, there have been some bumps in the road, especially recently, in which the law has actually been changed to make it harder to track down cannabis. It's unclear how things will actually turn out going forward, but for a country with a reputation and history of friendly attitudes toward marijuana, it's not hard to imagine that the Dutch government would pass less restrictive legislation if their neighbors and other world powers do.

9. Argentina

South America looks primed for sweeping changes in drug policy, and Argentina is no exception. There have been large rallies and protests urging lawmakers to reclassify marijuana as a legal substance, and as Uruguay and other South American nations have moved forward, it's likely Argentinian leaders will take on the prospect as well. Argentina's president has gone so far as to endorse a plan to legalize medical cannabis use, citing reasons that many in South America are familiar with.

10. India

The nation of India may come as a complete surprise to be seen among the many western European and South American nations on this list, but Indians are surprisingly open to the possibility of legalization. The Times of India has even gone on record supporting the idea. It's already widely used in many religious ceremonies among the Hindu population, and its use is not enforced as stringently as many might suspect. Not only that, but wild cannabis grow in abundance in many parts of India, making it even harder to regulate.

suzette-brown-killed-by-florida-man.jpgA 44-year-old man is accused of beating and stabbing his ex-girlfriend in Miramar after she told him she was going to meet with another man, police said.

The murder suspect, Pierre Limousin, and his former girlfriend, Suzette Brown, were in a relationship for about 12 years before breaking up over each other's infidelity, according to a police report.

Brown, who hails from Eltham in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, is remembered as a very dedicated mother of two, who just started nursing school. She is a past student of Ferncourt High and Brown's Town Community College.Limousin, of Miramar, is now charged with her murder.

Miramar police discovered Brown's body after being alerted to a man dragging a screaming woman into a house in the 8500 block of Sheraton Drive before noon Wednesday.

As a responding officer arrived, he spotted a man with a bag getting into a gray Honda Accord who then drove off. Police lost track of the driver, but found Brown, 41, dead inside the home.

One of the bedrooms appeared to be ransacked and a knife was found nearby on Miramar Parkway, according to the report.

Investigators alerted other agencies about Limousin and his car after learning he was Brown's former boyfriend and was known to drive a gray Honda Accord. As Limousin tried to report his car as stolen in Hollywood, Miramar detectives were alerted and responded to the scene to interview Limousin.

According to the police report, Limousin told detectives that he drove by Brown's home and had a conversation with her that became heated. When she told him "she was going to meet with her new man as soon as he left," Limousin lost control and attacked Brown.

Limousin did not offer police further details, but did say he used a kitchen knife and thought she was still alive when he left because she was wheezing, according to the report.

He also told investigators that he ransacked a bedroom and left the home with the knife in bag, which he later tossed from the car.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chinese medical mission at KPH May 18 - 28

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Investigations are ongoing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KPH worker among 2 shot downtown

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

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

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

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

He later died in hospital.

Breakthrough in murder of 12-y-o girl

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ganja farming licence handed to UTech

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

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

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

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

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

Corrupt St Thomas cop to be sentenced

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

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

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

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

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

He's to be sentenced on June 17.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The four were subsequently shot.

Jamaica to receive additional area code

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Funeral service for Toya May 24

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lawyer Don Foote arrested

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

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

Court date has been set for May 26.

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

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

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

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

Several activities planned for Child Month

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PICA offers 3-day service at Mo Bay convention

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A fingerprint order was also made against the accused.

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

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

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

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

Jamaican top gangsta held in the US

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

High level resignation at NCB

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

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

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

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

Freak storm raises the roof in St. Elizabeth

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

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

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

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

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

Chambers made the announcement via social media on Sunday evening.

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

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

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

Weir expressed his happiness at the news on Instagram.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cops seeking 4 person in major bank racket

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

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

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

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

The financial institutions became suspicious and contacted the police.

It was discovered that the applicants were imposters.

Deaf Dance Festival May 13 at Little Theatre

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

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

Konshens teams with LIME for school tour

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

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

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

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

Toya suffered cardiac arrest in NY hospital

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

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

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

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

Lady Saw raps, sings and deejays on new track

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Money Ha Ha singjay killed

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

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

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

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

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

Teacher commits suicide

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

Dead is 38-year-old Diane Vassell.

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

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

An alarm was raised and the police summoned.

Schoolgirls jump from moving robot taxi

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

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

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

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

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

Rastafari exhibition opens in Mo Bay

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abducted six-year-old girl found

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

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

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

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

Bisexual Jamaican man denied asylum in Britain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Police appeal for calm in Spanish Town

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jamaican scammer convicted in the US

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

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

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

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

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

Six-year-old girl abducted

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

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

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

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

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

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

The hospital ship is docked at the Kingston Container Terminal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The ship is expected to depart on May 14.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He says he is making checks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two cops dead in murder-suicide

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

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

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

Investigations are ongoing.

