Daily Brief - Thursday 25th April, 2019

NEWS

Cana­di­an-born To­ba­go-bred singer/song­writer for TJE 2019

Cana­di­an-born To­ba­go-bred singer/song­writer, Caleb Hart sobriquet Brave­hart, the founder and lead vo­cal­ist of North-Amer­i­can roots reg­gae band Tas­man Jude is set to grace the stage at the Tobago Jazz Experience 2019. Hart, who described himself as a natural born performer since he was a young boy growing up in Tobago continues to take his music across Canada and around the world to the Caribbean, Australia, USA and New Zealand full time since 2012. For the first time, Hart would perform at Thursday evening’s Jazz by the Waterfront. Read more here

Penal residents claim ‘water conspiracy’

Starved of wa­ter for more than three weeks, Pe­nal res­i­dents say they are spend­ing thou­sands of dol­lars to pur­chase wa­ter in what they say is a great wa­ter con­spir­a­cy. The res­i­dents be­lieve the con­spir­a­cy ex­ists be­tween WASA of­fi­cials and pri­vate con­trac­tors who sell wa­ter in the starved ar­eas for $300 to $800 per tank. Farm­ers whose crops are dy­ing say they pay as much as $1,000 for four tanks of wa­ter. They be­lieve that mid­dle man­age­ment su­per­vi­sors from WASA were redi­rect­ing wa­ter and get­ting a per­cent­age of funds from pri­vate con­trac­tors once wa­ter is sold. At Solomon Knox Street at La­choos Road, Pe­nal, res­i­dents say the vil­lage pond has once again be­come pop­u­lar be­cause many peo­ple could not af­ford to buy wa­ter. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Imbert, are you listening?

In telling a Joint Select Committee (JSC) yesterday that councillors face being thrown out onto the street at the end of this month over non-payment of rent for their offices, Princes Town Regional Corporation chairman Gowrie Roopnarine said he hopes one of the people listening in on the JSC meeting is Finance Minister Colm Imbert. Roopnarine was speaking as officials of the Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation, Princes Town Regional Corporation and Local Government Ministry met with the JSC on Local Authorities yesterday at the Parliament building. Read more here

AG’s advice sought on SEA results issue

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion will seek the opin­ion of the At­tor­ney Gen­er­al con­cern­ing the pend­ing de­ci­sion on whether to pub­lish the Sec­ondary En­trance As­sess­ment (SEA) re­sults this year. Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter An­tho­ny Gar­cia con­firmed that no de­ci­sion had been made fol­low­ing a Strate­gic Ex­ec­u­tive Meet­ing at Ed­u­ca­tion Tow­er on Tues­day, where the mat­ter was dis­cussed. “We got an opin­ion from our le­gal of­fi­cer. That opin­ion was dis­cussed and it was de­cid­ed that we would re­fer that opin­ion to the At­tor­ney Gen­er­al be­fore we make our next move,” said Gar­cia at the Suc­cess Laven­tille Sec­ondary School on Wednes­day. On Tues­day, the Sanathan Dhar­ma Ma­ha Sab­ha sent a pre-ac­tion pro­to­col let­ter warn­ing the Min­istry against stop­ping the pub­li­ca­tion of the re­sults. How­ev­er, Gar­cia said he was yet to re­ceive any such let­ter. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Packing up Styrofoam

Visit any one of TT’s liming spots from the streets of Woodbrook to rivers and beaches along the North Coast and you’re guaranteed to find at least one of them: Styrofoam cups and boxes, on the surface of the waterways. Government first announced its intention to ban imported Styrofoam products in 2018. The ban was officially implemented in February this year, but still faces some logistical challenges – notably that the law intended to govern the policy still needs to be drafted, although Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis told Business Day her ministry is working closely with the office of the Attorney General to get legislation finalised. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

New City Review - Holness Orders Study On Bernard Lodge Buildout; Backs Housing In Kingston, MoBay, Mandeville

Public outcry about costs of the proposed Bernard Lodge city in St Catherine, as well as travel concerns and potential environmental fallout related to urban sprawl beyond the margins of Kingston, has caused Prime Minister Andrew Holness to order a comprehensive review of the project. In an apparent sign that he might be rethinking his ambitious buildout of Jamaica’s third city, Holness expressed reservations that the “sprawling nature of housing development” may inflate the construction costs of homes and add expensive and long travel times, making such residences unaffordable for most citizens. Kingston, Montego Bay, and Mandeville are better bets, the prime minister emphasised. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Sri Lanka suicide bomber was previously arrested and then released, government says

One of the Sri Lanka suicide bombers was previously arrested by police and then released, a senior Sri Lankan government spokesman told CNN Thursday. Ilham Ahmed Ibrahim -- one of two sons of a spice tycoon who blew themselves up in Sunday's attacks -- detonated a device at the Cinnamon Grand hotel in Colombo, Sudarshana Gunawardana said. "It was the suicide bomber of the Cinnamon Grand bomb attack who was released earlier," Gunawardana said. Ilham Ahmed Ibrahim and his brother Imsath Ahmed Ibrahim were previously identified as two of the suicide bombers in Sunday's attacks, which left at least 359 people dead across the country. Read more here

US election 2020: Joe Biden launches presidential bid, joining crowded field

Former US Vice-President Joe Biden has declared a presidential bid, putting an end to months of speculation. In a video announcement, Mr Biden warned that the "core values of the nation... our very democracy, everything that has made America America, is at stake". The 76-year-old enters a crowded race for the 2020 Democratic nomination. He is up against 19 other hopefuls, including Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders. In his announcement, Mr Biden recalled President Donald Trump's much-criticised remark that there were "very fine people on both sides" of the deadly Charlottesville white nationalist riots of 2017. "With those words, the president of the united states assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it," Mr Biden said. Read more here

25th April 2019

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