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  • Police list five most wanted in St James

    Amid a public state of emergency in St James to curb crime, police have listed the top five most wanted individuals in the parish.

    Law enforcement officials said the men are wanted for a number of murders, and are urged to turn themselves in immediately. The wanted men are:


    - Shaneil Lutan, 27 years old of Farm Heights, St James, who was convicted of two counts of murder and illegal possession of firearm; he however escaped police custody.

    - Delano Wilmott, otherwise called ‘Lane’ or ‘Prekeh Bwoy’ of Mother Lane, Retrieve, St James, who is wanted for the murder of Mark Williams in 2016.

    - Arnold Gayle, otherwise called ‘Guy’, who is wanted for the murder of Christopher Currie in 2016.

    - Nico Samuels, otherwise called ‘Bowza’, who is wanted for a triple murder in St James in 2017; and

    - Christopher Boyd, otherwise called ‘Plank’, who is wanted in connection with a double murder in St James in 2017.


    Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Thursday declared a state of emergency for St James. The announcement was made at a press conference at Jamaica House.

    “Crime and violence, in particular murders, have been escalating in the parish of St James. I have been advised by the security forces in writing that the level of criminal activity… is of such a nature and so extensive in scale, as to endanger public safety,” said the prime minister in outlining the basis for the decision to implement the state of emergency.


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  • Mr Vegas responds to backlash over shop owner's 'apology'

    Mr Vegas... I am not going to stoop to that piggish mentality.

    Controversial dancehall artiste-cum-social-activist Mr Vegas provoked the ire of some Jamaicans earlier this week for his role in co-ordinating an apology from 53-year-old Yuemei Pan, the Chinese national who was caught on camera slapping a young student late last year.

    Facebook user Claude 'Big Stone' Sinclair poured cold water over the idea that the apology was sufficient, and believes that "nothing less than closing down that store would relieve the pain and suffering that I felt when I saw my sister being slapped in the face by a Chinese national".

    "Mr Vegas, you don't represent me, what you did was outright humiliating and worse than what the Chinese woman did to that girl. Do you believe if shutting down that store would affect your career? What I saw was nothing short of being a coon, what I saw was nothing short of being an ‘Uncle Tom’," Sinclair said in a prickly Facebook post.

    "The God I serve is God of vengeance, He is a serious God. As a revolutionary, as an activist doing work to motivate people, Mr Vegas, your action demotivated people… you who talked so big and powerful about locking down that store,you make my stomach turn Mr Vegas," Sinclair said.

    Screenshot of video showing Chinese businesswoman Yuemei Pan apologising the young girl she slapped inside her shop last month. The meeting was facilitated by dancehall star Mr Vegas.

    The video showing the apology took place in Pan's supermarket in Clark’s Town, the same place where the initial incident occurred and it was widely circulated on Facebook.

    Mr Vegas shot back saying that he would never incite a riot, or wallow in the ugly wave of jingoism that was washing over social media over the past two days.

    "If someone else had come forward to do this, they would have applauded him. I will not go out of my way to please who criticise because they were not supportive from day one, I am not going to stoop to that piggish mentality. If Mr Vegas started a riot, I could be arrested for disturbing the peace. The mother and child wanted the apology, the Chinese woman didn't apologise to Mr Vegas, it was not for me, the mother settled out of court," Mr Vegas told Loop Jamaica reporter Claude Mills.

    The assault charge that was laid against the Chinese businesswoman was dropped after the matter was settled at mediation, according to Office of the Children’s Advocate.

    Meanwhile, Mr Vegas insisted that the apology was the "best possible outcome" and that the apology went a long way towards cementing Sino-Jamaica relations.

    "The people in the community don't want her shop to close because she sells cheaper than the black man. Poor people want it, who am I go against their wishes?” Mr Vegas said.

    “These people who a criticise should make noise to their Prime Minister, their MP and their government and ask why the Chinese can sell less expensive than Jamaicans. We need a level playing field for Jamaican businesses," he said.

    As the firestorm of criticism grew days ago, an embattled Vegas posted on his Instagram: "Come up with a better plan andput it in motion. Don't just sit around, criticising others' effort."

    Still, the rising tide of criticism mounted.  One irate mother tweeted: "if it was my child, mi woulda open up a wholesale outta Ms Pan, mi nah settle fi $100,000 and a half-assed apology, de Chinese woman outta order (expletive deleted)"

    One user, Tracy Henry said:

    “An apology is not good enough, she should compensate this little girl, she has publicly humiliated her. What's wrong with this man, the world has seen what she has done to her, she needs to compensate her. This woman is not sorry, the little girl could not even look in her face. All the stress she has caused her and you think 1 minute could make her normal again, this video is disturbing my peace.”

    Another user , Cali Jo Jo, wrote on Facebook:

    “That hug was dry, it didn’t seem genuine, she look like she just doing it because of the backlash and because Mr Vegas is a celebrity so she forced the hug to look good! After you slapped that young lady you should have offered a much better apology!... Mr Vegas, great job though for trying to turn something so negative into something positive! You tried.”


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  • J'cans open bedrooms to sex dolls

    Sex dolls have been around for ages, but earlier this week social media went into a frenzy when Sexy Real Sex Doll Shakira began making rounds.

    These silicone beauties now boast human like features such as the ability to simulate orgasms, flirt, and they can even be made to feel warm like real skin.

