Daily Brief - Friday 9th June, 2017

NEWS

Ex-cop jailed 17 years for rape

A retired police officer who was convicted of raping a 27-year-old netball player in 2010, has been sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment with hard labour by a High Court judge. Andy Allan, 63, of Chaguanas was before Justice Hayden St Clair-Douglas in the Port of Spain Third Criminal Court, charged with raping the woman on March 27, 2010. According to the prosecution’s case, which was presented by attorney Hema Soondarsingh, the woman had gone to Allan’s home to collect uniforms when she was assaulted. Read more here

UWI hunts whistleblower

The University of West Indies, St Augustine, is investigating who leaked confidential correspondence to the media which challenged the re-appointment of the dean of the Faculty of Law. The probe follows an exclusive story in yesterday’s T&T Guardian, which highlighted a series of complaints and allegations against Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine and a challenge to her four-year re-appointment. Several pieces of correspondence detailing alleged victimisation, along with letters by lecturers expressing discontent over Antoine’s re-appointment, which they said was unlawful according to The UWI’s statutes and ordinances, were provided to the T&T Guardian. Read more here

Boy's finger partly severed at school

The Ministry of Education has launched an investigation into an incident at the Tranquillity Government Primary School where a six-year-old pupil had part of his finger severed on Wednesday when an official at the school closed a door. The injured First Year pupil, Xavier Ambrose, remains a patient at the Mt Hope Children's Hospital. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Tim blames Minister Garcia

Expressing grave concern that over 400 primary and secondary school students are on a suicide watch, former education minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh has laid blame on current Minister Anthony Garcia, saying as line minister in charge of administration of the nation’s schools, he oversaw the removal of most of the counselling and intervention programmes implemented by the previous People’s Partnership government. At a Joint Select Committee meeting of Parliament on Wednesday, UWI, St Augustine campus clinical psychology masters programme head Dr Katija Khan described suicide as a “Public health crisis”, which had, “Extended to the very young and very vulnerable students as well.” In a telephone interview yesterday, Gopeesingh said while the statistics had to be verified, this was nevertheless an “indictment” on Minister Garcia. “He should focus some attention on the issues relating to student behaviour in schools. The Ministry has reversed a tremendous amount of programmes which we implemented aimed at helping students who were not moving forward,” Gopeesingh said. Read more here

He disappeared twice—Minister

Christopher Philip, whose body was found on the grounds of the Port-of-Spain General Hospital on Wednesday, was treated at the institution twice and asked to remain - but he disappeared twice, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh has said. Deyalsingh delivered a preliminary report on the issue in the Senate yesterday in response to Opposition queries. UNC Senator Wade Mark had asked about the elderly citizen, who reportedly died on the hospital’s compound after receiving treatment there. His body was found there Wednesday. Deyalsingh expressed deep condolences to Phillip’s family. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Business Insights platform launched

The Chamber of Industry and Commerce on Wednesday launched its Business Insights platform which is intended to allow members of the Chamber, tertiary institutions and various business incubators to access to a wide range of information on business issues. Business Insights will provide learning webinar series as well as material on busi ness issues, trends and topics geared toward business and national development. Introducing the initiative at the Chamber’s Westmoorings headquarters, its Chief Executive Officer Gabriel Faria, said the business body could not make the Business Insights project work without academia, without the business community or without the skills of those who would help to create the content. Read more here

BP shareholders got 15% return from T&T

In the 50 years that bpTT has been operating in T&T, it has made US$52 billion in operationing profits with 15 per cent or just over US$7.8 billion being paid out to its shareholders. This is according to the company’s regional director of procurement and supply chain management, Paul Evans. Speaking yesterday at The University of the West Indies 2nd Oil and Gas Law Conference at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre on Maximising Local Content, Evans said bpTT has returned significant amounts of its profits to Trinidad and Tobago. Read more here

OCM CEO confident of bright future

Chief executive officer of One Caribbean Media Ltd (OCM) Dawn Thomas says she is confident that despite depressed economic conditions the media Group has a bright future. She said 2016 was a challenging year for OCM but the company has put strategies in place which “have put the OCM Group back on a very firm footing and back on a growth path”. She was speaking to shareholders yesterday at OCM's annual general meeting at Express House in Port of Spain. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Usain Bolt: Legend - New Book Means A Lot To Sprint Icon

Countless pages have documented his unmatched dominance, innumerable words have been penned; but for Jamaican sprinting icon Usain Bolt, the latest publication to celebrate his journey and successes holds a special significance. Usain Bolt: Legend, a publication by the Editorial Department of the Gleaner Company (Media) Limited, promises an intimate and insightful presentation into the athlete's life and career, as a celebratory keepsake for fans around the globe. Read more here

St Lucia opposition challenges PM over minister's alleged misdeeds

The opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has called on Prime Minister Allen Chastanet to dispel a growing public perception that he is facilitating misdeeds committed by Guy Joseph, his minister of economic affairs and by all indications his closest political partner. The SLP also appealed to the prime minister to explain why he remains powerless in the face of bold abuses of office by Joseph. “Why has he not reprimanded Minister Joseph for sitting as chairman of Cabinet, during his acting appointment as prime minister, while his wife made a presentation to Cabinet for incentives on behalf of Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (CHTTI), of which she is a signatory to the articles of incorporation, dated 27 October 2016? Why is the prime minister forced to condone such blatant conflict of interest by Minister Joseph?” the SLP asked. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Trump meets the ultimate adversary in James Comey

In the political drama that Donald Trump has created in Washington, he could not have dreamed up a more formidable adversary than James Comey. After the President fired his FBI director in early May, he dismissed Comey as "a showboat," "a grandstander" and a "nut job." He told Russian diplomats the next day that Comey's exit had relieved "great pressure" that he felt from the Russia investigation. He apparently assumed Comey would fade away into private life. He was dead wrong. Private citizen Comey emerged Thursday to crank up the heat on the Trump administration to white hot. Comey was a lucid and persuasive witness on the President's character who framed his testimony as a defense of the FBI and the institutions of government. Throughout Trump's campaign and his presidency, he has tweeted and uttered falsehoods without consequences. But before Thursday, the President had yet to be held to account for his statements by someone with the precision and authority of the former FBI director. Read more here

Theresa May to seek to form UK government

Theresa May will visit Buckingham Palace at 12:30 BST to seek permission to form a new UK government, despite losing her Commons majority. She is seeking to stay in office on the understanding that the Democratic Unionists of Northern Ireland will support her minority administration. With one seat left to declare, the Tories are eight seats short of the 326 figure needed to command a majority. Jeremy Corbyn has urged her to quit, saying Labour is "ready to serve". After a disappointing night for the Conservatives, Theresa May faces ending up with 12 fewer seats than when she called the election and will need the support of other parties to govern. Read more here

9th June 2017

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