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

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

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

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

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

Jamaica cited for copyright piracy

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

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

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

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

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

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

More complaints from China Harbour workers

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

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

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

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

Triple murder in Central Village

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

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

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

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

The police arrived sometime before 7 o'clock.

Carmax CEO denied bail again

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

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

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

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

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

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

'Donkey' stabbed to death in Spanish Town

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

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

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

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

Wanted man killed by his cronies

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

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

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

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

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

Doman reportedly passed away in her sleep earlier this week.

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

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

Other persons have paid tribute to Doman on Facebook.

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

He is charged with buggery.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 men killed in downtown Kingston

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

O'Connor has pleaded guilty.

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

Clansman boss Tesha Miller's brother killed

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

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

The dead man has been identified as Tashoy Miller.

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

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

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

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

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

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

No evidence that Jamaican teen was ISIS recruit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kenny Benjamin's Serenity Farms up for sale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lambert Brown lashes out at critics

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

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

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

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

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

Dr Carlton Davis new NHT chairman

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

Daisy Coke, an actuary, is Deputy Chairman.

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

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

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

19 cable channels ordered removed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The young woman has been admitted to hospital.

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

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

The police were called and she was taken to hospital.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carmax director denied bail

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

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

?Blake was remanded into custody until May 1.

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

Sign bearing PJ Patterson's name stolen

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

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

He said a new sign will be erected shortly.

Shocking revelation at West Kingston Enquiry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ellington testifies

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

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

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

Huge ganja find in Portland

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

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

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

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

Lawyer Jade Hollis arrested

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

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

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

Children's home for teen terror suspect

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cops make appeal to Carmax fraud victims

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

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

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

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

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

Cops kill St Thomas wanted man

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

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

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

A revolver was reportedly taken from the deceased.

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

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

Powell said investigators have collected several statements in the case.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


UWI poised to make big bucks from ganja

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Yardflex 4/20 Weed Day Feature

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baby's body found in barrel

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

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

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

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

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

Investigations continue.

Cops featured on CISOCA's high profile list

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

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

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

The reports will be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions

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

Cops seize Uzi sub machine gun in Spanish Town

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

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

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

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

JPS rolls out pre-paid service today

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

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

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

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

Tufton unhappy with 'Dudus' reference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thief shot while robbing policeman

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

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

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

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

No one was arrested in connection with the illegal weapon.

Small ganja farmers to be protected

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

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

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

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

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

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

Police hunt for mother of dead baby found at dump

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

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

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

Cops find illegal gun shop in Salt Pond

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

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

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

The dead man has been identified as Nesta Halstead.

Teen charged for murder of 11-month old boy

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

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

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

16 year-old mother and baby missing

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

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

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

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

3 shot in Portmore drive-by

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

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

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

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

No motive has been established for the shooting.

Kingston College marches for 90th anniversary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Women sexually assault teenage girl with bottle

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

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

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

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

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

Number portability next month

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Resident shoots robber dead in Mona

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

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

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

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

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

Teenage terror suspect remains in custody

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

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

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

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

Carmax CEO arrested for fraud

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

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

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

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

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

UWI, UTech get ganja licence

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 suspects held in quadruple murder

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

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

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

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

The four were subsequently shot.

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

Man hangs himself in Falmouth market

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Assault case against Chuck Fenda dismissed

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

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

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

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

The case was then dismissed against Chuck Fenda.

JPS cuts electricity rates

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

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

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

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

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

Caribbean Broilers cuts prices

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

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

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

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

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

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

25 year-old woman commits suicide

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

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

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

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

Commercial sex trade remains illegal

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

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

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

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

Controversy surrounds JLP NE St Catherine seat

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

Hay Webster is an aide to JLP Leader Andrew Holness.

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

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

Third person charged in killing of Mario Deane

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

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

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

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

Ganja law effective Wednesday

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

16-y-o from Jamaica stopped from joining ISIS

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

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

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

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

The teenager's name was not given.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congrats Mayor Browne Burke on your Doctorate

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mayor-angela-brown-burke-photo-1.jpg takes pleasure in congratulating Kingston Mayor, Angela Brown-Burke on receiving her PhD.

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

Congratulations Dr. Burke!

Teen held in murder of 11-month-old infant

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Red Stripe beer delivered to the President

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United States President Barack Obama will get his desire for a cold mug of Jamaican Red Stripe beer on Air Force One.

In fact, 48 bottles of the Jamaican beverage have been delivered to Air Force One for the American president.

A taste of the Jamaican beer was one of two wishes the president made around 10 minutes before Air Force One landed at the Norman Manley International Airport on Wednesday night.

The other wish to visit the Bob Marley Museum was materialised in a surprise stop at the Hope Road-based landmark, just over an hour after Obama touched Jamaican soil.

Yesterday, Red Stripe sought to make the other wish come true, delivering two crates of beer at the Norman Manley International Airport which were received on the president's behalf by his Secret Service agents.


The bus conductor who was implicated in the death of 14-year-old Kayalicia Simpson has been formally charged with murder by the St Thomas police on Wednesday.

