Daily Brief- Thursday 16th September, 2021

NEWS

Period for renewing driver's permits extended to 2022

Cabinet has decided to extend the period for the renewal of expired driving permits, taxi driver licences, badges, certificates, or other documents issued by the Licensing Division. In a release, the Ministry of Works and Transport said any transfer of vehicle registration required to be done on or before January 31, 2022 will be extended to February 1 next year. The public can access the division’s website at https://licensingappointment.mowt.gov.tt/ to schedule an appointment or the ministry’s website at www.mowt.gov.tt for more information. Read more here

PAHO: Delta becoming dominant in the Caribbean

As Caricom leaders consider a regional response to a surge in COVID-19 cases among member states, the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) confirms that the highly transmissible Delta Variant is becoming the dominant strain in the Caribbean. It is a similar pattern globally; the Delta Variant caused spikes in infections, hospitalizations and deaths in India, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States, among many other countries. At PAHO’s virtual media briefing on COVID-19 in the Americas yesterday, Dr Sylvain Aldighieri, Incident Manager for COVID-19, said most of the Eastern Caribbean region reported the presence of the Variant of Concern. In the last two weeks, Bahamas, Guyana and Haiti were among the countries to detect the variant. Read more here

 

POLITICS

PM expresses faith,confidence in NGC head Loquan

The Prime Minister has come to the defence of National Gas Company (NGC) president Mark Loquan, amidst calls for his resignation, expressing total faith and confidence in him. Loquan has come under fire in recent times for what is being termed his ill-advised decision to invest US$400 million to find gas to support the continuation of Atlantic Train 1, and the subsequent request for indemnity of the board and company from this bad investment. The investment is said to have had Cabinet approval. Read more here

JTUM accuses govt of imposing ‘Taliban-like’ property tax

Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) president, Ancel Roget says if Government imposes property taxes on citizens at the height of a pandemic, it could be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. Speaking during a press conference on Wednesday, Roget accused the Government of imposing “Taliban-like” measures against citizens. Roget accused Government ministers of living high off the perks of their offices while ignoring the plight of ordinary citizens. He said the average man is struggling to survive during the pandemic when many have lost their jobs, food prices are increasing and the cost of living has gone up. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

20 years of petroleum geoscience at UWI

September marks 20 years since the first cohort of students enrolled in UWI, St Augustine’s bachelor's in petroleum geoscience (PGSC) programme. UWI offers dozens of degree programmes across its campuses, so what makes this one worthy of its own article? With just over 200 graduates in its history, few programmes have had such a direct impact on the country’s economy. In simple terms, a geoscientist interprets all manner of data to pick the spot on a map to drill for oil and gas and say how deep they need to go. Read more here

Scotia profits jump 26%

Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago yesterday reported after-tax profits of $462 million for the nine months ended July 31, 2021, an increase of $96 million or 26 per cent over the comparative prior-year nine-month period. The total revenue of Scotiabank, comprising net interest income and other income, was $1,303 million for the period ended July 31, 2021, a decrease of $42 million or 3 per cent over the comparable period last year. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

About 1,000 pupils dropped out of school due to COVID-19 pandemic

At least 1,000 primary school pupils from the public school system have dropped out of school over the past year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which had forced the Ministry of Education (MoE) to close schools and adopt online learning. Additionally, a significant drop out rate has been recorded at the secondary school level, where several students who registered for the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) exams did not turn up to write the exams. Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, made these alarming disclosures on Wednesday, during her presentation at the launch of the Teachers Welfare Benefits Programme at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Aukus: UK, US and Australia launch pact to counter China

The UK, US and Australia have announced a historic security pact in the Asia-Pacific, in what's seen as an effort to counter China. It will let Australia build nuclear-powered submarines for the first time, using technology provided by the US. The Aukus pact, which will also cover AI and other technologies, is one of the countries' biggest defence partnerships in decades, analysts say. China has condemned the agreement as "extremely irresponsible". Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said it "seriously undermines regional peace and stability and intensifies the arms race". China's embassy in Washington accused the countries of a "Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice". Read more here

Japan's defense minister draws red line in island dispute with China

Japan is drawing a red line around an island chain also claimed by China, pushing back at Beijing's increasingly aggressive military posturing, and setting the stage for a potential showdown between the region's two biggest powers. In an exclusive interview with CNN, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyu Islands in China, are unquestionably Japanese territory and would be defended as such, with Tokyo matching any Chinese threat to the islands ship for ship, and beyond if necessary. Read more here

16th September 2021

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