Daily Brief - Friday 1st December, 2023


Couva chamber boss tells leaders: Lead, own challenges and fix them

President of the Couva/Point Lisas Chamber Mukesh Ramsingh has made a stirring plea for leaders to stop playing the blame game, pointing fingers at their predecessors for situations they have inherited, and fix the problem. “When I say leaders, I don’t mean politicians alone,” he clarified at the chamber’s dinner and awards ceremony at its Couva headquarters on Wednesday night, where President Christine Kangaloo was the guest speaker. “I mean leaders on the whole, where people are put in certain positions where they can make a difference in people’s lives. Where they can assist with the day-to-day operations of the country to allow commerce, to allow growth, to move at a steady pace without too much bureaucracy and red tape.” Read more here

LMCS boss raises doubts about CoE process

Land and Marine Construction Services (LMCS) managing director Kazim Ali Snr has doubts over the process and final report of the Commission of Enquiry (CoE) into the Paria/LMCS diving tragedy, questioning the evidence given by some witnesses. Speaking to Guardian Media on the telephone on Thursday, Ali Snr, whose son Kazim Ali Jr perished in the incident, said he was interested in the CoE findings. “I have my doubts because I do not see how it could be honest if the main players in Paria were kept in their jobs. I do not see how people could give their evidence freely if I knew that those people were still in their jobs,” Ali Snr said. Ali Snr recalled two questions to Chairman Jerome Lynch, KC during Wednesday’s final sitting on why the CoE did not call former Heritage Petroleum CEO Arlene Chow and Minister of Energy and Energy Industries Stuart Young to the evidential hearings. Read more here



President: Public service invasive but...DON'T BE AFRAID TO SERVE

Even as the Integrity Commission (IG) threatened legal action against public officials for failure to file their declarations of income, assets and liabilities, President Christine Kangaloo appealed to the business community to forget how invasive the process is and offer themselves for national service. She said she knows it can be an onerous task and quite invasive, but she is finding difficulty in filling board positions with experienced and skilled individuals she is required by law to appoint. Read more here



Labour Ministry appoints new Minimum Wages Board

Labour Minister Stephen Mc Clashie appointed a new Minimum Wages Board during a ceremony on Monday at the ministry at the International Waterfront Centre in Port of Spain. At the ceremony, Mc Clashie welcomed new and returning members. He said the last Minimum Wages Board gave recommendations which were instrumental in the proclamation of the new Minimum Wages Order from January 2024. “This 17 per cent increase is most welcome and seeks to be fair and balanced, given the variety of considerations, financial and otherwise that had to be taken into account. This increase would impact an estimated 190,000 workers and their families, thereby affording them a better standard of living.” Mc Clashie said. Read more here

NIB grapples with ageing population

The current financial imbalance, which has the potential to deplete the National Insurance Board’s assets by 2035, is not rooted in investment issues but rather stems from the challenges posed by this country’s ageing population, the acting chief operating officer, Business Services at NIBTT, Andy Edwards has said. Edwards made the comments yesterday during a panel discussion on NIS at the 33rd annual Caribbean Actuarial Association Conference held at the Hyatt Regency. Read more here



President Ali conferred with Barbados’ highest national award

Recognized for his leadership in regional cooperation, Guyana’s President, Dr. Irfaan Ali was conferred with Barbados’ highest honour, the Order of Freedom of Barbados. The Guyanese of Head-of-State is among several honorees who will receive the island’s highest national award in celebration of its independence. He is being recognised for his “strong commitment to enhanced cooperation and collaboration to achieve regional integration and to foster deeper social and economic partnerships, particularly in relation to food and nutrition security and for the upliftment of the people of Barbados and the region.” Read more here



Released Palestinians allege abuse in Israeli jails

Palestinian prisoners released from Israeli jails say that guards carried out abuse and collective punishment in the weeks after the Hamas attacks on Israel on 7 October. They have described being hit with sticks, having muzzled dogs set on them, and their clothes, food and blankets taken away. One female prisoner has said she was threatened with rape, and that guards twice tear-gassed inmates inside the cells. The BBC spoke to six people in total, all of whom said they were beaten before leaving jail. The Palestinian Prisoners Society says some guards are alleged to have urinated on handcuffed prisoners. And that six prisoners have died in Israeli custody in the past seven weeks. Israel says all its prisoners are detained according to the law. Read more here


1st December 2023


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