Daily Brief - Wednesday 4th May, 2022

NEWS

New twist in gun licence-for-sale probe – 2 COPS ARRESTED

After months of quiet, behind-the-scenes investigations, two high-ranking police officers from the Firearms Division of the police were arrested on Tuesday in relation to alleged criminal conduct in that division, including pocketing large sums of money for fast-tracking the application process for firearms users licences (FULs). Senior police sources confirmed that the two, a sergeant, and a member of the First Division  were detained by the Professional Standards Bureau (PSB) and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). Read more here

Principals can’t divulge school COVID-19 cases

While parents have complained about what they deem to be a “hush-hush” approach employed by principals when COVID-19 cases emerge in schools, the National Primary School Principals’ Association (NAPSPA) insists there’s no deliberate ploy to cover up the cases. One parent, who believes her Second-Year child contracted the disease at his school in St Joseph, told Guardian Media she informed the school of his positive result but after three days, other parents weren’t informed. She said it was only when she reached out to other parents of her son’s class that the school broke its silence. “We have a right to know because our children’s lives are at stake and not only them but you have children living with other siblings, grandparents and the majority of the population has comorbidities, they are immunocompromised. Within my household we have comorbidities.” Read more here

 

POLITICS

Dennis sorry for PNM straying from its principles

New PNM Tobago Council political leader Ancil Dennis said his party had strayed from its principles. Dennis was officially named PNM leader after the party's internal elections on April 24. On the Tobago Updates morning show on Tuesday, Dennis said, “I want to take this opportunity to say sorry to the people of Tobago, not just the party membership but to the people of Tobago for some of the things that were done, for some of the things that were said, for the ways in which we operate which were completely unbecoming of the principles upon which the PNM stands.” Read more here

Minister condemns culprits involved in physical, sexual abuse of children

Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with the responsibility of Gender and Child Affairs, Ayanna Webster-Roy, says the recent reports of widespread abuse at children’s homes and care centres, while not new, are still chilling and to break the troubling cycle will mean convicting offenders. However, she is promising that the perpetrators of heinous acts against children at these institutions will not be allowed to get away. In an interview on CNC3’s The Morning Brew on Tuesday, Webster-Roy condemned culprits involved in the alleged physical and sexual child abuse as unearthed in a recent investigation, of which the harrowing findings were laid in Parliament last Friday. Responding to questions about justice for impacted children, the Webster-Roy said, “I’m confident that the necessary actions will be taken to ensure there is some sort of redress.” Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Republic Financial announces $728m half-year profit

Republic Financial Holdings Ltd has earned $728.7 million in profit – attributable to equity holders – for the first six months of its financial year ending March 31. “This represents an increase of $41.4 million or 6.02 per cent over the $687.3 million reported in the corresponding period of the last financial year," chairman Vincent Pereira said in a statement on Tuesday. “While this performance remains seven per cent below our pre-covid 2019 half year performance, it continues a satisfying upward trend in the group’s performance reflecting our efforts towards better cost management and increased support of our clients across the group,” he said. Read more here

CAL’s Curaçao flight clears way for more T&T visitors

With Covid-19 travel restrictions relaxing in various countries, the Curaçao Tourist Board is eagerly anticipating that the arrival figures of Trinidad and Tobago nationals to the Dutch Caribbean island will return to pre-pandemic levels. That’s the revelation from Curaçao Tourist Board’s regional manager Janine De Windt, who said that with Caribbean Airlines resuming service between Trinidad and the island on April 5, the tourism board is expecting to see the 86 per cent increase in T&T nationals that was seen in 2019. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

‘I believe in the full freedom of the press’

President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, on Tuesday, underscored his government’s commitment to preserving the “full freedom of the press,” but emphasised the need for responsible reporting, decency and accountability. The President made this charge during his address on the opening day of the inaugural World Press Freedom Day Conference held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre. The two-day event which ends on Wednesday (today), was organised by the Office of the Prime Minister – Department of Public Affairs, in collaboration with the Office of the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations (UN) and the Guyana Media and Communication Academy (GMCA). Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Ukraine war: EU plans Russian oil ban and war crimes sanctions

The EU has proposed some of its toughest measures yet against Russia, including a total ban on oil imports and sanctions on war crimes suspects. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the package was aimed at maximising pressure on Russia while minimising damage to Europe. Russian crude oil would be phased out within six months, she said. Military officers involved in suspected war crimes in Bucha and Mariupol would also face new sanctions. "This sends another important signal to all perpetrators of the Kremlin's war: We know who you are, and you will be held accountable," Ms von der Leyen told the European Parliament on Wednesday. Read more here

4th May 2022

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