Daily Brief - Thursday 4th February, 2021

NEWS

CoP: Suspect who died in police custody fell from chair

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has denied reports that a man who died while in police custody was beaten to death by officers. Police sources said the man was beaten severely by officers while in custody and believed he may have died from injuries. The man was a suspect in the disappearance of 22-year-old court clerk Andrea Bharatt. Read more here

Two kidnap suspects released

Two persons of interest in the kidnapping of Andrea Bharatt have been released by police. Guardian Media understands that the men, who both have the same first name and live in different areas of Arima, were released shortly after 6 pm, this evening. It was confirmed in a press release issued by attorney Fareed Ali, who is representing the persons of interest, ages 20 and 26. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Rowley’s appeal to anyone with info: ‘Say something on Andrea Bharatt’

The Prime Minister on Wednesday made a personal appeal to anyone with direct details of the whereabouts of kidnap victim Andrea Bharatt to come forward and tell the police. Dr Rowley was speaking in reply to a question at a briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s on Wednesday. The PM said he had no new details other than what was already in the public domain. Bharatt, 22, disappeared after entering a taxi in Arima on Friday. A ransom demand was then made after which the police held several suspects but, so far, have not found her. Read more here

James, Ghany react to PM’s suggestions

Two political analysts are now questioning the amendments proposed by the Government to fix the protracted deadlock in Tobago. Political analyst Dr Winford James is calling on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to be clearer on the proposed amendments to the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Act. Rowley, at a media conference yesterday said that Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi is currently drafting two amendments to the THA Act which is expected to be brought before Cabinet for approval before being taken to Parliament for debate in the next few weeks. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Moruga hill rice: Trinidad's superfood grows into a farming enterprise

Moruga hill rice has for generations been one of Trinidad and Tobago’s best-kept secrets. The grain has long been a staple among the remote communities of the deep south of Trinidad, with a history going back as much as 200 years, starting with the Merikin settlers. The Merikins are descended from African Americans in the United States who fought on the side of the British in the 1800s. After the 1812-14 war, Britain resettled them among its colonies, with a sizeable community welcomed in Trinidad. (The Company Villages of Moruga echo this military past). Read more here

Entire AATT board replaced

The entire board of the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT) has been replaced one year before their appointments were officially expected to have ended. On January 15, all six members of the Keith Thomas-chaired AATT tendered their resignations. The other members were Colonel Lyle Alexander, Joseph Granville, Earl Wilson, Dawn Callender and Reshma Maharaj. These six members were re-appointed to the AATT board for a period of two years effective February 7, last year. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

$1B ‘West Central Mall’ for Leonora

President Dr Irfaan Ali, on Wednesday, turned the sod for the construction of a spanking $1 billion state-of-the-art mall at Leonora, West Coast Demerara.
Speaking before the turning of the sod for the US$5 million shopping centre, the President said the investment is among the wave of development sweeping through the country that will see the creation of a number of economic hubs. Read more here

MARKETING MAX FOR COVID VAX - Firm recruited to spearhead campaign

The $422-million budget approved for the communication campaign to bolster buy-in of the coronavirus vaccine could be crucial to a Jamaica Moves-scale crusade in marketing the life-saving jab. Jamaicans will not know until early next week which Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

A wild day that defined the Republican Party

Rep. Liz Cheney survived to fight another battle but on a raucous and defining day, the appeasement of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene by House Republicans sent their party lurching further down the road to extremism. The moral crisis in the GOP after Donald Trump's exit from Washington was epitomized by a showdown that saw Cheney, a lifelong ideological conservative, forced to fight off a challenge to her leadership post after she voted to impeach a President who sparked a violent coup attempt. At the same time, Greene, a belligerent conspiracy theorist who thinks the GOP's problem is that it lost the presidential election too gracefully, got a pass from colleagues despite promoting a sick stew of QAnon lies and fantasies. Read more here

France bomb plot: Iran diplomat Assadollah Assadi sentenced to 20 years

An Iranian diplomat has been convicted of a plot to bomb a big French rally held by an exiled opposition group. Assadollah Assadi, 49, who worked at the Iranian embassy in Vienna, was given a 20-year jail term by the court in Antwerp in Belgium. It was the first time an Iranian official had faced such charges in the EU since the 1979 revolution. Three others were also convicted. They were arrested during a joint operation by German, French and Belgian police. Read more here

4th February 2021

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