Daily Brief - Friday 3rd March, 2017


Oops, Carnival Not Crime Free

National Security Minister Edmund Dillon yesterday apologised for a statement issued by his ministry which said this year’s Carnival celebrations were crime free. Responding to questions from reporters at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s, Dillon said, “Definitely it was not a crime free Carnival. I don’t think we have ever had a crime free Carnival to my knowledge. There is always crime during Carnival. In fact, there is always crime every day...different levels of crime.” “The press release that was done was done in error...it couldn’t be a crime free Carnival...and it was corrected.” The minister explained, “There were crimes committed during the Carnival in certain areas. There were different levels of crime committed. It was not a crime free Carnival as such.” Dillon said, “As I alluded before...there were murders...one or two related to Carnival but there were murders throughout TT during this period (that were not related to Carnival.” The minister stressed, “What I must emphasise is that...bearing in mind the volume of people in Port-of-Spain, San Fernando, Arima... Read more here

I’m not gone yet

National Carnival Commission (NCC) chairman Kenny De Silva yesterday dismissed rumours he had announced his resignation. “It’s not true,” De Silva told the T&T Guardian in response to questions on the matter. Explaining what fuelled the rumours, he said it began during an interview he had on a television morning show yesterday. He said he was asked to respond to a newspaper editorial which suggested he should resign after the missteps at the Dimanche Gras show on Carnival Sunday night. “I told the interviewer the buck does stop with the chair (of the NCC). But I never said I am resigning,” De Silva said. Read more here

Three shot dead in Debe

Three men were shot and killed at a bar in Debe on Thursday night. Dead are Kevin Fuller, 31, of Palmyra, Terry Edwards, 34, of, of Debe, and Sanjay Mahabir, 42, of Debe. A fourth man was wounded and taken to hospital. It was the second triple killing for the year. The homicide figure for the year now stands at 91. The shooting occurred Runway 69 Shorts Restaurant and Bar at Wellington Road. At around 7 p.m. the gunmen opened fire in the business place where the men were liming. Fuller and Edwards were killed inside the bar. Mahabir, who may have thought it was a robbery, ran from the bar and laid on the road. The killer ran up and shot him in the head. Read more here



Garcia: ‘Please go to school’

Education Minister Anthony Garcia yesterday appealed to primary and secondary school students who “chose” to stay away from classes following Carnival celebrations on Monday and Tuesday to go back to school. Speaking at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s, Garcia said after Carnival ended on Tuesday, “what we have found however in the school system, a large section of our primary and secondary school students chose to remain at home.” Garcia explained he was using the word chose “quite guardedly” because he did not know, “whether it was the parents who kept their students home or whether it was the students... on their own volition...decided that they were going to stay at home.” The minister said, “The absence of our students was felt over the seven education districts... 
ranging from Port-of- Spain in the north...on to Victoria in the south.” Garcia said there was 13 to 18 percent attendance by secondary school students and 20 percent attendance by primary school students. Read more here

No ‘400 Trinis’ in ISIS - Govt

Government has denounced “loose figures” and claims being made in articles — and from the Opposition — that “400” nationals are involved in terrorist activities overseas. “There’s absolutely no correlation between that figure (400) and what our official tracking figures are and what we’re getting working along with international agencies,” Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young said yesterday. Speaking during the post-Cabinet press briefing, Young said Government had seen an article last weekend and “one of the things we’re finding now is loose figures are being thrown out. For example there was a very loose figure thrown out by a Member of the Opposition - ‘400 fighters’ and ‘400 citizens’ gone abroad. Read more here



FilmTT offers grants for film projects

The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company Limited (FilmTT), the state agency responsible for the development of the local film and audio-visual industry, is inviting applications for marketing and development grants for current film projects. In a statement, the company said the projects may include attending targeted international film festivals, markets, incubators, labs and workshops. Nneka Luke, Gener- al Manager of FilmTT, said the call is an opportunity for the company to invest directly in active film projects in a targeted and sustainable way. “We are looking for applications from experienced film practitioners who have clear goals for their projects, and can articulate how FilmTT’s small investment can lead to the advancement of their projects,” she said in the statement. She added that since FilmTT does not have the resources to invest in script development or in productions, it was aiming to make these small direct investments “to help open up opportunities for our filmmakers, and to demonstrate our commitment to the sustainable development of the sector.” The call is open to film makers who are nationals or permanent residents of Trinidad and Tobago above eighteen years of age and applications may be submitted by individuals or groups who must have at least three film credits for three different productions. Read more here

Govt to sell another 19% of shares in FCB

The same number of shares in First Citizens Bank that was offered for sale to the public four years ago, will be put up for sale in an additional offer, the bank said in press advertisements and in a stock exchange notice on Wednesday. The shares represent approximately 19.3 of the bank's issued share capital. Citing Finance Minister Colm Imbert's September 30, 2016 budget statement, First Citizens said Government “intended to make an offer for an additional sale of its shareholding in First Citizens Bank Limited via First Citizens Holdings Limited. The proceeds from this sale are intended to fund Government's Fiscal Programme.” Read more here



Extortion Hush-Hush - Cops Lose Count Of Cost Of Crime As Reports Dry Up

Extortion continues to be a major source of income for criminals operating in Spanish Town, St Catherine, but the police have lost track of just how much this illegal activity is costing the business community. This admission comes nine months after the cops put the 2015 take by gangsters at a conservative $400 million. "We know it is happening, but we are not getting the reports," Balvey Thomas, divisional detective inspector for St Catherine North, told a Gleaner Municipal Corporation Forum at the Social Development Commission's offices on Monday. Despite assurances from the police about confidentiality in treating with their complaints, only three reports were made by transport operators for all of last year. However, the police insist that this is not because the criminals have taken their business elsewhere. Fear of reprisal by the gangsters continues to be a major deterrent for their victims. Thomas pointed to some of the difficulties in investigating cases of extortion. Read more here



More Trump advisers disclose meetings with Russia's ambassador

President Donald Trump's senior aide Jared Kushner and ousted adviser Michael Flynn met with the Russian ambassador to the United States at a time when the Trump administration's relationship with the Russians was under close scrutiny. Kushner and Flynn sat down in December at Trump Tower with Sergey Kislyak, according to a senior administration official, who described it as an "introductory meeting" and "kind of an inconsequential hello." The meeting lasted for about 10 minutes, the official added. Read more here

China congress: BBC team forced to sign confession

The plan was a simple one. We'd arranged to meet a woman in her village in China's central Hunan Province and to then travel with her by train to Beijing, filming as we went. But we never did get to meet our interviewee. The story we ended up with, however, reveals more about the exercise of power in China than any interview ever could. It is one that involves violence, intimidation and a forced confession - my first in my long reporting experience in China - in which I found myself apologising for "behaviour causing a bad impact" and for trying to conduct an "illegal interview". Read more here

3rd March 2017


Copyright © . Trinidad and Tobago Manufactures Association All Rights Reserved.