Daily Brief - Monday 22nd November, 2021

NEWS

Trade Minister, SATT president disagree with Balliram Maharaj – No impending food shortage in TT

Both Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon and Supermarkets Association (SATT) president Rajiv Diptee have rejected the dire prediction by former SATT president Balliram Maharaj of an impending food shortage for Christmas. “I don’t subscribe to that view at all,” Gopee-Scoon told Newsday when contacted on Sunday. “We are not hearing that from the rest of the food importers. We acknowledge there have been disruptions arising from the pandemic and we know that in certain parts of the world there might be lockdowns again, but by and large, I don’t know that there is any shortage per se. Read more here

T&T records 48 COVID deaths in 48 hours

The Ministry of Health yesterday reported that another 20 people had died from COVID-19, taking the figure to 48 deaths in two days and to 1,967 overall. In its daily update, the ministry said amongst the deceased within the 24-hour reporting period were five elderly males, 11 elderly females and four middle-aged males. It said 18 of the victims had a mixture of various comorbidities, including diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, heart disease, asthma, obesity and a history of strokes. The other two victims had no known medical conditions. Read more here

 

POLITICS

UNC writes President asking for Vieira senate appointment to be revoked

The UNC has written to both President Paula-Mae Weekes and Senate President Christina Kangaloo on Sunday asking that Anthony Vieira be relieved of his appointment as an Independent Senator. Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate Wade Mark made this known during the opposition’s weekly press conference on Sunday saying that the letters were delivered and received by both parties. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

The changing face of local banking

When I was a teenager RBC opened a savings account for me as part of their Young Leaders programme. The home branch for that account was Park Street, Port-of-Spain. That branch, however, is no longer around. On January 10, last year the Park Street branch was officially closed. In an interview then, RBC’s director of sales effectiveness, strategic and corporate communications of Caribbean banking, Jacqueline Taggart said the decision to close the Park Street branch was made “after an extensive review of client banking habits, branch traffic, and other RBC banking options in close proximity.” All operations were consolidated with the Independence Square, Port-of-Spain branch. Read more here

Climate investments make sense

Republic Financial Holdings Ltd president, Nigel Baptiste, is confident that finance will play a critical role in achieving the transition to a clean and just economy. Speaking at the virtual Caribbean ESG and Climate Financing Summit last week, Baptiste said the private sector must play a key role in limiting global warming which can impact regional economies. He said at the just concluded COP26 in Glasgow, international economists stated in an article that small island developing states will experience catastrophic economic and social consequences. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

‘Confidential programme’ to tackle crime a step in the right direction

With the government advancing its agenda to tackle crime, President Dr. Irfaan Ali has recently announced that his administration is pursuing a novel concept which would effectively offer criminals an opportunity to turn their lives around and live a “decent life.” “Once you want to change your life, we want a discussion with you. We want to talk to you to give you an alternative pathway to earning an income and living a decent life,” the President announced during an address to the nation on November 12, 2021. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Covid: Austria back in lockdown despite protests

Austria has returned to a full national lockdown as protests against new restrictions aimed at curbing Covid-19 infections spread across Europe. From midnight, Austrians have been asked to work from home and non-essential shops have closed. New restrictions have sparked protests throughout Europe. People clashed with police in the Netherlands and Belgium. Infection rates have risen sharply on the continent, prompting warnings from the World Health Organization (WHO). Read more here

 

22nd November 2021

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