He is 29-year-old Damion Ewin of Newland Housing Scheme in Yallahs. Ewin has also been charged with committing sexual offences in the same matter. On Tuesday, March 3, relatives found the girl's body and summoned the police. She was found with multiple chop wounds to the head and neck.

The post-mortem examination revealed that Kaylacia was pregnant. She was a student of the Donald Quarrie High School in Kingston.

Ewin will appear before the Yallahs Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, April, 15.


Police said a boy found wandering at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Wednesday is a ward of the state.

Eleven-year-old Jevon Thompson, who gave his particulars as eight-year-old Kevin Washington of Miami, United States of America, is a ward at Reddie's Place of Safety in Kingston 2.

Reports are that about 12:55 p.m., Jevon was found wandering at the airport. He subsequently reported that his parents were waiting for their departure to Miami, when he went to use the bathroom and upon his return, they were not there.

Checks by the police revealed that Jevon went missing on multiple occasions and was placed at the facility in September, 2014. He was taken by the police to the home yesterday.


Reggae artiste Chronixx yesterday cleared the air, explaining that he did not disrespect US President Barack Obama in a social media post he made earlier in the day.

This, after finding himself at the receiving end of harsh criticisms from fans.

Chronixx posted a picture of Marcus Garvey and captioned the photo: "This man ... Still have criminal record on the United States and we glorifying some waste man! This man was hunted and imprisoned by our Jamaican government ... who some years later, paved a peaceful and safe path for the US president to address is a ... "race of good for nothing's". That's why black faces don't mean anything to rasta anymore".

His post was met with harsh criticisms as many believed his 'waste man' comment was aimed at Obama. Many called him out for his hypocrisy, stating that he has performed in the United States several times.

"Waste man? But yuh deh pon TV inna waste man country a perform your songs ... . Such hypocrisy," one commentator said.

Another stated: "You are a fraud. How dare you address the man as such. You sing conscious lyrics, but you do not practice what you preach ... Give back your American visa since you are so high and mighty."

Another said: "The blatant disrespect of my President! (Your comment) was uncalled for. You earn wages in America."

Others however, agreed with Chronixx's statement, calling for the expunging of Garvey's criminal records. Chronixx later commented that those who wished to unfollow him, were free to do so.

"...Will go on more American stations this year and chant liberation again and again and again. When I speak, I don't really think about career and things like that. Nuh frighten fi career either, never born with career."

Fans of the artiste were still ruffled by his post. This prompted him to further elaborate on what he meant.

He wrote: "I love every human on this planet, and as hard as it is, I show nothing but perfect love even to the waste man dem at home and abroad. Love has nothing to do with truth! And I did not call the president a waste man."


KINGSTON, Jamaica - An eight-year-old US child by the name of Kevin Washington from Miami, was found wandering at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Wednesday, April 8. He is of dark complexion, slim build, about four feet tall and was dressed in a grey shirt, brown shorts and a pair of blue and green crocs slippers.

Authorities are reporting that about 12:55 pm, Kevin was at the airport with his parents, waiting for their departure to Miami, when he went to use the bathroom. When he returned, his parents were gone. He gave his father's name as Junior Washington and his mother's name as Christina.

The police are asking people with information that can assist Kevin Washington in reuniting him with his family to contact the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Division (C-TOC) at 967-5948, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.

The attorney for a man killed in a boat accident in The Bahamas says the matter is likely to go to the Coroner's Court for a ruling on whether anyone should be held accountable for the death.

Sandals Resorts chairman, Gordon 'Butch' Stewart, was among the people on the Tropical Cruises-owned fishing boat which crashed on April 3. The exact circumstances of the crash could not be ascertained.

According to Tropical Cruises, Stewart was the only member of his family on the boat.

"All concerned are deeply saddened by this tragic accident and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased at this time," said a Tropical Cruises spokesman in a statement issued to the media.

Meanwhile, Wayne Munroe, the lawyer for the family of Timothy Ferguson, the man who was killed in the accident, said he has not had any communication with the police or Stewart. Munroe also said issues related to civil liability may arise.


Aubrey Stewart, youth advocate and a former Head Boy of Cornwall College, shared an embrace with President Obama after introducing the world leader at a Town Hall meeting at the University of the West Indies on Thursday.

During his introduction of President Obama, he seized the opportunity to encourage young individuals to overcome their respective circumstances.

"My dream is for young people to convert every negative feeling into a feeling of hope. My country is rich with culture and talent ... and I ask you to be inspired by this nation."

Stewart also encouraged collaboration among the CARICOM nations.

When President Obama arrived on to the podium he affectionately said: "Greetings massive ...big up. It is great to be here in Jamaica."

Obama is the first US President to visit Jamaica in over 30 years.


The University of West Indies (UWI) Assembly Hall is filled to capacity as young Jamaicans eagerly await audience with US President Barack Obama.

Obama is scheduled to hold a youth town hall forum at 2:30 pm. The audience is filled with primarily university students and young professionals, including many celebrities.

Among the well known personaliti