Daily Brief - Friday 22nd September, 2017


Retired cop takes CoP to court

A high court judge has granted leave to a retired police corporal to challenge a decision of the Commissioner of Police to reclassify his sick leave without any explanation. Ashram Pariagsingh, who was a policeman for 37 years, was assigned to the La Brea Police Station when on May 8, 2012, he slipped and fell on the wet floor at the back of the station. His lawsuit claimed the area became slippery because of a leaking pipe. The fall caused serious back injuries, the man claimed. Read more here

PM Skerrit weeps for Dominica

Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit broke down in tears yesterday as he spoke of the devastation done to his island by Hurricane Maria. He said hospitals have all been completely destroyed and are without power and there is an urgent need to airlift all critical patients to other countries for medical treatment. “The hospital (referring to the Princess Margaret Hospital in Roseau) is running worst than a war zone…nurses there are working 96 hours round the clock…we need to get out the critical patients, right now, we are looking to have some of them airlifted to Martinique,” Skerrit said. Read more here

‘Victims in the wrong place at the wrong time’ 

School Teacher Hasley Mark, who was gunned down in a drive by shooting in Morvant on Tuesday night, has been described as a “kind soul” who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Mark, 51, was one of two men who were mortally wounded in a drive by shooting along Lady Young Avenue, Morvant, on Tuesday night. The other victim was identified as 24-year-old James Julien. Read more here



Forensic probe at port

Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs Stuart Young yesterday said the ministry has," already begun to conduct a forensic audit, forensic investigation and examination" at the Port Authority. Young made the disclosure at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann's. Read more here

Rowley: I called Vidya too

A&V Oil and Gas owner Nazim Baksh was not the only person named in the Petrotrin audit who Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley called after hearing the news. Rowley also called Petrotrin employee Vidya Deokiesingh after word of the energy company’s alleged “fake oil” issue broke recently. At yesterday’s post-Cabinet media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, Rowley confirmed calling Deokiesingh, whose name came up following Petrotrin’s August internal audit report on alleged volume discrepancies and under-supply and overpayment to a private contractor. Read more here

PM: Mark deliberately bungled my e-mail address

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday accused United National Congress (UNC) Senator Wade Mark of deliberately misrepresenting him in order to discredit his testimony before the Joint Select Committee (JSC) examining the ferry service on Monday. The cause of the Prime Minister's indignation is an e-mail address which he accused Mark of deliberately distorting. Joining the Prime Minister was Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young who said that the e-mail had been “forensically identified” as being authentic. Read more here



Business sector to hold its hand on lay-offs

The business sector yesterday gave partial agreement to follow Government’s lead in observing a moratorium on the retrenchment of workers. In response to a question at a news conference following a meeting of the National Tripartite Advisory Council (NTAC), Keston Nancoo, chairman of the Employers’ Consultative Association (ECA), said the business sector will hold to the commitment. However, he added that he had not discussed it with anyone but he believed that good sense will prevail when it comes to layoffs in the current economic situation. Read more here

Tunapuna Chamber Budget wish: Fix forex distribution

Nalini Maharaj, President of the Tunapuna Business Chamber said the Chamber has asked the Government to distribute foreign exchange equitably to the business community. This was one of the proposals they made in their 2017/2018 budget wish list. “We would like to see a sustainable amount across the board to all businesses and not just to certain businesses being allocated a certain amount. There must be equity across the board,” she told the Guardian yesterday. Read more here



Not You, Madam! - I Am Answerable To The Contractor General, Prime Minister Tells Political Ombudsman

Following a stern warning from Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown against the abuse of state resources in St Mary South East in order to gain political mileage in a pending by-election, Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he only answers to the contractor general and the National Contracts Commission on government spending on contracts, indicating that he does not answer to Parchment Brown. Holness said that the contractor general is the constituted authority to oversee the contracting process, in addition to the National Contracts Commission, which has a statutory role in ensuring that the contract process is above board. Read more here

Video: Hurricane Maria hits Dominica

Video from Roseau, the capital of Dominica, early on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Read more here



Kim says 'deranged' Trump shows need for nuclear programme

Kim Jong-un has said remarks by "deranged" US President Donald Trump have convinced him he is right to develop weapons for North Korea. In an unprecedented personal statement, Mr Kim said Mr Trump would "pay dearly" for a UN speech where he threatened to "totally destroy" the North if the US was forced to defend itself. Mr Trump responded that the "madman... will be tested like never before". The two countries have engaged in ever more heated rhetoric in recent months. China responded to the war of words, warning that the situation was "complicated and sensitive". Read more here

Trump's approval again reaches 40% after positive reaction to hurricane response

President Donald Trump's approval rating has once again reached 40%, while earning high marks for his handling of the government's response to recent hurricanes, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS. A broad 64% of Americans say they approve of how Trump's government reacted to the recent storms, including two in three independents (66%). Nine in 10 Republicans support his reaction (90%), and even Democrats are evenly divided on Trump's response to the crises, with 44% both approving and disapproving. Read more here

22nd September 2017


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