Daily Brief - Wednesday 30th August, 2017

NEWS

Rowley: A mix-up in communication

A “communication glitch” has been blamed for the issue that led to the revocation of the appointment of Robert Le Hunte as a senator and Public Utilities Minister because he is a citizen of Ghana. “The communication went awry and (his appointment) had to be done over,” Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said yesterday. Read more here

Cops go to DPP today

After 12-hour interrogation of ex-AG Ramlogan Attorney Jagdeo Singh leads a group of attorneys out of the Police Administrative Building on Sackville Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday, after they were refused permission to visit former attorney general Anand Ramlogan, who was being detained for questioning. The group came to lend moral support. After 12 hours of questioning following his dawn arrest by police yesterday, Ramlogan remained in custody at Police Headquarters, Port-of-Spain. This in connection with the witness-tampering allegations made against him in 2015 by Police Complaints Authority chairman David West —a probe of which now appears to have reached a head. Read more here

Police run from angry crowd

THR members of the Princes Town CID had to beat a hasty retreat yesterday morning out of Moruga after angry residents armed themselves with sticks and stones and threatened their lives when they attempted to arrest a man whom they suspected to be carrying a gun. One eyewitness told Newsday, not even the warning shot fired in the air by one of the policemen as they made their way back to the marked police vehicle, prevented the raucous crowd from still challenging them. Newsday further learnt the unruly mob continued to taunt the police even as they left. Video footage of the incident has since been uploaded on social media. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Al Rawi distances himself from Ramlogan’s detention

“I can say with absolute certainty, I have no business with that.” These were the words of Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi as he responded to questions relating to yesterday’s detainment by police of former attorney general Anand Ramlogan. Al-Rawi said as Attorney General, he should not be busy getting involved in any matters relating to Ramlogan as the matters were in the hands of the Police Service (TTPS) and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Read more here

Govt to pay creators for TTT content

Content creators will be paid by the Government to produce local content for broadcast with the revamped Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT). However, whilst TTT will have its “own” advertisers, content creators will also be encouraged to acquire their own advertisers, Minister of Communications Maxie Cuffie said yesterday. He made the comment in response to questions on the issue of funding sustainability for TTT, given that in the 2015 report produced by the then board of state-owned the Caribbean News Media Group (CNMG) and Government Information Services Limited (GISL), it was recommended the Government fund the two entities through a levy arrangement on the revenue earned by the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) and Telecommunication Authority of T&T. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Will Govt tap blocked account to fix fiscal deficit?

Two weeks ago, the lead story of the Express Business edition of August 16 estimated that the Government’s fiscal deficit for 2017 could be as much as $10 billion. That was based on the current administration’s $2.23 billion shortfall from its sale of Government assets programme, the failure to monetise any funds from the predicted sale of CLICO assets, which should have brought in $5.7 billion and an estimated $1.33 billion shortfall in VAT receipts. Read more here

Maloney Mall gets a boost

AS part of the HDC’s thrust to give a lift to Maloney Mall, several businesses showcased themselves on Monday amid a fashion show and steel-pan music. The HDC’s commercial properties manager Maurisa Findlay said it was all part of a move to position the mall as a secure area for families to relax and support local businesses. A series of events will be held at HDC malls nationwide to attract the local communities for shopping and leisure. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Retired US Army colonel charged with conspiring to bribe senior officials in Haiti

A retired US Army colonel was charged in a complaint unsealed on Tuesday for his alleged role in a foreign bribery and money laundering scheme in connection with a planned $84 million port development project in Haiti. Joseph Baptiste, 64, was arrested on Tuesday morning on a criminal complaint filed in the District of Massachusetts. He was charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and to launder money. Read more here

Jamaica PM laments breakdown of citizen security

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has lamented that the greatest hindrance to Jamaica’s development and job creation remains citizen security. Addressing the Jamaica 55 Independence Gala in Manhattan on Saturday night, Holness said that, in order to reduce the level of criminal activity, government “has passed a groundbreaking piece of legislation which, with others to come, and other initiatives to be announced, will, for the first time since our independence empower the government to confront the breakdown in law and order and public safety in our country and to return Jamaica to a safe and secure place of choice.” Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

North Korean missiles: How long has Japan got to defend itself?

How long do people in Japan have to react to a North Korean missile launch? Virtually no time at all. The Japanese government says Tuesday's North Korean missile was launched at 05:58 Japan time, before flying over Japanese territory and landing in the sea east of Hokkaido at 06:12. The government issued a text alert to citizens at 06:02, warning them that a missile had been launched and advising them to evacuate to a "sturdy building or basement". Read more here

Harvey makes second landfall along Louisiana-Texas border

The devastating storm that swept through Texas made a second landfall Wednesday near the Louisiana-Texas border and is drenching the region with rain. Tropical Storm Harvey is expected to bring winds of 30 to 40 mph and a 2- to 4-foot storm surge along the Louisiana-Texas border. It is threatening to dump an additional 3 to 6 inches from southwestern Louisiana into western Kentucky, the National Hurricane Center said. It's expected to become a tropical depression by Wednesday night. Read more here

30th August 2017

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