Daily Brief - Friday 23rd April, 2021

NEWS

PAHO: Only take covid19 shots through national programmes

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) urged people on Thursday to get covid19 vaccinations only through their country's national immunisation programme. In a press release, PAHO warned that getting vaccinated outside legal programmes could be dangerous to your health. The recommendation comes in response to reports of counterfeit or unauthorised vaccines in some Latin American countries, such as Bolivia, Colombia, and Mexico. Read more here

Cops disgruntled about housing migrants at stations amid spike

Six police officers from the Penal Police Station have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past month. Southwestern Division police say these infections have occurred because migrants are being housed at police stations without being medically tested. The officers have been calling since November last year, for a separate venue to be set up to house migrants. In an interview with Guardian Media, a senior police source said for this year, over 50 officers from the division were sent on quarantine. Read more here

 

POLITICS

PM slams 'increasing UNC conspiracies'

The Prime Minister on Thursday slammed what he described as "the ever increasing use of naked untruths" by the UNC to create unrest and mislead the public. He slammed the party, its spokesmen and social media agents for using lies as "as a deliberate political strategy to disturb the national psyche, misinform the public or simply to create an issue which they can then engage on their political vines and platforms." Rowley is still in isolation at his official residence in Tobago after being diagnosed with covid19 on April 6. Read more here

Cabinet to review pepper spray report next week

Recommendations from a Cabinet sub-committee on the proposed pepper spray legislation will go to Cabinet next week, Attorney General Faris Al- Rawi said yesterday. He spoke after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting and after Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein called him out on the pepper spray legislation. Hosein said since the January murder of court clerk Andrea Bharrat many others faced a similar fate, “Yet the Government continues to disregard the public calls to decriminalise non-lethal weapons.” Read more here

BUSINESS

Stakeholders: Young, government must provide fiscal incentives to save energy industry

A heavy task lies ahead for the new Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, Stuart Young. Stakeholders on Thursday said Young must consider advising government to provide fiscal incentive to save the energy sector. Young was appointed the post earlier this week after the sudden death of Franklin Khan on Saturday. The energy sector, according to former energy minister Kevin Ramnarine, is in peril and re-evaluating the gas value chain was critical. In order to achieve this he said compromise by all parties involved, particularly the government would be a necessity for change to take place. Read more here

US$100m in damage

The World Bank estimates that the La Soufriere volcano eruption in St Vincent and the Grenadines caused US$100 million in building, infrastructure, agriculture and forestry damage, St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said yesterday. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Collective action needed for protection of environment

As Guyana joined countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in celebrating the activation of the Escazú Agreement, President Dr. Irfaan Ali, emphasised that collective action is necessary for the protection of the environment. The Escazú Agreement, the first regional environmental agreement in Latin America and the Caribbean, which was adopted in 2018, became operational on Thursday, after a structural ratification process by 24 nations in January of this year. The implementation of this agreement will guarantee access to environmental information, help protect environmental defenders and ensure public participation in environmental decisions. It is also structured to ensure that people can access justice in environmental matters. Read more here

Murder, gang case collapses as ‘Dudus’ relatives rejoice

Thursday’s release of three high-profile members of the notorious Coke family and four others on murder and gang-related charges served as a blow to law-enforcement and justice officials who have pitched the crushing of mafias as a key goal to collar crime. Cheers, tears, and shouts of “Freedom!” greeted the seven who were conditionally freed because the prosecution did not have the smoking gun to press conviction as the police had difficulties locating the two main witnesses. The seven – Andrew Coke, Lanchester Coke, Michael Coke, David Biggs, Delmarco Cephas, Wayne Page, and Iesha Jones – were transported home from the courthouse after Justice Leighton Pusey upheld a nolle prosequi that had been entered by the director of public prosecutions (DPP) to suspend the matter. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

SpaceX rocket carrying four astronauts launches from Florida

A SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft — carrying four astronauts from three countries — took off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida Friday morning, beginning their six-month stay in space. This launch marked the third-ever crewed flight for Elon Musk's company and the first to make use of a previously flown rocket booster and spacecraft. NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur will be joined by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, and Akihiko Hoshide from Japan. They're due to spend six months aboard the International Space Station after their Crew Dragon capsule docks early Saturday morning. Read more here

India Covid crisis: Hospitals buckle under record surge

India's healthcare system is buckling as a record surge in Covid-19 cases puts pressure on hospital beds and drains oxygen supplies. Families are left pleading for their relatives who are desperately ill, with some patients left untreated for hours. Crematoriums are organising mass funeral pyres. On Friday India reported 332,730 new cases of coronavirus, setting a world record for a second day running. Deaths were numbered at 2,263 in 24 hours. Read more here

23rd April 2021

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