Daily Brief - Monday 13th July, 2020


Police brace for turf war after gun attack on quarry operator

Police are bracing for an all-out turf war in the multi-million-dollar illegal quarrying industry in east Trinidad. A major player in the business was killed in an ambush while heading to work shortly after midnight on Saturday. An unknown number of gunmen lying in wait in the bush along Tractor Road, off the Toco Main Road in Matura opened fire on a white car carrying five people, including two teenagers. Police said Anton “Darko” Blake, 41, of Palm Drive, Valencia, was killed. The driver, Emmanuel Adams, 37, of Cadiz Road, Belmont, was shot multiple times and is in a critical condition at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex. Read more here

Police killings on the rise....The case for bodycams

With another six months in the year still to go, the number of people killed by police so far in T&T is precariously close to its highest figure in the last decade. The deaths of Joel Jacob, Israel Clinton and Noel Diamond in Second Caledonia, Morvant, on June 27 saw that figure rise to 43, and it may rise to 44 should an investigation conclude that police gunfire killed Ornella Greaves, a pregnant mother of five from Beetham Gardens, when police clashed with residents on June 30. Only 2010, which saw 49 people killed by police and 2014, which saw 46 people killed, have seen more people lose their lives at the hands, or rather the bullets, of police officers in T&T. Director of the Police Complaints Authority David West confirmed that since 2014 they had received 214 reports of fatal police shootings which have lead to 156 investigations. About 20 per cent of those 214 reports took place this year alone. Read more here



Ministry: Licensing working to reduce backlog

With a backlog of transactions to be conducted by the public at licensing offices across the country, the Ministry of Works and Transport (MOWT) has assured that it is ready for the increased volume of work. The shut down of government offices and other businesses for about three months due to covid19 preventative measures, stalled many business and commercial transactions. Several people took to social media sites to express their frustration, especially with the operations at the licensing offices. The MOWT told Newsday that they were fully aware of the concerns and were trying to accommodate the public although they were still operating with a limited capacity. Read more here

Garcia: We are ready for CXC exams...Expresses concerns about SBAs

“Les examens commencent aujourd’hui.” “Los exámenes comienzan hoy.” When translated into English the first two lines in this article written in French and Spanish respectively means “the exams start today.” And that’s exactly what is scheduled to take place this morning when the Caribbean Examination Council’s Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations are carded to begin today. Today CAPE will be having its French and Spanish Units 1 and 2 Paper Four, while CSEC will be having French 3 (General), Spanish 3 (General), Portuguese 3 (General) and Music 2 (General).CXC’s exams were originally scheduled to start in May but the timetable had to be revised because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here



RBC pushes for racial diversity

Royal Bank of Canada is committing Can$150 million (US$111 million) to racial diversity initiatives and aims to increase the proportion of non-white executives hired to 30 per cent from 20 per cent, Canada’s biggest lender said last week. Read more here



Cops reaping success from Chinese high-tech surveillance system in MoBay

The high-tech surveillance cameras equipped with facial-recognition software being installed by Chinese business operators across the Second City have already been reaping success. The devices, which can easily pick up faces up to a mile away even in heavy rain, have been credited with a number of arrests. The cameras are the latest tools in the fight against crime in Montego Bay, St James, where the robbery-weary Chinese business community has turned to the system to identify and expose the brazen robbers, who have been targeting them in several multimillion-dollar heists. In 2018, the national closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance system, better known as JamaicaEye, outlined an ambitious plan to cover the western city with an additional 300 CCTV cameras by the end of that year. However, it is unclear as to what has become of the plan and how many cameras have actually been installed across the city. Read more here

National dialogue needed urgently– PM Nagamootoo says

Guyana’s unorthodox 2020 General and Regional Elections have proved, undeniably, the need for Guyana’s political leaders to have serious discussions about shared governance, constitutional reform and electoral reform, sooner rather than later. This is a position shared by many, including Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo who endorsed these and other needed changes in the Sunday column, ‘My Turn’. The Prime Minister said that the year’s elections have been stained with electoral fraud, a cycle of litigation and ethnic tensions which point to deep-seated issues which will require collective efforts to address. To set the course, Nagamootoo said that it is crucial that President David Granger and the Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, meet “urgently” to engage on the way forward. Read more here



White House takes aim at Fauci as he disagrees with Trump on virus

The White House is making a concerted effort to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci as he becomes increasingly vocal about his concerns over reopening the country amid a national surge in coronavirus cases. The moves to undercut Fauci come just days after he gave an unvarnished look at his relationship with President Donald Trump, including that they have not spoken in weeks. The tension between the two men -- who are no longer speaking, CNN reported last week -- has grown publicly as they have responded to one another through interviews and statements. But recent moves by the White House to publicly diminish the nation's top infectious disease expert amounts to a significant escalation as it seeks to divert attention from the government's failure to contain the coronavirus and instead push Trump's call to reopen the country. That effort continued Monday morning, when the President retweeted a baseless claim by game show host Chuck Woolery that "everyone is lying" about the coronavirus -- including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more here

Coronavirus: Florida sets new state daily case record of 15,299

Florida has registered a state record of 15,299 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours - around a quarter of all of the United States' daily infections. The state, with just 7% of the US population, surpassed the previous daily record held by California. Florida, which began lifting coronavirus restrictions in May, has proved vulnerable due to tourism and an elderly population. Its figures eclipse the worst daily rates seen in New York in April. Florida also registered an additional 45 deaths. The state would rank fourth in the world for new cases if it were a country, according to a Reuters analysis. More than 40 hospitals in Florida say their intensive care facilities are at full capacity. Read more here

13th July 2020


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