Daily Brief - Friday 26th June, 2020

NEWS

TTUTA warns: ‘Dangerous’ disinfectant used in schools

The TT Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) has expressed concern about the potential dangers of a particular disinfectant being distributed for use in schools. It’s president Antonia De Freitas has advised against the use of HDQ Neutral which, she said, has serious health implications for students and school workers if improperly used. De Freitas said if the Ministry of Education intends to use the chemical in addition to a regular cleaning agent when staff and students return, then personal protective equipment must be provided for ancillary staff, along with instructions for use and proper storage. She also recommended that copies of the safety data sheet be kept in the administrative office and other designated areas of easy access, in the event of inadvertent exposure. Read more here

Man killed days after court appearance

Three days after Claxton Bay resident Duane Wright appeared in court for the possession of a pair of camouflage pants and an illegal apparatus, he was shot dead on Thursday night. According to police reports, around 7.35 pm Wright, 30, of Chocolate City, was standing along Gibbs Trace in Claxton Bay when he was attacked. Residents reported hearing several gunshots and later found his body on the roadway. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Augustine: THA budget a case of same old, same old

Speyside/L’Anse Fourmi/Parlatuvier representative Farley Augustine has described as “a bizarre game of smoke and mirrors” the Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA’s) $4.71 budget for 2020/2021. Leading off the Minority’s response on Thursday in the Assembly Legislature, Scarborough, Augustine dismissed the presentation as a case of “same old, same old.” He predicted the budget will not produce the results Tobagonians desire. “The budget, as presented by the Secretary (Finance and the Economy Joel Jack) lacked clarity in several areas…and there is little projection in terms of output and outcomes that are required and the jobs that will be created from an estimated $4.71 billion budget,” Augustine said. He used agricultural access roads as an example. Read more here

Patrotic Front hoping to contest all seats

Promising to be the change the T&T needs, the Patriotic Front is gearing up to run in the 2020 General Election and it will have a former prime minister as its campaign manager. The announcement was made yesterday by political leader Mickela Panday at the party’s head office located at Marie Street in Chaguanas. According to Panday, “We recognize that people are fed up with the recycling of the same politicians every five years and so we will contest the election with new, vibrant, intelligent, honest and committed people”. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

We must save the yachting industry

Our harbours can draw boats and foreign exchange as we emerge from lockdown. But only if we cut the lines holding the yachting industry back. Even before covid19, a graph of industry revenue looked a bit like the progress of the Titanic. Economist Indera Sagewan points out that revenues plunged from US$30 million in 2000 to less than US$12 million in 2017. By 2017, just 660 vessels were docked: a 74 per cent fall from 2001. Covid19, however, has turned an already difficult situation into a dire one. With vessels banned, most have gone to shelter in Grenada – just in time for hurricane season. Meanwhile, even larger industry players are on the brink. Read more here

Be ruthless with cashflow

Medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs), the country’s largest employer, are in “survival mode” right now and if the Government returned monies owed them, like Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds, this will help provide some much-needed cash flow. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

‘No external pressure’

President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Justice Adrian Saunders, has assured that the regional Court’s decision, in the case challenging the ruling of the Court of Appeal that an election of a President should be based on “valid votes”, will be in keeping with the laws of Guyana and the submissions of the attorneys, and not the utterances of external forces. During a virtual Case Management Conference (CMC), on Thursday, for the case filed by People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo and its Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali, against North Sophia voter, Eslyn David, and the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield and others, Trinidad’s Senior Counsel, John Jeremie expressed concerns that statements issued by leaders of the Region could influence the case. Jeremie, who is part of a battery of lawyers representing David, said: “Statements are being made by persons outside of this court with considerable influence in the region which impact on the decision of the Court of Appeal and which have the potential to impact on the decision of the Court.” Dubbing the statements expressed by the Region’s Leaders as “unfortunate,” Jeremie reminded that the case is of utmost importance to the people of Guyana. Read more here

External Forces Fuelling Crime - Holness Tells Stakeholders That More Money Needed To Build Out Security Architecture

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has admitted to weaknesses in the country’s national security infrastructure as he bemoaned the lack of investment over time to build out Jamaica’s security architecture. Yesterday, at a meeting with stakeholders on crime, Holness said that the public has not yet fully appreciated the dynamic between crime and violence and national security. The prime minister said that over the years, the country has taken an unsophisticated approach to national security while criminals find new ways to operate. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

White supremacists openly organize racist violence on Telegram, report finds

On June 5, a car full of White supremacists drove through the streets of Knoxville, Tennessee, harassing and abusing people attending a Black Lives Matter protest. One of those in the car shouted to a group of protesters: "You wanna die? Come on in. 9mm with your name on it." The occupants of the car recorded several videos as they went -- videos that were later uploaded to the encrypted messaging app Telegram. One of the channels they used was The Fascist Group Esoteric Anti Root Collective -- one of more than 200 White supremacist Telegram groups that have become much more active in the midst of protests across the United States, according to CNN analysis. Read more here

Coronavirus: US hits record high in daily cases

The United States recorded an all-time daily high of 40,000 coronavirus infections on Thursday, figures from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) show. A recent surge in infections and hospitalisations has prompted some states and cities to pause reopening plans. JHU's previous high of 36,400 was on 24 April when less testing took place. The US has 2.4 million confirmed infections and 122,370 deaths - more than any other country. While some of the increase in daily cases recorded is down to increased testing, the rate of positive tests in some areas is also increasing. Read more here

26th June 2020

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