Daily Brief - Friday 25th January, 2019

NEWS

Police recover 12 stolen cars in two weeks

Police said a total of 12 cars were stolen for the year thus far at gunpoint and all were recovered over the past two weeks, thanks to an aggressive campaign launched by the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) and the Police Stolen Vehicles Squad. A senior police officer told Newsday on Wednesday that police found the latest vehicle, a Kia Sportage, at a bushy area in Never Dirty, Morvant at around 1 pm on Tuesday. The car was reported stolen by it’s owner in St Joseph at around 5 am. Read more here

La Guerre: Brace for influx of migrants

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Prof John La Guerre is warn­ing Gov­ern­ment to brace for an in­flux of Venezue­lans seek­ing po­lit­i­cal asy­lum in T&T as the cri­sis in that coun­try un­folds. La Guerre was speak­ing with Guardian Me­dia, as he weighed in on Venezuela's mount­ing tur­moil, fol­low­ing Wednes­day's protest ac­tion by thou­sands against Pres­i­dent Nico­las Maduro. Be­tween Wednes­day and Thurs­day, Venezuela re­port­ed 12 deaths and scores in­jured as the cri­sis es­ca­lat­ed. On Wednes­day, Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young said T&T's Gov­ern­ment would not get in­volved in Venezuela's af­fairs. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Canada AG replies to Devant on ferry

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti on Wednesday wrote to activist Devant Maharaj noting his concerns about the procurement process between Canadian firm Bridgeman and the Port Authority of TT in the provision of an inter-island ferry service. Maharaj had written, “Having closely analysed the factual matrix of this transaction I am of the firm belief that this matter warrants the attention of the Attorney General of Canada and may further warrants the invocation the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act.” Read more here

Government not concealing Smith report—Young

The Sports Min­istry’s re­port on the $150,000 set­tle­ment to a for­mer em­ploy­ee is un­der le­gal ad­vice and can­not be pub­lished yet. But the Chris­t­ian Mout­tet fer­ry re­port and the Christo­pher Thomas re­port on the T&T/Do­mini­ca vote is­sue have both been made pub­lic. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Min­is­ter Stu­art Young con­firmed this at yes­ter­day’s post-Cab­i­net me­dia brief­ing, re­ject­ing UNC ac­tivist De­vant Ma­haraj’s ac­cu­sa­tion that Gov­ern­ment has not re­vealed the re­ports and was “hid­ing” re­ports. Young point­ed out that the Mout­tet re­port was sent by the Prime Min­is­ter to a Joint Se­lect Com­mit­tee of Par­lia­ment on Sep­tem­ber 19, 2017. It was al­so laid in the Low­er and Up­per Hous­es of Par­lia­ment on Sep­tem­ber 26 and 28 Sep­tem­ber 2018 and was post­ed on Par­lia­ment’s web­site. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Why mindfulness is more than just hype

Mindfulness is the latest buzzword in the business environment. It seems everywhere you go someone is talking about living mindfully, developing a meditation practice or introducing mindfulness and meditation into the workplace. You may be asking yourself what the hype is all about and why all the current focus on an area that seems completely unrelated to business. It is a fact that mindfulness has been shown to have clear benefits not only on a personal level but also in the work place. According to the mindfulness initiative (a private sector workgroup), workplace mindfulness is possible not only for individuals, but within and across teams of people and is associated with benefits for individual employees as well as for the organisation as a whole. Read more here

‘Adding methanol to fuel can save millions’

Methanol Holdings Trinidad Ltd (MHTL) believes this country can save about TT$250 million a year in fuel imports if it mixes locally produced methanol with imported super gasoline. MHTL and the Methanol Institute yesterday presented their case of the advantages of methanol fuel, at a Methanol Fuel Forum, held at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

SLB Spree - Minister Forces Board To Step Down Over Unapproved $2.5m Retreat, Management Issues

A culture of mismanagement and lavish excess was behind Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke’s decision to dissolve the board of the Students’ Loan Bureau (SLB) last month. Barely a month after it was revealed that the stock of non-performing loans at the SLB had climbed to over $11 billion, the management of the state-run entity shelled out close to $2.5 million for a “staff retreat” without the approval of the board of directors, government insiders have charged. The retreat was reportedly held at an all-inclusive hotel in Montego Bay, St James, in November last year. Members of the board were invited, via email, to attend although they were not asked to approve the expenditure, sources claimed. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Roger Stone indicted on charges brought by special counsel

Longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone has been indicted by a grand jury on charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. He was arrested by the FBI Friday morning at his home in Florida, his lawyer tells CNN. Stone was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia on seven counts, including one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering. Stone will make an appearance later Friday at the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, according to Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel's office. Read more here

Queen makes plea for Britons to find 'common ground'

The Queen has urged people to find "common ground" and to respect "different points of view". Commentators say the remarks will be seen as referring to the Brexit debate, with MPs due to vote on the PM's deal for leaving the EU again next week. MPs rejected the deal last week but the UK will leave on 29 March with no deal unless they can agree on a way forward. BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said there was little doubt the Queen was "sending a message". Read more here

25th January 2019

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