    Based on how frighteningly realistic they look, questions are being raised about whether or not the sex dolls might be able to replace females in Jamaican bedrooms.

    In a post made on Instagram, dancehall artiste Ce'Cile stated that she was not in favour of the sex doll.

    "OK, talk to me now. What this look like? No disrespect, but isn't it exactly like the bodies we can purchase? So, if a man is OK with breast implants etc, should we be upset if they sleep with da sitten ya? Dear God, please remove any man from my life who would ever sleep with a non-human," her post read.

    However, a day later it would appear that the 'bad gyal' of dancehall may have had a change of heart after speaking with someone who pointed out that it might be safer to sleep with the doll based on "all the diseases and these lying promiscuous men and women walking around."




    While dancehall producer Skatta Burrell joked about getting one of the penis-friendly toys, LA Lewis was dead serious on purchasing the doll that can cost more than US$2,000 (J$249,601).

    "Me like them, and me know bout them before dem become the talk in Jamaica. Me woulda use one, worse me hear say dem have likkle sense like real woman. Of course the real girls gonna feel better, but more time me nuh too waa mix up with human because dem like to get emotional more time or if me wife too tired fi sex, me can just draw fi di dolly inna di closet. I am definitely going to get one, and me nuh care weh nobody wah say," he said.

    Macka Diamond told THE WEEKEND STAR that she believes the sex doll will become very popular locally in the near future.

    "I believe nuff men a go use it, and it's going to be very popular in threesomes," she said.

    Similar sentiments was echoed by sex educator Shelly-Ann Weeks, who stated that Jamaicans are very adventurous beings.

    "Sex dolls is nothing new really. Jamaicans are very adventurous. So my personal philosophy is that once something exists, it is available in Jamaica," she said.

    However, Weeks stated that Jamaicans have two different personas in private and public spaces.

    "They will protest against it in public, but will enjoy it in private. Not a lot of persons are going to be able to afford it though as they go at a very expensive price," she said, noting that women are generally more open to sex toys than men.




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  • Toxic odour disrupts tax office operations downtown

    Members of the Jamaica Fire Brigade were this morning trying to ascertain the source of a toxic smell at the Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) building located at King Street in downtown Kingston.

    While still open for business, most customers and staff were outside the building resulting in significant delays for persons carrying out transactions.

    The TAJ is urging persons to visit other tax office locations while it works with the Fire Brigade to resolve the problem. The King Street facility is one of the biggest and busiest tax offices in the country.


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  • Deportees outnumber returning residents

    Deportees account for more than twice the number of Jamaicans who have returned to the country over the past 10 years, the latest migration profile study has revealed.

    According to the report on Jamaica's migration profile for 2017/18, which was handed over to the Government by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) yesterday, the annual numbers of voluntary returnees have trended downwards since 2007, while forced returnees have increased, with 10,190 in the voluntary category, compared with 24,916 deportees.


    “The figures were only kept since the 1990s really, and this is when this phenomenon became evident,” lead consultant on the study, Professor Elizabeth Thomas-Hope, explained.


    She was speaking yesterday at a ceremony held by the PIOJ at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel to hand over the report to stakeholders who contributed data, including the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ministry of National Security, the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency, the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and the Jamaica Constabulary Force.


    Among the chief concerns highlighted is the migration of tertiary-educated, professionals and students, which has left significant gaps in areas such as the health sector, where there is now a shortfall of 68 per cent of nurses in psychiatry; 71 per cent of nurse anaesthetists; and 74 per cent of public health nurses.


    Additionally, the study, which was done in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, outlined that although remittances climbed to $2.3 billion in 2016 and contributed 16.1 per cent to Jamaica's gross domestic product (GDP), it had not significantly contributed to poverty alleviation, as the poorest households received less remittances, although more frequently than other quintiles.


    Professor Thomas-Hope cautioned against dependency on this inflow. “The countries in the world in which remittances contribute most to the GDP are the poorest countries in the world. They are not the countries with the highest remittances…these are countries where remittances have become what GDP really depends upon,” she said.



    Jamaica is 11th in that World Bank global ranking.


    “We do have to be extremely cautious with running with that figure ($2.3 billion) as an achievement. Important as it is in the short term, it does raise flags as to how dependent are we becoming on this,” she stated.


    The report also stated that fewer Jamaicans have been migrating to traditional countries such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom over the past 10 years. And although most of those who leave still make the US their country of choice, those numbers declined from 24,538 in 2006 to 17,362 in 2015.


    At the same time, immigrants increased by some 11,700 between 2012 and 2016 over the previous five years. This included returning nationals and non-Jamaicans, with China and India being the main source countries for the latter.


    The migration profile also provides primary and secondary data on migrants' characteristics; diaspora engagements; remittance and investment inflows; social protection mechanisms in place for migrants; established governance frameworks existing and updated legislation governing immigration; and gaps which prevent the effective streamlining of migration into national development strategies.


    This is the second study to have been published by the PIOJ since the first profile in 2012. The survey allows for the monitoring and evaluation of migration and development policy and related socio-economic assessment.


    Director general of the PIOJ Dr Wayne Henry said Jamaica holds the distinction of being the first country in the English-speaking Caribbean to have published a migration profile in 2012, and subsequently developed a National Policy on International Migration and Development, and a complementary five-year implementation plan.


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