Daily Brief - Monday 5th June, 2017


Raped In Church

A ten-year-old primary school pupil of Port of Spain, accompanied by her 26-yearold mother, reported to officers of the St James Police Station on Saturday that the child was raped during an Easter church service in April. The child told police that she was staying at her godmother’s home for the Easter holidays and was invited by relatives to attend a Baptist church where prayers were being held in commemoration of Holy Week. The girl said while at the service, she was approached by a man who invited her into a private area inside the church where he committed several indecent acts against her. She said she tried to scream but the man used one of his hands to cover her mouth. Police were told by the girl that she was threatened by the man to not say anything to anyone. The victim said she never told her godmother anything because she felt ashamed and afraid but because the incident began affecting her mentally and physically, she decided to confide in her mother. Read more here

They’re lying

The head of this country’s Defence Force and his immediate predecessor are now in a war of words over Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi’s children use of the shooting range at Camp Cumuto, where they were eventually photographed holding what appeared to be high-powered weapons. Former chief of defence staff Kenrick Maharaj yesterday denied having anything to do with the situation, despite a letter from current Chief of Defence Staff Brigadier General Rodney Smart saying he (Maharaj) “acting on his own volition” authorised the visit. Read more here

Celebrating World Environment Day

IT is only through collective will and continuous effective action that we will realise sustained success in our bid to protect and preserve this environment. So said Tobago House of Assembly Secretary of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment, Kwesi Des Vignes, in an address to commemorate World Environment Day being observed today. Read more here



Abdulah joins calls for Archie to resign

Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) political leader David Abdulah has called on Chief Justice Ivor Archie as well as the other members of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (JLSC) to resign after last Thursday’s historic vote of no-confidence against them by members of the Law Association. Addressing a media conference at the MSJ’s St Joseph Road, San Fernando headquarters yesterday, Abdulah said the no-confidence motion was another indication of the “collapse” which was taking place in institutions. “We want to say that in our view, the time has come for Chief Justice Archie and the members of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission to resign in order to ensure that the credibility and legitimacy of the Judiciary and for our legal process to regain some of its very significantly tarnished reputation,” Abdulah said. Read more here

AG not off the hook—Padarath

While the “buck was passed” to former Defence Force chief Kenrick Maharaj in the matter of pictures of the Attorney General’s children holding weapons, the AG isn’t “off the hook” says United National Congress MP Barry Padarath. “In view of Mr Maharaj’s denial of the Defence Force report on the issue, there are now questions on the matter and suspicions have been raised on the integrity of the report and about those who are involved in the investigation of this issue,” Padarath said yesterday. Padarath made the comment in the wake of Maharaj’s denial of claims current Defence Force Chief of Staff that he (Maharaj), “acting on his own volition,” had authorised Al-Rawi’s children to use the Camp Cumuto shooting range. Photos of the situation were brought to Parliament’s attention by the Opposition last October. A Defence Force report, however, stated the incident didn’t take place in the AG’s presence. Read more here

Jamaica apologises for search of minister at airport

Government Minister Ayanna Webster-Roy was searched in Jamaica by a private security company retained by the international airline on which the minister and her delegation were travelling, according to Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith. In a release, the Jamaican minister stated that the distress Webster-Roy faced was regretted. Read more here



JMMBGL advances, UCL retreats

This week, we at Bourse review the performance of JMMB Group (JMMBGL) over the 12-month period ended March 31, 2017 and the first quarter results for Unilever (UCL) ended March 31, 2017. JMMBGL reported considerable increases in its earnings, while UCL struggled under the difficult economic conditions facing its main market Trinidad and Tobago. We provide some perspective on the varying fortunes of both companies below. JMMB Group (JMMBGL) JMMBGL reported earnings per share of TT$0.11 for the year ended March 31st 2017, an improvement of 46 per cent over the prior year. Read more here



Costly Voter IDs - More Than $2b Bill For Verification And New Cards

The Government will have to shell out more than $2 billion to produce new voter identification cards for the nearly two million people now on Jamaica's voters' list. Director of Elections Orrette Fisher last week confirmed the approximate budget to produce new voter registration cards and to verify addresses and eligibility of voters. "The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) is making preparation to conduct a fresh enumeration exercise in relation to residents' verification, and, therefore, the information will be collected in order to produce the new identification card," said Fisher. "The preliminary estimate that was submitted would see the entire costs in excess of $2 billion, a part of which was approved in this current budget," added Fisher, as he pointed to the $700 million approved in the Estimates of Expenditure for this fiscal year. Read more here



Why the highly coveted visa that changed my life is now reviled in America

I did not arrive in America as a refugee or to join family already here. I owe the start to my life in this country to two things: my father's brilliant mind and a very special document. Daddy was a statistician renowned in his field of probability theory, and in 1975, Florida State University offered him a teaching position. We flew across the globe on Indian passports and gained entry into America with a visa called H-1, reserved for people such as my father who possessed distinctive skills. We later applied for permanent residency, my father went on to become a professor emeritus at FSU and in 2008, I proudly became a US citizen. Read more here

London attack: Police 'know identities of killers'

Police investigating Saturday night's terror attack in London say they know the identity of the three attackers who killed seven people and injured 48. The Met Police said their names would be released "as soon as operationally possible" as officers work to establish if they were part of a wider network. PM Theresa May said victims included a "number of nationalities", saying it was "an attack on the free world". It comes as police have searched more addresses in east London. Police said a "number of people" had been detained following the raids, in Newham and Barking. Eleven people are being held after police raids in Barking on Sunday. One of the properties is believed to be the home of one of the attackers. Read more here

5th June 2017


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