Daily Brief - Tuesday 5th June, 2018

NEWS

Sagicor exec: C’bean one of least insured regions in world

The hurricanes that battered the eastern Caribbean last year were devastating, but even more so was the level of under- or uninsured assets throughout the region, Sagicor Group’s chief operating officer for the Southern Caribbean Ravi Rambarran has said. “People don’t insure, then look to the government to pick up the shortfall. That creates an unexpected shock to already strained fiscal positions,” Rambarran told reporters during Sagicor’s financial briefing for 2017 and the first quarter of 2018 yesterday at its Queen’s Park West offices. Read more here

Ship builders to look at water taxis

A team from the Austal Shipping Company is now in Trinidad and Tobago and will inspect the four water taxis and six Coast Guard vessels to report back to the Government on the state of the vessels and make recommendations for the maintenance of the vessels. The team, which arrived in the country less than a week after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley returned from his China/Australia trip, will also visit some of the shipyards and dry dock facilities available locally “to ascertain the viability of developing a facility to offer maintenance and other services out of Trinidad,” according to a release from the Office of the Prime Minister. Read more here

Unbearable Pain

Four days after he was the victim of a brutal beating at the hands of residents of Oropune Gardens, Piarco, 49-year-old Ashdale Mc Hutchinson has died. Mc Hutchinson, of Bon Air Gardens, Arouca, was beaten on Wednesday night by residents of Oropune Gardens, Piarco, who claimed that he had attempted to lure a six-year-old girl away. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Karim accuses PNM of dismantling UTT

Former tertiary education minister Fazal Karim has accused the ruling PNM administration of a “systematic dismantling” of the University of TT (UTT) even as the university placed full-page advertisements announcing its various degree programmes. Interviewed yesterday, Karim said there was no clear developmental plan by the government and this uncertainty, coupled with rising unemployment, would not attract people to apply for its programs and may lead to a “brain drain” as people seek opportunities in other countries. Read more here

$40.5m swindled from customers

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) says there were close to 1,700 reports of credit card and other card fraud in 2017 to the tune of TT$40.5 million. The revelation yesterday prompting Joint Select Committee chair on the Cybercrime Bill, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, to note that the disclosure in the cyber-crime environment “tells a tale of our country and the risks we are facing.” Appearing before the JSC yesterday, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Harold Phillips reported on successes the TTPS has had under the Computer Misuse Act and the Electronic Transfer of Funds Act. Read more here

Local Govt to fix schools during July to August vacation

The Ministry of Education has identified 160 projects under the Schools Vacation Repair Programme. In a release yesterday, Education Minister Anthony Garcia said Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein gave the assurance that he will assist with the construction, refurbishment and maintenance of the nation’s schools, including 160 projects which have been earmarked during the July to August vacation. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Tobacco shares climb to $88.49

Overall market activity resulted from trading in 14 securities of which two advanced, eight declined and four traded firm. Trading activity on the First Tier Market registered a volume of 605,019 shares crossing the floor of the Exchange valued at $3,681,293.25. GraceKennedy Limited was the volume leader with 351,000 shares changing hands for a value of $1,053,050, followed by Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited with a volume of 121,664 shares being traded for $969,662.08. Read more here

T&T should adopt six-month standard

President of the Poultry Association of Trinidad and Tobago, Robin Phillips, has called for this country to adopt the Caribbean standard for poultry, to ensure that chicken being imported here is safe to consume. Caricom improved the poultry standard since 2012, but T&T never adopted it. “The Caribbean poultry standards require 180 days as the standard for the period of consumption from date of slaughter,” Phillips noted. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

No Squatters - Court Orders Illegal Occupants To Vacate Westmoreland Property

Westmoreland squatters occupying sections of an 867-acre property owned by John and Kathleen Eugster have lost the right to remain on the land following Friday's ruling by High Court Justice Cressencia Brown Byfield, who set aside a stay of possession that was secured by Daly Thwaites and Company on behalf of the squatters. This was in response to the recovery of possession that was ordered by Justice Ingrid Mangatal in a 2011 judgement. Yesterday, attorney-at-law Ayisha Robb Cunningham, representing the Eugsters, explained Friday's ruling. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Mueller accuses Manafort of witness tampering

The Special Counsel's Office has accused former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of attempting to get witnesses to lie for him in court, and they've asked the judge to send him to jail as he awaits his trial, according to a filing in DC District Court Monday night. One of the witnesses told investigators recently that Manafort wanted them to commit perjury about a lobbying effort they worked on for him in the US, the filing said. Manafort is currently out on house arrest and a $10 million unsecured bail. He awaits a trial in Virginia that is scheduled for late July and a trial in DC scheduled to begin in September. He has pleaded not guilty to charges related to his failure to disclose his US lobbying work for a foreign government and to bank fraud and other financial crimes. Read more here

Putin says Russia not aiming to divide EU

President Vladimir Putin has insisted Russia is not trying to split the European Union. His remarks come ahead of a visit to Austria, his first trip to a Western European country in almost a year. He told Austrian ORF television he wanted a "united and prosperous" EU, calling it Russia's most important commercial and economic partner. The pro-Putin United Russia party has close links with far-right parties in the EU, which alarms many liberals. Read more here

5th June 2018

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