Daily Brief - Friday 11th January, 2019

NEWS

Electrical repairs completed at desal plant

Repairs at the Point Lisas desalination plant were completed last Sunday and production returned to the contracted flow of 40 million gallons of water per day (mgd). The plant had to be closed last week Friday, the second closure in four weeks, which saw many residents in Central and South Trinidad without pipe-borne water. Manager, corporate communications at the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) Daniel Plenty said the disruptions in operations which arose at the plant on December 3 last year and January 4 this year, were related to unforeseen electrical problems. Read more here

WASA working to fix their potholes

The dream of every mo­torist to com­mute pot­hole-free roads in the coun­try is not a pie in the sky. So says for­mer di­rec­tor of high­ways Roger Ganesh a day af­ter his suc­ces­sor Navin Ram­s­ingh told a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee that 90 per cent of com­plaints the Min­istry of Works re­ceived were about pot­holes at­trib­uted to the Wa­ter and Sewage Au­thor­i­ty (WASA). Act­ing CEO of WASA Alan Poon-King ac­knowl­edged that the au­thor­i­ty had de­vel­oped a rep­u­ta­tion for dam­ag­ing roads but as­sured that new sys­tems were in place to min­imise the de­vel­op­ment of pot­holes fol­low­ing re­pair works. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Tewarie: PM misrepresenting facts

Caroni Central MP Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie has described the Prime Minister’s two-part national address as a “misrepresentation of the facts and a manipulation of numbers” saying the previous government’s $9 billion overdraft at the Central Bank was “well within the law and below the Central Bank limit at that time.” He said the PNM Administration has since “raised the ceiling for overdraft borrowing” and this has prompted the IMF, in its last report, to warn them about overdraft borrowing. Read more here

Ministry on alert after 3 Swine Flu deaths

The Health Min­istry is on high alert for cas­es of Swine Flu fol­low­ing the death of a third pa­tient from the dead­ly virus. A state­ment from the South-West Re­gion­al Health Au­thor­i­ty in re­sponse to the Guardian’s re­port on the death of a Tabaquite woman said “prop­er med­ical pro­ce­dures were fol­lowed” at the San Fer­nan­do Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal in treat­ing Nicole Seecha­ran. “The SWRHA con­tin­ues to be on height­ened alert and sur­veil­lance for swine flu cas­es and has co­or­di­nat­ed all its fa­cil­i­ties to be ful­ly pre­pared for any fur­ther pres­ence of the dis­ease in the South-West Re­gion,” the state­ment said. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Energy boost

The TT Energy Chamber, in its outlook for the year, is predicting a modest recovery for the local energy sector in 2019, based on increased natural gas production, and hence, increased liquefied natural gas (LNG) and petrochemical exports. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

No Support For Maduro - Kingston, Caracas Rift Deepens As Jamaica Backs OAS Resolution Not To Recognise Venezuela’s President

Jamaica yesterday sided with 18 other members of the Organization of American States (OAS) in favour of a resolution not to recognise the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro's new term as Venezuela's president. The resolution was passed in Washington minutes after Maduro was sworn in for a second term in Caracas, Venezuela, and included a demand for new presidential elections - with all necessary guarantees of a free, fair, transparent, and legitimate process - to be held at an early date, attended by international observers. The resolution also underscored that the OAS Permanent Council and the Meeting of Consultation of Foreign Ministers remained ready to engage in diplomatic initiatives, including good offices, aimed at promoting dialogue in Venezuela, with a view to arriving at a political solution to the crisis in that country. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Snow brings parts of Europe to standstill

Heavy snowfalls brought chaos to parts of Germany and Sweden on Friday, leaving roads blocked, trains halted and schools shut. The Red Cross helped drivers stuck on a motorway in the southern German state of Bavaria as schools and rail services were also hit. A nine-year-old boy was killed by a falling tree on Thursday. Northern Sweden was hit by a storm that made roads impassable. Austrian rescuers had to battle through chest-deep snow to reach a snowboarder. The 41-year-old Pole had lost his way after going off piste at the resort of Schlossalmbahn. Read more here

Aftershocks of Trump Syria exit plan shake allies and region

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted Thursday that there has been no contradiction in the shifting US strategy in Syria or confusion about it -- claims that fly in the face of shocked responses from allies in the Middle East and beyond. As Pompeo and other US officials continue to qualify the terms and timing of a US pullout of troops from Syria -- altering President Donald Trump's December 19 assertion that forces would leave "now" -- the fallout is beginning. Read more here

11th January 2019

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