Daily Brief- Thursday 14th March, 2019

NEWS

1 gets off, 1 for trial

A high court judge has thrown out indictments for forgery and uttering a forged document against businessman Troy Sabeeney. Justice Gillian Lucky also threw out a similar indictment of uttering a forged document against fellow businessman Anthony Chow, but ruled there was sufficient evidence for Chow to go on trial for forgery. In a written decision delivered at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain yesterday, Lucky ruled on a motion filed by attorneys for both men to have indictments against them quashed because of insufficient evidence. Read more here

Piarco AA passengers stranded as Max 8s grounded

Scores of peo­ple hop­ing to get to Mi­a­mi from Pi­ar­co In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port were get­ting ready to board their flight around 3 pm yes­ter­day when they were turned back and told to leave the de­par­ture gate. Mo­ments ear­li­er, Unit­ed States Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump had ground­ed all Boe­ing 737 Max planes with im­me­di­ate ef­fect, leav­ing those pas­sen­gers who were set to leave for the Unit­ed States at 3.25 pm on Amer­i­can Air­lines flight num­ber 2703 strand­ed at Pi­ar­co. An­oth­er flight des­tined to leave Mi­a­mi for Port-of-Spain at 5.55 pm (on Wednes­day) yes­ter­day, flight num­ber 2713, was al­so can­celled. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Sinanan: WASA and heavy trucks to blame for bad roads

Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan said works done by the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA), along with overweight trucks, were the two major contributors to the poor condition of roads. Sinanan made the remarks during his opening address at a stakeholders' meeting on overweight trucks at his ministry, London Street, Port of Spain. He said the government had a responsibility to preserve its infrastructure and the meeting was aimed at getting contractors to adhere to the law and carry loads of acceptable weight. Read more here

Young: Mercy Committee inactive

For what­ev­er the rea­son, the Mer­cy Com­mit­tee of T&T has seem­ing­ly been in­ac­tive over the years and there is a sub­stan­tial back­log of re­quests by pris­on­ers re­quest­ing par­don from the Pres­i­dent. This was yes­ter­day dis­closed by the Min­is­ter of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Stu­art Young dur­ing his brief ad­dress at yes­ter­day’s 2019 Prepa­ra­tion for Re­lease Pro­gramme launch that took place at the Chapel of the Max­i­mum Se­cu­ri­ty Prison in Arou­ca. The pro­gramme is in its 15th year. This year’s theme is “Keys to Suc­cess­ful Re-En­try.” The pro­gramme falls un­der the non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion, Vi­sion on Mis­sion (VoM) head­ed by Wayne Chance. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

AI for the Caribbean

The robot revolution is here. There is no escaping it. The world is now in the fourth wave of the industrial revolution where cloud-based computing, big data and a proliferation of sophisticated algorithms are being used to create artificial intelligence (AI) programmes that are transforming the way the world works. Business Day met with general manager of Microsoft Caribbean Herbert Lewy, at TT Microsoft's head office on Mucurapo Road, Port of Spain, when he visited the country in February to discuss AI and the opportunities Microsoft is providing for developers. Read more here

Refinancing plan close for US$850m bullet payment

With about five months to go before the bullet payment on its US$850 million bond is due, Trinidad Petroleum Holdings (TPH), the successor holding company which replaced Petrotrin last year, is close to completing the refinancing of the bond. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Ethiopian Airways Crash Prompts Ban On Specific Boeing Planes From Ja’s Airspace

The civil Aviation Authority has imposed a temporary restriction on Boeing 737-8 MAX and 738-9 MAX operating in Jamaica’s airspace until further notice. Operators who had flown the aircraft into Jamaica before receiving the directive from the Civil Aviation Authority were allowed one non-commercial flight out of the island. The directive came after an accident involving Ethiopian Airways (Model Boeing 737-8) on March 10, 2019, during which 150 persons, including passengers and crew, were killed. The cause of the accident has not yet been determined as investigations have just begun an intense probe. However, sources are drawing similarities between the accident and another one six months ago involving Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29, 2018. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Explosive revelations in Russia saga add up to a bad day for Trump

It would be hard to think of a more damaging day for a President than one on which his former campaign chairman disappeared behind bars for years to come. But Paul Manafort's new sentence was the least of Donald Trump's worries Wednesday as his Russia investigation nightmare took yet another turn for the worse. New suspicions about dangled pardons, conflicting congressional testimony, implicit pleas for clemency and fresh suggestions of inappropriate presidential behavior delivered a new twist to the drama with Washington already on edge in anticipation of special counsel Robert Mueller's final report. Read more here

Brexit: PM to bring third Brexit deal vote to Commons

Theresa May will make a third attempt to get her EU withdrawal deal through Parliament in the next week. She told MPs that if her deal fails again to get their backing, a lengthy delay to Brexit may be needed. The prime minister's warning comes ahead of a Commons vote later on whether to ask the EU for permission to delay Brexit beyond 29 March. MPs voted on Wednesday evening to reject a no-deal Brexit under any circumstances. No date has yet been set for the third so-called "meaningful vote". MPs will vote on a government motion which could see a delay to the UK's departure from the EU. The UK government said there could be a short delay until 30 June, if MPs approve Mrs May's deal by 20 March - the day before the next EU summit in Brussels. Alternatively, there could be a much longer one, requiring the UK to take part in elections for the European Parliament in May, the prime minister has said, in the event her deal is not approved. However, any length of extension has to be agreed by the EU. The DUP - which twice rejected Mrs May's deal in the Commons - said it was due to have talks with the government on Thursday to see if a solution could be found allowing its MPs to support the PM in a future vote. Read more here

14th March 2019

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