Daily Brief- Friday 23rd October, 2020


Chote challenges CJ's ban on in-person trials

A legal challenge to the Chief Justice’s covid19 emergency practice directions, which ban in-person hearings, has been mounted by a man who is before the court on a corruption charge. New practice directions came into effect on Monday and direct judges and magistrates to adjourn cases if it is impossible to try them electronically. Rajesh Ramgobin, a former police officer who was charged in 2006 on three corruption charges relating to taking a $3,000 bribe, opted in September for a judge-alone trial which was expected to begin virtually on Monday before Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds. Read more here

Girl, 13, making juice for family friend raped

A 43-year-old man of Argyle, Tobago, appeared before a Scarborough magistrate yesterday charged with one count of sexual penetration of a child. The man was arrested by officers of the Tobago Child Protection Unit (CPU) on Tuesday following a report made by a 13-year-old girl that she was allegedly assaulted by a man whom she knew. Read more here



Imbert on GATE: It's under review

Finance Minister Colm Imbert has responded to a reduction of more than $30 million in the allocation for the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE) programme and said GATE was under review. He was speaking Thursday as the Standing Finance Committee looked at the budget estimates for the Finance Ministry. Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein asked about a line item showing a cut in the GATE programme by $35 million. Read more here

UNC abstains from vote on 2021 Budget

The 2021 budget was passed in Parliament yesterday evening but the Opposition did not support it. When the vote for the Appropriation (Financial Year 2021) Bill, 2020, was held, all 22 Government members voted for but all 19 Opposition MPs abstained. Moments after the vote, Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar issued a statement explaining their stance. “As a matter of principle, we cannot in good conscience vote for a budget that will inflict pain on the most vulnerable in our society,” said the United National Congress leader. Read more here



Unicomer offers ease of mind to customers

As the country and the rest of the world battle covid19, credit purchases and credit standings with financial institutions have become a major concern for many people. Especially so, since jobs have been lost, salaries have been cut, and several businesses have closed down. In the face of the downturn, one of TT's largest retail chains, Unicomer (Trinidad) Limited, is assuring customers that their payments and purchases would be safe. In order to help customers, Unicomer has restructured payment options as well as devised new incentives to assist them with their payments and purchases. Read more here

TTL and CARPHA host Tourism Webinar to Prepare for Border opening

In preparation for the anticipated reopening of T&T’s borders and to maximise public health best practices in the tourism and hospitality sector, Tourism Trinidad Limited (TTL), in collaboration with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), hosted a Train the Trainer Webinar titled “COVID-19 Health Guidelines for Reopening the Tourism Sector & the Tourism Health Information System”. In a release TTL indicated that the training was designed for a wide range of tourism stakeholders, where it provided a comprehensive understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as protection and safety measures. Read more here



Guyana becoming investment magnet

Seen as the new investment capital of the Region, Guyana, a fledgling petroleum state, is fast becoming a magnet for major investors in the oil and gas sector, attracting even some Fortune 500 companies which have started to ‘migrate’ here from Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago. With a projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 26.2 per cent for 2020, Guyana, being one of the only countries in this hemisphere expected to see positive growth, is seen as the ideal investment destination. It was already reported that the Government of Guyana is actively encouraging Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and offering tax concessions for priority projects through its Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest). Read more here

Supreme Court Dismisses INDECOM Challenge To DPP Ruling Not To Prosecute Cops For Killing

The Supreme Court has shut down an attempt by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) to compel the country’s chief prosecutor to file murder and other charges against two cops over a controversial fatal shooting. At the centre of the legal squabble between the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) and INDECOM is the 2016 shooting death of Jamar Walford during a police operation in Denham Town, west Kingston. Read more here



7 takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate

The second and final showdown between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden looked much more like a normal debate than their first meeting. But it probably didn't do anything to change the race's trajectory. Amid a plethora of lies, Trump hammered Biden for failing to solve problems like institutional racism during his time in the Senate and as vice president, casting him as a typical politician. Read more here

Coronavirus: France puts 46 million under night curfew

The French government is imposing a curfew on two-thirds of the country - 46 million people - from Friday night for six weeks, after a record 41,622 new coronavirus infections in one day. The total infected in the epidemic has now passed one million. In Europe, only Spain and Russia have reached that. A week ago night curfews were introduced in Paris and eight other French cities. Now 38 more areas will have curfews from 21:00 to 06:00. Most of Europe has rising infections. Read more here


23rd October 2020


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