Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's Time for Political Susu with Lady D and Mama ASID - Wednesday 09/03/08


Hurricane Hanna heads for The Bahamas

published: Tuesday | September 2, 2008

NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC):

A hurricane warning was yesterday afternoon issued for The Bahamas, as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands as the eighth tropical system developed into a Category One hurricane heading for the islands.


Just hours after Bahamian meteorologists predicted that Hanna would develop into a hurricane by the time it reached the chain of islands, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami issued a 1:30 p.m. advisory that the system had strengthened and was packing maximum sustained winds near 75 miles per hour.

The hurricane warning was issued for the Central Bahamas, the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

"Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion," the NHC advised.

Haiti blasted by third deadly tropical storm in under three weeks

Published on Wednesday, September 3, 2008

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AFP): Ten people were killed as Hanna lashed the north of Haiti Tuesday, the third deadly tropical storm to unleash its wrath on the impoverished Caribbean nation in under three weeks.

Haiti's third largest city, Gonaives, was under water, and officials pleaded for help in a region still traumatized by flooding from Tropical Storm Jeanne four years ago that killed more than 3,000 people.

A Haitian man cuts up a tree felled by severe weather from Tropical Storm Hanna in Kenscoff, Haiti. AFP PHOTO
"The situation in Gonaives is extremely urgent. I appeal for help," said Stephen Moise, mayor of the city of 300,000, 94 miles north of Port-au-Prince.

Jeanne's driving rains in the northern mountains of Haiti caused severe flooding and mudslides in the Artibonite region, especially in Gonaives. The storm killed 3,006 people in Haiti, with 2,826 of those in Gonaives.

"Practically the whole city is flooded, there is water everywhere. The water is rising in some areas to more than two meters (six feet)," Moise told AFP by telephone.

"The situation is critical today, it can be compared with what happened four years ago," Moise said.

Gonaives residents reached by telephone said floodwaters had reached the ceilings of some homes, forcing inhabitants to seek safety on the roof.

"I have seen about 10 bodies floating in the flooded streets of the city," Ernst Dorfeuille of the Gonaives police told AFP by phone.

"I don't know how long we will stay alive," a clearly panicked father, Germain Michelet, told AFP. "If we have to go another night in these conditions, there will not be a lot of survivors."

The latest devastation came as Haiti was still reeling from Hurricane Gustav, which killed 77 people and left eight others missing after barreling by the south of the hemisphere's most impoverished country only a week ago.

And only two weeks ago Tropical Storm Fay sparked flooding that left about 40 people dead.

Flooding in hardscrabble Haiti is a persistent problem. Its force is felt in part due to Haiti's mountainous geography. And deforestation -- as Haitians cut down trees and bushes as fuel for cooking fires -- exacerbates the flooding disasters.

Hanna lost some wind strength and was downgraded to a tropical storm Tuesday with driving rains that could spark deadly flooding in Haiti and eastern Cuba, the US National Hurricane Center in Miami warned.

With Hanna packing sustained winds of 70 miles per hour, it was expected to churn on a track taking it over the southeastern Bahamas Tuesday and the central Bahamas late Tuesday and Wednesday, the NHC said at 11:00 am.

It said Hanna could dump up to 20 inches in the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos islands, and up to 12 inches in the central Bahamas.

"Rainfall amounts of two to four inches with maximum amounts of up to eight inches (20 centimeters) are expected over the mountainous terrain of eastern Cuba and northern portions of Hispaniola (shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic) where these rains could cause life-threatening mudslides and flash flooding," the NHC warned.

Hanna could regain hurricane Wednesday or Thursday, the NHC added.

Officials here said some 15,000 Haitian families were affected by Gustav, which leveled some 3,000 dwellings and damaged another 11,458.

At least 77 people died in Haiti after it was hit by Gustav, which blasted Louisiana with powerful winds and rain as a Category Two hurricane on Monday. Gustav later weakened as it passed overland and was downgraded to a tropical storm.

Gustav killed a total of more than 100 people as it tore across the Caribbean and into the United States.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Entertainers pray for storm victims

Sadeke Brooks , Staff Reporter

Macka Diamond - Colin Hamilton

While some entertainers were not significantly affected by Tropical Storm Gustav, they offer their prayers for those who were ravaged by the storm

As a result of the storm, which hit Jamaica last Thursday, the Government will need to find $3 billion to repair damage. Houses, lives and bridges were lost and many persons were without electricity and water for days. 

Veteran artiste Freddie McGregor says he can only pray for the victims.

"It's just terrible to see what happened especially now when people have children to go back to school and lose everything. But we just have to pray for them and hope everything will be all right," he said. 

However, the only inconvenience he experienced was being without electricity for short periods. He says his mother in Clarendon did not encounter any damage either.

Like Freddie McGregor, dancer and artiste Chi Ching Ching is also praying for the victims.

Freddie McGregor - Winston Sill

"Mi just hope God help dem cause some people lose dem roof, zinc and house, but mi jus haffi pray fi dem. Mi just hope God will put out a helping hand," he told THE STAR

He added: "Cause a nuh everybody have it. Dis year name scrape, so every mickle mek a muckle."

Shane-O said there was no damage done to his home in Red Hills Road or that of his family. Nonetheless, he feels badly about the occurrences of the storm that hit the island. 

"Mi really feel bad bout it. Mi feel it fi dem; it could be me. People house wash weh and people dead. Mi wish the next time a storm come dem prepared so dat we can have a better Jamaica," he told The STAR

While Macka Diamond is also distraught over the results of the hurricane, she is happy that she did not experience any major inconvenience. 

"Mi just get little water but mi can swim. The river come up but wi have it under control," said Macka Diamond who lives in Bushy Park, St Catherine.

Chi Ching Ching - File

 GUSTAV BABY! - Infant left on store steps as storm covers Jamaica 

 People are in shock after a new-born baby was found in a scandal bag on the step of a Digicel store in Spanish Town, St Catherine, yesterday. 


At 8:30 a.m., a woman was passing the store on Adelaide Street when she saw the bag on the step. She checked the bag after hearing a strange sound and saw the baby girl. The woman alerted other people and the police were later called.

People in shock


When THE STAR visited the scene, the crowd that converged there was still in shock. The people said the baby should be called Gustavie, after Tropical Storm Gustav. 

"It betta she did try have di pickney and carry come give mi. It really wicked," said Ann-Marie who works at a nearby office. 

Another woman was cursed when she said it is a possibility that the mother could not afford to take care of the child. 

