Daily Brief - Friday 3rd February, 2017

NEWS

Bully Breaks Boy’s Arm

Nine year-old schoolboy risk the use of his right arm after a classmate - described as an unrepentant bully - viciously attacked him during school hours on Wednesday and stamped on his arm, breaking the elbow socket of the limb. Sangre Grande police are said to be investigating the incident which has left Tristan Khan warded at the Sangre Grande District Hospital after undergoing emergency surgery yesterday where surgeons attempted to repair the damaged socket so that Tristan could hopefully regain use of his arm. Only time will tell if the surgery was a success. Distraught mother Shareefa Ali, posted photos of her son lying on a gurney at hospital, to her Facebook account, generating hundreds of comments. Tristan was playing with friends at the Mayaro Recreation Ground during his school’s second recess break at 2 pm on Wednesday when the bully spotted him and attacked. The bully stamped on Tristan’s back, sending him sprawling to the ground. Read more here

Beware of predators

Reeling from the tragic death of her only daughter Nadia Simms, Nafeesa Simms yesterday warned young citizens that they should scrutinise everyone offering help or trying to befriend them. Speaking at her Rochard Road, Penal home yesterday, Nafeesa said there were predators out there seeking to prey upon unsuspecting people who genuinely need help. Simms, who would have celebrated her 25th birthday next Tuesday was found dead on Wednesday. Hunters found her body buried in a shallow grave off a Petrotrin Field Road, Santa Flora. Read more here

Punish My Son

“Please, tell the police what happened to that girl.” That was the cry of a Siparia father whose son has been detained by police in connection with the death of 25-year-old Nadia Simms. The man said on Wednesday evening if his son is found guilty of committing a crime he should be punished, according to a source. ‘Good looking girl’ Read more here

 

POLITICS

Stronger terrorism laws coming

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi yesterday announced Government will be strengthening this country’s existing anti-terrorism laws and bringing a new law to deal with foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs). Al-Rawi said this was all part of Government’s thrust to combat terrorism inside and outside of this country’s borders. He explained that the amendments which will be laid in the House of Representatives today, significantly strengthen the current Anti-Terrorism Act on several levels. Al-Rawi said the legislation will extend the scope of the Act to cover terrorist acts committed outside of TT; extend specific offences for the provision of services for the commission of terrorist acts or the financing of terrorism and the collection of property, redefine terrorist acts and expand the definition of a terrorist, “to include persons who contribute to the commission of a terrorist act.” After explaining the latter included individuals or entities financing terrorist activities, the AG said, “We are criminalising the joining of a terrorist organisation and attending or receiving training.” Al-Rawi said this covers persons who go to other jurisdictions where they receive terrorist doctrine and training. Read more here

Dillon rules out SoE

National Security Minister Edmund Dillon admits he was “not comfortable with the results so far with regard to the murder rate,” and he wants police officers to “get out of the police station,” telling officers “your presence is what will act as a deterrent.” The minister also dismissed calls for a limited state of emergency, saying it was not necessary as he trusts the “law enforcement agencies” to bring crime down. Dillon said he understood the context in which the recent call by the Chaguanas, Couva/Pt Lisas and Penal/Debe Chambers was made for a limited state of emergency. Read more here

Garcia vows thorough probe into bullying claims

Education Minister Anthony Garcia has vowed to conduct a thorough investigation into an incident involving a nine-year-old pupil of Mayaro Government Primary School who was allegedly beaten on the school playground on Wednesday by a classmate. The child, Tristan Khan, suffered a broken arm and nerve damage after being cuffed, kicked and stomped on, and has since been hospitalised. Speaking at a news conference yesterday at the Education Towers, Port of Spain, Garcia said he had received a preliminary report from the school’s principal, indicating Khan and another pupil were at play during recess when an altercation developed, resulting in Khan’s injury. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Plipdeco grilled on security

