Daily Brief - Friday 2nd June, 2023


Amcham tech summit to focus on cybersecurity

For the first time in seven years the American Chamber of Industry and Commerce (Amcham) will feature panels on cybersecurity in its Tech Hub Island Summit (THIS) carded for June 29-30 at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain. Amcham TT CEO Nirad Tewarie, during the launch of the summit at Republic Bank's head office on Park Street, said the conversation was an important feature connected to the summit's theme: “Catapult – accelerating digital transformation.” He said, “We thought, as we were talking about the advances in the deployment and utilisation of tools such as AI and companies that might be thinking of building their tech infrastructure, that we will have a session that focuses on how do you build that out, whether you're a tiny company or very large one, taking into account security and, therefore, cybersecurity.” Read more here

Cops: Fraudsters fleeced public of $98M last year

Customers lost over $98 million due to fraudulent transactions by scammers last year and millions have also again been fleeced so far this year, officers from the T&T Police Service said yesterday. Noting this activity, Fraud Squad officers warned the public of a new debit/credit card scam called “shimming.” This new advanced device allows fraudsters to target the new EMV chip-card technology being given to customers by financial institutions throughout T&T. Speaking at the TTPS weekly media briefing, Acting Corporal Terrence Nowbutt said fraudsters are counteracting every new technological advancement. Read more here



UNC starts screening for two local government councils on Thursday

The UNC on Thursday began screening candidates for the anticipated local government elections, for which no date has yet been named, said a party statement on Thursday evening, accompanied by photos of the event showing dozens of nominees, members of the screening committee, and the arrival of party leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. The statement said, "The United National Congress (UNC) has begun screening of the hundreds of nominees who filed nominations to represent the UNC as candidates at the upcoming local government elections as councillors and aldermen. "Screening is currently taking place at UNC Headquarters in Chaguanas." Read more here

Lutchmedial in Parliament tearoom meltdown

The PNM and UNC sides were abuzz with "talk" on Wednesday night, after UNC Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial used obscene language in the Parliament's tearoom, following a verbal attack on her by a Government Senator in earlier Senate debate. In the Senate on Wednesday, Lutchmedial - in debate on the bill to validate councillors' actions after December 2022 - had slammed Government on issues concerning the recent Privy Council judgment against extension of the Local Government term. PNM Senator Renuka Sagramsingh-Sooklal, speaking after Lutchmedial, said, "Senator Lutchmedial, throughout the length and breadth of her presentation, she kept saying she's 'astounded and confused' and I believe the Senator ... "I believe the Senator is indeed 'astounded' and she's 'confused' because apparently for a second she thought this was 'spread paal with Moonilal' and this was not the Senate!" Sagramsingh-Sooklal added. Read more here



Young: Complicated negotiations

Trinidad and Tobago is requesting the United States government amend the terms of a license authorising the joint development of a promising offshore gas field with Venezuela, the Energy Minister Stuart Young said yesterday. The United States in January issued a two-year authorisation for Trinidad and Tobago and a group of companies including Venezuelan state-run oil firm PDVSA and Anglo-Dutch Shell to revive a dormant project that could help this country boost gas processing and exports to its neighbours. Read more here



Guyana, Dominican Republic strengthen diplomatic ties

The following is a joint statement by Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and Mr. Luis Abinader, President of the Dominican Republic: THE President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, welcomed President Abinader and his delegation of high-level government officials and members of the private sector to Georgetown, on Thursday, June 1, 2023. The Presidents engaged in discussions focused on enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries and expressed their commitment to pursue greater collaboration, particularly in the areas of energy, agriculture, tourism, trade, ICT, infrastructure and industry. They hailed the establishment of a Dominican Republic Embassy in Georgetown and the accreditation of the resident Ambassador, Ernesto Torres Pereyra as a tangible step in relations which will augur well for enhanced co-operation and facilitate opportunities for further engagement in the advancement of the bilateral agenda between Guyana and the Dominican Republic. Read more here



Ben Roberts-Smith case: Will Australia see a war crimes reckoning?

On Thursday, a judge calmly delivered an extraordinary ruling that will go down in Australian history. The country's most-decorated living soldier, Ben Roberts-Smith, had lost a defamation case against three newspapers who reported claims that he had murdered unarmed prisoners and civilians while serving in Afghanistan. The newspapers' allegations that Mr Roberts-Smith was actually a war criminal, a liar and a bully were "substantially true", the judge said in his civil case ruling. The case is the first time an Australian court has assessed accusations of war crimes by Australian forces - ahead of what many predict will be a wider reckoning in the years to come. Read more here


2nd June 2023


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