Daily Brief - Tuesday 26th March, 2019

NEWS

New Green Fund committee to be appointed

A new Green Fund Advisory Committee (GFAC) will be appointed soon. This was the response yesterday from Planning and Development Ministry officials to concerns from people applying for grants under the Green Fund. Speaking on condition of anonymity, one applicant said, "The application process is onerous." Another said the process has no opening or closing dates and there are vagaries about the information being requested. Read more here

Farmers chop down 300 acres of forest reserve

Pineap­ple farm­ers who have chopped down more than 300 acres of for­est re­serve in Table­land are ex­pect­ed to be charged by the po­lice fol­low­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions, Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Clarence Ramb­harat con­firmed yes­ter­day. Ramb­harat him­self has al­so launched a probe in­to “the com­plete fail­ure of the Forestry Di­vi­sion to com­bat squat­ting in the for­est re­serves.” In an in­ter­view with the T&T Guardian, Ramb­harat said he was ap­palled at the for­est de­struc­tion. “I am lead­ing the ef­fort to iden­ti­fy rogue farm­ers and re­quest that ac­tion be tak­en, in­clud­ing pros­e­cu­tion,” Ramb­harat added. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Charles: Does Guaido trust Moses?

Naparima MP Rodney Charles said that while Foreign Affairs Minister Dennis Moses has seemingly seen the light by attending a Caricom videoconference with Venezuela Opposition Leader Juan Guaido, it may be too little, too late. Charles spoke to Newsday yesterday (Monday) on the news of Moses' visit to Barbados for the Guaido meeting, which came as a surprise after the Prime Minister’s keen defence of his stance on Venezuela on Friday in the House of Representatives. Read more here

Desilting works ahead of rains advanced—Sinanan

En­joy that sun­shine—it’s on­ly one month be­fore the rainy sea­son starts. And in prepa­ra­tion for that, the Works Min­istry’s de­sil­it­ing pro­gramme on rivers and oth­er wa­ter­cours­es has been on since Jan­u­ary, Works Min­is­ter Ro­han Sinanan said yes­ter­day. The time­line to the rainy sea­son was con­firmed by the Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Of­fice re­cent­ly when of­fi­cials spoke to the T&T Guardian on the Sa­hara Dust prob­lem. They point­ed to the up­com­ing rainy sea­son in view of bush fires around T&T and the dam­age which could be caused if wa­ter­cours­es are clogged with bush fire de­bris. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

CAL retains ‘Max 8’ lawyers

Majority State-owned Caribbean Airlines (CAL) has retained US-based attorneys to review its leases for the 12 new Max 8 aircraft from Boeing. The follows the fatal Ethiopian Air crash earlier this month, which resulted in worldwide safety concerns and the global grounding of the aircraft. CAL expects to take receipt of its first Boeing Max 8 aircraft in December this year. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Privy Council Sides With JFJ

Former executive director of Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ), Dr Carolyn Gomes, is hailing a major ruling from the United Kingdom-based Judicial Committee of the Privy Council which could place cops accused of extrajudicial killings under greater scrutiny and prompt the Police Service Commission (PSC) to investigate them before they get the all-clear signal for upward mobility in the force. The Privy Council, in its judgment, indicated that if the PSC had exercised its power to investigate allegations of extrajudicial killings levelled against then police superintendent, Delroy Hewitt, he may not have been promoted. In a Gleaner interview yesterday, Gomes said she hoped the ruling would form the basis on which public bodies carry out future promotions. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Islamic State group: Syria's Kurds call for international tribunal

The Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria has called for the creation of an international court to try thousands of suspected members of the Islamic State (IS) group. One official, Abdul Karim Omar, told the BBC they were struggling to cope with the thousands who emerged from the last IS enclave of Baghuz, in the east. Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured the village last week. About 1,000 foreign fighters are among the thousands held by Kurds in camps. US President Donald Trump hailed the capture of Baghuz last week, although he said the US would "remain vigilant" as the group remains a threat. Read more here

Brexit deadlock as MPs take control of process from Theresa May

Five down, 70 to go. Over the past 24 hours, a handful of Tory hardline Brexiteers have indicated their intention to reluctantly support Theresa May's Brexit deal. Their movement will encourage Downing Street - but leaves them a long way away from the magic number of 75 MPs who are required to change their allegiance. Read more here

26th March 2019

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