Daily Brief - Wednesday 25th July, 2018


Desal plant slowly increases production

The Point Lisas desalination plant is still ramping up water production, three days after repair work was completed. In a media release yesterday, the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) said water production at present stood at 25 million gallons daily and told customers in central and south Trinidad that full production of 40 million gallons daily was expected over the next three to four days. “In the interim, the authority will maintain the mitigating measures introduced from the onset of the disruption of delivery,” it said. Read more here

Protect yourself against Leptospirosis

The Ministry of Health is urging the public that during the rainy season to avoid the health risks associated with flooding. Flood waters may carry silt, raw sewage and bacteria that can contaminate food and water and make it unsafe. The ministry said the risk of the infectious disease Leptospirosis is especially high in flood situations, such as after a hurricane or heavy seasonal rains. Leptospirosis is spread by bacteria and, once diagnosed early, it can be treated. Leptospirosis is spread through the urine of infected animals (usually rodents, dogs, farm animals and horses). Read more here

Pharmacy Board objects to implementation of $68,000 CDAP fee

The Pharmacy Board of Trinidad and Tobago (PBTT) is objecting to the implementation of a $68,000 fee for pharmacies to join the government’s Chronic Disease Assistance Programme (CDAP). Read more here



Le Hunte says Beverage Container Bill before year’s end

Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte has described the Beverage Container Act as an essential component in this country’s environmental drive as this would place a monetary value on plastic bottles. “What the Beverage Container Act is attempting to do is to try to put a value on the bottles and therefore we will expect then that together with a few legislations allowing the people who are generating and manufacturing the waste to be the ones that are finally responsible for dealing with it, those plastic bottles.” Read more here

Public forums next month

The first local public consultation on the issue of the decriminalisation and possible legalisation of marijuana is expected to be held as early as next month. This was the key outcome as cannabis activists met with Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi and Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs Fitzgerald Hinds for around two hours yesterday. Yesterday’s meeting was facilitated after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley received a petition from Caribbean Collective for Justice (CCJ) head Nazma Muller which featured 10,000 signatures calling for the legalisation of marijuana. Read more here

Flawed process: Analysts want Rowley to explain choice of Griffith as top cop

If Gary Griffith is the one the Government intends to support as commissioner of police (CoP), then Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley owes the country an explanation on how the very process he said was flawed is now suitable to make Griffith top cop. Read more here



JMMB profit and revenue up 8.1%

For the year ended March 31, the JMMB Group’s net profit and operating revenue increased by 8.1 per cent to J$3.6 billion and J$15.84 billion over the prior year, while earnings per share stood at J$2.18. Group Chairman Archibald Campbell said the performance of JMMB and its subsidiaries reflected strong fundamentals and steady core growth. “Our carefully developed mix of business lines across Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic, remains a key competitive advantage. It provides balance and diversification across geographies, and a variety of risks, helping us deliver effective solutions to our clients, and distinctive value to our shareholders,” he said in the Group’s annual report which was posted on the T&T Stock Exchange yesterday. Read more here

Will Republic Bank reject Govt director?

On Saturday, a potential investor in the bonds issued by the National Investment Fund Holding Company Ltd (NIF) wrote me an e-mail to say that he liked the investment, but he had “one big concern,” which was what would happen to the cashflow going into NIF “if the companies were to change their dividend policy.” Read more here



Lead By Example - PSOJ President: Politicians Must Obey Higher Moral Standard

Howard Mitchell, president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), has called on political leaders to obey a higher moral and legal code of governance as an example for citizens to follow. Without this paradigm shift, he argued, no amount of economic progress would be able to stop the nation from failing. "We must forge a new national culture of mindfulness of others, of self-respect and integrity," Mitchell declared during yesterday's PSOJ President's Forum at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston. "Our survival in a changing world demands that we shift our cultural norms and behaviours towards being mindful of others and to respect ourselves and the rights of others," he said. "Self-respect and a common belief in our country and a caring commitment to our fellow citizens are a part of the underpinning of good governance that is an essential part of whatever progress that we may hope to make as a nation," the PSOJ president added. Read more here



Exclusive: CNN obtains secret Trump-Cohen tape

Presidential candidate Donald Trump is heard on tape discussing with his attorney Michael Cohen how they would buy the rights to a Playboy model's story about an alleged affair Trump had with her years earlier, according to the audio recording of the conversation aired exclusively on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time." The recording offers the public a glimpse at the confidential discussions between Trump and Cohen, and it confirms the man who now occupies the Oval Office had contemporaneous knowledge of a proposal to buy the rights to the story of Karen McDougal, a woman who has alleged she had an extramarital affair with Trump about a decade ago. Read more here

Pakistan election: Dozens killed as voters go to polls

Violence has erupted as millions head to the polls in Pakistan, with at least 31 dead in the worst attack, a bomb in the city of Quetta. Elsewhere, minor blasts and clashes between party workers left several injured and two dead. Opinion polls suggest the election battle will be between the parties of ex-cricket star Imran Khan and the disgraced former PM Nawaz Sharif. But the campaign has been overshadowed by concerns of fraud and violence. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says there have been "blatant" attempts to manipulate the polls. Mr Khan has vowed to tackle corruption but his rivals accuse him of benefiting from alleged meddling by the military, which has ruled Pakistan for nearly half of its history. Mr Sharif, who won the last election, has been jailed for corruption after a scandal stemming from the Panama Papers leak. Read more here


25th July 2018


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