Daily Brief - Thursday 21st February, 2019

NEWS

TT Children getting diabetes before parents

President of the Diabetes Association of TT Andrew Dhanoo says younger people were developing diabetes, some before their parents. He was speaking on Wednesday as a Joint Select Committee (JSC) on childhood obesity met with officials of the Diabetes Association as well as officials from the Sport and Agriculture ministries and the National Parent Teacher Association. He said excess body fat is one of the primary determinants of diabetes development, and obesity reduction tactics have been at the centre of the association's initiatives. Read more here

Criminals switching to military weapons —senior cop

Crim­i­nals are shift­ing from the use of hand­guns to com­mit crimes to more so­phis­ti­cat­ed mil­i­tary-type ri­fles. This from As­sis­tant Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice (An­ti-Crime) Jayson Forde on Wednes­day as he told a Par­lia­ment Joint Se­lect Com­mit­tee on Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty that po­lice were seiz­ing an av­er­age of 1,000 il­le­gal firearms an­nu­al­ly. Forde ad­mit­ted that the rate at which il­le­gal firearms “ap­pear on the streets is some­thing to be con­cerned about.” Vice chair­man of the Com­mit­tee Paul Richards told Forde the SSA’s 2016 da­ta showed there were 8,154 il­le­gal firearms in T&T and this fig­ure may be a drop in the buck­et. Many of those weapons came in through le­gal ports of en­try, the SSA found. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Trade minister advises local companies to embrace technology

Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon has advised local manufacturers to embrace cutting-edge technology, or get left behind, as technological advances transform the world of manufacturing. Gopee-Scoon applauded Domus Windows and Doors Ltd’s use of technology to produce hurricane resistant windows and doors, during the opening of its $55 million factory and showroom, Factory Road, Chaguanas on Tuesday. She said local manufacturers had to embrace similar technology as the world seemed to be moving ahead in the fields of automation and robotics. “If TT is to remain competitive, investment in cutting edge technology like what we see here today, high-value production and export practices are indeed a must. Read more here

PM: Corrupt engineers inflating State contracts

Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley has said over-in­flat­ed en­gi­neer es­ti­mates at gov­ern­ment min­istries have cost this coun­try mil­lions of dol­lars over the years. Dur­ing his ad­dress at the sod-turn­ing cer­e­mo­ny in Val­sayn on Wednes­day for the Curepe In­ter­change Project, the Prime Min­is­ter slammed the ini­tial in­flat­ed cost at­tached to the project un­der the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment. In 2013, the project was es­ti­mat­ed to cost $513 m. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Central Bank reaches out to families in new museum

From the moment you enter the capital city, the Twin Towers are the most notable part of the waterfront. They may not be the sky scrapers that most foreign visitors are used to but for us, the towers of the Eric Williams Financial Complex are the centerpiece of the city. As iconic as the towers may be to the architectural landscape of the city, what goes on inside is even more significant. The east building houses, among others, the Ministry of Finance, while the west tower is home to the Central Bank, including the newly re-commissioned Central Bank Museum. Established in 2004 in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the bank, the Central Bank Museum, formerly known as the Money Museum, has recently undergone an extensive and modern rebranding into a state-of-the-art facility. Read more here

An industrial policy that works

Re­cent­ly in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Colm Im­bert stat­ed that more Trin­bag­o­ni­ans are mak­ing pur­chas­es on­line. Im­bert al­so added that lo­cal fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions used a to­tal of US$1.205 bil­lion to meet cred­it-card for­eign oblig­a­tions in 2018. US dol­lar out­flows due to on­line shop­ping have steadi­ly in­creased in re­cent times; in 2010 it was US $343 mil­lion, in 2011 $376 mil­lion, in 2012 $539 mil­lion, in 2013 $531 mil­lion, in 2014 $641 mil­lion and in 2015 $776 mil­lion. Even the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a sev­en per cent on­line sales tax in 2016 could not stem the del­uge. This is a grow­ing trend glob­al­ly and high­lights the fact that lo­cal busi­ness­es will face in­creas­ing pres­sure from on­line com­peti­tors across var­i­ous in­dus­tries, and es­pe­cial­ly in the re­tail sec­tor. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

It’s JDF! - Army Wins RG Award

The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) last night received the RG Platinum Award for its sterling service to nation building through the Jamaica National Service Corps, a state-led initiative aimed at transforming at-risk youth into model citizens and producing an army of competent workers to drive industry and commerce. Even amid the roars of approval that swept the ballroom of The Jamaica Pegasus, Lieutenant General Rocky Meade’s sure-footed march before accepting the RJRGLEANER Group’s award oozed humility. The Man of the Year Award was this year renamed the Platinum Award. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Desperate and alone, Saudi sisters risk everything to flee oppression

The night they fled, Reem and Rawan didn't dare sleep. It was September 6, 2018. The two Saudi sisters were on a family vacation in Colombo, Sri Lanka. For weeks, they had helped their mother organize the trip, feigning excitement at the possibility of two weeks away from Riyadh, but knowing that if all went to plan, they'd never go back. Failure was not an option. Every step of their escape from Saudi Arabia carried the threat of severe punishment or death. "We knew the first time, if it's not perfect, it will be the last time," Reem says. Read more here

Bangladesh fire: Blaze kills dozens in Dhaka historic district

A fast-moving fire swept through a historic district of Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, killing at least 78 people, officials say. The blaze broke out at night in a residential building that had flammable material stored on the ground floor. Members of a bridal party are thought to be among the victims. It is not yet clear what started the fire. The centuries-old Chawkbazar district has narrow streets and buildings very close to each other. Large building fires are relatively common in densely populated Bangladesh, owing to lax safety regulations and poor conditions. Hundreds of people have been killed in recent years. Read more here

21st February 2019

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