Daily Brief - Tuesday 29th September, 2020

NEWS

More than 20 schools file queries with CXC

Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) secretary general Vijay Maharaj said the education board is not currently considering any legal action against the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) over the results of the July 2020 CAPE and CSEC examinations. Following the release of preliminary CAPE and CSEC results there have been numerous complaints, queries and concerns across the region. CXC registrar Dr Wayne Wesley at a virtual meeting last week said no full review was necessary as the process was rigorous and overall grades had improved. He reported CXC had received queries from various regional ministers of education. Read more here

COVID kills Carnival 2021 season

It’s official: Carnival 2021 has been “killed” by COVID-19. And unless Government’s negotiations with Patriotic Energies and Technologies for the Guaracara refinery are completed by end of next month, that deal will be “dead “ also and new options will have to be sought. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced the two developments yesterday at the end of the 2021 Budget Forum at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain. The event was hosted by Government to deliver information on T&T’s economic circumstances ahead of the Budget on October 5. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Rowley: TSTT overbilled taxpayers by $300m

State telecoms company TSTT overcharged taxpayers by $300 million for providing cameras to the government, the Prime Minister said Monday. Dr Rowley did not specify what type of cameras, but in 2016 the Ministry of National Security partnered with TSTT to set up a pilot CCTV/surveillance project. Rowley said TSTT claimed the arrangement it had with Government for providing these cameras had run up a debt of $750 million. The Prime Minister said he felt compelled to clarify after head of the Communication Workers’ Union Clyde Elder claimed Government owed TSTT at least $500 million and up to $1 billion. Read more here

Anti-Kamla billboard hits PoS

There is now a "Budget debate" billboard against Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Yet another billboard calling for the Opposition leader to step down has popped up – this time on Independence Square, Port-of-Spain. It's the fifth billboard put up by Persad-Bissessar's detractors and was revealed yesterday ahead of Persad-Bissessar's address at United National Congress' virtual meeting on Monday night. The latest is an electronic billboard similar to the first one set up in Aranguez, San Juan, earlier this month. Three others were also put up in Claxton Bay, La Romaine and Macoya. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

CGCL to make its first shipment of methanol

Caribbean Gas Chemical Limited (CGCL) has loaded its first cargo of methanol as it starts export of the commodity. The shipment comes more than five years after the breaking of ground for the construction of the methanol to Dimethyl Ether (DME) plant at La Brea and is a significant step forward for the company. In a news release CGCL said the shipment was loaded on-board the M/T Trans Catalonia at LABIDCO’s Port of Brighton La Brea. CGCL said 13,000 metric tons of methanol were loaded onto the vessel. This is likely to increase this country's export of methanol which has been hard-hit by the closure of plants at the Point Lisas Industrial Estate owing to depressed international prices for the commodity and higher natural gas prices in T&T. Read more here

PM wants closure

Patriotic Energies and Technologies Co Ltd, the company owned by Oilfields’ Workers Trade Union (OWTU), has until October to conclude negotiations for the acquisition of Petrotrin’s mothballed refinery. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Health Ministry Issues Warning To Hand Sanitiser Importers

The Ministry of Health and Wellness says entities that want to import alcohol-based hand sanitisers into Jamaica, must first have an approved permit in hand from the Standards & Regulation Division of the Ministry, before the supplier ships the product. This comes after a Sunday Gleaner probe in downtown Kingston, Half-Way Tree in St Andrew and May Pen in Clarendon earlier this month, found that a flood of unapproved hand sanitisers are on shelves for sale to unsuspecting members of the public. There has been an increase in the demand for hand sanitisers because of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here

2021: Year of investments, development

The local economy like many others around the world has taken a ‘hit’ because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and although the direct and indirect effects of this scourge remain a challenge, the country is expected to see a ‘flurry’ of development projects in 2021, said President Dr. Irfaan Ali. Guyana, which sits on the edge of South America and has a population of about 750,000 people, is expected to ‘boom’ with its new-found oil wealth, wealth which will drive infrastructural development and other sectoral advancements. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Trump looking for 11th-hour reset but mostly shuns debate prep

Clubby reinforcements have been summoned. A stack of flashcards -- question on front, response on back -- is at the ready. A binder has been dutifully collated. Whether any of that helps President Donald Trump deliver a winning debate performance on Tuesday remains to be seen. Heading into this year's inaugural general election showdown, Trump has written off formal preparations as unnecessary given the daily demands of the job and instead hopes his brawling instincts and an unguarded embrace of personal attacks will carry him through. Read more here

Hathras gang rape: India victim's death sparks outrage

A 19-year-old Dalit (formerly untouchable) woman has died after she was allegedly gang raped by four upper-caste men, sparking outrage in India. The woman was admitted to a hospital in Delhi two weeks ago with several serious injuries. The attack occurred on 14 September in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Four men have been arrested. The news of her death has prompted many in India to take to social media and demand justice. Read more here

29th September 2020

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