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Hurricane Matthew has strengthened into a Category 4 on October 1, with winds reaching up to 145mph, making its way towards Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba, forecasters say.

Matthew is the strongest Hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean since Felix back in 2007.

According to the US National Hurricane Center, the storm is expected to hit Haiti and Jamaica on October 3.

Image source Wikipedia

Image source Wikipedia

Haiti has begun evacuating residents from high-risk areas.

Residents have been frantically stocking up on emergency supplies.

Jamaica’s PM Andrew Holness has urged citizens to make all preparations before it is too late.

However, he told Reuters that Jamaica was prepared for the category 4 hurricane.

In Jamaica, the powerful storm is expected to bring up to 25 inches of rain, which could trigger life-threatening landslides and floods, according to forecasters.

In the capital Kingston, supermarkets were crowded with people looking for canned foods, water and flashlights.

Officials have warned the high winds could batter the country’s main tourist areas including Montego Bay in the north.

In Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, residents from outlying islands have been evacuated, and officials have banned boating.

The hurricane is expected to cause up to 40 inches of rain in Haiti.

Hurricane Matthew is expected to hit Cuba on October 4, potentially hitting the colonial city of Santiago de Cuba and the US Navy base of Guantanamo Bay.

A mandatory evacuation of non-essential personnel, including about 700 family members of military personnel, was underway at the base and everyone remaining there was being told to take shelter, the Navy said in a statement.

There are about 5,500 people living on the base, including 61 men held at the detention centre.

Cuban President Raul Castro traveled to Santiago to supervise preparations.


Johnny Kemp has died in Jamaica at the age of 55.

The Bahamian R&B singer is best known for the hit song Just Got Paid.

Johnny Kemp was found floating at a beach in Montego Bay on Thursday morning, April 16, Jamaica police said on April 17. It has not been determined how the singer died.Johnny Kemp dead at 55

According to Reach Media Inc., Johnny Kemp had been scheduled to be on a Caribbean cruise this week but he did not get on the ship.

Johnny Kemp was nominated in 1989 for a Grammy Award for Just Got Paid.

Just Got Paid was a No. 1 hit on the Billboard R&B chart.

Johnny Kemp appeared on a 2007 Keith Sweat’s second concert album Sweat Hotel Live.

President Barack Obama has visited the Bob Marley museum in Jamaica.

Barack Obama became the first US president to visit Jamaica since 1982.

To the strains of the late reggae star’s One Love, Barack Obama was shown around the sprawling house in Kingston that was Bob Marley’s final home.

Barack Obama said he was a fan of Bob Marley, telling his museum guide: “I still have all the albums.”

The president is in Jamaica to meet the 15-member Caribbean Community bloc.Barack Obama visits Bob Marley museum in Jamaica

Barack Obama’s first stop after landing in Kingston was the old Victorian-style house that Bob Marley called home between 1975 and his death in 1981.

The president spent 20 minutes in the museum, which now houses artifacts from Bob Marley’s life including gold records and his Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.

Barack Obama’s arrival aboard Air Force One on April 8 made him the first sitting US president to set foot in Jamaica since Ronald Reagan visited 33 years ago.

He was greeted by Jamaican PM Portia Simpson-Miller and the US Ambassador to Jamaica, Luis Moreno.

Barack Obama will meet representatives of the 15 countries in the Caribbean Community group on the three-day trip to Jamaica and Panama, and is expected to discuss energy and security issues.

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A private jet on a flight from New York to Florida crashed off Jamaica on September 5 after the two people on board apparently lost consciousness.

The Jamaican Defense Force said the plane went down about 14 miles north-east of Port Antonio.

Two F-15 fighter jets were launched from a US base to investigate the aircraft, after it veered from its flight path and was detected over the Caribbean.

The two people known to be on board have been named as Larry Glazer, a property developer from Rochester, New York, and his wife Jane. Larry Glazer was the CEO of Buckingham Properties.

Larry and Jane Glazer were both licensed pilots.

The plane’s pilot had indicated there was a problem and twice asked to descend to a lower altitude before permission was granted, according to a recording of the radio conversation with US traffic controllers.

Contact with the plane was lost a short time later.

Major Basil Jarrett of the Jamaican Defense Force told reporters that an oil slick had been spotted about 14 miles north-east of the coastal town of Port Antonio but there was no sign yet of any wreckage.

He said search and rescue teams were scouring the waters for possible survivors.

Larry and Jane Glazer were both licensed pilots

Larry and Jane Glazer were both licensed pilots

As darkness fell, Jamaica suspended the search until first light on September 6.

The plane, a Socata TBM-700 built in 2014, took off from Rochester at 08:26 en route to Naples, Florida.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) was alerted to the unresponsive plane about an hour into its flight and sent two fighter jets to monitor it.

A spokesman said it was not possible for the fighter pilots to see inside the plane as the windows were frosted or fogged over.

A tweet from NORAD suggested the pilot or pilots could have been be unresponsive due to “possible hypoxia” – oxygen deprivation.

On a recording made by LiveATC – a website that monitors air traffic control recordings – and quoted by the Associated Press, the pilot can be heard saying: “We need to descend to about (18,000 feet). We have an indication that’s not correct in the plane.”

A controller replies: “Stand by.”

After a pause, the controller tells the pilot to fly at 25,000ft.

“We need to get lower,” the pilot responded.

“Working on that,” the controller says.

Controllers then clear the plane to descend to 20,000ft and the pilot acknowledges the command.

