Daily Brief - Friday 30th August, 2019

NEWS

Zoo staff on standby to monitor animals

Animal at the Emperor Valley Zoo will be monitored on Independence Day as Ansa McAl's Spectacular Pyromusical Fireworks display goes up at the Queen's Park Savannah (QPS) tomorrow evening. TT celebrates 57 years as an independent nation. There were concerns that the animals would be spooked with the loud noise of fireworks and music trucks. Just a few days ago, officials at the zoo complained about loud music coming from the home of cricket legend Brian Lara at Chancellor Hill. It was reported that the animals became agitated. Read more here

Suspected murder plot outside jail - 6 arrested

Six men linked to a high-pro­file in­mate have been ar­rest­ed and their al­leged sus­pect­ed mur­der plot foiled. They are cur­rent­ly be­ing held at var­i­ous po­lice sta­tions across the North­ern Di­vi­sion up to press time on Thurs­day. Ac­cord­ing to ini­tial in­for­ma­tion reach­ing the Guardian Me­dia they were re­port­ed­ly wait­ing to kill an in­mate who was be­ing re­leased out­side the Max­i­mum Se­cu­ri­ty Prison. How­ev­er, a se­nior prison of­fi­cer source said "it was not an in­mate" when asked if it was, in fact, a prison of­fi­cer he replied "no". The in­ci­dent oc­curred at about 3 pm when po­lice and prison of­fi­cers re­ceived in­tel­li­gence that the men were in three cars out­side the prison grounds. The of­fi­cers moved in on them and ar­rest­ed them. The ve­hi­cles were al­so im­pound­ed. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Young: No change to Sedition Act

The Sedition Act will not be updated Stuart Young, National Security Minister, told yesterday’s post-Cabinet briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s. He spoke as he revealed the police were charging PSA head Watson Duke on one count of the offence and hours after trade unionists had alleged the act was being abused in Duke’s case. Newsday asked if the Government might take a test case to court to clear the air on the extent of the act. Young said activist Devant Maharaj may be challenging the act in court, but the Government is not reviewing it. Read more here

Dennie: I never said PM ordered SSA firings

For­mer di­rec­tor of in­tel­li­gence at the Strate­gic Ser­vices Agency (SSA) Carl­ton Den­nie has backpedalled on ac­cus­ing Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley of di­rect­ly in­struct­ing him to fire all East In­di­ans from the agency back in 2015. “First, I would like to set the record straight about what I did not say. I did not say that the PNM told me to fire the East In­di­ans. I did not say that the Min­is­ter of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty (Dil­lon) told me to fire the east In­di­ans. “So for the PM to go harp­ing on these is­sues to cre­ate spins and redi­rect and re­fo­cus of the main is­sues just shows the games that pol­i­tics play to off­set the minds of peo­ple in the pub­lic,” Den­nie said as he changed his tune re­gard­ing the SSA eth­nic cleans­ing al­le­ga­tions at a press con­fer­ence at the Chan­cel­lor Ho­tel, St Ann’s, Thurs­day, say­ing he want­ed to clear the air on what he did not say. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

NP fuel supply well-stocked, says chairman

Sahid Hosein, chairman of state fuel distributor NP, is confident that, barring a major catastrophe, the country has a well-stocked fuel supply. “I’ve said on many occasions before, no responsible government or entity is going to be unmindful of the need to have a stored supply because that’s what the country operates on,” Hosein told Newsday in a brief telephone call yesterday. On Monday, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar claimed the country was in a state of economic emergency and predicted a fuel shortage, as well as a foreign exchange crunch, directly related to the closure of Petrotrin’s Pointe-a-Pierre refinery. “We are being given the impression that things are happening by vaps and the sky is falling down. That’s certainly not so at NP,” Hosein said. Read more here

BPTT staffers plant trees to offset carbon

Staff from BP Trinidad and Tobago’s (BPTT) reservoir development and exploration teams carried out a tree-planting exercise on Wednesday to offset the teams’ carbon footprint. The exercise took place at Bunsee Trace, Penal in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

DNA Guilt Trip - St James Criminals Rushing To Confess Before Test Results Tie Them To Crimes

Superintendent Vernon Ellis, the commander of the St James Police Division, says criminal suspects are now pleading guilty in court before the return of DNA test results with the hope of getting lighter sentences. Ellis told The Gleaner that the police have been reaping dividends from recent training in DNA protocol as they have ramped up their use of science in their cases. He pointed out that DNA tests were proving useful in ensuring justice for all accused as not only are they securing convictions, but they have also been clearing persons wrongly accused of committing crimes. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Boris Johnson faces Brexit challenges as he steps up talks with EU

Boris Johnson said his decision to prorogue Parliament was part of his negotiating stance with the European Union in an interview with Sky News, warning critics that they risked ruining Britain's chances of getting a better deal. "What I want to do now, what most people in this country want this government to do, is get on and try and get an agreement," he said. "But if we can't get an agreement, get ready to come out anyway." He added that this do-or-die stance helps strengthen the UK's negotiating position with the EU, but warned critics they were getting in way. Read more here

Hong Kong activists arrested: Joshua Wong and others detained

Several prominent Hong Kong democracy activists have been arrested in less than 24 hours amid a police crackdown. Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow of the political party Demosisto were arrested on Friday for illegally organising a protest, before being released on bail. Independence campaigner Andy Chan was arrested at the airport on Thursday while trying to fly to Japan. They are among 900 people arrested since protests began in June. Lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai of the localist Civic Passion party was also detained, his office said. It was unclear why he was held. Read more here

30th August 2019

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