Daily Brief - Monday 20th February, 2017


6 former monarchs in calypso final

Six former monarchs are among the 15 calypsonians who will battle against defending National Calypso Monarch Devon Seale for the title come Carnival Sunday night at Dimanche Gras at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain. Cro Cro, Gypsy, Chucky, Kurt Allen, Karene Asche and Chalkdust have made it to the final, each one being among the more popular acts at Saturday’s semi-­finals, Calypso Fiesta, at Skinner Park, San Fernando. Read more here

Cops kill one man, wound another in South

One day after a police killing in Laventille sparked protest by residents, police shot two other men, one of whom died, in separate incidents in south Trinidad yesterday. In the first shooting around 2.45 am, police responded to a call about a crime in progress at the FuJian Supermarket in the Ste Madeleine area. Read more here

Student threatens ‘Miss’

A 16-year-old Form Four student of Cunupia High School, who was the main suspect behind an arson attack at the school last October, is now being investigated for threatening the life of a female teacher at the school. Read more here



PM defends Camille

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on Saturday defended Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives Camille Robinson-Regis over a recent newspaper article which stated that the Robinson- Regis did not respond to an internal investigative report by First Citizens which said that she never declared how she came into possession of $143,800 in cash during a transaction at the bank in January 2016. Robinson-Regis is also Planning Minister and Arouca/Maloney MP “I am not an investigator,” Rowley told reporters whilst responding to the issue at a news conference at the VIP Lounge of the Piarco International Airport. Read more here

Rowley, Trump pledge to deepen T&T/US ties

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and United States President Donald Trump yesterday agreed that both administrations will continue to strengthen the relationship which exists between the two countries. In a release yesterday, the Office of the Prime Minister said the pledge came after Rowley had a conversation with Trump around 4.40 pm yesterday. Read more here



Lack of bilateral air agreements affecting Surinam Airways expansion and profitability

Surinam Airways (SLM) director, Robbi Lachmising, this week told Eliézer Pross of De Ware Tijd, a daily newspaper, that the national carrier has a “problem expanding its wings because Suriname has insufficient aviation agreements with countries in the region.” He added, “The possibilities are endless, but without an aviation treaty, we cannot do anything. That's why SLM requires that the ministry of foreign affairs, and if necessary, an aviation arm within the foreign or the transportation ministry be put in place to advocate intensively for more flight deals." Read more here

CDB approves US$306 million in loans, grants in 2016

In 2016, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) approved US$306 million in loans and grants, the highest approval total during the past five years. And of the countries for which funding was approved, Belize, Saint Lucia and Suriname were the three largest beneficiaries of loans. Dr William Warren Smith, CDB president, made this announcement during the bank’s annual news conference on Friday in Barbados. Read more here



Deportation Crackdown - Fear Spikes As US Tightens Policies On Illegal Immigrants

Veteran immigration attorney-at-law Dahlia Walker-Huntington is of the firm belief that the Jamaican economy will soon feel the sting of the ramped-up deportation exercises currently taking place in the United States. The heightened fear of deportation within immigrant communities comes on the heels of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly signing a pair of memos that empower federal authorities to more aggressively detain and deport illegal immigrants within the US. The documents also instruct agency chiefs to recruit an additional 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to crackdown on illegal immigrants. Quoting statistics from a study conducted by the migration policy institute, Walker-Huntington has pointed to approximately 65,000-67,000 Jamaicans residing in the US illegally and has fingered remittance and accommodation as limbs of the economy that may become sprained. Read more here

Corrupt police and fake news used by Guyana university to attack local newspaper editor

A Guyana-based offshore university that issues questionable medical degrees to mostly unsuspecting foreign students is alleged to have hired corrupt elements of the Guyana Police Force and two street thugs to intimidate and force the Guyana Guardian and its editor-in-chief, Dennis Adonis, to remove several factual articles that were published about Texila American University, which is owned by Ashok Kumar and Saju Bhaskar of India. The articles in question were centered on the fact that the medical degrees that are issued by Texila were not internationally recognized, since the US Department of Education, along with the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP), which is the only entity tasked with accrediting medical degrees in Guyana and the Caribbean Community, has already confirmed this. Read more here



Kim Jong Nam's death: Footage surfaces showing attack

Closed circuit television footage released Monday appears to show the moment that Kim Jong Nam was attacked and the events leading up to his death. The footage, which first aired on TV in Japan, shows Kim being attacked at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2, walking over to a desk and then being escorted to a hospital clinic -- both of which match the timeline of events released by authorities. Kim, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, died on his way to hospital. Authorities believe that he was poisoned and the case is being treated as a murder investigation. Read more here

South Sudan declares famine in Unity State

A famine has been declared in parts of South Sudan, the first to be announced in any part of the world in six years. The government and the United Nations report that some 100,000 people are facing starvation, with a million more on the brink of famine. A combination of civil war and an economic collapse have been blamed. There have been warnings of famine in Yemen, Somalia and north-eastern Nigeria, but South Sudan is the first to declare one. The famine is currently affecting parts of two Unity state in South Sudan, but humanitarian groups have warned that the crisis could spread if urgent help is not received. Aid agencies, including the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the children's fund Unicef, said that 4.9 million people - more than 40% of South Sudan's population - are in urgent need of food. Read more here


20th February 2017


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