Daily Brief - Monday 30th April, 2018

NEWS

Chaos reigns in south courthouse

A “junior sec” system in the High Court to facilitate a CEPEP contract in the magistrates’ court. That was the way San Fernando lawyers described the new configuration of the southern city’s Supreme Court, where judges adjourn their hearings every day after lunch. Since September, they have been doing so in order to accommodate the adjacent magistrates’ court, so the building’s roof and asbestos ceiling can be replaced. Read more here

NIB embarks on reforms

An increase in employees’ National Insurance contribution from 13.2 per cent to 15.6 per cent is among long-term reforms recommended in a 2015 actuarial review, according to National Insurance Board (NIB) Executive Director Niala Persad-Poliah. She said the NIB is working closely with the Ministry of Finance to implement those reforms which amidst concerns that at the current rate national insurance funds could be completely depleted by 2030. The Ninth Actuarial Review of the National Insurance System, published in June 2015 and covering a three-year period up to June 30, 2013, projected that from 2019-2020 assets will rapidly decrease and funds could be completely depleted by 2029-2030 if contributions or benefits are not modified. Read more here

SWRHA to probe gruesome pics of chopped mom

The South-West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) has launched an investigation into leaked photographs of the woman who was allegedly chopped by her son. The photos circulating on social media showed the woman at the medical facility with her severed hand, one photo showing the wounds she suffered to her face and shoulder and another in the operating theatre where doctors were performing surgery to reattach the severed limb. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Khan takes responsibility for energy data mix-up 

Energy Minister Franklin Khan has admitted his ministry made a “technical and administrative error” when providing international agencies energy production data. In a text message to Newsday last night, Khan also said he has taken personal responsibility for the mishap. From now on, data will pass through him before it goes to these institutions. Read more here

Minister awaits audit on Self Help Commission

Culture and Community Development Minister Nyan Gadsby-Dolly is awaiting an audit of the National Commission for Self Help which is currently being carried out by the Investments Division of the Ministry of Finance. She told the T&T Guardian yesterday that there had been complaints from “persons purporting to be employees” alleging breaches and other concerns at the Commission. She said while some of the letters were either unsigned or the signatures were not clear, the contents were enough to raise concern that all is not well at the state-run agency. Read more here

Venezuelan parliamentarian feels betrayed by Rowley: Trinis got love in times of need

A Venezuelan opposition parliamentarian yesterday responded to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s pledge not to allow United Nations (UN) public servants to turn Trinidad and Tobago into a refugee camp of Venezuelans, due to small island space and limited resources. Rowley made the comments on Thursday at the weekly post-Cabinet media conference. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Imbert expects 1.8% economic growth

Finance Minister Colm Imbert says latest data shows that T&T’s economic growth is now projected to be between 1.5 and 1.8 per cent based on better than expected increases in natural gas production. He said this is consistent with figures given by Standard and Poors in its latest credit rating of the country. For the last three years, production of gas in the first half of the year generally turned out to be greater than production in the second half. However, there was a turnaround in the latter half of 2017, with a significant increase in gas production. Read more here

NCBFG, RFHL earnings grow

This week, we at Bourse review the financial results of two stocks within the banking sector, NCB Financial Group Ltd (NCBFG) and Republic Financial Holdings Ltd (RFHL) for the half-year ended March 2018. Both NCBFG and RFHL recorded growth in earnings, arising from growth in all revenue segments. We review both performances and provide an outlook. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Anthony, The Friendly Cop - Police Constable Brightens The Day Of Many In Half-Way Tree

More than a decade after he was abused by members of a police team, Anthony Taylor is trying his hardest to help change the image of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), and he is doing it from the inside. Having joined the JCF three years ago, Taylor, now a constable, is providing a spark in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew. His smiles, frequent handshakes and pleasant greetings brighten the morning for motorists and pedestrians in the heavily trafficked area near the transport centre. "He is friendly, full o' manners and he knows how to deal with people. Him a good police," said Kemar Bennett, a vendor who operates close by the transport centre where Taylor is stationed. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Bolton says US considering Libya model for North Korean denuclearization

The White House is looking at Libya as one example of how it will handle potential negotiations with North Korea on dismantling its nuclear program, John Bolton, US President Donald Trump's national security adviser, said Sunday. But experts say the Libya model is a dangerous one to trot out when discussing North Korea. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi agreed to abandon his nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief in the early 2000s. Within years, Gadhafi was overthrown and killed by rebels backed by Washington. Read more here

Syria war: 'Iranian personnel among dozens dead' in missile attacks

Missiles hit a number of military sites in northern Syria on Sunday night, state media say, with unconfirmed reports of dozens of fatalities. The Syrian military said facilities in Hama and Aleppo provinces were struck. It did not immediately report any casualties. But a UK-based monitoring group said 26 pro-government fighters were killed, most of them Iranians. It is not known who was behind the attacks. Western nations and Israel have previously hit sites in Syria. Read more here

30th April 2018

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