Over the past number of weeks, and probably months there has been one news item that has been taking up the majority of the Jamaican attention. I dont know the exact details of the deal but from what has come out in the news one can say the following.
3) The Jamaican government saught the help of a law firm who would be able to assist them in resolving the treaty dispute
I'll let that sink in for a second...
So what we have here is a case where the government has yet again come out and blatantly lied to Jamaica and then tried to cover up that lie not by denying it or saying that it wasn't them or some method that normal people use. Instead they are going to say that they didnt do it, the party did it. As if the government is a wholly completely body from the party (theoretically it is, but we all know better).
**Taken from Jamaica Gleaner
So now there is no way to say that the government is not trying to protect a hardened criminal as they have spent (through the JLP) US$50,000 to seek the help of the law firm. I have written time and time again that what the government is doing in response to the extradition request is wrong on many levels but this just makes it all the more obvious that these people should be locked up along with all the criminals.
The Washington Post in an article had long claimed that Manatt signed a US$400,000 contract to lobby on behalf of the Jamaican Government and spent several months talking with the White House and other administration officials about why the United States should not extradite accused Kingston drug kingpin Christopher 'Dudus' Coke. But like the article states, if the GOJ did not pay for Manatt's help then who did? Am I to believe that Coke himself has the power to call upon this law firm to lobby for him?
I have to ask first of all why is it that the government could not have turned to local lawyers to assist with the situation. I am pretty sure that the government has an entire arsenal of lawyers to call upon such as the Attorney General, the person who was put in place to essentially be THE lawyer for the government. Or am I to believe that our lawyers have no skill in these matters, and are all but just a waste of the country's resources.
Secondly and most important is why is it that this man is so important that the government has seeked to do so much to keep him here in Jamaica. Since earlier this year when the issue was first brought up in parliament there have been nothing but denials by the government stating that they had no part in the deal. What kind of philosophy do these people that run our country have? I ask myself these questions on a daily basis and can only draw blank answers as I am profoundly confused.
I would have to agree with the opposition leader who has made a call for the government to give a full disclosure on what exactly has taken place. How can I trust a government who has lied to us on so many occassions... its hard to not be frustrated in a situation such as this.
Its all a very sad state of affairs to know that the government intends to risk the diplomatic health of an entire country... for one person.
"We are scheduled to be at the Broward College in Florida on June 5," states Leesah Larmond, Co-CEO of Pageturner Publishing House, publishers of the novel. "What is happening is that there were plans for a US launch of "The Real Gangster's wife", with presentations of the book to two libraries in the Caribbean Community, but after several correspondences with the Program Director of the South Regional Broward College Branch Library, Mrs. Nancy Ansley, and Branch Manager, Ms. Valerie Simpson, (who incidentally is Jamaican), it was eventually decided that a launch at the campus where the Caribbean population is vast, would be an excellent idea, and a great addition to the month long celebrations, marking Caribbean-American month in June.
So to make a long story short the South Regional Broward College Branch of the Broward County Library decided to sponsor the launch and host it in College auditorium, on Saturday, June 05." Mrs. Larmond went on to explain that in addition to the book launch/college visit, where there will be readings and dramatizations from renowned members of the Caribbean community in South Florida, the festivities will be topped off by an invitation only dinner party, scheduled for Snappers in Fort Lauderdale, later that afternoon.
Large international sporting events such as the Olympics capture the attention of both the countries competing and those not competing in these events. This interest leads to huge revenues being generated by the relevant sporting federations through television contracts, ticket sales and ancillary of income.
Industrially developed countries have normally been the ones awarded the privilege of hosting these showcase events. However in the last three decades, international sporting federations have started to select developing countries or regions as sites for their events. These are often attempts to appease those countries or regions that feel that they don’t get a chance to benefit financially from being a part of these sporting federations. Add the fact that these developing countries or regions often produce some of the world’s best athletes so appeasing them could create the goodwill that will be needed politically in the future. Sporting federations believe that if they can help these nations provide better specialized facilities, then those nations will continue to develop new talent for their respective sports.
Although hosting international sporting events might have some benefits to developing countries, the expense of developing the specialized infrastructure needed will become too much for those societies to bear. The resources that would be potentially used for these events could be used to alleviate current social problems in these societies. It is also not clear if the short term or long term benefits of these events will be large enough to cover the direct costs created by these events. Hosting the Olympics and the respective World Cups brings initial significant costs and only potentially large benefits. Stay tuned as next week I explore the actual costs of these events for a country or region
This year's entrants are Norman Manley High, Howard Cooke Primary, Chetwood Primary, Knockalva Technical High, Midland Prep, St. Mary High, Heinz Simonitsch, St's Peter & Paul Prep, Jamaica College, Hampton Prep, St. Thomas Moore Prep, Wolmer's Girls School, KBC Learning Centre, St. Andrew High for Girls, Hillel School, Immaculate High, Hossanah Prep, St. Andrew's Prep, St. Hugh's Prep, Campion College, St. George's College, Glenmuir Prep, and Wolmer's Boys.
