Daily Brief - Tuesday 12th December, 2017


Merry family homeless for Christmas

Three puppies died yesterday in a fire, which left homeless an Egypt Village, Point Fortin mother and son. They are CEPEP worker Judith Merry, 50, and 29-year-old Kent Merry of Egypt Avenue. The puppies were not yet named as they were born, along with two others, only on Sunday. According to police reports, residents saw flames coming from the two-bedroom wooden structure at about 10.30 am. No one was at home and, within minutes, the house was gutted. Read more here

Ex-EFCL chair: I was not forced out

Former Educational Facilities Company Ltd (EFCL) chairman Arnold Piggott has insisted he was not forced out from the organisation by the People’s National Movement (PNM) or by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley as publicly perceived, but rather left on his own volition. “I was not asked to resign despite what has been out in the public domain. There was absolutely no pressure placed on me to resign,” Piggott said as he appeared before yesterday’s Joint Select Committee in Parliament, where he cleared the air surrounding his departure from the EFCL. Read more here

WPC under probe over photo

A policewoman, who has been attached to the Police Service (TTPS) for less than a year, is currently under investigation following the circulation of photos on social media in which she was seen holding a child together with what appeared to be a firearm. Read more here



EFCL ex-chairman Piggott tells Parliament committee: Corruption made me quit

Corruption and his inability to have it dealt with, is what led former People’s National Movement (PNM) minister and MP Arnold Piggott to quit last year as chairman of the Education Facilities Company Limited (EFCL). Piggott found himself in the hot seat before Parliament’s Joint Select Committee (JSC) yesterday, three weeks after he refused to submit to questioning by the committee chaired by Independent Senator David Small. Read more here



Farmers threaten lawsuit over NFM debt

Attorney Gerald Ramdeen has given State-owned National Flour Mills (NFM) until Friday to pay $1.9 million owed to 15 rice farmers, or face legal action. He said the money is for thousands of pounds of paddy delivered to the company since last December. Ramdeen, who is also an Opposition Senator, said the farmers continue to supply NFM with paddy because they had no other choice. Read more here



Fuel Plant Folly - Production Stopped At $800m Ethanol Facility In Favour Of Imports

The Auditor General's Department, in a case study of the operational performance of Petrojam Ethanol Limited (PEL), has said that it was not assured that value for money was obtained from investment amounting to more than $800 million in the local ethanol plant. In 2005, PEL and a Brazilian company established a partnership to secure feedstock from the South American country for processing ethanol in a newly constructed 40-million US gallon plant in Kingston. The local company became the sole owner of the plant in 2008 when the partnership agreement expired. At that time, the plant had a value of US$9.3 million (J$823 million). Read more here



5 things to watch in Alabama's Senate election

On Tuesday, Alabama voters will deliver their verdict on Roy Moore.  Twice ousted as state Supreme Court chief justice, criticized nationally for opposing the rights of LGBT Americans, Muslims and women, and accused of pursuing sexual relationships with teenage girls while in his 30s, the Republican could still be in position to win a Senate seat in the special election to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  Read more here

New York Port Authority attack: Akayed Ullah 'inspired by IS'

The suspect being held after an attempted terror attack at New York City's main bus terminal has said it was in retaliation for US attacks on so-called Islamic State, US media say. Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi immigrant, was injured when a "low-tech explosive device" went off at the Port Authority terminal in Manhattan. Police say Mr Ullah chose the location because of its Christmas posters. Three other people suffered minor wounds in the explosion on Monday. Mr Ullah is reported to be in a serious condition in hospital after suffering burns when the device, which was strapped to his body, exploded in an underpass at the busy terminal. Read more here

12th December 2017


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