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  • Damion Crawford takes aim at JLP's multi-million $ debushing programmes with funny quips

    Former Member of Parliament for East Rural St Andrew Damion Crawford has weighed in on the controversial $800M "bushing programme" launched by the ruling Jamaica Labour Party ahead of the parish council election in November 2016.

    Crawford — who was denied the opportunity to be the People's National Party (PNP) standard bearer in the constituency in the February 25, 2016 election — asserted that in the wake of the multi-million programme, there should no longer be any bushes in which gunmen can hide from the police.

    "I saw about two months ago when there was an election — a $800million bushing programme. I see now that we have a by-election, another $300million bushing programme,” he said.

    “I am sending a warning to the minister of security that I better not watch my TV and hear the police say that a man was firing shots at the police and escaped in the bushes. Him better escape down the well-manicured streets," Crawford quipped.

    He was speaking Saturday night at a PNP rally at the Falmouth Primary School, in Trelawny.

    Also reflecting on the subject, designated PNP president Dr Peter Phillips questioned how the project was so expeditiously approved, while others are still languishing behind due to the procurement system.

    "I tell you about that programme, it was approved by Cabinet the Wednesday, them sign contract the Friday and dem pay money the following Wednesday," Phillips said.

    He said the procurement system is being blamed by Government for half of the capital budget for 2016/2017 financial year not being spent.

    "You ask them why they don't do it they say the procurement system hold them up but when them want the bushing programme, procurement system no hold dem up. When they want giveaway for few of their supporters, procurement system no hold them up," Phillips said.



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  • Not much to fear from possible consumption of tainted corned beef, says doctor

    Dr Winston Dawes, a leading medical practitioner, says much harm would not come to individuals who may have eaten tainted corned beef.

    According to Dr Dawes, who was the senior medical officer at May Pen Hospital in Clarendon from 1975-2008, consumers would have to be eating the corned beef consistently and over a long time, for them to become ill.

    Dr Dawes, who has a private practice in Half-Way Tree and May Pen, said, for someone to become ill from the product, would “depend on how rotten the meat is and how much of the meat was consumed. It could be rotting to a stage where it is contaminated with tuberculosis and salmonella, that would be bad.”

    However, he added, “I believe that the makers of the product would not be using straight rotten meat. It would be more like rotting meat and they would mix it with normal meat, sterlise it and add additives.

    “This would not be lethal, but it is just the thought of you eating rotting meat,” he said.

    Dr Dawes, however, did not recommend members of the public to eat corned beef at this time.

    Many Jamaicans, especially on social media, have stated that they will continue to eat the product, despite the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries advising not to.

    The ministry, on Monday, imposed an immediate ban on the importation of corned beef from Brazil following reports from Brazilian authorities that several major meat processors in that country have been “selling rotten beef and poultry”.

    Dr Dawes said, “I don’t think that it would be a high percentage that would be rotting, but it could be the start of a slippery slope, as they could start adding more (rotting) meat and additives to the process, which could have a negative impact.”

    Dr. Dawes, who have also been a past president of the Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ), is calling on the authorities to reanalyse the process of how food is being brought into the island.

    “It is a good time to start looking at the food sector and the food that we import. Some of the standards put on our local producers are not being adhered to by the producers in other countries,” he said.

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  • Mother distraught after 15-year-old daughter stabbed at school

    A female 15 year-old grade 10 student of Eltham High School was released from the Spanish Town Hospital on Tuesday morning and is now at home recuperating after a stabbing incident at the school on Monday.

    "One of the stabs missed her lungs by a couple of inches. She had to do two x-rays, and they say there is bleeding around her lungs. She got out of the hospital this morning at about 8, her father had to carry her because she could not walk," the distraught mother of the 15 year-old told Loop News

    Loop News understands that the stabbing incident stemmed from a previous run-in between the female student and another male student, Thuggie**, at the institution.

    According to anecdotal reports by students and adults, the female student got into a fight with another female before the Ash Wednesday break. Then on Friday, Thuggie**, who is reportedly the boyfriend of the other female in question, got into a dispute with the 15 year-old during which he administered a "box" to her face. A box, in Jamaican parlance, is a loud slap to the face.

    On Monday, there was another altercation between the 15 year-old and a male friend of Thuggie**, during which she received yet another "box", but the boy upped the ante by holding on to her schoolbag. 

    Upset, she went home and told her brother, who is a grade 11 student at the school, about the continued disrespect and abuse. Both the brother and the sister returned to the school in the company of several men from the neighbouring community of Irish Pen. Three of those men rode bicycles. 

    Eyewitness reports are that the brother and Thuggie** got into a tussle at the school gate, during which they grabbed each other. Then the men from Irish Pen intervened, and a knife-wielding melee ensued during which four persons, including the 15 year-old schoolgirl, got stabbed, and one person got cut on his fingers. Thuggie's friend was stabbed in the side, while Thuggie** himself got several cuts to his fingers and defensive wounds when he was attacked.

    "it was a good thing that the friend had his knapsack, he used it to deflect three stabs but eventually one got him on his side. Then they ran back inside the school," the eyewitness said. 

    The police said one man from Irish Pen was stabbed three times, while the 15 year-old girl was stabbed twice in the back during the fracas. 

    Efforts to get a comment from the principal of Eltham High school proved futile as the principal told a security guard to tell the gaggle of reporters outside that "the school was doing a routine search, students are being randomly searched and the principal is not aware of anything going on so the media can leave".

    *Name changed to protect identity

    FEATURED IMAGE: Mother of the 15-year-old female Eltham High student who was stabbed; Victim shows wound 

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  • GraceKennedy plans ‘urgent’ trip to Brazil after corned beef recall

    GraceKennedy Limited says it has suspended sales of corned beef that originate from Brazil following a directive from the Government of Jamaica.

    The Ministry on Monday announced that it has imposed an immediate ban on the importation of corned beef from Brazil. The move follows reports from Brazilian authorities that several major meat processors in that country have been “selling rotten beef and poultry”.

    “We stand ready to lend full support to the local regulators in resolving this issue as quickly as possible,” GraceKennedy said in a release.

    In the meantime, Grace Foods has planned an “urgent trip to Brazil to meet with our suppliers and do further investigations around the concerns raised.”

    GraceKennedy sought to assure its consumers that their health and safety are of primary importance and the company has strict product quality control measures that serve to mitigate against any food safety risks associated with corned beef imported into the Jamaican market.

    The company said it has consistently required that its suppliers conform to internationally recognised food safety standards including the British Retail Consortium Standard (BRC).

    This BRC is used by leading manufacturers across the world and sets out strict requirements as it relates to manufacturing, food safety and quality control systems. GraceKennedy’s corned beef suppliers in Brazil have consistently qualified for and retained the BRC standard.

    However, shipments of corned beef from Brazil will continue into Canada and the USA with no regulatory changes at this time, GraceKennedy said.

    “Those countries will continue to implement sampling at their borders, as they have been doing since 2010,” the company added.

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  • Popular party girl accused of stealing Samsung phone


    Popular party promoter Michelle Hylton, otherwise called “Boss Girl Miichi” is scheduled to be tried in the court on a charge of simple larceny on April 24.

    The trial date was set last Wednesday when Hylton appeared in court and pleaded not guilty.

    According to allegations, the complainant was at home when she saw a group of people entering her yard, including the accused.

    Further reports said that the complainant later saw the accused removing her phone, valued at $25,000, from a room in her home.

    The matter was reported and Hylton was arrested and charged.

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