Daily Brief - Wednesday 15th November, 2017

NEWS

School feeding limps along

The school feeding programme continues to limp along, as the 87 caterers who are owed millions by the Education Ministry for services provided since May, are yet to be paid. In addition to not being paid, caterers are facing a fresh challenge, as many of them will not be able to meet today’s deadline for the payment of NIS, Health Surcharge, BIR, and will incur penalties as a result. Read more here

Female bullies attack daughter

Nakpangi Joseph, whose daughter has been a victim of bullying by a gang of female students at the Barataria North Secondary School, yesterday urged the Barataria police to lay assault charges against two of the perpetrators. For Joseph, instructing the police to press charges was the last thing she wanted to do, but she said the girls had gone too far after one of them allegedly choked her 15-year-old daughter outside of the school until she passed out. Read more here

Who killed this schoolboy?

Seven months after the battered body of 16-year-old Jesse Beephan was found in a drain behind his school, the boy's parents are still waiting for closure. His father, Shakar Beephan, believes police have closed his son's case but says he will not give up. The father of two has turned to Education Minister Anthony Garcia for help. Beephan was expected to meet Garcia last evening to discuss his concerns. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Kamla: We’ll sue over Chief Elections Officer

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar vowed to take legal action to undo the appointment of Fern Narcis-Scope as chief elections officer on several grounds of alleged unsuitability, she told a United National Congress meeting on Monday at St Helena Hindu Primary School. “We are putting together papers to challenge the appointment of this person,” Persad-Bissessar said without naming Narcis-Scope. “We are in the process of drafting proceedings. I have serious reservations with the person appointed.” Read more here

PM disheartened by Immigration officers’ action

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says he is disappointed by the actions of some 13 of 15 Immigration officers who failed to show up for duty at the Piarco International Airport on Sunday, resulting in hundreds of travellers having to wait for close to five hours to be processed. Speaking at the opening ceremony for a bridge connecting Covigne Road and Spaniol Road in Diego Martin yesterday, Rowley said the disruption disheartened him. Read more here

PM Dropped From Beijing Talks

Two of the country’s biggest business organisations have described as “a shame” and “tragic” Sunday’s chaos at Piarco International Airport. On Sunday, hundreds of passengers arriving at the airport were forced to wait for hours in line, as only two out of 15 officers were present for duty. President of the American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago Mitchell De Silva said the occurrence was unfortunate and tragic. “It appears as if it was some sort of industrial action. We don’t know for certain. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Gas supply woes continue for Atlantic

Fluctuations in the gas supply continue to pose challenges for Atlantic. According to CEO Nigel Darlow, the situation is burning up the company’s bottom line and tearing into the operations of its plant. “This has been a year which has again seen very significant gas supply shortages to our plant, with rates down at around 70 per cent utilisation. This has had a significant impact on the business, not only the considerable lost revenue opportunity, but the operational challenges of having to continually adjust to gas supply fluctuations,” he said at yesterday’s opening ceremony of AmchamTT’s HSSE Conference and Exhibition at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port-of-Spain. Read more here

Is the Central Bank breaching law on CIB?

On October 25, in this space under the headline “Is CIB key to CLF resolution?” reference was made to a June 2012 letter that former CEO of CLICO, Carolyn John, wrote to the former head of the Deposit Insurance Company, which is the liquidator of CLICO Investment Bank (CIB). Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Petrojam Oil Slick - Trump Move Forces Jamaica To Consider Buying Venezuela Shares In Local Refinery

The Jamaican Government is considering purchasing the 49 per cent shares in Petrojam owned by Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA, as concerns mount among banks locally and overseas over an executive order issued by United States President Donald Trump in August this year. The order imposes restrictions on government entities in the South American country. "This Government must now proceed to take the necessary steps to safeguard the viability of our assets, even as we recognise value and appreciate the support provided to this country by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela," declared Dr Andrew Wheatley, minister of science, technology and energy. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

'Nothing about it felt right': More than 50 people describe sexual harassment on Capitol Hill

Be extra careful of the male lawmakers who sleep in their offices -- they can be trouble. Avoid finding yourself alone with a congressman or senator in elevators, late-night meetings or events where alcohol is flowing. And think twice before speaking out about sexual harassment from a boss -- it could cost you your career. These are a few of the unwritten rules that some female lawmakers, staff and interns say they follow on Capitol Hill, where they say harassment and coercion is pervasive on both sides of the rotunda. Read more here

Zimbabwe crisis: Mugabe 'under house arrest' after army takeover

Zimbabwe's military has placed President Robert Mugabe under house arrest in the capital Harare, South African President Jacob Zuma says. Mr Mugabe told Mr Zuma in a phone call that he was fine, the South African leader's office said. Troops are patrolling the capital, Harare, after they seized state TV and said they were targeting "criminals". Read more here

15th November 2017

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