The police took the baby to the Spanish Town Hospital, where she was checked and is to be put in a place of safety. The police are trying to determine the identity of the mother.

Up to 78 killed by Gustav in Caribbean

KINGSTON (AFP) — Deadly Tropical Storm Gustav thrashed Jamaica Friday and was on track to crash into Cuba as a hurricane, after leaving up to 78 people dead in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica.

The United States began storm preparations as Jamaica awoke to a trail of devastation and reports that the storm killed as many as 11 people on the mountainous island.

Churning Gustav moved west, triggering flash floods and driving rains and could become a "major hurricane" before reaching western Cuba on the weekend, the US National Hurricane Center warned.

Streets in the normally bustling capital city of Kingston were soaked and quiet, except for howling winds as Gustav's powerful gusts sent metal roofs flying, and threatened to wreak havoc on Jamaica's banana industry, officials said. A few people in raincoats and boots tried to help motorists get stranded cars freed, as hundreds crowded into shelters.

Later in the day, Gustav was forecast to head west-northwest towards the Caymans, an overseas British outpost and key banking center.

A hurricane warning remains in effect for the Caymans, the NHC said warning that "preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion."

Across the Caymans, resorts and residents shuttered windows as the NHC predicted Gustav would likely regain hurricane strength within hours.

Packing sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kmh) the storm was whirling west-northwest near eight mph (13 km/hr), the NHC said.

"A turn to the northwest is expected later (Friday) with a continued northwestward motion on Saturday and Sunday. On this track the center of Gustav will pass near or over the Cayman Islands later Friday, over the western portions of Cuba on Saturday and into the southern Gulf of Mexico on Sunday," it added at 1500 GMT.

Ahead in Gustav's projected path lies Cuba. With more than 11 million people, it is extremely vulnerable to hurricanes, with most of its housing stock aged and in fragile condition. More than two million people live in the capital, Havana, where many colonial era buildings, crowded with families, are prone to cave-in after heavy rains.

Authorities in Cuba, the Americas' only communist country, are famed for well organized evacuation operations but acknowledge the dangers precarious homes pose.

Anxiety also was mounting on the hurricane-ravaged US Gulf Coast on the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Authorities in New Orleans mulled a possible mandatory evacuation to prevent a repeat of the devastation and deaths of 2005.

Authorities in Louisiana and Mississippi have already declared states of emergency before Gustav's expected landfall late Monday, when it could strike as a major storm of Category Three of higher.

After the devastation wrought by Katrina, the storm could show whether US authorities learned lessons from the tragedy -- a major political disaster for the Republican US administration.

Civil defense officials in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince said Friday that 59 people died, seven went missing and 22 had been injured from the ravages of the storm and subsequent flooding.

Gustav struck the island of Hispaniola, shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as a Category One hurricane on Tuesday. Eight people were killed by the storm in the Dominican, officials said.

Thursday, thousands of Haitians were still in emergency shelters, receiving government and NGO aid.

The storm destroyed untold numbers of homes, bridges and other structures after floodwaters inundated entire villages in Haiti.

Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding said as many as 11 people were believed dead as a result of the storm, as officials said the death toll could rise.

In the Dominican Republic, Gustav left a wide swath of destruction, forcing more than 6,000 to abandon their homes, local authorities said.

British oil group BP, US ConocoPhillips and Anglo-Dutch Shell on Thursday evacuated workers from their energy installations in the Gulf of Mexico, as Gustav loomed.

ExxonMobil said it was preparing for the storm and "identifying personnel for possible evacuation to shore." About a quarter of US crude oil installations are located in the Gulf of Mexico.

Meanwhile Tropical Storm Hanna was churning north-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands, and could become a hurricane in a few days, the NHC said.

Business by the bridge

published: Tuesday | September 2, 2008

Jarmila Jackson, Features Writer

A woman winces as she is splashed while piggybacking across the Hope River in Harbour View, St Andrew, for a fee of $200. - photos by Norman Grindley/acting Photography editor

From the market vendor to the business executive, and even the entrepreneur, man, woman, child and dog ventured across the Hope River yesterday to ensure that business did not suffer. Onions, bananas and even mangoes were among produce being carried across the river from the east bank, while baked goods were being sold from a truck parked on the west bank. Soft music played from speakers, beckoning persons to purchase CDs.

Hundreds stood on the banks of the river, looking on as the Bailey bridge was being installed, while customer-service representatives from the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) ushered residents to buses where they could purchase tickets to get into town.

"I cannot risk this collapsing," said Mike Henry, minister of transport and works. "We have identified an area further upstream to build a ford for the heavy-duty vehicles which will not be allowed on this bridge. We will install traffic lights to control traffic, and JUTC bus shuttles will continue if necessary, because I am certain this bridge can handle the weight of a JUTC bus."

He added: "I have ordered more Bailey bridges, but I cannot guarantee that they will not collapse, because we are still in the hurricane season."

Construction of the ford is set to begin tomorrow and is expected to be finished by midday.

These men (right) carry ground provisions across the river as two others wait to take baked products to the other side.

A passenger purchases a bus ticket at a makeshift ticket office before boarding a Jamaica Urban Transit Company bus routed to downtown Kingston yesterday morning.

A man dries a woman's feet after he washed them with a disinfectant solution yesterday. The woman had just crossed the muddy river. The man charged $20 for the service, which included lotion.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Cane farmers call for EU relief funding

Allan Rickards, Chairman of the All-Island Cane Farmers Association is calling for all available European Union (EU) funding for the sector to be allocated to relieve farmers following the passage of Tropical Storm Gustav.

Rickards said that farmers had reported widespread damage especially in the parishes of St Thomas, Westmoreland and Clarendon.

"It's not only in St Thomas it's islandwide especially south of the mountains where whats happened is that the Plantain Garden River valley has flooded. There, there is more water and worse flooding that after Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 and the cane is going to suffer more severe damage than ever before. Last time (Hurricane Dean) it was 19 per cent damage to the crop now its going to be at least double that," he said.

He also expressed concern that apart from the loss to production, farmers would also have suffered severe damage to their homes.

Sweet relief - New bridge reconnects the east

published: Tuesday | September 2, 2008

Shelly-Ann Thompson, Staff Reporter

The temporary Bailey bridge scheduled to be opened last night to replace the collapsed Hope River bridge in Harbour View, St Andrew. The original structure was destroyed by Tropical Storm Gustav, which lashed the island last week. - Norman Grindley/acting photography editor 


Last night's scheduled completion of a Bailey bridge in Harbour View, St Andrew was expected to provide welcome relief for marooned commuters in eastern Jamaica starved of health services and food in the wake of Tropical Storm Gustav.

