Daily Brief - Wednesday 28th February, 2018


Palo Seco teen feared drowned

Christian Houston died a hero, losing his life as he tried to save the life of his cousin. Now, his grief stricken mother walks the shoreline between Los Iros and Sobo beaches every day, searching for his body. Houston, 20, a construction worker from Palo Seco is believed to have drowned on February 17, during an outing with relatives at Los Iros beach. According to reports, Houston dived into the water when he heard his cousin, Tonia Cedeno screaming for help. Cedeno, 19 and her friend had been swept into the ocean by strong currents when they went into the water to wash their feet. Read more here

Fake model agency rape accused claims police beat him

A man from Cunupia, who allegedly posed as a professional photographer in order to lure aspiring models to him before sexually assaulting them, has claimed he was beaten by police while in custody. Attorney Nicholas Rampersadsingh made the claim as his client, Christopher Bernard, also known as Kyle Romiah, appeared in the Tunapuna Magistrate’s Court charged with indecent assault and grievous sexual assault. Read more here

Petrotrin to seize A&V's oilfield by noon

The defeat in the Privy Council on Tuesday means A&V Oil and Gas has exhausted its legal options, which attempted to prevent Petrotrin from terminating its multi-million dollar contract as a result of the findings of an Internal Report. As a result, the State-owned company as a announced that by noon Wednesday, it will be taking possession of A&V's Cathill Field. Read more here



SSA pilots’ protests leaves Suruj concerned

Tabaquite MP Dr Surujrattan Rambachan yesterday expressed “deepest concern” over the refusal of pilots attached to the SSA (Strategic Services Agency) to report for duty. He condemned Government for its mismanagement and abject tardiness in making available the funds to pay the pilots. Again, Rambachan said in an emailed press release, government was showing its incompetence and more significantly its tardiness has compromised National Security at a time the government itself claims that there are serious threats to the nation’s security due to possible terrorist activities. Read more here

Cheque ready for chopper pilots—Dillon

A cheque has already been prepared to pay helicopter pilots attached to the Strategic Services Agency (SSA) Air Division, National Security Minister Edmund Dillon said yesterday. Speaking to the Guardian during a tour at Bamboo Village, Cedros, Dillon said arrangements have already been made to pay the pilots for the months of November, December and January. Asked why the pilots had not been paid, Dillon said this matter was under investigation. Read more here

No big cost to taxpayers for ferry upgrade

Taxpayers will not be saddled with the entire bill for upgrades to the Galleons Passage ferry, due to take place in Cuba, Finance Minister Colm Imbert has said. 
The newly built passenger vessel, bought by the Government last month to service the Trinidad and Tobago seabridge, has left the Bonny Fair shipyard in China for Port of Spain and is expected in local waters by April 28. Read more here



Microsoft country manager: Increase innovation to boost T&T’s economy

Microsoft’s country manager for T&T, Racquel Moses yesterday called for innovative initiatives in Information Technology to be increased to provide a much needed boost to T&T’s economy. Moses added that currently there was too much underexploited talent in T&T. Acknowledging that T&T has a presence of innovation projects/programmes as well as the talent to support it, she said this means that as a country, T&T’s rank on the ease of doing business index should be higher. Read more here

Crime hampering business growth

Crime is hampering the growth of businesses in Couva/Point Lisas, so much so that businessmen choose to lose an extra dollar by closing their doors earlier than usual instead of risking their lives and safety by remaining open after dark. President of the Couva/Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce, Ramchand Rajbal Maraj is not too pleased about this development. Read more here



‘Nation In Crisis’ - Greater Accountability Needed To Tackle Crime, Says Overton

Retired Lieutenant Commander George Overton believes that despite a number of plans and strategies to address crime and violence, there needs to be more accountability regarding implementation. “We are a nation in crisis. Crime, violence, lawlessness and disorder are overtaking us, and we don’t have anything (accountability),” noted Overton as he weighed in at The Gleaner’s Jamaica Under Labour Stakeholder Forum recently. He made reference to Jamaica’s national development plan, Vision 2030, which he said speaks to “all of these things”. But he argued, “Vision 2030 has no owner, it has no driver.” Read more here



Kushner, Russia bombshells rock the White House

A volley of stunning revelations over Jared Kushner and the Russia probe are rocking Donald Trump's inner circle and suggest a pivotal moment is at hand in the West Wing personnel wars that have raged throughout his presidency. First, it emerged Tuesday that chief of staff John Kelly downgraded the top secret security clearance for the President's son-in-law in a bid to clear up a scandal over whether top administration players are qualified to access the most sensitive intelligence. Read more here

N Korea 'providing materials to Syria chemical weapons factories'

North Korea has been sending equipment to Syria that could be used to make chemical weapons, a UN report says. Some 40 previously unreported shipments were made between 2012 and 2017, the report found. Materials included acid-resistant tiles, valves and pipes. The report - yet to be released - said N Korean missile specialists had been seen at Syrian weapon-making centres. Read more here

28th February 2018


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