Daily Brief - Tuesday 31st July, 2018

TTMA IN THE NEWS

TTMA President: Measures must be put in place for Styrofoam ban

CEO of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA), Ramesh Ramdeen, said while he is in support of a ban on Styrofoam, measures must be put in place to assist businesses with the transition. Speaking to LoopTT, Ramdeen said government must allow for business owners to use what is left of their stock. Read more here

 

NEWS

TT in bottom 10 of illicit trade index

Trinidad and Tobago has been ranked in the bottom ten on an international index which ranks how countries address illicit trade. The Global Illicit Trade Environment Index 2018, which was produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit and commissioned by the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade, ranked TT 75th out of 84 countries. The index is a measure of the extent to which economies enable (or inhibit) illicit trade through their policies and initiatives to combat illicit trade. It is built around four main categories: government policy, supply and demand, transparency and trade, and the customs environment. Read more here

2,500 people die each year from heart disease

Directior of the T&T Heart Foundation Dr Pravinde Ramoutar is urging people to avoid becoming another statistic of diabetes, health disease or hypertension by leading healthy lifestyles. Delivering brief remarks at the foundation’s annual walk held at Palmiste Park, San Fernando, on Saturday, Ramoutar said the foundation’s aim is to educate people about heart disease, what they could do about heart disease and how they could prevent it. Read more here

Woman charged in $30,000 fraud

A checker at the Princes Town Regional Corporation, charged with larceny of $30,000, has appeared before the Princes Town Magistrates’ Court last Friday. Marie Ragoonath, 50, of New Grant, Princes Town, was granted $30,000 bail with surety, when she appeared before Senior Magistrate Rae Roopchand. Read more here

 

POLITICS

PM: Lifesport the deal breaker

The Prime Minister said the “deal breaker” for Government supporting Gary Griffith’s nomination for Commissioner of Police (CoP) was his courage to oppose his former People’s Partnership colleagues for the country’s good. Dr Rowley made this declaration shortly before the House of Representatives passed a motion to approve Griffith’s nomination. The outcome saw 19 government MPs supporting the motion while 13 Opposition MPs abstained. Rowley said things happen in life that changes one’s view of things. Identifying Life Sport as one of those things, Rowley said the programme was a “$400 million criminal empire that was being funded by the State.” Read more here

Rowley: Why I backed Gary

Gary Griffith’s strong stance against wrongdoing and dealing with the controversial Life Sport programme were just two of the reasons why Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley fully endorsed him yesterday as this country’s new Commissioner of Police (CoP). Rowley made the disclosure while debating a motion to approve the notification of the nomination of Griffith as CoP in Parliament. In wrapping up the debate, Rowley instructed the Leader of Government Business Camille Robinson-Regis to lift the whip on all PNM MPs, allowing them to vote for or against Griffith. Read more here

Was Gary involved in wiretapping conspiracy?

The Prime Minister must state whether he still stands by his 2013 accusation against commissioner of police-designate Gary Griffith of being involved in a conspiracy to murder and to wiretap the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Read more here

 

BUSINESS

T&T looks to energy pact with Qatar

Energy Minister Franklin Khan met recently with Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry of the State of Qatar during a two- day visit to Doha, Qatar. Discussions were held on matters of mutual interest to both countries as key exporters of LNG and members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). Read more here

Reopen bidding on mothballed steel plant

A steel company that is registered in the British Virgin Islands is in talks to submit a bid that could lead to the reopening of the ArcelorMittal plant on the Point Lisas Industrial Estate. The company, called Macarri Steel Holdings, met with the Steel Workers Union of Trinidad and Tobago (SWUTT) and the Couva/Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce (CPCC) yesterday. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Wheatley Falls - Latest Casualty Of Energy Scandal, Groups Welcome Departure

The ongoing scandal that began at the state-owned oil refinery Petrojam has claimed its latest casualty with the resignation yesterday of Andrew Wheatley as minister of science and technology. This follows several weeks of allegations of nepotism and cronyism that triggered investigations from several state watchdog agencies. Responding to Wheatley's departure, two powerful groups that had previously called for him to step aside as Cabinet minister yesterday welcomed his resignation. They declared that his departure should signal the beginning, and not the end, of the establishment of systems to reduce the recurrence of corruption at agencies under his watch. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

North Korea working on new missiles, US officials say, despite thaw

North Korea appears to be building new ballistic missiles despite recent warming ties with the Trump administration and pledges to denuclearise, reports say. Unnamed US officials told the Washington Post that spy satellites had spotted continuing activity at a site that has produced ballistic missiles. Reuters quotes an official as saying it is unclear how far the work has gone. Donald Trump met North Korea's Kim Jong-un in Singapore in June. After the first meeting between sitting leaders from the two countries, the two men pledged to work towards denuclearisation. Mr Trump later said North Korea was "no longer a nuclear threat". Read more here

Sexual abuse 'endemic' in international aid sector, damning report finds

Sexual abuse of vulnerable women and girls by international aid workers is "endemic" and has been happening for years, with perpetrators easily moving around the sector undetected, according to a damning UK government report published Tuesday. The inquiry heard "horrifying" stories of aid staff sexually exploiting the very people they were meant to be helping, including one homeless girl in Haiti who was given $1 by a worker for a nongovernmental organization (NGO) and raped. The scathing report by the House of Commons International Development Committee comes after historical allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct by employees of several top NGOs, including Oxfam and Save the Children, surfaced earlier this year. Those allegations prompted the Committee to launch an inquiry into abuse in the aid sector in February. Read more here

31st July 2018

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