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    Opposition Spokesperson on Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna, believes Vybz Kartel’s music should be banned from public airwaves, as he’s a convicted murderer.

    Ms. Hanna disclosed her view in an interview last evening on Nationwide @5, responding to a question from Cliff Hughes.

    Vybz Kartel, who’s real name is Adijah Palmer, is serving a life sentence in prison for murder.

    Ms. Hanna is also concerned about how he’s seemingly been able to produce music from behind bars.

    Ms. Hanna’s comments come amid a discussion about how violence in the country is intertwined with certain negative aspects of popular culture.

    Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, also raised concerns this week about the influence of violence in contemporary music and dance.

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  • Businessman gets life for murder of 14-year-old girl

    SAVANNA-LA-MAR, West-moreland — Fashion designer and photo studio operator 37-year-old Cornelius Robinson, who pleaded guilty to the murder of 14-year-old schoolgirl Santoya Campbell, was sentenced to life when he appeared in the Westmoreland Circuit Court yesterday.

    The businessman, of a Shrewsbury, Westmoreland, address, will become eligible for parole after he spends 25 years behind bars.

    Prior to handing down the sentence, Justice Martin Gayle gave Robinson an opportunity to speak. During his address to the court he broke down in tears as he apologised to family members of the deceased, as well as people who he said "looked up to him".

    On Tuesday, January 27, Santoya's body was found in garbage bags under a bridge, near a river close to the Frome Technical High School, where she was a grade eight student.

    Subsequent post-mortem results, which proved that the young student was pregnant, also showed she was strangled.


    Two days after the discovery of the body, Robinson turned himself over to the police, in the company of his attorney.

    He was afterwards charged by the Westmoreland police after admitting to the murder.

    The matter was first called up in the Savanna-la-Mar Resident Magistrate's Court for mention on Tuesday and Wednesday, last week. The case was subsequently transferred to the Westmoreland Circuit Court where Robinson was sentenced yesterday.

    A remorseful-looking Robinson, clad in a pair of blue jeans pants, blue and white plaid shirt, and a pair of Levi sneakers, held his head down throughout most of yesterday's procedure.

    The court heard that Robinson, who had no previous conviction, admitted to the police and the probation officer that he knew Santoya, who lives in the same community as himself, since she was attending primary school and that her mother asked him to assist her with lunch money, to which he agreed.

    Robinson claimed that the young schoolgirl, who used to visit his photo studio, started to make sexual advances on him to which he finally yielded once between late September and October 2014.

    He also claimed that he was blackmailed by Santoya who started to make demands, including that he buys her a smartphone, to which he agreed.

    Robinson said that before Santoya went to school on the morning of January 26, she visited his business place in Savanna-la-Mar where she aggressively demanded $6,000 to purchase the cellular phone.

    He claimed that when he told her he did not have that amount of money she became boisterous and threatened to report their relationship to her mother and Robinson's wife.

    It was at that time that Robinson said he became frustrated and held the little girl from behind and strangled her to death.

    He confessed that he hid the corpse in a back room of his businessplace where it remained throughout the day while he conducted his regular business.

    About 11:00 that night, he transported the body, which he placed in two garbage bags in the trunk of his motor car and dumped it under the Cabaretta River bridge, near to the girl's school.

    Yesterday, Robinson's legal representative, Herman Smart, who pleaded for mercy for his client, pointed to the social enquiry report which painted Robinson, as a well-behaved individual, who acted out of character. He also stated that his client did not waste the court's time.

    But, Justice Gayle, in handing down judgement, reminded Robinson, who is married with one child, that he took two young lives, including that of the unborn foetus.


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  • Kingston woman allegedly pimped out ‘missing’ 13 and 14-year-old girls

    A Kingston woman has been arrested and charged with child trafficking, having information that a child has been sexually abused, failing to report a child in need of care and protection, and living on the earnings of prostitution.

    The accused is 23-year-old vendor, Mary-Ann Downie, who is of a Kingston 14 address.

