Entries in Jamaica (5)


Tropical Storm Ernesto Soaks Jamaica; Florence in Atlantic

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Tropical storm Ernesto is expected to soak Jamaica with three to six inches of rain and winds of 50 mph today as it barrels toward Central America. It is forecast to make landfall there Monday or Tuesday.

The storm has lost some of its circular motion and "organization" but is expected to continue gaining speed today and reach Honduras within 24 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The storm's westerly track has decreased the likelihood that Ernesto will become the first hurricane of the summer to reach U.S. shores.

The storm is expected to be felt from the Cayman Islands to Aruba today, before it heads toward landfall over Belize or Mexico.

While Ernesto will likely miss the U.S., a new tropical storm, Florence, has formed in the mid-Atlantic and is picking up speed as it heads toward the Caribbean.

Florence, which formed just west of the Cape Verde Islands, has sustained wind gusts of 60 mph and could be upgraded to a hurricane today. It is the sixth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Three Americans Missing from Cruise Ship Found by Jamaican Police

File photo. Victor Sokolowicz/Bloomberg News(OCHO RIOS, Jamaica) -- Three Americans who failed to return to their Carnival Cruise ship after a stopover in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Thursday, were found safe and unharmed this afternoon at a villa in Discovery Bay -- approximately 40 minutes west, on Jamaica's northern coast.

The three passengers, whom the cruise line earlier identified as members of the same family, went missing after disembarking the Carnival Freedom for a day-long port call in Ocho Rios, the cruise line said in a statement obtained by ABC News.

Jamaican authorities had classified the disappearance as a missing persons case, saying it was odd that the family took all of their belongings off of the ship before vanishing. The family has no known ties to anyone in Jamaica.

It was not immediately clear why the family left the ship and never returned. They are in the custody of Jamaican police and will be questioned about their mysterious departure. Police have not yet said whether charges will be brought against the three passengers.

The ship left Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last Sunday for a six-day cruise. It is scheduled to return on Saturday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Prince Harry Beats Olympian Usain Bolt in Race in Jamaica

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(KINGSTON, Jamaica) -- Prince Harry is busy at work on his overseas tour as a royal envoy for his grandmother, the queen, but that hasn’t stopped the 27-year-old royal from having fun.

The prince, who is in Jamaica as part of a 10-day trip to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, faced off against Olympic great Usain Bolt in a friendly 20-meter race.

Sneaking in a false start before Bolt was out of the starting blocks, the prince took off down the track to beat the world’s fastest man.

Bolt, a Jamaican track and field star who holds the world record in the 100-meter sprint, laughed at the prince’s antics and quickly caught up to him down the track.

“He cheated, I said we would have a rematch in London 2012 and Harry said, ‘I’m busy,’” Bolt told the BBC, going on to compliment the prince’s laid-back style. “He’s cool, very down to earth. When you meet dignitaries you think it will be difficult but he just wanted to laugh. It was an honor and a pleasure to meet him.”

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Afterward, the duo joked around and posed for photos in Bolt’s signature “to the world” pose. Bolt presented the prince with a T-shirt in the Jamaican national colors that said “‘Harry can Bolt.”

Besides hamming it up with Bolt, the fun-loving prince boogied with locals during a stop in Belize over the weekend and was photographed smiling with Miss Bahamas contestants at an event for young Bahamian leaders.

Harry, who is third in line to the throne, has attended to royal business, meeting with officials and visiting hospitals and charity organizations throughout the trip. He meets with Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller later Tuesday, and will attend a state dinner Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday, the prince will meet with Jamaican Defense Force soldiers and will join them in firearm practice and a ceremony rappelling down a 60-foot fast rope tower.

His first official trip on the queen’s behalf ends Thursday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'Cross-Dressing' Jamaican Drug Lord Begs U.S. Judge for Mercy

Jamaican drug kingpin Christopher "Dudus" Coke is shown in this photo after his capture in Kingston, Jamaica, on June 22, 2010. (EPA)(NEW YORK) -- A "cross-dressing" Jamaican drug lord extradited to New York after a month-long gun battle with police that killed at least 70 people has asked for leniency in a letter that begins, "Good day to you, Sir," and cites his support of community jamborees and holiday treats for the elderly.

Christopher "Dudus" Coke, leader of the Jamaica-based international criminal organization called the "Shower Posse," pleaded guilty in a Manhattan courtroom on August 31, 2011 to one count of racketeering conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering. When Coke was arrested in Jamaica in June 2010, Jamaican police claimed he and his gunmen had used women's disguises to evade capture.

Coke, 42, is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 8, when he could face 20 years in prison. In his letter to Judge Robert Patterson, he "humbly ask[s]" for the judge's discretion because of the many "charitable deeds and social services" he has provided to his community.

"[I] host a lot of charity events annually such as: A. An Easter treat for the elderly persons in my community. B. A back to school treat for the children after the summer holiday has ended, by giving the children school bags, books, pen, pencils, uniforms and other items that are necessary for school. … C. A community jamboree in the month of December." He also claims to have established a youth club and a computer school, to have found jobs for the unemployed, and to have helped enforce a curfew for teens and children in Tivoli Gardens.

"Dudus" Coke was a popular figure among many in the West Kingston slums because of the money he spread around -- allegedly the profits from his international drug operation. When the Jamaican government announced that it would cooperate with the U.S. and attempt to capture him, the communities allied to Coke began non-violent protests, then fortified their neighborhood with sandbags, threw up roadblocks, installed improvised explosive devices and electrified fencing, all in an effort to block Coke's arrest.

According to The New York Times, however, Judge Patterson also received a letter from a West Kingston resident asking that Dudus be sentenced to life in prison because of his alleged personal responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of Jamaicans.

"Mr. Coke is the Hitler of the Caribbean," wrote Maxine Riley, who charged that Coke's gunmen had killed her son Dexter when he was 16. Prosecutors have alleged that Coke ordered murders and shootings, and punished one man for stealing drugs by killing him with a chainsaw.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jamaican Drug Lord Christopher 'Dudus' Coke Pleads Guilty

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Jamaican drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke pleaded guilty Wednesday in a Manhattan court, ending an international anti-drug operation that started last May with an all-out urban war in Kingston that killed scores of Jamaicans.

Coke is the leader of the Jamaica-based international criminal organization "Shower Posse," also known as the "Presidential Click." Indicted by the U.S. in 2009, Coke became the target of a massive Jamaican police operation in May 2010, sparking a bloody street battle between local security forces and Coke's gun-toting supporters and mercenaries in the west Kingston neighborhood of Tivoli Gardens.

After a month of violent struggle, it was a popular local preacher that managed to arrange Coke's peaceful surrender to authorities. At the time of his surrender, Coke said that he chose to accept extradition rather than watch the bloodshed in Jamaica continue. More than 70 people had already died in the violence.

Coke's extradition created tension between the Jamaican government and the U.S. Initially, Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding fought the extradition but, after facing criticism at home and abroad, he relented.

Golding, who represents Tivoli Gardens in Parliament, was accused of having strong links to the drug dealer.

Coke pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of racketeering conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering.

"For nearly two decades, Christopher Coke led a ruthless criminal enterprise that used fear, force and intimidation to support its drug and arms trafficking 'businesses.' He moved drugs and guns between Jamaica and the United States with impunity," U.S. attorney Preet Bharara said. "Today's plea is a welcome conclusion to this ugly chapter of criminal history."

Coke is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 8 when he could face up to 20 years in prison and deportation back to Jamaica.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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