Daily Brief - Wednesday 28th April, 2021


TTMA commends authorities on arms haul

In response to the seizure of guns and ammunition in Piarco and Couva, the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association (TTMA) is calling on the government to implement additional measures to tackle the illegal gun and drug trades. In a media release on Tuesday, TTMA president Tricia Coosal commended the police and the Customs and Excise Division for seizing the weapons and said the presence of such a large number of guns and ammunition emphasised the need for more robust measures to prevent the influx. Read more here

TTMA calls for greater vigilance at legal ports of entry

The T&T Manufacturers’ Association has recommended to Government that there must be increased focus and inspection at the country’s various borders, especially at the ports and within the Free Trade Zone to clamp down on illicit trade and other numerous forms of criminal activities. In a statement the organisation is also advising that there be legislative reform to ensure the “penalties for smuggling are in line with the nature of the crime”. The TTMA also said there must be a reference price system to treat with the potential for under-declarations as it commended the Customs and Excise Division on the recent seizures of contraband. Read more here

TTMA commends Customs and Excise Division on recent seizures

The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association commends the Customs and Excise Division on the recent seizures of contraband for the month of April. In response to the seizures, TTMA’s President Tricia Coosal said, “Such seizures justify the TTMA’s concerns that illicit trade is a threat to all facets of Trinidad and Tobago, including the lives of the citizens, and the economy of this twin-island Republic”. Read more here



Buccoo Reef not yet ready to sail to Tobago

Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan has said Trinidad and Tobago's new fast ferry, the Buccoo Reef, is not yet ready to make its inaugural sailing to Tobago. The Buccoo Reef, which arrived on April 7 from Tasmania, Australia, remains docked at the Port Authority’s Cruise Ship Complex, Port-of-Spain. The vessel, built by the Incat shipyard, has a capacity to accommodate 1,000 people. Read more here

Taxi drivers network, TTWeSafe launch app to protect passengers

The T&T Taxi Drivers Network has partnered with TTWeSafe to launch a commuter safety and security app enabling passengers to transmit critical information to emergency contacts during the journey to their destination. Joining officials yesterday in Port-of-Spain as he demonstrated how it works, co-founder Joel Holder said it had become necessary to provide additional protection for the nation’s women as they access public transport daily. He said he was galvanized to act following the death of Ashanti Riley in December 2020. Read more here



Hinds: Eight prisoners, 17 officers have covid19

Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds said eight prison inmates and 17 prison officers have contracted the covid19 virus, answering a question in the Senate on Tuesday from Opposition Senator Wade Mark. Hinds said Trinidad and Tobago's ten prison facilities (which include one in Tobago) have 3,802 prisoners. "Thankfully, at present we report a mere eight covid-positive inmates and 17 covid-positive officers. The eight inmates are kept in separate facilities from the general population at the Eastern Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre (ECRC.)" He said they are supervised by officers outfitted with full personal protective equipment (PPE). Read more here

AG forced to quarantine but in good spirits

As Prime Minister Keith Rowley emerged from COVID-enforced isolation yesterday, one of his Cabinet ministers, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi entered isolation on Monday after being informed he was a primary contact of a recent COVID-19 positive case. This was confirmed by the AG’s ministry yesterday afternoon. But the AG has tested negative for the virus. Al-Rawi’s ministry yesterday stated that after he was informed he was a primary contact of a recent COVID-19 positive case, in accordance with protocols, he proceeded to be tested for coronavirus via a PCR test on Monday. Read more here



NGC, Proman Trinidad resume gas deal

The National Gas Company (NGC) and Proman Trinidad have announced the resumption of an interim gas supply arrangement to facilitate the restart of Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Ltd’s M4 and M5000 methanol plants at Point Lisas. Read more here



Exxon strikes oil at Uaru-2 well

Estimated  recoverable resources at the Stabroek Block, offshore Guyana, is expected to surpass the projected nine billion barrels of oil equivalent, as operator of the block, ExxonMobil, has announced the discovery of high-quality oil-bearing reservoirs at the Uaru-2 well. With this find, the company, which is the operator of the Stabroek, Canje and Kaieteur blocks offshore Guyana, now boasts 19 discoveries in the Stabroek Block alone. Read more here

Samuda cites too few new recruits; jobseekers being given ‘false hope’ every year

“Something is not right with the programme!” That was the assertion made by Labour and Social Security Minister Karl Samuda Tuesday afternoon as he insisted that the popular farm work programme is to be ploughed and relaid. Disclosing in his Sectoral Debate presentation in Parliament that fewer than 10 per cent of the cohort enrolled in the programme were new participants, Samuda expressed worry that there was little renewal in the system. Read more here



Downing Street refurbishment: What is the row over Boris Johnson's flat?

An official investigation has been launched into how home improvements at the prime minister's Downing Street flat were funded. The Electoral Commission - which regulates political and electoral finance - says: "There are reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence or offences may have occurred." The UK's top civil servant Simon Case has now been asked to review how the refurbishment was funded. Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds carried out renovations on their private residence, the flat above 11 Downing Street. There has been speculation the bill was as much as £200,000, despite the fact the prime minister only receives an annual public grant of £30,000 to spend on the flat. Read more here

Biden says 'America Is Back,' but 'America First' has haunted his first 100 days

The first 100 days of an American presidency is as much about setting a tone as it is about getting things done. In President Joe Biden's case, his message to the world has been loud and clear: Donald Trump's "America First" isolationism is over. "America is back. Diplomacy is back," Biden proclaimed in his first foreign policy speech in February. But the specter of Trump is already haunting Biden's mission to reengage with the world and lead it once again. Traditional US allies who spent the past four years unable to establish stable relations with the White House are now wondering if they can take Biden at his word. They're well aware that Trumpism is still alive, and they wonder if, four years from now, a divided America may reelect him, or another America First president. Read more here

28th April 2021


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