Daily Brief - Friday 8th March, 2019


TTUTA slams attack on principal

A week after the brutal attack on Jee­wan Ramd­hanie, principal of the Tunapuna Hindu Primary school, the TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) is advocating for an example to be made of the perpetrators so as to deter anyone else from committing such a brazen attack. TTUTA president Lynsley Doodhai commended teachers at the primary school for the high degree of compassion, care and dedication they displayed in the aftermath of the attack. At the same time he condemned the attackers. Read more here

New pathologist for Forensic Centre

A foren­sic pathol­o­gist is ex­pect­ed to re­port for du­ty to­day at the Foren­sic Sci­ence Cen­tre in St James so that the back­log of bod­ies there is cleared. Guardian Me­dia un­der­stands that there have been no au­top­sies con­duct­ed since last week due to al­leged con­trac­tu­al is­sues with the pathol­o­gists cur­rent­ly on staff. How­ev­er, Min­is­ter of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Stu­art Young said yes­ter­day he was on­ly ap­prised of the sit­u­a­tion on Wednes­day and moved im­me­di­ate­ly to sign a doc­u­ment for a pathol­o­gist to be hired im­me­di­ate­ly. Speak­ing dur­ing yes­ter­day’s post-Cab­i­net me­dia brief­ing, Young said he ex­pect­ed the sit­u­a­tion to be re­solved with­in the next 24 hours start­ing from yes­ter­day and sub­se­quent­ly ex­tend­ed an apol­o­gy to fam­i­lies who are cur­rent­ly in­con­ve­nienced. Read more here



Acting PM Imbert: Carnival a success

Acting Prime Minister Colm Imbert reports that by all accounts there was “tremendous participation” for Carnival 2019. He was speaking yesterday at the post-Cabinet media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s. He said Community Development, Culture and the Arts Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly was ill and unable to present on Carnival 2019, so he would present some of the highlights on her behalf. Read more here

Young wary of terrorist language in US advisory

Min­is­ter of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Stu­art Young says on­ly a few phras­es in the most re­cent US trav­el ad­vi­so­ry have brought any con­cern to him. The US Em­bassy re­leased its lat­est trav­el ad­vi­so­ry for US cit­i­zens vis­it­ing Trinidad on Wednes­day, but Young ex­plained yes­ter­day that the ad­vi­so­ry was very sim­i­lar to the last few from the US. "The on­ly changes in lan­guage were styl­is­tic changes. There has been no change in the US trav­el ad­vi­so­ry sys­tem, in fact, I made this point dur­ing the Car­ni­val pe­ri­od, that it was a good en­dorse­ment of all we had been do­ing at Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty that none of our for­eign al­ly coun­tries in is­su­ing trav­el ad­vi­sories had changed it on us," Young at Thurs­day's post-Cab­i­net press brief­ing at the Diplo­mat­ic Cen­tre. Read more here



AmCham T&T tackles gender inequality

Fig­ures re­lat­ing to gen­der par­i­ty at the most se­nior lev­els of busi­ness in T&T are not en­cour­ag­ing. Al­though there is gen­der par­i­ty up to mid­dle man­age­ment, at the C-suite lev­el the ra­tio falls to less than 25 per cent fe­male par­tic­i­pa­tion, ac­cord­ing to da­ta re­leased by Am­Cham T&T yes­ter­day. The busi­ness group said it is tak­ing tan­gi­ble steps to re­duce gen­der in­equal­i­ty and in­crease the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of fe­male lead­er­ship at ex­ec­u­tive and board lev­els, in­clud­ing through its Women in Lead­er­ship Men­tor­ship Pro­gramme held in part­ner­ship with the In­ter-Amer­i­can De­vel­op­ment Bank (IDB). This ini­tia­tive, now in its sec­ond cy­cle, pairs 21 fe­male mentees with men­tors from Am­Cham T&T and the IDB pro­fes­sion­al net­work lo­cal­ly and in Wash­ing­ton DC. Read more here



Santa Clarke - Tax Cuts, Duty Abolition To Spark $14b Stimulus Package

A $14-billion stimulus package is the centrepiece of the Government’s 2019-2020 Budget. Finance Minister Nigel Clarke announced a raft of tax-relief measures aimed at boosting economic activity by promoting business start-ups and removing fiscal impediments to business operations. As of April 1, a total of 3,500 businesses will no longer have to file returns on general consumption tax. The reporting threshold has been increased to $10 million, up from $3 million. Government will be giving up an estimated $731 million. The ad valorem (tax related to value) stamp duty payable on loans and other securities under the Stamp Duty Act will now attract a flat fee of $5,000 per document. Government will give up $6.65 billion in revenue. The transfer tax rate on the sale of property will be cut from five per cent to two per cent, slicing $3.431 billion in tax revenue. Read more here



Venezuela power cuts: Blackouts hit Caracas and spread

Most of Venezuela has been hit by an electricity blackout. The power cut plunged the capital Caracas into almost complete darkness during rush hour on Thursday, before extending to other areas. The government of President Nicolás Maduro has blamed the opposition, accusing them of sabotage. It comes amid rising tensions over opposition efforts - backed by the US and some Latin American countries - to remove Mr Maduro from power. Read more here

Manafort sentencing marks rare reprieve for Trump world in Mueller probe

Donald Trump has rarely caught a break since special counsel Robert Mueller clamped a vise around his White House two years ago. Yet the President likely got to savor a few, rare crumbs of comfort on Thursday as he faces down an expansive set of criminal, civil and congressional investigations into his presidency, campaign, business empire and personal life. The Virginia judge who handed Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort a 47-month sentence -- far below the federal guidelines for his crimes -- also gave Trump a propaganda tool for his fervent effort to discredit Mueller's investigation. Read more here

8th March 2019


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