Daily Brief - Tuesday 13th June, 2017


Tied Up Like A Pig

Well-known Roman Catholic priest Fr Clyde Harvey yesterday came face to face with three bandits outside a church, who threatened to kill him if he did not hand over cash and other valuables. The incident took place shortly after 5 am at the St Martin de Porres RC Church compound in Gonzales, near a dormitory where Fr Harvey — who is on sabbatical — had over-nighted to prepare for a seminary at Mt St Benedict. After being robbed, the priest was hottied and gagged. For close to half an hour, the outspoken priest who is known for his decades of working with at-risk youths struggled to free himself while silently praying to the Almighty to get through the ordeal. Read more here

Marcia scores third highest

A bat and ball together cost $1.10. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? This is not a question from a primary school test but one of the questions in section A of the 2017 Judicial and Legal Service Commission (JLSC) examination administered on January 12 this year and which formed the basis for elevation of five people, including former chief magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar, to the High Court. The question was one of three in section A of the exam under the heading ‘Numerical Analysis’. Candidates were “reminded of the need to use proper language, correct spelling, standard grammar and orderly, legible and neat presentation” of their work. Read more here

Caregiver steals $107,000

A GERIATRIC caregiver was yesterday sentenced to five years in prison for stealing more than $107,000 from the bank account of her 80-year-old employer. Lisa Sedeno, 32, of Couva, withdrew the money six months after she started caring for the elderly woman. The transactions were done between October 7, 2016 and May 15, 2017. The total of $107,062 was withdrawn without the permission of the victim from the account she shared jointly with her 47-year-old daughter. Read more here



Dillon: Terrorism a top-tier issue

National Security Minister Edmund Dillon says the safety and security of citizens remain a top-tier priority for government. He gave the assurance yesterday during the opening address at a Caricom counter-terrorism strategy conference at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain. Dillon said a changing global climate has forced regional law enforcement agencies to re-think traditional counter-terrorism initiatives and incorporate a multipronged approach to treat with the threat of terrorism. Read more here

Don’t panic, SEA places assured

Every child who wrote the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination in May will be placed in a secondary school in September and there is no need for parents to panic, says Minister of Education Anthony Garcia. Garcia was responding to questions raised in an internal memo issued by the Ministry of Education to secondary school principals, who were told that there was a shortfall of 800 spaces at secondary schools and the principals needed to re-examine their intake of pupils. Read more here

UNC gets ok to challenge JLSC case in Privy Council

Attorneys representing the United National Congress (UNC) have been granted conditional leave to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss its case challenging the composition of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (JLSC) last week. State attorneys sought to challenge the grant of permission to appeal to the United Kingdom-based Privy Council when the issue came up before the Appeal Court at the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. Senior Counsel Deborah Peake, who is representing the Office of the Attorney General (AG), claimed the case filed by former agriculture minister Devant Maharaj was “frivolous, vexatious and without merit”. Read more here



Imbert asks for more time

The Ministry of Finance says a June 2 call by United Shareholders Company Limited (USL) for Government to remove its directors from the CL Financial (CLF)board within seven days is “unreasonable” and it is asking for more time. The ministry notified USL of this in a June 8 letter. Attorneys JD Sellier and Company said in the letter they were acting for CLF shareholders and also represented the rights/interests of individual shareholders. However, the ministry, in its reply sought more time and asked USL to say exactly who it is acting for before they respond further. Read more here

‘Scotia to the heart’ 

Former managing director of Scotiabank T&T Ronald Chan was remembered yesterday for his many acts of kindness, even to those he barely knew. Chan died last week at the age of 83. His daughter Kathryn Lisa Faria recalled that on one occasion Chan and wife Jacqueline were on their way to Mayaro and befriended a family selling mangoes by the roadside. Read more here




Bloody Mayhem - Commish To Address Alarming Murder Rate

Jamaica's police chief George Quallo is today expected to outline measures to stem the wave of murders that, in the last week alone, has left a trail of 54 bodies, at an average of seven per day, across the majority of police divisions islandwide. According to the latest Periodic Serious and Violent Crime Review, compiled by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), 33 persons were murdered across rural parishes and 21 in the Corporate Area. This, coupled with the 15 murders recorded in the first three days of this month and 136 last month - at an average of four per day - has pushed the country's murder tally as at last Saturday to 639. This is 19 per cent, or 103, more murders than were reported for the corresponding period last year. Read more here

Puerto Rico governor to argue for statehood in Washington

The governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, has announced that he will visit Washington, DC, following the victory of statehood in the status referendum held on Sunday on the island, to notify Congress, the White House, and international forums of the results. Rosselló noted that statehood received 97 percent of voters’ support, which represents more than 500,000 votes; a participation of about 33 percent compared to the voters in the November 2016 election event. On the other hand, independence and free association received 1.5 percent of the vote, while the current territorial status gained just 1.3 percent. “Today, we the people of Puerto Rico are sending a strong and clear message to the world claiming our equal rights as American citizens. We will now take these results to Washington, DC, with the strong support of not only a duly executed electoral exercise, but also of a contingency of national and international observers, who can attest to the fact that the process was fair, well organized and democratic. Said contingency will be giving a report to Congress and the federal government on this historic election,” added the governor. Read more here



Iraq displaced hit by food poisoning in camp near Mosul

Hundreds of people have fallen ill and a child has died of suspected food poisoning at a camp for displaced people near the Iraqi city of Mosul. People were said to be vomiting and suffering dehydration after an iftar meal, to break the daily Ramadan fast. The Hasansham U2 camp, between Mosul and Irbil, houses people displaced by an Iraqi offensive to capture Mosul from so-called Islamic State (IS). IS fighters are currently under heavy siege in the west of the city. The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said in a statement that around 800 cases had been recorded, 200 of whom were taken to hospital. One woman receiving treatment told the agency: "We felt stomach pains as soon as we ate. We felt we couldn't breathe and then saw that our neighbours were all suffering at the same time." Read more here

It's Jeff Sessions' turn in the hot seat

It's the biggest blockbuster Washington drama since ... last week.

The appearance by Attorney General Jeff Sessions before the Senate intelligence committee Tuesday afternoon may lack the hearing-of-the-century theatrics surrounding former FBI Director James Comey. But his testimony will be a dramatic sequel to the fired FBI chief's tour de force that twisted a knife in President Donald Trump's administration over the Russia investigation and still has Washington buzzing. It also means the Russia storm will continue to swamp Trump's agenda. In addition to his testimony, the fate of special counsel Robert Mueller is also in the air. Read more here

13th June 2017


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