Daily Brief - Tuesday 7th January, 2020


Another blow to democracy

Three Venezuelan migrants living in Trinidad have weighed in on the latest political crisis in their homeland where National Assembly head and self-proclaimed interim President, Juan Guaidó, was prevented by State police from entering the Assembly on Sunday to participate in a voting process to elect a new legislative council. Heidi Diquez said Sunday's scenes in Caracas showed that the Nicolás Maduro regime continues to trample on the rule of law and sink the Constitution even deeper into a sea of irrelevance. Read more here

TTPS to get advanced crime-fighting technology

Pa­trol of­fi­cers will have new uni­forms by mid-year, an on­line fa­cil­i­ty for quick re­port­ing of crimes and in­tro­duc­tion of Shot Spot­ter tech­nol­o­gy to pin­point the lo­ca­tion of a gun­shot im­me­di­ate­ly as it’s fired are among T&T Po­lice Ser­vice (TTPS) ini­tia­tives be­ing in­tro­duced in the com­ing months, Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith said yes­ter­day. “Sev­er­al new de­vel­op­ments will emerge this year in terms of mak­ing the TTPS more ef­fi­cient and geared to­wards bet­ter meet­ing the pub­lic’s needs,” he said. Re­designed pa­trol po­lice uni­forms have been in the works for well over five years. Pa­trol of­fi­cers cur­rent­ly wear grey short-sleeved shirts or long-sleeved blue shirts, while oth­er di­vi­sions wear dif­fer­ent uni­forms. Guard and Emer­gency Branch (GEB) of­fi­cers wear tac­ti­cal heavy-du­ty gear while mem­bers of the Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Re­sponse Team (SORT) wear cam­ou­flage type uni­forms. The lat­ter was in­tro­duced last year. Read more here



Duke blames politics

Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Minority Leader Watson Duke has blamed politics for there being no forensic pathologists to carry out autopsies in Tobago. Duke’s comment comes after the family f murder victim Mark Nurse complained that his body has been in the mortuary on ice more than two weeks after his death. Nurse, who was an MI4 security officer, was Tobago’s tenth murder victim for 2019. He was shot dead on December 19 in Carnbee. His wife, Clarissa Joseph-Nurse told Newsday she is unable to complete funeral arrangement as he is yet to have an autopsy. Police said they are struggling to get a forensic pathologist from Trinidad to come over to Tobago. Read more here

Charles tells supporters to ‘stay on track’

Leader of the To­ba­go Coun­cil of the Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment (PNM) Kelvin Charles is call­ing on the par­ty’s faith­ful to re-elect him as the leader. Charles made the call last Sun­day (Jan­u­ary 5) when he of­fi­cial­ly launched his cam­paign with a cook­ing com­pe­ti­tion at the Black Rock Hard Court. As the in­cum­bent Charles urged par­ty mem­bers to “stay on track,” ad­vis­ing them that they should not change a vi­sion in mid­stream as his team has just be­gun to work. Read more here



Govt seeks new TSTT chairman

Government is in the process of identifying a new chairman for the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), Public Utilities Minister Robert LeHunte said yesterday. Read more here



Attack Dog - ‘Progress’ In Wooing Campbell To Unleash On JLP; Bunting Offers Social-Media Arsenal For Election

The leadership of the People’s National Party (PNP) is now in talks with firebrand member of parliament for St Ann North West, Dr Dayton Campbell, with a view to determining a role for him – perhaps as an attack dog on the Holness administration – in the run-up to the general election expected this year. Campbell was the campaign manager for Peter Bunting’s unsuccessful Rise United team in the 2019 PNP leadership race. Campbell was highly critical of incumbent Dr Peter Phillips and his stewardship of the 81-year-old party, calling him unelectable. The former spokesman on health would be axed in a reshuffle of the shadow Cabinet the party president announced weeks after the September 8 internal poll. Read more here

$10M White Water Nursery opens

Scores of children from White Water, Region 1, began their first day of school in a newly-extended building with improved facilities, marking the first school day in the Decade of Development. White Water Nursery Annexe sits in a quiet Indigenous village in the Barima-Waini Region, 45 minutes away from central Mabaruma. Residents of the picturesque community were in high praise of the new school building and shared their hopes for the future of the education system in Region 1. Benedict Oselma said he was most grateful for the government’s gift to the village and wished to see engineers, doctors, and business owners emerge from the hinterland community. Read more here



China doesn't want war, but Trump's strike against Iran could present an opportunity to Beijing

Located thousands of feet up in the Central Asian mountains, Bishkek is not usually considered a place where international policy is made. Last June, however, world leaders flocked to the capital of Kyrgyzstan for a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a key regional security and political alliance. Attendees included Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, as well as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, with whom they posed alongside in photos from the event. It was a pertinent reminder of Tehran's strong ties with two of the world's foremost powers, further underlined when the three countries held joint naval exercises near the strategically vital Strait of Hormuz in the Indian Ocean last month. Read more here

Soleimani: Stampede kills at least 35 mourners at commander's burial

At least 35 people have been killed in a stampede as Iranians flocked to the burial of a top commander killed in a US drone strike, Iranian media report. The deaths led to the postponement of Qasem Soleimani's burial. A new time will be announced later, officials say. Soleimani is being laid to rest in his hometown of Kerman with millions already estimated to have packed the streets for funeral processions. His killing has raised fears of a conflict between the US and Iran. Soleimani was widely considered the second most powerful man in Iran behind Supreme Leader Khamenei. The US saw him as a terrorist and a threat to American troops. President Trump adopted a tough stance against Iran after his election and Tehran responded with their own campaign. Tensions were raised further last month after the US attacked an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq it blamed for attacks on US forces. It is unclear what caused the stampede in Kerman, south-eastern Iran, but vast numbers of people were in the streets ahead of Soleimani's planned burial. More than 48 others were injured, state media reported. Soleimani had been due to be buried on Tuesday morning. Read more here

7th January 2020


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