Daily Brief - Friday 31st January, 2020

NEWS

Spanish embassy joins domestic violence fight

While issues of gender-based violence are universal, Spanish Ambassador to TT Javier Carbajosa believes a combination of strengthened laws and changing mindsets is necessary to effectively tackle issues of domestic violence. Speaking with Newsday at a cocktail reception and handing over ceremony of funds to the TT Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CADV), at his Maraval home, on Wednesday night, Carbajosa said domestic violence was not a challenge unique to TT and called on authorities to do their best in addressing these concerns. Read more here

Restrictions on travellers from China

Trav­ellers com­ing to T&T from Chi­na will have to wait 14 days to en­ter this coun­try af­ter leav­ing Chi­na. That re­stric­tion is be­ing placed on peo­ple who live in Chi­na or are vis­it­ing there. Health Min­is­ter Ter­rence Deyals­ingh an­nounced the mea­sure to cut the trans­mis­sion of the mys­te­ri­ous coro­n­avirus yes­ter­day. He said Cab­i­net had ac­cept­ed a sug­ges­tion for the re­stric­tion which will be im­ple­ment­ed as soon as cer­tain le­gal pro­vi­sions are com­plet­ed and will ap­ply to any­one com­ing to T&T from Chi­na re­gard­less of na­tion­al­i­ty. Deyals­ingh said, “If for in­stance, you left Chi­na on Feb­ru­ary 1, you won’t be al­lowed en­try un­til Feb­ru­ary 14. The 14-day pe­ri­od is be­cause the in­cu­ba­tion pe­ri­od for the coro­n­avirus is 14 days—this is how you in­ter­rupt trans­mis­sion of this virus.” The min­is­ter an­nounced the move just as the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO) deemed the coro­n­avirus an in­ter­na­tion­al pub­lic health emer­gency. How­ev­er, he said he didn’t see the sit­u­a­tion as a “rea­son­able” threat to Car­ni­val. Deyals­ingh said the coro­n­avirus, which first arose in Wuhan, Chi­na, is now in 22 coun­tries with 7,800 in­fect­ed. To date, 170 deaths have been re­port­ed. Read more here

UN agency declares global coronavirus emergency

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak sparked by a new virus in China that has been exported to more than a dozen countries as a global emergency yesterday after the number of cases spiked tenfold in a week. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Young at JSC on orchestrated shootings: I called names

National Security Minister Stuart Young said he called names and provided evidence at a Joint Select Committee (JSC) on his claims that there were certain individuals getting criminals to commit random shootings to destabilise society. He was speaking Thursday during the post-Cabinet media conference held at the Diplomatic Centre, Port of Spain. Young was asked by the media about on an in camera he attended on JSC on Wednesday. He explained he was requested by the JSC on National Security and he spent about two hours providing assistance and answering questions. Read more here

Kublalsingh blocks highway works

De­ter­mined to stop Gov­ern­ment from plough­ing down pri­vate lands in the Oropouche Basin, en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivist Dr Wayne Kublals­ingh placed him­self in front of ex­ca­va­tors and trac­tors dur­ing a face-off with work­ers yes­ter­day. Kublals­ingh had called a press con­fer­ence at the Sewlal Trace, Fyz­abad, con­struc­tion site but be­came in­censed when three ex­ca­va­tors con­tin­ued to plough down lands be­long­ing to res­i­dents who had nev­er re­ceived a cent of com­pen­sa­tion. “All work go­ing on here is il­le­gal. The gov­ern­ment is break­ing the law. Dr Kei­th Row­ley took a Cab­i­net de­ci­sion to con­tin­ue works and they are break­ing the law,” he said as he walked in front the trac­tors. “The Con­sti­tu­tion of Trinidad and To­ba­go says you may not de­prive peo­ple of their le­gal prop­er­ty un­less you do so legal­ly. They have con­tra­vened the Con­sti­tu­tion. Kublals­ingh said the cer­tifi­cate of the en­vi­ron­men­tal clear­ance grant­ed by the EMA stat­ed that no work should be done on the lands un­less res­i­dents are ful­ly com­pen­sat­ed and every­one with­in 500 me­tres of the work­site is ful­ly com­pen­sat­ed for their homes, agri­cul­tur­al lands and res­i­den­tial lands. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Gov’t to continue working with private sector to facilitate transition to ‘Green Economy’

AS Guyana accelerates its plan to transition to renewable energy, investors, solar companies and other interested partners were exposed to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) – a unique global platform designed to respond to climate change by investing in low-emission and climate-resilient development. Through the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Guyana accessed funding from GCF in February 2019, to launch a project titled “Enhancing Guyana’s Access to GCF to Transition to Renewable Energy.” A forum, on Thursday at the Pegasus Hotel, formed part of the ‘Enhancing Guyana’s Access to GCF to Transition to Renewable Energy” project. It was organised by the Department of Environment, Ministry of the Presidency in collaboration with GGGI. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Coronavirus: Worldwide cases surpass Sars outbreak in 2003

The number of coronavirus cases worldwide has surpassed that of the Sars epidemic, which spread to more than two dozen countries in 2003. There were around 8,100 cases of Sars - severe acute respiratory syndrome - reported during that outbreak. But at least 9,962 people have been infected with the new coronavirus, which emerged in China in December. The number of deaths stands at 213 - all in China. That is far lower than the 774 people killed by Sars. On Thursday, the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency over the outbreak. It said there had been 98 cases outside China, but no deaths. But on Friday, two cases of the virus were confirmed for the first time in the UK. Read more here

Impeachment trial to end but its aftershocks will rock America

America's latest "national nightmare" will not end when Republicans vote to acquit President Donald Trump of high crimes and misdemeanors, possibly as early as Friday. A mere four months after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered an impeachment inquiry and six after Trump's now notorious "do us a favor" call with Ukraine's President, Trump will get on with his term as the third US President to be impeached by the House of Representatives and not removed by the Senate. Given Trump's political temperament, and the impending battle between the parties for control of the White House, it seems unlikely there will be a healing voice to help reconcile a divided country -- such as President Gerald Ford's, when he declared that "our long national nightmare is over" in the wake of Watergate. Read more here

31st January 2020

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