Prior to the completion of the Bailey bridge to accommodate vehicular traffic, doctors had to be flown in and and patients flown out from Princess Margaret, the main hospital in the parish, which is located on the eastern side.

Claudette Lewis, parish manager for St Thomas Health Services, told The Gleaner yesterday that in preparation for the storm, arrangements were made for helicopter services to be made available to the hospital.

"We know that if there is a hurricane or storm, the parish is usually cut off, so we had prior discussion to have the helicopter service available," said Lewis.

Since the storm, at least four emergency cases were flown from the Type C hospital to a Corporate Area facility.

Yesterday, three doctors were transported by helicopter to the facility to report for duty. With regard to medical supplies, Lewis said there were adequate amounts in stock and preparations had been made.

Died later

Yesterday, one man believed to have been suffering from asthma and unable to get medical attention, collapsed near the Hope River bridge and was later pronounced dead.

Another crippled sector was the gasolene industry in St Thomas, as people living as far away as Harbour View travelled to Yallahs and Morant Bay for fuel.

Checks by The Gleaner showed that up to 5 p.m. yesterday, the two service stations in the western side of the parish were out of petrol. Of the four gasolene providers in Morant Bay, only one had ample supply of the three main types of petrol.

"We were told as soon as the bridge (is) fixed then the tankers would come and fill us up," said one proprietor.

Some supermarkets and whole-sales were also running out of groceries. One in the capital had a limited supply of pastries in stock, while another was only selling flour and rice in small quantities.

D.D. Warmington, of Classic Super Shop in Morant Bay, said he was hoping the temporary bridge would open to vehicular traffic by weekend so his delivery men could collect commodities from the Jamaica Flour Mills in Kingston.

"Is rice and flour the problem. We have everything else in sufficient supply," he said, noting that his meat suppliers travelled through neighbouring parish Portland and delivered yesterday.

The banking sector in the parish also received a rush on its services at the start of the week. The queues at the automated banking machines were long with customers in some instances having to wait around 30 minutes to get cash.

Hugh Wildman freed From Grenada finally, after Bank Lies finally unfold

published: Monday | September 1, 2008

Hugh Wildman, a Jamaican lawyer and adviser to the previous Grenadian government led by Dr Keith Mitchell, was released from police custody in Grenada yesterday.

He is expected back on the island today.

Wildman was detained on Saturday as he was about to board a flight to Jamaica. He was held on suspicion of corruption in connection with the collapse of the First International Bank in Grenada.

The institution was one of the first offshore banks to become functional when the Mitchell administration ventured into the offshore banking sector in 1997.

Hundreds of American and Cana-dian citizens lost millions of dollars when the bank folded.

Police tight-lipped

The Grenada Police were tight-lipped about the issue when contacted by The Gleaner on the weekend.

"Mr Wildman was detained to assist police with some investi-gations," Troy Garvey, a spokes-person for the Grenadian police, told The Gleaner.

"I do not know what the investigations and the information Mr Wildman is providing will unfold, that is entirely up to the DPP (director of public prosecutions) and the investigating officers," Garvey said yesterday.

In defence of his client, lawyer, Dwight Horsford said the allegations that Wildman prevented the FBI from investigating a possible fraud involving the now defunct First International Bank were unfounded and designed to tarnish his reputation by some members of the bar association in Grenada.

"I suspect more reprisals will come either against him or some other person of the former administration," Horsford told The Gleaner after Wildman's release.

Flabbergasted sister

Wildman's sister, Winsome, said she had not been told why her brother was interrogated by the police.

"I had just seen on the Internet that it was on suspicion of corruption," a flabbergasted Ms Wildman told us by phone. "What is interesting is that it is over two months since they had the election and a change in government and he has been down there all this while, and they waited until the day he was leaving (through) the airport to detain him."

A controversial personality, Hugh Wildman was among candidates for the post of director of public prosecutions in Jamaica earlier this year when Kent Pantry retired.

In Grenada, Wildman was often in conflict with opposition parties while he served the previous administration. In 2005, lawyers in Grenada protested against a recommendation by the then government for Wildman to be named attorney general.

The Judicial and Legal Services Commission eventually rejected the nomination after weeks of demon-stration. 

 Caribbean heads to meet on September 10 to discuss EPA

Published on Wednesday, September 3, 2008

By Oscar Ramjeet

Caribbean Net News Special Correspondent


GEORGETOWN, Guyana: Reports from the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) communications adviser Leonard Robertson state that Caribbean leaders will meet in Barbados on September 10 to discuss and resolve concerns expressed by some regional leaders on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between CARICOM countries and Europe,

There are several areas of disagreement with the document. Guyana's president feels that there are far too many benefits for the big European Union countries, while other leaders, including the prime ministers of Grenada and St Lucia, are not too happy with some of the implications.

The September 10 meeting was organised at the request of Barbados Prime Minister, David Thompson, who wrote CARICOM Chairman Baldwin Spencer requesting a summit to iron out the differences.

A Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) report stated that the EPA signing scheduled for Tuesday, September 2, was officially off.

Official sources at the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM), which negotiated the agreement on behalf of CARICOM, told CMC that a tentative new date has been proposed, but it will not be released just yet.

Antigua Opposition tells government not to sign EPA

published: Tuesday | September 2, 2008

ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC): 

The main opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP) is calling on Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer not to sign the controversial Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Europe.


The agreement was scheduled for signing today, but indecision among several regional leaders has led to uncertainty about whether it will take place.

In a statement issued here, the ALP said it was urging the Spencer administration "not to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement in its present form".

ALP leader and former Prime Minister Lester Bird said that the agreement should be made available to all stakeholders, "so that appropriate proposals can be made for renegotiating the clauses that would hurt our local businesses, local employment and economy".

"We have had to rely on public information to piece together an understanding of the document and its implications. To our knowledge, no other political party, private sector group or trade union organisation, has been provided with the details of the EPA."

ST Lucia Gov't workers give deadline for pay rise

published: Tuesday | September 2, 2008


Already faced by teachers' threat of industrial action, the St Lucia government was given another ultimatum yesterday when public servants warned that they expect their wage negotiations to be concluded by Friday.


"If the unions and the Government don't budge then the negotiations would have rolled into a stalemate and, having discussed the matter at the level of the public service unions, we have taken the decision to write to the prime minister and minister of finance, giving him up to this week to accept the proposal," said Civil Service Association (CSA) General Secretary David Demarque. 

