Daily Brief - Tuesday 7th May, 2019

NEWS

Yoshabell Foundation helps special needs families

Thirty bags of personal care supplies have been distributed to the attendees of the Tobago Technical Vocational Centre for Persons with Disabilities, commonly referred to as the Tech Voc Centre in Bon Accord, by Yoshabell Foundation. The presentation was done by Yoshabell Foundation’s president and founder Maria Nelson-Santana. She said, “At Yoshabell’s Foundation, we are giving back to these young adults. We have been doing this for the past three years, so every year we come back here and it’s indeed a pleasure. We give out personal care suppliers and clothing.” Nelson-Santana said the foundation hosts an annual bingo fund-raising event in the month of October. Read more here

100 new mental cases at Sando hospital every month

Every month more than a hun­dred new peo­ple are be­ing ad­mit­ted to the men­tal health clin­ic of the San Fer­nan­do Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal, many of whom are chil­dren. This star­tling rev­e­la­tion was made by the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the South­west Re­gion­al Health Au­thor­i­ty Kei­th Mc­Don­ald dur­ing the launch of a men­tal aware­ness sem­i­nar held at the Carnegie Free Li­brary in San Fer­nan­do on Mon­day. Mc­Don­ald said de­pres­sion and oth­er men­tal health dis­or­ders are no longer adult ail­ments but are af­fect­ing scores of chil­dren across the coun­try. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Culture Minister urges girls to get into politics

Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly is encouraging girls to consider politics as a way of being patriotic and serving their country. At the DigiGirlz Day event at the Microsoft office in St James on Saturday, she said patriots showed their love for their country by seeking to serve and improve it. She acknowledged that being an MP or a politician was not easy because it was a lot of work and, because politicians performed at a national level, it opened an individual up to criticism without an opportunity to explain or defend themselves. But she told the audience, they should not close themselves off to a life of public service because it was an important job that allowed them to make policies. Gadsby-Dolly said the policymakers ran the country and TT needed good, strong, educated, committed leaders. Read more here

PM: DPP will decide on A&V Drilling case

The same Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions who “con­duct­ed his busi­ness” the way he did last week - with two UNC mem­bers- and al­so did it again yes­ter­day is the same DPP who has in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing the A&V Drilling al­leged “fake oil” is­sue. That was Prime Min­is­ter Kei­th Row­ley’s re­sponse to the Op­po­si­tion in Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day when he was grilled about why there was no foren­sic au­dit in­to the A&V Drilling/oil is­sue. The mat­ter was bro­ken by the Op­po­si­tion in 2017. In­ter­nal au­dit claims had emerged that A&V Drilling, re­ceived mil­li­ons of dol­lars from Petrotrin but failed to sup­ply the vol­ume of oil promised. Row­ley had ac­knowl­edged the com­pa­ny’s own­er was his friend. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

TSTT wage bill declining

Majority State-owned telecommunications provider TSTT says its wage bill has been reduced from over 30 per cent of revenue to 20 per cent of revenue, as a result of last year’s job cuts. “We now have a restructured organisation designed into four clear lines of business, with end-to-end responsibility for accountability and profitability,” TSTT chairman Robert Mayers told the Joint Select Committee of Parliament on State Enterprises yesterday. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Pain Relief - Gov’t To Pump Millions Into Outsourcing Surgeries, Tests To Reduce Hospital Wait Times

The Government plans to roll out a multimillion-dollar spend to clear the backlog of public-sector patients languishing from the wait for diagnostic tests and non-emergency surgeries by outsourcing healthcare to private practitioners, free of charge to the public. Lengthy wait times for surgery have been the bane of Jamaica’s public health system, with patients sometimes waiting months – or even years – for operations that rank low in priority compared to crisis cases involving injuries caused by gun violence, heart attacks, and other life-threatening illnesses. Public hospitals are often under-resourced, and even when they are outfitted with equipment, inadequate maintenance schedules and financing cause them to fall into disrepair, exacerbating delays and causing mass cancellations. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Turkey's Erdogan defends Istanbul election re-run amid protests

Istanbul's mayoral election was affected by "organised crime and serious corruption", Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says. Mr Erdogan was defending the decision to re-run the 31 March vote, which returned a slim win for the opposition. Opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu, who has been stripped of his duties, described the move as "treacherous". The European Parliament also said the decision would end the credibility of democratic elections in Turkey. The decision to hold a new vote, which will be held on 23 June, sparked protests across the city on Monday. Hundreds of people gathered in several districts, banging pots and pans and shouting anti-government slogans. The opposition sees the move by the electoral authorities as bowing to Mr Erdogan's pressure, says the BBC's correspondent Mark Lowen. Read more here

US trade officials say Trump's tariff threat is real

The top US trade negotiator said Monday that the Trump administration will be moving forward on President Donald Trump's threat to escalate tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods effective Friday. Speaking to reporters in Washington, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said China reneged on previous agreements over the weekend, derailing months of progress toward a detailed trade agreement between the world's two largest economies. As of Friday, penalties on $200 billion of Chinese goods will be lifted to 25% from 10%, as Trump tweeted on Sunday. Read more here

7th May 2019

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