“This investment will provide additional entrepreneurial opportunities for Jamaicans living in Siloah and neighbouring communities,” declared J Wray & Nephew Limited’s chairman Clement “Jimmy” Lawrence.

Buoyed by projections showing that its annual visitor tally will overtime quadruple from 50,000 to a stratospheric 200,000,J Wray & Nephew Limited willon Thursdayofficially open its much anticipated Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience (JS-AERE). Formerly known as the Appleton Estate Rum Tour, the JS-AERE,which is named for the company’s master blender is expected to serve as a gateway to the rising tourism boom on the island’s Southern Coast. “This investment will provide additional entrepreneurial opportunities for Jamaicans living in Siloah and neighbouring communities,” declared J Wray & Nephew Limited’s chairman Clement “Jimmy” Lawrence. Continuing Lawrence noted “the team at J Wray & Nephew Limited and our principals, Campari Group, are excited about the new opportunities that this project represents for the South Coast of Jamaica. The new Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience, can accommodate over 200,000 visitors which augurs positively for the tourism product in the region.” The Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience will take visitors on a journey through the history of rum where they will “feel and taste the essence of Appleton whilst learning about the complexity and sophistication of rum” said Lawrence. J Wray and Nephew Limited and its parent company, Campari Group, has invested US$7.2M in the upgrade of the Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience. “This is another demonstration of the Campari Group’s commitment to the Appleton Estate brand and by extension Brand Jamaica,” stated Lawrence. “JS -AERE is truly a world class tourist attraction nestled right here in the heart of Jamaica,” Lawrence continued. The upgrade includes the renovation of the existing property and surrounding landscape, and the addition of modern tasting rooms to support education about rums.

Jamaica recorded inflation of 5.2 per cent for the calendar year 2017 according to the Consumer Price Index Bulletin released by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). The latest bulletin shows that inflation rose 0.6 per cent in December, in large part due to increases in electricity prices. As a result, the category – housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels recorded an increase of 1.2 per cent last month. The price for vegetables and starchy foods also rose 0.8 per cent in December. Inflation was not uniformed across the country as the Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area saw a bigger increase - 0.7 per cent compared to 0.5 per cent in other urban and rural areas.

Mighty Mystic

US-based reggae singer Mighty Mystic, the brother of Prime Minister Andrew Holness, made his Rebel Salute debut over the weekend. After his performance in front of thousands, including his bigger brother, at the Grizzly's Plantation Cove in St Ann, Mighty Mystic chatted with Loop Jamaica reporter Job Nelson about upcoming projects and, of course, his relationship with the prime minister. Watch the video below.

(Photo courtesy Machel Montano via Twitter @machelmontano)

Wining on a person without their consent is not okay, according to two women’s advocacy groups in Trinidad and Tobago. Head of the Women’s Institute for Alternative Development (WINAD)in the twin island republic, Folade Mutota said soca entertainer's Machel Montano’s comments on wining at a recent fete is a ‘sexist and dangerous’ invitation. According to a story published Mondayin the Trinidad Express, Montano jokingly told the crowd at the ‘Stumped’ fete over the weekend to wine and ‘take lock up’, disregarding recent police statements that wining on someone without consent could constitute an offence. Mutota said that although wining is a part of local culture, it should not erase the need for consent. “Wining is but an expression of our culture....but it is also an expression of personal agency in the public space that is otherwise so restrictive for women where women commonly face sexual harassment and assault.” “Consequently, wining may have less to do with women inviting men to wine on them than men think,” she said. [related node_id='cafe8fcf-e2f2-4586-9a09-88f7480183c2'] “Machel's comment/instruction is sexist and dangerous. He has in fact signalled that he does not believe that he and other men should be constrained by the law or respect women's rights.” She added that women should be allowed to wine without being interrupted or harassed if they so choose. “Women have the right to self-expression un-interrupted....including wining. It has little to do with men,” she said. PLOTT: ‘No’ means ‘No’ CEO of Powerful Ladies of Trinidad and Tobago (PLOTT), Gillian Wall, said that although wining is part of Trinidad and Tobago’s culture, the importance of consent must not be cast aside. “The police making the call (that wining without consent is an offence) is a big deal, the realisation (is there now) that it is an offence. We operate in a society where so much of the environment, the music, the culture, is encouraging the ‘wine and jam’, we’ve forgotten that we also have a right to refuse.” “What typically happens at Carnival time is the individuals would make a big deal or be offended if someone refuses to wine with them, and there are comments such as “If you don’t want people to wine or jam on you then stay home”, which implies that ‘this is our culture, get with it or disappear’.” “I believe the police made the statement because they want to remind people to respect women and respect their rights. Many officers and men also reply that it goes both ways, and I agree that it does, but we are simply saying that ‘no means no’. You’ve made an unwanted advance toward an individual, and if they say no, then respect that,” she said. Wall said that thinking like this is what encourages violence against women. "Any individual who claims to trivialise another's right to say no and refuse an unwanted advance, whether at Carnival or otherwise, is underestimating what a severe problem we have with regards to gender-based violence," she said. Wall added that although she understands Montano's statements were not made intentionally, celebrities have a responsibility with regard to the messages they send. "I understand that some statements are made in ignorance and it exists in males and females, not just men. What we're seeking to do is increase awareness and that's what this conversation is about right now. While it seems like a trivial matter, it's an opportunity to increase the conversation around increasing respect for women in T&T," she said. As for men who become angry when a woman says no to a wine? “Find a therapist,” said Mutota.

