Daily Brief - Thursday 23rd, 2020

NEWS

Concern over covid19 cases with no travel history

Despite displaying flu-like symptoms, one person who ignored covid19 guidelines may have exposed hundreds in the country to the virus. The patient has no travel history, visited several businesses and interacted with relatives and family members over the last seven days. After visiting a health centre on Monday, the patient was isolated and tested positive on Tuesday, bringing the total of covid19 cases to 139. An additional covid19 case was announced on Wednesday morning – a national who returned from Saudi Arabia, which brought the number to 140. Read more here

Judge unfazed by courthouse bomb scare

Outspoken High Court Judge Frank Seepersad, who has received more than one threat on his life in recent times, says he will not be intimidated from discharging his duties. Seepersad made the remark as he resumed court after a two-hour delay following a bomb scare at San Fernando Supreme Court yesterday. Thanking the attorneys and parties for their patience while searches were conducted to ensure the building was safe, Seepersad noted that a functioning judicial system is a critical aspect of a functioning democracy. Read more here 

 

POLITICS

PM promises digital jobs for youth

The Prime Minister promised jobs to tech-savy youngsters as he vowed to transform TT into a digital nation. As he addressed a PNM virtual meeting on Wednesday, Dr Rowley said the covid19 pandemic has changed TT such that it must now be rebuilt, but quite differently from the way it was before. He said this transformation will boost efficiency in the country such as facilitating the retrieval of people's documents in government offices and eliminating the need to stand in line to pay bills. "By 2022 TT will be clearly a digital nation." Read more here

Deyalsingh hits Kamla’s COVID approach

PNM St Joseph candidate Terrence Deyalsingh last night slammed UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s populist approach to the COVID-19 crisis, catering more for popular views rather than safety. Speaking at PNM’s Mt Lambert meeting, Deyalsingh noted, “(She said) Open the borders. Keep rum shops open! Is the sunshine’. But a great leader doesn’t take you always where you want to go, they take you where you ought to go.” Deyalsingh’s comment came after it was discovered that T&T now has two local COVID cases. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Teens' Tiger Mask pass tests for covid19

Three secondary school students have developed a 95 per cent particulate filtration, reusable and washable mask. Their design has been tested by the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute. Siblings Joshua, Elijah and Cianna Riley launched the multi-layered cloth mask as the Tiger Mask brand on July 3. Business Day spoke to the Rileys recently. The project started at the beginning of the pandemic in TT, when the fear of contracting the covid19 virus caused a shortage of hand sanitizer due to panic buying. Cianna, 15, decided to make do-it-yourself sanitizer for her friends and family, to keep them safe. Read more here

Marlboro, L&M cigarettes being illegitimately seized

Cigarettes are among the most common illicitly traded products in the world. And, according to reports, T&T is robbed of $30 million a year because of this illicit trade. So as a result there have been stringent measures in place to try and deal with this issue. But now there is new twist to the situation. Philip Morris T&T Ltd has come forward to say that their Marlboro and L&M cigarettes are legal and should not be seized. Philip Morris T&T, which is incorporated here and affiliated with Philip Morris International, said that Micon Marketing Ltd is a licensed importer, distributor and wholesaler of its products locally. Read more here

Don’t let your guard down on Covid

Some downtown Port of Spain food outlets are expressing concern over yesterday’s revelation of what could be T&T’s first community-spread case of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Appleton Estate to Proceed with Factory Closure, Making Hundreds Redundant

Island Supervisor of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union, BITU, Hanif Brown, says the management of Appleton Estate has decided to close the factory and make 350 positions redundant. Workers unions and the management of Appleton Estate, on Monday started consultations over the St Elizabeth-based factory’s closure. Read more here

APNU+AFC open to dialogue

Extending an ‘olive branch’ to the opposition and stakeholders that are key to the electoral process, the ruling A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition said it is open to dialogue on a possible solution that would bring an end to the protracted electoral process. Though it has been close to five months since General and Regional Elections were held in Guyana, the official results have not been declared by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), due to a series of legal challengess filed at all three tiers of the country’s judicial system – the most recent challenging an Order (Order No. 60), which triggered a national recount. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Trump undermines new virus strategy by hiding experts and facts

President Donald Trump's new political self-preservation effort to show he has a grip on a pandemic that is killing hundreds of Americans every day is being exposed by his refusal to share the stage with scientific experts -- or the facts. On a day that laid bare his refashioned campaign strategy, Trump hammered out a tough law-and-order push, escalated a Cold War with China and tried to show he is managing the fight against Covid-19 after weeks of neglect. Read more here

China-US row: Fugitive researcher 'hiding in San Francisco consulate'

A Chinese scientist suspected of visa fraud and concealing ties to the military has fled to China's consulate in San Francisco, the US says. Prosecutors allege that the case is part of a Chinese programme to send undercover army scientists to the US. On Wednesday the Trump administration ordered the closure of China's mission in Houston, saying it was involved in stealing intellectual property. China condemned moves against its scientists and consulates in the US. Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin accused the administration of using excuses to limit, harass or crack down on Chinese scholars in the country. "In response to the US's unreasonable actions, China must make a necessary response and safeguard its legitimate rights," he said at a press conference, describing the US allegations as "malicious slander". Read more here

23rd July 2020

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