The season of festivities and shopping is finally here and Suga Lifestyle is pulling out all the stops to supply the early birds with a variety of top-tier locally made pieces, all under one roof at the 2019 staging of the Suga LifestyleChristmas Connection. The event will be held on Sunday, December 15,at theJamaica Pegasus hotel. Back for the second time, the Suga LifestyleChristmas Connection is an initiative conceptualized by Gabrielle Burgess, one of the forces behind the Suga Lifestyle brand. This year’s show invites persons to sip, shop and fall in love with over 18 handpicked Jamaican artisans/entrepreneurs offering a wide range of unique products such as handmade bags, jewelry, sculptures, Jamaican-engrained baked treats, skin care products and many more. Not only that, but prizes and surprises courtesy of Gustazos Jamaica, Jamaica Public Service, Chillin' Restaurant, Stush in the Bush and other popular favorites will also be up for grabs! “Coming up with the idea for this show was not hard at all! As an artiste that is passionate about our rich local art culture, getting all art forms under one roof and adding extras was curated by those like me for the shoppers at heart,” statedBurgess. Theinitiative is intended to inspire, educate and entertain while striving to empower entrepreneurs and connect the attendees with what brand Jamaica has to offer in a cool, relaxed setting as they sip and shop for themselves, family, friends and loved ones during the Christmas season, the promoter said. For a limited time only, discounted tickets are available here and here;get your tickets now to experience top-tier locally made pieces all under one roof at the Suga Lifestyle’s Christmas Connection!

JP Group CEO Jeffery Hall

For the 2019 third quarter, Jamaica Producers Group Limited (JP) generated revenues of $5.2 billion and net profit attributable to shareholders of $330 million. Year-to-date results show a $1.1 billion increase in revenues with both business segments – Logistics & Infrastructure (L&I) and Food & Drink (F&D) – generating improved third quarter and year-to-date revenues and profits relative to 2018. Jeffrey Hall, chief executive officer of JP commented on the strong third-quarter results for the group, “we have grown our earnings rapidly by investing in precisely those industries that we believe can deliver significant growth for Jamaica.” JP doubled its profits in the third quarter and increased its year-to-date profits by over 60 per cent relative to the prior year. “We’ve grown our agriculture business with market-leading technology and productivity at our JP St Mary’s farms. We’ve expanded tourism linkages and value-added manufacturing exports with our Tortuga rum cake business. We’ve made a hugely successful investment in global services and logistics with Kingston Wharves,” noted Hall. The company achieved revenue growth in its combined St. Mary based banana and pineapple farming business of 40 per cent relative to 2018. Hall commented on this growth to say that “Jamaicans are eating more of our locally grown fresh produce and this is improving the prospects for our farms.” JP further reported that it had won new business for Tortuga in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and with major US retailers and would be building on this with the launch of the all-new Tortuga Jamaican Rum Fruit Cake this Christmas. Meanwhile, Kingston Wharves, Jamaica’s leading multi-purpose port and logistics business reported year-to-date earnings up 29 per cent. “There is more growth for Jamaica in all of the industries in which JP is investing,” stated Hall. With the capital that is now available for investment. Hall opined that small urgently needed tweaks to government policy could unleash that growth. He expressed the view that GDP growth in Jamaica will require stakeholders to focus now on attracting new investment, providing globally competitive services and enhancing innovation and productivity in manufacturing. According to Hall, the opportunities are big enough for everyone to participate and JP is more than willing to work with key stakeholders to spotlight those opportunities that can immediately deliver employment and growth in each of its key sectors. The L&I Division, which comprises Kingston Wharves and JP Shipping Services Limited, generated 2019 year-to-date profit before finance costs and taxation of $2.4 billion, a 19 per cent increase over the prior year. Divisional revenues of $6.3 billion were up seven per cent over the prior year. JP’s F&D Division continues to be the largest contributor to the revenues of the group earning year-to-date revenues of $9.0 billion and profit before finance cost and taxation of $645 million, more than double the prior-year result of $310 million.


Iyara on the set of 'Rich and Wealthy'

The streets have been responding to dancehall deejay Iyara's new image, lyrical content and branding since his departure from the Alliance several months ago. The artiste's latest music video, 'Rich and Wealthy', released on the Peterkey Music Production has had tongues wagging and sparked speculation that the artiste's new label shelled out a staggering amount of money on the project. The video, which has racked up over 20,000 views since its release,features private airplane rides, shiny luxury cars and a beautiful palatial home with a jaw-dropping view of the coastline. Some fans speculate that the price tag of the music video is in the "multi-million dollar" range as the shoot was done over three days at various locations. In the video, Iyara is dressed like a dapper Arab sheik with the white headpiece and robe photographed on the second floor balcony adorned with expensive paintings. Other scenes show him sipping expensive liquor on a private jet and rolling deep in a shiny drop top luxury car. All these accoutrements show that Iyara has done a major upgrade with his career since forming a musical partnership with US-based indie dancehall label, Peterkey Music Production. The production costs of the video puts the video in the category of the "one of the most expensive dancehall videos ever made". Dancehall fans have praised his new label and commented that the artiste also appears to be more structured in terms of his management, bookings and merchandising moves since that time. Iyara formed part of the Alliance Next Generation camp in 2011, and he is known for songs like 'Clue', 'Pressure Cooker' and 'Nah Do It'. The deejay has decided to take a more commercial approach to his career to develop his growing fan base in the USA.

