Daily Brief - Thursday 7th January, 2021

NEWS

Probe 'classified' as Tobago family plagued by fires

Tobago fire officials are deeming as “classified and extremely sensitive” the investigation into four fires which have disrupted the lives of a Castara family within the past five weeks. So strange are the circumstances that some Facebook users have even ascribed the fires to supernatural causes, while others believe they were deliberately set. In the most recent incident, the Parlatuvier church where Gloria George and her family were staying was set on fire on Monday night, the day after the rented property in which they were living was also set ablaze. Read more here

Tighter measures to prevent new COVID strain from entering T&T

Revised quarantine measures for more people coming from abroad and heavier filtered masks for the public may be needed after global spread of the new COVID strain which is over 50 per cent more contagious than the current COVID-19 virus. Bidding to prevent virus entry via illegals, the Health Ministry yesterday also approached the Caribbean Public Health facility to test for the new strain among migrants who’ve tested positive for COVID-19. The emergence of the new strain will delay reopening of T&T’s borders. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Rowley on riot at US Capitol: A day never to forget

The Prime Minister said Wednesday was a day to never forget as he commented on scenes in Washington, DC, where rioters sympathetic to President Donald Trump invaded the US Capitol, halting the process of validation of the presidential election. The election of Joe Biden prompted allegations of electoral fraud by irate Trump supporters, who converged in Washington, despite Republican lawsuits having proved fruitless and Vice President Mike Pence rejecting Trump’s call to overturn Biden’s win. Read more here

PNM THA candidate predicts 12-nil sweep

The People's National Movement (PNM) Goodwood/ Belle Garden West candidate Boxill Bailey says he saw a vision of the PNM winning the 12 Tobago House of Assembly (THA) seats in the January 25, 2021 elections. The party accomplished that feat in the 2014 THA elections. Speaking at the Belle Garden Multipurpose Facility on January 6, Bailey said he had the vision after attending the party's church service on Sunday. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Cloud on the horizon

As TT moves toward digitisation which will involve official documentation processes being converted to, and maintained as digital data, development manager for APC Latin America based in Miami, Hector Martinez believes cloud storage technology will become increasingly more important when considering digital data management. Read more here

ATTIC warns of trouble brewing in local insurance market

International reinsurers are threatening to fully withdraw from the T&T insurance market, the Association of Trinidad and Tobago Insurance Companies (ATTIC) has warned. ATTIC said some international reinsurers have already started reducing their support here. The comments were made in a newspaper advertisement published yesterday. In the advertisement ATTIC said the general insurance industry in T&T, and the Caribbean region, continues to be adversely affected by events in the international insurance and reinsurance markets. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Profitability within reach at Uitvlugt Estate

Increased investments in the local sugar industry have served as an impetus for private cane farmers, who are assessing the situation with the hope of re-cultivating their lands on the West Coast and West Bank of Demerara, to satisfy the demand of the Uitvlugt Sugar Estate. The story of private cane farmers often goes untold, as there is a general perception that the sugar industry is steered solely by employees of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo). But, the contribution of those stakeholders is considered crucial, especially at Uitvlugt, where profitability is said to be inevitable once the estate receives the support of private farmers. Read more here

Principals, Parents Say Grade Six Students Not Ready For PEP

With the COVID-19-induced disruptions in the education sector since last March, some parents are opting to have their children delay taking the grade six components of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) tests this year, preparations for which one educator has likened to a crash programme. Tolima Anderson, principal of the Rennock Lodge All-Age School in Rockfort, Kingston, told The Gleaner yesterday that with the pandemic interrupting the delivery of the curriculum, the school and parents of its current senior students have decided to move them back to grade five in order to put them in a better position to sit the exams in grade six next year. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Japan's Suga declares state of emergency for Tokyo as Covid-19 cases reach highest levels

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has declared a state of emergency for the nation's capital and surrounding areas as Covid-19 cases surge to the highest levels since the start of the pandemic. The emergency declaration will be in place from Friday until February 2 and applies to Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures of Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa. The emergency includes a number of restrictions on daily life. Suga has ordered companies to encourage their staff to work from home and reduce office populations by 70%. Read more here

Capitol riots: Congress certifies Joe Biden's victory after violent disruption

The US Congress has certified Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election, hours after Trump supporters stormed the building in an attack that saw four people die. Lawmakers resumed the session after police managed to remove the mob, which had been encouraged by President Donald Trump in a bid to overturn his defeat. The certification clears the way for Mr Biden to be sworn in on 20 January. In response, Mr Trump finally pledged an "orderly transition" of power. Read more here

7th January 2021

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