Daily Brief - Wednesday 20th September, 2017

NEWS

Killer’s family apologizes for businesswoman’s murder

Overcome with grief at a murder committed by his brother, Brenton McLean wept as he hugged the murder victim’s son and apologised to him yesterday. Saying the victim, businesswoman Haniffa ‘Miss Lucky’ Bedassie was like a mother to him, McLean begged Bedassie’s son Torrance to accept his apology after McLean’s brother Leon Jordan was seen fleeing Bedassie’s shop when her body was discovered. Jordan was subsequently cornered and killed in a shoot-out with police. Read more here

I had given up on life—MIC hostage

"Mom…I thought I was never going to see you guys again…I had given up. I couldn't fight off the guy." Those were the words of the 17-year-old MIC Institute of Technology (MIC-IT) trainee involved in the hostage drama at the school on Monday to his mother after his ordeal. The woman, who did not want either her son or herself identified as they were still severely traumatised, yesterday told the T&T Guardian it was her son's first day of training at the institute. He is doing an electrical and air conditioning course. Read more here

'Situation grave' in Dominica

Hurricane Maria knocked out communications for the entire country, leaving anyone outside Dominica struggling to determine the extent of damage yesterday, though it was clearly widespread.  “The situation is really grave,” Consul General Barbara Dailey said in a telephone interview from New York. She said she lost contact with the island around 4 a.m. At that point, officials had learned that 70 per cent of homes had lost their roofs, including her own. “I lost everything,” she said, adding there had been no word on casualties. “As a Category 5 it would be naive not to expect any (injuries) but I don't know how many,” she said. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Senator: Less money for National Security

Independent Senator Hugh Russell Ian Roach yesterday argued that the billions of dollars being allocated to the National Security Ministry, "is not giving us value for money." In his contribution to debate on the Indictable Offences (Pre-Trial Publicity) Bill, 2017 in the Senate, Roach noted this has been a pattern of successive administrations. However he was uncertain whether there were any tangible returns on this investment, in terms of reducing crime in the country. Read more here

PM’s criticism upsets Tobago business owners

Tobago Chamber of Commerce president Demi John Cruickshank says instead of making allegations against the Tobago business community, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley must ensure that the person or persons responsible for the collapse of the Tobago economy in the last six months is/are called to account. Responding to criticisms levelled by the PM when he appeared before Parliament’s Joint Select Committee looking into the procurement and maintenance of the ferries, Cruickshank said,“If the PM has information, we are begging him to give the information to the DPP, the Integrity Commission and the Commissioner of Police to deal with the person or persons responsible for crippling the economy. But what we highlighted was real. It was not made up.” Read more here

 

BUSINESS

IC president: Business, labour must work together

Industrial Court President Deborah Thomas-Felix is appealing for trade union and business leaders to work together to find solutions to current economic problems plaguing T&T. Thomas-Felix made the call in her annual address at the opening of the 2017/2018 Law Term at the court’s headquarters in Port-of-Spain yesterday morning. Stating that fostering a meaningful relationship was one of the factors which could stimulate sustained growth in the economy, Thomas-Felix suggested that they put their distrust and differences aside. Read more here

Petrotrin must address costs to survive

New Petrotrin chairman Wilfred Espinet says the company needs to be reinvented and its cost structure needs to be addressed. But in an exclusive interview with Express Business at his courier company in East Port of Spain, the business owner stopped short of advocating the privatisation of the company, arguing what is needed is the appropriate governance structure, greater accountability and no meddling by governments in its operations. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Police Constable Shot Dead In Portmore

A 29-year-old police constable was on Tuesday night shot dead by unknown assailants as he arrived home in Portmore, St Catherine. The constable who worked at the Stadium Police Station had just entered his house when he was attacked and shot. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Catalonia referendum: Spain steps up raids to halt vote

Spain's Guardia Civil police have detained a dozen senior Catalan officials and raided regional government ministries involved in organising a banned independence vote. Tensions were already high when Josep Maria Jové, number two in the Catalan vice-presidency, and others were held. Catalan leaders are defying a court order to halt the vote, condemned by the Madrid government as illegal. Read more here

Death toll in Mexico's earthquake rises, rescue attempts continue

A sea of rescuers in hard hats and masks continue to descend upon the streets of Mexico City in search of survivors after a deadly earthquake struck the region. "The priority now is continue rescuing those who are still trapped and provide medical attention to the injured," said President Enrique Peña Nieto in a video statement early Wednesday. Dozens of buildings in central Mexico turned into plumes of dust and debris killing at least 216 people in Mexico City -- one of the busiest cities in the world -- and the surrounding states of Puebla, Mexico and Morelos when a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Tuesday, officials said. Read more here

20th September 2017

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