Daily Brief - Wednesday 20th June, 2018

NEWS

Organ-donor remarks stem murders

A recent call for gangsters to become organ donors if they intend to die in gang war may have led to zero killings last weekend, said Port of Spain Division Senior Supt Floris Hodge-Griffith. Newsday asked if her remarks at a police town meeting at Mango Rose, Piccadilly Street, East Port of Spain last Friday had made any impact. She had said while patients are desperately seeking the donation of bodily organs and pints of blood, these are wasting away in the corpses of dead gangsters lying in mortuaries. Hodge-Griffith said the police had expected murders but she was glad none had occurred, even as she said she had been told by mothers she had met in the Port of Spain area that her graphic remarks had made a big impact. “The weekend was crime-free and murder free, so I’m not sure if the impact was felt that week. We had expected trauma but it never materialised.” Read more here

Fake police officers in attempted robbery

Senior police officers yesterday issued an alert to be on the lookout for three men dressed in police uniforms carrying out robberies in the Central Division. This warning came on the heels of an incident yesterday at a TMall supermarket in Caroni where three men dressed in what looked like official police uniforms entered a Chinese supermarket at about 9 am. Police said the men told the Chinese cashier to open a certain part of the establishment to “check on their books.” Read more here

Scissors stab for man in row with ex

A 35-year-old-man, who allegedly confronted a former girlfriend over their failed relationship, was stabbed with a pair of scissors last week in Sangre Grande. The victim was warded at hospital for an injury to the lung. The girlfriend, a 22-year-old woman, was expected to be interviewed by police. Read more here

  

POLITICS

PNM pulls ahead

Voters in Belmont East and Barataria are holding their cards close to their chests ahead of the July 16 by-elections in both districts. However hints from voters in both districts suggest strong support for the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) with four weeks to go before the polls. On June 6, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley advised President Paula Mae-Weekes of the by-election date. The Barataria and Belmont East districts became vacant due to the deaths of PNM councillors Pernell Bruno (July 8, 2017) and Darryl Rajpaul (November 18, 2017), respectively. Read more here

Debate on terror law amendments today

T&T nationals who travel for the purpose of planning, committing, supporting or facilitating a terrorist act would—on conviction—be liable to a $25 million fine and 25 years in jail, under proposed anti-terrorism amendments. The proposal is among amendments to anti-terrorism law contained in a report by a Joint Select team which examined proposals to strengthen the law. The JSC’s report laid in Parliament recently will be debated in Parliament today. Read more here

Murders PNM Style

Murders and broken promises. That is all the country has gotten from the present Government, according to Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) leader and president general of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) Ancel Roget. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Government revenue up by $4.2B

The deficit incurred by Central Government in the first seven months of fiscal year (FY) 2017/18 was $2,909.8 million, down from the $8,991.1 million in the corresponding period a earlier. According to the latest Monetary Policy Report from the Central Bank, the smaller deficit, was financed by borrowing primarily on the domestic capital market, some external multilateral loans and the use of the Central Bank overdraft facility. Read more here

Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus: Minimum wage under review

Government is reviewing the current minimum wage in T&T and may be willing to adjust the rate upward depending on the outcome of a labour market survey to be conducted by a consultant. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Be Transparent - JMEA Head Calls For Thorough Petrojam Investigation

President of the Jamaica Manufacturers' and Exporters' Association (JMEA), Metry Seaga, is adamant that Government must ensure transparency in its investigation of allegations of financial impropriety at the state-owned oil refinery, Petrojam. "My concern is that we have a proper investigation by the right people, that it's fulsome and that whatever are the results, action is taken appropriately against whomever it is required," Seaga told The Gleaner last night. "This Government has said they are about transparency and they are about keeping the rules and if they so say, they must so do," he added. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

US leaving UN Human Rights Council -- 'a cesspool of political bias'

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced the United States is withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council Tuesday, accusing the body of bias against US ally Israel and a failure to hold human rights abusers accountable. The move, which the Trump administration has threatened for months, came down one day after the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights slammed the separation of children from their parents at the US-Mexico border as "unconscionable." Read more here

EU to launch counter-tariffs against US on Friday

The European Union will launch a raft of retaliatory tariffs against US exports on Friday, a top official has said. The move comes after US President Donald Trump imposed steep duties on steel and aluminium in May. American exports such as blue jeans, motorbikes and bourbon whiskey will be targeted, trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom confirmed. However, she said the bloc "did not want to be in this position". "The unilateral and unjustified decision of the US to impose steel and aluminium tariffs on the EU means that we are left with no other choice," she said. Read more here

20th June 2018

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