Daily Brief - Wednesday 29th August, 2018

NEWS

No malaria outbreak in TT

The public is being told by the Ministry of Health, there is no malaria outbreak in TT. In a media release yesterday, the ministry said cases of malaria recorded for the year, thus far, are not unusual. It said the majority of confirmed cases were imported from neighbouring countries. The ministry further advised people to continue to take measures to prevent the spread of malaria through integrated vector control management practices. Read more here

Company seeks to reinvent itself

Following is a statement Petrotrin released to the media on its impending restructuring plan yesterday. The Petrotrin Board of Directors met on 2018 Tuesday, August 28 with its employee representative unions and the company’s management to announce plans to end Petrotrin’s oil refining operations at Pointe-a-Pierre and to redesign entirely its Exploration and Production business. The restructuring exercise is geared to curtail losses at the state-owned oil company and get it on a path to sustainable profitability. Read more here

CDA: No reports, no evidence of nails in road

The Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) said yesterday an investigation into a claim on social media that nails were being pounded into the road near Crews Inn, Chaguaramas, presumably to trap motorists, has yielded nothing. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Charles alleges Dragon deal secrecy

The Dragon gas deal signed between TT and Venezuela is just the latest Government initiative to be shrouded in secrecy, complained Naparima MP Rodney Charles in a statement Monday. “Recently Dr Rowley and the Minister of Everything signed a secret agreement with Maduro. We do not know why Dragon field, totally owned by Venezuela, was prioritised over Loran Manatee in which we have a 26 per cent interest.” Charles asked how close are Russian interests in fields near Dragon and will TT have to deal with them in the future. Read more here

Importing fuel won’t cause hike

The Government will now determine whether there are price hikes in fuel supplies to consumers when Petrotrin shuts down its refinery and begins importing fuel. This was the word from Petrotrin board chairman Wilfred Espinet evening, after he completed a busy day in which he held talks with the OWTU and other unions representing Petrotrin workers and detailed the company’s restructuring plan, which includes shelving the refining business and the future importation of the refined products of gasoline, diesel and aviation fuels. Speaking to the T&T Guardian at the end of a day of talks, Espinet said any price increase in fuel “is a policy decision, the Government is the one to make the decision.” He said issues such as subsidies we outside the remit of Petrotrin. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

67 benefit from $1m grant to start small businesses

The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services yesterday distributed $1 million in grants to 67 recipients of the Sowing Empowerment through Entrepreneurial Development (SEED) programme. Each recipient received a grant of $15,000 by Minister of Social Development and Family Services Minister Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn at a distribution ceremony at Government Plaza, Port-of Spain. One recipient, Ursula Mark-Kelly promised to put the grant to good use, as she plans to open a mini-mart next month at her home in Sherwood Park, Arima. Read more here

2 companies owed US$.97m for goods delivered to Venezuela

Two local manufacturers—VEMCO Ltd and Langston Roach Industries—are owed US$979,000 for goods delivered to Venezuela, Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon has said. She said all other manufacturers have been paid. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Too Many Idle Hands - Stakeholders Believe Youth From Park And 100 Lanes Lack Opportunities

Small businesses along Red Hills Road, St Andrew, are reeling from the negative impact the recent upsurge in violence is having on them. Pointing out that there are too many idle hands in the communities in the area, they are demanding that the relevant authorities apply a serious approach to fixing the social ills across Jamaica. "The impact is significant, because the people who would come and do business with you are afraid of the area. That can lead to bankruptcy and hardship," Hugh Johnson, president of the Small Business Association of Jamaica, told The Gleaner yesterday. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Trump warns evangelicals of 'violence' if GOP loses in the midterms

US President Donald Trump, facing scrutiny for hush money payments to a porn star and a former Playboy model, pleaded with evangelical leaders for political help during closed-door remarks on Monday, warning of dire consequences to their congregations should Republicans lose in November's midterm elections. "This November 6 election is very much a referendum on not only me, it's a referendum on your religion, it's a referendum on free speech and the First Amendment. It's a referendum on so much," Trump told the assemblage of pastors and other Christian leaders gathered in the State Dining Room, according to a recording from people in the room. Read more here

Russia's Putin softens pension reforms after outcry

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has softened planned pension changes following angry protests and a slump in his approval rating. He said the retirement age for women would be increased from 55 to 60 instead of to 63. But a five-year increase for men, to 65, would stay. In a rare TV address, Mr Putin said the country's working-age population was shrinking, making change essential. Unions have warned that many will not live long enough to claim a pension. Russian men have a life expectancy of 66 while for women it is 77, the World Health Organization says. The issue has seen support for Mr Putin fall to 64% from 80%, according to VTsIOM state pollster. Read more here

 

29th August 2018

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