Officials from State-owned Point Lisas Industrial Port Development Corporation (Plipdeco) were on Wednesday questioned extensively by members of Parliament’s Public Accounts Enterprises Committee (PAEC) about security measures at the Port of Point Lisas to prevent any type of contraband from enter ing the country. Questions posed by PAEC members to Plipdeco officials came 24 hours after Santa Cruz businessman Ricky Ragoonanan told Newsday that he knew nothing about US$2 million which was found stashed among ply board in a container at the port last year. Without referring to this specific matter during the PAEC public hearing at Tower D of the Port-of-Spain International Waterfront Centre, Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste- Primus observed there have been media reports over time about, “various types of contraband material coming through the Port of Point Lisas.” She added, “Drugs, money...the range.” Read more here

Take advantage of EPA

The current economic down­turn is not the first that T&T has been through and the country has the capacity to come out of this economic depression, said Trade Minister Paula Go­pee-Scoon. “We are all cognisant of the chal­lenges that the country is currently experiencing due to the fall in commodity prices and oil and gas pro­duction levels. However, this is not the first time that we as a country have faced this. However, it is all cy­clical. Perhaps prices may never ever return to their previous levels. The true mettle of a people is determined by the strategies we choose to over­come these challenges,” she said. Read more here

Fitch: Digicel needs cash recovery

International telecoms provider Digicel needs free cash flow (FCF) recovery to avoid potential refinancing risk, according to the latest report in Fitch’s Spotlight series released on Monday. Chicago-based Fitch Ratings Latin America corporates director Alvin Lim said: “Digicel’s successful extension of upcoming loan maturities from March 2018 will remain a key credit focus in the near term given its recent financial profile deterioration. Weaker-than-expected free cash flow recovery in fiscal year (FY)18 and FY19, which hinders the company to achieve a comfortable debt maturity schedule, will immediately pressure the ratings.” Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Billionaire Antigua-Barbuda diplomat 'disappears' in Hong Kong

One of Antigua and Barbuda’s economic envoys and diplomatic passport holder, Xiao Jianhua, a billionaire with ties to the Chinese government, has reportedly been abducted from his Hong Kong residence by Chinese police. Xiao, 45, was allegedly taken from his residence in a Hong Kong hotel and transported into mainland China. He has been missing since Friday, and if the Chinese police are involved in his absence, it would violate Hong Kong's constitution, which only permits Hong Kong police to operate in Hong Kong, a former British colony. The Chinese-born Xiao, a Canadian citizen, is the founder and owner of Tomorrow Holdings, which controls nearly 1 trillion Yuan (US$160 billion) of assets, ranging from banks and securities houses. Read more here

Anal Sex Row - Debate Reignites With Proposal To Expand Definition Of Intercourse

The old debate about anal sex has been resurrected with a United Nations (UN) recommendation that Jamaica's Parliament approve a redefinition of sexual intercourse to add penetration of the mouth or anus in order to fairly protect men and women against sexual violence. However, the local church lobby, through the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society (JCHS) and the Associated Gospel Assembles (AGA), has been quick to advise lawmakers to reject the proposal. Mark Connolly, from the UN Country Team, on Wednesday, read out the recommendation to a parliamentary committee that has resumed its review of Jamaica's sex laws. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Donald Trump's undiplomatic diplomacy

President Donald Trump is quickly becoming the world's most undiplomatic -- and unpredictable -- diplomat. Over the course of a week, he had a bruising telephone call with the leader of Australia, one of America's closet allies. He complained to the Mexican President about that country's "handling" of "tough hombres." And Thursday evening, Trump's administration warned that new Israeli settlement activity could potentially hamper the peace process, a new stance for a White House that's remained adamant in its support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Read more here

French soldier shoots attacker outside Louvre

A French soldier guarding the Louvre in Paris has shot a man who tried to attack a security patrol with a machete shouting "Allahu Akbar", police say. The man, who tried to gain entry to the Louvre's shopping centre, was shot in the abdomen and seriously injured. One soldier received a head injury. Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the attack was "terrorist in nature". The Louvre, home to numerous celebrated art works, is the most visited museum in the world. Police say five shots were fired at the man, who was taken to hospital. Read more here

3rd February 2017

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