Daily Brief - Tuesday 29th May, 2018

NEWS

Nafisah Nakhid finds a home at Ministry of Local Govt

Exactly one week after she was told she could not wear a hijab during on-the-job training (OJT) at the Lakshmi Girls’ Hindu College, Nafisah Nakhid was reassigned by the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprises Development. The ministry has responsibility for placing qualified individuals in vacant positions through the OJT programme. Yesterday, Nakhid took up a new position at the Engineering unit of the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government at Kent House, Maraval. She was welcomed by Minister Kazim Hosein and acting permanent secretary Stara Ramlogan. Read more here

Mottley quits Energy Task Force

Wendell Mottley has resigned as chairman of Government’s Energy Task Force, saying he can no longer lead in negotiations for both the Sandals project and the renegotiation of new LNG contracts with the multinational oil and gas companies. Mottley confirmed to the T&T Guardian that he has quit and said while he is prepared to help where he can, he was no longer able to commit himself to helping the Government on a daily basis. Read more here

‘Spanish’ women: We are being beaten in prison

Prison Commissioner Gerald Wilson has launched an investigation into attacks on Spanish-speaking inmates at the Women’s Prison in Golden Grove. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Govt Senator gets conditional discharge

Government Senator Dr Lester Henry, who pleaded guilty to driving drunk at Warren Street, Woodbrook, on September 23, was given a conditional discharge when he appeared in the Port of Spain Magistrates Court for sentencing in March. He was charged after police stopped his car and administered a breathalyser test which showed his blood alcohol content was 51 micro grammes. The legal limit is 35 micro grammes of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of breath. Henry was given the conditional discharge in accordance with section 71(1)(b) of the Summary Courts Act and placed on a bond to keep the peace for three years. Read more here

Chemical Board moves to ban Gramoxone —Rambharat

The Pesticides and Chemicals Board, chaired by the Chief Medical Officer, is currently considering the banning of importation and distribution of Gramoxone, Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat has revealed. He did so in Parliament yesterday, replying to questions from UNC MP Vidya Guyadeen-Gopeesingh. Rambharat said herbicide paraquat is commonly referred to as Gramoxone. The latter is one of 16 brand-name herbicides sold locally with paraquat as the active ingredient. Trade names include Sunquat, Raze, Gramoxone, Super, Wopro Super and Weedless. Read more here

Property tax bill passed: Pay for your dog house

Property owners will have to pay for any dog house, fowl pen, duck pond or any structure on their land, says Finance Minister Colm Imbert. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Royal Bank cracks down on ATM fraud

Darryl White, managing director, RBC Royal Bank (T&T), yesterday assured the bank’s customers that their money is safe. He also warned that fraudsters will feel the full brunt of the law. His comments came after four people were charged with ATM fraud in which an empty envelope was deposited following which monies were withdrawn. In an interview, White said the bank’s security systems have been increased and they are working closely with the police. Read more here

Tax bill should make T&T compliant

That review will determine whether the country’s legal and regulatory systems are in place to exchange tax information with other countries and, consequently, if T&T will remain on the EU’s non-compliant list. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Devotion Dispute - Schools Insist On Morning Prayers But Not Compulsory For All Students

Concerns are being raised about the current format of devotions in schools. The most recent concerns were expressed in a letter to The Gleaner, which claimed that students who were not interested in participating in devotions were not being accommodated. "I recently visited a prominent high school in St Andrew to meet a parent. Devotion was in progress, and I noticed a group of students loitering in the car park. When I enquired of them why they were not in devotion, a few of them answered that they were of a different religion than that of the school's," the letter said. "Others claimed that it was a boring and uncomfortable exercise. They said that oftentimes, the person officiating went on well beyond his/her allotted time. And during all of this time, they had to stand in the broiling morning sun. This then got me thinking whether devotions, in their present form, should not be discontinued in schools," the letter continued. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Liege shooting: Two police and passer-by dead in Belgium

A man has shot dead two police officers and a nearby driver in the eastern Belgian city of Liège. The gunman took a female cleaner hostage at a school before being killed by police. Two other police officers were also injured. The man's motive is not yet clear but terror prosecutors are looking after the case. Police sources quoted in local media said the man was heard shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("God is greatest" in Arabic). "There are elements that point in the direction that this is a terrorist act," Eric Van Der Sypt, spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor's office, told the AFP news agency. Belgian broadcaster RTBF said the gunman had only been released from prison on Monday. It said that he may have been radicalised while in jail. Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel said he was following the situation closely and expressed his support for those caught up in the shooting. Read more here

Top North Korean official Kim Yong Chol heading to US

One of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's top officials is traveling to the United States as the two countries lay the groundwork for on-again, off-again talks between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12. Trump himself confirmed the news of Kim Yong Chol's trip to the US early Tuesday, tweeting: "We have put a great team together for our talks with North Korea. Meetings are currently taking place concerning Summit, and more. Kim Young Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea, heading now to New York. Solid response to my letter, thank you!" Read more here

29th May 2018

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