Daily Brief - Wednesday 12th July, 2017

NEWS

Sisters Die In Crash

A day after walking her son down the aisle at his wedding, Sandra La Barrie along with her sister Calystra Daniel were killed in an accident on Monday night in Wallerfield, which has also left two policemen at hospital serious condition. Relatives of the women, who only on Sunday came together to celebrate La Barrie’s son Johnathan’s nuptials were yesterday in tears too shocked to comprehend the fact they must now plan the sisters’ funerals. La Barrie, 54, died at the scene of the accident while Daniel, 43, died minutes later while en route to hospital. Warded, both in serious condition, are police officers WPC Williams-Harden and Cpl Lloyd Brown. According to a police report, at about 10.30 pm, La Barrie was driving her car along Antigua Road with Daniel as the front seat passenger. They had just left Sangre Grande after dropping off wares that were rented for the wedding on Sunday. Read more here

No shortage of psychiatric drugs—SWRHA

A day after psychiatric patient Christopher Wolfe complained that he could not get drugs at the San Fernando outpatient pharmacy, chief executive officer of the South West Regional Health Authority, Gail Miller-Meade, assured that there is no shortage of psychiatric drugs. Wolfe, who suffers from mental illness, said his supply of Tegretol 200 g, CPZ 75, Skolozeine and Arlone drugs could not be sourced at the pharmacy because they were unavailable. Saying he needed the medication so that he would not “trip off,” Wolfe said he was scared that police could attack him if he had a mental breakdown. “This is scary for me because we had so many cases where the police killed mentally unstable people,” Wolfe said. Read more here

Baby Could Have Lived

The baby boy whose body was found wrapped in a plastic bag in the freezer section of a refrigerator at a doctor's office, had a 75-per cent chance of survival if he had been given the proper medical care. Forensic pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov, who performed the autopsy yesterday, determined the child died of natural causes as a result of not being placed in a proper medical environment. Read more here

 

POLITICS

‘I will tell him of TT’s ruinous state’

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad- Bissessar says she will agree to meet Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley so she can tell him that he has not done any of the things he told her he would do during his first meeting with her as PM, almost a year ago. Speaking at the UNC’s Monday Night Forum at the Bamboo Presbyterian Primary School, she told supporters, “I will meet with him because there’s so much I want to tell him. I want to tell him that he has brought this country to a ruinous state.” She lamented the high crime-rate and added that the prime minister had not fulfilled a single undertaking he had given her at that first meeting. Read more here

Ex-diplomat gets ok to sue Rowley

Former deputy permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) Eden Charles has been granted permission to pursue a lawsuit against Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and members of his Cabinet over a decision to revoke his appointment. In a 15-page decision delivered in the Port-of-Spain High Court yesterday, Justice Frank Seepersad granted Charles leave to pursue his judicial view case as he ruled that he (Charles) had raised arguable grounds that have a realistic prospect of success in an eventual trial. In his lawsuit, filed in January, Charles, of Union Hall, Cross Crossing, is claiming that Rowley and his Cabinet acted unfairly when they decided to revoke his appointment as ambassador in September, last year. Read more here

Moonilal wants probe into Young

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal has written to acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams requesting an investigation into Government Minister Stuart Young and chairman of the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) Edwin Gooding. Moonilal said he read a letter which Young wrote to Gooding instructing payments to four contractors. Moonilal claims this was in breach of his powers. “In this letter Stuart Young attempted to invoke authority and power that he does not have by telling the PTSC chairman which contractor to pay and why to pay. That fella is not the procurement director, he is not on the board of PTSC. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Cigarette black market costing governments billions in losses

An estimated 600 billion cigarettes currently under the contraband scheme represents a loss of between US$50 billion and $60 billion for governments in tax revenues. This is according to Cesar Agurcia, a senior manager for the British American Tobacco’s interests in the Caribbean and Central America who told a recent conference on anti-illicit trade in tobacco conference in Georgetown, Guyana that the illicit economy affects businesses, governments, civil society and individuals. The conference held on June 29 was sponsored by British American Tobacco, West Indian Tobacco Company, Demerara Tobacco Company and Crime Stoppers International. Read more here

