Daily Brief - Wednesday 21st November, 2018

NEWS

Call for China to view Caribbean as equal partners

A call has been made for China to view the Caribbean region as an equal partner when it comes to interaction with media outlets from that region. The call came on Monday during the China Latin America and Caribbean Media Forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It came from Keith Eccleston Campbell, CEO of the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica. He was the only media representative from the Caribbean to speak at the forum where over 20 heads of media outlets contributed. Read more here

Work on damaged St Helena Bypass Road begins

Lo­cal con­trac­tor Coos­al’s mo­bilised a team on Mon­day night and be­gan re­pairs to the St He­le­na By­pass road which has been left in a state of dis­re­pair for over three weeks. This comes af­ter com­plaints by res­i­dents and mo­torists that con­di­tion of the road had the po­ten­tial to cause se­ri­ous ac­ci­dents as dri­vers dodge craters left be­hind when the as­phalt was re­moved. Con­di­tions on the road wors­ened as heavy rains and flood­ing over the past two months re­moved even more ma­te­r­i­al. Guardian Me­dia vis­it­ed the site and res­i­dents of St He­le­na said they were fear­ful that the cur­rent con­di­tion of the road pos­es a se­ri­ous safe­ty risk to mo­torists. Read more here

 

POLITICS

PTSC investigating bus theft

WORKS and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan says the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) is investigating the theft of one of its vehicles in Chaguanas on Monday which was later used to ram into a number of vehicles. He was responding to a question in Senate yesterday from Opposition Senator Wade Mark on what measures are in place to ensure PTSC vehicles are properly secure in light of the theft. Sinanan said PTSC was currently conducting an investigation into the breach to identify any gap in standard operating procedures and will take immediate and appropriate action to mitigate against any further breaches. Mark asked if security measures were in place at the PTSC compound in Chaguanas during the theft. Read more here

Petrotrin pension fund ok for now—Khan

Near­ly 1,300 mem­bers of the Petrotrin Em­ploy­ees Pen­sion Plan (PEPP) aged 50 and over are ex­pect­ed to re­tire on De­cem­ber 1 and be­come en­ti­tled to lump-sum pen­sion pay­ments to­talling $1 bil­lion—but that may be un­til the 2040s when the PEPP may run out of ben­e­fits. “The key word is ‘may....’” En­er­gy Min­is­ter Franklin Khan ad­vised in the Sen­ate yes­ter­day. “How­ev­er, the PEPP has com­fort­ably enough as­sets to cov­er ben­e­fit pay­ments well in­to the 2040’s ac­cord­ing to the ac­tu­ar­i­al pro­jec­tions. Be­yond that, there may be a deficit but it’s too ear­ly in the game to speak that type of lan­guage. As we speak, the work­ers are com­fort­able.” Read more here

 

BUSINESS

How close is Govt to CLEXIT?

Last week was hugely significant in terms of T&T business news, with the announcement that Jamaica’s largest financial institution, NCB, plans to increase to US$2.65 a share its takeover offer for T&T’s Guardian Holdings Ltd (GHL) from the original offer of US$2.35 a share. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

No Unrestricted Police Powers - Lawmakers Frown On Proposal To Detain Persons For Up To 14 Days Without Filing Criminal Charges

Lawmakers yesterday levelled damning criticisms at the police, declaring that "too often" citizens are being charged with criminal offences without any investigation. The disapproval came after the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) proposed to a parliamentary committee that the so-called anti-gang legislation be amended to give investigators the power to detain suspected gang members for up to 14 days without criminal charges being filed. Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte and K.D. Knight, opposition senator and former national security minister, were blunt in their response to the proposal. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Trump's Saudi support highlights brutality of 'America First' doctrine

It is the Trump doctrine laid bare. By letting Saudi Arabia get away with the murder of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the President sent a message of startling clarity about how the United States will conduct its business in the world. Refusing to break with Saudi strongman Mohammed bin Salman over the killing in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Trump effectively told global despots that if they side with him -- Washington will turn a blind eye to actions that infringe traditional US values. Read more here

Interpol presidency vote: Russia in surprise loss to South Korea

Interpol has elected South Korean Kim Jong-yang as its president, rejecting the Russian frontrunner who had been accused of abusing the international police body's arrest warrant system. Mr Kim was chosen by Interpol's 194 member states at a meeting of its annual congress in Dubai. He beat Russia's Alexander Prokopchuk, who had been widely tipped to win. But there was growing concern that Mr Prokopchuk would use the role to target critics of Russia's President Putin. Read more here

21st November 2018

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