Daily Brief - Wednesday 5th April, 2017


Body In Cesspit

Ten days after a 52-year-old man was reported missing, a charred, dismembered body was found in an outhouse behind his Reform Village, Gasparillo home yesterday afternoon. Police believe the body is that of the missing man Deoraj Bedassie. Police said the body was chopped into pieces and the parts stuffed in a black garbage bag and dumped in the cesspit. A 25-year-old villager was assisting police with their investigations up to late yesterday. At about 1.30 pm, police officers of the Homicide Region Three went to Bedassie’s house along Black Street, Reform Village. They spent several hours searching the forested area before they made the gruesome discovery. Read more here

Crime and security hampering free movement

Crime and security have been identified as the major challenges hampering free movement between Caricom countries which have resulted in countries being unable to achieve optimum economic growth. But these issues also have a direct impact on a person’s standard of living. So said Caricom Secretariat Sherwin Toyne-Stephenson while speaking at the Ministry of National Security’s Citizens Security Programme (CSP) in collaboration with the Caricom Secretariat Seventh Meeting of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) Technical Working Group themed, ”Preventing Crime by Focusing on At Risk Youth and Vulnerable Populations” held at Movie Towne Banquet and Conference Centre, Port-of-Spain yesterday. Read more here

Everybody in Tobago will be affected

A crisis is looming in Tobago. That’s the word from the Tobago Chamber when members held an emergency news conference late on Monday at the chamber’s office in Scarborough to discuss the imminent departure of the Super-Fast Galicia from the seabridge. Chamber chairman Demi John Cruickshank and other stakeholders told the Express they were only made aware of the issue after seeing news­paper reports on Sunday. “We are very, very disap­poin­­ted a move like this happened and the chamber and stakehol­ders were not called before we read this in the media. It’s a situation which affects the entire Tobago,” Cruickshank said. Read more here



Young: Gas for TT up to 2019

The efforts of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley in his meetings last week with energy companies in Houston, US, will ensure that TT has an ample supply of natural gas up to 2019, when other energy initiatives kick in. This assurance was given yesterday by Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young during a conversation with reporters at the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs Tower in Port-of-Spain. Young accompanied Rowley to his meetings in Houston. Young also disclosed that BHP Billiton recently discovered new reserves of natural gas in deep-water acreages off east Trinidad. He said Government is working to resolve the gas supply issue with Methanol Holdings Trinidad Ltd (MTHL) which led to the closure of two of that company’s five plants at the Pt Lisas Industrial Estate. “Certain formula is being worked on with respect to gas and diversion of gas that we are hoping will allow them to restart their plants,” he said, adding the final decision will be MTHL’s. Read more here

Bakr wants DPP to drop CoE charges

Jamaat-al-Muslimeen leader Yasin Abu Bakr’s case for refusing to testify before the Commission of Enquiry appointed to investigate the 1990 attempted coup, took an unexpected turn yesterday with Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard being called upon to discontinue the private criminal case. Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar was expected to decide on Bakr’s innocence or guilt during a hearing in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court yesterday morning, but when the case was called Bakr’s attorney Wayne Sturge indicated that he had written to Gaspard over the commission’s ability to prosecute his client. Read more here

Quick Fix

There will be no problem with cargo transport on the seabridge for Easter. The Super-Fast Galicia, which transports cargo on the seabridge to Tobago, will be in service du­ring the Easter weekend, Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sina­nan assured yesterday. He added there would be contingency arrangements in place for the Tobago Jazz Experience. Read more here



Vishnu Charran, new Chaguanas Chamber head

Vishnu Charran is the new President of the Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce, replacing immediate past president Richie Sookhai. Sookhair handed over the reins at the chamber’s annual general meeting last week Wednesday at the chamber’s office at the corner of Cumberbatch Street and the Main Road. The AGM marked the final year of Sookhai’s three-year tenure as president of the Chamber. He will now operate on the board as the Immediate Past President. Sookhai told the gathering in his final speech as president, that he and the CCIC had been able to achieve all they had during his tenure because of the support of the membership and the people of Chaguanas. “The president of this chamber can bring change to Chaguanas and this chamber has the capacity to bring change not just to Chaguanas, but to Trinidad and Tobago as a whole,” Sookhai told members. Read more here