Original demand

The CSA said that it has been mandated by its members to stick to its original demand for a 16 per cent wage hike. The St Lucia Teachers' Union has also said it would not budge from its original demand for a 16 per cent hike and has unanimously rejected the two options put forward by the Stephenson King government to end the stalemate.

Government is said to be proposing an 11 per cent increase with a lump sum of EC$2,000 (US$740) to be paid in the first of three years, or a 13 per cent tax- free increase in the first year.

Demarque said that when the CSA left the bargaining table on August 14, its demand was for an 18 per cent increase but that the government had responded with a 13 per cent hike.

Jamaica must prepare for all trading arrangements, says minister
Published on Friday, August 29, 2008

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS): Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Trade, Dr Kenneth Baugh, has noted that Jamaica should not only look at the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), but also at positioning itself for trade generally.

He also stated that Jamaica should aim to implement all trade arrangements whether under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), CARICOM, EPA, and with Canada.

"The implementation of the EPA must therefore be undertaken within the framework aimed at developing our capacity to participate more effectively in the international trade in goods and services," Dr. Baugh said during Wednesday's debate in the House of Representatives on the CARIFORUM/ European Union (EU) EPA.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr Ken Baugh. JIS Photo
He added that the country must focus on the production of high quality goods and services and on the need to improve sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade and its intellectual property framework.

Baugh also said it is critical that a holistic approach be adopted in the implementation of the EPA and all other trade agreements in the context of the National Development Plan, (Vision 2030) and the National Export Strategy.

The Minister also noted that the EPA technical working group, which was established by Cabinet is focusing on broad implementation strategies, which will encompass all trade agreements, both current and prospective.

In addition, Baugh informed that work is currently underway on a desk audit of technical assistance project, which will identify the gaps in existing trade related development projects, and establish areas, which will require development support.

"We have to look to a co-ordinated approach to utilising all donor resources in our effort to build our trade capacity. We however are conscious of the distinct role of the EU in providing development support (mainly grant aid) over many years estimated at 530 million Euros under the Lome Conventions and 224 million Euros," Baugh said.

The fundamental principles and objectives of the EPA between the EU and CARIFORUM states are defined by the Cotonou Agreement and seek to create sustainable development of the states, their smooth and gradual integration in the world market, and eradication of poverty.

It is expected that sustainable growth will be enhanced; production and supply capacity increased; and structural processing and economic diversification of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, promoted, while supporting regional integration.

Jamaica and Belize not interested in proposed regional 'union'
Oscar Ramjeet - JA Observer - Friday, August 29, 2008

Jamaica and Belize are not interested in the political union proposed by Trinidad and Tobago and three OECS countries.
The prime ministers of Jamaica, Bruce Golding, and Belize, Dean Barrow, told the Caribbean Media Corporation on Tuesday that they won't be part of the union after they had had discussions with their Trinidad and Tobago counterpart Patrick Manning.
In Belize, Barrow, after meeting with Manning in Belmopan, said he did not intend to join the union, although he commended the effort, while Golding from the outset was unsupportive of the move and said that Jamaica will not be involved in the process. He said in a statement, "The plan to set up a political union needs to be carefully examined since there could be implications for the entire Caribbean Community (Caricom)."
Meanwhile, lecturer at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus, Dr Paul Ashley, described the move as ludicrous and accused the leaders of disregarding the people of the region.
Manning, and the prime ministers of Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines signed a Memorandum of Understanding last week for a proposed single economy by 2011, and political union by 2013.
After the signing, Manning flew off to Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, and The Bahamas with his country's Foreign Affairs Minister and Caricom Secretary General Edwin Carrington, to discuss the initiative. He later journeyed to Jamaica and Belize, with plans to visit Haiti and Suriname.

A lie she a tell?

By diatribalist on Portia Simpson Miller

The core of the argument is that those who now back Peter Phillips are simply prejudiced against her because she is woman of modest origins and black. In a most stunning display of her signature irrationality, Simpson Miller has drawn a straight line from the treatment of the slaves to the treatment of black Jamaicans in colonial times to the treatment of herself by the inheritors of the Drumblair heritage - the supposed elitists. Black against white. Rich against poor. Man against woman. Those who have a different view of the future of the PNP are against Simpson Miller.

Mark Wignall, Sunday Observer, August 31, 2008
The above quote by Mark Wignall in his Sunday column is meant to chastise Portia for her “signature irrationality” in contending that many of her detractors are motivated by her “pedigree” more than they are motivated by her performance.

Whereas I would never indict ALL supporters of Phillips with the charge of racism and sexism, is there any doubt that many, if not the majority of them, are motivated either by their own sexism and racism or what they percieve to be the racism and sexism of others?  Is Wignall that blind?

Least we forget:

It was the Jamaica Gleaner that depicted Simpson-Miller as a “virago” as a reminder of her class origins.And let no-one pretend that if Portia had asserted that the PM is not responsible for crime strategy, in the way that Bruce did, the Observer and Gleaner would have been braying for her resignation. If Bruce had to contend with the raw deal press that Portia was given he would have resigned or called an election already.

Jamaicans Don’t Build Castles on the Sand

By Emily Henry on rick's cafe

Most Jamaicans keep their homes pretty low-key. Huts made with wooden slats or metal sheets dot the landscape alongthe coast and for miles inland. Most of them are no more than one large room, so families congregate on the fields outside instead. Hustlers hoping to make their money from tourists spend the hot, lazy days on plastic chairs along the road, shouting occasionally at passers by to come and view their goods, buy a beer or share a joint.

Everything on the island is transitory, from the tourists to the real estate.

Concrete makes no sense to the citizens of this Caribbean paradise, who know that it only takes one stormy summer to level everything back down to zero. Last year, Hurricane Dean pummeled the island with torrential rain and biting winds.

On Thursday, Hurricane Gustav flooded the plains of low-lying areas, including the city of Portmore on the outskirts of Kingston.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Gustav swept along the east side of the Jamaica Thursday, hovering threateningly close to the capital city of Kingston, before creeping further toward the U.S. border. The winds are up to 70 mph, and as the hurricane heads North-East, New Orleanians are being told to evacuate. Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Northern region battles the tropical storm. Residents and tourists in high-risk areas were told Wednesday to evacuate, or hunker down and prepare for a big one. Three years to the day after Hurricane Katrina, the people of New Orleans are in panic-mode.

