Daily Brief - Wednesday 26th August, 2020

NEWS

CoP slams PCA, media, 'bush lawyers' over Hackshaw matter

Fresh out of hospital after suffering from an inflamed gallbladder, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith on Tuesday sought to clarify what he deemed misinformation, while criticising several people, including members of the media. Griffith trained his guns on director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) David West. He also chastised two editors at Newsday: editor-in-chief Judy Raymond and assistant Sunday editor Darren Bahaw. Editor-in-chief of the Express Omatie Lyder, political activist Kirk Waithe and his former colleague retired ASP turned PNM candidate Michael Seales also came under fire. Read more here

TTUTA wants consultation before online classes

The T&T Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) wants the Ministry of Education to consult with them before the Ministry embarks on any execution of a planned programme of online classes commencing in September. Kady Beckles, TTUTA’s General Secretary, said it may not be possible for some teachers to conduct classes from home because of their living conditions, personal space, lack of devices and connectivity. She said if teachers are to enter schools and conduct classes online the proper connectivity and equipment must be made available and all arrangements for sanitisation are in place and all safety protocols as outlined by the Ministry of Health, adhered to at all times. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Planning Ministry begins solar power project

The Ministry of Planning and Development in conjunction with the EU’s Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA+) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) initiated a solar power project that would see the installation of several off-grid solar photovoltaic installations. In a release sent to the media, the Ministry of Planning and Development said the project is designed to help TT in achieving their commitments to the Paris Agreement. The Planning Ministry along with the EU and the UNDP made a call to NGO’s, civil society organisations, public sector institutions and private sector agencies to select suitable sites in TT for the installation of the solar energy systems. Read more here

More stranded Trinis return home this weekend

National Security Minister Stuart Young says the repatriation of T&T nationals stranded abroad will continue but with a lot more caution than before now that the number of active COVID-19 cases have surpassed 1,000. The total number of COVID-19 cases reached 1,252 yesterday, with 1,059 being active cases with the parallel health system. Noting that consultation with the Ministry of Health was now critical going forward, Young said, “Due to the recent increased numbers of positive COVID cases in Trinidad and Tobago, the Ministry of Health began using some of the facilities that were previously being used for state quarantine. This factor, as well as the numbers of persons being cared for in the parallel health care system, meant that we have had to be cautious with repatriation numbers,” Young told Guardian Media in a WhatsApp response to queries. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

TTEITI welcomes Energy Minister

The Trinidad and Tobago Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (TTEITI) has congratulated Franklin Khan on his reappointment as Minister of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI). According to the TTEITI Khan has long been an advocate for Trinidad and Tobago’s adoption of the global EITI Standard and his previous term was marked by a commitment to transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining sectors. “Mr. Khan has not only made a public commitment to the initiative, but he has elevated the TTEITI’s work in other Caricom nations through regional energy sector diplomacy. Also, as a direct result of the Minister’s efforts over the past few years, the TTEITI has been able to secure from a number of local mining companies voluntary adoption of EITI reporting standards.” the TTEITI noted. Read more here

Alcohol industry feel Covid pinch

Distributors and manufactures of alcoholic beverages experienced a 30 per cent decline in revenue as a result of the lockdown of bars and restaurants earlier this year. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Guyana’s third crude lift by November

Guyana could expect its fourth shipment of crude in November 2020, as the Ministry of Natural Resources is working to secure a suitable firm to market Guyana’s crude by October. The country secured its third crude lift in August 2020. Though payment for this shipment is yet to be processed, Guyana already has over US$90M in its Natural Resource Fund (NRF) from previous shipments, royalties and interest. Guyana’s first three million-barrel cargoes of crude were contracted to Shell Western Supply and Trading. Read more here

Parties Clash Over Disabilities Law, Women’s Shelters

Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith has sought to dismiss assertions that the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) administration did not treat the implementation of the Disabilities Act as a matter of priority during its more than four years in power. ‘It’s not true that it wasn’t a priority,” said Johnson Smith. The legislation was passed in 2014 and to date the law has not been implemented. The People’s National Party’s (PNP) Raymond Pryce castigated the Government for not implementing the law after “55 months” in power. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Melania Trump recognizes the pandemic's painful toll as her husband's convention ignores it

For two hours, President Donald Trump got his "miracle" -- the pandemic did just disappear -- in the false reality of the Republican National Convention. Then the first lady strode into her newly renovated White House Rose Garden. Melania Trump immediately shared the kind of heartfelt empathy for victims of the worst health crisis in a century that her husband has rarely offered and which the personality pageant that is nominating him for a second term largely ignored. She offered her gratitude to first responders, nurses and doctors who have cared for Americans sickened by the virus , and attested to her husband's concern for all those afflicted by it. She also attempted to humanize the President at a time when he is facing a huge deficit with female voters. Read more here

Jacob Blake: Two shot dead in third night of Wisconsin unrest

Two people have been killed and one injured during a third night of unrest in the US city of Kenosha, sparked by the police shooting of a black man. Police said three people had been shot, but gave no details about who was involved. Local media reports earlier said the violence was believed to have stemmed from a conflict between protesters and armed men guarding a petrol station. Unrest broke out after Jacob Blake was shot and injured by police on Sunday. Video footage showed the 29-year-old being shot a number of times as he leaned into a car. His lawyers said it would take "a miracle" for him to walk again. People have since defied emergency curfews in the city to join protests, which at times have turned violent. Read more here

26th August 2020

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