Daily Brief - Wednesday 22nd July, 2020

NEWS

CAL begins flights to Eastern Caribbean

Caribbean Airlines (CAL) plans to begin flights between the Eastern Caribbean and Barbados on Wednesday, the TT airline announced on Tuesday. Even though the flights are "subject to regulatory approvals", CAL said it will initially operate between Barbados to St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada with other destinations to be added once clearance is granted. CAL said the route expansion to the Eastern Caribbean is part of its strategic plan, and it has acquired additional aircraft and resources including pilots and cabin crew to support the initiative. Read more here

Two new COVID cases, one requires investigation

Trinidad and Tobago has registered two new cases of COVID-19. A statement by the Ministry of Health yesterday said that one of the cases was imported from Canada. The second case is pending epidemiological investigation. The Health Ministry said that all established protocols have been implemented. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Panday campaign starts after August 10

The Patriotic Front (PF) will start its campaign for meaningful change in TT after the dust settles from the August 10 general election. PF political leader Mickela Panday made this disclosure on Tuesday, exactly a week after announcing that the fledgling party won’t be contesting any of the 41 seats in the election. Instead, she told Newsday, "Our campaign will begin after the election." Panday explained the PF took this decision "as it is not possible to do any social work during what is called silly season." Read more here

Young disturbed by local human traffickers

Minister of National Security Stuart Young says he is disturbed by the number of locals involved in human trafficking rings between T&T and Venezuela. In an interview with Guardian Media yesterday, Young said all available assets including the 24-hour radar were being used to monitor the coasts. This has resulted in the recent arrests of several boatloads of Venezuelan nationals and locals believed to have been hired to transport the Venezuelans to several locations inland. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Khan promises new bid round next year

Expect a new deep water bid round early next year, Energy Minister Franklin Khan has announced. Khan made the statement yesterday during the contract signing ceremony of the gas sales agreement between the National Gas Company and Block 3 (a) consortium for the Ruby Field. Khan also took the opportunity to explain why the government did not have a deep water bid during its five-year tenure. Read more here

NGC, BHP sign gas sales deal

The National Gas Company (NGC) and energy giant BHP have completed negotiations for a gas sales agreement for the Ruby Field off the east coast of Trinidad. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Market Me Bailed Out Broke Ministry - MOHW Admits To Not Owning Jamaica Moves Brand

Marketing and public-relations firm Market Me Consulting bailed out the Ministry of Health & Wellness in fronting a payment to host a meeting because the ministry was broke. The revelation was made as the ministry published reams of contracts and invoices on its website on Tuesday, a week after controversy raged over whether Dr Christopher Tufton had exercised ministerial influence in corralling business for Market Me. Tufton has described social-media posts alleging a personal relationship with a director of Market Me as “vile, filthy, and scandalous”. Read more here

‘The Rule of Law intact’

“Let us be clear. The elections process that began on March 2, 2020 has not been completed and its completion rests solely in the hands of the only legal entity that can pronounce on electoral matters in Guyana, that is the Guyana Elections Commission,” Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Karen Cummings told the Organisation of American States (OAS) on Tuesday during a special meeting held to discuss the country’s electoral situation. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

US orders closure of Chinese consulate in Houston

The United States government has abruptly ordered China to "cease all operations and events" at its consulate in Houston, Texas, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, in what it called an "unprecedented escalation" in recent actions taken by Washington. US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said the consulate was directed to close "in order to protect American intellectual property and Americans' private information" but did not immediately provide additional details of what prompted the closure. Relations between China and the United States have plummeted in the past year, amid an ongoing trade war, the coronavirus pandemic, and US criticism of China's human rights abuses in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Read more here

Trump concedes pandemic to 'get worse before it gets better'

President Donald Trump has warned the US pandemic may "get worse before it gets better", as he revived his virus briefings with a more scripted tone. Mr Trump also asked all Americans to wear face coverings, saying "they'll have an effect" and show "patriotism". The president, who was not wearing a mask at the briefing, has previously disparaged them as unsanitary. His aides have reportedly pressed him to adopt a more measured approach as virus caseloads spike across the US. The daily White House news conferences ended soon after Mr Trump suggested in April during freewheeling remarks from the podium that the virus might be treated by injecting disinfectant into people. Read more here

22nd July 2020

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