Daily Brief - Monday 27th September, 2021

NEWS

6 more cases of delta variant

The Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed six more cases of the covid19 delta variant. This brings the total number of people identified with the delta variant to 17. In a release, the ministry said one case is an unvaccinated minor who travelled to Trinidad from New York. The other five cases have no recent history of travel. All patients have been placed in isolation until the enhanced discharge criteria for people with covid19 variants of concern is achieved. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Al-Rawi dismisses calls for resignation

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi on Sunday said he fully supports the Prime Minister's position that issues surrounding the Police Service Commission (PSC) and the appointment of a commissioner of police (CoP) will be settled by the court. Al-Rawi also rejected calls from the Opposition UNC for him to resign over this matter and the collapse of the PSC, after the resignation of two of its members, Courtney McNish and Dr Susan Craig-James, last week. Referring to statements made by Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein during a news conference earlier in the day, Al-Rawi said he squarely rejected Hosein's reiteration of the UNC's claim that the legal order to appoint a CoP was unconstitutional. Read more here

Espinet defends ex-Petrotrin board in A&V matter

Former Petrotrin chairman Wilfred Espinet is disputing suggestions that the board of directors he led cost taxpayers millions of dollars, now that Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Ltd (TPHL) has agreed to pay A&V Oil and Gas Ltd $120 million to settle its lawsuit in the “fake oil” matter. In a paid newspaper advertisement yesterday, Espinet said the only new cost TPHL (Petrotrin’s parent company) has to pay was $18 million. He explained that when the then Petrotrin board terminated A&V’s contract in December 2017, it put the $84 million it owed the company in escrow pending a resolution of the situation. Read more here

BUSINESS

Touchstone finds hydrocarbon in Ortoire block in Trinidad

Touchstone Exploration Inc has announced its completion of drilling on the Royston-1 exploration well in Ortoire, south Trinidad, and a discovery of substantial hydrocarbon. A statement from the Calgary, Alberta-based company on Saturday said mud-logging and wireline logs showed hydrocarbon accumulations in the Lower Cruse, Karamat and Herrera sections. “An aggregate 393 gross feet of hydrocarbon pay was identified in two unique thrust sheets in the Herrera sands from 9,700 feet to total depth, with wireline logs indicating that the well was in hydrocarbon pay at total depth. Read more here

Consultation on workplace vaccinations

Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis is expected to meet today with stakeholders including trade unions and business groups, on a “possible workplace policy regarding Covid-19 vaccinations for Trinidad and Tobago”. A news release yesterday from the Ministry of Planning advised that the meeting, to which Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh has been invited to participate, is scheduled for 3 p.m. today and “involves key representatives of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions and NGOs (FITUN), the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) and the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC)”. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Investors ‘hungry’ to invest in new city

President Dr. Irfaan Ali’s concept for a secondary city has captured the attention of international investors. So much so that the Head of State and his high-level delegation attending the 76th United Nations General Assembly were even presented with a conceptual design of what the new city could possibly look like, and what it could entail. Dr. Ali informed a virtual press conference hosted from New York on Friday last that investors are “hungry to invest in the new city.” “Sometimes in Guyana, when I speak about the new city you get the impression from the media that this is a fairy-tale land,” President Ali reflected. He said that even though the city has not yet come to life, its potential has not evaded the attention of international players. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Germany elections: Centre-left claim narrow win over Merkel's party

Germany's centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) have claimed victory in the federal election, telling the party of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel it should no longer be in power. SPD leader Olaf Scholz said he had a clear mandate to form a government, while his conservative rival Armin Laschet remains determined to fight on. The two parties have governed together for years. But Mr Scholz says it is time for a new coalition with the Greens and liberals. Preliminary results gave his party a narrow election win over the conservatives who suffered their worst-ever performance. Read more here

 

27th September 2021

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