Daily Brief - Wednesday 5th September, 2018

TTMA IN THE NEWS

TTMA to workers: Shutdown will have adverse effect

The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) and the Employers’ Consultative Association (ECA) are advising employees that a national shutdown on Friday will have adverse effects on the country. Read more here

 

NEWS

Petrotrin’s Augustus Long Hospital ‘to function as normal’

Despite sweeping changes at state-owned Petrotrin, the Augustus Long Hospital which services the medical needs of the company’s employees, retirees and their dependents, will continue to operate as normal. That promise came from a senior official at the company yesterday. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said the hospital, St Peter’s School, houses and other assets of the company are not a priority at this time and have not been discussed. “The primary focus at this time is how do we transition safely, efficiently and smoothly from the current state to the future without any disruption to anyone,” he said. Read more here

‘Fired’ City engineer still on the job

The Port-of-Spain city en­gi­neer who was “fired” for non-per­for­mance by a vote of coun­cil­lors last week is still on the job. This was con­firmed by Port-of-Spain May­or Joel Mar­tinez yes­ter­day as he an­swered queries over whether the coun­cil­lors had the pow­er to fire the pub­lic ser­vant in the first place. Say­ing the mo­tion tak­en by the coun­cil dur­ing the statu­to­ry meet­ing was done un­der the Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion Act of 2190, Mar­tinez said, “I be­lieve the coun­cil would have ap­prised them­selves of the act be­fore bring­ing the mo­tion to re­move any­one. Based on the in­for­ma­tion, I was in­formed the en­gi­neer was not per­form­ing. There were a num­ber of in­frac­tions.” Read more here

Killed by ex-Facebook lover

A Palo Seco woman was chopped to death on Monday by an obsessive ex-lover she met on Facebook. When the killer came at Tehilla St Clair with a cutlass, she sacrificed her life and pushed her five-year-old son out the front door and told him to get help. Read more here

 

POLITICS

MP questions slow payment for Central flood victims

The day after flood victims in Beetham received compensation cheques for damage they suffered in a flood three weeks ago, Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial is asking why hundreds of flood victims from Couva and surrounding areas are still waiting for compensation from three years ago. Ramdial claimed she was happy to see “MP Fitzgerald Hinds distributing flood-compensation cheques to the flood victims of Beetham just a mere three weeks after the flood event.” She was heartened, she said, as it signalled to her that “finally the Minister of Social Development, Minister Cherry-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn had persevered and ensured all flood-compensation cheques were processed for flood victims from as far back as 2016.” Read more here

PNM internal quarrel continues to boil Harry vows to sue PM, Young

Em­bat­tled Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment (PNM) fi­nancier Har­ry Ra­goo­nanan has threat­ened to sue Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley and Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young for defama­tion. Ra­goo­nanan’s le­gal team yes­ter­day served Row­ley and Young with pre-ac­tion pro­to­col let­ters in their roles as the par­ty’s po­lit­i­cal leader and pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer, re­spec­tive­ly. While both let­ters are es­sen­tial­ly based on the same grounds, they per­tain to sep­a­rate com­ments made about the par­ty’s on­go­ing dis­ci­pli­nary pro­ceed­ings against Ra­goo­nanan for al­leged cor­rup­tion and bribery. Ac­cord­ing to the let­ters, which were ob­tained by the T&T Guardian, Young made the al­leged­ly defam­a­to­ry com­ments af­ter the cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions against Ra­goo­nanan arose in PNM Gen­er­al Coun­cil meet­ing in Oc­to­ber last year. Read more here

No Guyana Babu

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-­­Bissessar’s suggestion that Trinidad and Tobago could look to Guyana as a source of crude oil for the Petrotrin refinery has been rebuffed by Guyana’s former minister of natural resources and the environment, Robert Persaud. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

NIF bonds now available on Stock Exchange

The Na­tion­al In­vest­ment Fund Hold­ing Com­pa­ny Lim­it­ed has been list­ed on the Trinidad & To­ba­go Stock Ex­change. The NIF bond, which the Gov­ern­ment re­port­ed had raised $4 bil­lion, was over­sub­scribed af­ter it was of­fered to pub­lic in Ju­ly. Fol­low­ing to­day's cer­e­mo­ny it was placed on the stock bond mar­ket of the TTSE. This list­ing al­lows the op­por­tu­ni­ty for those who failed get their hands on the NIF bonds dur­ing the pub­lic of­fer­ing a sec­ond chance to ob­tain them. How­ev­er, this will de­pend on the will­ing­ness of the cur­rent own­ers of the bonds to sell them so ear­ly on. Read more here

Bond holders anxious over Petrotrin’s future

The yield on Petrotrin’s US$850 million bond, which matures with a bullet payment in August 2019, increased to 15.97 per cent yesterday, providing more evidence that the holders of the bond are increasingly anxious about the oil company’s future. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Tax On G Sugar! - Shaw Blames Manufacturers For Growing Woes In The Industry; Threatens To Revoke Duty-Free Importation

Unscrupulous manufacturers working in tandem with corrupt customs officials and brokers are largely to blame for the dismal state of Jamaica's sugar industry, a situation Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw warned he is moving to address. "One of the things that are militating against the success of the industry right now is the illegal importation of sugar. Some years ago, the decision was taken to give manufacturers duty-free entry of sugar into the country for the manufacturing process. I am now satisfied that there is more than anecdotal evidence that white (processed or granulated) sugar that is being brought in for the manufacturing sector on an increasing basis is finding its way into the domestic market. Not by way of the manufacturing processes, but directly finding its way on to supermarket shelves and corner shop sellers across this country," Shaw told a stakeholders' meeting at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston yesterday. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Salisbury Novichok poisoning: Two Russian nationals named as suspects

Two Russian nationals have been named as suspects in the attempted murder of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. There is "sufficient evidence" to charge Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov over the attack in Salisbury, Scotland Yard and the CPS say. They are thought to have been using the names as aliases and are about 40. Mr Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok in March. Read more here

Woodward's revelations raise disturbing questions about Trump

If Bob Woodward is right, the United States and the world face an imminent, dangerous emergency: There is an "unhinged" "liar," a "fifth grade" intellect and an aggrieved and abusive "Shakespearean king" raging in the Oval Office. That is the word -- rendered by the ultimate Washington insider reporter -- of some of Trump's closest aides who feel they must protect the commander in chief from himself and the world from him. A President who prizes loyalty and self-image above all is left exposed and isolated in his own White House, viewed with contempt by those who serve him and open to ridicule by others who see his swaggering, domineering brand as a front for inadequacy. Read more here

 

5th September 2018

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