    In a statement on the development on Tuesday, the Ministry of Justice said Downie appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court last Thursday, where the matter was postponed until March 20. 

    The allegations against her are that the police visited a property in Kingston 14, where it is alleged that two minors who had been reported missing from home in Portland, were found. The girls, who are 13 and 14 years' old, have been deemed to be victims of human trafficking. 

    The two minors were escorted to the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), where they were interviewed and statements taken from them.

    The matter was subsequently handed over to the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit of the police force for additional investigation, which resulted in Downie being formally charged with child trafficking.

    Indications are that one of the two girls said they were taken by Downie to several locations in Kingston 14, where they were made to have sexual intercourse with adult males in exchange for money, which the accused also benefitted from.

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  • Fix the economy and stop try fix music' - PM slammed for attack on dancehall

    Following his rebuke of aspects of Jamaica's popular culture, particularly dancehall, Prime Minister Andrew Holness is being told to focus on fixing the many ills of the country.

    "Fix the lack of jobs, debt to GDP ratio, crime, the fact that police are quitting more than joining. Fix the economy and stop try fix music," DJ Rush advised the PM.

    Holness, speaking at a Jamaica Labour Party meeting at Rusea's High School in Lucea, Hanover, on Sunday, said that while he has nothing against dancehall, he believes that daggering dances in particular contribute largely to the violence in the country.

    "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," Holness said.

    "We cannot allow violence to take away our true culture and that is being projected as the culture of Jamaica. We must stand up, talk to the entertainers, talk to the promoters," he added.

    DJ Rush said Holness was out of touch with dancehall.

    "The amount of daggering is a small fraction compared to a few years ago. The majority of dancing in dancehall is done now by dancers doing routines," he said.

    The Broadcasting Commission, in 2009, imposed a ban on daggering songs on radio and television.

    Since then, daggering has been replaced by several new dance moves, some of which include aggressive but artistic pounding of women by a male counterpart.


    Similar problems


    Rush argued that if the music was really the root of some of Jamaica's problems, then other parts of the world also in tune with the genre should be experiencing similar problems.

    Recording artiste Razor B, in questioning Holness' reasoning, pointed out that there are many positive messages coming out of dancehall, but they are often overshadowed.

    "I wonder if Mr Prime Minister realise that Charly Blacks had one of the biggest records of 2016 with Party Animal? Stop blaming dancehall and make sure the cops are doing their jobs to try and stop some of these rapists kidnapping our women," Razor B said.

    The artiste, whose song Hot Up caused quite a stir when the accompanying dance had female partygoers literally setting fire to their private parts, told THE STAR that he makes music to have fun and cannot be held responsible for what a few people decide to do while listening to the music.

    "Stop putting blame on our music and start holding people accountable for their own behaviour and actions," he said.

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  • STOP DAGGERING!' Holness cites dance as negative influence

    Prime Minister Andrew Holness has warned performers of the 'Daggering' dance that the moves could instill the acceptance of violence into the minds of children.

    "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.
    "We have to stop this. 
    The new dance that has evolved now... I don't have nothing against the culture... I am a big reggae fan and I listen to dancehall. And, I tell you something, we cannot allow violence to take away our true culture and that is being projected as the culture of Jamaica. We must stand up, talk to the entertainers, talk to the promoters," he added.

    Holness made the remarks on Sunday while addressing a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Area Council Four Annual General Meeting, held at the Rusea's High School in Lucea, Hanover.

    Meanwhile, Holness also hit out against the use of violence as a means of punishing and having control over another person, arguing that this has become a part of our culture which must be expunged.

    Holness argued that this is manifested in some relationships of domestic abuse.

    "Boy, if him no beat mi, him no love mi," Holness said.

    He also cited corporal punishment  in schools as another example.

    "But, what are we teaching our children when we use violence? That violence is the only means to correct someone who does something wrong? Violence is a tool of control when other societies have evolved past that? They don't need to use violence on their children in order to discipline and correct them and they don't have any murders there," Holness said.

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