Daily Brief - Tuesday 8th May, 2018

NEWS

$34 M Cocaine Bust

Two security guards were among five people arrested on Sunday at Piarco International Airport just as two suitcases filled with $34.4 million in cocaine was being loaded into the cargo hold of a Caribbean Airlines (CAL) aircraft. The flight was about to depart for New York. The five appeared before an Arima magistrate yesterday to answer charges of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and attempting to export a banned item namely cocaine. Police said that Marlo Ricardo Thomas, 45; check-in clerk Krystel Birot, 24; baggage handler Maurice Edwin Hinds, 27, and security guards Kyle Jones and K’dere Lee Gomez, 23 and 27 respectively, all appeared in court to answer the charges. Read more here

Cops to probe Latino prostitution ring

Senior Supt of the Southern Division Zamsheed Mohammed has given the assurance an investigation will be launched into the allegations of a Latino prostitution ring in South Trinidad that is being facilitated by Immigration officers and a private school. It is alleged that Spanish-speaking women from several countries, including Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Peru, Brazil and Columbia are being brought into the country with student visas they purchase from immigration officers for as much as US$1,500. Read more here

‘Land row link’ in Mayaro gardener’s murder

Police are investigating whether a land dispute led to the killing of a Mayaro gardener on Sunday. Anthony Sonny, 28, was killed in the doorway of his home at Stone Bright Village. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Minister: $15b a year in lost tax

AS much as $15 billion is lost each year to tax evasion, lamented Minister in the Ministry of Finance Allyson West, speaking to Newsday yesterday, ahead of Thursday’s Mid-Year Review. Those suspected of evading tax cut across the social spectrum from the informal sector up to highly-paid professionals in established practices, she said. “A study last August-September by Prof Karl Theodore of the University of the West Indies estimated conservatively a shortfall of $10-$15 billion annually. It’s a lot of money, that would address our deficit,” West said. Read more here

Senior lawyers knock Young

Seven senior attorneys practising before the criminal bar are condemning statements made by acting Attorney General Stuart Young where he claimed some lawyers were assisting gang leaders to run their empires. In a joint statement issued yesterday, the seven silk, Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, Osbourne Charles, Israel Khan, Pamela Elder, Gilbert Peterson, Ernest H. Koylass and Sophia Chote said they “deprecate” the statements made by Young saying if he was “indeed aware of such practices, he ought to have exercised restraint commensurate with his office and permitted law enforcement to perform their duties without hindrance.” They called on Young to “apologise to the practitioners at the criminal bar.” Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Oil prices cross US$70

US oil prices crashed through the US$70-a-barrel mark for the first time since late 2014, foreshadowing costlier gasoline and consumer goods. It’s not clear that pricey crude will slow down the economy, however. The stock market moved higher in midday trading yesterday, as investors bet that companies and consumers can cope with the increase. Read more here

Low demand driving low inflation

People struggling so some prices didn’t go up. Low demand driving low inflation. In a quarter ending December, when consumer spending usually increases (Divali and Christmas), inflation fell to a very low rate, supporting Standard & Poor’s (S&P) explanation that low demand is behind the country’s low inflation. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Flood Of Fears - More Than 30 Houses Under Threat As Water Destroys Perimeter Walls

The fear was evident in the faces of several residents on Harbour Drive in Harbour View, St Andrew, yesterday, as they prayed for an ease in the rain that lashed the community Sunday evening into Monday morning. More rain over the next 24 hours could cause almost 30 families to lose their houses after floodwaters destroyed the perimeter walls at the back of their properties early yesterday morning. The fearful residents are blaming the authorities for the threat that they now face. "In 2015, they started a World Bank-funded project to take the water from the hills above Harbour View. We saw the drawings and the scope of work and we told them it could not work. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

World holds breath for Trump's Iran deal decision

President Donald Trump on Tuesday can land his most devastating blow yet on the legacy of Barack Obama, but a move to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal could also spark a dangerous global crisis. The decision, to be announced at the White House at 2 p.m. ET Tuesday, could mark a signature moment for Trump's presidency. It gives him the chance to cement his "America First" philosophy but risks triggering unknowable consequences that in a worst case scenario could lead to war with Iran. Read more here

Eric Schneiderman, New York attorney general, quits amid assault reports

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has resigned following allegations of assault by four women. The New Yorker magazine published a report quoting the women, two of them ex-girlfriends, who accused Mr Schneiderman, 63, of hitting them. Mr Schneiderman has been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and a fierce opponent of President Donald Trump. In a statement, Mr Schneiderman said he "strongly contests" the allegations. "In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity," the statement says. "I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in non-consensual sex, which is a line I would not cross." Read more here

 

 

8th May 2018

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