Daily Brief - Monday 11th February, 2019

NEWS

Venezuelans surviving on US $6 monthly

Imagine surviving on US$6 a month and all you can afford is a two-pound chicken or maybe a tube of toothpaste. That is what the average Venezuelan earns per month because of the deepening crisis in what was once Latin America’s richest country. Venezuelans flee the country daily to Trinidad and other neighbouring countries – some to purchase basic food items, to work, and others to seek asylum. Read more here

Murder toll climbs to 62

The mur­der toll now stands at 62 fol­low­ing two more mur­ders on Sat­ur­day night. The vic­tims were iden­ti­fied as Ri­car­do “Boney­man” Chew, 38, of Nel­son Street and Isa­iah Ram­per­sad, 18, of Mal­abar. An­oth­er man, iden­ti­fied as Akee­ba Ghan­ny, al­so of Nel­son Street, Port-of-Spain, was al­so shot and wound­ed. Ac­cord­ing to a po­lice re­port, at about 9.30 pm Ghan­ny was on his way to his Nel­son Street apart­ment when he was shot in one of his arms. Po­lice said when they were re­spond­ing to that shoot­ing they no­ticed the body of a man in a drain. The man was lat­er iden­ti­fied to be Chew of Apart­ment 62-64. Po­lice said he was shot sev­er­al times about the body. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Colm: More water soon

Minister of Finance Colm Imbert Friday promised more water in both Trinidad and Tobago, in reply to a Question to the Prime Minister in the Lower House from Caroni Central MP Dr Bhoe Tewarie about plans to ensure the water-supply crisis does not worsen in the dry season. Imbert who was acting PM at the time replied that a number of activities are in place for 2019. Read more here

AmCham backs call to move ACIB from under AG

The Amer­i­can Cham­ber of Com­merce of Trinidad & To­ba­go (Am­Cham TT) is sup­port­ing the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions’ (DPP) call for the re­moval of re­spon­si­bil­i­ty for the An­ti-Cor­rup­tion In­ves­ti­ga­tions Bu­reau (ACIB) from the of­fice of the At­tor­ney Gen­er­al to the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice (TTPS). In a state­ment is­sued yes­ter­day, Am­Cham TT said the prop­er func­tion­ing of the ACIB is crit­i­cal in com­bat­ing the scourge of white-col­lar crime and en­sur­ing that T&T is a ju­ris­dic­tion in which the rule of law pre­vails. It not­ed that to achieve this, cor­rup­tion among pub­lic of­fi­cials and po­lit­i­cal­ly-con­nect­ed rogue el­e­ments of the pri­vate sec­tor must be root­ed out. “We be­lieve that hav­ing the ACIB un­der a po­lit­i­cal of­fice does not lend to best prac­tices in the thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion and pros­e­cu­tion of cor­rupt per­sons. Re­gard­less of the ad­min­is­tra­tion, this sit­u­a­tion may al­low for po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence and com­pro­mise of sen­si­tive in­ves­ti­ga­tions. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

FIRST, RFHL improve earnings

This week, we at Bourse review the financial performance of two commercial banks listed on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange (TTCI) for the first quarter ended December 31, 2018, First Citizens Bank Ltd (FIRST) and Republic Financial Holdings Ltd (RFHL). Both banks reported positive earnings growth, supported by different factors. We discuss the performance of both companies and provide a brief outlook. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

‘Nothing To Hide’ - PM Pledges Tell-All On Ramharrack; To Table Severance Deal In Parliament

The public will learn the full details of the severance package of Yolande Ramharrack, the former human resources manager at Petrojam whose non-disclosure agreement stoked a firestorm of criticism for Prime Minister Andrew Holness. The disciplinary charges against her will also be laid bare. Holness, who was pressed last Tuesday to reveal the terms and conditions of Ramharrack’s negotiated settlement, said yesterday that the multilayered appellate process could have cost the Government upwards of $35 million. “The question is still being asked, what was the settlement and what were the charges? I will be tabling the contract in Parliament because it is such a matter of important public interest for all those who would want to make mischief and drag people’s name through the mud and make false insinuations and accusations and who have suddenly been clothed with the air of righteousness,” Holness, who is also leader of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party, said during a party Area One Council Conference at the Pembroke Hall Community Centre in St Andrew. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Brexit: Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn set to hold further talks

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn look set to hold further talks over Brexit. The prime minister struck a conciliatory tone in her response to a letter from Mr Corbyn, which set out his five demands for a Brexit deal. She said she wanted the two parties to discuss "alternative arrangements" to the Irish backstop - a commitment to avoid a hard border. But there remains a divide over the customs union, even though she did not reject any of his conditions outright. No date has been set for the next meeting, but the letter concludes with Mrs May saying she looked forward to the two parties meeting "as soon as possible". Meanwhile, Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay and EU negotiator Michel Barnier will hold talks in Strasbourg later, as the EU and UK Brexit negotiating teams discuss proposed changes to the deal. Read more here

Washington on the brink as new shutdown looms

America could be sliding toward a new government shutdown and President Donald Trump may face a fateful choice over his border wall as another knife-edge week opens in Washington. Democratic and Republican negotiators last week seemed to be on course for a deal to fund the government and boost border security short of paying for a wall, and it seemed possible that Trump might grudgingly sign on. But the talks ground to a halt over the weekend in a dispute over limits demanded by Democrats on the number of places available in detention centers used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations away from border areas. Read more here 

11th February 2019

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