Daily Brief - Tuesday 5th January, 2020


Police report lowest road fatalities in 63 years

The police will be continuing their efforts to reduce the number of fatal road traffic accidents (RTAs) for the new year, as 2020 was recorded as having one of the lowest number road fatalities in TT's history, a police media release reported on Monday. The release said there were 96 road deaths in 2020, the lowest figure recorded since 1957. Police road safety project co-ordinator Sgt Brent Batson said the police would be ramping up their operations to further reduce the figure with the rollout of the iRoadsafe education campaign and closer stakeholder collaboration with the Licensing Authority, Arrive Alive and the Insurance Association. Read more here

Deputy chairman of Office of Public Regulations resigns

The deputy chairman of the Office of Public Regulations (OPR) James Chang-Kit has resigned, citing frustration with the elements of the recently passed Public Procurement Bill. Chang-Kit released a resignation letter yesterday saying the assent of the bill by President Paula-Mae Weekes was the final insult to the office. The President assented to the bill on December 27. Read more here



Deyalsingh: Covid19 vaccine won't be mandatory

It will not be Mandatory for people to take the vaccine against covid19. So said Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh at his ministry’s virtual press conference on Monday. Deyalsingh said TT citizens cannot be forced to take the vaccine, for two reasons: firstly, each citizen has a right to privacy enshrined in the constitution, and secondly, there are some people who may react badly to the vaccine. Read more here

Moonilal wants Parliament probe into PNM's handling of leased helicopter

The leased Sikorsky helicopter which was "parked in a shed" in Camp Cumuto for five years must be investigated by Parliament's National Security Committee after the PNM Government refused to honour the lease on the helicopter, says UNC MP Roodal Moonilal. Speaking on the issue at last night's UNC meeting, Moonilal said, "We’ve been reading about the helicopter leased in December 2014 by the People's Partnership (PP) administration. They (Government) have scandalized and seek to criminalize all associated with this arrangement.” Read more here



Rice earnings top $51B

Guyana’s rice industry has not just been a producer of a staple in the diet of Guyanese, but it has also served as a lucrative source of revenue for the country over the years, with 2020 being no different, as this industry raked in US$236.2 million (over G$51B). This was earned from the exportation of 574,312 tonnes of paddy, rice and rice by-products during the past year. During 2020 (January-December), Guyana exported rice and rice products to 40 countries. The major importing countries were Jamaica, Trinidad, Belgium, Holland, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, Columbia, Haiti, Honduras and Venezuela. Read more here

Hotel Mogul 'Butch' Stewart Has Died In The US

Hotelier Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart has died. Stewart was founder of Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts, and their parent company Sandals Resorts International, as well as The ATL Group and The Jamaica Observer. He died Monday in the United States at age 79. Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said he is saddened by the passing. Read more here



As Georgia votes, Trump tries to destroy America's faith in democracy

Desperate, deluded and dangerous, President Donald Trump drove America deeper into a political abyss on Monday night in his zeal to steal an election he lost and to destroy faith in the democracy that fairly ejected him from office. The President spewed lies, conspiracy theories and nonsensically false claims of vote fraud before an angry crowd in Georgia on a trip scheduled to help two Republicans in toss up run-offs Tuesday set to seal the Senate balance of power. Read more here

Covid-19 in South Africa: Scientists seek to understand new variant

Scientists in South Africa say there is a "reasonable concern" that the new variant of Covid-19 sweeping across the country might prove to be more resistant to current vaccines being rolled out in the UK and elsewhere, and warn that it makes the need for a global roll-out of vaccines "even more critical". "It's a theoretical concern. A reasonable concern… that the South African variant might be more resistant," Prof Shabir Madhi, who has led trials for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in South Africa, told the BBC. Read more here

5th January 2021


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