Daily Brief - Thursday 29th June, 2017

NEWS

House of Blood

In a scene right out of a Hollywood horror movie, Shariff. Mohammed walked into his. Malabar house yesterday to find. it ransacked, his wife Hafeeza. ‘Rose’ Mohammed and their. neighbour Vedesh Subar, 13,. both bound, gagged and dead. The throats of the woman and. schoolboy were slit. For Mohammed and Vedesh’s. relatives this was no movie but a. nightmare that will continue to. haunt them for the rest of their. lives Police said that Rose, 56, was the driver of a school bus. and also a care giver who regularly had Vedesh over in her house whenever his parents were out working or running errands. It is believed robbery was the motive as several household items. and the family’s car were missing. Read more here

Chinese mart owner killed after resisting bandits

Tired of being robbed, proprietor Yana Zeng is believed to have struggled with two men who held up her mini-mart on Tuesday night. For her resistance she was fatally shot by one of the bandits. According to police reports, around 9 pm two men entered the N&N Mini-mart located at Cantaro Village, Upper Santa Cruz and and demanded cash from Zeng, 33 and her husband. When she resisted she was shot in the side. The men then ran out mini mart and escaped through a track. Zeng was taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, by Constables Collins and Nurse but was pronounced dead on arrival around 9.30 pm. Read more here

Two killed by cops

Two criminal suspects were shot and killed by police in Caroni yesterday. Central Division officers responded to a report of a robbery at NYC Bar in Cunupia at around midday. Police said three men robbed the owner of a quantity of cash. The gunmen escaped in a Nissan B-13 car which matched the description of a vehicle stolen in the Couva district on June 17. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Persad-Bissessar: Trial by judges alone bill flawed

Despite several amendments made to the The Miscellaneous Provisions (Trials By Judge Alone) Bill, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday described it as “fundamentally flawed”. During the debate in Parliament yesterday, Persad-Bissessar said during her caucus meeting on Tuesday she decided the Bill would have gotten an “easy passage” until she read it through. “I cannot believe after the rigorous process that this Bill went through to reach us here that the level of incompetence being demonstrated...this bill is fundamentally flawed,” she said. Read more here

Kamla: We’re not supporting trial by judge alone

The Opposition yesterday turned its back on a bill which seeks to allow accused people the option to have a trial by judge alone. The legislation was presented by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Faris Al-Rawi. The measure seeks to speed up the delivery of justice by having the matter heard before a judge alone. It also seeks to reduce to cost of justice. But in contribution to yesterday’s House of Representatives debate , the Leader of the Opposition,Kamla Persad-Bissessar said her 18 members would not lend support to the legislation. The Opposition voted in favour of it in the Senate. Persad-Bissessar began by telling legislators she was prepared to give support to the measure but on further consideration she realised it contained “fundamentally flawed positions.” Read more here

Marlene's return

Port of Spain South MP Marlene McDonald is set to return to the Cabinet. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is of the view he can no longer justify McDonald's absence from his Cabinet, sources said yesterday. McDonald was relieved of the housing portfolio in March 2016 after it become known the Integrity Commission was investigating ­several complaints against her relating to her possible role in the approval of grants to the Calabar Foundation by the Ministry of Community Development, as well as her possible role in the issuing of a Housing Development Corporation (HDC) home. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Economic assessment to cost US$80k

It will cost Government US$80,000 for Fitch Ratings to do a rating of the country’s economic outlook. This was disclosed yesterday by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in Parliament as he responded to a question by Pointe-a-Pierre MP David Lee about the cost of the assessment. Imbert said the Ministry of Finance approached Fitch Ratings, which he says is the third of the three largest credit rating agencies, for a costing to conduct a private rating. He said the cost provided by the agency was “within the normal range of charges for services of this nature.” He said the decision to pursue this credit rating agency followed ratings by Standard and Poors (S&P) and Moody’s. He said Moody’s downgraded this country to Ba1from Baa3 and assigned a stable outlook up from the negative outlook in 2016. Read more here

$$ worries for CDA

The Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) says it is unable to properly maintain tourist attractions on the peninsula due to financial challenges. This response was given by officials of the authority who appeared before a Joint Select Committee of Parliament yesterday at the International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain. Concerns were raised by the Trinidad and Tobago Tour Guides Association (TTTGA) pertaining to conditions of several sites which fall under the responsibility of the CDA. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Anti-Crime Consensus | Gov't, Opposition Coalesce To Pass Controversial Crime Bill

The Government and the parliamentary Opposition yesterday moved from positions that threatened to divide them on a critical piece of law to fight crime to near unanimity after hours of deliberations to tweak the so-called Zones of Special Operations bill. At the end of the sitting of Parliament, the bill was passed with 18 amendments. Justice Minister Delroy Chuck, who piloted the legislation, sent a strong message to "marauding" criminal elements that with the passage of the Zones of Special Operations bill, the security forces would put gunmen to flight. Painting a picture of a society gripped by fear of the "wicked" actions of criminals who have held communities hostage, Chuck said that the "trigger-happy, dog-hearted" gunmen have no regard for age or gender and have laid siege to communities and are sexually abusing young girls. Read more here

Stolen police helicopter used to attack government buildings in Venezuela

Venezuelan authorities were hunting on Wednesday for a rogue police officer who attacked key government buildings using a stolen helicopter. Oscar Alberto Pérez, a police pilot named as the mastermind of the raid, fired shots at the Interior Ministry and dropped grenades on the Supreme Court from an Airbus Bolkow Model 105 helicopter that carried a banner saying "Freedom!" Although there was no sign of Pérez on Wednesday, police sources reportedly said the helicopter was found dumped in Higuerote, on the Caribbean coast. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Merkel: Hamburg G20 to focus on Paris climate deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said this year's G20 summit will focus on furthering the aims of the Paris climate deal - putting her on a direct collision course with Donald Trump. Mrs Merkel told the German parliament she was aware it may be difficult following Mr Trump's decision to pull the US out of the accord. However, she said, tackling climate change remained a priority for Europe. The summit of the world's largest economies takes place next week. As host, it is up to Mrs Merkel to set out the priorities of the annual meeting, which is being held in Hamburg. Read more here

Top adviser to Pope charged with sexual assault offenses

Cardinal George Pell, a senior adviser to Pope Francis and the Vatican treasurer, is taking leave from the Vatican to fight historical sexual assault charges in his home country of Australia. The case is the latest black mark against the Catholic Church, which has been reeling from sexual abuse scandals across several countries that date back decades. It could also have ramifications for Pope Francis, who counts Pell among his closest aides. Australian police have not released a detailed list of charges against Pell and didn't disclose any information about alleged victims, saying only that there were multiple charges and "multiple complainants." Read more here

29th June 2017

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