Daily Brief - Friday 10th August, 2018

NEWS

Union, Petrotrin deny strike rumours

State-owned oil company Petrotrin said a message circulating on social media that the company is on strike is not true. The message which started circulating on WhatsApp and Facebook, from Tuesday evening, stated that Petrotrin is on strike and workers are blocking gas tankers, from leaving the Petrotrin compound. The messenger advised drivers to fill their gas tanks soon as possible. Petrotrin said the message has no truth and may be meant to panic the public. Officials said they did not know from where the mischief originated or why. Petrotrin speculated it could have been misconstrued after a meeting of the representing Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) meeting with workers outside the Pointe-a-Pierre compound on Monday evening. Read more here

Cop not a suspect in murder of Parliament clerk

Contrary to media reports, homicide investigators said they are not searching for a police officer in connection to the murder of Parliament clerk Mariana Moonisar. The officer, who was said to be Moonisar’s ex-boyfriend, was not in hiding and was available for questioning, investigators said yesterday. Moonisar was said to have ended a three-year relationship with the officer recently and rejected his advances. Read more here

Put down your guns

Put down the guns and turn away from a life of crime. This was the plea yesterday by residents of Boys Lane, D’Abadie, to warring gangs in their neighbourhood. Their cries follow two shooting incidents in two weeks, which have claimed the lives of three people. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Govt engages Fitch for third credit rating

Cabinet has approved the engagement of credit ratings agency Fitch to do a third rating on TT’s economy. This was disclosed in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Finance Ministry after a meeting between Finance Minister Colm Imbert and representatives of Fitch at the Eric Williams Financial Complex in Port of Spain on Monday. The statement said Fitch will review this country’s sovereign debt ratings, provide an initial/indicative rating and monitored rating of TT for the period May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2022. Read more here

Docs to lose Gate if they refuse public work

Cabinet yesterday took a decision that all house officers who refuse to take up employment in the public health care system will have their Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses programme (Gate) loans pulled. The house officers will also be asked to repay the Government for their medical studies. The announcement was made by Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh at yesterday’s post Cabinet media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s. Read more here

Gary has no problem with Minister’s salary

Incoming Police Commissioner Gary Griffith is said to have no issues with receiving a salary on par to that of a Government Minister. The monthly salary of a Cabinet Minister is $41,000. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Why brand equity matters

Have you ever shopped in a crowded store where a brand name item is on sale – even though the sale price is still costly? Did you feel a glow of pride when you brought a more expensive piece of clothing or a phone, even though there were more affordable products available? What attracted you? Was it because the brand is popular? Was it the quality of the item, the prestige attached to it, or was it simply a case of consumer loyalty? No matter what your motivation, that’s brand equity. Read more here

National Investment Fund bonds oversubscribed

The National Investment Fund (NIF) has been oversubscribed. This was revealed by Communications Minister Stuart Young at yesterday’s post Cabinet media briefing. “Again, I don’t want to speculate because as they say until the end is the end, but I think we are looking at a serious over subscription. I would allow myself to say that,” Young said in response to questions about the bond offer which closed off at 7 pm yesterday. The minister said an extension of the offer deadline was not being considered. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Red-Tape Blues - PM Laments Slow Pace Of Building Approvals

Amid the revelation that red tape stretched the construction of the Inter-American Development Bank's (IDB) regional office to nine years, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said that the regulatory systems of government need to operate more swiftly. "Let us build a Usain Bolt bureaucracy for Jamaica," Holness said yesterday while addressing the official opening of the IDB's regional office located on Montrose Road in St Andrew, a stone's throw from his official residence, Vale Royal. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

'Leave immediately': US Navy plane warned over South China Sea

High above one of the most hotly contested regions in the world, CNN was given a rare look Friday at the Chinese government's rapidly expanding militarization of the South China Sea Aboard a US Navy P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance plane, CNN got a view from 16,500 feet of low-lying coral reefs turned into garrisons with five-story buildings, large radar installations, power plants and runways sturdy enough to carry large military aircraft. During the flight the crew received six separate warnings from the Chinese military, telling them they were inside Chinese territory and urging them to leave. Read more here

China mosque demolition sparks stand-off in Ningxia

Hundreds of Muslims in western China are engaged in a standoff with authorities to prevent their mosque from being demolished. Officials said the newly completed Weizhou Grand Mosque in Ningxia had not been given proper building permits. But worshippers refused to back down - one resident said they "won't let the government touch the mosque". China is home to some 23 million Muslims, and Islam has been prominent in Ningxia province for centuries. But rights groups say there is increasing official hostility towards Muslims in China, and foreign religious influences in particular. The mosque, which has several soaring minarets and domes, is built in a Middle Eastern style. Read more here

10th August 2018

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