Daily Brief - Wednesday 16th December, 2020

NEWS

Caribbean Airlines extends temporary layoffs

Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL) has extended the temporary layoffs of some of its employees for an additional three months from January 15-April 15, 2021. An internal memo sent to staff by CAL CEO Garvin Medera, obtained by Newsday on Tuesday, said the company must continue to “keep costs (at) an absolute minimum” while it awaits the reopening of the country's borders. Read more here

Students deliver letter to T&T’s Caracas embassy

A group of university students led by Venezuelan opposition politician Edwin Luzardo delivered a letter to the Trinidad and Tobago Embassy in Caracas yesterday, demanding an end to “the mistreatment of Venezuelans.” The group also called for “justice, respect for the lives of all Venezuelan migrants” and urged the T&T authorities not to continue to be “accomplices of the Nicolás Maduro regime for crimes against humanity, for not complying with international treaties for the protection of refugees.” Read more here

 

POLITICS

Khan: Three probes into NP explosion

Energy Minister Franklin Khan on Tuesday said three independent investigations are under way into the recent explosion at a fuel tank at the Sea Lots compound of NP, replying to an urgent question in the Senate by Opposition Senator Wade Mark. Khan said three men had been hospitalised after the December 11 explosion, since when two have since been discharged while one remains warded. Read more here

Young: Migrant monitoring measures increased

Deliberately targetted operations have been intensified against people involved in human smuggling and trafficking—and more than 10 people, including some law enforcement members, have appeared before T&T’s courts, National Security Minister Stuart Young said yesterday. He gave the reply to Opposition queries in the Senate following the recent incident where a Venezuelan boat overturned seven miles off Guiria in Venezuelan waters, killing a reported 20 people. The vessel was reportedly headed to T&T. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

NGC margins crushed by low commodity prices says Energy Minister

Energy minister Franklin Khan revealed that there was a dramatic drop in the profit margins at the State-owned National Gas Company. Questioned during the oral question segment in Senate yesterday by Opposition Senator Wade Mark about the NGC’s profitability, Khan confirmed that NGC’s margins dipped from 22 per cent in 2018 to a mere 7 per cent in 2019. Read more here

 

REGIONAL
Identity Law Controversy A Lesson To All, Says PM

A new National Identification and Registration Act, 2020 (NIDS), was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday with significant departures from the previous controversial law that was struck down by the Supreme Court on April 20, 2019, as unconstitutional. The bill has been referred to a joint select committee of Parliament for deliberations. The previous law that was ruled unconstitutional by the courts was not reviewed by a joint select committee despite requests from civil society and the parliamentary Opposition. Read more here

Think tank formed

Several key issues such as security, electoral and constitutional reforms and national unity took centre stage when President, Dr. Irfaan Ali met with several former Presidents of Guyana at State House on Tuesday. Due to the headway following the initial discussions, it was decided that the group will now meet quarterly. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

McConnell sets stage for new face-off with Biden after delivering blow to Trump's election fantasy

President Donald Trump is now learning, in the words of his Rolling Stones campaign anthem, that he can't always get what he wants. Sen. Mitch McConnell, on the other hand, usually does. The Republican Senate majority leader chose Tuesday, the day after the Electoral College affirmed President-elect Joe Biden's victory, as the moment to pull the floor out from under the defeated President. He belatedly congratulated his old Senate colleague 38 days after his election victory that Trump still denies. Read more here

Covid-19: Europeans urged to wear masks for family Christmas

The World Health Organization has urged Europeans to wear masks during family gatherings at Christmas. It said Europe was at "high risk" of a new wave of coronavirus infections in the early part of 2021, as transmission of the virus remained high. Countries across the continent have been registering thousands of daily cases and hundreds of deaths. Germany was among countries tightening restrictions on Wednesday, closing schools and non-essential businesses. Meanwhile European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the first Covid vaccine would be authorised for use within a week. Read more here

16th December 2020

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