But Jamaicans experience the same sense of déjà vu every summer.

In Negril, a tourist haven in West Jamaica famous for its seven-mile beach, Rick’s Café has been rebuilt twice since 1988. Despite towering high above the cliffs, the building was trashed by 25-foot waves during Hurricane Gilbert in September 1988. Rick’s was rebuilt, only to be obliterated on Sep. 11, 2004 by Hurricane Ivan.

This time, the waves reached a staggering 80 feet as they crashed over the cliffs and treetops. What was left of Rick’s was strewn along the road. But perseverance has paid off. Negril’s tourists still flock to Rick’s to watch the cliff divers and the sunset while enjoying a goat curry and some creative rum cocktails. If Hurricane Gustav brings the house down for the third time, Rick’s will no doubt start picking up the bits and pieces as soon as the wind dies down.

This regular rotation is part of the Jamaican lifestyle. Being able to carry what you own and start afresh at the first drop of a rain cloud is a skill quickly acquired by residents of this tropical paradise on the hurricane strip. It’s not a fluke catastrophe - it’s geography.

West End Road runs along the shore and up to Rick’s, where a number of cliff-lining restaurants are situated as well as Negril’s quaint lighthouse, making it a famous route for tourist-hauling taxi drivers. At the beginning of August, the route toured a host of abandoned buildings and construction sites on the way. Some of the empty houses are the size of mansions, wood flayed off and decaying, windows gaping open like eye sockets.

According to a driver from Jamaica Tours Limited, foreign money has been buying up real estate on the island. Bill Cosby owns a multi-million mansion on the outskirts of Montego Bay. Considering that most two-bedroom houses cost approximately $20,000 here, a million goes a long, long way in creating the ultimate paradise home. According to The Jamaica Observer, even though real estate prices are relatively low, the industry is booming.

But to the Jamaicans, masterful, luxuriant architecture is ridiculously superfluous and sticks out like a fortress in the jungle. Construction workers wave lazily at passers by as they rebuild the vacation homes that will soon be taken once again by nature’s appetite. At dusk, they leave these castles on the sand and go home to their makeshift huts, watching the horizon for rainstorms.

Black Serial Killers: Andre Bradford (Jamaica)

By Alex Linder on Crime
Angry mob threaten suspected serial killer

BY Rhoma Tomlinson Observer writer

Friday, August 01, 2008

MANDEVILLE, Manchester - An enraged crowd of Mandeville residents, angered by what they claimed was a delay of justice and police protection of a cold-blooded killer, on Wednesday attacked the police vehicle carrying suspected serial killer André Bradford from the Mandeville courthouse and threatened to chop him to pieces if they got their hands on him.

The enraged crowd waited for Bradford to descend from the courthouse, following his second court appearance at the Mandeville Resident Magistrate Court. Bradford, who is 19 years old, is accused of murdering three women from his community over a 20-month period, in what appears to be serial-styled killings.

Enraged Mandeville residents rushed toward a police vehicle carrying suspected serial killer Andre Bradford following his court appearance on Wednesday in the Mandeville Resident Magistrate Court. (Photo: Rhoma Tomlinson)

"We just waan get wi hand pon him", "What a wicked bwoy", "If him lef prison, a kill wi ago kill him, dem beta mek him dead in deh", were some of the sentiments expressed, as some of the angry residents attempted to block the police vehicle carrying the suspected serial killer while others tried to pry the door open to get him out.

Up to 15 minutes after the police had whisked Bradford away, residents were still venting their rage, and vowed to get him for the killings. The incident slowed traffic in the busy town for several minutes.

Bradford, who has been in custody since May, is accused of killing 30-year-old Bridgette Bryan, his 60-year-old cousin Vera Bradford, and family friend 41-year-old Patricia Clayton. The women were reportedly raped, stabbed repeatedly and had their throats slashed.

The killing of the three women has sparked outrage in the Three Chains and Greyground districts in Mandeville, in which both Bradford and the three women resided.

Bradford became a suspect following Clayton's death - the last of his victims - who community members said had left for a party with him before she went missing. Her body was found days later.

Police alleged that Bradford confessed to all three killings, and even took them to the murder scene of Clayton. During his court appearance on Wednesday, a serious-faced Bradford told the sitting Resident Magistrate that he did not have a lawyer. His case was set for mention on Wednesday, September 3 during which time the court will seek to secure a lawyer for him.

Festive welcome - Government makes plans to celebrate Beijing stars

published: Tuesday | August 26, 2008

Four days of celebrations, including motorcades throughout the Corporate Area and Montego Bay, St James, are among the proposals to celebrate the accomplishments of Jamaica's Olympic team at the just-concluded Beijing Games in China.

Jamaica House released the considerations yesterday after Prime Minister Bruce Golding met with members of the Olympic Homecoming Planning Committee.

The motorcades might include using select routes throughout the cities. Grand galas in Kingston and Trelawny, visits to communities and schools, a major reception in Kingston and a thanksgiving church service are also being considered.

Establish a centre

Golding said the Government is working to establish a centre of international sporting excellence through which new and upcoming talents in all sports will be identified and provided with professional training.

The Government will also be strengthening the institutional support for sporting organisations such as the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association, the Jamaica Olympic Association, and the Institute of Sports, to help them to upgrade and improve their services.

Golding said the Government also wants to look at long-term development programmes for accomplished sportspersons.

While the committee puts together plans for the celebrations of the Olympic team, as well as appropriate rewards for the athletes and their coaches, the Government is also considering long-term development plans and benefits.

Golding said these benefits should include the provision of health insurance, the creation of a medical centre that would address the medical needs for all sporting activities, benefits for retired athletes, financial advice and management of finances.

Special bank account

The meeting proposed the establishment of a special bank account through which organisations and individuals could contribute to the development of some of the programmes being put forward.

The reintroduction of a well-rounded physical education programme in schools starting at the primary level was also discussed and this is to be developed in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

The celebrations of the homecoming of the Olympic team will be finalised on the return of sports minister, Olivia Grange, who is scheduled to arrive from Beijing later this week.

The celebratory activities are being proposed for the end of September when most of the athletes are expected to complete participation in other competitive sporting events in Europe.

Bolt trounces 100m field in Zurich
BY DANIA BOGLE Observer staff reporter

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Double Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt posted 9.83 seconds into a head wind of -0.5 m/s to win the men's 100m at the penultimate IAAF Golden League Athletics meet of the season, at the Letzigrunds Stadium in Switzerland yesterday.

