Daily Brief - Tuesday 12th November, 2019


TT must use structured process to ban plastics

This country has to look at its own context and what works for it in terms of eliminating single-use plastics from mainstream consumption, since its strategy may not necessarily work for another country and vice versa. This was the advice last week by Jamaican Senator Matthew Samuda when he spoke at the National Library in Port of Spain as part of a panel discussion on banning single-use plastics. The event was part of the 2019 Green Screen Environmental Film Festival.  In 2016, Samuda said, he tabled a motion in Jamaica’s Senate to ban single-use plastics. In 2018, the motion was adopted with the Jamaican government announcing a ban on plastic straws, single-use plastic bags and Styrofoam food containers. Read more here

Kidnapping rumour spreads after dispute near daycare

An ar­gu­ment be­tween a Bar­rack­pore moth­er and a rel­a­tive, and her sub­se­quent dis­ap­pear­ance out­side a pre-school caused pan­ic when it was re­port­ed on so­cial me­dia that she was kid­napped. How­ev­er, po­lice said peo­ple had ex­ag­ger­at­ed the sit­u­a­tion and jumped to a con­clu­sion be­fore get­ting the facts. The woman was lo­cat­ed by po­lice and was well. Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, the woman was out­side a preschool off the Rochard Dou­glas Road when she had a dis­pute with a rel­a­tive. Read more here



Gov’t Knew of ‘Spy Ship’

National Security Minister Stuart Young confirmed on Monday that he along with Police Commissioner Gary Griffith were made privy to information that a Russian military ship would be docking in Trinidad for 're-stocking' sometime this year. Newsday spoke to Young who said an official request was made from the Russian embassy in Georgetown, Guyana, for the ship to enter TT's territorial waters, but was unable to say much else about what type of ship it was or even when it would have arrived in Trinidad. "On occasion some countries would make requests of TT, via diplomatic notes for their vessels to dock in TT. On this occasion I am aware that the Russian embassy based in Guyana made a request via diplomatic note for a Russian research vessel to dock in Trinidad for re-stocking of supplies over a period of a couple of days." Read more here

EBC reports smooth Nomination Day process

The rul­ing Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment and Op­po­si­tion Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress are the on­ly two po­lit­i­cal par­ties field­ing full teams of 139 can­di­dates each for the De­cem­ber 2 Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment polls. Sev­er­al small par­ties—the Port-of-Spain Peo­ples’ Move­ment, Move­ment for So­cial Jus­tice and Con­gress of the Peo­ple—are al­so field­ing can­di­dates in cer­tain ar­eas. And a few peo­ple from both the PNM and UNC are con­test­ing as In­de­pen­dents in cru­cial “bat­tle­ground” ar­eas, in­clud­ing San­gre Grande and Tu­na­puna/Pi­ar­co. The sce­nario emerged af­ter yes­ter­day’s Nom­i­na­tion Day ex­er­cise when can­di­dates con­test­ing the elec­tion filed nom­i­na­tion pa­pers with the Elec­tions and Bound­aries’ Com­mis­sion (EBC). Af­ter reg­is­tra­tion, the EBC stat­ed that Chief Elec­tion of­fi­cer Fern Nar­cis-Scope had con­firmed that all ini­tial re­ports point­ed to a smooth event-free process. Read more here



Boost for Digicel data customers

Digicel Trinidad and Tobago has announced the rollout of its LTE Advanced (LTE-A) mobile network, an upgrade from its LTE network. The upgrade promises customers maximum speeds of 190 megabits per second (Mbps). Read more here



China Backlash - US Ambassador Warns Jamaica To Tread Carefully With ‘Two-Headed Dragon’

In stinging criticism of the Holness administration’s warming relationship with Beijing, United States Ambassador Donald Tapia has urged the Government to be wary of China’s deepening footprint in Jamaica, citing the Asian country’s lavish investment pitch as predatory and dangerous. Tapia, who arrived in Jamaica in August, has shelved the diplomatic subtlety of recent US ambassadors, even using his Twitter account as a launching pad for invective against Chinese neo-imperialism at least four times last week, much in the mould of his boss, President Donald Trump. “China is a dragon with two heads. If China came to Jamaica presumably with no strings attached, then why did you negotiate 1,200 acres of the most prime real estate with them? Because they need a return on their investment,” the ambassador said during an exclusive interview with The Gleaner. Read more here

‘Trini’ in fake kidnapping appeals sentence

Thirty-three-year-old Trinidad national Sawak Maraj, who was recently sentenced to four years imprisonment for faking his own kidnapping, has filed an appeal to challenge his conviction and sentence. In October, Magistrate Fabayo Azore, at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, had found Maraj guilty for faking his kidnapping in 2017. Maraj was also found guilty of providing false information to the police, and was also sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, which will run concurrently. The appeal was filed by Maraj’s attorneys, Paula and Brandon DaSantos. Particulars of the case allege that on October 27, 2017 and in Georgetown, Maraj knowingly gave false information to the police, stating that he had been kidnapped, and that his abductors had demanded US$700,000 for his release. Read more here



Australia bushfires: New South Wales battles 'catastrophic' conditions

A vast area of Australia's east coast - including parts of the Sydney suburbs - is facing one of the nation's worst-ever bushfire threats. More than 85 fires are burning across the state of New South Wales (NSW), 46 of which are not contained.

Authorities had predicted "catastrophic" conditions for Tuesday, amid fears a southerly wind could cause the flames to change direction. About six million people live in the region. Crews are battling a front spanning 1,000km (620 miles) along the north coast of NSW, with several blazes "exceeding 100,000 hectares alone", officials said. On Sydney's north shore, firefighting planes dropped flame retardant over trees and homes in the suburb of South Turramurra, as the bushfires came within 15km (nine miles) of the city centre. Read more here

Putin has relished US political chaos. He may now fear Trump's impeachment

On Russian state television, tightly controlled by the Kremlin, support for Donald Trump in his current impeachment battle is absolute. After all it is Russia, they sometimes joke, that got the US president elected in the first place! Of course, allegations of meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, which swept Trump into office, are officially denied in Russia. But they are often referenced, even on serious television news shows, with a sarcastic wink. "Have you lost your minds that you want to remove OUR Donald Ivanovich," bawls Vladimir Soloviev, host of "Evening," a pro-Kremlin current affairs program which has been focusing on the US impeachment proceedings. Read more here

12th November 2019


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