Daily Brief- Monday 3rd September, 2018

NEWS

Coast Guard impounds, releases Venezuelan boat

A Venezuelan boat, carrying copper and scrap iron, was impounded for three days by Coast Guard officials on Thursday morning but was subsequently released without the cargo being offloaded. The boat, with three Venezuelan men on board, left Guira on Wednesday at 11 pm for the Port of Spain docks. Global Brokerage Ltd of San Fernando, is agent for the boat as well as broker for the Trinidad importer who bought the copper and scrap iron from a Venezuelan dealer. Read more here

Olatunji into next  round of UK’s X Factor

T&T so­ca artiste Olatun­ji Year­wood has made it through to the next round of the Unit­ed King­dom’s X Fac­tor show af­ter de­liv­er­ing a very en­er­getic per­for­mance of his hit “Body­line” on one of the UK’s main com­pet­i­tive stages yes­ter­day. Year­wood, 33, who was de­scribed as a “su­per­star” and who won the So­ca Groovy Monarch/In­ter­na­tion­al So­ca Monarch in 2015, wowed the judges – Si­mon Cow­ell, Louis Tom­lin­son, Rob­bie Williams and his wife Ay­da Field – with his en­er­getic per­for­mance, which he did in the com­pa­ny of two dancers. In the in­tro video lead­ing up to his au­di­tion, Year­wood said he loves the UK and has been “com­ing up and down” since he was 15 years old as he has fam­i­ly there. He in­di­cat­ed that he thought the X Fac­tor was the best stage to pro­mote so­ca mu­sic world­wide. Year­wood end­ed the brief video clip­ping with his fa­mous “Ta­d­ow” chant. Read more here

General strike on Friday

Trade unions representing workers for Trinidad and Tobago’s single largest employer, the Government, called yesterday on public and private sector workers to stay at home on September 7. A general strike in protest of the Government’s plan to shut down the State-owned Petrotrin refinery, in the first instance, is on, regardless of what Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley had to say last night, labour movement leaders said yesterday. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Buy the Refinery

The Prime Minister last night said the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) will be given the first option to buy the Petrotrin refinery, which he described as non-viable, as the company shifts its focus to the extraction and export of crude oil. In a televised address to the nation, Dr Rowley spoke about last week’s announcement from Petrotrin chairman Wilfred Espinet about the refinery’s intended closure, with the loss of 1700 jobs in refining plus the loss of 900 jobs in exploration and production (where staffing will fall from 1700 to 800 workers, according to Rowley.) Read more here

PNM membership to fund new Balisier House—Rohan

The new Bal­isi­er House, cost­ing be­tween $12.5 mil­lion and $25 mil­lion, will be fund­ed strict­ly by fund-rais­ing ef­forts with­in Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment (PNM) con­stituen­cies. One of the deputy po­lit­i­cal lead­ers yes­ter­day pegged the cost for the new five-storey struc­ture be­tween $500 and $1,000 per square foot. The build­ing is ex­pect­ed to be 25,000 square foot when com­plet­ed. Ro­han Sinanan, the Works and Trans­port Min­is­ter, said that de­spite the neg­a­tive com­ments and ques­tions about where the par­ty would get the mon­ey to start the work, the PNM had been rais­ing funds for the past two years for this project. “We have been hav­ing fund-rais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, like boat cruis­es and oth­er ef­forts, for the past two years for this project,” Sinanan said. Read more here

Kamla: Reconsider closing Petrotrin

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is calling on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to reconsider closing the Petrotrin refinery and to pursue a partnership with Guyana to refine its oil following new oil discoveries in the neighbouring country. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Petrotrin US$ bonds

This week, we at Bourse examine the recent developments of Trinidad and Tobago’s State-owned oil refinery—The Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago (Petrotrin). On August 28, 2018, the company’s board announced its intentions to terminate the refinery and its marketing operations as well as reduce the company’s labour force. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

'This Is A Real Horror Story' ... Said Dad After Identifying Body Of Daughter Found In Igloo

Approximately three months had passed since he last spoke to his daughter. She had made the decision to move out of the family home and experience life independently, but unbeknown to Dr Pastor Amos Campbell was that he would never see his daughter alive again. On Tuesday, August 28 at approximately 1:25 a.m., the Manchester police found the body of a woman, with a slashed throat, wrapped in a sheet, in an igloo on the back seat of a Toyota Starlet motor car along Marshall's Pen Road in the parish. Two days later, fears were confirmed when Pastor Campbell positively identified the body as that of his 25-year-old daughter, Khyhymn Campbell. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

China's President Xi pledges another $60 billion for Africa

Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced a $60 billion package of aid, investment and loans to Africa, against a backdrop of growing concern about rising debt distress from Chinese loans to the continent. The announcement was made during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing, a triennial meeting between senior Chinese leaders and their counterparts from across Africa. The financial package is the same amount Beijing pledged at the previous FOCAC summit in 2015, and is in line with analysts' expectations that Xi would not vastly increase the amount of Chinese money flowing into Africa. Read more here

Brazil's 200-year-old national museum hit by huge fire

A fire has gutted the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, the oldest scientific institution in the country. Most of the 20 million items it contained, including the oldest human remains ever found in the Americas, are believed to have been destroyed. The cause of the blaze is not known. No injuries have been reported. The museum, located in a building that once served as the residence for the Portuguese royal family, celebrated its 200th anniversary this year. The fire started on Sunday evening, after the facility had closed for the day. Aerial images broadcast on Brazilian television showed it spreading throughout the building. Read more here

3rd September 2018

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