Two hundred and eight juniors have already been registered for the Singles Championship which is in its 15th year. The competition, which is sponsored to the tune of $700,000 from title sponsors Burger King, will be played across four venues, The Eric Bell Tennis Centre, Wolmer's High School for Girls, Senior Common Room UWI and the Liguanea Club. Play will get underway in the Boys and Girls 18, 16, 14 and 12 and under categories.
The Boys and Girls 18, 16 and 14 and under will play in a best of three sets format with a seven point tie breaker in lieu of a third set up to the quarter finals. The quarter final and upwards will feature a best of three sets duel.
The Boys and Girls 12 and under will feature a best of three short sets with the first player to four games winning the match. The semi-final and final will be best of three sets with a seven point tie breaker in the 3rd and final set.
Boys and Girls 10 and under will play a pro-set with the first player to eight games winning the match.
This year's tournament referee will be Jordache Deuce with Ann Marie Vassell Barnes serving as Tournament coordinator.
The end of the high school and college track and field season and subsequent the beginning of international level competition usually comes around the time of the Penn relays. The Penn relays have always been one of the more exciting events for all Jamaican athletes who get to compete simply because of that fact. Its also been the grounds more or less for Champs teams who have been successful at our local event to prove that their victories and their athletes talents were no fluke, and it is one of the first places for our athletes to also compete against different athletes, and gain more of an understanding of how international events are done. The Penn relays have been so popular in fact that not only do high schools and colleges compete at this event, but it is also the place where annually there is a USA vs the world event ran where the US pits its strongest athletes in relay races against whatever countries are willing to take up the challenge, Jamaica as usual never backs down from a challenge.
Jamaican schools have always done remarkably well at the Penn relays, so much so that Jamaican schools do have the meet record for the high school girls 4x100, high school boys 4x100, high school girls 4x400, high school girls 4x800, high school girls distance medley, 400m Hurdles Women, high school girls long jump, high school girls triple jump (am I the only one seeing a pattern here with the girls), and the high school boys long jump, - some of these records we have held for in excess of 9 years, one record we have held since 1991! - and where we do not have the meet record for these events, we have the majority of times within the top 10, and this year we have continued to make a marvelous showing in the competition.
On the girls side we took the top 2 spots in the 4x800 with champions Holmwood taking first place with a time of 8:42.49 and edwin allen coming second. The 4x400 girls posted similar results with Holmwood taking first place (3:39.66), Edwin Allen second and Manchester and Vere Tech coming in 4th and 5th respectively. And Holmwood continued to show why they are the champions of girls champs by also taking the 4x100 girls in a race where 5/8 schools were Jamaican, and the Jamaicans took all the top spots from 1st to 4th (Holmwood [45,41], Herbert Morrison, Edwin Allen and Queens), with Manchester pulling 7th. Ristanna Tracy also placed 2nd in the 400m hurdles.
The girls would not let their dominance on the track end there however, as they also took it to the field as well. The top 3 in the long jump championship were once again Jamaicans with Manchester, Camperdown, and Holmwood placing 1st 2nd and 3rd respectively. Top spot in the triple jump also came to Jamaica with Rochelle Farquharson taking first place with distance to spare, and the girls rounded off the competition taking the top 2 spots in the discuss throw with Candicea Bernard continuing on her form to come first (from St. Hughs), with Vanessa Levy from Vere Tech pulling 2nd.
Not to be left out the boys also made sure to stamp their class. Wolmer's in a Penn Relays record 39.78 (a time which would've come 2nd in college competition and 6th at usa vs world level) took the 4x100 race, with Camperdown, St. Georges, and Calabar coming 2nd to 4th respectively; and to add insult to injury also made sure to take the 4x400 race as well with a time of 3:14.59. KC managed to represent well by placing 2nd in the 4x800, and Kemoy Campbell continued to show why he can become a world beater by taking the 3000m competition as well for Bellefield. Patrick Campbell for Munroe also managed to pull 3rd place in the 400m Hurdles.