Skip Marley

Though he is from the first family of reggae, Skip Marley has never limited his music --- whether recording or listening. 'Slow Down', his latest song, is proof of that. The funky mix of pop and reggae was released on November 8 by Tuff Gong International and Island Records. It features American singer H.E.R., one of contemporary R&B’s hottest acts. Marley, 23, said he recorded the song solo this year but was keen to add a female voice. He jumped at the suggestion to work with H.E.R. who won two Grammy Awards this year. In this June 24, 2018 file photo, H.E.R. performs at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File) “She added her part and it made things complete,” said Marley. Skip is the grandson of reggae king Bob Marley and son of Cedella Marley, Bob and his wife Rita’s first child. He began recording four years ago with 'Cry to Me' being his debut song. Since then, he has released a batch of singles, the most successful being 'Chained to The Rhythm', with pop star Katy Perry. That song was a massive international hit, reaching as far as number four on the Billboard pop chart. Inevitably, being the grandson of Bob Marley comes with high expectations. Skip’s uncles, Ziggy, Stephen and Damian are all Grammy winners. Born in Kingston and raised in South Florida, Skip says he never felt burdened by his impressive lineage. Nor does he see the need to do roots-reggae songs just because he is a Marley. “People going to tag you where them want. Still, I don’t watch that, I don’t really limit myself to one box. My music comes from reggae but the inspiration can carry you somewhere else like blues, funk and jazz,” he reasoned. While he counts his grandfather as his biggest musical inspiration, Skip is big into the blues. His playlist includes guitar icons Jimi Hendrix, BB King and Muddy Waters, as well as singer/guitarist John Mayer.


Asafa Powell at the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

Asafa Powell is targeting a place on Jamaica's team for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. “My objective is to stay healthy and focus on training because it’s an Olympic year and stop thinking about achieving those last few sub10’s, once I’m healthy the sub10’s will follow,” he told Sportsmax.TV. Powell, who turns 37 on November 23, has broken the 100-second barrier a record 97 times, but injuries over the past few seasons, have denied him a chance of reaching his target of 100 sub-10 times.The last time Powell managed to break 10 seconds for the 100m was in July 2016 when he ran 9.92 in Hungary. “I definitely want to be a part of the Olympic team and do my part to bring Team Jamaica’s sprinting back to the forefront,” he said. The 2009 World Championships 100m bronze medallist has a much brighter outlook than he had last June when he withdrew from the semi-final at the Jamaican National Championships because of anotherinjury and ignited fears that he was about to call time on his career. He finally shed some light on his decision to withdraw. “I pulled out of the semi-finals because I didn’t want to make my injury worse. Leading up to the National trials my training was on and off because of injuries. But yes, I started running better towards the end of the season because I got to put in a bit of training while in Europe,” he said. “In terms of health, I’m a lot better than I was last year this time. I would say last year I was 40 percent this time but now I’m 75 percent because I can put in a lot more work at training this off season.”

Diego Maradona while in charge of Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata.

Diego Maradona has stepped down as head coach of Superliga Argentina club Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata after a little over two months in charge. The former Argentina and Napoli great oversaw eight matches at Gimnasia, which yielded three wins and five defeats. Relegation-threatened Gimnasia remain third-bottom of the table and the news that club president Gabriel Pellegrino will not stand for re-election this weekend has persuaded Maradona to walk away. "Maradona stopped working today, he's no longer Gimnasia's head coach," Pellegrino told Radio La Red. "Maradona worked in a collective scheme. He said he was here to add, not to rest. He'd love to continue, but he wants unity. It just didn't happen." Mariano Cowen and Salvador Robustelli will contest the presidency, but Maradona did not wish to continue in Pellegrino's absence. Pellegrino added: "Today's meeting failed. There will be elections on Saturday. [Diego] Maradonagave his will and he gave his time. He had an enormous will. "There will be elections on Saturday and [the candidates] will look for a head coach." Pellegrino was influential in persuading Maradona to resume a fitful and nomadic coaching career. Gimnasia were the first team the 59-year-old had led in his homeland since the mid-1990s, when he enjoyed brief spells in charge of Textil Mandiyu and Racing Club while serving a playing ban for a failed drugs test during the 1994 World Cup. He spectacularly returned more than a decade later to lead Argentina at the 2010 World Cup, where they were beaten by Germany in the quarter-finals. Stints with Al-Wasl and Fujairah in the UAE came before a 2018-19 tenure at Mexican second-tier club Dorados de Sinaloa, which became the subject of a Netflix documentary series. Mariano Messera, the club's former midfielder, will take charge of Gimnasia's home match against Arsenal de Sarandi this weekend.