Daily Brief - Friday 17th May, 2019

NEWS

Couva, Mt Hope Paediatric to be 'centres of excellence'

The North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) will manage operations indefinitely at the Couva Medical and Multi-Training Facility and will provide pharmaceuticals for CPAD patients, as well as diagnostic imaging services such as CT and MRI scans by referrals from the five regional health authorities, starting in July. This was announced on Tuesday by health minister Terrence Deyalsingh, who, along with heads of the NCRHA and the University of the West Indies (UWI), gave an update on the $1.6 billion facility's short-term plans and long-term ambitions, at a media conference at the Ministry of Health, Park Street, Port of Spain. Read more here

2 escapees hiding in Las Lomas forest

Vil­lagers at Sa­roop Trace in Las Lo­mas No. 2 were left trau­ma­tised and forced to lock up in their homes ear­ly yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, af­ter the two re­main­ing pris­on­ers who es­caped from Gold­en Grove in Arou­ca were seen run­ning through the area. Michael Find­ley, from Laven­tille and Olan­tun­gi Den­bow, of Port-of-Spain, are said to be armed and very dan­ger­ous. Up to press time, a spe­cial team of po­lice of­fi­cers from the Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Re­sponse Team, North­ern Di­vi­sion Task Force and Ca­nine Unit, sup­port­ed by an aer­i­al search team in the Strate­gic Ser­vices Agency (SSA) he­li­copter, were comb­ing the thick forest­ed area of Las Lo­mas, Cen­teno and Brazil Vil­lage for the pris­on­ers, who were the on­ly two re­main­ing from a batch of eight who made a dar­ing es­cape from the Re­mand Sec­tion of the Gold­en Grove Prison be­tween Tues­day night and Wednes­day morn­ing. Read more here

 

POLITICS

More co-ordination with WASA needed

Collaboration between the Ministries of Local Government and Works and Transport and the Water and Sewage Authority (WASA) were among some of the recommendations put forward by a Joint Select Committee on Land and Physical Infrastructure yesterday. Speaking at a press conference concluding inquiries made by the committee, member Nigel De Freitas said, “Trinidad has a higher per capita usage of water compared to other territories in the region. There is 50 per cent of unaccounted-for water. The collaboration of entities like WASA and the Ministry of Works and Transport is not exactly where it should be to allow for the timely fixing of leaks. Read more here

HSF board without quorum to function

The mul­ti-bil­lion-dol­lar Her­itage and Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Fund (HSF) does not have a legal­ly con­sti­tut­ed board of gov­er­nors. Checks by Guardian Me­dia have re­vealed that the tenure of three mem­bers end­ed on April 19, 2019 and there is no doc­u­men­ta­tion or con­fir­ma­tion that those three have been re-ap­point­ed or that new re­place­ment mem­bers have been sub­mit­ted to Cab­i­net for ap­proval. This means that for al­most a month, there has was no way that the HSF could have con­vened a meet­ing to make de­ter­mi­na­tions on for­eign in­vest­ments. The three out-tenured board mem­bers in­clude Cen­tral Bank Gov­er­nor Alvin Hi­laire. His lapsed ap­point­ment is per­haps the most crit­i­cal, as ac­cord­ing to the HSF guide­lines the fund must al­ways have a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the Cen­tral Bank. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Business Day Editorial: Imbert unfair to Claire

As if the unfurling tale of the fate of Atlantic’s Train One amid BPTT’s “disappointing results” from its infill drilling programme off the south-eastern coast of Trinidad, on Monday night, Finance Minister Colm Imbert decided to add one more bizarre dynamic to this already compelling story. “The current (regional president) of BP(TT) is not a geologist. Nor is she a petroleum engineer. She’s an accountant. She’s an auditor but she has been working in the sector a long tome so therefore she has to rely on the technocrats, the geophysicists, the geologists, the engineers and so on to establish the framework for hydrocarbons and on this particular case, this particular individual decided to press the pause button, that’s all,” Imbert said in Parliament as he wound up the debate on the mid-year budget review. Read more here

JMMB to own 20% of New Sagicor

Sagicor Financial announced yesterday that the T&T listed JMMB Group has agreed to invest between US$200 and US$250 million in shares that will result in the Jamaican financial services company owning 20 per cent of New Sagicor. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Trafficked Teen Attempted Suicide 16 Times After Rescue

Open your eyes and beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. That was the message from Deputy Superintendent Carl Berry, head of the police’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit, as he sought to drive home the point of how vulnerable children are to human traffickers as he addressed scores of primary- and high-school students yesterday. At the HUSH: Children Symposium, put on by the Institute of Jamaica at its downtown Kingston offices, Berry related the horrors experienced by a 13-year-old girl, who lived on an island off the coast of Haiti. According to the cop, one grand market night, she, along with her father, took a 45-minute boat ride to the Haitian mainland. While window shopping – as many people do the night before Christmas – they both encountered three Jamaicans, who convinced them of educational opportunities the young girl could take up. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

They tried to use rape to silence women protesters. It didn't work

Weeks into the protests that would eventually topple Sudan's dictator, the government realized it had an unprecedented problem on its hands: the number of women in the streets calling for change far outnumbered the men. So the regime's top brass sent a chilling message down to its officers on the ground: "Break the girls, because if you break the girls, you break the men." What followed, several officials told CNN, was a systematic attempt to target the women at the heart of the biggest anti-government protests in decades. Read more here

Labour-Tory Brexit talks end without deal

Jeremy Corbyn says talks with the government to find a compromise over Brexit "have gone as far as they can". In a letter to the PM, the Labour leader said the six weeks of cross-party discussions could not carry on due to "the increasing weakness and instability" of the government. No 10 said progress had been made in some areas, but the talks had been "very challenging". The parties are now expected to discuss putting a number of options to MPs. The prime minister has promised to set a timetable for leaving Downing Street following a Brexit vote next month. Read more here

17th May 2019

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