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Texas transgender woman seen in videotaped attack found dead

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TEXAS, USA (AP) — A 23-year-old transgender woman whose beating in front of a crowd was captured on video has been found dead on a Dallas street, police said.

Muhlaysia Booker was found face-down early Saturday after officers were called following reports of shots being fired. She was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

Booker died from “homicidal violence,” said police Major Vincent Weddington. He did not elaborate. No suspect has been identified.

Weddington said there’s no evidence indicating a link between the shooting and the April 12 beating Booker suffered after she was involved in a minor traffic accident. A police affidavit released at the time said Booker accidentally backed into a vehicle before the driver of that vehicle pointed a gun at her and refused to let her leave unless she paid for the damage.

As a crowd gathered, someone offered $200 to a man to beat the woman, who suffered a concussion, fractured wrist and other injuries, police said. Other men also struck Booker, with one stomping on her head. Edward Thomas, 29, was arrested and jailed on a charge of aggravated assault.

A cellphone recording showed her being beaten as the crowd hollered and watched. Video of the attack was shared on social media.

Booker attended a rally the following week where she said she was grateful to have survived.

“This time I can stand before you, where in other scenarios, we’re at a memorial,” The Dallas Morning News reported her as saying.

Weddington said the investigation into the April attack continues.

“We’re still attempting to identify other people that were seen assaulting Muhlaysia in the video,” he said.

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Vendors lament poor sales at PNP conference

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Vendors lament poor sales at PNP conference

BY KIMONE FRANCIS
Senior staff reporter
francisk@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, September 23, 2019

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LIKE the more than 20 other vendors who were hoping to benefit from sales at yesterday’s People’s National Party (PNP) Annual Conference, Eileen left the National Arena in Kingston feeling disappointed.

The sparse crowd that converged on the grounds outside of the venue, which traditionally hosts major political conferences annually, was an early indication.

Few showed interest in the offerings on sale, and those who did relied on a cup of soup or two before turning to marijuana, grabba leaf or alcohol.

“A the worse sales this mi ever see. Nothing not selling; no chicken, no food. Mi nuh know a what going on. Mi prepare fi the whole conference and nobody a buy nothing. Nuh food nuh sell; nuh action naah gwaan today. We just a watch fi see if when it over, when the people dem a come out, fi see if dem want anything; we might get some more sale,” Eileen, who had prepared fried chicken, pork and soup for sale told the Jamaica Observer.

“Mi come here every conference and this one is the worst. It nuh hot fi mi at all. I wasn’t expecting this. Ask anybody, this nuh look good,” she added.

While several party supporters stood behind metal barriers fixated on a display screen set up just outside the arena and police personnel directed crowd movement, Conroy Taylor looked for his next customer.

“Mi deh a PNP conference today, you understand, ah the worst PNP conference with spending. The people dem nuh have the funding; we see it. We haffi drop all price fi do better. Mi waan know what happen to the country. We need some upliftment, because we work hard and we naah get the opportunity. This a the worst conference, mi a tell you. Mi nuh know ’bout the support, but with the spending fi the higgler dem we nuh mek nuh money,” Taylor, otherwise known as “Soupy”, lamented, mentioning that soup prices were cut by 50 per cent to encourage customers.

Latoya’s mind appeared to be elsewhere when the Observer approached her seated across from the National Arena. She was flanked by soup and food vendors but her somewhat exclusive commodity failed to attract much customers.

Liquor lined two plastic tables joined at the ends behind which she sat on a metal chair.

“We don’t know if it (sales) will increase by later, but it’s just not working right now. Every year we come here, but it’s the first it has been like this. Normally you could count on this event to make something, but today is different, so I don’t know. We’re hoping things will pick up. Last year was much better. This has been the slowest year,” she stressed.

Mere metres away from Latoya, a group of men and one woman indulged in a game of Crown and Anchor.

According to one of the men, they were simply enjoying the vibes and “supporting” their political representatives.

Amid the frolic, a female vendor who asked to be identified only as “Do Road” expressed frustration with the day’s progress.

“The last conference a did better, better conference. You know? A mussi because the party divided and the people dem nuh come out, but it naah happen. Today just nuh ready; a the worst conference this. Mi a sell from mi a pickney and mi a come PNP conference fi years now and mi never see nothing like this yet; a just the worst. That’s all mi can say,” the woman told the Observer.

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PHOTO: Cleaning the coast

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PHOTO: Cleaning the coast

Monday, September 23, 2019

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Allan Lewis (third right), managing director, JN Fund Managers, gets support from Stacey-Ann Mighty Whyte (left), Patrick Whyte, and Javine Heath from Allman Town Primary School in collecting recyclable plastics along the Palisados strip in Kingston on International Coastal Clean-up Day last Saturday. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)


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Crown, prosecution again haggle over document disclosure

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Crown, prosecution again haggle over document disclosure

BY JONATHAN MORRISON
Observer writer

Monday, September 23, 2019

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Despite consensus at last Thursday’s hearing in Porus on the management of the large volume of documents related to the Manchester Municipal Corporation fraud trial, Friday’s sitting of the parish court in Mandeville was again marked by lengthy wrangling over document disclosure.

There was much back and forth between the team of attorneys, representing the eight defendants, and the two Crown counsel marshalling the evidence on behalf of the prosecution.

Parish Court Judge Ann Marie Grainger, in seeking to resolve the issue, referred to a ruling she made at a previous sitting that at no time should the prosecution bring into evidence any document or other exhibit that had not been shared beforehand with the defence.

At the Porus courthouse last Thursday, defence attorney Danielle Archer had suggested that in the interest of time and efficiency documents of like nature could be bundled and presented at once for identification and verification by witnesses, as opposed to handing each, one at a time, to the witness.

At the time Judge Grainger had thanked the defence for their co-operation in offering a suggestion that would speed up the prosecution’s examination of witnesses.

However, in Mandeville on Friday the Crown’s examination of two prosecution witnesses was repeatedly halted by objections from the defence. The objections were based on the issue of documents and, in one instance, a compact disc that the defence team either had not received or felt had not come to hand in a timely manner, but which the Crown was relying on as evidence.

In the end it was not clear whether the prosecution’s examination of the witnesses had been discontinued on account of the objections or if the Crown counsel had completed their examination.

The eight accused individuals are on trial for the alleged misappropriation of more than $400 million of public funds from the corporation. They are all facing charges including forgery, conspiracy to defraud and obtaining money under false pretence.

The trial resumes today at the Mandeville courthouse.

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