Daily Brief - Thursday 22nd February, 2018

NEWS

Energy services survey paints grim picture

Despite new drilling programmes expected to come on stream this year, several local energy service sector companies are not optimistic about the future as there is a decrease in demand for their services. The grim outlook was contained in the February 2018 edition of the Energy Chamber’s newsletter in an article titled, Energy Services Sector Survey Q4 2017. The Chamber stated that service companies are also feeling a downward pressure on their margins despite an increase in commodity prices saying, “this might be leading to the low levels of optimism still felt by service companies.” Read more here

Gun in miss’ face

Horrified after seeing their teacher robbed at gunpoint inside the school compound, Jordan Hill Presbyterian School students yesterday broke down in tears, prompting the early closure of the school. Anxious parents hurriedly picked up their children between 9 am to 11 am, after hearing that the gunman had boldly walked into the Princes Town school’s compound and robbed the teacher of her gold bracelet and her Nissan Frontier pickup, valued at $150,000, shortly after she entered the gate designated for staff members only. Read more here

Garbage truck driver ‘did the right thing’

Kamau Construction Engineering and Landscaping Company Ltd owner Nkomo Kamau says driver Lance Cupidore “did the right thing to deposit the ­garbage” in east Port of Spain. Kamau was interviewed yesterday on the commandeering of the driver by protesting East Port of Spain residents on Monday who was forced to offload the garbage at the corner of Observatory and Quarry streets. Read more here

 

POLITICS

$2M on PM’s 8 trips

Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young on Tuesday said Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s discussions with major energy companies in Houston last year to secure gas contracts which the former People’s Partnership (PP) government failed to negotiate for five years, were “completely legal.” Young made this point in the Senate, after he indicated the total cost of eight official overseas trips by Rowley and respective delegations from June 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017 was $2,025,323.32. He said the Houston trip last March was one of these trips and it cost a total of $269,059.62. Read more here

PM talks Carnival plot with top diplomats

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley got together yesterday with representatives of Australia, Canada, United States and the United Kingdom to discuss T&T’s management of its recent national security “challenges.” A statement from the PM’s office said T&T’s successful management of its recent “national security challenges” was the centrepiece of the meeting at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair. Read more here

  

BUSINESS

Cloud technology best way to drive innovation, increase productivity

These were the opening remarks of Marcelo Oliveira, Director Data Centre, IT Infrastructure and Continuity at C&W Business. Oliveira was speaking to executives of some of Trinidad’s leading enterprises at the C&W Business Round Table event held recently at the company’s Trincity Operations Centre. Presenting on the topic “A Strategic Conversation”, Oliveira introduced the concept of transforming IT from a cost centre into an innovation hub. Read more here

Petrotrin survival linked to plant coming onstream

If cash-strapped Petrotrin does not complete and commission its ultra-low sulphur diesel (ULSD) plant by 2021 at a cost of US$300 million, the oil company may have to close its doors. This was part of the discussion that emerged from a Joint Select Committee on Energy Affairs, chaired by Colm Imbert, as employees of State-owned Petrotrin were yesterday grilled at the Parliament Building, Port-of-Spain. Read more here

Govt strengthening $$ laundering laws

The dramatic jump—amounting to over $18 billion in value—of suspicious financial transactions within the last year points to the need for strong “follow the money” legislation. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

110 Years In Prison – St Ann Family Sent Away For Killing Mentally-Ill Man

The attorney for the St Ann couple, who, along with their three adult sons, were sentenced yesterday to a total of 110 years in prison for stoning, then chopping a mentally-ill man to death, has taken issue with the punishment. “The sentences are manifestly excessive,” the family’s attorney Ernie Smith complained, minutes after they were handed down by Justice Carol Lawrence-Beswick in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston. “This case, unfortunately, has demonstrated that emotions, sometimes, rule the day. But I am happy that we do have a Court of Appeal,” Smith told The Gleaner. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Winter Olympics 2018: North Korea's General Kim Yong-chol to attend

North Korea will send one of its highest ranking figures, General Kim Yong-chol, to the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Gen Kim was the North's intelligence chief, and is believed to have plotted several attacks on South Korea. North Korea's attendance at the Winter Olympics is seen as a thaw in tense relations between the two Koreas. However, there are concerns Pyongyang has been using the event simply to improve its international image. US President Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka, will be leading the US delegation to Pyeongchang over the weekend. Read more here

Students at town hall to Washington, NRA: Guns are the problem, do something

They were angry and frustrated. And given the chance to face the lawmakers and others who can make their lives safer, high school students who a week ago were running from gunfire pointedly demanded change Wednesday night from Washington and the National Rifle Association. Survivors of the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, took center stage at a town hall hosted by CNN as thousands of community members cheered on the young people thrust into the national spotlight by a massacre that killed 17 people. Read more here

22nd February 2018

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