Daily Brief - Thursday 12th January, 2023


Attorney: Higher safety standards needed for divers in Trinidad and Tobago

Attorney Nyree Alfonso called for the introduction of mandatory safety standards for TT's commercial diving sector, on Wednesday at the Paria Commission of Enquiry (CoE), at the International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain. The CoE, under Jerome Lynch, KC, is probing last February's tragic deaths of four men sucked into an pipeline undersea belonging to Paria Fuel Trading Company Ltd at Pointe-a-Pierre, during which a fifth diver, Christopher Boodram, escaped. Alfonso faulted Paria and LMCS for the tragic turn of events, plus a lack of compulsory standards for commercial divers, rather than the current voluntary ones. Read more here

CAL unaffected by FAA outage at US airports

Caribbean Airlines and the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago said flight operations locally were unaffected by yesterday’s major Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) system outage in the United States. Overnight Tuesday, the FAA’s Notice to Air Missions system suffered an outage, triggering several cancellations and delays across the US. According to the FAA, the NOTAM system “alerts pilots about closed runways, equipment outages, and other potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the flight.” However, the FAA was forced to order a ground stop for all domestic US flights “to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information” after the outage occurred. (See page 14) The nationwide ground stop was lifted just after 10 am yesterday. Read more here



Analyst: Duke's invite to Augustine to 'come home' unappealing

Political analyst Dr Bishnu Ragoonath does not believe THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine will accept Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) political leader Watson Duke’s invitation for him to return to the party. In a radio interview on Tuesday, Duke urged Augustine and the entire THA executive to rejoin the party in the interest of Tobagonians. They had resigned from the PDP on December 4, 2022 and declared themselves independents in the THA. After winning the December 6, 2021 THA elections 14-1 against the People's National Movement, Duke remains the solitary PDP member in the assembly. Read more here

Public jittery ahead of PM's COVID briefing

Members of the public experienced jitters yesterday, after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced that he will be hosting a media conference to address COVID-19 issues today. Almost immediately, people took to social media to forecast that another period of restrictions was coming, especially in light of the response of many countries to the recent upsurge in COVID cases in China due to the new XBB.1.5 variant. However, business stakeholders like the Confederation of Regional Business Chambers are hoping PM Rowley doesn’t announce the return of any return restrictions. Jai Leladharsingh, co-ordinator for the confederation, told Guardian Media the Prime Minister’s decision to host a press conference was appropriate, given recent developments surrounding the spread of COVID-19 globally and here in T&T. Read more here



Striking oil & gas: Bid rounds open way for exploration

With bids in place for 11 out of 16 blocks in the completed onshore and nearshore auction, hopeful companies now have to wait about three months to find out whether they will now be successful. However, bid rounds are just the start of the process. Exploration, drilling and discovery, could take years. But despite concerns that the ease of doing business in the oil and gas sector, or the lack thereof could cause years of delays, Energy Minister Stuart Young said that with several changes in the culture and strategies of the Energy Ministry, TT may not have to wait as long as it would think to strike new oil and gas. Read more here



‘Be part of our transformation’

With Guyana well positioned to become a regional and world leader in climate, food security and energy services, President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, on Wednesday, called on the business community in India to make the most of the many investment opportunities that are currently being carved out in this part of the world. The President shared this invitation as he delivered remarks at the inaugural session of Global Investors Summit in Madhya Pradesh, India. “With our geographic positioning we have the capability and the opportunity not to be a player but to be a leader in food production and food security for the region in which Guyana sits and we invite the Indian private sector to look at this opportunity that gives them access to a market of more than 400 million people,” he said. Read more here



Ukraine war: Sergei Surovikin removed as commander of Ukraine invasion force

President Vladimir Putin has removed Russia's top commander in Ukraine, just three months after he was installed. Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov will now lead what Mr Putin terms a "special military operation". Gen Gerasimov replaces Sergei Surovikin who has overseen recent brutal attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure. The reshuffle comes as Russians claim they are making progress in eastern Ukraine after suffering a series of military defeats in recent months. Russia launched its invasion into Ukraine on 24 February.Gen Gerasimov, who has been in post since 2012, is the longest-serving Russian chief of general staff of the post-Soviet era. Read more here


12th January 2023


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