Daily Brief - Friday 7th September, 2018


Caricom fuel contracts with Petrotrin in trouble

The ripple effect of the pending closure of Petrotrin’s refinery is being felt in the Caricom region. President general of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) Ancel Roget said his union has had discussions with some prime ministers in the region and with the source of their supply uncertain, they are all nervous about what is taking place at the refinery. Petrotrin supplies refined products such as gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel to countries in the region and beyond, including Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada and St Lucia. Read more here

Debe Hindu closed after roof caves in

Part of the ceil­ing at the Debe Hin­du School col­lapsed yes­ter­day, caus­ing a to­tal shut­down of the in­sti­tu­tion. Since the open­ing of the school term on Mon­day, all the stu­dents from In­fants to Stan­dard Three have been sent home in­def­i­nite­ly be­cause of a leak­ing sew­er. How­ev­er, the Stan­dards Four and Fives were al­lowed to have class­es in the school de­spite the in­fra­struc­tur­al de­fects while the min­istry did a scope of works for re­pairs. But in an in­ter­view yes­ter­day, pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer at the school Van­dana Sankaar said the ceil­ing caved in yes­ter­day. She said fol­low­ing a meet­ing, the par­ents de­cid­ed that the school was no longer safe for the teach­ers and pupils. A de­ci­sion was tak­en for the build­ing to be evac­u­at­ed. Read more here

Sando mom disappears after gym

Police are asking the public for help to find a 47-year-old mother of three who was reported missing yesterday morning. Read more here



PM attends La Brea signing

The Prime Minister will attend the signing of a co-operation agreement in La Brea today between the National Infrastructure Development Company (Nidco) and China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd for the development of dry-docking facilities at La Brea. Read more here

PM’s arrogance upsets Roget

The Oil­field Work­ers’ Trade Union (OW­TU), backed by the ma­jor­i­ty of the trade union move­ment, last night en­tered a “war room” to dis­cuss its next move on the fu­ture of Petrotrin, af­ter Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley re­it­er­at­ed his po­si­tion that the re­fin­ery will be shut down. This was the out­come of an al­most three-hour long meet­ing yes­ter­day be­tween OW­TU’s pres­i­dent gen­er­al An­cel Ro­get, union lead­ers and Row­ley at the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter, St Clair, to dis­cuss the clo­sure of Petrotrin’s re­fin­ery among oth­er is­sues. The meet­ing was held af­ter Na­tion­al Trade Union Cen­tre pres­i­dent Wat­son Duke de­liv­ered a let­ter to Row­ley on Mon­day ask­ing for an ur­gent meet­ing with him on Petrotrin. Yes­ter­day, Ro­get summed up the meet­ing as “not pro­duc­tive. And yet for an­oth­er time, we saw where de­ci­sions were made re­al­ly leav­ing out the peo­ple that counts. That is a wor­ry­ing sig­nal.” Read more here

Analysis of the PNM’s major moves in 3 years

As the People’s National Movement marks the third anniversary of its September 7, 2015 general election victory today, the Solution by Simulation poll found 43 per cent of the 435 individuals sampled believe they are worse off today than three years ago. Read more here



ECA: Employers don’t have to pay absent workers

Any at­tempt to shut down T&T will fur­ther hurt the econ­o­my, the Em­ploy­ers’ Con­sul­ta­tive As­so­ci­a­tion of T&T (ECA) warned yes­ter­day. In a state­ment is­sued ahead of to­day’s Rest and Re­flect protest ac­tion by trade unions, the group said: “It is no se­cret that our na­tion con­tin­ues to face tough eco­nom­ic times. It is there­fore the re­spon­si­bil­i­ty of every cit­i­zen to en­sure that de­ci­sions on the na­tion’s eco­nom­ic fu­ture are made dis­pas­sion­ate­ly and re­al­is­ti­cal­ly in all in­stances. “At this time, the ECA urges cit­i­zens to re­mem­ber that a na­tion­al shut­down of any kind, even for a short pe­ri­od, will fur­ther af­fect Trinidad and To­ba­go’s abil­i­ty to sur­vive and com­pete in the glob­al mar­ket­place. Each day of lost eco­nom­ic earn­ings will in­evitably have rip­ple ef­fects on cit­i­zens across the na­tion.” Read more here

Rowley to visit Guyana to boost ties

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley will be flying to Guyana next Wednesday to sign an agreement for a working partnership with that country. Read more here



Verbal Corruption! - NESol Paid Millions To Company Without A Contract, PAAC Told

"Verbal corruption" allowed the state-owned National Energy Solution Limited (NESol) to hire a private firm, Peak Energy Solutions Limited, and pay it millions of dollars for service rendered without a contract in place. That was the charge of Fitz Jackson, an opposition member of Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC), at a meeting yesterday. The PAAC was told that Peak Energy Solutions was contracted by NESol, which was then headed by Carolyn Warren, and was paid more than $12 million for work it claimed had been done. This was verified by its then operations engineer, Laurence Pommels, who has since been arrested by the police after he was allegedly found with more than $35 million in cash. Read more here



Brett Kavanaugh and the Democrats got what they came for

One of the most vindictive and ill-tempered congressional hearings in memory appeared to do little to shake up the political realities that will likely see President Donald Trump's Supreme Court-reshaping nominee confirmed before the midterm elections. For much of the time, the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week added up to exactly the kind of petty, small, negative politics that mourners at Sen. John McCain's funeral on Saturday used their eulogies to decry. But there was a method to the madness unfolding in the Hart Senate Office Building. Read more here

Syria war: Iran, Russia and Turkey meet to discuss Idlib

The presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey are holding a key summit in Tehran that could decide the fate of Syria's last major rebel stronghold. There are fears of a humanitarian disaster if, as expected, a large-scale battle breaks out in Idlib. Earlier, the new US envoy for Syria said there was "evidence" that Syrian government forces were preparing to use chemical weapons. Fresh air strikes on rebel positions were reported on Friday morning. Iran, Russia and Turkey have played central roles in the Syrian conflict. Turkey - which has long backed rebel groups - fears an all-out assault will trigger another huge refugee crisis on its southern border. Russia and Iran - which have provided vital support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - believe the rebels in Idlib must be wiped out. Read more here

7th September 2018


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