Daily Brief - Thursday 30th July, 2020

NEWS

Daughter of coup hostage Raoul Pantin recalls broken family

When 14-year-old Mandisa Pantin heard that her father, journalist Raoul Pantin, was being held hostage, she couldn’t believe it. This was only the beginning of a trauma that would tear her family apart. Thirteen years before the coup, her earliest memory of her father was of wearing a brand-new dress and her father taking her for a walk around the Savannah. “Everyone kept asking, ‘Where you get that pretty little girl from, Raoul? You kidnap the child?’” Read more here

ANSA McAL worker positive for COVID

An employee of the ANSA McAL Centre in Chaguanas has tested positive for COVID-19. In a statement, the ANSA McAL Group confirmed that the employee was receiving medical treatment and is doing well. The company noted that the employee had not worked at the facility since July 17. However, he came in contact with someone who tested positive on July 19 and fell ill the following day. In keeping with the company’s protocols, the employee did not report to work. “This has contained the level of risk to workers,” the company stated. Read more here

 

POLITICS

PM on Opposition advice: Thanks but no thanks

The Prime Minister said, when it comes to the covid19 pandemic, he has declined advice from Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and dismissed some of the UNC's guidance as unsound and impractical. Speaking at the PNM's virtual campaign meeting on Wednesday Dr Rowley said, in the early stages of the outbreak of the coronavirus in TT, Persad-Bissessar urged him to place a state of emergency on the country, something he said was not sensible. Read more here

PEP asks President to weigh postponing General Election

After yesterday’s announcement of a new phase of COVID-19 spread, Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP) leader Phillip Alexander wrote President Paula-Mae Weekes and the Elections Boundaries Commission calling for the August 10 General Election to be postponed. In the letters, Alexander noted that the Representation of the People’s Act allows for the postponement of a poll due to - among reasons -  outbreak of infectious disease. It’s the second time PEP’s expressed concern on the need to postpone the poll. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Angostura launches latest innovation — cocoa bitters

The House of Angostura has added a brand new type of bitters to its portfolio, cocoa bitters.And moreso, this forges key relationships with local farmers to strengthen the country’s agricultural sector and further propels T&T on the international map. It is the third and newest type of cocktail bitters from the company with the leading bitters brand. At the official launch yesterday, Angostura’s Cocoa Bitters was described as “a distinctive expression expertly crafted with fine Trinitario Cocoa Nibs.”The company’s chairman Terrence Bharath explained the blend comprises  Trinitario cocoa, a natural hybridzation between Criollo and Forastero that offers the flavour of the former and the strength of the latter. Read more here

$774m profit for Republic

Republic Financial Holdings Ltd (RFHL), the parent company of Republic Bank, has announced a profit attributable to shareholders of $774 million for the nine-month period ended June 30, 2020. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Criminal charges filed against GECOM Chair

Private criminal charges have been filed against the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh, for alleged malfeasance in public office. The charges, filed by two citizens in the Georgetown Magisterial District on Wednesday, are all linked to the Chairperson’s handling of the 2020 Elections, inclusive of the highly controversial National Recount. Based on documents seen by the Guyana Chronicle, one of the two private criminal charges was filed by Onita Walcott of Victoria Village, East Coast Demerara. In detailing the particular of the offence, Walcott alleged that Justice Singh, while acting in her official capacity as Chairman of the Elections Commission, “acted maliciously and unlawfully” on July 11, 2020 when she refused to accept the Chief Elections Officer’s Elections Report on the General and Regional Elections held on March 2, contrary to Article 177 (2) (b) of the Constitution. Read more here

Students may have to skip year as tuition costs jump more than $100,000

Hundreds of students at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, are livid after learning that they will have to pay as much as $128,000 extra for tuition this upcoming academic year despite an earlier pledge that fees would be frozen amid the coronavirus pandemic. While tuition fees remain the same as last year, the amount required for students in some faculties will be higher because costs are quoted in United States dollars. Students in the faculties of Medical Sciences, Law, and Engineering will be primarily affected. Read more here

 

 

INTERNATIONAL

Coronavirus: Australia's Victoria records huge case jump

Australia's virus-hit state of Victoria has reported its worst death toll and case rise, prompting fears that a six-week lockdown of state capital Melbourne is not working. The state confirmed 13 new deaths and 723 new cases on Thursday - a 36% jump on the case record set on Monday. There are fears now that Melbourne's lockdown, which began on 7 July, will need to be extended. The spike meant Australia overall had its deadliest day in the pandemic. A 14th person died late on Thursday but his death will be included in Friday's figures as it was announced after the government's briefing. Read more here

Trump and his allies respond with pseudo-science as US death toll hits 150,000

On the day the US surpassed another tragic milestone -- 150,000 coronavirus deaths -- it became ever clearer that pseudo-science, ideological posturing and mocking the idea of a national strategy are no way to fight a deadly pandemic. Yet President Donald Trump, his friends in Congress, members of his Cabinet, senior staff and supporters are still setting out to undermine the fact-based approaches that might get the virus under control and restore normal life. Trump headed to Texas, currently a massive coronavirus hotspot, on a distraction mission, enjoying a photo op at an oil rig after another episode of his traveling medicine show promoting hydroxychloroquine. Read more here

 

30th July 2020

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