Daily Brief - Thursday 21st June, 2018

NEWS

Prison locks, a security issue

Prisons Commissioner Gerard Wilson said he is questioning the timing of the release of information pertaining to compromised locks at the Port of Spain prison. Newsday reported on Monday that the locks at the prison were deemed compromised three years ago and to date the locks were not changed. Contacted yesterday, Wilson said this year is an election year for the Prison Officers Association and questioned why this information was now rearing its head added that that he received no report from any officer that they were uneasy working at the Port of Spain Prison. Read more here

$800m madness at YTEPP

Loans and salary advances to staff, some of which remain outstanding, a superuser who had the ability to take a transaction from start to finish to the value of $10 million with no approvals and lack of proper procurement procedures were just some of the issues which came to light yesterday, when Youth Training and Employment Partnership Programme (YTEPP) officials appeared before the Public Accounts Enterprises Committee of Parliament. Committee members expressed concern that the organisation, which has a mandate to train young people, seemed to have lost its way and had instead been overrun by “madness” and had gone “awry” to the detriment of taxpayers, who had spent close to $800 million on the organisation from 2008-2014. Read more here

Warning for Penal/Debe: Brace for floods

Penal/Debe Regional Corporation chairman, Dr Allen Sammy, says residents are bracing for another year of severe flooding as no major works were done in the area. Sammy has appealed to residents to prepare sandbags and stock up on food and water. In an interview with the Express, Sammy said predictions of heavy rainfall have caused panic among residents. He said flood waters were already rising in low lying areas. “I am on tour right now and there is no dramatic flooding but the water is coming up in the usual areas. We have no complaints of severe flooding in any area at this time,” he said. Read more here

  

POLITICS

AG: We can’t do anything

Attorney General Faris Al Rawi said the State has received no report from Keegan Roopchan regarding torture allegations made against the Jordanian government and therefore is unable to assist in writing to the country seeking answers. Al-Rawi spoke with the media during the tea-break at Parliament yesterday during the Anti-Terrorism Bill. Asked whether the State will be seeking to clarify the concerns raised by Roopchan, Al Rawi said he was not a “busy body” and would not make any official requests based on newspaper articles. Read more here

Better days are coming

Education Minister Anthony Garcia yesterday pleaded with teachers to be patient as he was optimistic that the economy will turn around. He was responding to threats of a September boycott over stalled salary negotiations by the teachers’ union. Commenting on failing grade T&T’s education system received at the Joint Trade Union Movement’s (JTUM) annual Labour Day rally in Fyzabad and the boycott threat, Garcia said, “I am the eternal optimist and I am asking our teachers, and I am extending this to the population, hold some strain, better days are coming.” Read more here

Colm misses Galleons goal

Mission unaccomplished. The Galleons Passage therefore leaves Cuba “immediately” for Trinidad and Tobago. Acting Prime Minister Colm Imbert yesterday disclosed that the Government had taken the decision to bring the vessel to Trinidad and Tobago “immediately” to do the modification work required. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

4,500 jobs to be created at new Phoenix Park

Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon has given more details of two major projects between Government and Beijing Construction Engineering Group Co. Ltd. (BCEG) which are to be implemented by Lake Asphalt Limited and Evolving Tecknologies and Enterprise Development Company Limited (eTeck). This follows Monday;s signing of a memorandum of understanding by Zhang Chuancheng Deputy General Manager, BCEG and Steve De Las President of eTeck for development of the Phoenix Park Industrial Estate. “The signing serves to deepen the commercial relations between the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the People’s Republic of China,” the minister said. Read more here

T&T reaffirms trade ties with Cuba

Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon recently met with Cuba’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Rogelio Sierra Diaz to discuss, among other things, opportunities for increased trade with Cuba. Trinidad and Tobago is currently Cuba’s largest Caricom trading partner, recording 80 per cent of trade in the region. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Jobs Are Coming - Employment Hike Predicted As JISCO Invests Billions To Contruct Industrial Park In Nain

Some 20,000 jobs are expected to be generated in five years from the US$3-4 billion Jamaica-Gansu Industrial Park to be constructed in Nain, St Elizabeth, by the state-owned Chinese Jiuquan Iron & Steel (Group) Co Ltd (JISCO). A further 80,000 jobs are projected when the com-prehensive industrial complex is completed by 2035. The facility will focus on the processing and manufacturing of goods to be exported to markets in the Americas and the Caribbean. Modern logistics, international trade, research and development, professional services, and urban support are the other major concepts associated with the industrial park. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Migrant children: US battle moves to Congress

The US political battle over migrant children separated from parents has shifted to Congress, after Donald Trump signed an order to halt the policy. The House of Representatives will vote on broader immigration bills that would fund President Trump's proposed border wall and reduce legal migration. But Democrats oppose the measures and it is uncertain they will pass. Mr Trump reversed his policy after an outcry at home and globally over the policy. The Republican president's executive order calls for the families to be detained together while their cases are considered. Read more here

Noura in her own words: Teen who killed rapist husband shares her story

Sudanese teenager Noura Hussein, who is on death row for killing her 35-year-old husband, in a case that has sparked international outrage, has spoken out for the first time about her forced marriage, and the rape and struggle that happened when she stabbed him. CNN obtained a first-hand account from the 19-year-old, who is currently awaiting retrial in an Omdurman prison cell after appealing her death sentence. The teenager's story has put a spotlight on forced marriage and marital rape in Sudan, where the legal age to enter into marriage is 10 and marital rape is not a crime. Read more here

21st June 2018

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