Daily Brief - Monday 1st May, 2017

NEWS

Quinlan enquiry: Dabideen confirms he wasn’t notified of outcome

Industrial Court Judge ­Brian Dabideen, complainant in the 2011/2012 enquiry into misconduct charges against former magistrate Avason Quinlan-Williams, now a High Court judge, yesterday confirmed he has not been notified of the outcome of the enquiry. Dabideen added, however, “based on the regu­lations as I understand them to be, there is no requirement for me to be notified. The chair of JLSC (Judicial and Legal Service Commission) together with the accused (Quinlan-Williams) would be the persons to be notified”. Read more here

Cops want 13.5% salary increase

One month after receiving the second half of their back pay, the Police Social and Welfare Association are now demanding a 13.5 percent increase in salaries for the period 2014 - 2017. Additionally, they are also demanding the absorption of Special Reserved Police officers into the TT Police Service (TTPS). Read more here

Oil spill flows into Venezuela waters

Despite mop-up operations by Petrotrin following an oil spill two Sundays ago which saw 300 barrels of oil leaking into the sea, the oil has crossed into international waters and has reached the eastern coastline of Venezuela. This was confirmed by Energy Minister Franklyn Khan who said a local team will be dispatched to Venezuela either today or tomorrow to liaise with Venezuelan counterparts to assess the situation and determine in detail what the clean-up campaign entail. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Kamla rips up property tax form at rally

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar tore up a property fax form in front of a large crowd of supporters in Debe yesterday as she called on citizens to do likewise when they receive the forms in their mail boxes. Challenging the Government to lock her up for failing to submit the form by the May 22 deadline, Persad-Bissessar said she had received legal advice that the form is “null and void” and as a consequence they are under no obligation in law to fill out and submit the forms. Read more here

TT communicating with Turkey, says Young

Local arms of the national security apparatus under the aegis of the Ministry of National Security have established communications with the Turkish authorities to ensure proper exchange of information and intelligence on the deportation of 12 Trinidad and Tobago nationals from Turkey. This is according to Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs Stuart Young. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Grenada PM walks back foreign minister's 'inappropriate' comments on Venezuela

Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell confirmed during a post cabinet news briefing on Thursday that foreign affairs minister Elvin Nimrod has admitted to inappropriate language during a recent public comment on Grenada’s relationship with Venezuela. Addressing a function to celebrate longstanding ties between Grenada and Venezuela, Nimrod was quoted as saying Grenada would support Venezuela… “no matter what”. “I cannot say no matter what happens, that I can support and I would not even say that about my own government or ministers in my own government,” Mitchell said. “I think the minister is right to admit that he may have misspoken.” Read more here

Hellshire Ambush

The security forces were taking no chances yesterday after Leighton Coke, brother of drug kingpin Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, was ambushed and shot several times during an early-morning attack at Hellshire Beach in St Catherine. Hours after the shooting, police and soldiers took up positions at one of the country's main public hospitals as doctors there treated the man widely known as 'Livity' for gunshot wounds to the right side of his chest and left hand. A woman who was travelling with him at the time was also shot multiple times and was in serious condition at hospital. There was also a strong police presence along a section of Spanish Town Road that borders the community of Tivoli Gardens. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Sources: Sebastian Gorka to leave White House

Sebastian Gorka, a controversial national security aide in the White House, is expected to leave his job, several administration officials confirm to CNN. One senior administration official said Gorka is expected to find an opportunity outside the White House soon. Another said it's possible he would take another job in the administration, but added it's more likely he will leave altogether. That official said Gorka was simply generating too much controversy for the White House. Gorka is a deputy assistant to President Donald Trump and has been working on the National Security Council and on the Strategic Initiatives Group, which Gorka has described as a focal point for task forces collaborating with people outside government. Read more here

France election: Le Pen attacks Macron as 'candidate of continuity'

Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has accused her pro-EU centrist rival Emmanuel Macron of being the "candidate of continuity". She linked Mr Macron to the unpopular current President, Francois Hollande, in whose cabinet he once served. Mr Macron, who holds a rally later, earlier told the BBC the EU must reform or face the prospect of "Frexit". He is currently 20 percentage points ahead of Ms Le Pen in the polls ahead of Sunday's second round of voting. France is on high alert as traditional May Day protests, on the left and the right, get under way. Although five big unions have urged their members not to vote for National Front (FN) leader Ms Le Pen, only two have expressed their support for Mr Macron. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Donald Trump's next 100 days

 President Donald Trump will spend his next 100 days trying to get things done that he once confidently predicted he would accomplish in his first 100 days in office. The White House spent last week fending off unflattering critiques of Trump's first three months in the Oval Office, claiming he had racked up great achievements while also dismissing what it sees as an artificial milestone. Read more here

US budget: Funding deal reached to avert shutdown

Congressional negotiators have reached an agreement on a spending bill to keep the US government running until 30 September. The bipartisan deal boosts military spending but does not include funding for President Donald Trump's proposed wall on the Mexico border. The reported $1 trillion deal (£770bn) needs to be approved by lawmakers. On Friday Congress approved a stop-gap spending bill that averted a government shutdown at midnight on that day. That gave Congress one more week to work out federal spending for the last five months of the fiscal year. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the package in the coming days. The failure to act would have closed national parks and monuments and laid off federal employees. Read more here

1st May 2017

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