Daily Brief - Wednesday 4th April, 2018

NEWS

Republic Bank wins 4 awards

Republic Bank has earned two awards this year from International Banker magazine – Best Commercial Bank and Best Innovation in Retail Banking. The indigenous bank has also been honoured by Global Finance magazine as 2017 Bank of the Year while by Latin Finance magazine recognised it as 2017’s Best Bank. Commenting on its four international awards, Republic Bank said this proves that “the finance sector is one area where developing countries like TT have the ability to punch above their weight.” Read more here

$350,000 worth of marijuana seized on the Cabo Star

Police officers seized $350,000 worth of marijuana in a panel van on the Cabo Star vessel as it arrived in Tobago on Monday. A 36-year-old man from Bon Accord Estate was arrested in connection with the discovery. According to a police report, officers from the Scarborough CID and Tobago Task Force acted on information received and intercepted a panel van that was being brought off the cargo vessel at Scarborough Port at about 8.30 pm. Read more here

We can fix problems on seabridge

Chairman of the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago Lyle Alexander believes the country’s troubled seabridge operations can still be saved. This after the cargo and passenger vessels assigned to the inter-­island route were rocked by a drug find on one, an additional delay with another, and a damning ­report that identified multiple safety ­defects on two other ferries. Read more here

 

POLITICS

They’re being hypocritical

Princes Town MP Barry Padarath slammed the government for being “hypocritical” in refusing to release details of a non-disclosure agreement signed as part of a $150,000 settlement to a former Ministry of Sport employee, while at the same time championing whistle-blower legislation. The government, he said in a release, was engaging in “legal tactics to stifle information in the public interest through non-disclosure documents” and suggested Attorney General Al-Rawi consider the Australian and UK Freedom of Information models as they relate to public-interest disclosures. Read more here

Dillon in NY for court case

National Security Minister Edmund Dillon left Trinidad and Tobago on Monday for a civil court hearing in New York expected to take place this morning. The hearing takes place before judge Laura Visitacion-Lewis at the New York Supreme Court and involves the guardianship and property hearing of 88-year-old Neville Piper. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Republic Rio Claro branch snags top bank awards

Republic Bank Rio Claro’s branch won big at the bank’s annual service excellence awards which celebrated the achievements of staff during the 2017 fiscal year. The branch also copped awards for service performance and employee engagement at the event held on March 24, at the Hyatt Regency hotel, in Port-of-Spain. Retired branch sales manager, Jemma Persad, who accepted the awards on the branch’s behalf, said the win was an emotional one for her as it was her last. She also said the win will do a lot for staff, giving them the momentum and drive to keep working hard to achieve their goals. Read more here

Will Cabinet buy NIF in bag?

I am on record as stating that I did not think that the Government’s National Investment Fund (NIF) is the best way for T&T to recover the $14 billion that the CL Financial group owes the country as a result of the January 2009 bailout. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Boys At Risk - Hanna Wants Tougher Sanction For Men Who Abuse Boys

Lisa Hanna, St Ann South East Member of Parliament, yesterday made an impassioned plea for Jamaica's legislature to confront the discrepancy in law that prescribes a lesser punishment for a man who buggers a boy as against a man who rapes a girl. She charged that for years lawmakers have been skirting around the issue. She raised concern about the issue, pointing to two pieces of legislation that she said "give our little boys a hard time". Hanna was making her contribution to debate on the Child Diversion Act, which involves the implementation of measures that more appropriately address the needs of children suspected or accused of committing criminal offences. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

China fires back, announcing tariffs on US planes, cars and soybeans

China is punching back in the escalating trade dispute with the United States, announcing plans for heavy new tariffs on dozens more US goods including aircraft and autos. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce on Wednesday said it plans to impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of US exports. The 106 affected products will also include soybeans and chemicals. China's announcement is a direct response to the Trump administration's publication Tuesday of a list of about 1,300 Chinese exports -- also worth about $50 billion annually -- that it intends to target with 25% tariffs. Read more here

YouTube shooting: Female suspect 'angry over video postings'

The suspect in a gun attack at YouTube's HQ in California had expressed anger over its treatment of her video postings, media reports say. Police have named Nasim Aghdam, 39, as the suspect but say they are still investigating a motive. US media say Aghdam was angry that YouTube was filtering her videos and reducing the money she could make. Tuesday's attack left a man and two women injured with gunshot wounds. The attacker shot herself dead. Police in San Bruno, California, say there is no evidence yet that the attacker knew the victims, a 36-year-old man said to be in a critical condition, and two women aged 32 and 27. Read more here

4th April 2018

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