Daily Brief - Friday 18th August, 2017

TTMA In The News

TTMA offers budget recommendations

The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) has signalled through its budget recommendations for 2017/18, the need for the expansion and growth of the manufacturing sector. In a release yesterday, the TTMA stated that this could only be achieved through the creation of “the enabling environment required to allow for expansion of operations invariably leading to greater production, employment, export and foreign exchange.” The TTMA emphasised that the goals of the manufacturing sector and that of the Government of T&T are identical with respect to the sector and therefore, a collaborative approach should be fostered in shaping the future of the industry. Read more here

 

NEWS

Boy 12 Charged for Killing

A 12-year-old boy and his 18-year-old brother appeared in court yesterday charged with the killing of 15-yearold Emmanuel Okera near a church at Calcutta #2, Freeport on Friday last. The 12-year-old was charged with manslaughter, granted bail in the sum of $75,000 and placed in the care of his parents. His brother was charged with murder and remanded into custody. They appeared before magistrate Siumongal Ramsaran in the Couva Magistrates Court and are scheduled to reappear on September 14. The charges were laid early yesterday morning by Sgt Susan John of the Region 3 Homicide Bureau after receiving advice from Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Joan Honore-Paul shortly after 11 pm on Wednesday. In court yesterday the parents of the accused wept as the charges were read to them. Read more here

Woman charged in ‘fake rape’ case

A judiciary employee who allegedly made a false report to the police of being raped by a taxi driver has been granted $10,000 bail on a charge of wasting the police time. Wendy Isahark, 45, a telephone operator at the San Fernando Magistrates Court pleaded not guilty when she appeared before Princes Town Magistrate Nalini Singh. According to the charge, Isahark went to the Barrackpore Police Station on Tuesday where she reported that she boarded a taxi in Princes Town and the driver took her to an area and raped her. Read more here

Permell: 'Unlawful' attempt to remove me as TAP chairman

CLICO Policy Group chairman Peter Permell has sought legal advice after an “unlawful” attempt to remove him as chairman of Trinidad Ag­gregate Products (TAP). Permell confirmed yes­­­terday that moves have been made to remove him and TAP's deputy chair, Richard Saunders, but said the action had no basis in the statutes of the privately owned company. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Opposition consulted on new anti-crime law

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has sent legislation proposing the creation of “zones of special operations and community development” in TT to Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. This was disclosed by Acting Attorney General Stuart Young at yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s. In a signed letter dated August 17 to Persad-Bissessar, Rowley said Young sent two packages of draft/proposed legislation to Opposition Senator Gerald Ramdeen to give to her as a continuation of their “productive” meeting at Tower D of the Portof- Spain International Centre on July 18 about legislative measures to address the country’s crime problem. Read more here

Cabinet okays $53.2m Golden Grove upgrade

Cabinet has approved $53.6 million for upgrade works at the Golden Grove Remand Yard Prison in Arouca, including toilet facilities in the cells. This was revealed by National Security Minister Edmund Dillon at yesterday’s post-Cabinet media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s. The upgrade works will also include electrical and mechanical systems upgrade and plumbing. The facility was constructed since the 1940s and consists of two-storey buildings - the North Wing and the South Wing. It featured 180 cells originally designed to house three inmates each, but because of the current overcrowding situation cells now house between eight to ten inmates. There are approximately 1,000 inmates at the remand yard. Read more here

Govt to let Judiciary resolve crisis

The Government has thrown out the legislative fix to deal with the crisis in the Judiciary arising out of the appointment of former chief magistrate Marcia Ayers-­Caesar as a judge and her ­resignation over 53 part-heard ­matters. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

20 get SEED grants

Twenty people were recipients of funding in the Sowing Empowerment through Entrepreneurial Development (SEED) grants on Wednesday through the Social Development and Family Services Ministry. After a brief ceremony at the ministry’s head office, St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain, Social Development Minister Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn said they received about 2,600 applications. She said SEED was one of Government’s strategies being used to reduce poverty, get people off the food card or public assistance and have them in sustainable employment. Read more here

Sagicor jumps $0.30

Overall market activity resulted from trading in 13 securities of which 3 advanced, 4 declined and 6 traded firm. Trading activity on the First Tier Market registered a volume of 208,163 shares crossing the floor of the Exchange valued at $3,238,370.62. National Enterprises was the volume leader with 76,230 shares changing hands for a value of $798,890.40, followed by JMMB Group with a volume of 59,660 shares being traded for $71,592.00. Scotiabank T&T contributed 24,775 shares with a value of $1,437,558.19, while Sagicor Financial added 24,507 shares valued at $208,309.50. Read more here

Govt commits to Sandals disclosure

The Government is committed to disclosing the terms of its agreement with Sandals for the establishment of an all-inclusive resort at the Golden Grove estate in Tobago. Speaking at yesterday's post-cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann's, Government spokesman Stuart Young said: “At the appropriate time, there will be a disclosure by the Government. We have nothing to hide and there will be full transparency with respect to what is the outcome of those hopefully fruitful discussions with Sandals,” said Young, who is Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister and Minister in the Office of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Three fired at Bahamas utility after audit report into $2 million theft

Three employees of Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) were terminated on Wednesday following a forensic audit at the company. The workers include an accounts payable clerk, an accounts filing clerk and a financial assistant. Secretary general of Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) Astrid Bodie consoled the individuals after they were terminated. “I will let you know right now we are not going to go quietly into the night,” Bodie said. “These are our members that we are fighting for and we want fair play in the workplace.” BEWU members said they will protest the terminations in the near future. Read more here

Ford Guilty - Judge Rejects Medical Doctor's Defence Against Fraud Charges

A judge yesterday rejected a claim by well-known medical doctor Jephthah Ford that he offered a police investigator millions of dollars to release two Surinamese men and the $55 million they were held with because he was trying to help root out corruption in the Jamaica Constabulary Force. Instead, Parish Judge Simone Wolfe Reece scolded Ford, saying he "sought to intercept and get in the middle" of the process to have the men placed before the court and a determination made as to whether the cash was criminal property. "This plan by Dr Ford, I disbelieve," Wolfe Reece declared before finding Ford guilty on two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Barcelona and Cambrils attacks: Hunt for suspect in Spain

A massive manhunt is under way in Spain for the man suspected of killing 13 people and injuring scores on Barcelona's Las Ramblas on Thursday. Spanish media named the man being sought as 18-year-old Moussa Oubakir. He is suspected of using his brother's documents to rent the van that mowed down people on the famous landmark. Hours later, police killed five suspected jihadists in a second vehicle attack in the town of Cambrils. A woman injured in that attack has now died. Police said the men killed in Cambrils were linked to the Barcelona attack, which the Islamic State group said it had carried out. Read more here

Trump responds to Barcelona terror attack by spreading debunked rumor

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that before he makes a statement on an important matter he likes to "know the facts" and "be correct." On Thursday, he responded to the Barcelona terror attack by spreading a debunked rumor. "Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught," Trump urged his 36.1 million Twitter followers. "There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!" Trump was likely referring to a supposed practice of shooting Muslims with bullets dipped in pig's blood or burying them with the bodies of pigs. For some time, there have been rumors that claim Gen. John J. Pershing employed such tactics following the Philippine-American War in order to deter insurgents. Read more here

18th August 2017

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