Daily Brief - Thursday 13th January, 2022

NEWS

Judiciary on public service quasi-safe zones: We await definitive legal position on vaccinations

The Judiciary says it awaits any definitive legal position on covid19 vaccination. It gave its position in a release on Wednesday, in response to a newspaper article on the issue of vaccination of public servants, particularly Judiciary staff. The release said the notice sent to staff of the criminal division by the Criminal Division management team was not authorised by the Judiciary. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Browne, Gopee-Scoon not worried about lack of CAL flights to Suriname

Relations between TT and Suriname remain strong. There is no reason to suggest otherwise while state-owned Caribbean Airlines (CAL) awaits permission from Surinamese authorities to resume flights to the South American country this year. This was the assurance from Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne and Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon on Wednesday. On Monday, CAL said it is awaiting word from authorities in Suriname to resume flights there. Read more here

Minister: No evidence to show mRNA vaccines more effective in preventing COVID deaths

There is still no substantial evidence to show that mRNA vaccines are more effective in preventing COVID-19 deaths than those with inactivated vaccines such as Sinopharm. This is the view of Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh when asked if he was concerned about a Singapore report which breaks down COVID deaths by vaccine. The report suggested that most of the deaths reported in Singapore were people who got Sinovac or Sinopharm shots while only a few deaths were those who were administered a Moderna vaccine. Singapore has a high inoculation rate. Of the 802 people who succumbed to COVID-19 last year in the city state, 70 per cent were not fully vaccinated. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Philip Morris to bring smoke-free products to Trinidad and Tobago soon

With over 200,000 legal-aged smokers in TT, cigarette company Philip Morris International (PMI) is seeking to replace tobacco-based cigarettes with smoke-free products. Speaking with Business Day, PMI country manager for TT and the Caribbean Sheldon Wood said the thrust was scheduled to happen over the next two-five years, once the regulations, scientific approvals and other necessary operating documents were finalised. Read more here

T&T economy facing increased risks: Is Imbert up to the task?

The T&T economy is facing significant downside risk fuelled by a likely slowdown in global growth, continued low energy production, an inability to fully reopen the economy and the continuing pandemic. This year the Minister of Finance has to show real skill and the government must get its act together. It is not easy and if we are to judge by the last seven years it is unlikely Minister Colm Imbert and his team are up to it. It was on Tuesday the World Bank warned that following a strong rebound in 2021, the global economy is entering a pronounced slowdown amid fresh threats from COVID-19 variants and a rise in inflation, debt, and income inequality that could endanger the recovery in emerging and developing economies. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Local economy grew 18.5 per cent in 2021

Coming out of a “rocky” period in 2020, Guyana managed to remain resilient against internal and external shocks in 2021, recording Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 18.5 per cent, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in its latest report titled, “Preliminary Overview of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean 2021.” According to the report, the Latin America and Caribbean Region will see its pace of growth decelerate in 2022 to 2.1 per cent after reaching 6.2 per cent, on average, last year. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Boris Johnson: Senior Tories urge PM to quit after party apology

Boris Johnson is facing calls from senior Tories to resign after he admitted attending a drinks party during lockdown. The prime minister apologised for the way he handled the event in the Downing Street garden in May 2020 and said he understood the public's "rage" over it. Cabinet members including deputy PM Dominic Raab rallied round Mr Johnson. But Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross and MPs William Wragg, Caroline Nokes and Roger urged him to go. Mr Ross, an MP and a Member of the Scottish Parliament, said he had had a "difficult conversation" with Mr Johnson after he apologised on Wednesday in the House of Commons. He said he would write to the 1922 Committee, which organises Conservative leadership contests, to register his lack of confidence in the prime minister. Read more here

13th January 2022

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