Daily Brief - Monday 27th March, 2017


Killings continue in Enterprise

The killings continued in Enterprise, Chaguanas, yesterday, with the shooting death of Marvin Alan, who was said to be a close friend of Friday’s murder victim Sylvan Alexis, brother of reputed gang leader Selwyn ‘Robocop’ Alexis murdered last year. Alexis’ murder on Friday sparked fiery protests from residents and the killing was attributed to the Unruly Isis Gang which operates in the area. Alan, 36, of Caroni Savannah Road, Chaguanas, was shot dead on John Street, Enterprise, not too far from where Alexis, 60, was killed on Friday. Police said residents heard gunshots at about 6 am yesterday. Read more here

Checks on if UK attacker had Caribbean roots

London authorities are examining whether Khalid Masood, the British-born man behind last week’s London Parliament attack, was of Caribbean descent. Masood, a convert to Islam, was born in Kent as Adrian Elms. He was also known as “Adrian Ajao.” He launched an attack at London’s Westminster Bridge last Wednesday, ploughing his vehicle into pedestrians on the bridge. He then drove to the nearby British Parliament which he attempted to storm. Masood stabbed a policeman to death there before was shot and killed by officers. Five died in the attack and 40 were injured. T&T born, UK terrorism expert Candyce Kelshall is now exploring whether Masood was of Caribbean descent, she confirmed to the T&T Guardian yesterday. Read more here

Seek peace, not revenge

The pastor at the funeral of murdered mother-of-one Sharlene Somai yesterday told relatives that rather than wanting justice or vengeance, they should seek peace of mind. “We cannot move on in animosity and hate and asking for justice. People asking for justice. What is justice? Justice is truth, honest pure. Is the criminal justice honest, true and pure? What are we asking for? We asking for vengeance. The police will do their job. We ought not to even bother what the police officers do. We should look to get peace of mind where this is concerned.” Somai’s lifeless body was found last Thursday with a black bag over the head in a cane field near her Petersfield, Felicity, Chaguanas, home. The 23-year-old had left her home around 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday to go to a nearby parlour. An autopsy found that she died as a result of suffocation. Read more here



Faris: PIs unjust for rape victims

Having cases go straight to the High Court for trial by removing the preliminary inquiry (PI) process will greatly alleviate the pain of rape victims, says Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi. He was replying to concerns raised recently by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard, SC, and Head of the Criminal Bar Association Pamela Elder, SC, about Government’s legislation to abolish preliminary inquiries. Gaspard feared of creating a bottleneck at the High Court while Elder said the move is bad law and lacked consultation. Al-Rawi considered the case of a girl assaulted as a minor where a PI might drag on for ten years. “Should that child be required to re-live that experience every time the matter is called?” he mulled. Read more here

Minister promises to finish Ramai Trace school

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal on Friday led protesting parents and pupils of Ramai Trace Hindu School in a demonstration outside the Parliament building in Port of Spain to demand completion of the school. Moonilal said the school had been 90 per cent completed in September 2015 when the United National Congress-led government demitted office. Read more here



First Citizens APO extended

The Ministry of Finance has clarified why a decision was taken to extend the time for the Additional Public Offering (APO) of shares in First Citizens Bank (FCB. “It is well known that the Government has undertaken to pay public officers a substantial sum of back-pay at the end of March 2017. Current estimates of the amount of this back-pay is in the vicinity of $1.6 billion. The originally scheduled date for the closure of the public offering was March 24th 2017, which meant that the offer was initially open for a period of two weeks.” “However,” the ministry continued, “one of the primary objectives of any divestment of a state enterprise is the widest possible public participation in the transaction. Read more here

AMCL impacted by one-offs

This week, we at Bourse review the performances of ANSA McAL Limited (AMCL) and one of its subsidiaries, ANSA Merchant Bank Limited (AMBL), for the year ended December 2016. AMCL incurred two significant one-off events which negatively impacted Earnings per Share, while AMBL’s profits marginally improved. We take a closer look at the performances and provide a brief outlook. Our full review AMBL is available on our website at www.bourseinvestment.com. Read more here

EDAB presents diversification plan

The Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) presented a draft diversification roadmap to the ministers and permanent secretaries in attendance at a meeting last week. The roadmap comes out of a recognition that the negative economic impact of the sharp fall in oil and gas prices since mid-2014 as well as the decline in the production of both crude oil and natural gas is forcing T&T to diversify its sources of income. The Ministry of Planning and Development in collaboration with the EDAB, led by economist Terrence Farrel, have been pursuing measures to diversify the economy, a statement from the ministry said. Read more here



Dominica foreign minister files defamation lawsuit

As a result of allegations that have continued to circulate that Dominica’s minister for foreign and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) affairs, Senator Francine Baron, misappropriated funds that she received but were designated for the Dominica Disaster and Development Fund, Baron has filed a claim for defamation against opposition leader, Lennox Linton, talk show host Angelo Allen and local radio network Q95, who reportedly alleged that she received US$10,000 in Malaysia while she was Dominica’s high commissioner in London in 2014. Back in February, Baron wrote to the three parties demanding they apologize for defaming her character and that they each pay US$10,000. Speaking on state-owned DBS Radio, Senior Counsel Tony Astaphan indicated that, since those demands were not met, Baron has decided to file a lawsuit. Read more here

Peter’s First Task - Phillip Urged To Rid PNP Of Corruption And Liars

With two losses for leadership of the People's National Party (PNP) under his belt, Dr Peter David Phillips today fulfils his lifelong political dream of getting to the top of the 78-year-old party, now in opposition, but there is a warning from inside the party that 'uneasy lies the head that wears the crown'. PNP delegates are scheduled to meet at the National Arena today to confirm Phillips as the party's fifth president, and veteran Comrade Dean Peart has urged him to rid the party of corruption and liars as his first step. Peart, the outspoken former minister of local government, who served as Phillips' state minister in the Ministry of Transportation and Works, wants the new PNP leader to sweep the party clean. Read more here



How Trump's health care loss will shape his presidency

The fate of Donald Trump's presidency may hinge on what he does next. His failure to convert the core campaign promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare -- even with a GOP monopoly on power in Washington -- has left the White House reeling. Trump and his advisers must now regroup and try to figure out how to avoid another legislative debacle on their next big issue, tax reform. They will do so knowing that a second failure could throttle his presidency. Once, Trump's aides viewed health care reform, presumably an easy early win, as a way to deliver momentum to his presidency and to build toward more sweeping change picked from his ambitious agenda. Read more here

Russia protests: Detained Navalny demands PM be questioned

Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has made a defiant appearance in court following his detention at mass protests on Sunday. He said the court should be summoning PM Dmitry Medvedev for questioning. Thousands had protested and hundreds were arrested across the country following Mr Navalny's allegations of corruption against the prime minister. Mr Navalny faces charges relating to organising banned protests and could be held for 15 days. The court has yet to rule. The European Union on Monday demanded the release "without delay" of those detained in the protests. Read more here

27th March 2017


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