Daily Brief - Tuesday 3rd December, 2019


New NDATT executive elected

The National Drama Association of TT (NDATT) elected a new executive body at its annual general meeting on November 24. The new executive committee will hold office until 2021. Those elected were outgoing secretary Safa Niamat-Ali as president, outgoing area representative, east (acting) Peter Craig as vice president and former public relations officer (PRO) Paula Lindo as secretary. Treasurer Kirt Davis was re-elected to the position. Samara Lallo was elected PRO, Leslie-Ann Beckles as education officer and area representative south Geneva Drepaulsingh was re-elected to the position. Read more here



PNM loses ground: 7-7 LGE tie as UNC makes inroads

The UNC snatched the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation from the PNM, and won new seats on several corporations across Trinidad as the ruling PNM lost ground in local government elections yesterday. The UNC won Sangre Grande by five seats to three. UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the party made significant inroads and voters “sent a clear message to the PNM.” UNC deputy leader David Lee urged the Prime Minister to call the pending 2020 general election. In Sangre Grande, the UNC won by wrestling away the swing seat of Sangre Grande North West by 4,134 votes to the PNM’s 3,361 votes, while defending its own marginal seat of Cumuto/Tamana (1,864 to 1,304 votes.) Read more here

Rowley: PNM won the most seats

Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley last night put a pos­i­tive spin on the PNM’s per­for­mance in the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Elec­tions. Speak­ing to sup­port­ers at the par­ty’s Bal­isi­er House head­quar­ters af­ter the re­sult showed a 7-7 tie for the 14 re­gion­al cor­po­ra­tions, he de­clared that the par­ty had won the most seats, cap­tur­ing 71 of the 139 elec­toral dis­tricts. How­ev­er, in the two mar­gin­al cor­po­ra­tions, San­gre Grande and Siparia, the PNM was de­feat­ed by the UNC, win­ning just three seats each to the UNC’s five. Row­ley, who de­scribed the cam­paign as dif­fi­cult, ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment that the par­ty did not pick up seats “in one or two ar­eas where we had hoped to im­prove our po­si­tion. But while we are dis­ap­point­ed we did not pick up in that area, which was the Siparia ef­fort, we are not sur­prised. We are quite pleased that we have in fact won the most seats.” Read more here



New minimum wage is now law

Some of the new measures that were announced by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in the 2020 national budget have come into effect on Sunday. In a full page advertisement yesterday, Government reminded citizens of the measures that took effect from December 1. From this month, employees of the Unemployed Relief Programme (URP) and the Community-Based Environment Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) will get a 15 per cent increase in their wages. Trainees of the On-the-Job Training Programme will see a ten per cent hike in their stipends while the intake for the programme will be increased from 5,000 to 8,000 trainees. The new minimum wage of $17.50 also takes effect from this month, up from $15 per hour. Read more here



Cash Crash - Collisions To Drive Up Premiums As Insurers Rack Up Half A Billion In Losses From Road Carnage

Jamaican insurance companies racked up underwriting losses totalling $570 million over the first half of this year, mainly because of the carnage on the roadways, which has claimed close to 400 lives. The more than half a billion dollar in losses recorded between January and June is in stark contrast to the $170 million underwriting profit insurance companies realised over the first six months of last year, according to the Insurance Association of Jamaica (IAJ). Underwriting profit or loss is the difference between the premiums charged by an insurance company and the claims and other expenses they pay out. Read more here

Govt scraps MoFA’s Director General post

The Government of Guyana has scrapped the position of Director General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and instead appointed as Permanent Secretary a long standing staff to head the ministry’s administration. Simultaneously it has indicated that the former director general, Audrey Waddell will be reassigned upon completion of her annual leave which she has proceeded on. Speculations were rife over the weekend regarding the fate of Waddell as well as talks of reshuffling at the ministry. In a statement on Monday the Ministry said it has recently undertaken a number of administrative actions with a view to promoting greater efficiency in the discharge of the core mandate and essential functions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at a critical moment in the nation’s history. Read more here



Trump heads to London fundraiser  

The President is now on his way to a fundraiser in London in the midst of the ongoing NATO meeting. The fundraiser is being hosted by Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee for the Republican National Committee and Trump’s campaign. The event is expected to raise $3 million, the source said. The White House added the event to the President's public schedule Monday night. The fundraiser will be hosted by Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, co-chair Tommy Hicks Jr., national finance chair Todd Ricketts, and Trump's campaign manager Brad Parscale, according to the invitation. Read more here

North Korea unveils town hailed as 'epitome of civilisation'

North Korea has officially opened a new town its media is calling the "epitome of modern civilisation". Leader Kim Jong-un cut the red ribbon at Samjiyon - hailed as one of the country's most important construction projects. State media KCNA said the town - which is able to accommodate 4,000 families - boasts new apartments, a ski slope, and a stadium amongst other facilities. However, forced labour is said to have gone into the construction of Samjiyon. And the town - even if it lives up to state media billing - will be an outlier in North Korea, where the majority of people live in poor conditions. According to non-governmental organisation the National Committee on North Korea, many "suffer from shortages of food, fuel, electricity, running water and other necessities". Read more here

3rd December 2019


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