Tobacco producers suffer losses from illicit trade

The pervasive problem of illegal tobacco trade was the central topic of discussion at the Anti-Illicit Trade Regional Conference hosted by British American Tobacco (BAT) Caribbean at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana. The conference was held in collaboration with the Demerara Tobacco Company and Crime Stoppers International. High-level law enforcement, industry and customs officials from T&T, Guyana, Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Suriname came together to deliberate tobacco smuggling within the region, a dilemma which representatives stated results in significant losses in revenue for governments and for legitimate businesses, as well as exposes consumers to risky and unregulated products. The illicit trade involves money, goods, or value gained from illegal or unethical activities. Read more here

More at the register, less in the cart

Consumers are seeing their grocery bills climb higher and higher. Although they have not been returned to the Value Added Tax list, items such as laundry detergent, toothpaste, macaroni, baby formula, cheese, cooking margarine, flour, toilet paper and, in some groceries, even powdered milk now cost more. Chicken prices are also set to increase at the supermarket level, given one producer’s decision to increase prices effective July 3. Consumers say they have resorted to buying cheaper brands, “shopping around” for cheaper prices or doing without some basic necessities. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Commonwealth observers submit final report on Cayman Islands elections

Recommendations to review election laws and further comply with international obligations have been made by the election observation mission (EOM) of six Commonwealth observers, led by Steve Rodan MLC, president of Tynwald (Isle of Man) in its final report on the May 2017 general election in the Cayman Islands. The EOM, which was arranged by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association British Isles and Mediterranean Region (CPA BIMR), found that the elections met the international standards for democratic, genuine and transparent elections but offered recommendations, notably regarding voter and candidate’s eligibility criteria, constituency boundaries and the participation of women. “In light of the mobility of the Cayman Islanders and the contribution of its expat community, it is important in any review of the Constitution Order to consider the requirements on the duration of residence,” Rodan said. Read more here

New Traffic Act Needed Now - Jones Calls For Revised Law To Be Passed To Support Ticket Amnesty

Vice-chairman of the National Road Safety Council, Dr Lucien Jones, has said the new Road Traffic Act should be introduced at the same time the proposed traffic ticket amnesty is being implemented, to deter motorists from flagrantly breaking the law and paying the fines without attracting demerit points. "I can't see one working without the other, because if you take all these people and they pay for their tickets and they go back and break the law again, it is very difficult to carry through the law in terms of suspending people's licences," Jones said in a Gleaner interview. Jones' comments came against the background of a bill that was passed yesterday by the House of Representatives to introduce an amnesty for delinquent motorists to clear billions of dollars in traffic tickets. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Rare one-horned rhino at risk as Indian flood waters rise

Poachers are seeking to take advantage of widespread monsoon flooding in India's Kaziranga National Park as animals flee in search of higher ground. Floods have consumed about 80% of the park's total area, said director Satyendra Singh. Kaziranga National Park is home to the vulnerable greater one-horned rhino, as well as tigers and Asian elephants. In the past, poachers have used the floods to flush animals out into areas where they are easier to hunt. The problem arises when the animals flee past the park's boundaries, said Singh, particularly in the southern most sections which are contiguous with hilly wild areas. The park, in India's Assam state, is known for its contribution in helping to save the greater one-horned rhino from the brink of extinction in the last 20 years. Read more here

Trump 'didn't know about son's Russia meeting'

US President Donald Trump's son has said he did not tell his father about a meeting with a Russian lawyer who said she could help his election campaign. Donald Trump Jr told Fox News the meeting was "just a nothing" but he should have handled it differently. He released emails showing he had welcomed an offer to meet the lawyer, who allegedly had Kremlin ties and material damaging to Hillary Clinton. US officials are investigating alleged Russian meddling in the US election. Since he was elected, President Trump has been dogged by allegations that Russia tried to sabotage Mrs Clinton's campaign. Read more here

12th July 2017

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