Minutes later a controller asks the plane to identify itself. There is no response.

According to FlightAware, the plane never carried out the last descent to 20,000ft.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo paid tribute to the couple.

“The Glazers were innovative and generous people who were committed to revitalising downtown Rochester,” he said.

The couple’s three children said in a statement they were “devastated”.

The US Federal Aviation Administration said it co-operated with Cuba air traffic control in monitoring the plane, despite the countries not having full diplomatic relations for more than half a century.

Cuba said it had authorized the US military to fly a C-130 cargo plane and two fighter jets over its airspace to investigate the incident.

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Vybz Kartel has been sentenced to life in prison for murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams and he won’t be eligible for parole for 35 years.

A jury found the 38-year-old Jamaican dancehall artist, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, guilty of the death of his associate in March.

Clive “Lizard” Williams was killed after being asked to Vybz Kartel’s home to discuss two missing illegal hand guns.

Vybz Kartel is one of Jamaica’s biggest music stars with hits including Clarks, Ramping Shop and Summer Time.

His success led to him launching lines of shoes and alcohol.

The singer also became the first dancehall artist to star in his own reality TV show, Teacha’s Pet.

Vybz Kartel was previously arrested in 2011 on drug charges.

They were later dropped, but an investigation by Jamaica’s Major Investigation Taskforce (MIT) discovered illegal firearms during a search of his house.

Vybz Kartel has been sentenced to life in prison for murder of Clive "Lizard" Williams and he won't be eligible for parole for 35 years

Vybz Kartel has been sentenced to life in prison for murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams and he won’t be eligible for parole for 35 years

Police also charged Vybz Kartel with being involved in the deaths of two men from the Portmore district of the island.

One murder case was dropped due to lack of evidence, however the musician and three other men went on trial for the killing of Clive “Lizard” Williams.

The trial lasted 65 days and was the longest court case in the history of the Caribbean island, having started last November.

A key piece of evidence was a text message said to be sent from Vybz Kartel’s phone.

It claimed Clive “Lizard” Williams had been chopped up into so many pieces his body would never be found.

Vybz Kartel’s career has never been short on controversy.

Over the years, his skin tone appeared to become lighter but the rapper always denied using skin bleaching chemicals.

Vybz Kartel instead claimed his change in complexion was due excessive time spent in air conditioned environments.

However, he has admitted to using Cake Soap – a Jamaican detergent that contains bleach.

Vybz Kartel was also involved in a lyrical war of words with fellow dancehall star Movado, with the pair exchanging several diss tracks.

However, Vybz Kartel and Movado called a truce in 2007 after being called into a meeting with then Jamaican Deputy Commissioner Mark Shields.

Tensions between rival supporters of the musicians often turned violent, but this stopped almost immediately after a plea from Movado and Vybz Kartel.

Despite being held on remand since 2011, the demand from radio stations and fans for new music has been so high that Vybz Kartel continued to record songs from his cell.

Using his smartphone voice note feature Vybz Kartel released singles which were later compiled into a 61-song album.

“If we are going to play an artist’s music based on their personal lives then a lot of artists’ songs wouldn’t be played,” said DJ Sparks who is a leading radio presenter in Jamaica.

She says she plans to continue to play music from Vybz Kartel on her show for station Zip FM.

“His legacy will be a mixed one. He’s been able to capture the imagination of many.

“He studies his audience carefully and gives them what he thinks they want.

“He’s not only a good writer and lyricist but he knows how to delve into the mindset of his audience.”

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Vybz Kartel has been found guilty of murder in a high-profile trial in Jamaica.

The popular dancehall and reggae star and three co-defendants were convicted under tight security of killing an associate, Clive Lizard Williams, in a row over a missing gun.

Parts of the capital Kingston were cordoned off in advance of the verdict and police patrols were stepped up.

Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, is one of the biggest names in Jamaican dancehall reggae.

The “World Boss” as he called himself also often glorified violence in his music.

The 65-day trial was the longest running criminal hearing in the history of Jamaica’s circuit court system, local media reported.

Vybz Kartel has been found guilty of murder in a high-profile trial in Jamaica

Vybz Kartel has been found guilty of murder in a high-profile trial in Jamaica

Police cordoned off streets around the Supreme Court before Thursday’s session started, seeking to prevent any disruption by fans supporting the entertainer.

Shortly before the jury started to deliberate in the afternoon, about 200 people briefly broke through barricades at one intersection shouting “Free Kartel!”

The sentencing date is scheduled for March 27 and Vybz Kartel’s lawyers have indicated they will appeal against the verdict.

When Vybz Kartel was arrested in 2011, it was alleged he had been involved in two killings, but one of those cases was thrown out last year after key evidence went missing.

Prosecutors said that Clive Lizard Williams was beaten to death at Vybz Kartel’s home in August 2011 after being lured there to account for two missing illegal guns.

A body has never been found but police testified that they had unearthed a text message from Vybz Kartel’s phone saying Clive Lizard Williams had been chopped up to “mincemeat” so fine that his remains would never be found.

Defense lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson told jurors the prosecution’s case against Vybz Kartel was “dishonest” and “incompetent”, noting that witness statements and a compact disc with evidence saved on it had gone missing.

The AP news agency says that in a bizarre twist to the case, a male juror was arrested on Thursday evening on charges of attempting to bribe the jury foreman to free Vybz Kartel, who was convicted by a 10-1 majority verdict.

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