Daily Brief - Wednesday 20th May, 2020


Temple in the Sea untouched

With so many people forced into their homes by stay-at-home measures enacted to slow the spread of covid19, nature – the land, sea, rivers, flora and fauna – has had a chance to “recuperate” over the last few weeks in TT. The same restrictions have limited visitors to Trinidad and Tobago's major historical sites, usually bustling with the activity of tourists, students, tour guides and others trying to experience a part of our country's history. Read more here

Explosion at T&TEC substation causes blackout in PoS

An explosion at a T&TEC substation along the Eastern Main Road in Port-of-Spain caused a blackout in the capital on Tuesday night. According to reports, a transformer at the substation near the Port-of-Spain Abbatoir exploded just before 7 pm. This triggered islandwide power dips across Trinidad and the electricity supply for customers supplied from the substation was interrupted. Read more here



Independent Senator: For too long animal cruelty in TT unpunished

For too long brutal acts of animal cruelty and abuse of animals in TT has gone unpunished, said Independent Senator Charrise Seepersad. "Animals cannot speak for themselves. We will speak for them." She was contributing to debate on The Animal (Disease and Importation) (Amendment) Bill. Seepersad said effective legislation was also needed in terms of fireworks use as it caused fear in domestic animals, farm animals and other wildlife. She pointed out that the hearing of these animals were much more sensitive than humans. She said the law for sellers of fireworks should carry harsh penalties and enforcement cannot be selective but must be a deterrent. Read more here

Fuad tipped to return for UNC in Barataria-San Juan

The United National Congress yesterday screened nominees for St Joseph, Tabaquite, Laventille East and West and Naparima, the party confirmed. UNC officials also said the front-runner in Barataria San Juan is incumbent Dr Fuad Khan. UNC officials said Tabaquite nominees included community development officer Reynold Siewdass, former television show producer Rishi Harrinanan and UNC national executive officer Ravi Ratiram. UNC senator Anita Haynes was also expected in the line-up. Read more here



Mottley: Some countries will restructure, some will fall apart

The CARICOM Chair and Barbados Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, has expressed that in the midst of COVID-19, some small island developing states will successfully re-engineer their economies, while some will collapse thereby having a ripple effect on the nation and world. Speaking in her address to the 73rd World Health Assembly, Mottley said: “Many countries will either have an orderly restructuring of debt or at the very least a debt moratorium that provides certainty for both the borrower and the lender, or they will have a disorderly unravelling that will create a crisis both within their respective countries and within the global financial markets.” Read more here

Consider new financing mechanisms

The University of the West Indies (UWI) St Augustine economist Dr Valmikki Arjoon has suggested Government should consider establishing a liquidity swap line with the US Federal Reserve to help the country access more US-dollar financing. Read more here



76 ballot boxes processed on Tuesday …the highest on any given day since recount started


The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Tuesday recorded a significant increase in the number of ballot boxes processed in a single day since the National Recount of the votes cast at the General and Regional Elections commenced. At the close of operations at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) on Tuesday (Day 14), a total of 76 ballot boxes were processed: 18 from Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara); 14 from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica); 18 from Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice); 18 from Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne); and eight (8) from Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni). Overall, 718 ballot boxes from a total of 2,339 have been processed since the recount was initiated on May 6 by GECOM, under Article 162 of the Constitution of Guyana and Section 22 of the Elections Law (Amendment) Act. Read more here

#JamaicaTogether Promo | Mark Kerr-Jarrett

We must adhere to the guidelines set out by the Government of Jamaica and the Ministry of Health. I implore you to take responsibility for your actions. Let us get through this as quickly as possible with the least amount of damage, pain and suffering. Read more here



Amphan: Millions hunker down in India and Bangladesh as cyclone arrives

Ferocious wind and rain is lashing parts of eastern India and Bangladesh as Cyclone Amphan makes landfall. Millions of people were evacuated in anticipation of the storm, which originated in the Bay of Bengal. The storm, the first super cyclone in the area since 1999, is forecast to cause deadly storm surges, severe flooding and mudslides. The coronavirus and social-distancing measures have made mass evacuations more difficult for authorities. India's weather department said in an afternoon update that Amphan was making landfall in a process that would take several hours. It has begun hitting the Sundarbans, a mangrove area around the India-Bangladesh border, and will later move north and north-eastwards near the major city of Kolkata in India's West Bengal state, meteorological officials said. Amphan is then expected to move further into Bangladesh on Thursday, and later Bhutan. Read more here

The sun is experiencing a less active phase called 'solar minimum,' but it won't cause an ice age

At the center of our solar system, the sun is a constant force keeping planets in orbit, providing Earth with just the right amount of light and warmth for life and even governing our daily schedules. While we're used to the sun rising and setting each day, the sun itself is incredibly dynamic. And just like us, it goes through phases and changes. Over time, those changes in our star have become more predictable. Currently, it's going through a less active phase, called a solar minimum. The sun experiences regular 11-year intervals including energetic peaks of activity, followed by low points. Read more here



20th May 2020


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