Daily Brief - Friday 10th January, 2020


Is UTT’s president quitting to return to Iraq?

An e-mail sent to the media on Thursday has left more questions than answers as to whether or not Prof Sarim Al-Zubaidy had quit his post as president of the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT). An unattributed e-mailed statement from one "Ms Hosein" claimed he left the post, but the university's corporate communications unit told Newsday they knew of no such thing. The e-mail claimed, “Iraqi Sarim Al-Zubaidy has resigned as President of UTT. Professor Prakash Persad is now in charge. Al Zubaidy is reported to be rushing to his homeland in Iraq to rescue his relatives from US rocket attacks in Al Asad.” Read more here

Call for family, friends to help domestic violence victims

Gen­der ac­tivist Asiya Mo­hammed has called for fam­i­lies and friends to play a greater role of in­ter­ven­tion in abu­sive re­la­tion­ships. “I think we all have a per­son­al re­spon­si­bil­i­ty whether it is at the in­di­vid­ual lev­el, whether it is at the NGO lev­el or whether it is at the gov­ern­ment lev­el, to do our very best to pro­vide sup­port to those liv­ing in abu­sive re­la­tion­ships who want to leave. They may want some­one to speak to, they may re­quire coun­sel­ing,’ said the CEO of Con­flict Women dur­ing an in­ter­view on the CNC 3 News last night. Mo­hammed said of­ten do­mes­tic vi­o­lence vic­tims are en­cour­aged to stay in strained re­la­tion­ships with po­ten­tial dan­ger be­cause they are told that dis­agree­ment or con­flict are seen as nor­mal. “That’s of­ten what we see is a huge chal­lenge with do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. Par­ents of the sur­vivor, for ex­am­ple, may say its fam­i­ly busi­ness you may work this out, work hard on your mar­riage. They’re not recog­nis­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence as a crime,” she said. Read more here



Ex-head of defence staff: Diplomacy tops war in Iran

The US and Iran are capable of hurting each other militarily and so they should be helped to reach a diplomatic solution to their conflict, advised TT former chief of defence staff Rodney Smart. Newsday spoke to Smart minutes after US President Donald Trump’s live address the day after Iranian missiles hit bases in Iraq housing US soldiers, who eluded death. “The US is undoubtedly a superpower while Iran is a middle power,” Smart said. “Both are capable of inflicting heavy losses on each other, and heightened conflict between these two powers would no doubt destabilise the region, and by extension could lead to challenges throughout the world.” Smart urged a better outcome. Read more here

PM welcomes Moonilal’s court action over text comments

Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley has wel­comed “go­ing to court” af­ter he was sued by UNC MP Dr Roodal Mooni­lal whom he al­leged­ly named in a con­ver­sa­tion with Fix­in T&T’s Kirk Wait­he. It was pub­lished in the Ex­press re­cent­ly. Row­ley spoke about the de­vel­op­ment at a cock­tail par­ty on Wednes­day host­ed by the rul­ing PNM at the Au­di­to­ri­um at the Gov­ern­ment Cam­pus Port-of-Spain. He said he re­ceived the pre-ac­tion pro­to­col let­ter ear­li­er. The al­leged re­marks at is­sue were made in a 2019 What­sApp ex­change be­tween Row­ley and Wait­he who had ex­pressed con­cerns about Min­is­ter Camille Robin­son Reg­is’ con­tro­ver­sial 2016 bank­ing trans­ac­tion. Read more here



Don’t raise the prices please

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has appealed to manufacturers, importers, distributors and supermarket owners to refrain from increasing prices in the current economic climate. Read more here



Crawford In Limbo - Paulwell Says Portland East Exit Not A Done Deal; Confirms Fagan In St Catherine South East

Uncertainty looms over the political future of People’s National Party (PNP) Vice-President Damion Crawford heading into the next general election, but campaign director Phillip Paulwell says the party is working to heal a new fracture. Crawford yesterday confirmed that he has been wanting to step out of the PNP’s shadow Cabinet because he has taken a financial hit since returning to representational politics. The PNP politician lost a by-election last April against the Jamaica Labour Party’s Ann-Marie Vaz to represent Portland Eastern. Read more here

GTA equipping businesses for tourism sector

With Guyana having been named one of the top tourism destinations for 2020, Guyanese business persons and entrepreneurs are set to benefit from higher levels of income. Many of these entrepreneurs have been making strides to enhance their services and their capacity to fulfil the needs of their various consumers. The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) has implemented several strategies, including training, to ensure business persons are well equipped to benefit from the growing levels of business that will be experienced from the growing tourism sector. Read more here



Iranian official says reports that missiles downed Ukrainian passenger plane 'a big lie'

A spokesman for the Iranian government said reports that missiles downed the Ukraine International Airlines flight that crashed near Tehran Wednesday are "a big lie," state-run media reported. The spokesman, Ali Rabiei, accused the United States of spreading misinformation about the crash, in which all 176 people on board were killed. "No one will assume responsibility for such a big lie once it is known that the claim had been fraudulent," Rabiei said in a statement, according to Press TV. "It is unfortunate that the psychological operation of the US government, and those supporting it knowingly and unknowingly, are adding insult to the injury of the bereaved families and victimizing them for certain goals by propagating such fallacies." Read more here

Boeing 737 Max: Worker said plane 'designed by clowns'

The release of a batch of internal messages has raised more questions about the safety of Boeing's 737 Max. In one of the communications, an employee said the plane was "designed by clowns". The planemaker described the communications as "completely unacceptable". The 737 Max was grounded in March 2019 after two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, which killed almost 350 people in total. Boeing said it had released the hundreds of redacted messages as part of its commitment to transparency. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and US Congress were given unredacted versions of the communications last month. "These communications do not reflect the company we are and need to be, and they are completely unacceptable," Boeing said. Read more here

10th January 2020


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