Daily Brief - Tuesday 4th May, 2021


Second Sean Luke accused claims case against him is fabricated

The second man charged with the 2006 murder of six-year-old Sean Luke has maintained his innocence. Richard Chatoo has challenged the allegations against him, saying it is fabricated. Chatoo’s defence statement was read out in open court on Monday when the trial resumed. In addition to claiming the allegations against him were fabricated, he also maintained that statements police took from him were adduced as a result of oppression, trickery, force and inducement. He maintained he was not admitting anything. Read more here

Close to $5m in cocaine found in packages destined for US

Almost one week after Customs and Excise Division officers found $.3 million in cocaine hidden in preserved fruits at the T&T National Mail Centre in Piarco, they have made an even bigger discovery over the last three days amounting to close to TT$5m in cocaine hidden in various packages destined for the United States and other parts of the world. Senior Customs and Excise Division sources familiar with the latest find told Guardian Media that they had been monitoring several suspicious packages at the T&T National Mail Centre since last Friday and began their search then. Read more here



Duke: PM pushing dependence on government

Political leader of Tobago's Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) Watson Duke says the Prime Minister is attempting to promote a "dependence mode" among citizens by further tightening commercial and public health restrictions. Duke spoke briefly with Newsday after Dr Rowley announced a total discontinuation of food services and non-essential retail business during a media conference on Monday. In his address, Rowley said normal social services will continue, while the Finance Ministry was allocating additional public funds to people affected by loss of income, particularly in light of the newest public health measures. Read more here

10 days to collapse of parallel health sector

Younger, healthier people with no co-morbidities are now dying from the COVID-19 virus in T&T and the Health Ministry is now testing them to determine if the more deadly Brazilian (P1) strain was responsible for their deaths. The Ministry, through Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Roshan Parasram, yesterday reported an additional 10 people with the P1 strain. Parasram said that of 300 samples tested so far, there are 25 confirmed cases of that variant. Read more here



Business groups support new Covid restrictions, but increased testing, contact tracing necessary

The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce (T&T Chamber) is urging the Government to combine the tightening of borders with strong enforcement of the Covid-19 regulations in order to bring down the number of infections in this country. Read more here



Harrow jumps ship as Gov't milks ODPEM cash cow

Six months after he assumed leadership of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Director General Leslie Harrow has quit the relief organisation in apparent displeasure over interference by an overbearing local... Read more here

Guyanese travellers owed millions in refunds

The Ministry of Public Works and the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) on Monday convened a meeting with local travel agents to address issues of outstanding refunds to Guyanese travellers. The engagement, hosted at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at Liliendaal, was led by subject minister Juan Edghill and the GCAA’s Director-General Lieutenant-Colonel (ret’d) Egbert Field. During the discussion aspect of the forum, representatives of various travel services steered clear of assuming responsibility for the unsettled payments. On the contrary, the travel agents registered complaints relating to airlines failing to honour their responsibility of refunding passengers in a timely manner. Read more here



India passes 20 million cases amid oxygen shortage

India has recorded more than 20 million Covid infections, but the government says that cases are "slowing down". The country added more than 355,000 cases on Tuesday, down from more than 400,000 daily cases on 30 April. But testing numbers have dipped as well, sparking fears that India's true caseload is far higher. Case numbers, however, have been consistently falling in Maharashtra state, which had driven the second wave since early April. Read more here

France kept classrooms open 'at all costs.' At a school where 20 pupils lost loved ones, some say the price was too high

Grace was full of hope as she entered the final stretch of high school. The 16-year-old was two years away from graduating, and she wanted to make her parents proud -- especially her father. "I told him I loved him, and I would always do my best," Grace said.  This would be the last promise she ever made to her father, as he lay intubated in an ICU unit for Covid-19 patients. He died the next day, on April 9 of last year, at the peak of the first wave in France. Read more here

4th May 2021


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