Daily Brief - Monday 12th June, 2017

NEWS

Give Us Tasers

Police officers are calling on the Commissioner of Police to provide them with non-lethal means to subdue unarmed suspects, and called for better training in handling mentally ill patients. Their call comes in light of recent shootings of mentally ill people which occurred this year. President of the Police Social and Welfare Association, Insp Michael Seales told Newsday yesterday that despite contradictory statements made by officials in the Ministry of National Security, police officers are not adequately trained to treat with and subdue mentally ill patients. Seales said since the shooting death of Paul Marchan, a mentally ill man who was killed in a confrontation with police in Diego Martin in March, he has been receiving calls from his members who say they are neither trained or equipped to handle mentally ill patients. Read more here

CWU: TDC closure on hold until month end

The shutdown of the Tourism Development Company (TDC), originally scheduled for June 9, has been put on hold until month end, according to Joseph Remy, secretary general of the Communications Workers’ Union (CWU). At a press briefing outside the TDC’s head office at Maritime Plaza, Barataria, Remy said it would be imprudent to shut down the company in the face of concerns raised by the union. Some 120 workers will be affected by the shut down of the entity, which had as its main remit promoting T&T as a tourism destination. “Although good sense is a scarce commodity in this country I believe mayhem it could have caused... if any attempt were made to stop these employees from entering into the compound,” Remy said. Read more here

Sportt Sues For $34M

The Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT) wants back the $34 million it paid to educator and president of EBeam Interact Adolphus Daniell under the former People’s Partnership administration. In a breach of contract claim filed in the High Court on June 2, SporTT said Ebeam has been “unjustly enriched”. The claim was signed off by SporTT chairman Dinanath Ramnarine. Read more here

 

POLITICS

UNC: No flip flopping on marriage bill

There was no flip flopping on the issue of child marriage by the Opposition in the Senate and the House of Representatives as the Opposition was always against child marriage says UNC Chairman David Lee . The Opposition abstained in the Senate when the vote for the Miscellaneous (Marriages) Bill was taken in January, he said, “because the Attorney General (Faris Al Rawi) removed the clause for the three fifths majority to a simple majority at the 99th hour when winding up his speech on the debate.” On criticisms for appointing two members of the Muslim and Hindu communities as Temporary Senators, Lee said, the United National Congress took that decision to allow them to voice their concerns in the Parliament “given that the Attorney General did not have proper consultations.” He said the two religious leaders were not representing the UNC but were representing the views of their faith. Read more here

Rowley to review his MPs

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday reiterated that Government intends to restructure struggling state-owned energy company Petrotrin, especially in the face of tough economic times. He also warned People’s National Movement (PNM) MPs that after Labour Day on June 19 he will be examining their “score cards” to ensure they are working for the good of their constituencies. These were among announcements made to party supporters and activists at the PNM’s sport and family day at the Eddie Hart Savannah, Tacarigua, and yesterday. Read more here

Property tax forms can now be submitted

From today, property owners who want to complete and submit Valuation Return Forms (VRFs) to facilitate the Ministry of Finance in the collection of the proposed property tax are free to do so. In a full-page advertisement placed in all three daily newspapers on Saturday, the ministry informed members of the public that they can submit the forms but that they are not mandated to do so. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Trump mulls over Cuba policy change

Trump administration has been discussing policy changes that include prohibiting business with the Cuban military while maintaining the full diplomatic relations restored by Obama. The White House has also been debating new restrictions on American leisure travel to Cuba, which has more than tripled since Obama’s 2014 announcement. Trump is expected to announce the policy on Friday in Miami, according to a person familiar with the plan. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning. Obama’s policy moves have led to extensive corporate investment on the island, including new, daily commercial flights, licenses for US hotel operators and agricultural investment by US companies. Trump will be under pressure from lawmakers and corporate interests to continue the US engagement with Havana. Read more here

TTNGL – then and now

This week, we at Bourse discuss the now-open Additional Public Offering (APO) of TTNGL. In the mid-year budget review, the Minister of Finance indicated that the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) would make an offer for an additional sale of its shareholding in TTNGL, through its nominee, the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd (NGC). A total of 40,248,000 class B shares is being offered to the public at a price of TT$21 per share. We review the performance of TTNGL and its investee company—Phoenix Park Gas Processors Ltd (PPGPL)—since its Initial Public Offering in 2015. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Puerto Rico again votes overwhelmingly for US statehood

Five years after the last plebiscite on the same issue, Puerto Ricans overwhelmingly voted for US statehood for their island in a non-binding referendum on Sunday. As of 7:00 pm, the island's State Commission on Elections (CEE-PR) had reported that about 500,000 (23 percent) of the island's eligible voters had cast ballots, in contrast to Puerto Rico’s historically high turnout in most elections. About 97 percent of the votes were for statehood, representing a significant increase over the 61 percent that voted for statehood in 2012. Read more here

All Bets Off! - Commission Moves To Educate Public About Children And Gambling

The $50,000 fine that can be levelled against adults who allow children to participate in any form of gambling seems to be little deterrent to those who regularly send young ones to purchase gambling tickets. Whether this is done out of ignorance or disregard of the law, the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) is moving to address the awareness issue through a targeted public-awareness campaign about under-age gambling. A BGLC video, which explains that it is against the law to use children to transact any form of gambling, has been getting some exposure on television, and the BGLC has been pushing it via social media, particularly on its Facebook page. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

France election: Macron party set for big parliamentary win

The centrist party of French President Emmanuel Macron looks on course to win a landslide victory following the first round of parliamentary elections. Projections show La République en Marche (Republic on the Move) and its MoDem ally set to win up to 445 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly. The Socialists, France's former ruling party, are seen losing 200 seats. Traditional parties are urging voters to back Mr Macron's rivals in a run-off vote to avoid him monopolising power. Mr Macron's party was established just over a year ago and many candidates have little or no political experience. The final outcome will be decided in the second round of voting next Sunday. Read more here

British PM Theresa May seeks lifeline after bruising election result

UK Prime Minister Theresa May, clinging on in Downing Street, will appeal for the support of her members of parliament (MPs) Monday, after losing the Conservatives a cherished government majority in last week's election. Many MPs are angry over what they see as an unnecessary vote that has cost several lawmakers their seats and are demanding she run a more open, collegiate government after her first months of a dictatorial regime. With her government majority at zero, May has no control over Parliament a week away from the Queen's Speech, when new laws are presented, and the scheduled start of Brexit talks. Read more here

12th June 2017

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