Daily Brief - Tuesday 17th October, 2017

NEWS

Primary school fight footage an old video

Education Minister Anthony Garcia yesterday said an investigation into a video being circulated on social media of a fight at the Bethlehem Girls’ RC School revealed the footage is more than a year old. The ministry said in a press release the video was first circulated in June last year and has been a cause for concern. Read more here

Oil spill reaches Cocorite

Even as two companies have been procured to commence clean-up operations after a massive oil spill in Chaguaramas on Saturday, the spill is said to be quickly spreading southeast in the Gulf-of-Paria, already reaching Cocorite.All seafarers and fisherfolk from the Cocorite, Charlieville, Felicity, Brick Field, Orange Valley, Carli Bay and Claxton Bay areas are being asked to exercise extreme caution and to be on the lookout for very large volumes of thick black oil. According to a release issued by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) yesterday, the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) has procured two companies to commence the clean-up of the oily substance on the shoreline and waters in the Chaguaramas area. Read more here

Man, 87, stuffed in barrel: Grandson charged with murder

The grandson of the elderly man found dead in a barrel at his home in Freeport on October 6, has been arrested and charged with the murder. Michael Mings, 26, appeared in the Couva Magistrates' Court on Monday, charged with the murder of his grandfather, Irving Mings. Read more here

 

POLITICS

PATT allocated additional $93M for lease of ferry

Government is satisfied with an additional $93 million to the budget allocation for the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago as subsidies to lease a passenger vessel for the inter island service and for repairs to its two fast ferries. This is according to Finance Minister Colm Imbert, who intervened during questions directed to Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan in the Standing Finance Committee review of the 2018 fiscal budget, on the $358.8 million allocated for this fiscal year as subsidies to the PATT on the operation of coastal steamers. Read more here

Cartel behaviour

Former housing minister Dr Roodal Moonilal, former Estate Management and Business Development Company Ltd (EMBD) CEO Gary Parmassar and five contractors will be facing civil action as Government moves to recover some $203 million which was allegedly obtained through white-collar crime. Documents in connection with the matter have already been forwarded to the police, Minister in the Ministry of Attorney General and Legal Affairs Stuart Young said yesterday. Read more here

Stuart to take Moonilal to court for collusion to defraud T&T through contracts

Government is “soon” heading to court with civil claims in which former housing minister, Dr Roodal Moonilal, is among those accused of bid-rigging and collusion to defraud the country through the awarding of contracts by the Estate Management and Business Development Company Ltd (EMBD). Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Republic falls $0.04

Overall Market activity resulted from trading in 18 securities of which 3 advanced, 9 declined and 6 traded firm. Trading activity on the First Tier Market registered a volume of 758,000 shares crossing the floor of the Exchange valued at $9,998,375.65. Trinidad Cement Limited was the volume leader with 350,000 shares changing hands for a value of $1,473,500.00, followed by National Enterprises Limited with a volume of 138,130 shares being traded for $1,429,647.40. Read more here

T&T's forex reserves now US$8.5b

T&T foreign reserves declined to US$8.5 billion at the end of September, comprising less than ten months of import cover. At US$8.5 billion, the country's foreign reserves are at their lowest level since May 2008, according to the Central Bank's data centre. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Editors' Forum | ‘Not Fully Free’ - Literacy Specialists Bemoan Challenges To Freedom Of Expression In Jamaica

Jamaica continues to rank among the countries that most respect freedom of information in the world, gaining two places to eight in the recently released Press Freedom Index 2017 by Reporters Without Borders. But organisers of a Media and Information Conference 2017, to be held in Kingston next week, have warned that freedom of expression in Jamaica may not be as 'free' as many now believe. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Catalonia: Spain detains two separatists

A Spanish judge has jailed two key members of the Catalan independence movement. Jordi Sánchez and Jordi Cuixart, who lead prominent separatist groups, are being held without bail while they are under investigation for sedition. The men were leading figures in the 1 October independence vote, which the Madrid government regards as illegal. A protest over the detentions has begun in Barcelona and other demonstrations across Catalonia are expected later. Read more here

ISIS routed in Raqqa as 'major military operations' declared over

US-backed forces fighting ISIS in Raqqa say "major military operations" in the city have ended and that the jihadists have lost their grip on their self-declared capital. The development marks a decisive victory in the fight against ISIS, though US officials said there were still pockets of resistance in the city. "Major military operations in Raqqa are finished but they are now clearing the city of sleeper cells -- if they exist -- and mines," Talal Salo, spokesman for the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, told CNN. The SDF is a coalition of Arab and Kurdish fighters. Read more here

17th October 2017

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