Daily Brief - Friday 10th May, 2019

NEWS

Griffith defends police officers

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has come to the defence of his officers when asked if there was any truth some of them were involved with gang members. He said the police service is not perfect and there will always be rogue elements, but there are also many good officers. “We keep talking about rogue elements in the police service, it has become a road march. You are not talking about rogue elements as politicians, members of the media, members of the business community. Why is it always rogue elements in the police service? Read more here

Soldiers on patrol at Sando Wharf

Sol­diers from the T&T De­fence Force kept watch at the San Fer­nan­do port on Thurs­day as the Min­istry of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty tight­ened sur­veil­lance around T&T’s mar­itime bor­ders. The pres­ence of the of­fi­cers was wel­comed by the res­i­dents of King’s Wharf who said boat­loads of Venezue­lans have been en­ter­ing the coun­try se­cret­ly over the past few months. A na­tion­al se­cu­ri­ty source, who re­quest­ed anonymi­ty, said the sol­diers were part of a spe­cial op­er­a­tion. David Richards who lives on the Wharf said he was hap­py that the mil­i­tary was now keep­ing watch at the port. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Young: DUI, corruption not the same

Communications Minister Stuart Young defended Government Senator Dr Lester Henry against online memes calling for the economist to demit his Senate seat on the basis of a DUI (driving under the influence) conviction in line with former senator Gerald Ramdeen quitting the Opposition bench to fight corruption charges in the law court. While memes had sought to liken the two cases, Young flatly rejected that claim at yesterday’s post Cabinet briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, and argued for Henry’s suitability to stay in Senate. Read more here

South raids not connected to Anand, Ramdeen case—Young

Last week’s raids on cer­tain South homes had noth­ing to do with the al­leged cor­rup­tion-re­lat­ed cas­es of Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress mem­bers Anand Ram­lo­gan and Ger­ald Ramdeen - but there was very good rea­son for these homes to be searched, Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young said at yes­ter­day’s post-Cab­i­net me­dia brief­ing. Young made the com­ment as he sup­port­ed Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley’s re­cent view that war­rants weren’t al­ways need­ed for some search­es. He said if there’s rea­son­able sus­pi­cion a crime is about to be per­pe­trat­ed or is be­ing per­pe­trat­ed, po­lice “have the au­thor­i­ty” to en­ter premis­es to deal with what’s about to be done and pre­vent it. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Is the recession over?

Despite the government’s claims of an economic turnaround, retailers are yet to feel that impact. “How can we be out of recession when every day customers saying that they can’t buy anything? We have kept our prices affordable and still people just won’t buy,” one store manager at South Park in Tarouba told Business Day. The woman, who sells household items, said sales have been dismal, and are only getting worse – something she links directly to the closure of the former Petrotrin refinery in nearby Pointe-a-Pierre. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Deadly Riddle - Family Considers New Procedure As Autopsies In Alleged Rogue Cop Drama Raise Fresh Questions

The results of autopsies conducted on a civilian and a policeman killed under controversial circumstances in St Catherine two weeks ago have raised more questions regarding the events of the fateful night. The two died following a wild, high-speed chase and gunfight between an off-duty policeman and three of his colleagues who allegedly murdered a businessman at a party in St Catherine two weeks ago. The results of the autopsy performed on civilian Kevron Burrell made no reference to any bullet wound. Instead, they indicated that he died from blunt-force trauma. Further, the post-mortem performed on the body of Corporal Rohan Williams, one of the alleged rogue cops implicated in the businessman’s death, found that he, too, had died from blunt-force trauma, making no reference to bullet wounds, sources told The Gleaner yesterday. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

French troops free hostages in Burkina Faso

Four foreign hostages have been freed by French forces in the West African country of Burkina Faso, the French government says. Two of those released are French, while the other two are said to be an American woman and a South Korean woman. Two French soldiers were killed during the rescue raid, the statement from the French presidency said. The French hostages had been kidnapped in neighbouring Benin on 1 May. Their release was secured through a military operation conducted on Thursday night in the north of Burkina Faso, the Elysée palace said. Frenchmen Patrick Picque and Laurent Lassimouillas disappeared in the remote Pendjari National Park in Benin where they had been on safari. Their local guide was found dead. Read more here

Trump heats up yet another global crisis by escalating China trade war

Donald Trump just laid another risky global bet -- escalating a trade war with China by imposing additional tariffs on Chinese goods in the midst of ongoing trade talks -- and neither he nor anyone else can be sure of what happens next. The sharp escalation could rattle investors and is the latest manifestation of the building superpower conflict across the Pacific. It will stoke new concern about the President's unapologetically unpredictable statesmanship. Read more here

10th May 2019

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