Daily Brief - Monday 25th April, 2022

NEWS

Augustine on Marriott project: Artefacts, coast must be protected

The preservation of artefacts and the protection of the coast were among the main issues raised on Thursday at a site visit in Rocky Point where a $500 million Marriott hotel project is expected to be completed in 2025. Construction is set to begin next year. Chief Secretary Farley Augustine led the site visit alongside Secretary of Tourism Tashia Burris, area representative Niall George, officials from the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development and Superior Hotels Ltd chairman John Aboud.Augustine said, "This morning we went through Rocky Point with the hotel developers as well as stakeholders within the Tobago space, people representing this community – the community of Mt Irvine, folks from the Historical Society, the surfers, and just people with general interest. Read more here

COVID shots still work but researchers hunt new improvements

COVID-19 vaccinations are at a critical juncture as companies test whether new approaches like combination shots or nasal drops can keep up with a mutating coronavirus — even though it’s not clear if changes are needed. Already there’s public confusion about who should get a second booster now and who can wait. There’s also debate about whether pretty much everyone might need an extra dose in the fall. “I’m very concerned about booster fatigue” causing a loss of confidence in vaccines that still offer very strong protection against COVID-19’s worst outcomes, said Dr. Beth Bell of the University of Washington, an adviser to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more here

 

POLITICS

New PNM Tobago leader vows to listen

Ancil Dennis has created history yet again in becoming the youngest political leader of the People’s National Movement’s (PNM’s) Tobago Council. Dennis, 35, was the sole contender for the position of political leader in the party’s internal election on Sunday where 17 positions were contested, 12 of which were unopposed. Polls opened at 8am and closed at 6pm, at six polling stations across Tobago. Read more here

Hinds challenges Kamla to bring evidence on spying claims

National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds has once again condemned claims by the Opposition and its leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, that the Government and T&T Police Service are spying on citizens. Speaking at a media conference at the Ministry of National Security in Port-of-Spain yesterday, Minister Hinds called the Opposition’s claims reckless and dangerous. He said the Israeli Pegasus spy software was offered to Trinidad and Tobago in 2019 but the Government declined the opportunity to acquire it because it contravened the laws of the country. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

HSF edges up to US$5.62b

Trinidad and Tobago’s Heritage and Stabilisation Fund stood at US$5.62 billion at the end of December 31, 2021, growing by US$159.3 million compared to the previous quarter’s closing value of US$5.46 billion. In the HSF report for the first quarter of its 2022 financial year, the sovereign wealth fund said it returned 2.97 per cent in the period October 1 to December 31, 2021. This was due primarily to its exposure to global developed equities, according to the report, which was placed on the website of the Ministry of Finance earlier this month. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

'You can't imagine the conditions' - Accounts emerge of Russian detention camps

"You can't imagine how horrible the conditions were." Oleksandr and Olena are two of the lucky few who recently managed to escape from Mariupol, which is now almost under full Russian control after weeks of bombardment. The city is effectively sealed off from the world, and information about what is happening inside is difficult to confirm independently. But the pair, and others, have given chilling accounts of life in Russia's so-called filtration camps, set up outside Mariupol to house civilians before they are evacuated. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

$7.7B earned from rice exports during first quarter of 2022

Between January and March 2022, Guyana’s thriving rice industry raked in approximately US$37,022,500, an equivalent of more than GY$7.7 billion in export earnings, according to figures provided by the Ministry of Agriculture on Friday. It was explained that these earnings derived from the exportation of approximately 49,304 tonnes of rice and rice products during the first quarter of 2022. Importantly, export revenues from rice are expected to grow even more, since many farmers across the country are still harvesting paddy from the year’s first rice crop, which commenced with countrywide sowing in November 2021. Read more here

25th April 2022

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