Daily Brief - Friday 26th April, 2019


Couva hospital may open in September

Two flagship projects started under the former People's Partnership government could be opened in September. These are the Couva Adult and Children's Hospital and the University of the West Indies (UWI) South Campus in Debe. UWI St Augustine campus principal Prof Brian Copeland expressed optimism about both projects after a news conference at the campus yesterday. During the conference, UWI Vice-Chancellor Prof Hilary Beckles said the university will replicate the Couva hospital model in other parts of the region. Beckles disclosed Barbados is the first place this could happen. Read more here

Blackout hits Sando General Hospital

An elec­tri­cal black­out at the San Fer­nan­do Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal left pa­tients hun­gry and in tears yes­ter­day. The hos­pi­tal, which ac­com­mo­dates more than 750 pa­tients, went dark around 1 pm. Be­fore the black­out, pa­tients were told that elec­tri­cal works had to be done and there would be a dis­rup­tion in sup­ply from 1 pm to 7 pm. When the T&T Guardian vis­it­ed the hos­pi­tal around 5 pm the cor­ri­dors on the low­er floors were in com­plete dark­ness. Vis­i­tor Ra­jesh Ma­haraj, who went to Ward One, said, “You need a torch­light to go in there. The whole place dark and it is not even night time as yet.” Read more here



Mahabir: Delays not meals, the main woe

While debate raged yesterday over whether or not illegal immigrants were dining on lamb and turkey at the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC), for Independent Senator Dr Dhanayshar Mahabir, said detainees' most pressing problem is delays in their application for asylum or to fight deportation, often caused by a lack of access to legal representation. “The meals amounted to the least of their problems and could easily be remedied,” Mahabir said. More crucially than meals, he hoped detainees seeking refugee status could better access to legal representation, and that the authorities could act more decisively, one way or the other, on those detainees facing deportation, so as to repatriate them or resettle them in TT. Read more here

Ramdeen: T&T needs border protection plan

Wednes­day’s tragedy con­cern­ing the Venezue­lan boat which over­turned en route to T&T re­in­forces the need for this coun­try—as Venezuela’s clos­est neigh­bour—to have a bet­ter bor­der pro­tec­tion frame­work, says the Op­po­si­tion Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress. Op­po­si­tion sen­a­tors spoke about the is­sue yes­ter­day fol­low­ing their meet­ing with the Elec­tion and Bound­aries Com­mis­sion. Mul­ti­ple deaths were feared af­ter the “Jhon­naly Jose,” be­lieved to have been car­ry­ing 34 peo­ple—main­ly women—over­turned en route to Trinidad’s west coast on Wednes­day. The ves­sel sank near Patos Is­land, five miles off Venezuela’s coast­line and in Venezuela’s mar­itime res­cue co-or­di­na­tion zone. Yes­ter­day evening, act­ing Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Ed­mund Dil­lon said T&T’s Coast Guard re­port­ed nine peo­ple were res­cued—but 25 oth­ers were still un­ac­count­ed for up to then. The T&T Coast Guard was aid­ing search/res­cue op­er­a­tions. Read more here



Lawyers seek to stop CL Financial asset sale

Attorneys representing a CL Financial shareholder have filed an application before High Court judge Kevin Ramcharan seeking to put a stay on the further sale of CL Financial assets until the joint liquidators present audited financial statements. Read more here



Fake Drug Ring - Smugglers Make Millions In Black Market Racket

Several players in Jamaica’s underworld, with assistance from unscrupulous medical practitioners, are now raking in millions of dollars from the sale of counterfeit pharmaceuticals, an emerging frontier that can have deadly consequences for the public, a senior police investigator has revealed. Viagra, Cialis, saline solution, and a stomach medication sold on the local black market as an abortion pill are just a few of the pharmaceuticals being counterfeited by criminal networks. But even as local law-enforcement agencies seek to understand the breadth of the scheme, Assistant Superintendent of Police Victor Barrett, head of the intellectual property unit in the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime (C-TOC) division, signalled that the police are ready to take down one network. Read more here



Saudi Arabia said they confessed. But court filings show some executed men protested their innocence

Long before Saudi Arabia announced it had carried out one of the largest mass executions in its history earlier this week, some of the men condemned to death had made impassioned pleas to the courts in a bid to save their lives. Many said they were totally innocent, that their confessions had been written by the same people who had tortured them. Some claimed to have evidence of their abuse at the hands of their interrogators. And one reaffirmed loyalty to King Salman and his son, Mohammed bin Salman, in hopes of getting leniency from the court, trial documents show. Read more here

Sri Lanka bombings ringleader died in hotel attack, president says

The alleged ringleader behind Sri Lanka's Easter Sunday bombings was killed in the attacks, President Maithripala Sirisena said. Mr Sirisena said Zahran Hashim, a radical preacher, died at the Shangri-La hotel in the capital, Colombo. He said Hashim led the attack on the popular tourist hotel, accompanied by a second bomber identified as "Ilham". At least 250 people died in the wave of bombings on Sunday, which targeted churches and hotels in Colombo. Mr Sirisena also said that Sri Lankan intelligence services believed around 130 suspects linked to Islamic State (IS) group were in the country and that police were hunting 70 who were still at large. Read more here

26th April 2019


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