Daily Brief - Friday 29th November, 2019


Transformed Life Ministry to reopen

Families are waiting to re-admit patients to the Transformed Life Ministry, the rehabilitation home which was searched in October by police who found people locked in cages. Pastor Glen Awong, head of the ministry, made this announcement in a brief conversation with Newsday on Wednesday. Awong said the home was in the process of fulfilling the requirements of the Ministry of Health and would be back in operation soon. “Families are willing to bring back their loved ones,” Awong said. He declined to comment further. Read more here

Soldier arrested for sexual assault of 12-year-old boy

A sergeant in the T&T De­fence Force was ar­rest­ed by of­fi­cers of the Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Re­sponse Team (SORT) yes­ter­day for the al­leged rape and bug­gery of a child. The of­fi­cer was cor­nered by of­fi­cers of SORT at around 1.30 pm out­side a beau­ty sa­lon and spa on Del­hi Street, St James. Of­fi­cers tracked the sus­pect, af­ter dis­cov­er­ing a 12-year-old boy. An in­ter­nal po­lice com­mu­ni­ca­tion doc­u­ment ob­tained by Guardian Me­dia stat­ed: “A se­nior mem­ber of the Trinidad and To­ba­go Reg­i­ment (TTR) is en­gag­ing in sex­u­al ac­tiv­i­ty with a 12-year- old boy. It was re­port­ed that the TTR mem­ber dri­ving Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle (num­ber giv­en) had made plans to meet with the boy on No­vem­ber 28th, 2019 out­side a school lo­cat­ed in the St James area.” Read more here



Gopee-Scoon: Local farmers can supply Nestlé

Trade minister Paula Gopee-Scoon has lauded Nestle's continued investment in TT and says the government is committed to creating further incentives for farmers so they can supply the raw produce contained in Nestle's vast line of juices and milk-based products. Gopee-Scoon, along with officials of the ministry and the TT Manufacturers Association and the media, toured Nestle's Valsayn factory on Wednesday, where company representatives showed off several new machines which are used to manufacture its domestically-produced items. Nestle has launched dozens of new products within recent months, including its Orchard Fruit & Veggie 100% Juice. Read more here

PM claims extortion by former minister

Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley yes­ter­day al­leged that a con­trac­tor was ex­tort­ed some $2 mil­lion by a for­mer gov­ern­ment min­is­ter. Though Row­ley did not give names, he said his Works Min­is­ter Ro­han Sinanan in­formed him of the is­sue and he di­rect­ed Sinanan to tell the po­lice. He said the con­trac­tor told them if he told the po­lice, he would not get any con­tracts again. The mat­ter seem­ing­ly died at that time. He said a clause in the con­tract pro­tect­ed the con­trac­tor. “We are of the PNM and we have the con­fi­dence of the peo­ple of T&T,” he said. “They have the gall to come here and every time they take a drink it goes to their head.” Row­ley said Op­po­si­tion Leader Kam­la Per­sad-Bisses­sar was “crazy” be­cause she came to San­gre Grande to say Sinanan was in­volved in cor­rup­tion to sell his land to the State for the Curepe In­ter­change. Read more here



WiPay brings business without banks

Doing financial transactions can be hard if you don't have a bank account. WiPay, a payment solution company, has introduced two new finance technology (fintech) services into the market that allows those who do not have a bank account to shop online and fill out know your customer forms with ease. On November 14, WiPay had their WiDay at Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain where they launched their the Rebel Visa Card and announced Republic Bank acquired a 19.99 per cent stake in Nobis Baas – a subsidiary of electronic payments group WiPay Holdings Ltd. Shopping online used to be impossible without a credit card. To get a credit card, one needed to have a bank account. However, for years, WiPay has worked on bankless payment solutions. Aldwyn Wayne, CEO, acknowledged there were many "unbanked" and "under-banked" people in the country who needed financial inclusion so they created the Rebel Visa card. Read more here

THA needs $50m to fix Pigeon Point

Works Min­is­ter Ro­han Sinanan has said that the Min­istry of Works is play­ing its part in de­vel­op­ing the blue econ­o­my. He de­fined the “blue econ­o­my” as ty­ing the ma­rine re­sources to the econ­o­my of the coun­try. “We take the blue econ­o­my very se­ri­ous­ly as 15 to 20 years down the road if we do not deal with the coastal ar­eas and flood­ing, we will have a ma­jor prob­lem in the coun­try,” he said speak­ing at the Latin Amer­i­ca and Caribbean De­vel­op­men­tal Bank (CAF) Con­fer­ence on Mon­day at the Hilton Trinidad Ho­tel, St Ann’s. He out­lined the spe­cif­ic projects that the Min­istry of Works is un­der­tak­ing in this area. Read more here

Bermudez: T&T is no failed state

There was a time when the economy was so bad, people could not even buy Crix. So says chairman of the Bermudez Biscuit company, Robert Bermudez, as he insists T&T is not a failed state. Read more here



Umami returns to GuyTIE

The bold, bright labels on Umami products grab attention. The beautiful labels featuring red, green, black, yellow and white circles— the colours of Guyana’s flag—on a minimalist white background are eye-catching standouts on supermarket shelves. But they represent much more; they signify some of the finest products ever manufactured locally by one of the most innovative businesses in the country. This fast-growing range of superlative local products is the outpour of Umami Inc., a dynamic Lusignan-based operation which was started by re-migrant Guyanese. The growing success of the company can be attributed to their bold approach and ability to think outside the box, which has enabled them to overcome multiple challenges and upgrade their factory in Lusignan. Read more here

Raining Stones - Injured Fogger Recounts Frightful Attack In Trench Town As Crews Come Under Fire In Dengue Fight

Even as the Government ramps up its war against dengue fever by deploying fogging crews and home-inspection teams, vector-control field workers have been the casualty of 21 violent attacks in four parishes this year. Personnel have also escaped injury in numerous other incidents. The central Jamaica parish of St Catherine has been the epicentre of the hostilities, with health ministry-commissioned personnel suffering injuries in 15 cases. There have been four attacks in Kingston and St Andrew, and one each in St Mary and Westmoreland. Opposition has been most aggressive in low-income, inner-city communities as streets are transformed into battlegrounds, with stones the choice missile of angry residents. Fogging – the dispensing of toxic chemical solutions that kill the Aedes aegypti mosquito but which poses no danger to householders – has been a key weapon in the arsenal of the authorities on the front line against dengue, which has caused at least 46 confirmed or suspected deaths in 2019 and 17 last year. Read more here



Sudan crisis: Women praise end of strict public order law

Sudan has repealed a restrictive public order law that controlled how women acted and dressed in public. On Twitter, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok paid tribute to women "who have endured the atrocities that resulted from the implementation of this law". The country's transitional authorities also dissolved the party of former president Omar al-Bashir. Mr Bashir seized power in a 1989 coup and ruled for nearly 30 years before peaceful protests ousted him in April. Sudan is currently led by a joint military and civilian council, as well as a civilian-led cabinet headed by Prime Minister Hamdok. Read more here

Inside Trump's sneak Thanksgiving trip to Afghanistan

On Thanksgiving eve, President Donald Trump slipped unnoticed out of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on his way to a bare-bones military plane with just a handful of top aides. Sixteen hours later, he touched down for the first time in Afghanistan, on just his second visit to a war zone as President after a similar Christmas Eve trip last year to Iraq. Read more here

29th November 2019


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