Bolt won ahead of Olympic bronze medallist Walter Dix of the United States (9.99) and silver medallist Richard Thompson of Trinidad & Tobago (10.09), while Olympic 4x100m gold medallist Michael Frater was sixth in a time of 10.15 seconds.
"It was a good, nice track, great crowd," said Bolt, who was struggling with a cold.
"My start was not too good. I concentrated on winning, and as I'm starting to get a cold I was not able to think about any faster time. My coach (Glen Mills) told me that I should make sure to end the season healthy."
Jamaica's Mario Forsythe clocked 10.36 seconds for victory in Race Two, but the combined results left him out of the winners' circle. Christopher Williams was third in Race Three in 10.32 seconds.
Novlene Williams and Shericka Williams were third and fourth, respectively, in her women's 400m, in 50.78 and 51.28 seconds. Rosemarie Whyte was sixth in 51.73 seconds.
Sanya Richards was back to winning form in the 400m, a week after being beaten into third at the Olympics, clocking 49.74 for victory ahead of Russia's Tatiana Firova (50.70) .
Jeremy Wariner exacted revenge on LaShawn Merritt for his defeat in the Olympic men's 400m final, winning in a season's best 43.82, while Merritt was second in 44.83. The Bahamas' Christopher Brown ran 45.05 for third.
Jamaica's Richard Phillips was seventh in the men's 110m hurdles in a time of 13.60, while Olympic gold medallist Dayron Robles of Cuba clocked 12.97secs for victory ahead of David Oliver of the United States (12.98) and Poland's Artur Noga (13.37).
Danny McFarlane clocked 48.40 for third in the 400m hurdles, while the top two places were a repeat of the Olympic final with Angelo Taylor (48.07) winning ahead of Kerron Clement (48.20). Jamaica's Isa Phillips was sixth in a time of 48.99secs.
Kenia Sinclair finished eighth in the women's 800m in a time of 2:03.45, while winner Pamela Jelimo clocked 1:54.01 and remained in line for a share of the Golden League Jackpot.
The race was the last for Mozambique's Maria Mutola, who won 12 straight years in Zurich. She finished fourth in 1:58.71 and retired after yesterday's event. Mutola ran her first race in Zurich in 1993.
Olympic silver medallist Allyson Felix of the United States clocked 22.37 for victory in the 200m ahead of Lauryn Williams in 22.68 and Cayman's Cydonie Mothersill (22.74). Olympic finalist Debbie Ferguson of the Bahamas clocked 22.99 for fourth place.
Olympic silver medallist Blanka Vlasic of Croatia won the women's high jump, clearing 2.01m ahead of Russia's Anna Chicherova, who cleared (1.98m) and remained in line for a share of the golden league jackpot with one meet remaining.
Olympic gold medallist Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia won the women's Pole Vault after clearing 4.88m.
Meanwhile, Olympic champion Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain suffered defeat in the 1,500m at the hands of Kenya's Haron Keitany, who clocked 3:32.06 to win ahead Ramzi in a season's best 3:32.86, while Belal Mansoor Ali, also of Bahrain, was third in a season's best 3:33.06.
Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia stamped his class on the men's 5,000m in a world leading 12:50.18. ahead of Uganda's Moses Kipsiro (12:59.48) and Moses Ndiema Masai of Kenya (13:00.15).
The US team of Rodney Martin, Travis Padgett, Shawn Crawford, and Darvis Patton won the men's 4x100m relay in 38.01 ahead of Trinidad & Tobago (Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender, Richard Thompson) in 38.03.

He is a happy person, says Usain's mother

published: Sunday | August 31, 2008

Jennifer Bolt

Barbara Ellington, Lifestyle Editor

TRIPLE OLYMPIC gold-medal winner Usain Bolt loves children with a passion and will pick them up and play with them on the spur of the moment, according to his mother, Jennifer Bolt. She says this love spills over into his happy personality.

"He was a happy child, always very playful. He plays to keep himself focused and calm. In China, he even told Britain's Germaine Mason to be more relaxed and happy before competition," Mrs Bolt said, in reference to criticism in some quarters of her son's post-win antics.

Mrs Bolt gave an exclusive interview to The Sunday Gleaner yesterday over breakfast at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston. She spent the night there, courtesy of Digicel, after Tropical Storm Gustav forced the Virgin Atlantic flight from London to divert to St Lucia Thursday night. She was returning home after witnessing her son's historic achievements in Beijing, China. 

Reflected on Wellesley

Over breakfast, Mrs Bolt reflected on her husband, the early years, and, of course, Usain. Were it not for the senior Bolt's persistence, Usain would probably not be here. 

Mrs Bolt did not care much for Wellesley Bolt when they first met in 1984. She was absorbed in the young people's club at her church (Seventh-day Adventist); he was Baptist and she lived with a very strict mother. So Wellesley had to pursue her. 

His persistence paid off and they got together, had Usain in 1986 and got married when their little 'Lightning Bolt' was 12 years old.

Usain was not a problem child. His only weakness was that he loved to play a lot, his mother said, so much so that he has been into hand-held games since he was a child, and has run the gamut from Nintendo to Play Station and all the latest inventions. "He spends a lot of money on games," she disclosed.

Has Usain ever told her what he would give her if he struck it big, The Sunday Gleaner asked? He sure has. In his own words, he has often told her, "Mommy, I am going to let you live big."

Challenge to pronounce name

Just as some people find it hard to understand Bolt's personality, even more seem to find his name challenging to pronounce. (It's YOUsain). Mrs Bolt said she got the name from her 10-year-old nephew-in-law. 

She was pregnant with Usain when the youngster told her to call the baby Usain if she had a boy. "He even spelt the name for me, and when I asked where it came from, he said a classmate of his had it. The middle name, St Leo, was given to Usain by my sister."

Accompanying Mrs Bolt home was her son's girlfriend, Mizicann Evans, who Usain met at a track meet when she was 13. She now wears his promise ring and the families get along.

Mrs Bolt takes her son's fame in stride, expressing concern for his well-being (like now that he's having a cold). "The change of climate from China to Switzerland affected him, and he was not happy that I did not call him on Thursday night," she said.

Apple's fall from grace

published: Tuesday | September 2, 2008

Apple Craig (right) with the other members of Israel Vibration, Lascelle 'Wiss' Bulgin and Cecil 'Skelly' Spence.

ALBERT 'APPLE' Craig, a founding member of roots-reggae group Israel Vibration, is destitute. The News Blaze newspaper in Folsom, California, reported last week that the singer, who left the group in 1997, has been homeless for some time.


