Daily Brief - Friday 22nd June, 2018

NEWS

Cabrera: Mass exodus if civil war breaks out

Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union president Vincent Cabrera is predicting people will flee Venezuela to TT in the hundreds of thousands if ever civil war breaks out in that South American country. Addressing a Labour Day rally at Charlie King junction, Fyzabad on Tuesday, Cabrera questioned remarks by US Ambassador nominee Joseph Mondello to Trinidad and Tobago during a Senate hearing recently. Read more here

Princes Town school will be built

The Presbyterian Primary Schools’ Board of Education (PPSBE) says Princes Town No1 Presbyterian School will be built on the site of the demolished school at Edward Street, Princes Town. This follows complaints by parents that they heard the land at Edward Street was being sold because the land is valuable and the site is no longer fit for a school. Pupils attending Princes Town No 1 were relocated to Princes Town No 2 Presbyterian School at Kenneth Street three years ago because their school building was deemed unfit for occupancy. Read more here

Bird bandit goes to jail

A man who stole a bird in a cage has been sent to jail for the offence. Raymond Lalla admitted he took both items as he appeared before magistrate Michelle Maharajh-Brown at the Princes Town Magistrates’ Court earlier this week. The victim reported that around 9 p.m. on June 8, he secured his bird valued $900 in a cage valued $300 in his garage. The following day he discovered the bird and the cage missing. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Young: Keep children out of politics

Communications Minister Stuart Young yesterday condemned an attempt by the Opposition to reveal the specific treatment being given to two children who found the body of their mother, who was murdered. Responding to a question from Opposition Senator Wade Mark in the Senate, Young said Government is, “quite disturbed that an attempt is being made to politicise it.” He told senators, “We are dealing with young children who have just gone through a very traumatic experience. Read more here

September 7 will be litmus test for Government—analysts

Two political analysts agreed that the call by Joint Trade Union (JTUM) leader Ancel Roget for a day of rest and reflection on September 7 will be used as a gauge by the working class to determine Government’s performance since assuming office in 2015. This was the view of Maukesh Basdeo and Prof John La Guerre, after Roget gave the Government a failing grade on its handling of crime, the economy, health and education and said they will send a message on September 7 to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley that they will not be accepting workers being sent home and any disrespect to the labour movement. Read more here

Ministers duck questions on ‘Galleons Passage’

The Galleons Passage was yesterday set further adrift as Works Minister Rohan Sinanan and Finance Minister Colm Imbert both deflected questions about the vessel’s failure to materialise in Trinidad and Tobago at the promised time. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

The sisterhood

Support, mentorship, empowerment, fun, sisterhood. These are the hallmarks of the Association of Female Executives of Trinidad and Tobago (AFETT) and the goals of its newly-installed president, Yolande Agard-Simmons. Agard-Simmons shared with Business Day how the mentorship of fellow AFETT members early in her career provided much-needed confidence to pursue her goals. Read more here

Don’t worry about foreign reserves

Although T&T used up half of a billion dollars of foreign reserves over the past six months and is likely to use more for the rest of the year, the country should not be worried, Central Bank Governor Alvin Hilaire said yesterday. “At the end of 2017, the international reserves were $8.4 billion, which is about nine months of import cover and in mid June it was $7.9 billion which is about nine months of import cover, so we have lost about $500 million in official reserves which is not insubstantial. The fact is that we do have a substantial stock of reserves by any metric,” he said at the release of the Central Bank’s 2017 Financial Stability Report. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Probe Petrojam - Christie Says Integrity Body Should Investigate

Former Contractor General Greg Christie has said that the relevant oversight body should send a team to investigate allegations of corruption and nepotism at Petrojam, the state-owned oil refinery. Christie told The Gleaner yesterday that the Integrity Commission should start a probe at the refinery. "On the face of it, an investigation would be warranted," he said. The Gleaner, in an editorial earlier this week, called on the director of investigation at the Integrity Commission, David D. Grey, to initiate an investigation at the beleaguered state-owned oil refinery. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Venezuela crisis: UN says security forces killed hundreds

Venezuelan security forces have carried out hundreds of arbitrary killings under the guise of fighting crime, the UN says in a new report. The UN's human rights body says it has credible accounts of security forces raiding poor neighbourhoods and killing young men, often in their homes. The rule of law was "virtually absent" in the country, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said. Venezuela has in the past dismissed human rights allegations as "lies". The country is going through a protracted political and economic crisis. Scores of protesters were killed in clashes during anti-government protests last year and the country is also experiencing hyperinflation and food shortages. Read more here

Handcuffs, assaults, and drugs called 'vitamins': Children allege grave abuse at migrant detention facilities

A year before the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy resulted in more than 2,300 children being separated from their families at the border in a mere five-week period, a ninth-grader in McAllen, Texas, was taken from his mother. He was riding in a car with friends last spring when the car was pulled over. The teenager, brought illegally to the country by his mother as a baby, was unable to show identification. Police called immigration officials, who arrested the boy and sent him to a shelter for unaccompanied migrant children. Read more here

 

22nd June 2018

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