Daily Brief - Thursday 25th June, 2020

NEWS

BP: Trillion$ needed to reduce global warming

Trillions of dollars are needed if the world is to avert disaster from global warming, said BPTT's regional president Claire Fitzpatrick in her address at the Energy Chamber's Energy Efficiency and Renewables Conference, held virtually on Wednesday. The money is needed to keep the world below a three degree rise in temperature worldwide, and thus far only a percentage of that is being invested in the one thing that could limit climate change: new energies. Fitzpatrick said according to BP's statistical review of world energy, released last week, global carbon emissions are expected to grow by 10 per cent in the next 20 years. To stop global warming from heating the world to a point of no return, carbon emissions need to be reduced by half the current rate. Read more here

8 held for illegal quarrying in Las Lomas

Eight people were detained yesterday after police swooped down on an area in Las Lomas in Central Trinidad where alleged illegal quarrying was taking place. A team of officers from the Northern Division Major Operations Unit received information about the illicit activity after making contact with the office of the Commissioner of State Lands, who confirmed the activity was taking place on private lands after checking the land boundaries. The police, accompanied by officials from the Commissioner of State Lands, went to the area at Savary Road, Las Lomas Number 1 shortly after 8 am. Upon arrival, police found an excavator at work clearing a portion of the land and five dump trucks with what appeared to be aggregate. Read more here

 

POLITICS

PM: Renewables can spur diversification

The Prime Minister announced two projects between government and local energy companies that will provide the country with clean energy at a cost on par with current electricity output. In a feature address at the Energy Chamber’s Energy Efficiency and Renewables Conference held virtually on Wednesday, Dr Rowley announced that BP and Shell will assist government in projects to produce a large amount of energy capable of powering the country in the same way natural gas has been able to. He said the projects would see electricity generated from power sources located in Couva and Trincity. These projects, along with a waste-to-energy facility which is in the works, will be part of an overall initiative to reduce carbon emissions by 15 per cent, by 2030. Read more here

All sitting UNC MPs screened, await word

All 17 sitting United National Congress (UNC) Members of Parliament have been screened and are awaiting word on whether they would contest their respective seats in the upcoming general elections. General Secretary of the party, Dave Tancoo confirmed that the party has completed its screening and would be releasing the full slate “incrementally”. “We have been naming candidates incrementally and will continue to do so,” he said in a text message yesterday. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Tobago budget 'full of fluff'

“It is evident we must abandon a return to normal mindset and instead aim to devise ways to consciously transform the economy.” Secretary for Finance and the Economy Joel Jack made this appeal to Tobagonians on Monday, telling them the island’s development can no longer be business as usual, post covid19. Presenting a $4.71 billion request to central government in the Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA) 2020/2021 budget, Jack said the statement took into account the effects of the pandemic. Jack noted covid19 had forced many territories to review their economic agendas. He said Tobago is no exception. Read more here

bmobile offers customers massive increase in free data

bmobile has announced an upgrade for its customers and has invited mobile phone owners who are not part of its network to try it for thirty days for free. In a release TSTT’s General Manager Wireless Solutions, Brian Collins, said, “We have full confidence in our network and the service we provide. If you accept our invitation to try our network for free, and you’re not satisfied after 30 days, you can leave freely. We are not holding anyone hostage for 180 days.” Collins noted that bmobile is giving up its 6-month layer that was put in place to protect operators because it wants to give customers more freedom and flexibility. He went on to affirm that there is no contract and there are no questions asked, if someone chooses to leave after the 30-day trial period, indicating that those who accept the invitation have nothing to lose. Read more here

PM: T&T must rethink gas usage

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said that T&T must re-examine how it derives the greatest value from its natural gas. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

‘Elections results must be credible’

“These elections should not be nearly credible [or] approximately credible. They must be credible, absolutely credible,” asserted Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, on Wednesday, in response to the calls for the Guyana Elections Commission to declare the results of the General and Regional Elections based on the votes tabulated during the National Recount, though thousands were reportedly compromised due to widespread anomalies and cases of voter impersonation. As widely publicised already, Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, submitted his elections report to the Chairman of the Guyana Election Commission (GECOM) on June 23, utilising only valid votes as ordered by the Court of Appeal. His report showed victory for the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) by more than 5,000 votes and the rejection of over 100,000 votes which were tainted with irregularities, anomalies or voter impersonation. Read more here

Three St James constables charged; fourth suspect flown home being grilled

Three western Jamaica cops were charged on Tuesday in a sweeping narcotics operation involving high-profile United States law-enforcement agents in two American cities. All of the police personnel operate within the St James Police Division. The arrested cops were reportedly intercepted by agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Atlanta and Charlotte. They have been identified as Woman Constable Shermain Latoya Gooden, Constable Dremar Graham, and Constable Trevonne Davidson. The fourth cop, a woman constable, was flown back home and is now in the custody of the St James police. She has not been identified. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Coronavirus being exploited to undermine democracies, former world leaders warn

The outbreak of Covid-19 and subsequent pandemic has led to an alarming uptick in authoritarian behavior by governments across the globe, who are using the crisis to silence critics, an open letter signed by more than 500 former world leaders and Nobel Laureates claims. The letter, organized by the Stockholm-based Institute for Democracy and published Thursday, highlights that in the wake of the crisis, both authoritarian and democratically-elected governments the world over have used emergency powers to arrest protestors and sidestep democratic norms. Read more here

Many European countries set to be exempt from quarantine

Ministers are due to finalise details of a series of "travel corridors" so people arriving into the UK on certain routes will not need to quarantine. Most of Western Europe is due to be on an initial list of exempt countries. The countries expected to be exempt include France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Belgium, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Turkey and Finland. Portugal will probably not be included after a rise in the number of new cases in and around Lisbon. Sweden is also unlikely to be on the list because the infection rate there is higher than in the UK. A travel corridor would mean that two people travelling in both directions between two countries would not have to self-isolate after they travel. The initial list of destinations exempt from the quarantine is expected to take effect early next month. Work is also on-going to see if a travel corridor is possible with Australia. Read more here

25th June 2020

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