Daily Brief - Thursday 22nd June, 2017

NEWS

Marooned pregnant woman goes into labour

A full term pregnant woman, trapped by rising flood waters, was yesterday rescued by a Guardian Media team and residents of St Helena Village, after waiting for over two hours in vain for help from the Regiment and the Office of the Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM). Karma Jackson, 32, who is 40 weeks pregnant and is due to give birth tomorrow, had summoned help from the ODPM around 7 am yesterday. An official promised to return the call in five minutes but none came. Read more here

I was in Tobago

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday said his absence from viewing flood-hit areas in Trinidad immediately after the passage of Tropical Storm Bret on Tuesday, was because at that time, he was over in Tobago. He gave this explanation yesterday, a day after Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar toured flood-ravaged areas of Siparia and Penal and handed out grocery hampers to affected residents. Read more here

CJ admits to error

Chief Justice Ivor Archie has admitted that the Judiciary made an error last month when it announced that the 53 cases left unfinished by former chief magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar would have to be restarted. An embattled Archie made the statement in a letter sent yesterday in response to lawsuit threat against him, members of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (JLSC) and legal stakeholders, who met and discussed the issue of the unfinished cases before the Judiciary communicated the position on the future of the cases on May 25. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Garcia: Lost school time will be made up

Minister of Education Anthony Garcia said yesterday the principal of the Ascension AC Primary School had assured him the staff would make up for any time lost by students of the school, which has been closed by flooding and lack of electricity since the passage of Tropical Storm Bret. The minister toured the school yesterday and said a fence which had been torn down by the storm would be immediately rebuilt, because the principal had told him the school was in a high-risk area. Read more here

AG: Witness family case being attended to

Attorney General Faris Al Rawi has reported that Opposition Senator Gerald Ramdeen has written to him about the case of a family in witness protection who had allegedly been “abandoned” by the State and says the matter is being attended to by the relevant authorities. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Farmers counting losses

Residents in Central Trinidad are still counting their losses as tens of thousands of dollars in livestock drowned while entire fields of food crops were destroyed by flooding left behind by Tropi- cal Storm Bret which struck on Monday night and continued into the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday. Agricultural areas impacted in Central include Brasso Seco, Caparo, Mamoral, Flanagin Town, Longdenville, Enterprise and Endeavour. The farmers said that no amount of preparation was enough to lessen the impact of the storm. Read more here


REGIONAL

US releases multi-year strategy for engagement with the Caribbean

 Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY), ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the chairman emeritus of the committee, on Monday announced the release of a new US government strategy on future engagement with the Caribbean.  The strategy was mandated by the US–Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act (Public Law 114-291), authored by Engel and Ros-Lehtinen and signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 16, 2016. Read more here

St Vincent PM meets with Cuban president

Cuban President Raul Castro met on Monday afternoon with the prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who was in Cuba on a working visit. During the meeting the two leaders noted the progress in bilateral relations and welcomed the recent commemoration of the 25th anniversary of their establishment. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Intel chiefs tell investigators Trump suggested they refute collusion with Russians

Two of the nation's top intelligence officials told Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team and Senate investigators, in separate meetings last week, that President Donald Trump suggested they say publicly there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians, according to multiple sources. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers described their interactions with the President about the Russia investigation as odd and uncomfortable, but said they did not believe the President gave them orders to interfere, according to multiple sources familiar with their accounts. Read more here

Battle for Mosul: Destruction of al-Nuri mosque 'shows IS defeated'

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says the destruction of an ancient mosque in the city of Mosul is "an official declaration of defeat" by so-called Islamic State (IS). Iraqi forces say IS blew up the Great Mosque of al-Nuri and its famous leaning minaret as jihadists battled to stop advancing pro-government troops. IS said American aircraft had destroyed the complex, a claim denied by the US. Aerial photographs show the complex largely destroyed. Read more here

22nd June 2017

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