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  • Police sergeant brutally murdered outside party in Gregory Park

    More details have emerged into Friday morning's killing of a police sergeant in Gregory Park, St Catherine.

    The deceased has been identified as 55-year-old Sergeant Neville Bryan of Hambleside drive, Cumberland, St Catherine who was assigned to the Police Emergency Communication Centre.

    Reports from the Caymanas Police are that about 2:30 am, Bryan was at a party along with two females sitting in his Toyota motorcar when two gunmen approached and ordered the females out of the vehicle.

    Bryan was then shot several times all over his body.  He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

    The females escaped unhurt.


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  • STOP CARNIVAL TOO!’ Holness accused of hypocrisy over ‘daggering’ remarks

    Prime Minister Andrew Holness has been accused of hypocrisy after he urged performers of the ‘daggering’ dance to put an end to the practice which he deemed as having a negative influence on children.

    Holness said the dance, which features couples grinding in a simulated sex motion, and is popular in the dancehall, could instill the acceptance of violence into the minds of children.

    But some Jamaicans have lashed the Prime Minister for being, in their estimation, biased against the 'dancehall culture'. They accused Holness of being hypocritical given that dancing in carnival – which is popular among Jamaica’s social elite - involves similar movements.

    “Stop carnival too! Ol' hypocrite unu! How does carnival influence positively on this nation?” said one woman, Kay Lia, on Facebook, in response to Holness’ remarks at a Jamaica Labour Party meeting in Lucea, Hanover on Sunday.

    Cato Powell accused the authorities of “always looking down” at dancehall of which dancing provocatively, he said, is a big part of the culture “whether we accept it or not”.

    “It’s better he said Carnival because all you see is half naked women who are at risk of getting raped by these crazy Jamaican men!” Powell said. “Like seriously, these idiots think they can dictate to people how to live in a Democracy! Dancing provocatively does not instill violence but is a part of the culture.”

    Even those who agreed with Holness that ‘daggering’ was negative, blasted him for turning a ‘blind eye’ to Carnival, which they perceived as being far worse as its flagship road march event is held during broad daylight.

    “Dancing in the dancehall is just like the strip club, no morals no standard, but if he's gonna talk about that he must also take a look at carnival with a bunch of naked people rebelling in the streets in broad day light!” said Oraine Alliance Dixon.

    Meanwhile, others accused the PM of barking up the wrong tree, arguing that the entertainment industry should not be blamed for the country’s violence.

    Shaneka Harris said: “If you think that daggering is a precursor for violence then there is definitely something wrong with you. Violence is a precursor for violence, abuse is a precursor for violence, as is poverty and hopelessness. We need to stop scapegoating and get to the root cause of violence in our society. This is utter rubbish.”

    Chantel Smith shared similar sentiments to Harris.

    “I love my country but this is the least of problems happening in Jamaica… there are no jobs for young people… If you don't want to agree in doing a dance, don't do it ... but don't come and talk about "dagger" is violent… fix the more important stuff,” she said.

    Another social media user, Ochi Link, likened Holness to US President Donald Trump with the “blame games”.

    “Him sound like Trump,” Ochi Link said. “No proof, no research just blame game.”

    Holness, who made the comments against the background of increasing reports of domestic abuse, argued that the 'violent nature' of the daggering dance is reflected in some relationships.

    "The guys who are doing this 'Daggering' dance, they are creative, but they need to understand that what they are projecting into the minds of our children is that violence is acceptable. And then that becomes the projection of Jamaica overseas that we are a violent people. And, then, you have a dispute and the only way to resolve the dispute is what you have been taught coming up for years. Box him down! Stab him up!" Holness warned.


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  • Pastor convicted over sex with 13-y-o to be sentenced today

    The Pentecostal pastor convicted in January for having sex with a 13-year-old girl is to be sentenced in the Home Circuit Court Friday.

    Pastor Paul Hanniford was convicted January 24 for having sex with the girl, who is now 15 years old.

    Hanniford had sex with the girl at his home where he took her and her brother — who was 5 years old at the time — under the guise of taking them for a drive out.

    Prosecutor Natallie Malcolm led evidence that Hanniford gave the boy cornflakes while he sexually assaulted his sister in a room.

