Daily Brief - Tuesday 27th March, 2018

NEWS

Barrackpore mother missing

One day after 39-year-old mother Kumti Deopersad went missing, she contacted her common-law husband and told him that four men kidnapped her and another woman near the Princes Town district health facility. Today marks a week since her disappearance and her worried husband Tilkee Gopaul, 60, is pleading for her safe return. Deopersad, a housewife, is known as Popsie. “We never get a call for ransom or anything, so we are not sure about anything,” Gopaul said. Read more here

Murder accused taunted in court

The man accused of murdering four people in La Brea almost two weeks ago was taunted by the relatives of the victims as he appeared in court yesterday charged for the crime which prompted a public outcry over frequency of domestic violence murders. “Leh we see you face, nah boy,” a relative of the one of the victim’s shouted from the public gallery in the Point Fortin First Magistrates Court as Rodger Mattison was being led from the courtroom after he appeared before the magistrate. Two police officers, stationed in the court, ordered “silence in the court.” Mattison ignored the relative. Read more here

Water taxi to help ferry passengers between Trinidad and Tobago

The Port Authority has introduced the water-taxi to help ferry passengers between Trinidad and Tobago. In a news release yesterday, the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (PATT) said the water-taxi will service the seabridge from today until Tuesday, April 3. Read more here

  

POLITICS

Dillon shoots down false media reports

National Security Minister Edmund Dillon is denying reports that he was found guilty in a civil case in New York, describing the reports as “erroneous” and “libellous.” Several social media articles over the weekend claimed Dillon was found guilty of defrauding an alleged incapacitated person, Neville Piper, but the Minister says there has been “no determination” in the matter. Piper has been described as a close friend of the Point Fortin MP for over 45 years. One of the articles claims Dillon was found “guilty of fraud – ordered by a US Supreme Court to repay every cent stolen.” Read more here

And She’s Off!

IN one of her first acts as President, Paula-Mae Weekes has had to move with dispatch and urgency to fill a critical vacancy on the Police Service Commission (PSC). The vacancy was created when the former member and chairman Maria Gomes demitted office on January 28. Read more here

  

BUSINESS

IDB: Caribbean requires ambitious growth agenda

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says an “ambitious growth agenda” is required by Caribbean and Latin American countries, if they are to catch up with investment and productivity levels in faster-growing regions such as Asia. This was the assessment coming out of part one of the IDB’s 2018 Macroeconomic Report, A Mandate to Grow, released during the Annual Meeting of the IDB Group’s Board of Governors in Argentina on March 23. “While the global economy faces potential risks from higher interest rates and a correction to global asset prices, the region’s overall outlook is positive, with a 1.9 per cent growth rate expected this year.” Read more here

$71,000 salary for CAL cargo manager

Chairman of Parliament’s Joint Select Committee (JSC) on State Enterprises David Small yesterday called for termination of a Caribbean Airlines (CAL) cargo manager who earns a monthly salary of $71,000—far more than Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley—although he has no experience for the job. Officials of the cash-strapped airline were grilled for three hours by members of the JSC during a session at the J Hamilton Maurice Room of the Parliament Building. The issue of the cargo manager’s suitability for the job was raised by Opposition Senator Wade Mark who described many of the managers recruited by the airline as square pegs in round holes. Read more here

Digicel’s T&T boss leaving

A top executive of regional communications and entertainment provider, Digicel, is leaving the company after a decade. Digicel yesterday announced that its CEO for Trinidad & Tobago, John Delves, decided to leave the business. Read more here

  

REGIONAL

Clarke In Cabinet - PM Announces Portfolio Changes

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has made good on his promise to restructure his Cabinet, fitting in his key adviser Dr Nigel Clarke who now heads the Ministry of Finance while shifting Audley Shaw, who previously held the post, to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries. Last Wednesday, the prime minister told The Gleaner that he was on the verge of reshuffling his Cabinet. Holness has sought to address the issue of crime at the policy level by placing at the helm of the Ministry of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, while moving Robert Montague to the Ministry of Transport and Mining. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

'Strong possibility' North Korea's Kim Jong Un made surprise Beijing visit

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un is believed to have wrapped up an unprecedented whirlwind trip to the Chinese capital, ahead of a planned summit with his South Korean counterpart and a potential meeting with US President Donald Trump. An official with deep knowledge of North Korea told CNN Tuesday there was a "strong possibility" that Kim was in Beijing after speculation began swirling late Monday about the arrival of a high-level North Korean official. The rumors started after images were shared online of what appeared to be a train that belongs to North Korea's ruling Kim family arriving in Beijing, and intensified as security officials closed roads outside the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, where North Korean leaders have previously stayed. Read more here

Kemerovo fire: Russia crowd condemns officials over disaster

Thousands of people are protesting in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, angry at Russian officials over the leisure complex fire that killed at least 64 people, 41 of them children. President Vladimir Putin arrived in Kemerovo earlier and blamed "criminal negligence" for Sunday's blaze. Relatives say as many as 85 people are still missing, most of them children, according to Interfax news agency. Investigators say the fire alarm was switched off and exits were blocked. Some 300 people rallied outside the local government headquarters on Tuesday, demanding that officials be sacked over the fire safety shortcomings. Read more here

27th March 2018

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