Daily Brief - Wednesday 1st May, 2019

NEWS

Telephone nos for help 'unreachable'

While chairman of Lifeline TT Lucy Gabriel yesterday comfirmed that the number of people calling Lifeline TT or other organisations which help suicidal people, has increased dramatically, none of the numbers posted on the Ministry of Health's website are reachable. All calls to the Mental Health Unit at the North Central Regional Health Authority at 645-3232 ext 2542; Alive suicide hotline at 689-8525 and 650-5270; and the Mental Health Information Centre at 685-9126 ext 2577, 2571 and 2573, went to recordings. Read more here

RIC director: Less complaints against WASA

In the height of the dry sea­son where some com­mu­ni­ties have been suf­fer­ing for wa­ter, the Reg­u­lat­ed In­dus­tries Com­mis­sion (RIC) has record­ed few­er com­plaints from the Wa­ter and Sew­er­age Au­thor­i­ty (WASA) cus­tomers about its de­liv­ery of ser­vice and in­ad­e­quate wa­ter sup­ply. Con­fir­ma­tion came yes­ter­day from ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the RIC Dr James Lee Young dur­ing an in­ter­view with Guardian Me­dia as UNC ac­tivist De­vant Ma­haraj in a What­sapp mes­sage to the me­dia called on cus­tomers of WASA in Cen­tral and South, who have not been re­ceiv­ing wa­ter in their taps for weeks, to boy­cott pay­ing the State-owned wa­ter com­pa­ny. The RIC is a statu­to­ry body that reg­u­lates wa­ter, waste wa­ter and elec­tric­i­ty sec­tors and is re­spon­si­ble for pro­tect­ing con­sumers’ in­ter­est while at the same time en­sur­ing that ser­vice providers have ad­e­quate re­sources to pro­vide the high­est qual­i­ty of ser­vice to cus­tomers. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Brooks: More gas for TT

GAS supply in TT has improved considerably. National Gas Company (NGC) chairman Gerry Brooks made this comment at a TT NGL annual general meeting at the Hilton Trinidad yesterday. Brooks recalled that from 2013 to 2015, gas production in TT had diminished from 4.4 billon cubic feet (bcf) to 2.2 bcf and was “falling precipituously.” He said NGC was able to stem this decline by collaborating with upstream energy producers. Brooks said this resulted in 2018 being the highest year for provision of natural gas since 2013. He said gas from the Trinidad Onshore Compression Project, Juniper, Starfish and DeNovo fields played a role in “getting out of that trough.” When bpTT’s Angelin field comes onstream later this year, Brooks said, “That will help us in terms of replenishment and improvement.” The objective is to get gas production up to four bcf and then 4.2 bcf. Read more here

Young wants to deny illegal gun users bail

No bail for hold­ers of il­le­gal firearms! That’s part of pro­posed leg­is­la­tion to be brought to Par­lia­ment soon, says Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young. He spoke of the leg­is­la­tion in the Sen­ate yes­ter­day af­ter Op­po­si­tion ques­tions on the re­cent up­surge in crime when 10 peo­ple were shot and six died. (See ed­i­to­r­i­al on Page A16)

Young said the deaths were caused by use of firearms. “Gov­ern­ment in­tends to short­ly bring par­tic­u­lar leg­is­la­tion to deal with the scourge of il­le­gal firearms. This leg­is­la­tion is specif­i­cal­ly to deal with those who want to car­ry il­le­gal firearms and to deal with tak­ing away their right to bail for be­ing in pos­ses­sion of il­le­gal firearms,” Young said. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Where are the promised US$ dividends?

Trinidad and Tobago NGL Ltd (TTNGL) is awaiting word from Finance Minister Colm Imbert on a second request on whether the publicly-listed company can pay its shareholders in US dollars, the currency in which TTNGL normally conducts its business. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Relief! - Leaders Hope State Of Emergency Will Drive Down Murders In Wild West

Western Jamaica civic and business leaders yesterday breathed a collective sigh of relief as Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared a state of public emergency (SOE), blanketing St James, Hanover, and Westmoreland, in a bid to curtail rampant crime in the three parishes. Tourism interests, municipal authorities, and everyday citizens welcomed the news that the parishes, which collectively recorded 105 murders up to April 22, would see a significant boost in resources to aid the crime fight. Not counting Kingston and St Andrew with a per-capita murder rate of 21/100,000, Hanover, St James, and Westmoreland have the three highest homicide rates in the country this year, Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson said yesterday. Read more here

Streets of Rage

The streets of Venezuela's capital Caracas was stained with blood and littered with tear gas cannisters as Opposition leader Juan Guaidó took a bold step to lead a coup attempt to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro and his regime. Guaido took to the streets as he called for a military uprising which drew quick support from the Trump administration but also fierce resistance from forces loyal to embattled socialist Maduro. Violent street battles erupted in parts of Caracas in what was the most serious challenge yet to Maduro's rule — kicked off with a video shot at dawn of Guaidó, flanked by several heavily armed national guardsmen, urging a final push to topple Maduro. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

William Barr is in deep trouble

Attorney General William Barr did two strange things between the time he received special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and when he released it to Congress and the public. The first came on March 24 when, two days after receiving the Mueller report, Barr released a four-page summary letter in which he made clear his conclusion that the report found no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians and that Mueller hadn't made any recommendation as to whether President Donald Trump should be charged with obstructing justice. Read more here

Libya ‘war crimes’ videos shared on social media

An investigation by BBC Arabic has found evidence of alleged war crimes in Libya being widely shared on Facebook and YouTube. The BBC found images and videos on social media of the bodies of fighters and civilians being desecrated by fighters from the self-styled Libyan National Army. The force, led by strongman General Khalifa Haftar, controls a swathe of territory in the east of Libya and is trying to seize the capital, Tripoli. Read more here

1st May 2019

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