Daily Brief - Friday 24th May, 2019

NEWS

OWTU keeps oil, sugar legacy alive

Oil and sugar which once formed the backbone of this country’s economy may now be shuttered. The Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU), in wanting to keep the legacy alive has themed this year’s National Primary Schools Quiz and Poster competitions, “Our Legacy - Oil and Sugar.” The competitions form part of the educational aspect of Labour Day celebrations and as chief education and research officer Ozzi Warwick explained, “It is still important that we understand their respective contributions to the economic, social and political development of our country.” Read more here

 

POLITICS

PNM not locking-up people

The Prime Minister says Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is spreading a “grand conspiracy” that former attorney general Anand Ramlogan and former senator Gerald Ramdeen were arrested because of the upcoming elections and this was intended as a defence for them in court. He was speaking yesterday at the post-Cabinet media conference held at the Diplomatic Centre, Port of Spain. He said, at a public meeting at Sangre Grande Persad-Bissessar linked the Privy Council ruling on the Malcolm Jones Freedom of Information case to a grand conspiracy as part of a defence for corruption-related charges Ramlogan and Ramdeen are facing before the court. Read more here

Govt had no role in release of migrants —Young

Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young on Thursday said Gov­ern­ment had no role in the de­ci­sion to grant 101 un­doc­u­ment­ed Venezue­lans su­per­vi­sion or­ders on Wednes­day. Asked by Guardian Me­dia what was the ba­sis for the Im­mi­gra­tion Di­vi­sion to grant su­per­vi­sion or­ders to the Venezue­lan mi­grants who were lat­er re­leased and had no place to go, Young replied “I could not say what is the de­ci­sion tak­en by the im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers. I can tell you that the Gov­ern­ment did not par­tic­i­pate in that de­ci­sion of what took place yes­ter­day (Wednes­day) af­ter­noon.” Read more here

 

BUSINESS

ANSA McAL pre-tax profits up

There was a five per cent in­crease in ANSA McAL’s Group Prof­it Be­fore Tax (PBT) for 2018 when com­pared to 2017. PBT in­creased to $1.017 bil­lion up from 2017’s $968 mil­lion. This ac­cord­ing to the group’s Ex­ec­u­tive Chair­man, A Nor­man Sab­ga at the ANSA McAL’s Group’s 90th An­nu­al Gen­er­al Meet­ing held at the Radis­son Ho­tel, Port-of-Spain. Sab­ga said rev­enues were up 2 per cent to $6.39 bil­lion com­pared to $6.24 bil­lion for 2017. The Earn­ings Per Share (EPS) im­proved by 12 per cent to $3.54 in 2018 when com­pared to 2017’s $3.15. Read more here

PM heading out on 10-day energy trip

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has announced a ten-day energy trip abroad starting early next week, during which he will met with executives of Shell, BHP and EOG Resources, among others. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Sandals Fights Back - Denies Claim It Operates Decades-Long Tax Fraud Scheme

Jamaican hotel chain Sandals has dismissed as “downright false” allegations raised in a lawsuit filed in the United States (US) that for decades, it “secretly” pocketed fees collected from guests as “local government taxes”. Lawyers for Vitali Feldman, the American man who filed the lawsuit, claim that current and past customers who stayed at Sandals properties in several Caribbean countries were “deceived” into paying ‘local government taxes’ that were quietly retained by the all-inclusive chain for its “own use, benefit, and profit”. The lawsuit, which seeks at least US$5 million in damages, was filed in the Florida Federal Court on Tuesday by the Miami-based law firm Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

UK set for new PM as Theresa May quits

Theresa May has said she will quit as Conservative leader on 7 June, paving the way for a contest to decide a new prime minister. In an emotional statement, she said she had done her best to deliver Brexit and it was a matter of "deep regret" that she had been unable to do so. Being prime minister had been the "honour of my life", she said. Mrs May said she would continue to serve as PM while a Conservative leadership contest takes place. It means she will still be prime minister when US President Donald Trump makes his state visit to the UK at the start of June. Mrs May announced she would step down as Tory leader on 7 June and had agreed with the chairman of Tory backbenchers that a leadership contest should begin the following week. Read more here

Trump suggests using Huawei as a bargaining chip in US-China trade deal

US President Donald Trump has raised the possibility of easing restrictions on Huawei as part of a broader trade deal with Beijing, despite labeling the Chinese telecommunications giant "very dangerous." The comments, which appear to run counter to Washington's hardline policy on Huawei, come just a week after the US Department of Commerce placed the company on a trade blacklist, effectively barring it from conducting business with US companies. "Huawei is something that's very dangerous" from a security standpoint, Trump told reporters Thursday. Read more here

24th May 2019

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