 In this July 11, 2013 file photo, Brazil's Atletico Mineiro's Ronaldinho celebrates his team's victory over Argentina's Newell's Old Boys at the end of a Copa Libertadores semifinal football match in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Ronaldinho, "the ever-smiling magician" of Barcelona, as described by his former club, has ended his professional career. Roberto Assis, the brother and agent of the 2005 Ballon d'Or winner, announced Tuesday that the 37-year-old wants to play a series of farewell matches from August — and then focus on his already busy life off the pitch. Ronaldinho played his last professional match in 2015 for Brazilian club Fluminense. "Ronnie's professional career is over. He wants to be a football ambassador, do charity, and work with his friends in music from now on," Assis told The Associated Press. Assis hopes to schedule some farewell matches for Ronaldinho after the World Cup in Russia, which ends July 15. The initial plan is to play games in Brazil, Europe and Asia and to also get Brazil's national team involved, Assis said. Last July, Ronaldinho said on the sidelines of a friendly in Chechnya that was he was "too old" to return to action. He repeated that to a Brazilian TV in November, but did not rule out reconsidering. Ronaldinho's decorated career also includes one World Cup title (2002), one Champions League victory (2006) and two Spanish league titles with Barcelona, and two FIFA world player of the year awards (2004 and 2005). He played 101 matches and scored 35 goals for Brazil from 1997 to 2013. "We pay tribute to this ace that shone using the yellow shirt," Brazil's football confederation posted on Twitter. "Thanks for all the magic, Ronaldinho." At the 2002 World Cup, Ronaldinho played second fiddle to midfielder Rivaldo and striker Ronaldo, but he was instrumental in the 2-1 quarterfinal victory over England, with an assist and scoring a remarkable free kick goal from long range. Four years later, with Brazil as heavy favorites for the title and Ronaldinho considered the best player in the world, he failed to deliver. Brazil was knocked out in the quarterfinals by France. Ronaldinho started his professional career at Gremio in southern Brazil in 1998. He left for Paris Saint-Germain in 2001 and was signed by Barcelona two seasons later. At the Camp Nou, Ronaldinho was an integral member of a squad that took Barca back to the limelight. He played 207 games and gave 94 goals and 61 assists to the team. However, after a series of club trophies, Ronaldinho's career took a downturn. He was often accused by Brazilian and Spanish media of lacking professionalism, despite his mentoring of a then youthful Lionel Messi. His former club paid tribute to the Brazilian star, tweeting: "Camp Nou's ever-smiling magician. Thanks for everything!" In 2008, with Messi then leading the Catalan team, Ronaldinho left for AC Milan. Despite being part of a squad that won Serie A in 2011, he failed to reach his previous heights as a player. AC Milan also praised Ronaldinho. "The man who enchanted San Siro and every football fan," the Italian club said in a Twitter post. "Ronaldinho retires after illuminating pitches all over the world with his magic." When returning home became a real option, Ronaldinho frustrated Gremio's efforts to re-sign him and joined Flamengo instead. Disappointing performances in Rio de Janeiro took him to Atletico Mineiro, a club that then was more often fighting against relegation than for titles. Yet a more mature Ronaldinho took Atletico to a different level. In his last great run, Ronaldinho carried Atletico with his superb passes and dazzling dribbles to second place in the 2012 Brazilian Championship. A year later, he was the key to his club lifting its first Copa Libertadores, South America's most prestigious club trophy, but his hopes of playing at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil were dashed. Ronaldinho left to play for Mexico's Queretaro in 2014-15, but was mostly on the bench. He played his last seven matches as a professional for Fluminense, though his performances were a far cry from his best days in Spain. "In football there is not much to explain," Ronaldinho e recently said in an interview with Brazilian TV. "Either you're there or you're not. I want to be remembered for the time I was there."

Three members of Jamaica’s team to the 2014 and 2016 World Short Course Swim Championships -Justin Plaschka, Kelsie Campbell and Nico Campbell -opened their 2018 season with solid performances. Plaschka, swimming for Notre Dame in the NCAA Division 1, recorded wins in the 50-yard freestyle in 20.16 under the NCAA B time of 20.19, and the 100-yard butterfly 48.90 as Notre Dame beat hosts Iowa at a dual meet held on January 12 and 13. He also helped propel the Fighting Irish to a second place finish in the 200-yard medley in which they clocked 1:29.01. Plaschka completed his butterfly leg in 20.82. Plaschka also had second-place finishesin the 400-yard medley relay (3:18.09) and his butterfly split was (49.09); 400-yard and the 200-yard freestyle relay in 2:59.07. Plashcka’s teammate in 2016, Kelsie Campbell, who represents Florida International University, also in Division I, was in action on January 5 at her home pool at the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Center. She had her top performance in the 50-yard butterfly clocking 27.32. She went on to deliver other top-10 performances in the 100-yard butterfly (59.17) for fourth place. She produced a 27.60s swim in the 50-yard for sixth. She was 14thoverall in the 100-yard individual medley in 1:04.09 as FIU topped the 11-strong women’s field with 756 points. Nico Campbell, who represented Jamaica at the 2014 Doha World Championships had back-to-back dual meets against Emory and Nova Southeastern on Jan 12 and 13 respectively for his Division II Florida Southern College. Against Emory, Nico Campbell won the 100-yard freestyle in 46.29 and was runner-up in the 50-yard freestyle in 21.36. He was also a member of the 200-yard freestyle relay team that placed second in 1:25.56. On the following day, his 200-yard medley relay team won in 1:33.56 against Nova. Nico Campbell anchored the team with 20.99 freestyle leg. Nico Campbell led off the 200-yard freestyle relay with a 21.76 leg as his ‘A’ team placed second in 1:25.80. He would also finish second in the 100-yard freestyle in 46.53. He was third in the 50-yard freestyle in 21.57. Florida Southern won both contests turning back Emory 131 to 74 and Nova 134 to 128.


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