Daily Brief - Wednesday 26th June, 2019


NUGFW: Councillors hiring and firing ,‘a recipe for chaos’

National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW) acting president general Christopher Street has expressed concern over a provision in the Miscellaneous Provisions (Local Government Reform) Bill empowering councillors to determine who will be hired. He was speaking yesterday at a media conference at NUGFW’s offices, Henry Street, Port of Spain. Street said the union has some concerns about the bill, which is scheduled to be debated today. He said it seeks to remove the Chief Personnel Officer as the employer and make the employer the executive council determining who will and will not get work. Read more here

16,523 migrants registered in two weeks

The fi­nal fig­ure for the num­ber of Venezue­lans who reg­is­tered in the re­cent two-week amnesty process is 16,523. The pre­lim­i­nary fig­ure which was giv­en at the end of the ex­er­cise was over 15,000. Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young gave the up­dat­ed fig­ure in Tues­day night’s Sen­ate de­bate. Read more here



Young: No ‘boatloads of Venezuelans’

National Security Minister Stuart Young has rubbished claims that Venezuelans are coming to TT by boat in the “thousands.” He was contributing to Senate debate yesterday on a private Opposition motion calling on Government to implement a strategic crime prevention plan. He said in efforts to secure the nation’s borders a decision was taken to upgrade the radar system and it is operational. He recalled he saw the system in action last Friday. “Despite all of the noise, all of the untruths, all of the attempts to mislead the population of TT with persons coming in on our southern coast the day after the 14th of June when the registration process came in the radar system – and I met with the analyst and the technician and I saw it for myself – one vessel, one vessel that tried to come into our borders from Venezuela.” Read more here

National Security Minister: Police going after Big Fish

Some Big Fish will be “tak­en down” be­fore year’s end. That’s the promise from Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young in the next wave of se­cu­ri­ty op­er­a­tions. “There are charges which will be laid,” Young as­sured on Tues­day in the Sen­ate while speak­ing about the po­lice’s use of the an­ti-gang law and oth­er an­ti-crime leg­is­la­tion. Young spoke about these and oth­er de­vel­op­ments while re­spond­ing to a mo­tion by UNC Sen­a­tor Tahar­qa Obi­ka on crime. Obi­ka had called for a strate­gic crime pre­ven­tion plan to ad­dress un­ac­cept­able crime lev­els in T&T. But Young coun­tered with a list of de­vel­op­ments on se­cu­ri­ty, al­so dis­clos­ing is­sues which he said the US and UK au­thor­i­ties had with the past Peo­ple’s Part­ner­ship (PP) ad­min­is­tra­tion on se­cu­ri­ty. Read more here



Most Sagicor owners opt for share swap, not cash

By an overwhelming margin, shareholders of Sagicor Financial Corporation have elected to receive only shares in New Sagicor rather than cash for up to 10,000 shares in the company, which is being bought out by a Canadian entity named Alignvest Acquisition II Corporation. Read more here



Wrong Target - DPP Clears Constable, Puts Senior Cops, Gov’t In Firing Line For Deadly Police School Foul-Up

There was a litany of blunders, some by senior cops, in the moments before and immediately after a 2013 mix-up with live and blank rounds at the police training school in St Catherine, resulting in a five cops being shot, one fatally, a document authored by the nation’s chief prosecutor has revealed. At the top of the list, according to the document, is the finding of a ballistic test that “a part of the mechanism” from one firearm used in the shooting was “switched” with a second gun “from which it was determined that all spent shells collected from the scene had been fired.” Read more here



Migrant children crisis: Democrats agree $4.5bn aid for migrants at border

Democrats in the US House of Representatives have approved $4.5bn (£3.5bn) in humanitarian aid for the southern border. Several migrant deaths, coupled with reports of "severely neglected" children at a Texan border patrol station, have helped shape the debate. But the bill faces a tough path through the Republican-controlled Senate. It is considering a rival bill with fewer restrictions on how border agencies can spend the money. The Democrats' version, in contrast, contains several strict rules setting out that the funds can be used for humanitarian aid only, and "not for immigration raids, not detention beds, not a border wall", a statement from House appropriations committee chair Nita Lowey said. Read more here

The US isn't interested in dialogue with Iran, France says

The United States is not interested in pursuing dialogue with Iran despite President Trump's insistence he is willing to sit down for talks, according to one of the European nations attempting to mediate between the two sides. French authorities -- among other European nations -- continue to search for a way to defuse growing tensions between the US and Iran. But the French say they see "no signal the US is interested in dialogue," a defense source in Paris told CNN. Asked if France would be part of an anti-Iran coalition, which the Trump administration seems to be attempting to construct, the source said that while the French authorities regarded themselves as "good allies," they would not "automatically" follow Washington's line on Iran. "We have our own goals... our own interests," the source added. Read more here

26th June 2019


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