Daily Brief - Thursday 7th December, 2017

NEWS

Grief over murder of transgender man

Grief and regret were expressed yesterday over the death of Keon Alister Patterson, a 28-year-old transgender man who was shot dead at Nelson Mandela Park, Port of Spain, on Tuesday night. Patterson’s friends and loved ones took to social media yesterday to express their sadness. Read more here

HIV-infected child rapist jailed for 22 years

As she sentenced an HIV-infected man to 22 years in jail for raping a five-year-old child, a High Court judge called for steps to be taken to highlight acts of sexual violence. Conrad Matthias, 61, cried and protested his innocence yesterday as he was led away after being sentenced by Justice Maria Wilson in the San Fernando Third Assizes. He also broke down in tears when he was found guilty by a nine-member jury on November 20. Read more here

The Great Airport Robbery

A group of armed men yesterday staged a daring daytime robbery by storming one of the restricted loading areas of Piarco International Airport and escaping with an estimated $5 million in cash. According to police reports, around 11 a.m., officials from Amalgamated Security arrived at the cargo facility located near the old Piarco Airport along Golden Grove Road. Read more here 

 

POLITICS

Ramdeen: Send police to Petrotrin

The Fraud Squad should be sent to Petrotrin to examine the state-owned oil company’s books in light of the A&V Oil and Gas Limited scandal, Opposition Senator Gerald Ramdeen urged on Tuesday as he spoke on Senator Wade Mark’s private motion to suspend A&V’s contract and withhold payments to that company. Just as the police seized cell-phones in probing the Port Authority, so too should they now seize raw evidence at Petrotrin, Ramdeen urged. Read more here

60% increase in gang members—AG

Between 2014 and this year, gangs in T&T have increased 129 per cent and gang members have increased 60 per cent, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi says. He gave the information while piloting anti-gang legislation in Parliament yesterday. This requires a special majority vote and Opposition support for passage. Read more here

Rowley in exclusive TV6 interview: Office of PM can't jump in and fix CJ issue

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says he has no intention of intervening in the affairs of the Judiciary, despite allegations swirling around the conduct of Chief Justice Ivor Archie. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Family farming withering

Agriculture is one of the key diversifying industries in TT, yet the sector remains critically underdeveloped. It contributes less than 0.5 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs just about four per cent of the population. But creating a sustainable sector is fundamental to protecting the country’s food security — or at least reducing the food import bill. Read more here

Scotiabank year-end profits advance 5 per cent

Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago has reported income after tax of $658 million for the year ended October 31, 2017, an increase of $32 million or 5 percent over its 2016 year end figure. In commenting on the results released yesterday, Stephen Bagnarol, SVP & Head South & East Caribbean said: "It is my pleasure, as one of my first announcements, to report that Scotiabank has once again delivered another year of solid financial results. Net Income after Taxation Grew by $32 million or 5 percent over 2016, highlighting the customers. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Massive Gun Bust - US Authorities Intercept 119 Firearms Destined For MoBay

Amid the mayhem that has claimed more than 300 lives in St James this year alone, authorities in the United States (US) have revealed that an arsenal of more than 119 illegal guns and hundreds of assorted rounds of ammunition, seized in the State of Florida last month, was destined for the western Jamaica parish. The weapons - four rifles and 115 pistols - were found in two blue shipping barrels, declared as "personal effects", at the Miami International Airport on November 13 by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency's outbound enforcement team, but the discovery was not made public until yesterday. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Ministers 'absolutely optimistic' of Brexit border deal

The government says it is "optimistic" about an Irish border agreement as pressure mounts to find a Brexit deal. Cabinet minister Chris Grayling said there would always be "to-ing and fro-ing" when a deadline was approaching. Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party has so far refused to agree to proposals aimed at avoiding border checks after Brexit. The government needs to get everyone onside in the coming days for Brexit negotiations to move forwards. Read more here

White House officials: Jerusalem decision could hurt peace process

President Donald Trump's decision Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital could temporarily derail the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, two senior White House officials acknowledged after Trump's speech. The question now for those officials: For how long? "We're prepared for derailment -- temporary, I hope. Pretty sure it will be temporary," said a senior White House official, who acknowledged that the President's peace team has not spoken with furious Palestinian officials since the Trump's announcement. Read more here

7th December 2017

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