Daily Brief - Monday 21st December, 2020

NEWS

TT covid19 infection rate reaches 7,000

Since March to present, some 7,000 people in TT have tested positive for the covid19 virus, according to the latest update from the Ministry of Health on Sunday. The update said TT had 26 new cases of infection for December 17-19. The 7,000 cases are comprised of 420 active cases, 6,457 recovered patients and 123 deaths. This latter death toll has remained unchanged from the Saturday update, suggesting no new deaths within the past 24 hours. TT has 20 patients now in hospital for covid19. Read more here

Shipping firms say no more payments in TT$ 

Two shipping companies announced on Friday that come January 17, 2021, customers wishing to import items into Trinidad and Tobago will have to pay their freight charges in US dollars. The announcements were made by Seaboard Marine and King Ocean Services. In a release, Seaboard said, “Effective January 17, 2021, we have adopted a policy requiring all freight charges paid in Trinidad to be done in US dollars.” Read more here

 

POLITICS

MSJ's Abdulah: Central Bank must remain independent

Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) political leader David Abdulah says the Central Bank must remain an independent and autonomous organisation. In making this point on Sunday, he said it was wrong for some people to allege the Bank's independence and autonomy is only being threatened now and that this threat never existed in the past. Read more here

PM’s daughter back home for Christmas

Santa dropped an early Christmas present for Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley a few days ago—his daughter Dr Sonel Rowley-Stewart returned from New York. This was confirmed to the T&T Guardian last Saturday. This, after Opposition United National Congress sources first spoke of the situation. Rowley-Stewart, who returned last week from New York, is said to be in quarantine but a location hasn’t been disclosed. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Building an investment portfolio

Establishing an investment portfolio may seem to be daunting for some, but adopting a systematic approach can simplify the process. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

$15B pumped into ‘agri’ sector

Cultivating a productive and lucrative agricultural sector has been at the forefront of the new government’s agenda, with some $15 billion being expended over the past four months to drive growth in the various sub-sectors. The result of this expenditure, according to Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha, has been better drainage and irrigation in farming communities, higher yields and a renewed interest to invest in a sector which has been driving economic growth in Guyana for decades. Read more here

UK Travel Ban On Agenda - Jamaicans Will Know Within Next 72 Hours Whether COVID-19 Crackdown Will Ground Flights

Jamaica is to make a decision within the next 72 hours on whether it will introduce travel restrictions on United Kingdom flights coming into the island as an aggressive new COVID-19 strain that is 70 per cent more contagious has emerged, with at least six European countries imposing barriers to entry. The development is a dramatic turn in events as the Boris Johnson administration has all but cancelled Christmas in Britain with a Tier Four alert, flagging inland and international travel with the territory hurtling past two million infections and 67,000 deaths. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Trump's talk of martial law sends White House staffers rushing to the press

A meeting President Donald Trump held to discuss overturning the election result alarmed some White House staffers -- people who are used to Trump's inflammatory and anti-democratic rhetoric. With only a month remaining until President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office, Trump has been ramping up his efforts to remain president, while also trying to convince millions of Americans that election fraud is to blame for his presidential loss. Read more here

Brexit: Trade deal talks continue as negotiators fail to reach agreement

Post-Brexit trade talks are continuing on Monday after negotiators failed to reach an agreement over the weekend. The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and his UK counterpart David Frost met in Brussels on Sunday, but key issues remain unresolved. The European Parliament said talks needed to have ended on Sunday in order for it to ratify a deal by 31 December. A UK government source told the BBC a deal will not be reached unless there is a "substantial shift" from Brussels. Read more here

21st December 2020

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