Daily Brief - Friday 13th November, 2020


UWI's Beckles: Biden/Harris victory a ‘win’ for Caribbean

UWI Vice-Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles says the Biden/Harris victory is also “a win” for the Caribbean. He was speaking at a virtual media conference on Thursday afternoon under the theme Caricom, the UWI, Biden and the Future of Our Voice. Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris were called as winners of the US presidential election on November 7 with an estimated 279 electoral college votes over President Donald Trump’s 214. Harris is of Indian and Jamaican descent. Beckles said everyone ought to “read this circumstance carefully. Read more here

Elder, 68, accused of raping girl, 13, in church

A 68-year-old church elder from Curepe was arrested and charged yesterday for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old member of his church. According to police, the man was charged with four counts of sexual touching and one count of sexual penetration of a minor by WPC Brathwaite of the Port-of-Spain Child Protection Unit. Police said a report was made in July 2020 by the child that while she was attending church in Port-of-Spain, the elder sexually assaulted her. The victim told investigators the incidents happened between November 2019 and April 2020. The child said she attended Saturday youth sessions at the church and the elder would wait until she was alone in the room to assault her. Read more here




Dennis: Buccoo Marine Park draft bill to be debated next week

A draft bill governing the operations of the Buccoo Marine Park will be debated in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) next week. Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis made the announcement on Wednesday at the post-executive council media briefing at the Victor E Bruce Financial Complex, Scarborough. “It is my hope that after it is passed by the assembly that it will get to the Cabinet and that at some point in the very near future become law so that we, here in Tobago, can manage that critical Buccoo Marine Park and other sensitive spaces, coral reef systems and other spaces that are valuable to us here in Tobago,” he said. Read more here

Ministry preparing means test for students needing laptops

Over 20,000 laptops will be procured by the government to distribute to students in need of devices. Minister of Education, Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly told Guardian Media this is estimated to cost taxpayers approximately $50,000,000, the amount allotted by the Finance Minister during the 2021 Budget presentation last month. According to Dr Gadsby-Dolly, the Ministry of Education has already compiled the list of students in need of devices to be able to continue with online-schooling. She noted, however, a means test is being designed to further filter out those who already received donations. The Minister said she expects that the devices, being procured through the Ministry of Public Administration and Digital Transformation, will be made available “as soon as possible.” Read more here



ANSA Merchant seesnet profit growth for Q3 ...expecting strong Q4

ANSA Merchant Bank Ltd (AMBL) has recorded 32 per cent increase in net profit for the third quarter (Q3) ended September 30, as it recorded $9.9 million increase from its 2019 figure of $30.8 million. In the company’s financial statements, Chairman A Norman Sabga added that the bank group earned a consolidated profit before tax (PBT) of $57 million for the three month period ended September 30, 2020, as compared to $50 million in the same quarter of last year, in increase of 16 per cent year over year. Read more here

Workers finally paid after cyber attack

Over 1,300 daily-paid workers of the Port of Spain Regional Corporation are breathing a sigh of relief, as they have finally received their salaries after a ransomware attack last month made it impossible for staff to access data or recover several of its servers. Read more here



PM: I’ll Be First To Shut It Down - Holness Defends Puerto Bueno Decision

It was not for money why the Government overruled the local environment watchdog in permitting mining in the ecologically sensitive Puerto Bueno Mountain in St Ann, the tourism-dependent parish on Jamaica’s northern coast, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has charged. However, Holness’ promise that he will shut down the project if there are breaches is hardly convincing for residents and advocates who have expressed disappointment that the head of government is sticking with his decision. Read more here

Working together

THE rebuilding of economies and the strengthening of public health systems, within the group, will depend, in large part, on their ability to work together towards developing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines as a global public good, said President Irfaan Ali. The President offered these remarks during his address at the 44th annual meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 and China, held virtually on Thursday. He underscored that, if developing states are to recover from the debilitating and far-reaching effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), it is imperative that they internalise the lessons of the pandemic and chart an inclusive, balanced and sustainable development path. Read more here



Biden carries Arizona, flipping a longtime Republican stronghold

For just the second time in more than seven decades, a Democrat will carry Arizona in a presidential election, a monumental shift for a state that was once a Republican stronghold. CNN projected on Thursday that President-elect Joe Biden will carry Arizona, defeating President Donald Trump and providing Democrats in Arizona and the universe of allied grassroots organizations in the state with a crowning achievement a decade in the making. Read more here

Coronavirus: Too early for Christmas travel plans, European countries say

A number of European countries have warned that it is too early to plan for Christmas travel, as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the continent. In Sweden, people have been told to prepare for possible travel restrictions during the holiday period. Meanwhile Irish and French authorities said it was too soon to say if people could make travel arrangements. With six weeks until the festive season, lockdowns and other measures are in force in several countries. Portugal has significantly expanded the number of places subject to a night curfew. From Monday, three-quarters of the country will be under the government's toughest restrictions. Read more here


13th November 2020


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