The report said Apple has been in bad health and now suffers from seizures 'due to living in a mold-infested apartment for four years'.

Last week, the Reggae Festival E-Guide began accepting donations to assist the Rastafarian vocalist.

"There is so much more that Apple has in store for us musically. Let's show him how much we appreciate his contribution to us by giving back to him," the E-Guide said in a statement. 

Tough times

Craig, who also lived at the Salvation Army and Alpha Boys School, is no stranger to tough times. In the liner notes of the Israel Vibration box set, Power Of The Trinity, he said he begged and slept on streets while he was at the Mona Rehabilitation Centre.

"I was like a lonely sheep in the wildnerness, I'd take my bath on the wharf, naked in front of people," he said. "I slept in old houses, old cars, I never lost my dignity or my mind."

The Power Of The Trinity was a strong seller for the trio. group member Cecil 'Skelly' Spence said. A divine spirit had brought them, and would keep them together.

"We are Shadrack, Meschak and Abendigo. Wi been through the fire and we're still holding on," he said.

Apple left Israel Vibration due to differences with Spence and Lascelle 'Wiss' Bulgin with whom he founded the group in the early 1970s. The three were once patients at the Mona Rehabilitation Centre in St Andrew, where they were treated for polio during the 1960s. 

Harmony sound

The group lived and practised their harmony sound in the hills of August Town, recording for several producers before breaking through in 1979 with Same Song, produced by Tommy Cowan.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Israel Vibration was one of reggae's top touring acts in North America and Europe. They had several well-received albums for the Washington DC independent label RAS Records including Strength of My Life and On the Rock.

In 1995, they had a minor hit song in the US with Rudeboy Shuffling which was written by Apple.

After leaving 'Israel', Apple recorded one album, 1999's Another Moses.

Many reggae acts have found the going tough once their career lulled. Singer Junior Byles and pianist/singer Theophilus Beckford are just two who fit in that category. Byles, best known for songs like Fade Away and Curly Locks, has been troubled by mental illness since the early 1970s.

Beckford recorded the hit song Easy Snapping in 1959. He was a broken man in February 2001 when he was murdered by his neighbour.

< Albert 'Apple' Craig 


The days in Israel

Albert 'Apple' Craig was stricken with polio when he was three years old.
Israel Vibration recorded an album of songs at Channel One before their breakthrough album Same Song.
Tommy Cowan produced Unconquered People, the group's second album.
Group member Skelly represented the Jamaica wheelchair team in basketball.
The Roots Radics band, which included bassist Errol 'Flabba' Holt and guitarist Dwight Pinkney, toured and recorded with Israel Vibration during their heyday in the 1990s.

Roy Shirley's body returns to Jamaica for burial

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

LONDON, England (JIS): The body of veteran Jamaican vocalist, Roy Shirley, left London on Monday (September 1), for Jamaica for burial, a release from JIS News stated. Shirley, whose real name was Ainsworth Roy Rushton Shirley, died in July at his home in London.
One of Shirley's daughters, Queen Irie, told JIS News, that her father was a strong and spiritual man, who was principled and not afraid to stand up for what he believed in.
Long time friend and fellow London-based singer, Dennis Alcapone, described Shirley as a nice man, a fun person to be around, and an extraordinary performer. Alcapone said he met Shirley in the 1960s, while both worked for legendary producer, Bunny Lee, in Kingston.
Roy Shirley rose to prominence and fame in the late 1960s, and he became renowned for his ecstatic stage performances, that led people to compare him with American soul singer, James Brown. He performed in many countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, and appeared on Reggae Sunsplash in Jamaica in 1982, with backing provided by the Rico Rodriguez Band.
Shirley was raised by his mother and stepfather in Trench Town, Kingston, and began singing in talent contests in the late 1950s. Encouraged by fellow artiste, Jimmy Cliff, who introduced him on stage during one of his first performances, Shirley eventually turned professional during his teens. He subsequently moved to England in 1973, but would return to Jamaica to perform, as well as tour North America. His last performance was at a World Music Festival in the USA in June.
The repatriation of Shirley's body to Jamaica was initiated by Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports Olivia Grange, with the support of the Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes, with coordination in London by the Jamaican High Commission.
Giving thanks for Dizzy

published: Tuesday | September 2, 2008

A Thanksgiving service for the life of Skatalites trumpeter Johnny 'Dizzy' Moore will be held on Friday at the Ashanti Gardens Restaurant, starting at 7 a.m.


A funeral service takes place the following day at the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, 89 Maxfield Avenue with internment at Dovecot.

Moore, a founding member of the legendary Ska band, died from colon cancer on August 16 in St Andrew, at the age of 69.

A graduate of the Alpha Boys School, Moore played on some of the band's biggest hit songs including Confucius and Freedom Sounds.

He is survived by his mother and four children.

Obama will revive African-American music: Spike Lee
IANS  | Tuesday, 02 September , 2008, 15:37

Controversial Hollywood filmmaker Spike Lee is certain that the US presidential hopeful Barack Obama will change the face of African-American music if he wins the election.
According to, Lee is one of the many celebrities who is supporting the Democratic Party candidate Obama. Lee believes Obama will inspire a revival among artists.

He said: "We gotta step it up. This is too important. We should use an event like Barack's presidency, which I feel is probably one of the most important moments in the history of this country, to galvanise us, to inspire us, and, yo, let's go!

"I believe artists have to lead the way. The same way as in the turbulent 60s... that music reflected both the difficult times we were going through and the enthusiasm and optimism we had, too. And I think Obama is going to have the same effect on African-American artists—and it's needed."

