Daily Brief - Friday 17th November, 2023


Go after consumers who want authenticity

Founder and CEO of Ten to One Rum, Marc Farrell, says global developments have resulted in the rise of a new generation of consumers who values provenance, authenticity and transparency as part of their purchase criteria. This environment comes with new opportunities that local manufacturers must not let pass them by, said Farrell as he delivered the feature address at the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) President’s Dinner and Awards on Tuesday night. During his address, Farrell spoke of being steeped in gratitude for the opportunity to return to his home country and share some of his own experiences, in the hope that it might serve as a small catalyst for other local entrepreneurs. He launched Ten to One Rum in 2019 in New York, and the brand has since become one of the most-awarded rum brands in the world, gaining the attention of Grammy award-winning artist and entrepreneur Ciara as investor and co-owner in October 2021, and growing its territory to over 20 US markets in a short timespan. Read more here



Death row inmate released after resentencing - FREED AFTER 30 YEARS

Having spent 24 years on death row and over three decades in custody, Wenceslaus James – the longest-serving death row inmate in TT – has been released. ­ A statement from the Death Penalty Project – a legal NGO out of the UK that lobbies for prisoners facing execution – announced James’ release. He was released on Tuesday on an order by Justice Devan Rampersad, who was tasked with his resentencing after his death sentence was quashed by another judge in 2020. In June 2020, Justice Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell quashed James’s death sentence in a constitutional motion in which he claimed the delay was cruel and unusual punishment. She granted the order and quashed the death sentence, referring the matter to the registrar to have it docketed before a judge in the criminal division. Read more here

Gangsters held in widespread sweep

At least 15 members of three major gangs remained in police custody up to last evening, after a series of raids in and around Port-of-Spain. Police sources said the raids, described as a “gang sweep”, were done in response to several shootings and murders in Belmont and St Ann’s within the last several days. Police said the exercises began just after 12 am on Thursday, as officers descended on several parts of east Port-of-Spain, Laventille, Beetham and Sea Lots, rounding up the suspects. Read more here



Farley tells Morris THA reshuffle ‘not your business’

As the Tobago House of Assembly executive approaches its second year in office after its 2021 THA election win, Minority Leader Kelvon Morris says it is time for a reshuffle of secretaries. However, Chief Secretary Farley Augustine has told him the issue is not his business. In January, Augustine said a reshuffle was on the cards and had promised it would take effect at the end of that month. Speaking at a media conference yesterday, Morris said the island has been stagnant for almost two years, as there is no record of any major investment, projects or developmental works. Read more here



Chairman: NFM achieves ‘acceptable’ profits

National Flour Mills (NFM) reported a profit after tax of $26 million for the nine months ending September 30, a turnaround from the same period the year before, when it reported a million-dollar loss. Chairman Nigel Romano expressed pleasure over the improvement in financial results, calling it “acceptable.” “We still have work to do,” he said. NFM earned $431 million in revenue, a 16 per cent increase over the same period in 2022, and a gross profit of $110 million in 2023, a 25 per cent increase. Read more here

Sando Parkade faces utilisation challenges

Nearly three months since the San Fernando Parkade opened, the facility is yet to reach its full potential. Opened in August, the 1,000-parking space facility, located on Lady Hailes Avenue and neighbouring the San Fernando General Hospital, promised to ease the parking challenges for hundreds of travellers and workers near the High Street in the San Fernando business hub. The nine-storey $132.7 million facility offers parking, elevator access, 24-hour security, video surveillance and intrusion detection systems (among other features) to a community burdened by a lack of accessible parking. Read more here



Guyana’s vibrant culture, promising economy on show at GuyExpo 2023 – PM Phillips

GUYEXPO, Guyana’s largest trade fair and exhibition extravaganza, officially kicked off on Thursday evening after a seven-year hiatus and according to Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), Mark Phillips, it represents the country’s vibrant culture and promising economy. The event, which concludes on Sunday, is being held under the theme, “Transforming Guyana Through Investment, Innovation, and Resilience” at the Sophia Exhibition Centre. Some 250 exhibitors will be in attendance. In his address to officially declare the expo open, the PM who is currently performing the duties of President, said that the return of GuyExpo is a terrific sign of fresh potential and corporate growth. “I do not pretend, however, to underestimate the effort that is required to host such an event. Organising an event of the scale and significance of GuyExpo demands meticulous planning, perseverance, and a great deal of inspiration. Therefore, I thank the various persons, agencies, and organisations, including the exhibitors, who have collaborated to bring this exposition to life.” Read more here



Swimming rivers and faking illness to escape Ukraine’s draft

Nearly 20,000 men have fled Ukraine since the beginning of the war to avoid being drafted, the BBC has discovered. Some have swum dangerous rivers to leave the country. Others have simply walked out under cover of darkness. Another 21,113 men attempted to flee but were caught by the Ukrainian authorities, Kyiv confirmed. After Russia's invasion, most men aged 18-60 were banned from leaving. But data obtained by the BBC reveals dozens have made it out daily. We have spoken to several men who have escaped in order to join family abroad, study, or simply make a living. Read more here


17th November 2023


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