    On hearing his sister’s cries, the boy rushed to the room where he saw Hanniford assaulting her.

    Hanniford later returned the children to their mother at his church and tried to stop the boy from telling his mother what he witnessed.

    However, the child blurted out to his mother what he saw and she reported the matter to church officials the following day.

    Hanniford was subsequently arrested and charged after the mother reported the incident to the police.

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  • Kartel fans' threaten Lisa Hanna; cops launch probe

    The Police High Command has launched a probe into online threats against Opposition Spokesperson on Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna, by persons claiming to be fans of incarcerated entertainer Vybz Kartel.

    Social media users have been hurling threats at Hanna following comments she made on Nationwide Radio calling for authorities to place a ban on some of Vybz Kartel's music because of its negative lyrics. The politician's social media pages have also been flooded with derogatory remarks against her.

    Assistant Police Commisioner Devon Watkis said police are not taking the threats lightly.

    "Threats against any citizen is not something we take lightly and it is information I will be passing on to the team at CTOC to look into," Watkis told Loop News.

    Among the comments posted by 'Kartel fans' on Hanna's Instagram page are:

    yours_truly:Yuh want a gaza box

    daniel_kyngLike u wah get wah lizard ... just saying , Jamaica  is not American, why u trying to compare #vybzkartel with #bujubanton , aren't they at two different places ...if so be the case why u guy never do it like American... remember they still haven't find lizard body so how is he in jail ...and just mine they do the same to you ...think before u talk and just go find something productive a

    smokey649@lisahannamp like you want we kid nap and rape you ### big educate woman like you nuh have no more then a topic of vybz kartel like you want man shoot up yah house later badness it name Gaza you can't stop 

    Sexy_Sam22 @lisahannamp I use to admire you, but u get bright when u ago talk bout kartle music must get banned, y you banned

    Questions have been raised over whether Kartel is illegally recording songs in prison.

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  • Digicel to cut at least 1,625 employees from global workforce

    Image result for digicel head office

    Telecommunications company Digicel will be cutting its global workforce by at least 1,625 employees, starting March 1, as the company seeks to restructure its operations.

    In a press release yesterday, Digicel said its plans to design and integrate its organisation to be fit for purpose for 2030, and beyond, will result in the reduction of approximately 25 per cent of its global workforce over the next 18 months.

    The first step in the process being the offer of an Enhanced Voluntary Separation Programme which will open next month.

    In a response to the Jamaica Observer queries, Head of Group Public Relations Antonia Graham said Digicel currently employs in excess of 6,500 full-time employees, in addition to contractors and part-time employees.

    Digicel’s redundancy numbers this year will affect at least 500 more individuals than it did in its last restructuring in 2012.

    Back then, the move was aimed at driving efficiencies and maximising performance following the integration of the Jamaican Claro operations into the company, said Digicel. Now the company seeks to design a market structure which will comprise a small number of regional hubs — two for the Caribbean and Central America tourism regions and two for the Pacific region.

    Graham was tight-lipped on locations of the hubs, but noted that the regional hubs will house back office centralised functions, while delivering shared services.

    “This means that staff in our 31 markets will be focused on sales and enhanced service delivery and resources and investment are prioritised to drive competition and innovation,” she said.

    Currently, Digicel has no regional hubs but will announce the locations of the hubs at a later date. Graham added that since the enhanced voluntary separation programme is a global one, it is not possible to predict what volume of applications the company will get from Jamaica.

    The telecommunications firm said it is now taking things to the “next level” and initiating an ongoing data network upgrade programme through a global partnership agreement that was signed on February 9 in Shenzhen, China, by Digicel Chairman Denis O’Brien and Dr Zhao, chairman and CEO of ZTE.

    Digicel noted that this is the largest network transformation ever undertaken by the company and customers will very soon start to see the benefits.

    Commenting on the programme, Digicel Group CEO, Colm Delves said: “We are building Digicel for 2030 and beyond. Our transformation programme sees us taking the bull by the horns and daring to be different by challenging the status quo and by innovation-led growth. That’s what we are known for and that’s what we will continue to be known for into the future.”

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