Daily Brief - Thursday 24th May, 2018

NEWS

Thunderstoms over Galleons Passage

The Galleons Passage made it through the Panama Canal yesterday and began heading for Santiago de Cuba, but with heavy rainclouds hanging over it and fears that it might get caught smack bang in the middle of a developing storm in the Caribbean Sea. Satellite tracking saw the boat at 6.30 am yesterday exiting the canal, then moving along the coast of Cacique, Colombia. It will sail for the next four days to get to Santiago, on the southeastern coast of Cuba. Read more here

Sat stands his ground

Despite heavy criticism from several quarters, Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) secretary general Sat Maharaj is standing his ground on its decision to deny On-the-Job Trainee Nafisah Nakhid entry to the Lakshmi Girls’ High School with her hijab on Monday. He said yesterday that they have a right to enjoyment of property under the Constitution and as a result also a right to determine how people dress when they go onto the compound. But not so says attorney Fareed Scoon, who is advising Nakhid. Read more here

Venezuelan men plead: 'We are dying at home'

Two Venezuelan men who said they wanted to enter Trinidad and Tobago legally, but due to the situation in their country were unable to, told the court they were not gangsters but came here seeking jobs. Jordan Prada said he only brought his hands to work. He said his family was waiting for him to return home, and now he would be going back with nothing. Prada and Jose Ramos faced Senior Magistrate Cherril-Anne Antoine in the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court yesterday, charged with entering this country illegally. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Moonilal: No problem with a Jack comeback

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal has no problem with former Cabinet colleague Jack Warner re-entering the political arena. Moonilal yesterday said, “Mr Warner is free as anyone else to enter, re-enter public life. He is not debarred.” Read more here

Govt urged to implement sexual harassment policy

Industrial Court president Debra Thomas-Felix yesterday urged Government to establish legislation to define sexual harassment and introduce policies in the workplace to deal with inappropriate behaviour. Such a move, she said would offer support to victims of sexual harassment. Thomas-Felix put forward the suggestion while addressing a Sexual Harassment in the World of Work symposium hosted by the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC), Cascadia Hotel, St Ann’s. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Baptiste: No cause for worry

Republic Financial Holdings Ltd isn’t too concerned that the governance structure of the country’s largest commercial bank will be much affected by the redistribution of shares from its third biggest listed shareholder, Clico Investment Bank (CIB), managing director Nigel Baptiste has said. But, he noted, the board and management are having internal discussions to try to understand the implications of it, particularly from the perspective of the Financial Institutions Act. Read more here

Moody’s disagrees with Imbert on deficit

Rating agency Moody’s disagrees with Finance Minister Colm Imbert claim of a 2.5 per cent narrowing of the fiscal deficit against GDP this year. It is forecasting a wider 3.5 per cent deficit and sees downside risks to Government’s revised revenue targets announced in the mid-year review. As the country counts down to the 2020 election, the agency is also forecasting that Government will not get the parliamentary majority required for passage of the Property Tax Act and the Revenue Authority which will prevent a more significant increase in non energy revenue. Read more here

Emotional UTC client laments: I can only get US$50 a week

The Unit Trust Corporation (UTC) yesterday came under fire from one of its US-dollar account holders for not allowing her to withdraw more than US$50 at a time from her account although she had hundreds of dollars in American currency in the account. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Gender Justice -UWI Must Address Sexual Harassment, Says Professor

The University of the West Indies (UWI) is being urged to address the often ignored issue of sexual harassment on its campuses. While commending the UWI for the launch of its gender policy on Tuesday, Professor V. Eudine Barriteau warned that inappropriate sexual behaviour must be adequately dealt with for any gender policy to be effective. "A gender policy, by its existence, signals that the university is willing to move beyond beautiful words and noble ideals into action. With this gender policy, the university has to insist that sexual harassment and predatory sexual behaviour, and a range of sexually coercive actions, are not used to intimidate students and colleagues," said Barriteau, the pro vice-chancellor and principal of the university's Cave Hill campus in Barbados. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

North Korea blows up tunnels at Punggye-ri nuclear test site

North Korea appeared to destroy at least three nuclear tunnels, observation buildings, a metal foundry and living quarters at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site on Thursday, in a process observed by invited international journalists. A CNN crew at the remote mountain site in the country's north witnessed explosions at nuclear tunnels 2, 3 and 4, from observation decks about 500 meters away. They were among two dozen journalists invited into the country to observe the apparent destruction of the site, which comes just weeks before a planned meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump. Read more here

MH17 missile owned by Russian brigade, investigators say

The missile that downed a Malaysia Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine in 2014 belonged to a Russian brigade, international investigators say. For the first time, the Dutch-led team said the missile had come from a unit based in western Russia. All 298 people on board the Boeing 777 died when it broke apart in mid-air flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. It was hit by a missile fired from rebel-held territory in Ukraine. Russia says none of its weapons was used. But on Thursday Wilbert Paulissen, a Dutch official from the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), told reporters: "All the vehicles in a convoy carrying the missile were part of the Russian armed forces." Read more here

24th May 2018

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