‘Very difficult’ to build Angelin platform in T&T

Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young yesterday suggested that bpTT’s Angelin platform would not be fabricated in Trinidad because of the tight timetable associated with bringing natural gas from the offshore platform to markets onshore. “There is going to be a difficulty with the fabrication of the Angelin platform in Trinidad and Tobago because of the amount of time that’s been lost and BP wanting to keep the project on track. Angelin is coming on stream in 2019 at a time when Juniper will start to taper downwards. So they want to keep it stable,” Young said yesterday at a media briefing at his office. Young and Prime Minister Keith Rowley visited Houston last week to hold talks with three of the energy companies operating in T&T—BP, Shell and EOG Resources—as well as with ExxonMobil, which has discovered oil off Guyana. Read more here

No agriculture: puzzling

The omission of agriculture from the draft diversification roadmap prepared by the Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) is puzzling. The high-powered committee, led by economist Dr Terrence Farrell, in charting a new course for the Trinidad and Tobago economy beyond oil and gas, seems to have not seen agriculture and food production as being worthy of mention. Read more here



Bombshell! - Hanna Outlines Nepotism, Corruption At Culture Ministry

Former Culture Minister Lisa Hanna raised eyebrows in the parliamentary Sectoral Debate yesterday, delivering what seems like a body blow to the Andrew Holness-led Jamaica Labour Party Government after outlining detailed information that points to nepotism and corruption at the Ministry of Culture. Hanna, the South East St Ann member of parliament, told the House of Representatives that all was not well at the ministry led by Olivia Grange in her capacity as minister. She said what appeared to be irregularities at the Ministry of Culture ran counter to what Prime Minister Andrew Holness has pledged would be the hallmarks of the Government he leads. Read more here

Opposition walks out of St Lucia parliament

A motion to reverse changes to the citizenship by investment programme (CIP) tabled by the opposition St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) for debate was removed from the order paper on Tuesday, resulting in the SLP parliamentarians staging a walk out. On Monday, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet wrote to speaker of the house, Leonne Theodore-John, requesting that the motion tabled by Castries South MP, Dr Ernest Hilaire be removed from the order paper and not debated at Tuesday’s sitting. “My request is predicated on the need for sufficient time to consume (sic) and prepare an appropriate response to the said motion,” Chastanet wrote. In turn, Theodore-John wrote to Hilaire on Tuesday informing him that the motion would in fact be removed from the order paper. Read more here



Syria chemical attack: Russia explanation rejected

Russian claims that a Syrian airstrike on a "terrorist" ammunition depot caused the deaths of at least 70 people have been rejected, as condemnation mounts over what appears to be a targeted chemical attack. At least 10 children died in Tuesday's attack on a rebel-held town in Idlib province, and dozens of people were treated for symptoms of chemical poisoning, including foaming at the mouth and suffocation. Activists said the Syrian regime dropped a chemical bomb and was responsible for the killings. The British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, said all evidence suggested that the Assad regime was behind a "barbaric act." If the incident is confirmed to be a chemical weapons attack, it would be one of the deadliest of its kind since the Syrian war began six years ago. Read more here

North Korean ballistic missile fired into the Sea of Japan

North Korea has test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile from its eastern port of Sinpo into the Sea of Japan. South Korea's defence ministry said the missile flew about 60km (40 miles). It is the latest in a series of tests which the North has been conducting in pursuit of its goal of developing a nuclear missile. The launch comes on the eve of a visit by China's President Xi Jinping to the US to meet President Donald Trump. The two will discuss how to rein in North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes as the US steps up the pressure on China, a historic ally of Pyongyang, to help more on the issue. Mr Trump said in a recent interview that Washington was ready to act without Beijing's co-operation: "If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will." The North is banned from any missile or nuclear tests by the UN, though it has repeatedly broken those sanctions. Read more here

5th April 2017


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