Daily Brief - Monday 15th June, 2020


Mixed views from teachers, parents on August SEA date

Come August 20, some 19,334 students will sit the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exam. While the exam was scheduled to take place on April 2, the covid19 pandemic delayed it. Schools were closed from March 16 – before the original SEA date of April 2. The new date set by the Ministry of Education has caused debate. The TT Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) said the exam should be held in October. But Education Minister Anthony Garcia said the exam will take place on August 20 nevertheless. There were mixed feelings among SEA teachers, parents and students about the date. Newsday spoke to some of them on June 14. All asked for their names not to be used. Read more here

Six new COVID-19 positive tests recorded

The Ministry of Health is reporting that there have been six new positive tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of positive tests to 123.In its latest COVID-19 Update, as of the afternoon of Sunday 14th June 2020, the Ministry explains that the new positive cases have come from those persons who came into the country on June 12th, via a cruise ship. The Ministry assures, however, that the new cases have been taken to Caura Hospital for treatment, and there is no risk of community transmission. The Ministry also reports that testing continues apace at CARPHA, with the number samples submitted rising to 3,995. Read more here



PM: I never said Tobago self-government bill would be withdrawn

The Prime Minister has denied saying the Tobago self-government bill would be withdrawn. He was responding to a prime minister's question in the House Friday from Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial on whether the bill will be placed on the Government's legislative agenda prior to the dissolution of the Parliament in September given statements reported in the media. In a newspaper column on Thursday (published by another newspaper) political analyst Dr Winford James had said in an interview on Tobago Channel 5 Dr Rowley announced that he would not be taking the Constitution (Amendment) (Tobago Self-Government) Bill 2018 back to Parliament because he does not have the requisite majority of seats in Parliament to get it passed. He also said the Prime Minister was being "shamelessly authoritarian" and he did not explain to the nation why he had abandoned the bill. Read more here

Hunt continues for La Brea candidate

The PNM’s La Brea unit is now searching for a third time for nominees and is likely to finally have a candidate by the end of this week. And, after PNM’s leadership again addressed the executive last Saturday night, members of the executive are now satisfied the candidate won’t be former minister Robert Le Hunte. That included members who strongly supported Le Hunte last week. La Brea’s executive was addressed by PNM’s leadership after the leadership and screening team interviewed 13 La Brea nominees on Saturday. But after almost five hours none were chosen PNM executive chairman Wayne Wood said at the end of the exercise—around 10 pm—no one was chosen. The unit was advised to search again for nominees to present Thursday. Read more here



Tourism in a time of Covid

The Caribbean is home to some of the most tourism-dependent countries in the world and the ongoing travel restrictions, border closures and strict social distancing protocols have resulted in an abrupt halt in visitor arrivals. Read more here



The art of ‘flaking off’

WITH the report of Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield indicating that the elections were riddled with illegalities and anomalies, President David Granger said that his party has taken note of the “flaking off” strategy applied by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), the primary beneficiary of said wrongdoings. “I’m aware that the technique that was employed by the Opposition has been what is called ‘flaking off’. They don’t try to have grand larceny; when you calculate 2,339 [ballot boxes], they just want to flake off 15 there, flake off 20 here, flake off 50 there,” President Granger told journalists on Sunday during an interview at State House. Read more here

Cop killer had plunged knife into his own brother, eventually killing him

Damion Hamilton, the suspected attacker who slew two policemen and injured three others in fierce gunfights last Friday, has been called a cold-hearted killer by residents of two St Catherine communities where he grew up or lived in the past. Read more here



Atlanta police shooting: Rayshard Brooks death declared homicide

A medical examiner in Atlanta, Georgia, has declared the death of an African-American man to be homicide after he was shot in an encounter with police. Rayshard Brooks died while fleeing from two white police officers in a restaurant car park late on Friday. Protests erupted after his death, weeks after another black man, George Floyd, was killed in custody in Minneapolis. Atlanta's police chief quit and the police officer suspected of shooting Mr Brooks was fired. Read more here

China's new coronavirus outbreak sees Beijing adopt 'wartime' measures as capital races to contain spread

Beijing is reintroducing strict lockdown measures and rolling out mass testing after a fresh cluster of novel coronavirus cases emerged from the city's largest wholesale food market, sparking fears of a resurgence of the deadly outbreak. The Chinese capital reported 36 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total number to 79 since a locally transmitted infection was reported on June 12 for the first time in nearly two months, according to the National Health Commission. Read more here


15th June 2020


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