Daily Brief - Thursday 11th February, 2021

NEWS

Man to be charged for Bharatt's murder

A man and woman are expected to be charged with the murder and robbery of court clerk Andrea Bharatt. Investigators visited the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on Wednesday afternoon for advice on how to proceed with the case. Sources said the investigators are expected to lay charges against a 24-year-old Malabar man and a35-year-old woman before the end of the day. Read more here

Will there be a Carnival?

Government should say what the plans are for next year’s Carnival Samaroo’s suffers from both domestic and export loss Supports govt’s decision to cancel this year’s festival. Today should have been Carnival Thursday. Normally, this would mean by now masqueraders would have either already collected their costumes or started preparing to do so. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Living in debt: Imbert outlines grim outlook

Government's revenue for the first four months of fiscal 2021 was $2 billion less than expected. The State is now faced with a tough decision: save jobs and hold wages steady or increase wages and risk cutting jobs. At a virtual press conference on Wednesday, Finance Minister Colm Imbert was clear. “As we move forward, our primary objective as a Government must be to preserve jobs and maintain essential government services. In this context, demands from trade unions for wage increases, with associated billions of dollars in backpay, are difficult to understand. If excessive wage increases continue to be a factor then the unemployment levels would have to be affected because the money is just not there,” he said. Read more here

LATT hits back at Griffith

The Law Association of T&T (LATT) has criticised Police Commissioner Gary Griffith over his comments against attorneys, who represent people charged with heinous crimes. In a press release issued yesterday, the association claimed Griffith “continues to attack” attorneys who do not refuse capital cases due to their code of ethics. “Every citizen of T&T enjoys fundamental freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution, including the right to be represented by an attorney-at-law. When the Commissioner of Police attacks this fundamental freedom for persons accused of crimes, he attacks the rights of every citizen of this country,” it said. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Dr Asher Williams on UN mission to build trust in covid19 vaccines

Dr Asher Williams is the first black presidential post-doctoral research fellow at Cornell University, a prestigious Ivy League school in Ithaca, New York. “I didn’t even realise until I arrived and people started making a big deal about it,” the Arima native laughed during a recent phone interview with Business Day. Williams, 30, is a biochemical engineer, focusing on engineering micro-organisms like non-toxic bacteria for use in certain compounds. Her research is focused on developing new platforms to produce a cell-free (not using living cells) format for making vaccines against emerging pathogens. The system would require less specialised equipment, including refrigeration. Read more here

Heart of the People

“Whether you see it and never take stock, but Carnival is in your mind only about woman and wuk, you so caught up with enjoyment that you don’t see the level of employment Carnival is a sea that deep and you don’t know nothing about them because you follow old talk like sheep.” I begin with this verse from Bunji Garlin’s “Heart of the people” in which he details the extent of Carnival’s reach and how much this industry, that few truly understand, is not just about song and dance, but has deep economic and social importance to the country. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

COVID-19 vaccines here

Guyana’s first set of health workers will receive their COVID-19 vaccines today, following the arrival of a donation of 3,000 Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine doses from Barbados on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Barbados received 100,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, which is manufactured by the Serum Institute in India, and is called ‘Covishield’ in that country. Just after receiving that first set of COVID-19 vaccines from India, Barbados sent 3,000 vaccines to Guyana which will allow 1,500 persons to benefit, since these vaccines are given in two doses. Read more here

SOE BACKLASH - Retired chiefs slam policing strategy

In an emphatic repudiation of Jamaica’s crime-fighting strategy, three retired police commanders have criticised the sustained use of states of emergency (SOEs) as ineffective. The dour assessment was a sweeping rejection of a key weapon in the arsenal of the Holness administration, which has toyed with the prospect of extending the measure for up to seven years. “I am concerned that none of us here in this conversation can actually point to the key elements for a national policing strategy or national crime-fighting strategy,” Owen Ellington, who was head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force from 2009-2014, said at a Gleaner Editors’ Forum on Wednesday. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

New details on Capitol's day of terror are devastating indictment of Trump

Impeachment prosecutors took senators on a wrenching journey inside the horror of the US Capitol insurrection, making a devastating case that Donald Trump had plotted, incited and celebrated a vile crime against the United States. Their previously unseen video evidence showed a bloodthirsty mob defiling Congress, heroism from overpowered police officers pleading for backup, high-profile lawmakers running for their lives and staffers hiding behind locked doors. Read more here

Covid-19: Kent virus variant 'on course to sweep world'

The coronavirus variant first found in Kent could become the world's dominant strain, the head of the UK's genetic surveillance programme has predicted. Prof Sharon Peacock told the BBC's Newscast podcast the new variant has "swept the country" and "it's going to sweep the world, in all probability". She said her work sequencing variants of the virus could be required for at least 10 years. The Kent variant has already been detected in more than 50 countries. It was first detected in September 2020 in south-east England and its rapid spread over the following months was cited as the reason for the introduction of new lockdown rules across the UK in January. Read more here

11th February 2021

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