Daily Brief - Thursday 13th February, 2020


Court reverses expulsion of boy, 9,

A mother armed with a court order, took her child back on Wednesday to Cedar Grove Private Primary School in Palmiste, near San Fernando, following his expulsion last week Monday. She petitioned Justice Frank Seepersad who at 9.15 pm on Tuesday, granted the order directing the school’s principal to allow the Grade 3 pupil back to school. According to court documents, the High Court action stemmed from allegations of bullying in which a door was slammed against the boy at the school located at Chin Aleong Street, Block 3, Palmiste. The action named the school, principal Shaheed Allaham, Flair Rampersad, Allison Sebro-Baptiste and Jenny Ramkissoon, as defendants. The judge’s order was served on them yesterday morning and the child was allowed entry to his classroom. Read more here

Autopsy finds Mukeisha was not beaten to death

Ques­tions re­main as to how 8-year-old Mukeisha May­nard died. It was orig­i­nal­ly thought that the child was beat­en to death with a cut­lass by her fa­ther. How­ev­er, an au­top­sy done on the child’s body found that she was not killed by in­juries sus­tained from blunt force trau­ma. Pathol­o­gists have or­dered that a tox­i­col­o­gy re­port be done to de­ter­mine whether the child in­gest­ed any dan­ger­ous sub­stance. Un­til a de­ter­mi­na­tion is made, the cause of death re­mains “in­con­clu­sive” but po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tors have clas­si­fied it as an “un­nat­ur­al death”. Read more here



Moruga eTeck Park to be completed next month

Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said the eTeck Moruga agro-processing and light industrial park is scheduled to be fully completed next month. She was responding to a question in Senate Tuesday from Opposition Senator Taharqa Obika on the status of the park given Government's commitment to the project in successive budget contributions from 2015-2019. She said construction of the park is 98 per cent complete with full completion scheduled for the end of March. She reported activities already completed were: all factory shells; roads and drainage infrastructure; utilities services such as potable water supply; waste water collection; electrical infrastructure and street lighting; security fencing; and culvert works. She further reported that statutory approvals obtained were Certificate of Environmental Clearance for overall works: approval from the Town and Country Planning Division (TCPD) for development of infrastructure on the site and subdivision of the parcel of land into lots; final TCPD approval for the overall development and subdivision of land and factory shell buildings; design approval from WASA for the waste water treatment plant; and approval from the county medical officer of health. Read more here

PM and UNC clash over $1.1b Tobago terminal

Heat in Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day as Gov­ern­ment and Op­po­si­tion clashed over rev­e­la­tions that the new To­ba­go air­port ter­mi­nal could end up cost­ing $1.1 bil­lion. This was af­ter Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley con­firmed that in ad­di­tion to the $870 mil­lion con­struc­tion cost of the ter­mi­nal, there is al­so a process for land ac­qui­si­tion cost­ing $300 mil­lion. He gave the in­for­ma­tion while re­ply­ing to a ques­tion from Cou­va North MP Ra­mona Ram­di­al about the in­crease of the es­ti­mat­ed cost for the ter­mi­nal from $500 mil­lion to $870 mil­lion. Row­ley said $500 mil­lion was an ap­prox­i­mate fig­ure giv­en three years ago and didn’t in­clude prop­er de­signs. He said when prop­er­ly con­cep­tu­alised, the en­gi­neer’s es­ti­mate was $881 mil­lion. When the is­sue went to ten­der, the fig­ure changed to $870 mil­lion on the spe­cif­ic de­signs. Row­ley was crit­i­cal of Ram­di­al’s sug­ges­tion that the in­crease from $500 mil­lion to $870 mil­lion was ex­or­bi­tant. He point­ed to projects un­der the for­mer Peo­ple’s Part­ner­ship ad­min­is­tra­tion, in­clud­ing the waste­water plant and Point Fortin high­way. Read more here



Panland survives tough times

The Panland steelpan manufacturing company rests inconspicuously among other commercial buildings on the Eastern Main Road, Laventille. But behind those walls some of the country's greatest pan tuners have plied their trade and the steelpans produced have journeyed across the world. Business Day met up with Panland president Michael Cooper at his office for a history on the company and the future of the industry. Panland started in 1993 as TT Instruments Ltd under the Neal and Massy Group. At the time, Cooper ran the motor vehicle assembly plant but as that industry was targeted for extinction, steelpan was chosen as one of the new product options. Several small companies were set up, including TT Instruments, a joint venture between Neal and Massy (majority partner), Pan Trinbago and the Metal Industries Company (now MIC). Read more here

Fair Trading Act proclaimed

Government’s competition watchdog, the Trinidad and Tobago Fair Trading Commission (TTFTC), can now officially probe and take to court businesses and individuals found guilty of anti-competitive practices and who fail to take corrective measures. Read more here



Guyana’s Oil and Gas Industry getting a boost to handle safety issues in a better manner

The Guyana Training College for International Skills hosted a business meeting for Guyanese companies involved primarily in the oil and gas industry, at the Guyana Marriott on Monday, February 10, 2020, under the theme “2020 vision to Oil and Gas Excellence in Safety and Quality” The college is seeking to provide certified training to better equip companies in Guyana to deal with issues as it relates to oil and gas safety and quality. Facilitator of the meeting, Renwick McCave, a registered nurse from the Twin Island Republic (Trinidad and Tobago), a specialist in critical care – made the point that the course that will be offered in Guyana caters for everyone working in the oil and gas sector. “Even those who aren’t working in the sector but are exposed to the sector of Guyana’s now-emerging oil industry need to be equipped with the necessary tools to deal with safety and quality issues, should the need arise in their environment.” Read more here

Heavy Gunfire On Maxfield Avenue, St Andrew

There was heavy gunfire on sections of Maxfield Avenue in St Andrew on Wednesday night. The police would later rush to the scene of one of the shootings near the corner of Lincoln and Maxfield avenues. Read more here



Coronavirus: Sharp increase in deaths and cases in Hubei

Some 242 deaths from the new coronavirus were recorded in the Chinese province of Hubei on Wednesday - the deadliest day of the outbreak. There was also a huge increase in the number of cases, with 14,840 people diagnosed with Covid-19. Hubei has started using a broader definition to diagnose people - which accounts for most of the rise in cases. China sacked two top officials in Hubei province hours after the new figures were revealed. Until Wednesday's increases, the number of people with the virus in Hubei, where the outbreak emerged, was stabilising. But the new cases and deaths in the province have pushed the national death toll above 1,350 - with almost 60,000 infections in total. Read more here

Australia's climate crisis has been building for years but no one listened

Australia was already grappling with extreme heat and one of the worst droughts on record when devastating bushfires tore through the bone dry land. For months, the infernos have raged through Australia's southeast, leaving parts of the country choking under some of the worst air pollution in the world. Since September, more than 18 million hectares (44 million acres) of bush, land and forest have been burned. At least 28 people have died, around 3,000 homes have been destroyed and about one billion animals could have been affected. Read more here

13th February 2020


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