VP Records to close Kingston office?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Everybody's been talking about it. The fact that music mogul, VP Records has plans to close its office located here in Kingston.
This office is run by their hard-working and vivacious marketing manager, Yolan Zanders, who has been the face of VP Records locally for some time now. In fact, it was in 2004, to mark VP Records' 25th anniversary, that the label announced that they were returning to Kingston as the largest independent reggae music label in the world.
"Establishing an office in Jamaica will allow for our partners in the music and business communities to have greater accessibility to VP," Randy Chin, VP's head of marketing, was quoted as saying. "We look forward to continuing our successful endeavours in bringing Jamaican music and culture to the world."
The new office, it was announced, would be headed by Yolan Zanders who, at the time, expressed her excitement at being part of the VP family. "It's great that there is an office in Jamaica, where reggae lives," she had said.
Everybody knows that if you need anything at all from VP - from the proverbial pin to an anchor - just call Yolan. And, Yolan seems to be always on call, as I personally have called her at various hours of the day . and night . and somehow she always picks up the phone. Of course, we gave Yolan a call to find out what really was happening, but she is well schooled. "Yes, I have heard it . everybody's been calling me and asking if it's true that the office is closing," she said. Stating that nothing has been said to her officially from VP, she denied further comment.
However, we must also remember VP has been laying off staff since it bought out Greensleeves Records and that Cristy Barber, who was director of A&R at VP from 1998 - 2000, has been back at VP since January this year when it was announced that she was appointed vice-president of marketing and promotions at the company.
Artistes signed to VP include Beres Hammond, Morgan Heritage, Mavado and TOK.
Helpless residents watch woman die

Two weeks ago, the remains of Barbara Gordon, niece of popular artiste Beres Hammond, were found in her burnt-out home in Annotto Bay, St Mary. Firefighters in the community were unable to respond because the lone truck was out of service and it was a truck from Port Maria, some 16 kilometres away, that responded to the call. 

Functional truck

Apart from the obvious grief of losing their loved one, Gordon's family believes the damage could have been minimised, and their relative possibly saved if there had been a functional truck.

According to police reports, Gordon's remains were found in her three-bedroom house in the Gibraltar Housing Scheme about 10:30 a.m. on August 16. Residents reported seeing a burst of flames and smoke coming from a section of the house. The police were called in, but could not enter the house because of a grille. With the help of firefighters from Port Maria, they later entered the house and found Gordon on a burnt-out bed spring. 

Gordon's family believes that the 48-year-old was raped and strangled but the Constabulary Communication liaison officer for the parish, Corporal Angella McTaggart, told THE STAR that though initial investigations suggested foul play, the police were awaiting the results of forensic tests and could not confirm those reports. 

Main grouse

The family's main grouse however is the poor service they received when they called for help. Gordon's cousin, Sharon, told THE STAR, "She was a stalwart in her community of Annotto Bay and should not have died like this. I see this as an opportunity to spark some type of movement to mandate a prioritisation of service delivery - certain basic needs must be taken care of - there has to be some type of legislation to ensure that the people are served." 

Gordon's aunt, Irene Hammond, also told THE STAR, " When they called Annotto Bay, they were told that the truck had no tyres. Portland couldn't respond. Port Maria finally responded but the house was already burnt to the ground." She also told THE STAR that her niece was every well known in the community and was extremely active in church and outreach programmes. 

She added, "I believe her death could have been prevented and not because of our name but that was our family home. Her grandfather developed that scheme and it is sad to know that she died like that. I'm very angry and bitter. If she was not murdered before, it means she died because the fire truck could not respond. We don't want this to happen to another person. Our family will not just sit by and let this go. It was a horrible way for my niece to die." 

No special treatment

Hammond, travelled to the island from Canada to bury her niece and days after the funeral she told THE STAR that she was still unable to get out of bed and move around. 

She told THE STAR, "We didn't want any special treatment or anything like that, but everyone should be painted with the same brush. This could have happened to any other person."

Douglas Nevins, who at the time of the incident was acting divisional head for the St Mary Division of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, told THE STAR that the truck was indeed out of commission.

He, however, explained that it was not because it had no tyres. "The truck was in Kingston being repaired. It had some engine problems," he said. He said the Annotto Bay Fire Department contacted its counterparts in Port Maria. He admitted, however, that if the truck had been functioning, there would have only been minimal damage to the house. 

The investigating officer from the Annotto Bay Police Station told THE STAR that one man had been taken into custody in connection with the incident and another was being sought. He however, declined to give further information, saying the matter was still under investigation and was therefore "delicate".

Murders surge in MoBay

western bureau

Despite the onslaught of Tropical Storm Gustav on the island last week, crime continues to surge in Montego Bay, St James, following the shooting death of a taxi operator yesterday.


Dead is Hanix Thompson, 29, from Hendon, Norwood in the parish. 

Constable Richam Davis, Constabulary Communications Network liaison officer for the parish, said Thompson was gunned down on Johnson Hill in Glendevon about 7:20 a.m. 

Reports are that residents heard several loud explosions and alerted the police. Thompson's body was subsequently found with several gunshot wounds. His Toyota Corolla motor car was taken by his killer(s). The taxi operator was taken to the Cornwall regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

No motive

No motive has been established for the murder. However, the Montego Bay Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), is appealing to persons with information to contact them immediately.

Thompson's death has pushed the number of homicides in St. James to 139 since the start of the year. 

Meanwhile, the Anchovy police were kept busy by scores of residents in Mount Carey, St. James who mounted a roadblock on Monday morning. Police say the road was blocked about 9: 20 a.m. by residents protesting the absence of electricity and water supply from their community.

However, the protest was short-lived as the police cleared the roadblocks and maintained a presence in the area.

Ganja owners still unknown 

Arthur Green, Star Writer

(this antique photo is of West Indian Ganja Rug Dealers at the Marketplace early 1900's)


The St Thomas police are still trying to find those responsible for what has been described as a major narcotics find last weekend.

Reports are that over 500 kilograms (1,000 lb) of cured ganja, apparently destined for export, was confiscated by the police on Saturday. 

The Star understands that the weed was seized from a location in the vicinity of the Prospect Beach. 

Breakthrough soon

According to head of the St Thomas Division, Deputy Super-intendent Marlon Nesbeth, the investigations are picking up pace and the police are expected to make a breakthrough in their investigations soon.

Hanna refuses to leave Turks and Caicos: Latest pictures

Published on Wednesday, September 3, 2008

By Tess Hennigan

Caribbean Net News Staff Reporter


(I've been to these very places and it's so hard for me to recognize them with all this water ontop of them. wow.. ~RE)

GRAND TURK, Turks and Caicos Islands: Tropical Storm Hanna became nearly stationary late Tuesday as it hovered over the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI).

At 11:00 p.m. EDT Tuesday, the centre of Tropical Storm Hanna remained about 65 miles southeast of Great Inagua Island in the southeastern Bahamas, and about 450 miles southeast of Nassau, Bahamas.

A hurricane warning remains in effect for the central and southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 mph, accompanied by higher gusts, sustaining Hanna as a category one hurricane on the Saffir Simpson Scale, with little change in strength forecasted for tonight.

Hanna is expected to strengthen on Wednesday and Thursday, possibly regaining hurricane status.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 230 miles from the centre of the storm.




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