Daily Brief - Monday 8th May, 2017


TT suffering from ‘sitting disease’

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said this country is suffering from ‘sitting disease’ and it was probably one of the worst things people could do for their health. He appealed to medical professionals gathered at the Caribbean Endocrine Society’s (CARES) 10th anniversary symposium yesterday, to convince their patients to change their sedentary lifestyle. The symposium was held at Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre, St Ann’s. In addressing the group comprised of medical professionals from across the region, Deyalsingh said, “We have to start to introduce into the national conversation a new disease called the sitting disease and you have to start to talk to your patients about this sedentary lifestyle… We drive to work, sit down whole day, your children sit down to play video games…The fact is we sit too much.” “And what I have noticed, our elderly who suffer and those who have hypertension, they feel that when they wake up on a morning and take their tests, they have done their part for the day in treating their conditions. And you know what they do for the rest of the day? They sit. We have to tell our people, the young and the elderly, that sitting is probably the most dangerous thing you can do for your health.” He called on the professionals to join with him and the ministry to, “recalibrate the way we think with respect to addressing issues like hypertension, diabetes and gestational-diabetes.” Deyalsingh added that the ministry also wanted to start a national conversation on TT’s diet. Read more here

Unruly ISIS member held with gun, ammo

Officers of the Inter Agency Task Force believe they may have prevented a murder from happening, after they arrested a well known member of the Unruly Isis gang on Friday night. According to a police report, at about 11 pm the officers, acting on information received, intercepted a vehicle travelling along Pierre Road in Charlieville, Chaguanas. Its occupant, said to be in his 30s, was arrested after officers found a Glock 22 pistol with an extended magazine, 26 rounds of ammunition and a ski mask in his possession. Read more here

Cops stop gunman on his way to commit murder

Police say they arrested a gangster who was on his way to Charlieville to kill a rival last Friday night. Officers of the Northern Division Task Force were tipped off and went to Pierre Road, Charlieville, where they stopped and searched the man. Read more here



$2.6M strategic threat project for OPM

The Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives last Friday approved an increase of $2,550,000 in the variation of appropriation for the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) for a strategic threat assessment project. This was one of several increases which was approved by the committee. Other approved increases included $149,491,000; $21,857,680; $10 million; $751,100 and $4,920,270 for the National Security Ministry; Elections and Boundaries Commission; Parliament; Tax Appeal Board and the Service Commissions. Indicating that further details will be provided next Wednesday, when the Mid-Year Review will be presented, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said the strategic threat assessment project dealt with issues such as, “strategic threats to critical installations, strategic threats to national security.” Read more here

Karim: GATE pressure ahead

On the heels of the property tax comes a new type of tax to be imposed on students from August and it will have a devastating impact on tertiary education, says Chaguanas East MP Fazal Karim. He was referring to Government’s planned changes to the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE) programme, which will no longer be free for all students. Under the new system, students will have to undergo a means test to determine how much funding the Government will offer from the start of the 2017/2018 academic year. Read more here

‘$85,000 salary too low’

While most people were perhaps asleep on early Saturday morning, there was heat in the House as Opposition members walked out of the Parliament, at the Port of Spain Waterfront Centre, just before 2 a.m. They were upset over the Speaker’s decision to grant Finance Minister Colm Imbert leave to wrap up debate on salaries to be paid to the Procurement Board- after only one Opposition member contributed. Imbert piloted the motion just before 1 a.m. which spoke to a $50,000 base salary for the procurement regular and a total package of about $85,000 with perks. Read more here



Learning from First Citizens APO

This week, we at Bourse take a closer look at results of the recently concluded First Citizens Bank Limited (FIRST) APO. We highlight possible reasons for the under-subscription of the APO and discuss what this could mean for subsequent APOs, in particular, TTNGL. Read more here



St Kitts-Nevis opposition seeks PM's resignation amid brewing scandal

The government of St Kitts and Nevis had not responded on Saturday to a call by the leader of the opposition, Dr Denzil Douglas, for the resignation of Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris, or other allegations leveled by Douglas in relation to a Chinese economic citizen resident in the federation who is wanted in China on financial charges. In a statement issued on Friday, Douglas accused the prime minister of rebuffing calls for cooperation with Interpol and China. He said, "Despite formal requests by China, as well as Interpol, to secure the return of Mr Ren Biao from St Kitts-Nevis to face prosecution in China, the current St Kitts-Nevis government is refusing to cooperate." Read more here

Wrong Priority? - Architects Question Need For New Parliament Building

The debate surrounding plans to create a new building to house the Parliament in the vicinity of National Heroes Circle in Kingston has taken another twist, with one of the island's leading architects questioning the decision. Fellow of the Jamaican Institute of Architects (JIA), Douglas Stiebel, pondered if the new building is really a priority. "Is a Parliament building such a need in our country at this time? And is this the right location?" Stiebel asked during a Gleaner Editors' Forum last week. Read more here



Emmanuel Macron: French president-elect to fight 'forces of division'

Emmanuel Macron has vowed to fight "the forces of division that undermine France" after easily winning the run-off election for the French presidency. The centrist candidate, 39, defeated the far right's Marine Le Pen, winning 66.1% of the vote to her 33.9%. Acknowledging his victory, Mr Macron told supporters he wanted to ensure Le Pen voters "no longer have a reason to vote for an extremist position". The sense of relief among European Union leaders has been palpable. Read more here

Air Force's mysterious space plane lands, wakes up Florida

The Air Force's unmanned aircraft, X-37B, landed successfully Sunday morning at NASA's Kennedy Space Center -- but it didn't come down quietly. The space plane sent a sonic boom that rattled east-central Florida before 8 a.m., waking residents from their weekend slumber. "Thought somebody crashed into my garage ... It was just a sonic boom ... Thanks @NASA for the scare!" said one woman on Twitter. Read more here

8th May 2017


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