Daily Brief - Thursday 1st June, 2017

NEWS

Family Day bloodshed

A shootout which took place at a Sports and Family Day at the Bon Air recreation ground on the Indian Arrival Day public holiday has left one man dead and a senior policeman warded at hospital with a gunshot injury to his leg. Twelve pints of blood were donated by police officers to facilitate surgery on the leg of Ag Insp Kevin Greene of Northern Division who remains warded at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EW MSC) in Mt Hope. According to reports at about 9.05 pm on Tuesday, Ag Insp Greene who is based at the Arouca police station was with other officers on extra duty at the Sports and Family Day when they cautioned Keegan Jones, 20, about his abusive behaviour toward two female relatives. Jones, 20, who appeared to be intoxicated, left the recreation ground and returned with a gun. Read more here

AK47s in 2 dog food shipments at Bond

Law enforcement officers yesterday raised concerns about the security in place at this country’s ports of entry, after they discovered three high-powered assault rifles - AK47s - in a barrel containing loose dog food at the El Socorro Bond area of Piarco Air Services. Apart from the seized weapons, however, Customs officers realised that about seven or eight more units (weapons), together with 5.5 ammunition and caches of assorted ammunition and magazines for Mac10 and 11s, were cleared undetected by a first consignee just a few minutes before they made the second discovery and seizure of the AK47s. According to a source at the bond, two barrels of dog food originating from Canada were consigned to two different people through the same shipping company. The two consignees came around the same time, around 10 am, to clear the barrels. Read more here

Don’t File Tax Forms

The Commissioner of Valuations is restrained from accepting property tax forms, and citizens are not required to submit the forms. This was the effect of the interim order made yesterday made by Justice Frank Seepersad sitting in the San Fernando High Court. Based on legal advice, the Finance Ministry and Minister Colm Imbert had told citizens in several advisories they can continue to drop off the property tax valuation forms on a voluntary basis since the Valuation Division is bound to accept the forms. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Francis: It would be against the law

Unless the Ramai Trace and Reform Village Hindu primary schools are completed and contractors hired by the Education Facilities Company Limited are paid outstanding monies, handing over the schools to the Sanatan Dharma Maha Saba (SDMS) — as requested by its secretary general Satnarayan Maharaj — would be illegal. Minister in the Ministry of Education Dr Lovell Francis said yesterday when contacted for a response to Maharaj’s call on Tuesday at the Maha Sabha’s Indian Arrival Day celebration at Parvati Girls Hindu College in Debe. Maharaj called on the Education Minister to give the two incomplete schools, “Just as it is”, to the Maha Sabha which would complete construction using funds raised from donations. But yesterday Francis said, this is not so easy to do as easy Maharaj may think. “It is past obvious that the schools cannot simply be handed over to the SDMS. Read more here

Court halts TDC’s closure

Government’s decision to dissolve the Tourism Development Company was halted by the Industrial Court yesterday. This is according to the secretary general of the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) Joseph Remy in an interview outside the court yesterday. The decision to dissolve the TDC was announced by Tourism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe during a post-Cabinet news conference at Magdalena Grand Beach Resort on March 8. Read more here

PM: Govt will respect court, but I have my concerns

The Government will continue to respect a separation of powers between itself and the court, but Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday commented on those who view the court as their “playground”, as he addressed an injunction that now blocks the State from collecting forms for property tax. Rowley held a news conference at Piarco International Airport yesterday immediately on his return from an official visit to Chile, where, responding to media questions on the matter, he noted the Government must respect the court. He said, however, “as Prime Minister they will allow me a comment that I have my concerns”. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Shell to acquire Chevron in T&T

Energy giant Shell has signed an agreement to acquire the interests of Chevron’s subsidiary in Trinidad and Tobago, including its holdings in the East Coast Marine Area Blocks 6, 5a and E. The May 29 agreement is subject to certain customary conditions. “Trinidad and Tobago represents a rich opportunity for us to continue building our integrated gas position in country and securing new competitive production,” said Derek Hudson, vice president, Shell Trinidad and Tobago in a statement. “Shell continues to actively evaluate other options to increase supply from our existing assets, as well as pursue additional opportunities such as the previously announced purchase of Centrica’s interests in the North Coast Marine Area.” Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Chinese fugitive reportedly detained by St Kitts-Nevis police

A Chinese national, with St Kitts and Nevis citizenship, who is wanted by Interpol, has reportedly been detained by police in Nevis. A report on Tuesday night indicated that Ren Biao, who is wanted for financial crimes in China, was reportedly in police custody; however the reason for his detention was not disclosed. WINN FM understands that Biao has sought legal representation and an interpreter. Contacted for comment, deputy commissioner of police, Hilroy Brandy, would only say, “I’m not at privilege to speak to that matter at this time.” The Ren Biao issue has become a political football since news broke that the Chinese national and his family were living in St Kitts and regional media reports claimed that China accused officials in the federation of harbouring a fugitive. Read more here

Balancing The Force - JCF Policy Provides Equilibrium But Response Should Be Proportional To Threat, Says JFJ

Jamaicans for Justice spokesperson Susan Goffe says that the current use-of-force policy within the Jamaica Constabulary Force strikes a balance that gives law enforcers the right to exercise lethal force when justified while also emphasising that proportionality of force is necessary. Goffe's comment, during a Gleaner interview, follows remarks by Prime Minister Andrew Holness who argued yesterday that government policy in relation to law enforcement must be rooted in the requirement to find a balance between public safety and officer safety. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

EU, China unite behind Paris climate deal as Trump mulls US withdrawal

European Union leaders and China vowed Thursday to push forward with the Paris Agreement on climate change as the world waits to see whether US President Donald Trump will pull out of the landmark accord. Trump has said he will announce his decision on the climate deal later Thursday. Two senior US officials familiar with Trump's plans told CNN on Wednesday that he is expected to withdraw from the Paris accord. Read more here

China commits to Paris climate deal as Trump decision looms

China will honour its commitments on climate change, its premier has said, as the US appears poised to pull out of a key deal. Speaking on a visit to Germany, Premier Li Keqiang said fighting climate change was in China's own interest. China was counting on other countries to follow its example, Mr Li said. US President Donald Trump is due to announce his decision on the 2015 Paris agreement later. Some reports in the US suggest he will withdraw. "China will continue to implement the promises made in the Paris accord. But of course we also hope to do this with the co-operation of others," Mr Li said. Read more here

1st June 2017

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