Daily Brief - Wednesday 29th January, 2020


Police officer sues commissioner over promotions

An acting senior Supt from Roxborough, Tobago, has received the permission of a High Court judge to challenge Police Commissioner Gary Griffith over a decision to suddenly revoke the current merit list for promotion of police officers to the rank of superintendent. Collis Hazel, who has been a police officer since November 1991, was granted leave by Justice Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell to apply for judicial review on his claim in which he is seeking declarations that the Commissioner’s decision to repeal the merit list was illegal and that he had a legitimate expectation that he would be promoted based on the 2018 merit list. He is asking the court to direct the commission to say why he decided to repeal the list and quash the decision. Hazel also wants an order sending back the issue of his promotion to the commissioner for his consideration and a declaration that he was treated unfairly. Read more here

Udecott explains leak

The Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment Com­pa­ny of Trinidad and To­ba­go (Ude­cott) has ex­plained the rea­son for a leak in the Red House on Tues­day. Ude­cott is­sued a state­ment Tues­day night say­ing that "due to a bro­ken rub­ber seal on the alu­minum flash­ing in the sky­light of the ro­tun­da, there was a leak with to­day's rain­fall." Read more here



Deyalsingh: Water needed to stop virus spread

Independent Senator Dr Varma Deyalsingh sounded a warning that the lack of a reliable water supply in areas of TT could facilitate the spread of the coronavirus should it reach this country’s shores. The virus has killed dozens in China where it originated in Wuhan city and infected hundreds, with infections also found in the USA, Australia, France, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, and other Asian nations. Deyalsingh’s concerns reflected Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram recent advice to Newsday that hand-washing is a way to combat viral spread. The senator lamented the wastage of an essential item, despite 240 million gallons produced. “Less than 50 per cent of persons actually get a 24 hour supply seven days a week. So it is a failure. It has been a failure for this government, successive governments. It is a failure to the people of this country where they are not able to get this basic need. Read more here

Govt steps up entry screening against coronavirus

Gov­ern­ment’s lat­est step to pre­vent the en­try of coro­n­avirus in­to this coun­try has been to con­tact the lo­cal agents of all cruise lin­ers to en­sure ramp­ing-up of ques­tion­naires for pas­sen­gers on their health, Health Min­is­ter Ter­rence Deyals­ingh has con­firmed. “The ma­jor point of con­cern (among ports) is the port of Port-of-Spain where cruise lin­ers come in,” Deyals­ingh said yes­ter­day. He was re­ply­ing to Op­po­si­tion queries on mea­sures to deal with the mys­te­ri­ous coro­n­avirus which arose in Chi­na re­cent­ly. So far 106 peo­ple in Chi­na have been killed and 4,520 in­fect­ed. Ger­many yes­ter­day re­port­ed its first case. Read more here



Procurement law should boost corruption perception

Finance Minister Colm Imbert expects Trinidad and Tobago’s 2020 ranking on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) to improve, with the coming on stream of procurement legislation, tentatively by the end of March. Read more here



CMU Axe To Fall - PM Hints Senior Managers May Face Chopping Block Amid Scandal

Quizzed about what action will be taken against current senior managers at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) who played a role in the spending spree and wanton breaches of government rules, Prime Minister Andrew Holness acknowledged that there was need for reform in the management structure at the scandal-scarred institution. Mikael Phillips, member of parliament for Manchester North West, yesterday asked the prime minister what steps would be taken against senior managers who made decisions that breached procurement rules and established guidelines. Read more here

Guyana, Albania sign visa waiver agreement

The Governments of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Republic of Albania, on Monday, signed an agreement to remove the visa requirement for Guyanese travelling to Albania. The agreement, in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), paves the way for the Exemption of Visa Requirements for Holders of Diplomatic, Service and Ordinary Passports, at the Embassy of Albania, in Washington, DC. Read more here



Trump in private: what really happens

The brief video portion at the start of a cell phone recording made public Friday by the formerly pro-Trump schemer Lev Parnas shows a posh dining room at the Trump International Hotel -- heavy drapes, massive molding, thick carpet. You might describe it as country club classic, a motif that seems to cling to Trump properties. Once Trump arrives and the phone is set down, the audio reveals a President who can speak with more coherence than we hear from him in public, but whose talking points and jokes don't vary much from his greatest hits. The moment that has made news finds President Donald Trump ordering that America's ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, be fired because Parnas tells him she dissed the President. Read more here

Coronavirus: Britons on Wuhan flights to be quarantined

Hundreds of British citizens being flown back to the UK from Wuhan on Thursday will be put in quarantine for two weeks. It comes as British Airways suspends all direct flights to and from mainland China because of the coronavirus outbreak. Australia, Japan, the US and the EU are also repatriating citizens. The virus has caused more than 130 deaths, spreading across China and to at least 16 other countries. The UK government plans to fly 200 British citizens out from Wuhan, the centre of the new coronavirus outbreak, on Thursday. BBC health editor Hugh Pym said that Health Secretary Matt Hancock has instructed officials to put them in quarantine for two weeks - possibly at a UK military facility. Read more here

29th January 2020


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