Daily Brief - Tuesday 30th January, 2018

NEWS

Paula Mae Weekes on selection as President: I’M TERRIFIED

President-elect Paula Mae Weekes yesterday confessed to feeling, “completely terrified”, upon hearing the news that she was chosen as new Head of State. Minutes before this confession, House Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George and Senate President Christine Kangaloo presented Weekes with the Instrument of Election, the formal confirmation of the Electoral College’s nod on January 19, to Weekes ascension to the Presidency, having been the sole nominee. Read more here

Help save our baby’s life

Six-month-old Christopher Sahadeo appears normal—cooing, smiling and kissing his mother like any normal baby but beneath his skull, his brain is slowly bleeding and if left untreated he could die. The baby was injured last October after his parents’ wooden home at Enid Village, Rio Claro collapsed after heavy rainfall. The ceiling tiles dropped on his head, knocking him unconscious. His mother, Christine Sahadeo, 21, had to run to safety with her unconscious baby before the entire house came tumbling down. Read more here

Body in submerged car identified...cause of death confirmed

The man found dead in the back seat of a car submerged in the Usine/Ste Madeleine reservoir on Monday has been identified as 25-year-old Richard Beharry. Beharry, of Green Acres, San Fernando, was shot once in the head. Police have no motive for the killing. Investigators were told that residents heard a gunshot at around 10p.m on Sunday. Read more here

 

POLITICS

New strategies under review to protect prison officers

A number of new strategies were discussed during a closed-door two-hour meeting between the Prison Officers Association, commanders of the Police and Prison Service and the Minister of National Security Edmund Dillon last night to protect officers whose lives are at risk. The meeting follows a potentially risky situation where a number of officers stayed away from work at the weekend following the brazen daylight murder of their colleague Davendra Boodooram who was shot dead while stuck in traffic a short distance from the Port-of-Spain prison last Friday. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Export-led businesses vital for the economy

With a high food import bill and less foreign exchange in the economy, businesses that export are becoming more important said Gabriel Faria, CEO, T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce. “Our food import bill stands in excess of $4 billion which includes a wide array of fresh agricultural produce as well as inputs for our agro processing operations. The reality is in 2016 and 2017 the T&T economy lost $18 billion in foreign exchange due to lower energy prices combined with low production. Businesses that earn foreign exchange through export have become critical to our economy.” Read more here

Let's talk

Jerome Dookie, the chief executive of the ammonia plant on the Point Lisas Industrial Estate that stopped production last week, says the company is willing to resume negotiations with its natural gas supplier, State-owned National Gas Company. “We are willing to be transparent with Government and the NGC. As they encourage us to go back to the table, we are still willing to compromise to find a solution that supports all stakeholders,” Dookie said in a statement. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Pastor Banned - Anti-Gay Preacher Prevented From Boarding Flight To Jamaica

Anti-gay US preacher Steven Anderson said he was prevented from boarding a flight to Jamaica yesterday by airline officials in Atlanta who claimed the directive to deny him entry came from the Jamaican Government. It was, in fact, the Jamaican Government that shut the door in his face. The only statement out of the Ministry of National Security yesterday, when questioned by The Gleaner, was: "The decision was made to deny him entry by the chief immigration officer because the pastor's statements are not conducive to the current climate." Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

CIA chief says China 'as big a threat to US' as Russia

Chinese efforts to exert covert influence over the West are just as concerning as Russian subversion, the director of the CIA has said. Mike Pompeo told the BBC that the Chinese "have a much bigger footprint" to do this than the Russians do. As examples he cited efforts to steal US commercial information and infiltration of schools and hospitals - and this extended to Europe and the UK. Mr Pompeo was a hardline Republican congressman before becoming CIA chief. Read more here

US releases list of Russian oligarchs, political figures

The US has released a sweeping list of prominent Russian business and political figures, in defiance of Moscow and implementing a Congressional law designed to punish Russia for election meddling. The US Treasury list, published shortly before a midnight deadline, includes members of the top political administration at the Kremlin, as well as every Russian oligarch with a net worth of $1 billion or more. Some of those named are already subject to US sanctions. But the administration stopped short of imposing further measures, saying the legislation was already doing its job. The report was "not a sanctions list," it said. Read more here

30th January 2018

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