Daily Brief - Friday 14th February, 2020

NEWS

Relatives: Police delay led to murder victim's death

As the tents and chairs were being laid out for the wake of Charan Dev Singh on Thursday, neighbours believed he would be alive if police responded to their distress call in time. Singh, 24, of San Francisco Settlement, Chickland, Freeport was shot in the chest around 8.50 pm on Wednesday at his neighbour’s home but later died while being treated at the Couva District Health Facility. Police said Singh along with his father, retired police officer Mathura Singh, Mary Ann Edmund and her brother-in-law, Micahel Jeoffroy, were standing in front of Edmund’s parlour after he helped review some CCTV footage. Two masked men brandishing guns approached the group, announced a hold-up and ordered them to lie on the ground. The older Singh who became afraid for his life drew his personal Sig Sauer nine millimetre and fired one shot, which police believed struck one of the bandits. Read more here

Griffith: Carnival fetes safest place to be in T&T

Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith is as­sur­ing that de­spite the surge in mur­ders, mea­sures are be­ing tak­en to re­store a lev­el of se­cu­ri­ty to cit­i­zens es­pe­cial­ly dur­ing the Car­ni­val sea­son. The pledge comes as the pub­lic con­tin­ues to grap­ple with an uptick in crime and vi­o­lence and lament their vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty to crim­i­nals. Dur­ing a drill with var­i­ous arms of the Trinidad and To­ba­go Po­lice Ser­vice (TTPS) ahead of the Car­ni­val sea­son yes­ter­day at the Po­lice Acad­e­my, Com­mis­sion­er Grif­fith said the cur­rent blood­shed was not re­lat­ed to the Car­ni­val sea­son and added that mea­sures have been put in place to bol­ster the pro­tec­tion of cit­i­zens. “There is an op­er­a­tional plan for every sin­gle event, so prob­a­bly the safest event to be is at­tend­ing Car­ni­val fetes. So I want the pub­lic to be com­fort­able. No need to be fear­ful, just be care­ful. We are out in full force at every Car­ni­val event.” Read more here

 

POLITICS

Don’t Blame Patriotic

OWTU head Ancel Roget said his union’s Patriotic Energy and Technologies Company has not sought any time extension in its negotiations to buy Pointe-a-Pierre refinery, in apparent contrast to recent remarks by the Prime Minister. On Wednesday Dr Rowley told the House of Representatives, “There is some element of delay involved but we can’t go faster than Patriotic is prepared to go...So if Patriotic has asked for some additional information in this review of the plant, that’s just part of the process.” Finance Minister Colm Imbert on September 20, 2019, gave Patriotic a month to spell out its US$700 million business plan. Roget told Newsday Patriotic has long been ready to inspect the refinery but has been delayed by having to wait for the Ministry of Energy’s nod. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Massy makes $167m in profit in first quarter

Massy Hold­ings Ltd has reg­is­tered a $167 mil­lion in prof­it af­ter tax for the first quar­ter (Q1) of the 2020 fi­nan­cial year. In the com­pa­ny’s fi­nan­cial state­ment, Massy chair­man Robert Bermudez said, “Low­er ef­fec­tive tax rate (aris­ing from Bar­ba­dos tax re­forms in 2019) pro­duced an even high­er in­crease in prof­it af­ter tax (PAT) of 13 per cent to $167 mil­lion.” The com­pa­ny al­so post­ed third- par­ty rev­enue of $3.27 bil­lion, two per cent above the pri­or year’s Q1 third-par­ty rev­enue. The group’s prof­it be­fore tax (PBT) of $250 mil­lion was al­so eight per cent high­er than PBT in Q1 pri­or year. The or­gan­i­sa­tion’s earn­ings per share (EPS) saw an in­crease from $1.37 per share in the pri­or year to $1.57 per share in Q1 of FY 2020, which rep­re­sents a 15 per cent in­crease. Read more here

Govt, Opposition at odds over tax bills

Finance Minister Colm Imbert said the Government could not risk having important legislation failing in the Parliament and affecting this country’s relationship with the Global Forum. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Dollars For DUST - J$40m Compensation For JISCO/Alpart Nuisance

Close to 1,200 residents in 10 St Elizabeth communities affected by a dust nuisance emanating from the JISCO/Alpart mud lake in the parish have been offered a J$40-million compensation package after days of discussions, at times heated, with the bauxite company about their concerns. Daryl Vaz, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, said yesterday that the affected communities of Upper Warminster, Myersville, Alvalley, Lower Warminster, Upper Brinkley, Northampton, Lower Brinkley, Austin, Bounevista Housing Scheme, and Genious are to receive the compensation from the management of JISCO. “JISCO has agreed to compensate for the dust events that took place in December and one which took place in early January, at total settlement for four days compensation,” Vaz told residents, following a visit to the affected area. Read more here

Banks DIH pours money into education institutions

Education is inseparable from economic development, President David Granger reminded at the Banks DIH Jubilee Republic Anniversary Education Celebration and Award Ceremony on Thursday. The ceremony was held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre and saw the local beverage company handing over donations of $250,000 each to 15 public education institutions, many of them technical and vocational institutions. President Granger described the initiative as a celebration of Guyana’s statehood, public education and a private corporation’s demonstration of social good. The President related that celebrating education as part of the country’s Jubilee Republic anniversary is very apt as “education was a central feature of the republic’s pursuit of national development”. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Over 1,700 frontline medics infected with coronavirus in China presenting new crisis for the government

Ning Zhu, a nurse in Wuhan, the central Chinese city at the heart of a deadly coronavirus outbreak, is restless. Instead of helping on the frontlines, she has been under self-quarantine at home for weeks, after a chest scan on January 26 revealed that she had a suspected case of the novel Coronavirus. Zhu was told to wait for a nucleic acid test that would provide the final verdict, but it never came. "Right now, it's really a problem. Our hospital already has more than 100 people who are quarantined at home," she told CNN over the phone. An additional 30 medical workers have been confirmed to have the virus, she said. "If the tests are fine, we can go back to work. I actually don't have any symptoms, there's just a slight problem with my CT scan, it seems there's a bit of infection," she said. Read more here

Antarctic island hits record temperature of 20.75C

Antarctica has exceeded 20C for the first time, after researchers logged a temperature of 20.75C on an island off the coast of the continent. Brazilian scientist Carlos Schaefer told AFP they had "never seen a temperature this high in Antarctica". But he warned the temperature, logged on 9 February, was just one reading and not part of a long-term data set. The continent also hit a record last week, with a temperature reading of 18.3C on the Antarctic Peninsula. This latest reading was taken at a monitoring station on Seymour Island, part of a chain of islands off the same peninsula, at the northernmost point of the continent. Although the temperature is a record high, Mr Schaefer emphasized that the reading was not part of a wider study and so, in itself, could not be used to predict a trend. "We can't use this to anticipate climatic changes in the future. It's a data point," he said. "It's simply a signal that something different is happening in that area." Read more here

14th February 2020

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