Daily Brief - Friday 21st May, 2021

NEWS

TCL tells retailers: 'Treat customers fairly'

Trinidad Cement Ltd (TCL) is strongly encouraging its suppliers not to extort customers by doubling cement prices, but to “uphold fair trading practices during this difficult period.” The company was responding to questions sent by Newsday involving price-gouging over the last two weeks by smaller retail hardware stores, as a result of a shortage of cement. Read more here

Online, curbside shopping rise following COVID cases at big groceries

Amidst reports of COVID-19 infections at two major supermarket chains, more shoppers are flocking to smaller retail stores and are opting for curbside or online shopping within recent times. This was revealed by the president of the Supermarkets Association Rajiv Diptee. Speaking to Guardian Media on Thursday, Diptee assured that strict COVID-19 protocols are in place to protect staff and shoppers if positive cases are identified at supermarkets. Read more here

 

POLITICS

NCRHA denies UNC's claims on doctors being transferred

North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) CEO Davlin Thomas on Thursday rejected allegations by UNC Cumuto/Manzanilla MP Dr Rai Ragbir that the transfer of senior doctors from the Couva Hospital and Multi-Training Facility has put a strain on the parallel health care system. Ragbir made the claim during a virtual news conference on Thursday. He also said this partly contributed to a state of emergency (SoE) being declared from midnight on May 15. Read more here

SEA exam postponed to July

The Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exam has been postponed from June 10 to July 1, 2021. In announcing the change in date during yesterday’s post-Cabinet media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s—Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly confirmed the anticipated delay had, “become necessary due to the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing challenges posed by the health regulations at this time.” Prior to the announcement yesterday, the Ministry of Education (MOE) wrote to the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) on April 23, to alert them as to a possible date shift following Trinidad and Tobago’s uptick in daily COVID-19 positive cases. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

No flour shortage

Rumours of a flour shortage in the country are false. This according to State-owned National Flour Mills (NFM) and the Ministry of Trade. The ministry yesterday said in a statement that it met with NFM on the issue. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Slow down and live – Holness

That was the simple but profound appeal from Prime Minister Andrew Holness to Jamaican road users on Thursday amid the grim forecast that between 435 and an unprecedented high of 472 commuters could be killed by year end. Holness, chairman of the National Road Safety Council, made the disclosure during the launch of events to mark this year’s observance of the United Nations Global Road Safety Week. Read more here

$177.3M magistrate’s court commissioned at Bartica

Attorney-General, Anil Nandlall, and members of the Judiciary, on Thursday, commissioned the $177.3M “state-of-the-art” Bartica Magistrate’s Court, which will aid in providing easier access to justice for citizens in interior and hinterland communities. Located at Mongrippa Hill, citizens will be able to use this court for criminal and civil matters at the magistral level which will be presided over by resident Magistrate Crystal Lambert. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

As the US and Russia spar over the Arctic, Putin creates new facts on the ground

The Russian military plane touched down in heavy wind and light snow, then slid across the icy tarmac. That the large, four-engine Ilyushin Il-76 airlifter could land at all on the Franz Josef Land archipelago in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, is a testament to Moscow's growing military might in this remote part of the world. Russia recently expanded the runway at its Nagurskoye air base on the archipelago to 3,500 meters long, meaning it can land and refuel most of its military aircraft here, including jet fighters to patrol the polar skies. Read more here

Israel-Palestinian ceasefire comes into effect

A ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip has come into effect. The ceasefire began early on Friday, bringing to an end 11 days of fighting in which more than 250 people were killed, most of them in Gaza. Both Israel and Hamas claimed victory in the conflict. The truce faced an early test on Friday when fresh clashes broke out at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP news agency that Palestinians had thrown stones at officers, and that "riot" suppressing measures had been taken in response. Read more here

21st May 2021

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