Daily Brief - Friday 28th August, 2020

NEWS

65 more active covid19 cases including non-nationals

The number of active covid19 cases increased by 65 on Thursday taking the total number to 847. In the morning update, the Health Ministry reported 18 new cases of covid19 and then 47 more in the afternoon update. The ministry explained the 47 show results from samples taken during the period August 19 to August 26. "Therefore, this figure is not representative of the positive cases over the last 24 hours only." The ministry further reported of the 47 who tested positive 20 are nationals and 27 are non-nationals currently quarantined at the TT Defence Force site. Read more here

Fines for no face masks could go up to $20,000

Fines for non-wearing of face masks will likely be on a sliding scale ranging from the minimum traffic ticket fine or up to $20,000 depending on the circumstances, Government sources indicated yesterday. Legislation will be debated and passed in the House of Representatives this afternoon on the wearing of masks as a preventative measure against the COVID-19 virus. The Public Health Ordinance bill 2020 will deal with the issue and other regulations in the current public health regulations on the virus. Fines for violations of some measures are $50,000 plus six months’ jail. The bill also involves a menu of items in the ordinance that will be flexible and depend on the gravity of the situation at any point in time. Fines will be in synch with how serious situations are. The Health Minister will be empowered to amend the schedule to the regulations to add or remove offences and alter fixed penalties. But in no case would a fixed penalty be more than $20,000. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Nakhid, Roberts join new Opposition Senate bench

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has announced the new Senate bench which is completely different from the previous bench except for Senator Wade Mark. The Office of the Leader of the Opposition in a media release Thursday reported Persad-Bissessar wrote to President Paula-Mae Weekes advising her of the six opposition senators to be appointed: Mark; Anil Roberts, former People's Partnership sport minister; Jearlean John, former Housing Development Corporation managing director and UNC deputy political leader; former TT national footballer David Nakhid; attorney Jayanti Lutchmedial; and businessman Damian Lyder. Both John and Nakhid unsuccessfully contested seats in the August 10 general election. Read more here

Deyalsingh: Health system not overwhelmed

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said yesterday the decision to begin self-quarantining at home was not because the health system was overwhelmed. However, he warned that if this was not done, the country could have reached a place whereby elderly people needing beds at hospitals would not have been able to get them. He spoke during an interview on CNC3’s The Morning Brew yesterday morning. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Dukharan: T&T will run out of Foreign Currency

If there is no meaningful macroeconomic intervention in the T&T economy, the country runs the risk of depleting its foreign exchange (FX) reserves. This what Economist Marla Dukharan revealed in her report titled: “Trinidad & Tobago Balance of Payments Risk: Why T&T could be heading to default and a balance of payments crisis by end-2022”. In the report Dukharan contended: “Our declining FX reserves (and Heritage and Stabilization Fund) in the context of rising debt and persistent weakness in our exports, suggest that at some point we will run out of foreign currency, if nothing is done.” Read more here

ILO: Sustainable solutions needed

Sustainable solutions are urgently needed to address the collapse of Caribbean tourism employment due to Covid-19, says a new report from the International Labour Organisation. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Twelfth Parliament to convene Tuesday

Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Minister, Gail Teixeira, on Thursday, announced that President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, in pursuance of the powers conferred upon him by Article 69 (1) of the Constitution of Guyana, has issued Proclamation Number 1 of 2020 declaring September 1, 2020 as the date for the sitting of the 12th Parliament. President Ali, also in pursuance of Article 69 (1) of the Constitution, has designated the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at 5E Half Orchid Drive, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown as the place where a session of the 12th Parliament shall be held at 10:00 hours. Read more here

Fayval Way Ahead Of Phillips

Fayval Williams is on course to deliver a crushing defeat to her People's National Party rival Venesha Phillips in the September 3 general election, a Gleaner-commissioned Don Anderson poll has revealed. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Trump -- defiant and dark as ever -- claims Biden would destroy America

President Donald Trump's demagogic convention speech played out before a spectacular but norm-crushing White House backdrop in a potential super spreader viral event. It explained why Democrats warn he must be driven from power at all costs -- and why he may win a second term anyway. After a GOP gathering that amounted to one of the most sustained displays of propagandizing in the modern history of Western democracy, Trump painted an apocalyptic vision of a nation on the cusp of a takeover by "violent anarchists" who would exploit a "weak" Joe Biden to destroy America. He claimed that Democrats view this country as a "depraved" and "wicked" country that must be punished for its "sins." Read more here

RNC 2020: Trump warns Biden will 'demolish' American dream

US President Donald Trump has warned his Democratic challenger Joe Biden will "demolish" the American dream if he wins the White House in November. Speaking on the final night of the Republican convention, the president depicted his opponent as "the destroyer of American greatness". He said the Democrats would unleash "violent anarchists" upon US cities. Mr Biden has a steady single-digit lead in opinion polls over Mr Trump with 68 days until voters return their verdict. The end of the Republican convention heralds a 10-week sprint to election day, and the coming campaign is widely expected to be one of the ugliest in living memory. Read more here

28th August 2020

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