Daily Brief - Wednesday 10th June, 2020

NEWS

SWRHA rubbishes covid19 cases social media claim

The South-West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) has rubbished a social media report claiming there were two alleged cases of covid19 at the San Fernando Teaching Hospital. The SWRHA in a media release Tuesday stated that it took note of the social media report on a website on June 9, 2020. “The SWRHA advises that the details contained in the report are inaccurate and non-reflective of the true nature of communications amongst medical professionals at the institution. Read more here

Black Lives protester sorry for incident with cop

This was the apology offered yesterday by Ian Smart for pulling a cap off a policeman’s head during the Black Lives Movement protest in Trinidad and Tobago at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Monday. Smart is the son of former attorney general Anthony Smart, the current chairman of state-owned bank First Citizens, and is the managing director of Smart Energy Limited and head of the non-profit organisation We Green Army. Monday’s mostly peaceful protest was marred by the incident involving Smart that took place after protesters confronted a police officer who was videotaping the demonstration, saying he could not film the proceedings without their permission. While the policeman faced off with a female protester, Smart grabbed the officer’s cap off of his head and raised his middle fingers at him before running away. Read more here

 

POLITICS

PM: State has saved billions on projects

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has boasted that his Government saved billions of dollars on several projects since coming into office in 2015. As he officially opened the Curepe Interchange on Monday, Rowley listed several projects that were already on the table before the 2015 general elections but which carried much higher costs, including the highway extension to Point Fortin and the Curepe Interchange. On the highway extension to Point Fortin project alone, Rowley said the Government was able to save some $3 billion. On the Curepe Interchange, he said the Government saved $200 million. Read more here

Minister: Early start to flood-prevention project

Phase Four of the Ministry of Works and Transport’s de-silting project has begun almost two months earlier than usual. Minister of Works Rohan Sinanan said phase four of the annual drainage project usually began in mid to late July but the ministry got the final funding for that part of the programme, $15 million, from the Ministry of Finance on Friday. As a result, work began in north Trinidad from Chaguaramas to Valencia on Saturday. Work is scheduled to begin in south, central and east on Monday. Speaking to the media after the launch of the Western Main Road Project at the Chaguaramas Bay on Saturday, Sinanan explained that phase one included the most critical areas and each successive phase addressed less vulnerable areas. He said a total of 400 projects were identified and phase four had 103 projects. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

NFM’s Q1 profits explode

With very little fanfare, majority State-owned National Flour Mills Ltd (NFM) has become the talk of local corporate certain, reporting after-tax profit that increased by 73.8 per cent in its first quarter that caused its share price to jump by more than 40 per cent this year, making the flour and oil. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

‘Bad Mind!’ - St Ann’s Bay Mayor Blasts Critics Of COVID Spend, Porsche Charging Station

ST ANN?S Bay Mayor Michael Belnavis has labelled as ?bad-mind? detractors who have mounted a withering campaign against him since news broke of the reported $46m COVID-19 expenditure on sanitising the town of Ocho Rios and the $80,000 charging port installed at the municipal office to charge his Porsche motor car. At a press conference at the mayor?s office on Tuesday, Belnavis also hit out at Opposition Spokesman on Local Government and Community Development Natalie Neita, charging that she was ignorant of municipal legislation. The embattled Ocho Rios division councillor and chairman of the St Ann Municipal Corporation has threatened legal action, claiming he was libelled by Neita?s utterances. Read more here

‘No winner declared as yet’

Celebrating victory at this stage of the national recount process is premature, and even the People’s Progressive Party/C Civic, which previously did such, has come to realise that the four stages of the process must be respected. The recount shows the PPP/C in the lead by 15,416 votes but has unearthed massive irregularities and alleged cases of electoral fraud which the APNU+AFC estimates have compromised 90,000 votes. Nonetheless, on June 7, when the recount was completed and tabulation continued, a crowd of PPP/C supporters, egged on by their leaders, celebrated victory. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

A world away from Washington, loyal supporters stand by the President in Trump country

Some of President Donald Trump's loyal supporters are becoming well-practiced in the art of forgiveness, saying they are drawn to his record and willing to overlook his rhetoric. "I think his personality is hard to deal with, his way of handling people is difficult," said Karen Deeter, a Florida retiree who moved here from Illinois. "He's not a politician, but he's gotten some things done." After one of the most controversial weeks of his presidency, as the nation navigates the interwoven crisis of racial injustice, a crippled economy and a still-flaring pandemic, signs of his reelection are blossoming in Trump country, which more than ever these days feels like a world away from Washington. Trump faces significant headwinds, polls suggest, as his advisers scramble to adapt to the challenging political climate. Read more here

Mumbai overtakes Wuhan peak as India Covid cases spike

India's financial capital, Mumbai, has recorded 51,000 cases of Covid, taking it past the peak in Wuhan, where the virus first emerged. The news comes amid a surge of infections in India, which has 266,598 confirmed cases. Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, has 90,000 of them. Infections are also spiking in the capital Delhi, where authorities have said they expect to see more than half a million cases by the end of July. The surge coincides with India's decision to relax restrictions after three months of a stringent lockdown that was intended to curb the spread of the virus. Read more here

10th June 2020

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