Daily Brief - Friday 20th December, 2019


Security guard killed in Penny Savers robbery

Five days before Christmas, Tobago recorded its 10th murder for 2019. While details are still sketchy, Newsday understands that MI4 security officer, Mark Nurse was shot following a robbery at the Penny Savers Supermarket Carnbee branch early Friday morning. Read more here

Marijuana Christmas - Weed law to be proclaimed December 23

Per­mis­sion to light up your small mar­i­jua­na joint law­ful­ly from 12.01 is Mon­day. That's when the re­cent­ly passed law to al­low pos­ses­sion of small amounts of mar­i­jua­na will be pro­claimed and be­comes ef­fec­tive. That's al­so when peo­ple con­vict­ed or re­mand­ed for pos­ses­sion of min­i­mum quan­ti­ties of mar­i­jua­na can start prepar­ing to seek re­lease from jail. Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley yes­ter­day con­firmed that Cab­i­net has ap­proved the procla­ma­tion of the Dan­ger­ous Drugs (Amend­ment) Bill for law­ful pos­ses­sion of 30 to 60 grammes of cannabis/mar­i­jua­na. The law was passed by Par­lia­ment re­cent­ly. Mon­day's procla­ma­tion of the law is the last step to­wards op­er­a­tional­is­ing it. Row­ley said procla­ma­tion of the law will open the door for many things to hap­pen. Read more here



PM: $100 change over going smoothly

The Minister has said the change from the paper $100 notes to the new polymer notes has gone smoothly. “Given the complexity of the exercise to ensure the changeover, by and large it has gone very well.” He was speaking yesterday at the post-Cabinet media conference at Whitehall, Port of Spain. Dr Rowley said he was not surprised by the initial rush to change notes, and noted that the commercial banks were the last to be informed of the change. Read more here

Rowley: We’re sticking to December 31 deadline

Gov­ern­ment is still stick­ing to the De­cem­ber 31 dead­line. Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley the $100 note changeover is be­ing mon­i­tored and if the ad­min­is­tra­tion sees no need for an ad­just­ment of the dead­line, he’s ad­vis­ing peo­ple to try and ob­serve it. He gave this re­sponse at yes­ter­day’s White­hall post-cab­i­net me­dia brief­ing when asked about the flex­i­bil­i­ty of the changeover dead­line. Row­ley ac­knowl­edged that it was “quite a large ex­er­cise”. He added: “But we have rea­son to be­lieve that things have gone well. As chair­man of the Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Coun­cil, I want to tell Trinidad and To­ba­go we apol­o­gise to those who were par­tic­u­lar­ly dis­rupt­ed by this but there are sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits to be had from this ex­er­cise.” Read more here




Clarify cash in transit on Old Year’s Day

The Supermarket Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SATT) says retailers run the risk of being in possession of “old” $100 bills in the New Year because of the “logistical nightmare” associated with night deposits. Read more here



Education, youth empowerment

Youths were reassured that during the decade of development, which is the brainchild of President David Granger, the country will undergo massive transformation in all major sectors. Significant attention will be given to the National Youth Policy, which focusses on four main pillars – namely education, equality, empowerment and employment. Education, however, will be priority since every other pillar depends on an educated nation. While the government would have plugged more than $170B into education since 2015, President Granger described this investment as just a tip of the iceberg, as to what will be rolled out from 2020 to 2030. Read more here

SWEET DEAL! - 90 Cane Farmers Take Charge Of Long Pond Lands, Sparking Hopes Of Revival

The All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers Association (AIJCFA) has landed a deal with the Government to lease more than 3,600 acres of the land surrounding the Long Pond Sugar Factory in Trelawny to be sublet to cultivators affected by the closure of the historic facility. Dubbed Trelawny Pride, lands extending from Hyde Hall to Georgia, and farther to Clark’s Town, will be sublet to 90 farmers who have applied, said project director Allan Rickards. Under the Trelawny Pride project, the farmers who supplied raw material to the problem-plagued Clark’s Town sugar cane facility will have the opportunity to lease prime farmland but will have to agree to cultivate the crops recommended by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) on 70 per cent of the property. Read more here



Australia fires: PM Morrison apologises for US holiday amid crisis

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has apologised for going on holiday in Hawaii this week while the nation's bushfire crisis worsened. Fires are raging across the nation amid a heat wave which has produced the nation's two hottest days on record. Two volunteer firefighters died on Thursday while fighting a huge blaze near Sydney, while a civilian died in South Australia on Friday. Mr Morrison said he would end his leave early. His absence this week, as well as his initial refusal to confirm his whereabouts, has drawn condemnation and protests. Read more here

An impeached Trump tries looking ahead, but uncertainty threatens Senate vindication

After being impeached, President Donald Trump is hoping to move quickly to a vigorous defense in the Senate and is distressed the trial he hopes will vindicate him might be delayed. "What are they doing?" Trump asked a top Republican ally, Sen. Lindsey Graham, upon learning Thursday morning that House Democrats may withhold sending articles of impeachment to the Senate until they feel assured there will be a fair trial. Read more here

20th December 2019


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