Daily Brief - Tuesday 19th May, 2020

NEWS

Agricultural worker wants exemption to go Canada

Even as the number of positive covid19 cases continues to rise in Canada, a Chaguanas man has called on the Government to make an exemption and open the borders so agricultural workers can go overseas to work. Anthon Lamothe, 51, is worried about job losses if Government does not give clearance to people to leave for Canada as soon as possible. Lamothe has worked on Canadian farms as part of the Commonwealth Caribbean Seasonal Agricultural Worker Programme. Read more here

Drowned boys’ dad wants cops to quiz neighbour

Junior Soogrim celebrated his 13th birthday the day before he and his brother Jason, 7, tragically drowned in a pool at an abandoned quarrying site in Valencia on Sunday. But as his father Martinez Soogrim, 30, grieved on Monday, he called on the police to question everyone who was at the site when his boys drowned, including a man who may have encouraged them to go into the water knowing they could not swim. That man, however, has not been seen since the incident. Recalling how they celebrated Junior’s birthday at his mother’s Fern Street, Old Valencia Road home on Saturday, the father yesterday said, “We all ate lunch together and Junior, his younger brother Jason and sister Jane cut his birthday cake and put a piece in each others’ mouth. It was a happy time for all of us, as everyone hugged and kissed Junior wishing him a happy birthday.” Read more here

 

POLITICS

Mitchell sandwiched between Mannings

In the end, he was sandwiched between two Manning’s. That is the position San Fernando East MP and Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell has found himself. Mitchell learned yesterday, that his successor and candidate for the constituency he served for five years, is Brian Manning, son of his predecessor, the late prime minister Patrick Manning. Upon learning of his removal via the San Fernando East Facebook page, Mitchell, an attorney, sought to bow out gracefully. There was some consternation prior to last weekend’s screening and allegations of rigging the internal nomination process, but in the end Manning prevailed. Read more here

MSME's already back in business

Many of the 16,547 micro, small and medium enterprises in T&T which employs around 90,000 persons have already restarted operations according to Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon. Speaking during a Ministry of Health virtual press conference yesterday, Scoon said: "We remain particularly concerned of the impact of COVID on the MSMEs given their important contribution to the economy." However, she assured that she has been meeting with the various chambers of commerce to address various issues arising out of the pandemic; especially the MSMEs. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Gopee-Scoon: Soon T&T will be measured on Ease of Doing Business

T&T will be re-assessed soon by the Doing Business arm of the World Bank to determine if the country has seen improvement in the Ease of Doing Business indicators. This was revealed by the Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon at a media press briefing yesterday. Gopee-Scoon said, “Through the Single Electronic Window, we have been focusing on e-business (to call it that), and dealing with the 10 indicators on the doing business report, which we are measured by; and we are going to be measured pretty soon.” As Gopee-Scoon addressed the country’s ranking in the Ease of Doing Business Index, she noted, “We’re not in a good place, and we’ve said that before.” The minister emphasised she has told the public before that T&T being ranked 105 out of 190 countries is not good enough. Read more here

Enough food supplies amid Covid-19, says Gopee-Scoon

Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon is assuring that there continues to be a secure and stable supply of food in Trinidad and Tobago, amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Hero mom dies saving drowning daughter

Tahirah Steele’s last memory of her mother, 43-year-old Coleen Myers, alive was of the distressed woman rushing towards her drowning frame and clinging to her hand in a bid to repel the deathly clutch of the Rio Grande in Portland. Then she blacked out. When Steele came to, she raised her head to see people attempting to “pump water” from her mother’s chest. “I was just there bawling until I could move. I asked someone to help me go over to her. But she never opened her eyes,” the distraught daughter recounted to The Gleaner yesterday. Read more here

‘I am confident’ …President Granger not expecting a landslide victory but confident

While there has been unwarranted interference in the Guyana’s elections process from various groups, President David Granger is confident that Guyana will soon conclude its elections process to the satisfactory international standards. The President said too that while he is confident in his party’s ability to win the elections, he does not expect a landslide victory based on Guyana’s complex social structure. Even so, he said that his government will continue to pursue a form of government that is inclusionary. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Amphan: India and Bangladesh evacuate millions ahead of super cyclone

India and Bangladesh are evacuating millions of people from coastal areas ahead of a super cyclone which is approaching from the Bay of Bengal. Cyclone Amphan is expected to make landfall in an area near the border of the two countries later on Wednesday. More than 20 relief teams have already been deployed, and several more are on standby, Indian officials say. The coronavirus outbreak is making it harder for officials in both countries to evacuate people in these regions. Amphan is expected to hit the coast with winds gusting up to 185km/h (115mph), forecasters say. Officials in Bangladesh fear it will be the most powerful storm since Cyclone Sidr killed about 3,500 people in 2007. Most died as a result of sea water surging in. Read more here

A US-China trade war is the last thing the world economy needs now

Mutual blame over the coronavirus pandemic has reignited tensions between the United States and China, threatening to break what was already a fragile truce on trade between the world's biggest economies. But the pandemic has left the global economy in a much more precarious position than it was when the two countries began sparring over trade two years ago. And neither can afford the damage another full-blown trade war would inflict. Read more here

 

 

19th May 2020

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