Daily Brief - Friday 1st March, 2019

NEWS

Youths shine at schools chutney soca monarch

Avindha Singh of Tamana Hindu primary school and Mackhaydon Charles of Miracle Ministries High won the school’s intellectual national Carnival chutney soca monarch primary and secondary schools competitions respectively on Wednesday at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah.Read more here

Liat has 10 days' cash to stay functioning

In­ter-Caribbean air­line Li­at Ltd on­ly has enough cash to func­tion for the next 10 days and will face a shut down if Cari­com does not in­ter­vene. The fal­ter­ing air­line needs an im­me­di­ate cash in­jec­tion of some US$5 mil­lion to keep fly­ing. Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley said af­ter re­turn­ing from the 30th Cari­com meet­ing in St Kitts and Nevis. Speak­ing mo­ments af­ter land­ing at the Pi­ar­co In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port, Row­ley told the me­dia that the Li­at share­hold­ers said they need­ed to act with ur­gency in or­der to keep the air­line afloat. "Cur­rent­ly, part of Li­at's prob­lems is that Li­at is fly­ing un­eco­nom­ic routes with loads that are heav­i­ly sub­sidised. If the air­line is to re­main fly­ing to coun­tries that have routes like that, the share­hold­ers are say­ing that such coun­tries will have to guar­an­tee a min­i­mum rev­enue stream to the air­line or the air­line would cease to fly those routes," Row­ley said. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Minister: ‘We are managing water problems’

Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte said steps are being taken to ensure the population has an adequate water supply during the current drought conditions. Le Hunte said the drought not something which was created by the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) or himself and is "well documented" by the Meteorological Office. Read more here

Young fears flood of Carnival Ecstasy

Car­ni­val may be sweet—but be­ware of “Ec­sta­sy” dur­ing the na­tion­al fes­ti­val. The warn­ing about the no­to­ri­ous par­ty drug—and oth­er drugs such as “Roofies” (Ro­hyp­nol)—came yes­ter­day from Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young as Car­ni­val 2019 takes off. Speak­ing dur­ing yes­ter­day’s post-Cab­i­net press brief­ing, Young said he re­ceived a re­port in the last 48 hours from state agen­cies which had con­fis­cat­ed 1,627 Ec­sta­sy pills be­tween De­cem­ber 12, 2018 and Feb­ru­ary 20. “We’re warn­ing cit­i­zens and vis­i­tors alike, es­pe­cial­ly dur­ing Car­ni­val, of a drug (Ec­sta­sy) that seems to be cir­cu­lat­ing—please try to avoid it,” Young said. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

PM signs intra-regional travel agreement

The Prime Minister on Wednesday signed TT on to the Caricom Multilateral Air Services Agreement, intended to boost the regional transportation. Dr Rowley and his fellow Caricom Heads of Government signed the agreement on the final day of their latest Inter-sessional Meeting in St Kitts and Nevis. The Caricom Multilateral Air Services Agreement expands the scope for airlines owned by Caricom nations to provide air services throughout the Community, the Office of the Prime Minister said in a release. Read more here

5.2% growth in international arrivals

Tobago has seen a 5.2 per cent growth in international arrivals from December to January, as a result of Sunwing Airlines’ weekly flights from Toronto, Canada, the Tobago Tourism Agency Ltd (TTAL) has said.Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Dump class war - Riverton divestment delayed because site not located uptown – activist

Successive governments have refused to divest Jamaica’s largest dump because the Riverton City site is located in the midst of mainly poor residents living on the margins and not the wealthier middle and upper classes, a noted environmentalist has charged. Riverton, a hodgepodge of chemical, electronic, and other solid waste, is legendary for mismanagement, security breaches, and fires set by arsonists that cover Kingston and Portmore in smog and causing respiratory problems. “Certain Jamaicans are easily sacrificed. They live in these sacrifice zones, and all I can ask you to do is imagine a garbage dump on Jack’s Hill or Cherry Gardens and imagine how long that would be tolerated,” stressed Diana McCaulay, founder and chairman of the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET). Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Trump surprises allies, claims US-backed forces reclaimed 100% of ISIS territory in Syria

President Donald Trump declared Thursday that US backed forces have retaken 100% of the territory once claimed by ISIS in Syria, an announcement that surprised US officials and regional allies leading the fight who told CNN the battle isn't over. "We just took over you know you kept hearing it was 90%, 92%, the caliphate in Syria, now it's 100%, we just took over 100% caliphate, that means the area of the land we're just have 100% so that's good," Trump said while addressing US troops at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska on his return trip from Hanoi. Read more here

Abhinandan: Crowds gather for Indian pilot's release

Crowds of Indians are gathering near a border crossing with Pakistan ahead of the release of an Indian fighter pilot captured by Pakistan. Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan said the pilot would be released as a "peace gesture" on Friday. India's military welcomed the move. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's plane was shot down in the disputed region of Kashmir on Wednesday. Both countries are under pressure to calm tensions. On Friday Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the events of the past few days had "brought our nation closer". Read more here

1st March 2019

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