**Taken from jamaica Gleaner (what you didn't expect a picture of Wolmer's?)
Like the girls, the boys also made brilliant showings in field events, starting with the jumps Kamar Fuller of Wolmer's taking 1st place in the Long Jump competition; Johnathan Reid from KC taking 3rd place in the High Jump; and Campion's Damon McLean managed to pull 2nd place in the triple jump with Wolmerian Christopher Waugh pulling 4th place. Chad Wright of Calabar and Michael Cameron of JC are names one cannot attempt to throw out the window as Chad took the Discuss in a Penns record 58.50 metres while Michael came 3rd with 53.42.
**Taken from jamaica Observer
Our International stars probably got jealous of all the medals the high schools were winning and made sure to take gold in themens 4x100 USA vs the World race with a Penn relays record of 37.90. The team of Mario Forsythe, Yohan Blake, Marvin Anderson, and Usain Bolt, seemed to have actually been under some competition from the USA blue and red teams... that was until the baton reached Bolt, who ran, no jogged an 8.79 split to easily take the event for Jamaica. The women were not so lucky however as they managed to take second in a close race but where the US team managed to beat our team (Simone Facey, Kerron Stewart, Sherone Simpson, and Shelly-Ann Fraser), by .20 seconds to take the gold.
**Taken from Jamaica Gleaner
In the mile relays the female team of Rosemarie Whyte, Novlene Williams, Kaliese Spencer, and Shericka Williams managed to pull off 2nd position but were no match for the blistering US who finished both 1st and 3rd. The male side was not so good however as Ricardo Chambers, Jermaine Gonzales, Lancford Davis and Dwayne Barrett could only manage to pull 4th position in yet another USA dominated race.
The Penn relays were definitely a good start to the International Season for Jamaica and a good ending of the high school season for us as well. Jamaican high schools continued to show their dominance and on more than one occasion embarassed the home team by taking the races easily. Wolmers continued to show their dominating form and Holmwood also managed to show why they were the queens of Jamaican high school track and field for 8 years running. I must say though, pretty soon if we keep taking all the Penn relays' medals to Jamaica... they will probably ban us from entering the competition. But good show nontheless Jamaica! and Congratulations to all who competed!
(Just as a small footnote, you may notice the lack of pictures of the female competitors, it was no fault of mine as I didnt get to actually go there to take pictures personally, I simply could not source any pictures of the women. As soon as pictures begin to show up I will try to add them to the article)
Chances are if you are reading this article right now on a computer, or any other mobile device (and not on some archaic printed paper that somebody gave to you), you are signed up to a social networking site. You can try to avoid it all you want, but the fact of the matter is that, these social networking sites are now as much a part of using the Internet as chat rooms once were. Websites such as Facebook and Twitter have more or less taken over the internet in such a way that it is hard for anybody to ignore them even governments. This was proven most recently in the case of Vybz Kartel being banned from performing in St. Lucia.
With regards to Vybz Kartel, this all started a few weeks ago when the artiste who was slated to perform at a concert in St. Lucia, found out that the St. Lucian government had refused to give him a work permit. The promotors of the show did all that they could to get Kartel to headline their show but sadly the St. Lucian government stood firm on their decision stating that based on their research and the negative opinions of many people, they will not grant him the work permit.
**Taken from Jamaica Observer
Then a group of people on Facebook created a group simply named "We Want Kartel" on Monday . The aim of this group was to appeal the decision of the government by garnering a large enough number of people who would be willing to petition for the artist to perform. In no time at all the group had gathered over 700 people (Currently the member count stands at 1237 members) who were all firm believers that Kartel should be allowed to perform. The group had such an impact that recently they were featured on our local news with the creators of the group getting interviewed. Members of the group made comments such as:
- Really, what can Vybz Kartel contribute to crime thats not already there; duhhhhhhh hypocrite and bad-minded people they always think they better than everybody else why don't they just 'look pon the life they living' (eyes rolling)
- I can't believe the hypocracy of the so called 'committee' who banned the guy from coming. last year they brought amy winehouse here knowing full well that she was a crackhead and what did she do? she embarrasssed them. but i guess it's ok because she's an international artiste and it's just fine to allow her to perform but since kartel is regional we can afford to kick him in his ass right? some support for our fellow caribbean huh? ... if you don't like his music don't come to his show and don't allow ur kids to come either but i don't think it's fair that the rest of us should have to pay for your insecurities....
- It's very convenient for them to sit back and put blame on Kartel instead of their disregard for the youth of this country. Our problems have nothing to do with an artist and his own creativity in music. It has everything to do with our leaders, both in politics and people who the young people are supposed to look up t...o. I am yet to understand how they could ban an artist because of the young people, when the show was marketed to a mature audience. If a child finds himself or herself there, it's the parents' fault. Not Kartel.
