Daily Brief - Wednesday 13th January, 2021


Rescued woman's sister thanks saviours

The sister of the 31-year-old woman rescued from a burning house has thanked members of the Oudit family for "doing the right thing," saying they went "above and beyond." Maya Mason said, "For the neighbours who went above and beyond to save her, we (relatives) thank them. She could have died. At the end of the day, they saved a life. It is the right thing that they did. We are glad that someone was there (to help)." Read more here

Patient contracts COVID-19 at hospital and dies

A patient died from a COVID-19 infection at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital yesterday and is believed to have contracted it while being warded there during a recent outbreak in the ward. Guardian Media understands that the elderly patient, who had comorbidities, was admitted and warded in the old COSTAATT building on December 22 where he was when its third outbreak occurred. Last week, president of the T&T Registered Nurses Association (TTRNA) Idi Stuart indicated that some 25 nurses and other staff attached to the ward were placed on immediate quarantine leave over two weeks. Since then, at least five have tested positive along with three patients.  Read more here



PM leads Caricom talks on Guyana-Venezuela dispute

The Prime Minister's first act on resuming work was to direct Caricom to express its full support for Guyana and condemn acts of aggression by Venezuela in its ongoing border dispute with Guyana. Dr Rowley's first order of business on Tuesday was chairing a virtual meeting of Caricom on the issue. He became Caricom chairman earlier this month. On the Office of the Prime Minister's (OPM) Facebook page and his personal Facebook page, there was a picture of Rowley in his office, in front of a computer, chairing the virtual meeting, with a brief statement. Read more here

New senator wants Govt to understand criminal justice system

Codifying rules already governing the Evidence Act will not make it better. That is the view of the United National Congress (UNC) temporary senator and criminal attorney Renuka Rambhajan made during her contribution to the Evidence (Amendment) Act in Senate yesterday. Senate debated the Evidence (Amendment) Act which seeks to provide for the use of different identification procedures, interviews and oral admissions, special measures evidence by video link. Read more here



Imbert: Teething problems ironed out

Finance Minister Colm Imbert said yesterday that “most of the teething problems” associated with the rollout of the Asycuda Version Four 2.2.4 system have been resolved. Read more here



Lawrence-Bond ‘connection’ under scrutiny by SOCU

Former Minister of Public Health and chairperson of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R), Volda Lawrence, made an appearance at the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) headquarters on Tuesday morning. Speaking to members of the media outside the Camp Road, Georgetown location, Lawrence said that her visit to SOCU pertained to clarifying a transaction with her name attached to it. “It’s not anything really, it’s just a clarification of a transaction that had my name on it and that was basically it; I decided that I will come in, I wouldn’t speak to people on the phone because I don’t know who I‘m talking to,” Lawrence said. Read more here

Gov’t Urged To Take Steps To Recover Millions Paid To Dead Pensioners

The Accountant General’s Department (AcGD) has come under the microscope of the country’s chief guardian of public expenditure for paying out millions to pensioners up to seven months after they have died. Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis stated in her annual report, tabled in Parliament yesterday, that her department found instances in which the AcGD paid a total of $1.8 million to 25 pensioners, seven months after the expiration of their life certificates and acknowledgement of their deaths. Read more here



Sinovac: Brazil results show Chinese vaccine 50.4% effective

A coronavirus vaccine developed by China's Sinovac has been found to be 50.4% effective in Brazilian clinical trials, according to the latest results released by researchers. It shows the vaccine is significantly less effective than previous data suggested - barely over the 50% needed for regulatory approval. The Chinese vaccine is one of two that the Brazilian government has lined up. Brazil has been one of the countries worst affected by Covid-19. Read more here

Trump's turbulent and lawless presidency will end with historic second impeachment

The fateful moment when the House of Representatives on Wednesday impeaches President Donald Trump for a second time will rank among the defining moments of America's story long after the citizens enduring these harrowing, tragic days are gone. A cascade of bewildering episodes -- starting with Trump's refusal to accept his election defeat and encompassing his incitement of a mob assault on Congress -- has shattered long-held assumptions of the unassailability of government by the people, for the people. Save for the fracturing of the union before the Civil War, this country's system of political checks and balances has never before been under the kind of strain imposed by an autocratic President desperate to cling to power. Read more here

13th January 2021


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