Daily Brief - Thursday 15th October, 2020


Police officer charged with attempted murder

A police officer with eight years' service was granted $300,000 bail on Tuesday when he appeared in court virtually for attempted murder. PC Rajesh Ramdass appeared before a Port of Spain magistrate for the 2016 shooting of a 37-year-old man. Ramdass was given an alternative of $15,000 cash bail. The case was adjourned to November 10. Read more here

Making decisions without data

Today is Caribbean Statistics Day. And the theme for this year’s observance is “Connecting the world with data we can trust.” But do you trust the data that you are presented with from the Central Statistical Office, the body that is charged with the responsibility for taking censuses, collecting, compiling, analysing and publishing statistical information related to all the social and economic activities in this country? Well, if your answer to that question is no, then you need not feel too bad about it because this country’s director of statistics Sean O’Brien does not feel the CSO is living up to its mandate. Read more here



US$205k in aid sent to stranded Trinis

Trinidad and Tobago has distributed US$205,958.99 to 298 stranded nationals through five overseas missions between August and September. The money was humanitarian aid announced by the Prime Minister during the initial period of covid19 restrictions which included closure of the country’s borders in March. The borders remain closed. Read more here

PM wants to cap tax exemption on MPs’ vehicles

The tax exemption on motor vehicles currently enjoyed by Parliamentarians and other public officers may soon be subject to a cap of $350,000. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced the decision to propose the tax exemption cap as he wrapped up his contribution to the 2020/2021 Budget debate in Parliament yesterday. “I will propose to my colleagues at the Cabinet because I am not going to unilaterally make a decision. Like I will propose to my colleagues at the Cabinet, the Cabinet take the position of the average exemption on motor vehicles be capped at $350,000 because, Madam Speaker, that will give you a fine car,” Rowley told the House. Read more here



Covid19 and the job market of the future

The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the transition to a digital economy. New ways of working and shopping mean certain roles in data analysis and consumer behaviour, for example, will become more common. The new decade will also require more higher-skilled roles. LinkedIn and Microsoft have teamed up to offer online training for the roles they’ve identified that are in-demand in today’s economy and are well-positioned to continue to grow in the future. These include software developers, digital marketing, graphic designers, IT admin and support, and customer service and sales specialists. Read more here

Government got CL Marine for $119m

Government recovered $119 million of the debt owed to it by Clico when it acquired CL Marine according to Finance Minister Colm Imbert. Winding up debate last evening in the Lower House on the 2021 budget, Imbert said the acquisition was both strategic and meant to collect some of the outstanding money owed to taxpayers arising from the Clico bailout. “It is part of the debt recovery from CLICO and through the acquisition of CL Marine we have been able to get an asset valued at $119 million Madame Speaker. So we have in effect recovered $119 million of taxpayers money through the acquisition of CL Marine.” Imbert boasted. Read more here

T&T firm wins OECS business model contest

A Trinidad and Tobago-based company, which produces gluten-free pasta, gluten-free flours and prepared meals from fresh sweet potatoes and cassava, has won the inaugural Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Republic Bank Business Model Competition. Read more here



Omai back in Guyana

After ceasing operations here years ago, Omai Gold Mines Limited (OGML) has made a return to Guyana, specifically to its worksite in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni region, where it intends to make an initial investment of US$12 million. It was reported that the company had wrapped up operations in 2015 after 24 years of service in Guyana. Omai, during its “glory days,” was listed as one of the largest gold mines in Guyana and the world, with estimated reserves of 3.7 million ounces of gold. Read more here

Three Credit Card Scammers Found Guilty A Decade After Being Arrested

Three men who 10 years ago were arrested and charged in what police investigators believe was the largest debit and credit card racket locally have been convicted for various breaches of the Cybercrimes Act. Tetlow Frith, said to be the mastermind, Carlos Burton and Jermaine Vernon were found guilty in the Manchester Parish Court yesterday, marking the end of a trial that began in 2013. Read more here



Trump's lack of honesty on Covid hangs over his reelection bid

President Donald Trump's refusal to tell America the truth about the pandemic in a bid to save his political skin, on display at a potential super-spreader rally in Iowa on Wednesday night, is fostering a vacuum in national leadership and crucial public health mobilization as a winter of sickness and death looms. Trump is touting his own recovery from Covid-19 with a cocktail of expensive experimental therapies available to almost no one else in the world as proof there is nothing to fear from a disease that has killed more than 216,000 Americans. Read more here

Covid alert level: London, Essex, York and other areas moving to Tier 2

Millions of people in London, Essex, York and other areas face tougher Tier 2 Covid measures from Saturday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said. It means more than half of England's population will be living under high or very high-alert restrictions. Under Tier 2 high-alert measures, there is a ban on households mixing indoors, including in pubs and restaurants. It comes as a final decision has yet to be made on whether Greater Manchester will move into the highest Tier. Read more here

15th October 2020


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