And many of these comments garnered support from the members of the group who continued to call for the lifting of the ban.
However the reason for this article is not what the group was for or what the people are saying but the reaction to the group. Jamaican news stations have seen it fit to cover the activities of the group; the St. Lucian government has had to come out and say that it will not allow some facebook group to dictate how it will run the country; and the Jamaican government has decided to come out in support of Vybz Kartel, taking it upon their heads to check whether or not the move by the St. Lucian government was contrary to the CARICOM agreement. All because of a group on a social networking site.
I also remember seeing similar things happen in the last election campaign, where members of the Jamaica Labour Party successfully used Facebook to launch a campaign among Jamaica's youth without ever having to walk or drive to garner their support. The JLP as a matter of fact still uses the groups they have made to try to get the news across to us youth in a more timely and efficient manner. We can also look abroad to the example of Barack Obama who during his Presidential campaign used Twitter and Facebook to garner public support.
Now the next question you may ask is what is the point of all this that I am posting? Essentially I am posting this to say that, the internet has become deeply entrenched in the lives of the people, it has grown to become the most efficient means of getting news and information across and people are using it to get their views known to the wider public, and it serves as a way to drive people to become more active in the running of a country. This facebook group is an example of what people can do when they come together and decide that they will not take it anymore. Maybe it is time we forced the government to act according to our concerns by creating a facebook group on the topic, or maybe we need to have the government explain things to use using these social networking tools. Whichever way we decide to use it, it is important that we follow the example of the St. Lucians, and use it to get their(our government's) attention.
Reggae singer-songwriter Julian “Ju Ju” Marley has been nominated for four International Reggae & World Music Awards (IRAWMA). “I give thanks to the IRAWMA award staff and to all the fans that continue to show their love and support,” says Marley. JuJu’s IRAWMA nominations comes on the heels of a Grammy nod for Best Reggae Album the talented artist received for his third studio album entitled, “Awake” that was co-produced with his brothers Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley and Stephen Marley, on Ghetto Youths/Universal Records.
Rising reggae star Gramps Morgan, Mojo Morgan and the group Morgan Heritage, the children of Denroy Morgan have amassed a great body of work over the last 12 years. Gramps, fresh from smashing performances in Trinidad & Tobago is up for five IRAWMA nominations. He shares a “Best Crossover Song” nomination with India.Arie for their duet on “Therapy.” Passionate about his latest recording project, Gramps is putting the finishing touches on a Country and R&B album that is set to hit stores later this year.
Jamaica’s sing/jay Queen Ifrica captured nine nominations and set an IRAWMA record for most nominations in a single year for a female artist. The daughter of Ska pioneer, Derrick Morgan, Queen Ifrica is described as a “lioness on the rise.” A versatile performer Queen can sing the sweet melodies of traditional reggae and rock the mic dancehall style like a seasoned veteran.
Tarrus Riley has been surrounded by music from an early age as the son of Jimmy Riley. His third album, Contagious is up for “Best Album/CD” and his single, “Good Girl Gone Bad” a duet with Konshens received a “Best Song” nod. Tarrus is also up for “Entertainer of the Year”, “Best Male Vocalist” “Recording Artist of the Year”, and “Most Culture/Educational Entertainer”.
Reggae veteran Freddie McGregor is nominated for “Most Consistent Entertainer,” while his sons Stephen(Producer of the Year) and Chino(Most Improved Entertainer) are nominated as well. Daville, son of Jah Thomas is nominated for “Best Male Vocalist”. Junior Reid’s sons, Andrew and Wadada Blood received a nod in “Most Improved Entertainer”. Femi Kuti, son of Nigerian legend Fela Kuti is nominated for the “Best African Entertainer.” Other leading IRAWMA contenders: Machel Montano (five nominations); Sean Paul and Macka Diamond (four nods each); Barbee, Beenieman and Vybz Kartel with three nominations each.
Among the performers for the 29th IRAWMA, are: Julian Marley, Machel Montano, Queen Ifrica, Tony Rebel, Alison Hinds, Gramps Morgan, Barbee, Dean Fraser, Winsome Benjamin, Tarrus Riley, New Kingston Band, Mutabaruka, Dean Fraser, Brigadier Jerry, Awilo Longomba and a host of other international reggae, and world music superstars.
