Daily Brief - Tuesday 20th April, 2021


Sean Luke trial begins with 4 prosecution witnesses

Two months after they pleaded not guilty to the brutal murder of six-year-old Sean Luke back in 2006, the two men charged with the crime have gone on trial. Four witnesses testified on the first day of the judge-only trial before Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds, who gave her ruling on the admissibility of a large portion of the prosecution’s evidence. Akeel Mitchell, 28, and Richard Chatoo, 30, are before the judge charged with Luke’s murder on a date unknown between March 25 and 29, 2006. Read more here

Highly transmissible Brazilian COVID variant found in T&T

The Ministry of Health yesterday confirmed that the Brazilian variant of the COVID-19 virus, which is far more transmissible than other strains, has been detected in Trinidad and Tobago. The variant was detected in a sample that was sent to the University of the West Indies for genetic sequencing. The sample was taken from a COVID-19 positive patient in the Nariva/Mayaro county.  “The contact tracing required to restrict the spread of the virus has already begun. Additionally, the public is reminded that all quarantine protocols remain in place to ensure the continued protection of the people of Trinidad and Tobago,” the ministry said in a statement. Read more here



Stuart Young is new Energy Minister

Stuart Young is the new Minister of Energy. He will replace Franklin Khan, who died suddenly on Saturday. A release from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) said Dr Rowley had advised the President that, with immediate effect, Young would be moved from the National Security Ministry. He will retain his portfolio as a minister in the OPM. Read more here

WASA head asks Duke to resign

Public Services Association (PSA) president Watson Duke who has been on no-pay leave at the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) for 11 years, yesterday challenged the authority’s executive director Dr Lennox Sealy to fire him from the state-owned authority. The move followed a letter Sealy sent to Duke last month informing him of his “untenable nature of the indefinite time off” from WASA “for union’s business” and requested a decision in writing relative to his continued employment by March 26. Duke, who holds the position of Assistant Manager, Employee Resourcing at WASA, failed to respond to Sealy’s request. Read more here



Sagicor boss lauds Govt’s longer bonds

Chief executive officer of the Sagicor Group, Dodridge Miller, has taken note of the fact that the Government of T&T has recently issued longer-dated bond instruments, which are more suitable for insurance companies. Read more here



Vaccination too late to save Teapes after half a century together

Anne Chin-Teape and Leslie Teape were scheduled to get their second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot in May, but that will dream will forever be deferred after the couple, who have been together for more than 50 years, died less than an hour… Read more here

Largest shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrives in Guyana

The largest consignment of COVID-19 vaccines, some 83,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, arrived at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on Monday morning. Monday’s shipment is the third set of Sputnik V vaccines the country has received, after the government managed to secure a procurement deal of 400,000 vaccine doses, which are administered in two components at 200,000 doses each. Previously, Guyana received a total of 55,000 doses of the Russian vaccine. President Dr. Irfaan Ali recently said that the country is paying US$4M (or more than G$800M) for 200,000 doses of the Sputnik V. Read more here



Angela Merkel must beat the pandemic to save her legacy. Time is running out

Angela Merkel has been in the top job for nearly 16 years, but the biggest challenge of her career might still lie ahead. The German Chancellor is racing against the clock to defeat the coronavirus before stepping down in September. She has a lot going against her. Germany is struggling to contain the latest wave of the pandemic. The surge in infections is driven by the new, more contagious variant of the virus that was first identified in the United Kingdom, and which became dominant in Germany in early March. The influential German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine has warned that the majority of the country's intensive care units are running at or close to full capacity. On Monday, the number of Germans lost to the virus surpassed 80,000. Read more here

Chad's President Idriss Déby dies 'in clashes with rebels'

Chad's President Idriss Déby has died suddenly in clashes with rebels in the north of the country at the weekend, the army has said on state TV. On Monday, provisional results from the election on 11 April projected he would win a sixth term in office, with 80% of the vote. The government and parliament have been dissolved. A military council will govern for the next 18 months. Mr Déby, 68, was one of Africa's longest-serving leaders. He first came to power in an armed uprising in 1990. Read more here

20th April 2021


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