Daily Brief - Friday 20th July, 2018

TTMA IN THE NEWS

Sweet deal from TIC 2018

T&T’s trade relations with the United States just got sweeter. A container of confectionary products will soon be leaving this country, as a US buyer has cemented ties with a local manufacturer following the recently concluded Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya. During the event, exporTT, in collaboration with the T&T Manufacturers Association (TTMA), targeted buyers from the region and North America. Betty-Ann Noreiga-Mollineau, exporTT’s manager, export and communications, told the T&T Guardian: “The buyer already sent the order and this will be shipped very soon. This will be on a consistent basis. Read more here

 

NEWS

EFCL makes $2.2m part payment

The Education Facilities Company Limited (EFCL) has repaid part of the $12.4 million debt it owed to a local project management firm. A cheque for $2.2 million was on Wednesday made out to Prudecon Limited, after it levied on the EFCL’s head offices at Long Circular Road, Maraval. The initial payment was part of a deal brokered by the EFCL to settle the debt it owed to the Woodbrook-based company. Read more here

State lawyers blunder in Dana murder case

Prosecutors have made another blunder in the case again 10 men charged with the murder of former Independent Senator Dana Seetahal, SC. The latest mistake occurred in the State’s appeal over a decision by Senior Magistrate Indrani Cedeno to dismiss gang charges against the group and two of their acquaintances in 2016, due to an administrative error by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Hours before the appeal was due to be heard yesterday, special prosecutor Travers Sinanan and Assistant DPP Angelica Teelucksingh-Ramoutar informed the court’s registry that their office had filed the notice of appeal late. Read more here

Baby beaten at daycare centre

The parents of a six month old baby boy plan to take legal action against a daycare in Barataria after their child was left with a swollen face and blisters about his face and body. They were told by the daycare that the infant was beaten by another child. “I don’t believe that at all. Look at his wounds. His face was more swollen than that yesterday. I didn’t even recognise him,” said a furious Melessa Buckmire, the child's mother. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Why is NGC still litigating?

Former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, SC, is questioning why the National Gas Company (NGC) is continuing legal action against SIS and Rainforest, after the Privy Council dismissed NGC’s appeal and ruled in favour of the two companies. Addressing a media conference at his Irving Street, San Fernando law offices on Wednesday, Maharaj recalled that the contract to build the Beetham Water Recycling Plant was entered between NGC and SIS on March 10, 2014. Read more here

Colm asks private schools for more info

There is still no resolution on the request by private secondarys schools for a fee increase per students by the Ministry of Education, following half an hour of talks between the schools and a Government team led by Finance Minister Colm Imbert yesterday. Schools were not given any indication of what Government plans to offer them but were asked to provide additional information to Imbert by today. At the start of yesterday’s meeting, Imbert is reported to have told principals a short meeting was unavoidable because of other Cabinet commitments. But he said it had become a very contentious issue and he wanted to ensure there was a resolution and that a reasonable, fair and just payment is agreed upon. Read more here

Minister promises protection for Galleons

Aspiring saboteurs have been warned that the Galleons Passage will be well-guarded to prevent any suspicious mechanical issues, as were seen with the Cabo Star and T&T Spirit. Works and Transport minister Rohan Sinanan said yesterday that the vessel, which pulled into Port of Spain Monday night, will be fitted with closed circuit television (CCTV). Read more here

 

BUSINESS

123 Kids Expo

123 Kids Expo was founded by Kaisha Lee A Ping-Alfred, CEO of Trendy Trade Show Company, after she got tired of having to "hunt around" for affordable, quality products and services for her children. Described as a marketplace for all things children and teens, the first 123 Kids Expo was held in October 2017 at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya. Events included parenting workshops, self-defense classes, a supervised play area, nursing station, entertainment and financial planning advice. Read more here

Jobs created in business process outsourcing

T&T continues to attract international firms which create new employment opportunities for its citizens. More than 100 persons have been employed to provide support at international airline carrier American Airlines’ reservation centre in Port of Spain. The new offices, which were formally opened on Tuesday in Maraval, service the Caribbean, the Pacific, the Americas and Europe. Minister of Trade Paula Gopee-Scoon, who spoke at the formal opening of the centre, said: “This event further expands and adds value to the country’s business process outsourcing agenda. The 100-plus employees hired by American Airlines builds on the 600 jobs already created by iQor, the 750 opportunities generated by Scotia Bank’s recently established back office support and BHP Billiton’s local operations.” Read more here

BHP Billiton finds new gas offshore T&T

Australia’s BHP Billiton found new gas offshore Trinidad, the company confirmed in a statement yesterday. “In Trinidad and Tobago, following the gas discovery at LeClerc, we commenced Phase 2 of our deepwater exploration drilling campaign to further assess the commercial potential of the Magellan play. The Victoria-1 exploration well was spud on June 12, 2018 and encountered gas. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Tap Local Goods - Foreign Investors Must Engage Local Producers, Says Adam Stewart

The Government must insist that foreign direct investors tap into the wealth of world-class goods and services on offer by locals to ensure more sustainable economic development, according to Adam Stewart, chairman of the Tourism Linkages Network. Addressing the launch yesterday of Christmas in July, which he described as a "brilliant showcase of what is happening in Jamaica", Stewart said that the event was testimony to the capability of locals to deliver goods and services at and for the highest levels. Therefore, the time was right, he argued, to begin to engage them in a more structured way to maximise their contribution to national development. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Singapore personal data hack hits 1.5m, health authority says

Hackers have stolen personal data in Singapore belonging to some 1.5 million people, or about a quarter of the population, officials say. They broke into the government health database in a "deliberate, targeted and well-planned" attack, a government statement says. Those targeted visited clinics between 1 May 2015 and 4 July of this year. Data taken include names and addresses but not medical records, other than medicines dispensed in some cases. "Information on the outpatient dispensed medicines of about 160,000 of these patients" was taken, the statement says. "The records were not tampered with, ie no records were amended or deleted. No other patient records, such as diagnosis, test results or doctors' notes, were breached. We have not found evidence of a similar breach in the other public healthcare IT systems." Read more here

Putin invite sends Washington into Russian twilight zone

It was a jaw-dropping moment that embodied the utterly unfathomable, logic-defying and increasingly troubling twilight zone into which Washington has plunged since the Helsinki summit. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was onstage at a security forum in Aspen, Colorado, when he was told by NBC's Andrea Mitchell that the White House had announced on Twitter that President Donald Trump had invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit in the fall. "Say that again," Coats said, doing a double take and laughing in disbelief at the absurdity of the latest episode in the Russia saga. Once he had collected himself, he added: "Okaaaay. ... That's going to be special." Read more here

20th July 2018

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