Whether abortion is morally justifiable has been seen as depending on our answer to the question "when does a human life begin?" Many philosophers believe this is the wrong question to ask because it suggests that there might be a factual answer that we can some how discover through advances in science. Instead, these philosophers think we need to ask what it is that makes killing a human being wrong and then consider whether these characteristics whatever they might be apply to the fetus in an abortion.
The media in the States often refer to two opposing abortion groups: pro-life and pro-choice . Actually, reality is much more complex than this simple either-or binary system. There are a few individuals, sometimes referred to by the term "anti-abortion," who are so opposed to abortions that they occasionally bomb or set fire to clincs and/or murder abortion providers.
The pro-life and pro-choice movements are not homogenous. There is a range of beliefs held by members of both groups. Prolifers hold various beliefs: Some believe that abortions are acceptable. It is better to let the woman and fetus die rather than save the woman's life by terminating the pregnancy happened as a result of rape or incest, Others say it is acceptable in cases where an abortion under some unusual conditions perhaps when pregnancy happened as a result of rape or incest, Others say it is acceptable in cases where an abortion is needed in order to prevent the woman from being seriously and/or permanently disabled, Others say it is accetable in a broader range of cases in which a continued pregnancy would very seriously affect the woman's health.Prochoicers hold a different range of beliefs about the morality of abortion: Some say that only very early abortions are morally acceptable, Some say that only very early abortions are morally acceptable, Some say that only abortions during the first trimester are OK, Some say that an abortion before the fetus becomes viable is OK, Some say that a woman should be able to choose an abortion up to the time that the fetus is born.
With two new tracks and a three-continent tour for April, Jamaican dancehall superstar Sean Paul is keeping quite busy these days. Sean Paul, who returned from performances in Africa recently, is also toasting the success of his single with British-born pop sensation Jay Sean, Do You Remember, which is featured on the iconic pop music compilation Now That’s What I Call Music.
Sean Paul’s two newest singles, Fire Brigade and Down The Line, are destined as sure-fire club pleasers. Down The Line, produced by Jeremy Harding, is a reggae-flavoured slow-melody love song which is featured on his popular mixtape The Oddessy. The Don Corleone-produced Fire Brigade, however, is an unmistakable dancehall tune with all the up-tempo energy party lovers clamour for and that which Sean Paul has become famous for.
Sean Paul is rearing to hit the road and promote these two new tracks. “Working with Don and Jeremy is just amazing. They are creative people and good at what they do. I know anytime I go in the studio with them I leave with a good song. Down The Line is getting good reviews so far and so is Fire Brigade so its time to kick the promotion for these singles into high gear,” Sean Paul said.
He added that the singles will soon be available on iTunes, and that the producers were two of the producers who did tracks for his album Imperial Blaze. The album, his fourth, went on to make history on the charts as it became the first dancehall album to top the Billboard Rap/Hip Hop charts.
His newly released singles aside, the Grammy-winning megastar has been racking up the frequent flyer miles and performance hours. Sean Paul has performed in more than 80 countries in North, Central, and South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe.
No one knows better than those in the music industry how difficult and sometimes unrewarding music distribution can be, but those of 21st Hapilos have found another way to intensify Dancehall/Reggae distribution worldwide while having it pay off for local producers - that of digital distribution.
Digital distribution which entails selling and distributing songs online is nothing new, but ace digital music marketer, Johnny Wonder Executive Vice President of the US/Jamaican company, explains how fulfilling and rewarding the service is for producers and artistes.
"Promoting the songs for sale online is in an effort to drive revenue for those in the industry. Digital distribution is both cheaper and more accessible to fans overseas; it's something we stand to gain a lot from," he said.
Among the productions being distributed by 21st Hapilos are the Remedy Riddim produced by Russian of Head Concussion Camp featuring Chan Dizzy's Go Hard An' Done, CR203 and Adijahiem/NotNice Records' Mad Collab Riddim featuring Vybz Kartel, Popcaan and Gaza Slim's reigning hit, Clarks; TJ Records' DNA Riddim, Romeich Records' Bank In A Mi Pocket Riddim which features, Bank In A Mi Pocket by Versatile in addition to a plethora of riddim productions.
Since the productions have been released for sale online, they have shown consistent growth and Wonder and others at 21st Hapilos are confident that with further promotion of the productions in the local and international markets the sales will continue to rise, thus further benefitting Reggae/Dancehall producers and artistes.
The company's upcoming releases include John John's Zion Gate Riddim, Seanizzle's Survival Mode, Delly Ranx's Iron Fist and G-Whizz's single, Tomorrow, produced byTJ Records, which are also expected to be heavy-hitters in the digital arena.