Daily Brief- Monday 29th May, 2023


Joint Chambers, PCA meet to discuss crime-fighting strategies

Recognising the challenge posed by crime to business and investment in Trinidad and Tobago, members of the Joint Chambers met with officials from the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) last Wednesday to discuss strategies on crime-fighting techniques. A media release from the Joint Chambers on Friday said PCA director David West and deputy director Michelle Solomon-Baksh met with representatives from the American Chamber of Commerce of TT (AMCHAM), the TT Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the TT Manufacturers' Association (TTMA) at the TT Chamber's office in Westmoorings. Among the topics discussed was the role and mandate of the PCA as an independent institution and how the strengthening of this body could aid in crime-fighting. Read more here



Guyanese student, 15, to be charged for horrific school fire

Guyana’s media are reporting that police there have received instructions to charge the 15-year-old girl who allegedly set the female dormitory of the Mahdia Secondary school on fire with 19 counts of murder. A report from Guyana’s media outlet, the News Room, said they were reliably informed that the file was sent to the police with recommendations that the girl faces a murder charge for each life claimed in the horrific fire. She is likely to face the courts early in the new week, the report said, A total of 19 children– 18 girls and one boy- died in the devastating fire which started after 11 pm on May 21. Read more here

Davyn’s mother: No victory yet

Friday’s High Court ruling that the Ministry of Health breached its duties and awarded compensation to a six-year-old boy of Chaguanas with birth defects associated with the Zika virus is being hailed as a victory, however, the child’s mother, Kavita Ramkissoon-Ragoo, isn’t claiming any success as yet. Commenting on the ruling, former Chief of Staff of the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital, president of the Zika Foundation, and the court’s sole appointed expert in the case, Dr Karen Sohan, told Guardian Media the ruling is a victory for all the babies born with complications from Zika in T&T. “These children are now six to seven years old and many of them can’t walk, or talk, they have impairment of their hearing and vision. This will provide them with opportunities that give them a good quality of life. It’s also support for the parents,” she said. “As you can imagine, a family who has a challenged child—it’s a very difficult situation and I think many of our families felt abandoned by the authorities and it’s time we come together and do good things for these children. I don’t think anybody in this country is going to mind if the state uses its resources to help look after these children.” Read more here



UNC: PNM created a mess of local government

St. Augustine MP Khadija Ameen says the postponement of the local government elections was an action that flew in the face of democracy. She spoke at the weekly UNC press briefing held virtually on Sunday. She made the statement ahead of a debate on the extension of the terms of the office and validation of the municipal corporations expected to be held in Parliament on Monday. “When Faris Al-Rawi, Minister of Local Government, in an announcement to the media extended the term of local government representatives he essentially postponed the local government elections by a year. We maintain that it was improper, illegal and against democracy.” Read more here

Farley still silent on propaganda talk after one week

Almost a week after an audio, purporting to be two Tobago House Assembly (THA) executive members discussing plans to hire people in the THA to promote political propaganda surfaced, and still no response from Chief Secretary Farley Augustine on the matter. Retired head of the Public Service Reginald Dumas has said if the dialogue did take place then the people involved should demit office. Leader of the Peoples National Movement Tobago Council, Ancil Dennis, has called on Augustine and Secretary of Education Zorisha Hackett to resign. Dennis also wants fresh THA elections to be called as well. “So there was a need for an election even before now, but at this time there is a need for an election and there is a need for a new Chief Secretary in the Tobago House of Assembly,” he said. Read more here



Qatar loans Guyana US$350M

As government pushes ahead with its development plans for Region Three, Qatar has loaned Guyana US$350 million, which will be used to extend the Crane to Schoonord four-lane highway to Parika. This was disclosed on Saturday by President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, during a community meeting held for those living within the Malgre Tout/Meer-Zorgen area. “I just came back from Qatar and we have secured US$350 million to continue that road through to Parika…we have more or less concluded arrangements for a new loan that will see the continuation of the highway all the way to Parika,” President Ali announced. Read more here



Turkish election victory for Erdogan leaves nation divided

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's supporters are celebrating after Turkey's long-time president won Sunday's vote, securing another five years in power. "The entire nation of 85 million won," he told cheering crowds outside his enormous palace on the edge of Ankara. But his call for unity sounded hollow as he ridiculed his opponent Kemal Kilicdaroglu - and took aim at a jailed Kurdish leader and the LGBT community. The opposition leader denounced "the most unfair election in recent years". Mr Kilicdaroglu said the president's political party had mobilised all the means of the state against him and he did not explicitly admit defeat. President Erdogan ended with just over 52% of the vote, based on near-complete unofficial results. Almost half the electorate in this deeply polarised country did not back his authoritarian vision of Turkey. Read more here

29th May 2023


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