Daily Brief - Friday 3rd May, 2019

NEWS

Jazz succe$$

Tobago Jazz Experience 2019, from a musical standpoint, was a tremendous success. On Wednesday, Tobago Festivals Commission Chairman George Leacock said it was a success economically as well. Speaking during the post Executive Council media briefing, Leacock said, “If we use the projection normally used for estimating tourism returns, the returns were significant and when the study results come out it will indicate that. In terms of the event, if you are talking about a dollar-on-dollar return, funds spent on artistes and systems and so on, that was not an initial object but certainly our cost recovery and our cost control methodologies have worked. We expect the overall output from the (House of ) Assembly would probably be less and the overall returns from the gate receipts and sponsorships would be more.” Read more here

Coast Guard deny 2 boatloads of Venezuelans T&T entry

Over 90 Venezue­lan pas­sen­gers try­ing to get in­to T&T through the Ce­dros port were turned back by T&T Coast Guard as pa­trols on the bor­der height­ened yes­ter­day. With in­ten­si­fied street protests and vi­o­lent clash­es on the streets of Venezuela, hun­dreds of des­per­ate Venezue­lans have found the fresh re­solve to flee their home­land. And T&T is seen as one of the eas­i­er des­ti­na­tions to ac­cess via boat. A source who re­quest­ed anonymi­ty said two fer­ries - Orinoco Delta and An­gel - were sched­uled to ar­rive at the Ce­dros port yes­ter­day. The Orinoco Delta was trans­port­ing 60 pas­sen­gers, in­clud­ing one Trinida­di­an man with his pass­port. The An­gel had 35 pas­sen­gers, which in­clud­ed two Venezue­lan women who are mar­ried to Trinida­di­an men and an el­der­ly Venezue­lan woman who had a Trinida­di­an pass­port and was ac­com­pa­nied by a child be­lieved to be her grand­son. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Young: I’m deporting V’zuelan criminals

Minister of National Security Stuart Young said he had already signed deportation orders for Venezuelan criminals operating in TT, speaking at yesterday’s post Cabinet briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s. He also gave updates to the Government responses to the unrest in Venezuela, by way of a temporary amnesty for migrants already in TT plus the deployment of this country’s military assets to safeguard TT’s borders. Young said after the period of registration of Venezuelans from May 31 to June 14, the law would revert to normal. “I’m happy to tell the population that keeping true to my word, I have signed a number of deportation orders for Venezuela citizens who have decided to engage in a life of crime in TT.” He said the deportation orders were for Venezuelans “charged and convicted of crimes in TT.” Read more here

Government’s mid-year review May 13

Gov­ern­ment’s mid-year re­view will be de­liv­ered on May 13 when Gov­ern­ment will al­so present a fi­nan­cial bill to fa­cil­i­tate pay­ments to sup­pli­ers and con­trac­tors. Fi­nance Min­is­ter Colm Im­bert yes­ter­day an­nounced the date for the per­for­mance re­view which Gov­ern­ment has rou­tine­ly done six months af­ter the pre­sen­ta­tion of each an­nu­al bud­get. Up­com­ing re­view will ex­am­ine the per­for­mance of the 2018/2019 bud­get pre­sent­ed last Oc­to­ber. Im­bert added that re­view day will in­clude the pre­sen­ta­tion of a Sup­ple­men­ta­tion Ap­pro­pri­a­tion Bill. He said this was to al­low fund­ing for min­istries to “deal with long-stand­ing pay­ments to sup­pli­ers and con­trac­tors.” He said re­view state­ments will al­so in­clude a date for the launch of Gov­ern­ment’s Hous­ing Bonds. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

NCB gets GHL green light

After a delay of close to 16 months, Jamaica’s NCB Financial Group (GHL) declared yesterday that “all the terms and conditions of the offer” to acquire a majority stake in T&T’s Guardian Holdings Ltd (GHL) “have been complied with or waived” as at yesterday’s date. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Police Purge - Gov’t Looking To Freshen Leadership With Young, Bright Officers

The amputation of the hard-booted Mobile Reserve Unit and the decapitation of its leadership mark the beginning of a massive shake-up in the structure of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang said yesterday, indicating that an infusion of new, young talent could help reimage a crime-fighting organisation riddled by corruption and inefficiency. Having announced that the force would be overhauled, starting with the dismantling of the 500-strong Mobile Reserve, the national security minister said he is expecting swift results with a new brand of young leaders. “They have the intellectual capacity and the commitment, and there are those with the requisite integrity, and once we can have a process of identifying them objectively, and given the opportunity to do their work, we will have the kind of force very quickly that all Jamaicans will be proud of and have trust and confidence in,” Chang told The Gleaner yesterday. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Cyclone Fani makes landfall in Odisha

India put military units on standby for support and rescue operations in anticipation of Tropical Cyclone Fani making landfall on Friday. The Indian Coast Guard loaded ships with vital supplies off the coast of Odisha, and officers are now transporting food and drinking water to the town of Gopalpur. Read more here

Local elections: Tories and Labour hit by Brexit backlash in polls

The Conservatives and Labour have faced a backlash at the ballot box over the Brexit deadlock, with smaller parties and independents winning seats. In England so far, the Tories have lost more than 500 seats and 19 English councils, while the Liberal Democrats have gained more than 300 seats. National politics seems to have been a deciding factor for voters, with Labour also losing over 70 seats to date. Council results continue to come in for England and Northern Ireland. More than 120 English councils had declared by 12:30 BST, with counting under way in many of the other local authorities. Read more here

3rd May 2019

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