Daily Brief - Thursday 15th April, 2021


Scotiabank expands health benefits to same-sex partners of employees

Scotiabank has expanded its health care benefits to include the same-sex partners of employees. Stephen Bagnarol, managing director of Scotiabank TT, on Wednesday said the bank’s most recent step to align its benefits for all employees shows respect for everyone's diversity. “Being the best bank means taking bold action. We value and respect all our employees for their character, passion and integrity and encourage everyone to be their authentic selves. When we engage in bias free practices, we are able to help unlock employees’ full potential. They consistently rise to the challenges faced, continue to deliver excellence to our customers and contribute to the bank’s overall success,” he said in a media release. Read more here

SFGH doctors say drug shortage affecting surgeries

Doctors at the San Fernando General Hospital have been told that a shortage of anaesthetic drugs will affect surgical services. Yesterday they received an email titled ‘Critical Shortages Affecting Elective Services at SFGH’. Guardian Media received a copy of the email which came from Dr Crystal Seuradge the Acting Head of Anesthetics and Intensive Care which said that due to the critical shortages, surgical services will be severely affected. The email went on to say that there is no Bupivacaine, Diclofenac, Neostigmine, Ephedrine and spinal needles. Read more here



UNC boycotts Parliament again

The Opposition UNC on Wednesday boycotted the House of Representatives for a second time. This means the UNC has boycotted Parliament three times in less than a week. The party first boycotted the House on April 9, after expressing concerns about its MPs and parliamentary staff contracting covid19 after the Prime Minister was diagnosed with the virus on April 6. On April 9, Deputy Speaker Esmond Forde approved requests from Dr Rowley, Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George and Chaguanas West MP Dinesh Rambally to be excused from that day's sitting of the House. Forde approved no other requests for leave by MPs. Read more here

Government reimplements COVID restrictions

The Government has reimplemented COVID-19 restrictions in a bid to curtail the current upward trajectory of cases.  For the next 21 days, effective as of 12 am today– April 15– beaches are closed to the public except those affiliated with leatherback turtle conservation activities, in-house dining is prohibited in restaurants, cinemas, casinos and bars and the number of people allowed to gather in public was brought down to no more than five. It’s the second time for the year the Government has had to reimplement restrictions in an attempt to bring the spread under control. Read more here



St James fisherwomen make 'big catch' in volatile industry

Mariella Alleng, 20, is not like most women. She isn't interested in what you'd think would interest a typical 20-year-old woman in TT. She's not a fan of makeup; she isn’t particularly interested in hairstyles or making TikTok videos or cell phones: and she doesn’t really like to go out to parties or gatherings. And while many of her former Corpus Christi College classmates have careers in offices, her true love is the sea. Mariella Alleng is a fisherwoman. Read more here

We also went to school

Economic change often takes time to occur. It has become a part of the modern lexicon to refer to this current period as the fourth industrial revolution. One in which the internet and the internet of things increasingly impact our lives and where we have seen how digital technology and digitalisation allow countries to make major leaps in efficiency and the way in which their economies operate. In T&T, the government has talked about its plans to digitalise government and to make the public sector more efficient. Read more here



GYSBI’s US$16M berth construction set for October 2021 completion

The Guyana Shore Base Inc. (GYSBI) is constructing two new berths at a cost of US$16 M to boost its capacity to accommodate Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs) at the Muneshwers Houston Port Complex. The berths– berth three and berth four– which are set for an October 2021 completion date, will allow PSVs space to anchor, similar to that of a wharf. The berths are being constructed using the Open Cell Sheet Pile (OCSP) system, a first-of-its-kind technology to be used in Guyana, which was patented by American engineering consultant company, PND Engineers, Inc. Currently, GYSBI has two berths– berth one and berth two– which facilitate transport on the southern half of its Plantation “A”, Houston, Greater Georgetown location. Read more here

Ruling JLP divided over embattled Westmoreland MP in beating probe

Frustration is mounting in the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) over the handling of the allegations of domestic abuse stalking its embattled first-time lawmaker from Westmoreland, George Wright. Wright, who the police named Monday as a person of interest, was released without charge on Wednesday evening after being questioned in St James by police investigators probing the April 6 beating of a woman caught on video. The MP for Westmoreland Central did not address the media, leaving the talking to his lawyer, Able-Don Foote, who did not deny that his client was in the seven-minute-long video that emerged over the weekend, triggering public outrage. Read more here



Biden starts to execute on policies Trump abandoned by crossing off another campaign promise

President Joe Biden is carrying out some of Donald Trump's biggest campaign promises by leaving America's longest war, targeting economic aid at forgotten Americans and building an infrastructure plan that may actually happen. The current White House is, of course, a sharp political and behavioral reaction to the previous one. And Biden is never going to finish his predecessor's border wall, berate allies or set a mob on the US Capitol. But the 45th and 46th presidents do share an understanding of several key economic and societal forces driving modern life outside Washington. And both, in different ways, shaped their appeal by convincing ordinary Americans who feel left behind that they were committed to working for them. Read more here

Why are so many babies dying of Covid-19 in Brazil?

More than a year into the pandemic, deaths in Brazil are now at their peak. But despite the overwhelming evidence that Covid-19 rarely kills young children, in Brazil 1,300 babies have died from the virus. One doctor refused to test Jessika Ricarte's one-year-old son for Covid, saying his symptoms did not fit the profile of the virus. Two months later he died of complications from the disease. After two years of trying, and failed fertility treatments, teacher Jessika Ricarte had all but given up on having a family. Then she fell pregnant with Lucas. "His name comes from luminous. And he was a light in our life. He showed that happiness was much more than we imagined," she says. Read more here

15th April 2021


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