Daily Brief - Wednesday 26th May, 2021

NEWS

Trinidad and Tobago records over 10,000 covid19 cases in May

For this month, up to Tuesday, the country recorded over 10,000 new covid19 cases, according to statistics derived from the Ministry of Health’s daily 4 pm update. The country saw 10,055 new cases and 239 deaths in the past 25 days. With 408 deaths overall, since the virus hit TT in March of 2020, the deaths in May alone are more than double the overall total. The ministry recorded 612 new cases and 18 more deaths on Tuesday. The total number of covid19 cases is now 20,879. Of this, 12,027 people have recovered. Read more here

Cops clarify conditions of State of Emergency

The T&T Police Service (TTPS) is currently being bombarded by many questions from members of the public on what they can and cannot do during the State of Emergency. Among the questions is whether people are allowed to walk their dog, or if they can exercise on the streets within their gated communities. During yesterday’s TTPS’ media conference, head of the Legal Unit Christian Chandler explained that the powers of the TTPS are far and wide and in a State of Emergency (SoE) situation, that gives a certain amount of power to the police. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Young dismisses UNC claims Government in talks on Pointe-a-Pierre refinery

Energy Minister Stuart Young on Monday dismissed Opposition claims that Government was talking to parties other than the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) led Patriotic Energies and Technologies Co Ltd, which had previously expressed interest in the former Petrotrin refinery in Pointe-a-Pierre. Patriotic's bid for the refinery was rejected by Government in February. Previous bids by Patriotic were rejected in January and last October. Young said Trinidad Petroleum Holdings, the overall owner of the refinery, is submitting a marketing plan for Cabinet's consideration to seek potential bidders on the open market. Read more here

Gadsby-Dolly: Almost 2,000 school dropouts since pandemic began

Approximately 2,000 school students appear to have dropped out of the education system since T&T’s COVID-19 pandemic battle began in March 2020. Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said the group comprised both primary and secondary school students. She said figures from the School Supervision Division for primary and secondary school students, whom they have not been able to make contact with, stood at around 2,000. Of this number, she said people may have already existed on the school register before, while others may be new. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

AMCHAM committed to making T&T a digital hub

“We will not sit by and hope for diversification ‘to happen’. We will not sit by and hope for investment to come into T&T. We will work hard, and we will work tirelessly to make these a reality.” This was the statement made by Chief Executive Officer of the America Chamber of Commerce T&T Nirad Tewarie yesterday as he delivered the opening remarks in for the virtual conference launch for the Tech Hub Islands Summit (t.h.i.s.). “Along the way, we might stumble, but we will get back up. We will hold the hands of our partners as we hope they will hold ours. We will find the innovators. We will enable them. And one day soon, we will be able to say that t.h.i.s happened. T.h.i.s is T&T—a global technology hub,” Tewarie said. Read more here

Taking VMCOTT out of the graveyard

IT was known as the graveyard for police vehicles. But it has been about two years since the Vehicle Management Corporation of T&T (VMCOTT) has actually serviced a police vehicle. Natasha Prince, the State company’s chief executive since 2018, told Express Business last week that the TTPS just stopped sending their vehicles to service and no reason was given. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Economically-strong, powerful nation being built

Guyana, with its growing petroleum industry and other lucrative productive sectors, is on the cusp of economic transformation, with opportunities for growth and development of all Guyanese, President Dr. Irfaan Ali said as he addressed the nation on the eve of Guyana’s 55th Independence Anniversary.
“We fought for independence to give our people the quality of life of which they had been deprived. If independence is to have any real meaning, it is to uplift our people from the ravages of limitations of the past, and to give them a better life with better opportunities under better circumstances,” the Head of State said in a passionate address on Tuesday evening. Read more here

Staff deny report of beating at Maxfield Park facility

Simmering tensions at the state-run Maxfield Park Children’s Home in St Andrew erupted on Tuesday after angry staff protested the arrest and charge of a co-worker accused of using a piece of board to slap a student in the head for sleeping in...Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Chinese state media is turning on Fauci amid Wuhan lab controversy

After weeks of facing fierce attacks from Republicans, top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci now has a new critic: Chinese state media. "US elites degenerate further in morality, and Fauci is one of them," was the headline of a blistering opinion piece penned by Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the state-run Global Times this week. In the article Hu accused the top US infectious disease expert of "fanning a huge lie against China" by hyping the theory that the coronavirus was leaked from a Wuhan lab. Read more here

Belarus journalist Roman Protasevich's colleagues fear for their lives

A former colleague of opposition journalist Roman Protasevich, who was arrested in Belarus after being taken off a diverted flight on Sunday, says dissidents now fear for their lives. Stepan Putilo told the BBC that he had received death threats in the past, but now he was "taking them seriously". Mr Putilo founded the opposition social media channel Nexta on Telegram, where Mr Protasevich had acted as editor. Read more here

 

26th May 2021

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