Daily Brief - Friday 8th June, 2018

NEWS

Make positive change in communities

Thirty-nine teenagers have been challenged to effect positive change in their communities and the wider society. The challenge was issued by Nigel Baptiste, managing director of Republic Bank Ltd (RBL) during the graduation ceremony for the 32nd edition of Republic Bank's Youth Link Apprenticeship programme. "We ask that you use the competence you have gained to change the social landscape that currently exists within our country. We all need to work together to make this country a place that all are proud to call home." Read more here

Historic Godineau bridge remains open

The historic Godineau Bridge built in the 1930’s will remain standing even after the Government opens two segments of the $7.4 billion Solomon Hochoy Highway Extension project today. The two segments named Package 2-A which stretches from Dumfries Road to Mosquito Creek and Package 2-B from Godineau River Bridge to St Mary’s in Oropouche, are part of the second phase of the highway which links La Romaine to Oropouche. The first phase, a dual carriageway from Golconda to Debe has already been completed but the third phase from Debe to Mon Desir, which was the subject of litigation levelled by the Highway Re-route Movement, remains at a standstill. Read more here

Religious leaders for major announcement

Secrecy surrounds a major joint announcement to be made on Monday by the leaders of the majority of Trinidad and Tobago’s ­religious bodies. But while religious leaders remained mum yesterday when asked to reveal details, a source said comprehensive sex education and the assurance that laws and policies governing marriage between males and females would be kept intact are expected to be dealt with. Read more here

 

POLITICS

It’s not about race

Acting Deputy Police Commissioner (DCP) Deodat Dulalchan was not rejected for Commissioner of Police (CoP) because of race. The process the Police Service Commission (PSC) used to select Dulalchan and other people for the posts of CoP and DCP was flawed. The PSC must do the selection process over. These declarations from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley resulted in an Opposition walkout from the House of Representatives on Wednesday night. The Opposition walked out before voting on a motion to note a Special Select Committee (SSC) report which examined the PSC’s selection process. Read more here

Squatters with solar panels

There is intense squatting in 11 areas within the 34 forest reserves in T&T’s North East region, including one squatting community with substantial houses - featuring solar panels - belonging to members of the military, says Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat. Rambharat spoke about the situation during yesterday’s Senate debate on amendments to the Land Adjudication Act. Read more here

Griffith: Criminals afraid of me as CoP

Former National Security minister Gary Griffith believes some white collar criminals are “quaking” at the possibility of him taking up the post of Commissioner of Police (CoP). Griffith, who is challenging the rejection of his candidacy for the post, said yesterday there were some criminal elements for whom a “fear factor” still exists where his work is concerned. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Teachers ignore safety risk to oversee exams

OUT of love and compassion for their students, teachers at the La Romaine Secondary School yesterday ignored instructions from their association to supervise Form Three students writing the National Certification of Secondary Schools (NCSE) exam. Several teachers who walked out over health and safety violations on May 29, put aside their concerns and turned up at the Church Street school to ensure children had the requisite supervision to sit the exam. Read more here

BATT sees potential in blockchain

Cryptocurrencies are not the only way to make use of blockchain technology, says President of the Bankers Association of T&T (BATT) Nigel Baptiste who believes financial technology holds great potential for T&T’s financial sector and economy. Baptiste spoke at a breakfast seminar, Understanding Financial Technology Disruptors: Demystifying the Hype vs Capabilities, at the Hyatt Trinidad Regency Hotel, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. The seminar focused on how financial technology is revolutionising and transforming financial industry. Read more here

Petrotrin spends $63m on consultancy fees

Pointe-a-Pierre Member of Parliament David Lee said yesterday that in the face of recording a $2 billion loss for 2017, Petrotrin has spent $63 million on consultancy fees. The Opposition MP said the information was provided by Energy Minister Franklin Khan at yesterday’s parliamentary sitting, in response to a question Lee had posed to Khan in April. Lee had requested the names of the individuals or companies who were retained as consultants by State-owned oil company, as well as the value of these fees received by each company for the period July 1st 2017 to present. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Battle For Land - MP, Mayor Side With Westmoreland Squatters

Fresh battle lines have been drawn in the ongoing dispute over an 867-acre property in Westmoreland as members of the political directorate, including Western Westmoreland's member of parliament, Wykeham McNeill, take the side of the residents who are locked in a legal battle with the owner of the property. During a press conference at the St George's Methodist Church meeting hall in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, yesterday, McNeill and Savanna-la-Mar's mayor, Councillor Bertel Moore, made it clear that they were on the side of the residents in the dispute that has been raging since 2003. "We believe that where you have a situation with 500 settlers who have been on the land for decades, you can't just say everybody must move like that," said McNeill. "There must be discussion and dialogue, and we all stand squarely beside the residents of Little Bay, Brighton, and Salmon Point." Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Trump to skip climate portion of G7 after Twitter spat with Macron and Trudeau

President Donald Trump plans to depart from this weekend's Group of 7 summit in Canada several hours early, the White House announced Thursday, punctuating an explosion of acrimony between Trump and his foreign counterparts on the eve of the talks. The White House said Trump would depart mid-morning on Saturday, skipping sessions on climate change and the environment. An aide will take his place, the White House said. The announcement came as Trump engaged in a bitter back-and-forth with French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over Twitter, both of whom he'll meet face-to-face on Friday. Read more here

Kim Trump summit: S Korean reporters arrested over N Korea 'trespass'

Police in Singapore have arrested two South Korean journalists who are accused of trespassing in the home of the North Korean ambassador ahead of next week's Trump-Kim summit. Police said they were called to the residence on Thursday afternoon. Two men working for South Korean broadcaster KBS were arrested and two others are under investigation. About 3,000 journalists are expected in Singapore for talks between President Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un. Read more here

8th June 2018

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