Daily Brief - Wednesday 20th February, 2019

NEWS

Dealers: Scrap iron industry on verge of collapse

The scrap iron industry is on the verge of collapse says the TT Scrap Iron Dealers Association as their licenses to operate have been delayed due to a new requirement from the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) for a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC). At a media conference at Signature Hall, Longdenville, Chaguanas on Monday, association president Allan Ferguson said they were informed about the new requirement in late December 2018 although several prior meetings had been held with the EMA. He said license renewals took place in January and a CEC took about six months before it was issued. Read more here

Chinese sex ring suspects freed, re-arrested

The in­abil­i­ty of the po­lice to quick­ly find for­eign lan­guage trans­la­tors has led to the tem­po­rary re­lease of three Chi­nese men sus­pect­ed of child pros­ti­tu­tion. High Court Judge David Har­ris yes­ter­day up­held the trio’s habeas cor­pus ap­pli­ca­tions af­ter po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tors failed to give an of­fi­cial ex­pla­na­tion over de­lays in charg­ing the men since they were ar­rest­ed al­most two weeks ago. How­ev­er, the trio, who can­not be named un­til they are charged, on­ly claimed a mi­nor vic­to­ry as they were all im­me­di­ate­ly re­ar­rest­ed by Im­mi­gra­tion Di­vi­sion of­fi­cials for al­leged­ly over­stay­ing their time in T&T. Read more here

 

POLITICS

President: Social justice a high priority

As TT joins the rest of the world in celebrating World Day of Social Justice today, President Paula-Mae Weekes has said matters of equal opportunity for employment remain a high priority in TT. In a release issued by the Office of the President this afternoon, Weekes said social justice forms the basis of any peaceful and progressive society, with values of fairness, equality and justice. Read more here

PM delivers homes to Merikin descendants

While the as­pi­ra­tion for 180,000 cit­i­zens is the se­cu­ri­ty of a home from the Hous­ing De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (HDC), Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley says that dream may nev­er be a re­al­i­ty for many. It was be­cause while the Gov­ern­ment looks for more mon­ey to fund sub­sidised State-hous­ing, he says there is less than be­fore. Speak­ing in the Merikins Vil­lage along Samuel Coop­er Road, Fifth Com­pa­ny Moru­ga, on Mon­day evening, Row­ley said it was wor­ri­some that peo­ple who can­not pay for a home were con­fined to per­ma­nence in harsh cir­cum­stances. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Two exporters still owed $$ by Venezuela

Two of the 12 exporters of 12.6 tonnes of goods worth US$26.9million to Venezuela are still owed money, Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon confirmed last week. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

UTech On Edge - Staff Threaten Action Over Gov’t Subvention

With disquiet growing among members of staff at the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech), its president, Professor Stephen Vasciannie, is urging them to remain patient as negotiations continue over the government subvention granted to the institution. “Our view is that detailed, patient, careful negotiation will lead to a result that reflects the importance of the University of Technology and its employees to national development and economic growth. We also believe that a proper adjustment of the subvention will reflect an acknowledgment of fairness in industrial relations,” Vasciannie told The Gleaner, citing that the institution’s administration is optimistic about the outcome. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Catholic cardinals urge end of 'homosexual agenda'

Two prominent Roman Catholic Church cardinals have urged an end of what they call "the plague of the homosexual agenda", telling bishops to break their complicity over cases of sexual abuse. In an open letter, Cardinals Burke and Brandmüller say the Church has wrongly blamed the abuse of power by clergy as the main cause of the scandals. Instead, they say the cases involve priests who have "gone away from the truth of the Gospel". They also openly criticise the Pope. Stories of sexual abuse of minors have emerged across the world and the Church has been accused of covering up crimes committed by priests. Read more here

Facing an aggressive Beijing, Taiwan's president issues a warning to the world

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has sent out a warning to Asia in the face of mounting aggression from Beijing. In an exclusive interview with CNN, Tsai said the military threat posed by China was growing "every day" in line with a more assertive foreign policy under its President Xi Jinping. "If it's Taiwan today, people should ask who's next? Any country in the region -- if it no longer wants to submit to the will of China, they would face similar military threats," said Tsai. Taiwan and China are separated by fewer than 130 kilometers (81 miles) at their closest point. For seven decades, the two have maintained an uneasy truce following their split at the end of a destructive civil war in 1949. Read more here

20th February 2019

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