Daily Brief - Tuesday 11th February, 2020



“He was a monster.” That was how Maysonia Thomas described Michael Maynard on Monday. Thomas ended her relationship with him after years of abuse and violence. Maynard murdered his own daughter, eight-year-old Mukeisha Maynard, before ending his own life on Sunday night at his Kelly Village, Caroni home. Police said Mukeisha was beaten to death with a cutlass because she had urinated on a mattress. Thomas, 33, said, “He was an abusive man. He stabbed me five times already because I didn’t want to be with him. I left him and took my children.” She was speaking outside the Forensic Science Centre in St James, where she went on Monday to collect her daughter’s death certificate. Read more here

Police kill gunmen at murder victims’ home

Cen­tral Di­vi­sion po­lice fa­tal­ly shot a 25-year-old man yes­ter­day dur­ing a search at the home of last week’s dou­ble-mur­der vic­tims Cindy Joseph and Kadeem Eli­jah. The man was iden­ti­fied as Nigel An­toine, 25, from Rich­plain, Diego Mar­tin. Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, the of­fi­cers went to the house at Hill­top Dri­ve, Spring­vale in Clax­ton Bay to ex­e­cute a search war­rant for firearms and am­mu­ni­tion. When they ar­rived at the house around 6 am, they met An­toine at the house. As An­toine tried to es­cape, he shoved one of the of­fi­cers and opened fire. The of­fi­cers took cov­er and re­turned, fa­tal­ly wound­ing An­toine. His firearm was re­cov­ered and of­fi­cers found a quan­ti­ty of am­mu­ni­tion in the house. Po­lice said An­toine was known to them and was prob­a­bly hid­ing in the area. Read more here



Former MP believes 2013 oil spill caused lung problems

Former La Brea MP and High Commissioner to Jamaica Fitzgerald Jeffrey believes his severe lung condition may have been caused by the December 17, 2013 oil spill at the former state-owned Petrotrin. Some 7,000 barrels of oil, which reportedly leaked from the company’s ageing infrastructure, made its way to La Brea where Jeffrey was MP in opposition at the time. Petrotrin has since been restructured and its assets vested in Trinidad Petroleum Holdings. Jeffrey recalled the oil company used the dispersant Corexit 9500, said to be a cancer-causing agent, in the clean-up exercise. He said he walked in the mangroves and along the coastline from La Brea to Aripero, “in the thick of the things to investigate and do research, breathing in the toxic air." Read more here

Teachers beg Garcia for help say Barataria/San Juan school like a war zone

It’s like work­ing in a pen­i­ten­tiary. Armed guards pa­trol the com­pound dai­ly and staff have been told to use gloves when sep­a­rat­ing war­ring com­bat­ants to pro­tect against HIV/AIDS and oth­er in­fec­tious dis­eases. This is the re­al­i­ty for teach­ers at a trou­bled sec­ondary school in the Barataria/San Juan area who claim they are forced to op­er­ate in a war zone. The teach­ers spoke on con­di­tion of anonymi­ty and asked that the school not be iden­ti­fied, not out of fear of pos­si­ble con­se­quences from the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion but vi­o­lent re­ac­tions from their stu­dents. One teacher said she was as­sault­ed by a male stu­dent on the com­pound af­ter she dis­ci­plined him for a mi­nor in­frac­tion. She was so trau­ma­tised by the ex­pe­ri­ence that she had to re­ceive coun­selling and was even­tu­al­ly trans­ferred out of the school. In an0ther dis­turb­ing in­ci­dent, a Form Three stu­dent was raped in a se­clud­ed area at the back of the school. The group of four teach­ers said they de­cid­ed to speak out about con­di­tions at the school fol­low­ing an­oth­er vi­o­lent in­ci­dent last Fri­day. They said a video of the in­ci­dent post­ed on so­cial me­dia shows a fe­male stu­dent throw­ing a rock and shat­ter­ing the wind­screen of a teacher’s ve­hi­cle. Read more here



Tobago Tourism Agency under fire

Inexcusable and unacceptable! That is how Joint Select Committee (JSC) member Wade Mark labelled the lack of an internal auditor, an external auditor and the non-submission of audited financial statements for 2017, 2018 and 2019 by the Tobago Tourism Agency. Read more here



More Lotto Extraditions - US Law Enforcers Target Scammers To Face Justice Abroad

Major players involved in Jamaica’s lottery scam are on the radar of top United States’ law-enforcement agencies and are being targeted for extradition this year, a senior federal official has warned. “I can tell you that there are active investigations going. There are active targets that have been identified and there will be subsequent operations to deal with that appropriately,” Gary Barksdale, chief postal inspector for the United States Postal Inspection Services, told The Gleaner during an exclusive interview yesterday. He disclosed that US law-enforcement agencies, in collaboration with their counterparts here, would be carrying out four major strike operations in Jamaica and the United States this year. However, the chief postal inspector did not provide details of locations or times when the crackdown would unfold. Read more here

Integrity Commission maintains Jagdeo, Irfaan in default

The publication of names of public officials who have not filed declarations with the Integrity Commission is done within the legal mandate of the body. This is according to Chairman of the commission, Former Magistrate Kumar Doraisami. The chairman was responding to questions regarding the publication of the names of several former Members of Parliament, including People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Presidential Candidate, Irfaan Ali, and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, among former Opposition MPs, as well as government officials who have been delinquent in their declarations for the period July 2017-June 2018. Read more here



Why Donald Trump keeps messing with the Democratic presidential race

President Donald Trump just can't keep out of the Democratic presidential race. Every time they have a nominating contest -- for instance, Tuesday's New Hampshire primary -- he shows up in Air Force One to loom over their party. When there's a debate, no one can stop talking about the commander-in-chief. His intervention in the race to dig dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden has already earned him the infamy of impeachment. And just as the Democratic race heats up, the President is suddenly beginning to look like a formidable opponent after three years of weak polling that suggested in might be an easy target. He skated free from his Senate trial last week with his party -- minus Mitt Romney -- in lock step marching toward battle in November. And a low turnout last week in Iowa is worrying Democratic Party leaders who had made assumptions on massive enthusiasm among liberal voters desperate to deprive the President of a second term. Read more here

Coronavirus: Senior Chinese officials 'removed' as death toll hits 1,000

China has "removed" several senior officials over their handling of the coronavirus outbreak - as the death toll passed 1,000. The party secretary for the Hubei Health Commission, and the head of the commission, were among those who lost their jobs. They are the most senior officials to be demoted so far. The deputy director of the local Red Cross was also removed for "dereliction of duty" over "handling of donations". The two Hubei party officials will be replaced by a national figure - the deputy director of China's National Health Commission, Wang Hesheng. On Monday, some 103 died in Hubei province alone, a daily record, and the national death toll is now 1,016. But the number of new infections nationally was down almost 20% from the day before, from 3,062 to 2,478. Hubei's health commission confirmed 2,097 new cases in the province on Monday, down from 2,618 the previous day. Read more here

11th February 2020


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