Daily Brief - Thursday 12th November, 2020

NEWS

24 new covid19 cases detected, no deaths

The number of active cases of covid19 continues to decrease, with the total now being 509. Twenty-four new cases have been detected. There have been no deaths between November 8 and 10, so the total remains at 111. The Health Ministry’s release on Wednesday evening said three of the 24 new cases are people who were recently repatriated. Read more here

Still no sign of missing diver

Despite covering a larger area, ranging from the north and east coasts of Trinidad and all the way to Tobago, the fourth day of searching for missing diver Reinaldo Novoa proved unsuccessful again yesterday. Several search parties started searching - by land, air and foot - from 6 am but there were no sightings of the 66-year-old Novoa. While members of both the T&T Air and Coast Guard were part of the search, many of the members were volunteers who were moved to assist in the effort - some using private boats and planes. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Imbert: Kamla’s expose a dud, TT banks sound

Finance Minister Colm Imbert flatly denied claims of problems existing with local banks, as alleged at a UNC virtual Monday night meeting by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. At a briefing on Wednesday at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, he described the allegations as "nonsense." Imbert said since 2017 an IMF team has regularly visited TT to do a financial stability report. After three IMF missions to TT, their findings were sent to him and he approved them for publication. Read more here

Govt has questions to answer about deal—Abdulah

Although he accused Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar of creating mischief, Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) leader David Abdulah wants the Government to come clean on why it failed to negotiate the sale of Petrotrin’s Pointe-a-Pierre refinery to Patriotic Energies and Technologies Co Ltd.During a virtual media conference yesterday, Abdulah said there are reports that Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Ltd (TPHL) used the assets of the Guaracara Refining Company (Pointe-a-Pierre refinery) and Paria Fuel Trading Co Ltd as security for the refinancing of loans inherited by Petrotrin. Read more here

BUSINESS

NGC: Building a house of sustainability

The National Gas Company (NGC) has long been a beacon of stability, the crown jewel of state enterprises, delivering a steady stream of dividends to the government, over its 45-year history. But for the first time ever, in its half-year financial report for 2020, the company announced a loss – $316.2 million, down 296 per cent, or $477.3 million, compared to the same period before. As overwhelming as that sounds, however, it needs to be put into context. Read more here

Guardian Media Q3 profits up

Guardian Media Ltd (GML) has recorded a profit of $3.6 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2020. This represents an increase of $5.3 million or a rise of approximately 312 per cent. In the company’s financial statements GML Chairman Peter Clarke said: “Quarterly improvements were achieved from Election and CPL revenues offset by continual revenue losses brought about by COVID-19.” Clarke added that compared to the second quarter, this quarter’s net income improved by $10.4 million, from a second quarter loss of $6.8 million to a third quarter profit of $3.6 million. Read more here

Vegetable prices rise for Divali

Vegetable prices have skyrocketed days before the Hindu festival of Divali. But vendors and farmers say high prices were caused by floods, and reduced production as a result Covid-19 restrictions. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Arrivals top 5,000 since airports reopening

THE local aviation industry, after declining significantly over the past nine months because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, is on the road to recovery, with over 5,000 persons arriving in Guyana since the country opened its international airports on October 5, 2020. Guyana’s two international airports, the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and Eugene F. Correia International Airport, were closed to incoming commercial international flights on March 18, 2020, after Guyana recorded its first COVID-19 case on March 11. Read more here

Disputed Mountain Lands To Be Transformed Into Massive Commercial Development

The treasured Puerto Bueno Mountain that is at the centre of an environmental dispute will host ecotourism developments as well as investments in residential and commercial operations, and clean energy, Jamaica World LLC has disclosed. The site, considered a critical habitat for the endangered Jamaican boa and scores of endemic species, has been at the heart of controversy after it was revealed last weekend that the Holness administration overruled a state watchdog that had denied the investors a mining and quarrying permit. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

State Department is preventing Biden from accessing messages from foreign leaders

A stack of messages from foreign leaders to President-elect Joe Biden are sitting at the State Department but the Trump administration is preventing him from accessing them, according to State Department officials familiar with the messages. Traditionally, the State Department supports all communications for the President-elect, which is why many countries began sending messages to State over the weekend. But with Biden prohibited from accessing State Department resources by the Trump administration, because President Donald Trump refuses to accept Biden's victory, dozens of incoming messages have not been received. Read more here

Hong Kong: Defiant Hong Kong opposition condemned by China

The Chinese government has condemned the mass resignation of most of Hong Kong's opposition from parliament as an "open challenge" to its authority. Nearly all pro-democracy lawmakers have resigned in protest after four of their colleagues were deemed threats to national security and dismissed. Many see Hong Kong's limited democracy as now being in its death throes. The UK government has accused China of breaching its commitments to protect Hong Kong's autonomy. The former British colony became part of China in 1997 but was promised it could keep some unique freedoms for 50 years. Read more here

12th November 2020

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