Daily Brief - Tuesday 4th February, 2020


Top cop slams Express reporter

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has slammed the Express newspaper and a specific reporter from that media house for continuously writing negative stories about him as head of the police service. His condemnation of the Express and its reporter was first posted to his Facebook page and minutes later was sent to media houses as an official press release from the TTPS. In the release, Griffith said he has noted that certain police officers and reporters were becoming desperate and also noted the "now boring attempt" by a reporter to discredit him via almost weekly negative articles aimed at the TTPS. Read more here

Gas deals with Venezuela off

Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley has an­nounced that T&T and Venezuela have re­scind­ed their agree­ment to joint­ly ex­ploit 10 tril­lion cu­bic feet of nat­ur­al gas in the Lo­ran Man­a­tee field and would in­stead de­vel­op it in­de­pen­dent­ly. In a wide rang­ing ad­dress at the open­ing cer­e­mo­ny of the En­er­gy Cham­ber’s An­nu­al En­er­gy Con­fer­ence be­ing held at the Hy­att Ho­tel in Port of Spain, Dr Row­ley al­so an­nounced yes­ter­day that “it is re­gret­table that we can­not move ahead with the Drag­on Project which is on hold, at this time, due to US sanc­tions on Venezuela.” He said this coun­try was ready “at a mo­ment’s no­tice,” to move ahead with the project “on the lift­ing of such re­stric­tions since vir­tu­al­ly all the prepara­to­ry work has been done.” Notwith­stand­ing, this he said “we are pro­ceed­ing with the Man­a­tee ini­tia­tive which is the sin­gle most sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment in the en­er­gy sec­tor in re­cent times.” Read more here



'Tobago in a bad place'

Tobago Organisation of the People political leader and One Tobago Voice member Ashworth Jack believes the island's economy is in shambles because the Tobago House of Assembly plays too big a role in providing employment to the population. Jack said any government that boasts of employing about 60 per cent of the population is a failed government. "What happens when the government's source of income either falls or is dried up – which is exactly what is happening. People seem to think that in order to control people you must have a direct hand in their employment. That is the problem. It is unhealthy for democracy when you border so much on socialism." Read more here

PM meets with Charles as Tobago PNM impasse continues

Prime Min­is­ter and po­lit­i­cal leader of the Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment (PNM) Dr Kei­th Row­ley met with the for­mer leader of the To­ba­go Coun­cil of the PNM and chief sec­re­tary of the To­ba­go House of As­sem­bly (THA) Kelvin Charles yes­ter­day. Nei­ther the chief sec­re­tary nor the prime min­is­ter re­leased any in­for­ma­tion about the meet­ing. How­ev­er, Guardian Me­dia has been in­formed that pri­or to yes­ter­day’s meet­ing, Charles was of­fered an am­bas­sador­ship and al­so an op­tion to take up a po­si­tion as a sec­re­tary in the THA. He re­fused the of­fers. Up to late last night, the PNM as­sem­bly­men were meet­ing to de­cide on the way for­ward. Read more here



SEC functioning effectively

First Citizens group chief executive Karen Darbasie said despite the length of time the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took to reach a settlement with four actors in the the bank’s IPO scandal, it shows that the T&T’s securities market are functioning effectively. Read more here



Insurance Fees To Jump - Hurricanes Blowing Property Rates Through The Roof

Jamaicans have been warned to expect property insurance rates to rise by 10-15 per cent this year because of “increasingly destructive Atlantic hurricane seasons in recent years”, even though the island itself has been spared the wrath of killer storms. The caution was issued yesterday afternoon by the Insurance Association of Jamaica (IAJ), whose executive director, Orville Johnson, cited the Caribbean’s increased risk rating as a defining factor behind the impending hike, which is likely to bump up mortgage payments. The rise in fees will reinforce the growing concern over climate change and the dangers it poses to small island states that are at greater risk of vulnerability to planet Earth’s temperamental swings, with record temperature highs, testing tempests, and brutal floods. Read more here

25 Guyanese earn safeTALK certificates to aid in suicide prevention

TRAUMA and Moral Injury Specialist/Expert Sharmin Prince, hosted a suicide- prevention workshop on Thursday at the National Library, where 25 persons earned certificates. Though Prince was the facilitator, the certificates and materials used were from US based Organisation, LivingWorks, which owns a workshop called safeTALK. The safe in safeTALK stands for suicide alertness for everyone, and the programme aims to teach persons how to prevent suicide by recognising signs, engaging someone, and connecting them to an intervention resource for further support. This was the first safeTALK workshop that was ever held in Guyana. Prince is a certified safeTALK trainer for which she is using her knowledge and skillset to benefit persons here in her home country. Read more here



Coronavirus and oil: Why crude has been hit hard

The world's biggest oil producers could be about to slash output as they grapple with the fallout of the coronavirus. Representatives of oil producers' cartel Opec and its allies are expected to meet this week as calls grow for action to support oil prices. The cost of crude has hit its lowest level in a year after falling 20% since its peak in January. Why have global oil prices fallen so much? The spread of the coronavirus means the Lunar New Year holiday has been extended in much of China and travel restrictions are in place. As a result, factories, offices and shops remain shut. That means the world's biggest importer of crude oil, which usually consumes about 14 million barrels a day, needs a lot less oil to power machinery, fuel vehicles, and keep the lights on. The outbreak is likely to have a particularly large impact on demand for jet fuel as airlines around the world suspend flights to China, and travel restrictions within the country mean far fewer flights. Read more here

Vote-reporting mess leaves Iowa with no victor on caucus night

An embarrassing vote-reporting mess in the Iowa Democratic caucuses means there is so far no winner in the crucial opening contest to find a candidate to take on President Donald Trump in November. More than four hours after the caucuses started with Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden vying for first place, the first results of 1,600 precincts have yet to emerge. And campaigns were told in the early morning hours Tuesday not expect any results until later in the day, two officials tell CNN. "At this point now they need to get it right," one official said. An Iowa Democratic official said results are still being collected -- and that will overnight if the precinct chairs keep calling them in. No time estimate was given to campaigns. "They literally have no verified results," a senior campaign adviser said. "We won't know anything until sometime Tuesday -- at least." Read more here

4th February 2020


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