Daily Brief - Friday 17th July, 2020


WASA CEO: Water levels at record low

WASA CEO Alan Poon King said water levels at reservoirs across TT are at record lows, with most being at 20 to 30 per cent capacity. This is well below the 50 to 60 per cent capacity expected at this time of year. He said the utility has reduced production and is managing the situation towards the target of having the reservoirs filled by December 31, 2020. During a tour of the Arena Reservoir, which serves the Caroni Water Treatment plant, Poon King said water was at the lowest level he had ever seen at the dam. Read more here

Alleged bandit killed and dumped by suspects in Penal

Two people were detained after killing an alleged bandit and dumping his body in some bushes in Penal yesterday.Police were on the scene up to last evening processing the area where they found 35-year-old Deon Chattergoon. According to a report, the main 19-year-old suspect was at his home along Clarke Road around 10.30 am when he heard a noise at his uncle’s place next door. Read more here



Govt gets US$700,000 for drug enforcement

Cabinet has agreed to an offer made by the United States to increase funding to narcotics control in TT by US$700,000. A Ministry of National Security release said the increase in funding is indicative of the continued working relationship between the US and TT in the fight against criminality. The initiative is part of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), a partnership between the US, member states of CARICOM and the Dominican Republic to advance security in the region. Read more here

PEP seeks exemption for prospective candidate

The People's Empowerment Party (PEP) has written to Minister of National Security Stuart Young seeking an exemption for one of its prospective candidates stuck in the United States. In a letter dated July 12, the PEP said that its D'abadie/Omeara candidate, Hadassah Charles Mc Leod had sent a request to the Ministry of July 5 to return from the US where she was stuck when borders were closed in March. The party said that Mc Leod only received a generic response saying that her request would be reviewed, adding that she would have had to be in the country in time to submit nomination papers to the Returning Officer on Friday. Read more here



Over 300 Swissport workers retrenched

Over 300 workers at Swissport Trinidad and Tobago, will be thrown on the breadline as of August 6, 2020. Swissport operates at Piarco International Airport and the duties include baggage handling, wheelchair assistance and cargo handling. Read more here



‘We will not bend’

The ruling coalition will not buckle under pressure, General Secretary of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Joseph Harmon, made clear on Thursday, amid increasing calls for President David Granger to concede. To heap pressure on the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition, the US Government, on Wednesday, announced the revocation of US visas, notwithstanding the fact that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has not declared the results of the General and Regional Elections held last March. Read more here

Tufton rages at queries about cheating on wife as Market Me contracts entanglement swirls

An agitated Dr Christopher Tufton, Jamaica’s minister of health and wellness, went on the offensive on Thursday evening when he bluntly told a reporter who asked if he cheated on his wife that it was “none of your business”. “I would prefer you would stick to questions around the operations of the ministry, and just as I leave you to your private life, I would like you to allow me mine. Thank you very much,” a peeved Tufton hit back, as it emerged that Market Me Consulting Limited, a public-relations agency, had benefited from coronavirus-related contracts through an unsolicited proposal. Following Tufton’s scathing retort, there was dead silence, at least for a few seconds, as Permanent Secretary Dunstan Bryan mouthed “Oh, my God!” before the digital press conference to update the country on COVID-19-related matters continued. Read more here



EU's 'moment of truth' as leaders seek Covid funding deal

EU leaders are meeting in their first face-to-face summit since the coronavirus crisis, with low expectations of a deal on a €750bn (£670bn) post-Covid stimulus package. French President Emmanuel Macron said it was a "moment of truth" for Europe and the next hours would be decisive. The main issue is how much of the recovery fund will be handed out in grants and how much in loans. They also need to agree on a seven-year budget worth another €1.07 trillion. Arriving for the talks, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said "the differences are very very big and I cannot say if we will find a solution this time". It would be desirable, she said, but people had to remain realistic. The Brussels meeting is due to continue on Saturday but EU leaders may need longer to reach a deal. Read more here

Brazil's coronavirus chaos provides a global laboratory for the vaccine race

As the coronavirus pandemic tears through Brazil, researchers and pharmaceutical companies are turning to the South American giant in search of a vaccine. Brazil, where the number of cases has now surpassed 2 million, is one of a small handful of sites for testing experimental coronavirus vaccines. It offers an unusual and appealing mix for research: a skyrocketing rate of transmission, as well as internationally respected research centers and a public health system experienced in creating and distributing vaccines. According to the World Health Organization, as of July 14, 163 Covid-19 vaccines were being developed around the world, and 23 of them had started clinical trials involving humans. Read more here


17th July 2020


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