Daily Brief - Thursday 17th August, 2017


Card skimming on the increase

Police yesterday reported an increase in the incidence of bank card skimming by an alarming 181 per cent in the last four years. The revelation was made during the weekly press briefing at the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain. Head of the Fraud Squad Ag Snr Supt Totaram Dookhie, said his unit, the Bankers’ Association and the Trans-National Crime Unit have been working together to decrease the number of incidents. This year police arrested 16 foreigners Bolivia, Spain, the Dominican Republic, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria and Canada, convicting nine of them. Several locals were also arrested. Read more here

Panman aims for 24-hour record

Can you imagine standing and playing an instrument for 24 hours continuously, with no breaks for food, water, sleep, or even to use the bathroom?  Well, this is exactly what local panman Marcus Lewis is hoping to achieve to set the Guinness record for the “Longest Marathon Playing Steel-Drums”. Lewis, a Tobago native who is known by his nickname Mr Pantastick, hopes to attempt the record before the end of the year. Read more here



Indarsingh calls for regular police patrols

Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh yesterday made a passionate appeal to Ag Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams to protect the people of Calcutta, Freeport. He was speaking at the funeral service for 15-year-old murder victim Emmanuel Okera whose body was found floating in a ravine in Calcutta on Thursday last week. Police say he was beaten to death. Indarsingh said people are running scared. “Emmanuel was a respectable businessman even at this tender age,” Indarsingh said, adding that members of the Bethel Church of God in Calcutta, Freeport, where the funeral was held, supported him by purchasing vegetables he planted himself. “He was brutally murdered and this act sends off an alarm in the neighbourhood as Emmanuel was a true example of how a young man should conduct himself in society.” Indarsingh said Emmanuel sacrificed his secondary school education to take care of his mother Abia Williams and his siblings Sapphire, Caleb, Meda and Joshua. Read more here

Cops hunt man in ‘rude talk’ with minor

The Children’s Authority is calling for members of the public to come forward with information to help catch a 35-year-old man who made sexual advances to an 11-year-old girl in a series of WhatsApp messages. Screenshots of the conversation between the man, who is married, and the child were posted on social media. In the conversation, the man promised the child that he would give her money, buy her a Samsung cellphone and meet with her for sex this weekend. Read more here



TT seeking Chinese investment

Government is actively pursuing initiatives with China as part of its ongoing efforts to strengthen and diversify the economy. Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young said this when he addressed a Rotary Club of Port of Spain luncheon in Woodbrook on Tuesday. Young said two months ago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley sent him on assignment to China. He said since that time there have been discussions on expanding China’s One Road-One Belt to TT, with this country serving as the gateway to Latin America for China.Young said the construction of a dry dock facility in La Brea is one initiative being pursued at this time. Read more here

Small businesses receive Government grants

The distribution of grants to small business owners is an example of Government’s determination to reduce poverty in the T&T said Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn, Minister of Social Development and Family Services. “Today’s occasion is a reflection of the Government’s strategic role in reducing poverty, the creation of a more stable economy and providing a safety net by investing and placing human capital at the core of sustainable development,” she said. Crichlow-Cockburn spoke yesterday at the grant distribution ceremony of the Sowing Empowerment through Entrepreneurial Development (SEED) program for applicants from south, east and north Trinidad at the Ministry of Social Development in Port-of-Spain. 20 beneficiaries received funding which will assist them in either starting up or growing their business. Read more here

Ministry supports cocoa processing for exports

Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon (MTI) has pledged support for the development of the cocoa-processing industry in T&T as part of her ministry’s efforts to boost exports and increase access to markets in agro processing. Gopee-Scoon gave the commitment on Tuesday at a meeting she and the ministry’s technical staff had with Trinidad and Tobago Fine Cocoa Company director Ashley Parasram and representatives of the British High Commission to discuss opportunities for collaboration. Read more here



Former head brought no value to CIU, says Antigua-Barbuda PM

In a letter earlier this year to the former Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) CEO, Chisanga Chekwe, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne accused him of bringing no value to the country's citizenship by investment (CIP) operations, which Browne said declined under Chekwe's watch. At the time, Browne's letter was written in response to an expectation expressed by Puta-Chekwe of an apology from the prime minister in relation to statements made in parliament, an expectation Browne said he could not fulfil. In his letter dated March 27, 2017, Browne told Chekwe that he had "soured the leadership" of Antigua and Barbuda's CIP. Read more here

Silent Soldiers - Calls Mount For JDF To Speak On Internal Actions Since Tivoli Operation

The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) is yet to publicly indicate what it has done internally in light of adverse findings against its officers and the army's actions in the 2010 Tivoli operation, and there are growing calls for the force to address the nation on the matter. The latest call from retired JDF Lieutenant Commander George Overton comes as a senior Cabinet minister has indicated that the Government will not accept the controversial review by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), which has cleared cops of wrongdoing in the operation to capture then gangster Christopher 'Dudus' Coke. "I believe that it's necessary to declare that something has been done and the relevant authorities have reviewed and said ,'Well, OK. These are the changes that may be necessary in the operational procedures and manuals'," the director of operations at the Guardsman Group told The Gleaner. Read more here



North Korea crisis: War would be horrific, US general says

A military response to North Korea would be "horrific" but remains an option, the top military adviser to US President Donald Trump says. Gen Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the comments while visiting China. He was responding to remarks by a top Trump aide ruling out military action over North Korea's nuclear programme. Tensions have flared between the US and North Korea after Pyongyang made advances in its missile testing. Mr Trump has warned the North that it faces "fire and fury", while Pyongyang has threatened to strike the American territory of Guam. But the sharp rhetoric of last week has since softened, with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un putting the Guam plans on hold - a move praised by President Trump. Read more here

Trump isolated as US military, business and political leaders condemn racism

US President Donald Trump found himself more isolated than at any point in his presidency on Thursday, cast aside by business allies, condemned by prominent Republicans and the subject of a rare, if coded rebuke from two living predecessors. The backlash over his failure unequivocally to condemn racism and white supremacy, in the aftermath of violent far-right protests in Charlottesville at the weekend, culminated in the rancorous dissolution of two business advisory panels and an avalanche of condemnation from across the political spectrum. Read more here

17th August 2017


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