Daily Brief - Thursday 23rd August, 2018

NEWS

Finance manager on 88 money laundering charges

A 48-year-old finance manager from a manufacturing company in Caroni is expected to appear in the Tunapuna Magistrates’ Court today on 88 charges related to money laundering and falsification of accounts. She was arrested at her home on Monday after investigations by Fraud Squad police. Read more here

Drug mule fined $33,000 for attempting to smuggle cocaine

A Diego Martin electrician who tried to transport cocaine which was concealed in soaked towels and T-shirts to England ten years ago has been fined $33,000. Andrew Walters, 48, pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to export cocaine and possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking in the Scarborough Magistrates Court. The incident took place on December 14, 2008, at the then Crown Point International Airport in Tobago. Read more here

Two Cathedrals damaged

The two major cathedrals in the capital city have been damaged by Tuesday’s 6.9-magnitude earthquake. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Young: Govt to revisit mandatory building code

Government is willing to revisit building code regulations, says Communications Minister Stuart Young, especially after Tuesday’s 6.9 quake shook the country. TT does not have a legally enforceable building code, and the Town and Country Planning Division does not assess buildings for structural integrity. The TT Bureau of Standards does have guidelines but they are purely voluntary. Even as he gave reporters the government’s assurance yesterday at the post-Cabinet media briefing, Young said TT was fortunate that regardless of the lack of mandatory enforcement, the general practice throughout the construction sector was to apply international standards for earthquakes and hurricane-force winds when erecting major buildings. Read more here

Duke under fire for panicking public servants

National Security Minister Stuart Young yesterday accused Public Services Association Watson Duke president of causing 80,000 public servants unnecessary panic and anxiety following Tuesday’s 6.9 magnitude earthquake. Young’s comments came after Duke, in addressing scores of public servants on Richmond Street, urged them not to go to work, as many of the buildings they occupy were not structurally sound, citing the Ministry of National Security on the same street as one example. Read more here

Deyalsingh admits: Wife’s employer got govt contracts.

Health Minister Terrence Deyal­singh has admitted his wife is employed at a company which has received multi-million-dollar Government contracts. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Style of faith

One of the greatest factors of all successful businesses is finding a niche market that has a greater demand than supply. This is the firm belief of mother of six, Nester Flanders-Skeete. The self-taught seamstress has been sewing for years for herself, family and close friends. Occasionally, she said, she would take jobs to sew for people outside her inner circle. Now Flanders-Skeete has not only found a way to ply her trade lucratively, but to incorporate her faith. Read more here

Don’t be complacent, warns business groups

President of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) Gregory Aboud said there was no major damage experienced in Port-of-Spain in the aftermath of Tuesday’s earthquake. “Despite the prolonged duration of the event and also the intensity of the actual earthquake, we have very few reports of any serious damage to buildings in and around the downtown Port-of-Spain area, the city centre seems to have escaped serious damage. There are one or two exceptions mainly the historic churches, where the construction was stone and boulder-type construction,” he told Guardian Media by phone yesterday. Read more here

Dragon signing moved to Caracas

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley will be leading a delegation to Venezuela on Saturday for the signing of the Dragon gas deal. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Axed! - More Than 200 Jobs Cut As J. Wray & Nephew Shuts Down Sugar Operations In St Bess

Some 226 workers lost their jobs as a result of yesterday's closure of J. Wray & Nephew Limited's operations at its Holland Estate and Casa Marantha in St Elizabeth, a decision the company said was a result of ongoing economic losses caused by the combined effect of escalating operational costs and the declining cost of sugar. "This doesn't in any way, shape, or form signal any exiting from sugar. We're simply dealing with this area, which is least productive, most costly, most challenging and difficult for us when we did a broad-scale analysis to make that change to cauterise the losses. That, simply, is it," chairman Clement 'Jimmy' Lawrence told The Gleaner. He explained that the company remained committed to the sugar cane industry as evidenced by its recent multimillion-dollar upgrade of the Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience in St Elizabeth. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

A reckoning could be coming for Trump

After one day where truth and facts triumphed, America is back to its alternative realities. The convictions of two close associates of President Donald Trump in a mind-bending double-header drama in two cities on Tuesday were a moment of clarity in the legal morass that has thickened around the White House over the last 19 months. Yet anyone who thought that being implicated in a crime in one of the most sensational political moments of recent history would soon temper Trump's behavior, stop his White House peddling untruths or reshape the political terrain that sustains his presidency is being disappointed -- at least for now. Read more here

'No-deal' Brexit advice published by UK government

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has set out what he called "practical and proportionate" advice in case the UK leaves the EU with no deal. The guidance includes instructions for businesses who could face extra paperwork at borders and contingency plans to avoid medicine shortages. Britons visiting the EU could also face extra credit card charges. Ministers say reaching a deal is their top priority but that "short term disruption" is possible without one. BBC political correspondent Chris Mason described the publication as a "vast swirling porridge of detail - much of it at a technical level, advising individual industries about the manner in which they are regulated in the event of a no-deal Brexit". Read more here

23rd August 2018

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