Daily Brief - Thursday 6th February, 2020

NEWS

Barrackpore murder victim named

A man whose body was found at Cunjal Road, Barrackpore, has been identified as Deoraj Persad, 55. A farmer found the body, with stab wounds to the chest, last Thursday at Cocoa Land. Police said Persad, who is believed to have been homeless, was last seen alive before Christmas. Read more here

Travellers from China arrive after ban announced

Days af­ter the trav­el re­stric­tion was an­nounced by Health Min­is­ter Ter­rence Deyals­ingh, sev­er­al trav­ellers who re­cent­ly trav­elled to Chi­na were let in­to the coun­try. The rev­e­la­tion came on the heels of a Chi­nese na­tion­al’s case hav­ing to be ad­journed by High Court judge Hay­den St Clair-Dou­glas at the Hall of Jus­tice in Port-of-Spain yes­ter­day morn­ing, due to con­cerns over the coro­n­avirus. Yan Fang Hong, 47, who was due to ap­pear in court yes­ter­day, left Chi­na on Thurs­day and en­tered the coun­try through a con­nect­ing flight in New York on Feb­ru­ary 1. (See ar­ti­cle be­low) Asked how Hong could en­ter the coun­try af­ter the ban was an­nounced on Thurs­day, Jan­u­ary 30, Deyals­ingh said: “The Pres­i­dent had to sign off on that or­der which she did on the 31st. The Chief Med­ical Of­fi­cer (CMO) has to sign off an or­der and that was done on the 31st. Im­mi­gra­tion has to be alert­ed. So al­though Cab­i­net took the de­ci­sion on Thurs­day 30, it would take some time to the pol­i­cy to reach down on the ground to Im­mi­gra­tion.” Read more here

 

POLITICS

Imbert confident THA can repay $300m bond

Finance Minister Colm Imbert said he has confidence that the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) can repay a $300 million bond. He was responding to a question in the Senate on Tuesday from Opposition Senator Wade Mark. Imbert was asked what mechanisms will be used to ensure proper accountability with Government's decision to grant approval to the THA to borrow money on the local market to finance developmental activity. He said Cabinet's approval was sought and obtained in September 2019 for the THA to issue a bond on the domestic market in the amount of $300 million for capital works. Read more here

De Souza gives it another try at general elections

As she did in 2015, an­i­mal rights ac­tivist Jow­elle De Souza will con­test the San Fer­nan­do West con­stituen­cy in the up­com­ing gen­er­al elec­tions. De Souza, 45, a Hum­ming­bird Medal re­cip­i­ent, will have to beat the odds by de­feat­ing the Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress' Sean Sobers and pos­si­bly, in­cum­bent MP, Faris Al-Rawi.  Speak­ing to the me­dia fol­low­ing Na­pari­ma Col­lege’s Founder’s Day cel­e­bra­tions yes­ter­day, De Souza said she will be con­test­ing as an in­de­pen­dent can­di­date. “I am hop­ing that we all work to­geth­er be­cause San Fer­nan­do is in re­al need of help,” De Souza said. Al­though she was re­ject­ed in 2015, De Souza said there is a group of politi­cians, in­clud­ing for­mer prime min­is­ter Bas­deo Pan­day and for­mer jus­tice min­is­ter Her­bert Vol­ney, who will be com­ing to­geth­er as in­de­pen­dent can­di­dates to form a “third force”. She said dis­cus­sions are be­ing held with oth­er par­ties, all to cre­ate a bet­ter coun­try. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Heroes Foundation inspires young people to be leaders

Who is a hero? Maybe it’s a parent. Or a teacher. Or a war veteran. Or maybe even an artist. For Phillip Julien, it was all of these things. The son of legendary local energy pioneer, Prof Kenneth Julien, Phillip grew up with dinner table talk of greatness and never thought twice about it. It was only when he left Trinidad for Canada to study and work as a chemical engineer, and then returned again at the beginning of the century, he realised just how much of that greatness he – and much of the population – took for granted. Read more here

Wade Mark: Launch forensic probe of Sagicor ‘takeover’

Opposition Senator Wade Mark has called for a forensic enquiry into moves by a Canadian company, Alignvest, to take control of the traditional insurance portfolios of CLICO and British American Trinidad (BAT), which he said were valued at US$1.2 billion. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Running Scared - Morgan Slams PNP’s Duncan Sutherland For Skipping Clarendon SE By-Election

People’s National Party (PNP) caretaker Patricia Duncan Sutherland has been criticised for opting out of the March 2 by-election in Clarendon South East after Member of Parliament Rudyard Spencer resigned on Monday. Robert Nesta Morgan, parliamentary secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister and putative heir in the neighbouring Clarendon’s North Central seat, said that the PNP decision was born out of fear of losing to Pearnel Charles Jr, Spencer’s anointed successor. Morgan dubbed as “spurious” the PNP’s argument that a by-election need not be called because a national poll was imminent. Read more here

‘My plan is to provide jobs for our youths’

President David Granger, on Wednesday evening, assured Guyanese youths that the APNU+AFC Coalition will ensure that the country’s youth benefit from a minimum of 10,000 jobs and career paths which his government will realise in the various economic initiatives during the Decade of Development. The President was, at the time, addressing thousands of supporters of the coalition at the Diamond Market Tarmac, where the old and young gathered to listen to him and other officials present their plans for the Decade of Development, onward from 2020, should the coalition be re-elected to another term at next month’s elections. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Two newborns have coronavirus, says CCTV, as death toll tops 560

Two newborn babies in Wuhan, China, have been infected with the novel coronavirus, with the youngest baby diagnosed at just 30 hours old, according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV. The baby's mother was also infected with the virus, and CCTV suggested that "there may be mother-infant transmission,” where the mother passes the virus on to the baby in utero. Without more details, however, it's impossible to know if the infants were infected in the womb. There are other ways they could have been exposed -- through handling by healthcare workers, mothers coughing, breastfeeding or even in the delivery process. Read more here

Germany AfD: Merkel rejects election of Thuringia PM

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the election of a liberal leader in eastern Germany with help from the far-right AfD party is "unforgivable" and must be reversed. Thomas Kemmerich of the liberal FDP became premier of Thuringia after the AfD, in a surprise move, voted for him. The situation is being described as a political earthquake, as the mainstream parties have always refused to do deals with Alternative for Germany (AfD). The AfD has broad support in Thuringia. But the state election in October was won by the far-left Die Linke, whose leader Bodo Ramelow was ousted in Wednesday's vote. Read more here

6th February 2020

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