Daily Brief - Thursday 1st June, 2023


T&TEC probing worker after sexual grooming allegations

The Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) is investigating an incident in which one of its employees was featured on an online show that exposes men who allegedly try to sexually groom girls. To Catch A Predator, a spin-off of NBC's 2004 series with the same name, is a TT-based web series on YouTube. In its description, it says, "We catch grown men who are interested in having sexual relationships with children. We have decoys set up on different social media platforms where the men first make contact. During the conversation, the decoy reveals her age as 13 or 14. After the age is revealed, we keep record of the conversation as evidence. Read more here

Secondary school system breeding uneducated gang members

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is blaming the current education system for creating a conveyer belt of uneducated young gang members. And he believes it is time to start a conversation about it. Speaking with members of the business community at Breakfast with the Prime Minister at the Hilton Trinidad in Port-of-Spain yesterday, Rowley lamented that significant amounts of young people pass through the secondary school system without learning anything. He blamed the automatic promotion of all children into secondary school as a main contributor to the problem. “Because once we’ve made the decision that everybody goes to high school, the questions remain, what about those children who enter the secondary school system having not been readied in the primary system? When they get into the secondary school system, what is the curriculum that they are going to follow? Is it the curriculum of the primary school as a continuation? Or the curriculum of a secondary school that they can’t cope with?” Read more here



Mark: Don't validate councils' future actions

Opposition Senator Wade Mark, debating a bill to validate councils' acts up to May 18, urged the Government to delete part of the bill which also validates their future actions after May 18. The Municipal Corporations (Extension of Terms of Office and Validation) Bill, 2023 retroactively validates councillors' actions from last December – when their terms were supposed to have ended – up to May 18. That was the date the Privy Council ruled councillors' terms could not be extended for an extra year, as the Government had sought to do. Mark said on Wednesday democracy was on trial in Trinidad and Tobago, as he accused Government of trying to deny 1.3 million people the right to vote in local polls until stopped by the Privy Council, for which he thanked God. Read more here

PM says no to foreign observers for LG election

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley will not entertain Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s request for international observers to oversee the upcoming local government elections. During the United National Congress’ Monday Night Report, Persad-Bissessar made the call for foreign oversight while underscoring that her party does not trust the People’s National Movement with the process. She added that she had delivered a letter to the PM on this. However, while answering questions from the audience during Breakfast with tDr Keith Rowley at the Hilton Trinidad, Port-of-Spain, yesterday, Dr Rowley responded to her request with a resounding no. Read more here



PMI wants a smoke-free Trinidad and Tobago

Quitting smoking is quite possibly one of the hardest things to do. The cravings that each smoker around the world feels – that need to take a drag after a big meal or while out with friends or when you have to use the bathroom – is a hard one to shake. However, the health benefits of giving up cigarettes are almost immediate, with the CDC noting that from as early as one month after giving up cigarettes people cough less and have fewer experiences of shortness of breath and the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat and voice box drops by more than half after ten years. Philip Morris International (PMI), the company that brings cigarette brands such as L&M and Malboro to TT, wants to help people quit, using their smokeless tobacco products. The company has a smoke-free vision that would see 50 per cent of its revenue coming from smoke free products by 2025. Read more here

People willing but not financially able

People are willing to reduce their electricity consumption including letting their homes run on solar power but with the cost of living already being so high, choosing a more environmentally-friendly way of living comes at an added cost. Following a public awareness survey on renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy pricing in Trinidad and Tobago, it was found that there is room to increase energy-efficient behaviours. While turning off one’s lights and air conditioning units when not in use, hanging clothes on a line to dry instead of in an electric dryer and even using LED bulbs proved common among citizens, going a step further to reduce costs and protect the environment by installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and even purchasing energy saving appliances, are not as common. Read more here




Private sector joins efforts to eliminate gender-based violence

Promoting gender equality and eliminating gender-based violence were the focal points during the recent launch of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) under the EU-funded Spotlight Initiative in Guyana. Ms Tonni Brodber, the Representative of the UN Women Multi-Country Office – Caribbean, emphasized the importance of addressing gender-based violence as part of a comprehensive approach to achieve development goals, health outcomes, and economic and social growth. Highlighting the correlation between gender equality, lower levels of violence, and increased social cohesion, Ms. Brodber stressed that societies with greater gender equality experience fewer instances of violence. Read more here



Donald Trump recorded saying he kept classified file after leaving office

US prosecutors have obtained an audio recording of Donald Trump in which he acknowledges keeping a classified document after leaving the White House. CNN first reported that investigators had the tape, and people familiar with the matter later told the BBC's US partner CBS that this was the case. The justice department is investigating Mr Trump's handling of classified material. He denies wrongdoing. The inquiry is reported to be nearing its end and could result in charges. The audio recording is said to be from a meeting at Mr Trump's New Jersey golf club in July 2021, which is around six months after he left office. Two people familiar with the matter told CBS that Mr Trump can be heard acknowledging there are national security restrictions on a military memo because it details a potential attack on Iran. Read more here

1st June 2023


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