Daily Brief - Thursday 21st January, 2021


CMO: Safe to give blood during pandemic

People can still safely donate blood during the covid19 pandemic. Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram gave this assurance during the virtual health news conference on Wednesday. In response to an online question, Parsaram said, "We want to underscore the importance of continuing to donate blood." He explained, "It is important, especially during any pandemic, that we have enough supplies of blood." Read more here

Students to face means tests for electronic devices

While students in need and those facing exams are being given priority for electronic devices for schoolwork, a means test to be given to other students will examine if their household has devices or receives government grants. This was indicated by acting Chief Education Officer Lisa Henry-David at yesterday’s Parliamentary committee meeting on the hybrid learning system. Read more here



Patriotic given 15 days to prove it has $ for the refinery

Patriotic Energies and Technologies Co Ltd has been given a second extension to prove its ability to purchase the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery. Government has acceded to a request from the company to rethink Monday’s Cabinet decision to seek another partner for the restart of the refinery. The company has been given until February 5 to do so. Pleased for another chance, Patriotic has vowed to do all it can this time around to convince government it is indeed the best fit for the task at hand. Read more here

Rowley eager to work with Biden, Harris

Caricom and Trinidad and Tobago are looking forward to working with new US President Joe Biden. Guardian Media was told Caricom chairman Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday sent a congratulatory letter to Biden, who took the oath of office alongside Vice President Kamala Harris yesterday. Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne also say the T&T Government is eagerly anticipating working with Biden on a range of issues and building on “the long history of excellent relations between both nations.” Read more here



How Vemco kept its eye on the ball in a pandemic

If you want to define it in cricket terms, you could say 2020 was a bouncer. And not just the run-of-the-mill high bouncing cork ball either; 2020 was the kind of bouncer that went one way then bounced another then flew straight at your face. Few businesses were able to pivot away from that bouncer, let alone benefit and thrive. Manufacturing, exporting and distribution company Vemco is among those few. Read more here

Tobago does what it wants

How could Tracy Davidson Celestine, the woman who could very well be the next Chief Secretary not understand that as a secretary your accountability does not end when you ensure funds are provided for a project? How can she not see that as secretary you are ultimately responsible for what happens in your division including failed projects and wastage of taxpayers funds? From the onset, let me say that I once worked at the Division of Tourism and Transportation in the Tobago House of Assembly and I have had cause on many occasions to interact with Mrs Davidson-Celestine. Read more here



Patterson admits receiving ‘glittering’ gifts

After being implicated in receiving a number of pricey, shiny birthday gifts from agencies that fell under his watch as Minister of Public Infrastructure, former minister with that portfolio David Patterson has admitted to receiving the items. Media reports have suggested that the former minister in the APNU+AFC government had denied receiving the items, but in a release on Wednesday he said he assumed that the gifts were given in full compliance with procurement guidelines. Read more here

American Dream - Biden Era Offers New Hope For Jamaican Immigrants In The Shadows

Jamaican Jason W arrived in New York 10 years ago, seeking the American dream. Because he has remained there illegally, he has lived in the shadows, taking whatever jobs he can to survive financially. When his mother died, he was unable to attend her funeral in Jamaica out of fear that he could not return to the United States. “That was the hardest thing I ever had to do – choose between staying here or going home for my mother’s funeral,” Jason told The Gleaner. Read more here



Biden changes America in an instant -- but tougher challenges loom

On the first morning of Joe Biden's presidency, America has changed utterly, and not at all. Already shredding Donald Trump's legacy, Biden is demonstrating the vast potential of his office to turn the nation's direction on a dime. He has watched nine presidents since coming to Washington, and it shows. The new commander in chief quickly reached for familiar levers of power and showed a mastery of the theatrics of his office to supercharge a new political era in the hours after taking his inaugural oath. Read more here

Christine Dacera: Police chief's removal ordered over 'botched' rape probe

An order has been made to remove a police chief of an affluent area of the Philippine capital, Manila, for his handling of a probe into the suspected rape and murder of an air stewardess. The case of Christine Dacera, found dead in a hotel room after a New Year's Eve party, made headlines for weeks. Police quickly said she had been raped and murdered, arresting three men. But the men have now been released while questions have been raised over officers' initial conclusions. Read more here

21st January 2021


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