Daily Brief - Friday 14th January, 2022

NEWS

Griffith on restart of CoP selection: Transformation needed in Trinidad and Tobago

Former police commissioner Gary Griffith says he is not surprised by the Police Service Commission (PSC) decision to restart the selection process for a new commissioner. He described the decision as an abuse of a flawed Consitution. A media release from the PSC on Thursday announced the new selection process would begin with Legal Notice No 277 of 2021 being considered. The notice which was issued in November facilitates a fresh search for a CoP and Deputy Commissioner. This means the merit list for Commissioner of Police done by the previous PSC will no longer apply. Read more here

 

POLITICS

House debates procurement rules

The House of Representatives will on Friday debate ten regulations towards enacting the partially-proclaimed Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act 2015, amid uncertainty as to when the rest of the act will be proclaimed. Similar regulations were laid in the House last July and last December, two past House order papers recorded. Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal on Thursday told Newsday that MPs were now unsure as to what part of the act was proclaimed and what was unproclaimed. He viewed these delays as "deliberate and wilful" in order for certain Government mega-deals to have been exempted from the act's purview, such as the Government's restructuring of the energy sector. Read more here

Minister: Public sector safe zones to be addressed in the next day or two

On track for next Monday? The question of whether Government is on track for the projected January 17 start of quasi public sector safe zones will be addressed “in the next day or two” according to Public Administration Digital Transformation Minister Allyson West yesterday. West replied on Thursday when Guardian Media asked if the administration is on track for January 17 since law for the plan is yet to be passed in both Houses of Parliament. The date was projected in a December 31 memo to ministries. A bill titled the Miscellaneous Provision (Testing and Identification) is on Parliament’s agenda today. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Angelo’s Restaurant closing its doors

Angelo’s Restaurant which served fine Italian dining for almost three decades is closing its doors. The establishment, located at 38 Ariapita Avenue and Corneilo Street, Woodbrook, made the statement on social media without giving a specific reason for the decision. However, the restaurant is assuring its customers that it’s not the end of its service. “Over the last 27 years, Chef Angelo has been honoured to serve you the finest authentic Italian dishes. “However, we are excited to announce that in the near future we will be reopened as a new business with fresh ideas and exciting products for you,” the statement said. Read more here

Barita makes major moves in US

Stockbrokerage and securities dealer Barita Investments Ltd yesterday said it had successfully financed “a landmark transaction for Jamaica and Barita”. Majority State-owned bank, First Citizens, is the second largest shareholder in Barita, through a wholly owned subsidiary, First Citizens Investment Services Ltd. FCIS holds 90,795,154 Barita shares, which were worth J$8.61 billion or US$56.29 million. First Citizens loaned Cornerstone Financial Holdings Ltd US$25 million in September 2020. “The transaction saw Ecommerce Property Services Ltd (Ecommerce), a Jamaican firm, acquiring three United States-based tech-driven real estate services companies. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Direct earnings from O&G sector climbs to US$607.8M

Guyana’s rapidly growing Natural Resources Fund (NRF) has closed off 2021 with a balance of US$607.8 million, which is in excess of G$126.9 billion. This was according to Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, who, in an invited comment on Thursday, said that this increase is owed to payments received for the country’s eighth oil lift, which took place in November last. Based on calculations, this means that the country was paid approximately US$73.8 million or more than G$15.4 billion for its latest oil sale of about one million barrels. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Lockdown parties in No 10 on eve of Prince Philip's funeral

Downing Street staff held two parties the night before Prince Philip's funeral - at a time when Covid restrictions banned indoor mixing. The events, first reported by The Telegraph, took place on 16 April 2021 and went on until the early hours. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was not at either party - but it raises further questions about a culture of rule-breaking at Downing Street. The PM is facing calls to resign from the opposition and some senior Tories. He has urged MPs to wait for the outcome of an investigation into lockdown gatherings in government buildings by senior civil servant Sue Gray, which is expected as early as next week. Read more here

How long you can wear your N95, according to experts

You're ready to swap your old cloth masks for N95s as some experts recommend, but the higher price tag and two little words -- "single use" -- are giving you pause. How long can you really wear an N95 and still protect yourself and others from Covid-19 risk? "I wear mine for a week," said Linsey Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech. An N95 mask's material and filtration ability aren't "going to degrade unless you physically rub it or poke holes in it," Marr said. "You'd have to be in really polluted air ... for several days before it lost its ability to filter out particles. So, you can really wear them for a long time. "People have been talking about 40 hours -- I think that's fine. Really, it's going to get gross from your face or the straps will get too loose or maybe break before you're going to lose filtration ability," she added. Read more here

14th January 2022

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