Daily Brief - Thursday 8th August, 2019

NEWS

NGO gives scholarships to deaf children

The TT Association for the Hearing Impaired (TTAHI) has recognised the need for greater emphasis to be placed on deaf pride in deaf culture. So said one of its directors, Dr Renée Figuera, at a scholarship distribution ceremony yesterday at the RBC Hospitality Suite, Queen's Park Oval. She said there were limited role models from the deaf community in the public domain to whom deaf people can turn and who represent achievements in life, adding that it is difficult to emulate such achievements. Read more here

Ex-FBI agent to lead TTPS’ anti-gang unit

A crack-shot team of an­ti-crime ex­perts has been hired by a busi­ness lob­by group to as­sist the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice in dis­man­tling and pros­e­cut­ing crim­i­nal gangs who have been linked to the ma­jor­i­ty of mur­ders in the coun­try. Lead­ing the charge is for­mer Fed­er­al Bu­reau of In­ves­ti­ga­tions (FBI) Spe­cial Agent Robert Clark, who has been cred­it­ed with bring­ing Los An­ge­les’ bur­geon­ing gang wars to a halt in 2014 with his unique ini­tia­tives. Clark was hired by a group of pri­vate-sec­tor busi­ness peo­ple — The T&T Cit­i­zens Al­liance Against Crime — sev­en months ago to part­ner with the TTPS. The T&T Cham­ber of Com­merce, along with sev­er­al NGOs and pri­vate sec­tor com­pa­nies, are mem­bers of this group which was formed in De­cem­ber 2018. Read more here

 

POLITICS

THA commits to reviving agriculture

Tobago is working assiduously to position its agriculture sector as a major driver within TT’s economy. According to Kelvin Charles, the Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly, agriculture will present a significant economic opportunity in the education and tourism sectors. He said, “Some of you are unaware that Tobago at one time was the food basket of Trinidad, and the assembly remains committed to reviving the robust and pragmatic industry we once had, whereby to increase our agriculture output.” Read more here

Young sides with CoP: Some firearm offenders get off too easy

De­bate on the Firearms (Amend­ment) Bill will be com­plet­ed when Par­lia­ment re­sumes in Sep­tem­ber and it will ad­dress part of Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith’s con­cerns about the need for stiffer penal­ties for firearms of­fences, says Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young. But Young al­so says Grif­fith was right that ju­di­cial of­fi­cers need­ed to sen­tence with a de­gree of con­for­mi­ty. At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al-Rawi al­so said on Wednes­day, Grif­fith’s con­cerns about firearms of­fences have pro­vid­ed re­al ex­am­ples of the ra­tio­nale which Al-Rawi him­self had used in pi­lot­ing the Firearms Bill re­cent­ly. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Growing the citrus industry

It was once not uncommon to go outside and pick an orange from a tree, peel and suck all of its Vitamin C goodness. Or to see market stalls tumbling over with a range of citrus fruits, from orange to grapefruit to portugal, depending on the season. Read more here

BHP approves $3b Ruby & Delaware T&T project

The board of Aus­tralian out­fit BHP has ap­proved its more than $3 bil­lion Ru­by and Delaware project in T&T. The com­pa­ny to­day an­nounced the de­ci­sion to go ahead with the project which it ex­pects will add 16,000 bar­rels of oil to T&T’s crude pro­duc­tion, or at cur­rent lev­els in­crease the coun­try’s to­tal pro­duc­tion by 27 per cent. It not­ed that its con­tri­bu­tion to the project will be $1.92 bil­lion with the oth­er $1.08 bil­lion com­ing from Stare-owned Her­itage Pe­tro­le­um and Na­tion­al Gas Com­pa­ny. In a re­lease on the com­pa­ny’s web­site it said: “The project has es­ti­mat­ed re­cov­er­able 2C re­sources of 13.2 mil­lion bar­rels of oil and 274 bil­lion cu­bic feet of nat­ur­al. First pro­duc­tion is ex­pect­ed in the 2021 cal­en­dar year and is es­ti­mat­ed to in­crease pro­duc­tion by 16,000 bar­rels of oil per day (bop/d) and 80 mil­lion stan­dard cu­bic feet per day (MM­scf/d) gross at its peak.” Read more here

 

REGIONAL

‘I Was Late’ - Holness Says He Could Release Declarations Himself If Delay Persists; Opposition Threatens Court Action

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has signalled that he could release his 2018 statutory declarations by the end of the week if the Integrity Commission does not publish the documents. The prime minister made the statement amid mounting pressure for the Integrity Commission to provide an explanation for its failure to gazette the declarations as mandated by law. “I am hopeful that before the week is out, the Integrity Commission will make public my declarations. If not, I will have to possibly do it myself,” Holness said yesterday. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

In seeking to control Kashmir, Modi may look to China's actions in Xinjiang and Tibet

The gleaming white bullet train whips through the Chinese countryside, past endless construction sites and new towns. This is Xinjiang, where thousands of kilometers of rail have connected one of China's most remote areas to the country's wealthy center and east coast, bringing with it billions of dollars in investment and hundreds of thousands of tourists. It's also pulled the region closer and closer, increasing government control and cracking down on any suggestion that Xinjiang, which has a history of independent and autonomous rule, could break away from China. That has involved a two-pronged approach of increased investment, along with greater migration by Han Chinese, who have become the majority in some areas, particularly urban centers, and massively skewed the demographics of the region in Beijing's favor. Read more here

Plant-based diet can fight climate change - UN

Switching to a plant-based diet can help fight climate change, UN experts have said. A major report on land use and climate change says the West's high consumption of meat and dairy produce is fuelling global warming. But scientists and officials stopped short of explicitly calling on everyone to become vegan or vegetarian. They said that more people could be fed using less land if individuals cut down on eating meat. The document, prepared by 107 scientists for the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says that if land is used more effectively, it can store more of the carbon emitted by humans. It was finalised following discussions held here in Geneva, Switzerland. Read more here

8th August 2019

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