Daily Brief - Tuesday 14th November, 2023


Criminologists – Get serious about crime talks

Criminologist Professor Ramesh Deosaran and Daurius Figuera slammed government and the opposition for “continuing to pursue petty political agendas” while refusing to cooperate to bring crime under control. They made their condemnation as both sides remain poles apart as to when they will meet and what they will do collectively to bring desperately needed relief to a crime-weary population. In a statement, Deosaran said, “Given the strained non-productive relationship now existing between the PNM and UNC on the proposed crime talks, the government should go to parliament with whatever its crime proposals are, let the Opposition reply and let the people judge.” Read more here

Tobago named 3rd Most Desirable Island

Tobago has been voted the third Most Desirable Island in the world according to the 2023 Wanderlust Readers Travel Awards. Last week, officials from the Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) went to London to accept the Bronze (third place) award in the Most Desirable Island–Rest of World category. The Gold award went to Cuba, while Taiwan secured the Silver. Last year, Tobago placed fourth in that category. Last year’s winner, Palawan, slipped to fourth. Chairman of TTAL Alicia Edwards, said, “This Wanderlust Readers Travel Award is a testament to Tobago’s timeless allure and the tireless efforts of the team here at the Tobago Tourism Agency Limited. We are honoured to be recognised once more as one of the most desirable islands in the world, as this accolade not only elevates Tobago’s profile within the publication’s own esteemed travel trade community, but reinforces our island’s appeal to discerning travellers worldwide.” Read more here



West: Progress being made towards back pay

Public Administration Minister Allyson West on Monday sought to assure that progress is being made towards keeping Government's commitment to give public servants their back pay by Christmas. Finance Minister Colm Imbert gave this commitment when he presented the 2023/2024 budget in Parliament on October 6. He reiterated it during a recent virtual news conference. West said that the various agencies are working on the computations, and additional resources have been loaned to the Ministry of Education, in particular, to assist in this exercise. Read more here


Minister: Take cybersecurity seriously

Minister of Digital Transformation Hassel Bacchus is urging people to take cybersecurity seriously, as he believes the solution to combating the increase in cyber attacks is sensitising people on proper security measures. According to Bacchus, cyber attacks are not an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) issue but rather about corporate risks. In recent months, TSTT, PriceSmart and Courts have all been attacked by a ransomware group, which resulted in thousands of customers’ personal information being exposed, including on the dark web. The Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs was also a victim of a cyber attack back in July. In the TSTT cyber breach, which occurred on October 9, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s personal information was shared on the dark web. Read more here



NFM’s revenue increases by 16% to $431m

National Flour Mills Ltd made an after-tax profit of $26 million for the nine-month period ended September 30, overturning a loss of $1.7 million made for the comparative period last year. “I am pleased to report that NFM’s focus on efficiency and quality continues to bear fruit. For the first three quarters of 2023 we earned revenue of $431 million, a 16 per cent increase over the comparative period in 2022. Gross Profit also increased from $59 million in 2022 to $110 million in 2023, yielding a gross profit percentage of 25 per cent, more in line with international benchmarks for businesses involved in the manufacture and marketing of flour and feed products,” chairman Nigel Romano stated. Read more here



One-size-fits-all approach will not advance energy sector

As the government continues to roll out holistic initiatives to advance the energy sector, President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, said that within two years the cost of energy will be reduced by 50 per cent. Maintaining that there cannot be a “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to dealing with Guyana’s energy framework, Dr. Ali stated: “Addressing the energy equation has to be a holistic framework. It cannot be a one-size-fits-all framework,” while explaining the benefits of the Amaila Falls Hydropower station (AFHP) and the gas-to-energy project. He made these statement during commissioning of the National Milling Company of Guyana (NAMILCO’s) US$8 million/G$1.6 billion state-of-the-art mixing plant at its Agricola, East Bank Demerara factory. “…Guyana was not allowed the possibility of this enormous project and the benefits that the [AFHP] would’ve brought for us, in ensuring the reliability in getting cleaner energy and also bringing down the cost of energy,” President Ali related. Read more here



Iceland volcano: Evacuees return to collect belongings

Residents of an Icelandic town struck by hundreds of earthquakes have briefly been allowed back to their homes to collect belongings. More than 500 quakes hit the south-western Reykjanes Peninsula on Monday. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the town of Grindavik, under which most of the tremors have taken place. A volcanic eruption is still expected, scientists say, despite the quakes being weaker in recent days. Pedrag, a native Serb who has lived in Iceland for many years, was one of those who fled the town with his wife on Friday - the day a state of emergency was declared. An evacuation order for Grindavik was given in the early hours of Saturday. "If you talk to Icelandic people who have lived there all their lives, they say they have never felt something like that," he told the BBC, referring to the large quakes that rocked the fishing port for several hours. Read more here

14th November 2023


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