Daily Brief - Friday 10th November, 2017


BIR present, Customs absent

Three days after PSA President Watson Duke called on public servants both at Board of Inland Revenue (BIR) and Customs and Excise Division to rest and reflect yesterday and today, it was business as usual at the BIR office. However, at the Customs and Excise Division, a staff member told Newsday some senior officers did not show up for work. The worker said the few workers who showed up were not working as they should. Read more here

$.8m bail for cop charged in photographer assault case

A 47-year-old police corporal will appear before a Siparia magistrate today charged with assaulting Guardian Media photographer Kristian De Silva and damaging De Silva’s Canon camera. Billy Ramsundar was yesterday granted $80,000 bail by a Justice of the Peace and ordered to reappear in court today. Ramsundar was initially expected to make a court appearance before a Port-of-Spain magistrate but due to a mix up he will appear today in Siparia. Read more here

Workers rescue children from burning house 

A routine drive from their jobsite to the company's office in Guayaguayare turned into a rescue mission for four men on Wednesday. Tevin Straker, an employee of Southern Maintenance Services Ltd, was driving along an oilfield road off Naparima/Mayaro Road in Mayaro, when he noticed a house on fire. Read more here



PM heads to China

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley will visit Beijing at month-end in a group of ten national leaders chosen for high-level meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and then to do a State visit to other areas of China. This, from Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young at yesterday’s post-Cabinet news briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s. The Prime Minister’s wife, Sharon Rowley, will be in his delegation. Read more here

PSA members protest against own boss

In an unprecedented move yesterday, the Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU) staged a noisy protest against Public Services Association (PSA) president Watson Duke for ill-treating 18 of his workers. Leading the protest outside the PSA’s Port-of-Spain headquarters was Kestor Duncan, president of PSA staff, who claimed for eight years Duke has been ignoring the plight of his staff, which ranged from health and safety concerns, non- functioning toilets, electrical issues and uncertainty of being paid a pension upon retirement. Read more here

Govt Ministers from Tobago at housing disadvantage

A CABINET decision to assign Tobagonian Ministers Shamfa Cudjoe and Ayanna Webster-Roy Government-reserved housing at the upscale Victoria Keyes development in Diego Martin has placed them at a disadvantage through the loss of their housing allowances, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young has said. Read more here



Fitness for the future

Losing weight and staying in shape can be difficult, and sometimes finding a conveniently located gym that caters to your specific needs is equally challenging. Therefore, a team of young creatives have simplified the process through the soon to be launched IslandFit website. “There’s no one-sized fits all approach to physical fitness,” co-founder Sandev Mackoon explained to Business Day recently. The 24-year-old entrepreneur and health “buff” explained the concept behind the website and mobile app. Read more here

Ambassador warns politicians on delaying Global Forum legislation

Ahead of the Global Forum package of legislation being laid in the Parliament for debate, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary-US and the OAS for Antigua and Barbuda, Ronald Sanders yesterday warned against political rivalry hampering the passage of the legislation and its implementation in T&T. If the Global Forum legislation is not passed and implemented it could have repercussions for T&T's financial sector such as de-banking. Read more here

Mayers appointed chairman of TSTT

Investment manager, Robert Mayers was yesterday confirmed as the new chairman of majority State-owned Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT). In a one-sentence statement, the Ministry of Public Utilities said Mayers was appointed as TSTT's new chairman, following a Cabinet meeting held yesterday. Read more here



Brady's Close Call - Avoids Eviction For Outstanding Rent

Disbarred attorney Harold Brady narrowly avoided eviction from his rented home in the upscale St Andrew community of Cherry Gardens yesterday minutes before bailiffs were set to move in with two court orders.A team, under the supervision of Oswald Sherriah, bailiff for the Supreme Court, gathered outside Brady's home shortly after daybreak yesterday armed with an eviction order and an order for the seizure and sale of items found inside. "The reason the truck is not here is because I was asked to hold until 10 o'clock [yesterday] because the person who owes the money is supposed to be paying if not all, a portion of same," Sherriah told The Gleaner shortly before midday. Read more here



France's Macron makes surprise Saudi visit amid Lebanon crisis

French President Emmanuel Macron has paid an unscheduled visit to Saudi Arabia amid an escalating crisis between the kingdom and Lebanon. His trip comes days after Lebanese PM Saad Hariri resigned while in Riyadh, saying he feared for his life. Foes Saudi Arabia and Iran have accused each other of fuelling instability in Lebanon and the wider region. Mr Macron and Saudi officials also discussed the crisis in Yemen, where Riyadh is leading a war against rebels. France has historical ties with Lebanon, as its former colonial power before it gained independence during World War Two. Read more here

Trump delivers 'America first' speech at Asia-Pacific economic summit

President Donald Trumpbrought his hard-line economic nationalism to a summit of Pacific Rim leaders here Friday, issuing a stern rebuke of trade practices that have harmed American workers. But the President also continued to insist his US predecessors are to blame. "We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore," Trump said in a speech at the start of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. "I am always going to put America first, the same way I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first." Read more here

10th November 2017


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