Daily Brief - Wednesday 7th July, 2021

NEWS

Republic Bank apologises for new mobile app problems

Republic Bank Ltd has apologised to its customers for the issues experienced a few hours after it launched on Monday. Newsday obtained a statement e-mailed to its customers on Monday night. The app was launched that morning. It said the launch had an overwhelming response as customers visited the website and downloaded the new app. Read more here

Man freed of murder after more than 20 years in remand

After spending a little over two decades on remand and facing five failed trials, a man from Laventille accused of murdering his uncle has been freed following a civil lawsuit over breaches of his constitutional rights caused by the delay in prosecuting him. Delivering a judgement against the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on Monday, High Court Judge Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell quashed the longstanding murder indictment against Kevon Nurse as she ruled that he would be prejudiced by facing a sixth trial. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Gopee-Scoon: $78m spent on luxury foods in three years

Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon has said Trinidad and Tobago spent approximately $78 million a year over the last three years on the importation of luxury food items. She was responding to a question in the Senate on Tuesday. Gopee-Scoon recalled that Finance Minister Colm Imbert indicated in his 2021 budget statement in the House of Representatives last October that "the full value added tax (VAT) rate of 12.5 per cent would be applied to a wide range of luxury imported foods, with the intention of reducing the high local demand for luxury foods and subsequently the demand for foreign exchange." Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Central Bank: No plans to adopt cryptocurrency for now

The Central Bank is not currently interested in cryptocurrency. Its deputy governor Dr Dorian Noel said this country does not have the legislative framework or technological infrastructure to consider it. He was responding to questions from the public during the bank’s presentation of its 2021/2022-2025/2026 strategic plan on Tuesday morning. It was held virtually. Cryptocurrency is an electronic, decentralised currency system that puts trust in consumers as opposed to a central authority. The most widely known form of cryptocurrency is bitcoin, but there are several others including litecoin, cardano and ethereum. Read more here

Associated Brands seeks new export markets

Associated Brands Industries Ltd (ABIL), a local manufacturer and distributor of snack foods, chocolate confectionery, biscuits and breakfast cereals, is seeking to enter new export markets, as 65 per cent of the company’s revenue is earned in foreign exchange. Recently, ABIL which is located at Bhagoutie Trace, San Juan announced that its signature candy bar Catch will be sold and distributed in the Republic of Cyprus from September 2021. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Reduced travel taxes, restart of tourism possible in ‘travel bubble’

Leaders within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are expected to meet next week and consider short-term proposals for the reduction of intra-regional travel taxes which would result in cheaper airline tickets and the restart of tourism in a travel bubble, according to Chairman of CARICOM, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne. Browne told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday night that the resumption and intensification of regional tourism was a topical matter discussed during the two-day Heads of Government conference. The tourism-dependent economies of the Caribbean, according to recent World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports, have been particularly hard-hit by the restrictions imposed to control the spread and devastation of the novel coronavirus. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Haiti President Jovenel Moïse killed in attack at home

Haiti's President Jovenel Moïse has been killed in an attack on his home in the nation's capital, according to the country's interim prime minister. Claude Joseph said the president's home in Port-au-Prince was stormed by unidentified armed men at 01:00 local time (05:00 GMT). First Lady Martine Moïse was also injured in the attack. Mr Joseph said that "all measures had been taken to guarantee the continuity of the state". He has now taken control of the impoverished Caribbean nation, and has urged the public to remain calm. He called the shooting of the president a "heinous, inhuman and barbaric act". Jovenel Moïse, 53, had been in power since February 2017, after his predecessor Michel Martelly stepped down. Read more here

7th July 2021

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