Daily Brief - Friday 7th February, 2020


T&T 2nd worldwide for CO2 emissions 

Ac­cord­ing to the World Bank’s Glob­al Car­bon Project 2019, the lat­est fig­ures for car­bon diox­ide emis­sions put T&T in sec­ond place world­wide. Da­ta re­leased from the project on Jan­u­ary 30 gives sta­tis­tics for 2018 and shows that for T&T’s 1.4 mil­lion pop­u­la­tion, each per­son con­tributes 31.28 tonnes of CO2 emis­sions an­nu­al­ly. The World Bank project mea­sures on­ly CO2 emis­sions and does not in­clude any emis­sions from land use or oth­er green­house gas­es. Al­though those num­bers are alarm­ing, T&T has con­sis­tent­ly placed with­in the top ten con­trib­u­tors of CO2 over the last decade. The top con­trib­u­tor for 2018 was Qatar- pro­duc­ing 37.97 tonnes per per­son. Read more here

Touchstone confirms 'significant' oil, gas finds

Touchstone Exploration confirmed on Thursday that its Cascadura-1TST1 well in Ortoire is a “significant liquids rich natural gas discovery.” Cascadura is a joint project of Touchstone, which has an 80 per cent working interest and Heritage Petroleum, which has 20 per cent. It was first drilled on October 4. The well was then drilled to a total measured depth of 6,350 feet on December 9. A week later the company announced the find was significant, but did not give details of estimates then because it needed to confirm the find with tests. Cascadura production testing started on February 4, the Calgary, Canada-based company said, with the first stage testing the lower-most 162 feet of a total of 777 feet of identified pay (potentially commercial deposits) in the Herrera formation. Read more here



Imbert: TT will be removed from EU high-risk list

Finance Minister Colm Imbert said he is confident that TT will be removed from the European Union high-risk list for countries with deficiencies in its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing mechanisms. He was responding to a question in Senate Wednesday on steps being taken by Government to address the EU’s continued blacklisting of the country. Imbert said the lead on Government’s initiatives to deal with being on a grey list was being taken by Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi with support from the Finance Ministry and he congratulated Al-Rawi on his “vigorous” prosecution of the matter. Imbert reported the steps being taken were to address all remaining deficiencies in the national anti-money laundering and combating of financing of terrorism and proliferation of financing regime of TT (AML/CFT/PF. He said the steps were under review by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Read more here



Govt will safeguard Petrotrin pensions

Government will take whatever action is necessary to safeguard the pensions of Petrotrin workers. This was the assurance from Finance Minister Colm Imbert as he responded to a question from United National Congress (UNC) Senator Wade Mark in the Senate on Wednesday. Read more here



CARICOM provisionally endorses draft policy on trade in animals, animal products

CHIEF Veterinary Officers (CVOs) of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have provisionally endorsed the Draft Regional Policy on Trade in Animals and Animal Products. Endorsement in principle was given on January 27, 2020, at a meeting of the CVOs in Georgetown, Guyana. Member States are to further review and provide, if necessary, written comments on the policy. The formulation of the policy was a mandate of the 48th Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED). The main rationale for the creation of the policy is to facilitate and create an effectively regulated environment for the trade in Animals and Animal Products, guaranteeing the supply of high-quality products, as well as enhancing food safety throughout the Region. The policy is grounded in the provisions of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas as contained in the provisions of Articles 56 and 57, particularly Article 57 (i)(k) which promotes the establishment of effective and workable sanitary and phytosanitary systems (SPS). Read more here

NWC Chairman: Stop Cussing Us On Talk Shows

As the country braces for a continued period of below-normal rainfall, Senator Aubyn Hill, the chairman of the National Water Commission (NWC), has appealed to customers to avoid expressing dissatisfaction with water shortages on talk show programmes. Instead, Hill recommended that they contact the NWC or find a way to contact him directly with complaints, as he is usually robust in his responses. He was addressing attendees during a press conference on drought mitigation yesterday at Jamaica House in St Andrew. “Right now we are saying, ‘help us conserve and reuse and help us to recycle when you can’. Don’t go on [talk shows] and cuss us,” Hill said. “Call us first. If you have to cuss us, then cuss us. When I get those calls, I respond. I make no joke or apologies about that.” Read more here




Li Wenliang: Coronavirus death of Wuhan doctor sparks anger

The death of a Chinese doctor who tried to warn about the coronavirus outbreak has sparked an unprecedented level of public anger and grief in China. Li Wenliang died after contracting the virus while treating patients in Wuhan. Last December he sent a message to fellow medics warning of a virus he thought looked like Sars - another deadly coronavrius. But he was told by police to "stop making false comments" and was investigated for "spreading rumours". "I don't think he was rumour-mongering. Hasn't this turned into reality now?" his father, Li Shuying, told the BBC. "My son was wonderful." Read more here

China's censors tried to control the narrative on a hero doctor's death. It backfired terribly

Speaking to state media in late December, one of China's top medical officials hailed eight residents of Wuhan who had attempted to blow the whistle on the coronavirus outbreak now devastating the country. "In retrospect, we should highly praise them," said Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC). "They were wise before the outbreak." One of those whistleblowers, punished for spreading "rumors" as the city's government continued to downplay the dangers of the virus, was Li Wenliang. A young doctor in one of Wuhan's main hospitals, Li posted in a private group chat about the spread of a "SARS-like" virus. Read more here

7th February 2020


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