Daily Brief - Friday 25th October, 2019

NEWS

Top cop meets COP

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith met with members of the Congress of the People (COP) to discuss security concerns in light of the upcoming local government and general elections. A media release yesterday said the meeting was part of Griffith’s plan to meet with all relevant political parties ahead of the local government elections on December 2. Read more here

TATIL joins the fight against diabetes

It is es­ti­mat­ed that al­most 15 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion has been di­ag­nosed with di­a­betes; too many a con­ser­v­a­tive es­ti­mate in the ab­sence of up to date da­ta. In a re­cent study, the In­ter-Amer­i­can De­vel­op­ment Bank es­ti­mat­ed that non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases cost this coun­try 8.7 bil­lion dol­lars an­nu­al­ly. In recog­ni­tion of this fact, the Min­istry of Health launched, The Strate­gic Plan for the Pre­ven­tion and Con­trol of NCDs. At the top of the list of so­lu­tions, the plan iden­ti­fied pri­vate sec­tor stake­hold­er en­gage­ment. Yes­ter­day in­sur­ance gi­ant- TATIL and TATIL life an­swered the call, launch­ing an ed­u­ca­tion­al cam­paign ti­tled - Di­a­betes, A fam­i­ly con­cern, in the hope of re­duc­ing the climb­ing sta­tis­tics. Read more here

 

POLITICS

UNC senator put out of budget debate

Opposition Senator and UNC deputy political leader Khadijah Ameen was put out of the Senate briefly yesterday. Ameen was put out for comments she made during the budget contribution of Government Senator Foster Cummings. As he began his contribution, Cummings delivered "breaking news" that the UNC had withdrawn its injunction to block the sale of Petrotrin's refinery in Pointe-a-Pierre to Patriotic Energies and Technologies Company Ltd. The company is wholly owned by the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU). Read more here

Harry backs Lee Sing but admits PNM has edge for now

The PNM has a lit­tle edge over oth­er par­ties in up­com­ing Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment polls - but things could change, says for­mer PNM front­lin­er Har­ry Rag­o­nanan who's back­ing Louis Lee Singh's new po­lit­i­cal PPM group. But Ra­goo­nanan be­lieves noth­ing may change un­til all par­ties op­posed to the PNM come to­geth­er - un­der the lead­er­ship of for­mer PP Min­is­ter Vas­ant Bharath. Ra­goo­nanan spoke to Guardian Me­dia dur­ing Wednes­day's launch of Lee Sing's group, the Port of Spain Peo­ples' Move­ment (PPM). The group is con­test­ing Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment polls in Port-of-Spain Cor­po­ra­tion ar­eas alone. PPM has nine can­di­dates so far and peo­ple are still be­ing screened for the re­main­ing three seats. Can­di­dates in­clude three for­mer PNM POS coun­cil­lors - Ash­tine Thoma­son, Cleve­land Gar­cia and Da­da Aswad Gabriel. Read more here

Injunction to stop refinery’s sale fails

For­mer Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress (UNC) sen­a­tor Wayne Sturge has with­drawn his ap­pli­ca­tion for an in­junc­tion to tem­porar­i­ly block the sale of Petrotrin’s Pointe-a-Pierre re­fin­ery. When Sturge’s ap­pli­ca­tion for in­junc­tion block­ing the sale and com­pelling Fi­nance Min­is­ter Colm Im­bert to call a meet­ing of Joint Se­lect Com­mit­tee (JSC) on En­er­gy Af­fairs came up for hear­ing be­fore Jus­tice Ron­nie Boodoos­ingh at the Hall of Jus­tice in Port-of-Spain yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, Im­bert’s lawyer Mar­tin Daly, SC, in­formed the court that the meet­ing was set for next Wednes­day. Re­spond­ing to Daly, Sturge’s lawyer Ger­ald Ramdeen ad­mit­ted that the de­ci­sion ren­dered the in­junc­tion un­nec­es­sary as the meet­ing was set as re­quest­ed and the stop­ping of the re­fin­ery sale was based on the fact that Im­bert had not called a meet­ing of the JSC for al­most 20 months. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Senator Teemul calls for VAT cash

Pay part of the $4.5 billion owed in VAT refunds to business in cash. And the remainder in bonds at a higher interest rate than 1.5 per cent. This was the call made by Independent Senator Deoroop Teemul as he contributed to the budget debate yesterday. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Cops: We Need Back-Up - Call For More Boots On The Ground In East Kingston Division

The Kingston Eastern police are appealing to the Government for more resources to combat rising crime in the violence-plagued division. During a visit by National Security Minister Horace Chang to Vineyard Town yesterday, area commander, Assistant Commissioner Devon Watkis, and divisional chief Superintendent Victor Hamilton and senior officers discussed a ramping up of manpower on the ground to repel the threat presented by gang warfare. “We need some more numbers … . Once we have numbers, we can occupy the space,” Devon Watkis said during dialogue with the security minister, while calling for increased mobility as well. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Two more arrested after 39 victims found in Essex truck container

"The picture may change regarding identification," police say. Essex Police said in a statement that the first post-mortem examinations will begin Friday, after the bodies of the victims inside the truck were transported from the Port of Tilbury to a mortuary. Formal identification will then follow the coronial process and will be a lengthy but crucial part of this investigation," Essex Police said. Police added that as their investigation continues, "the picture may change regarding identification, and we will continue to provide updates when appropriate under the direction of HM Coroner." Read more here

Mueller report: Criminal probe into Russia inquiry begins

The US justice department has launched a criminal investigation into the origins of the Mueller inquiry, US media report. An administrative review into the special counsel's investigation of 2016 election interference began in May. But the switch to a criminal probe means investigators can now issue subpoenas for testimony and documents. President Trump has long alleged Robert Mueller's probe of reports of collusion with Russia was a "witch hunt". Read more here

 

25th October 2019

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