Daily Brief - Monday 24th July, 2017

NEWS

Law Student Raped at KnifePoint

A 31-year-old Guyanese man who buggered and forced a law student to carry out grevious sexual acts was yesterday assisting the Arouca police in their investigation into the two offences. The traumatised victim, who is from Tobago, returned to the sister isle on Saturday night, hours after the incident, and is recieving counceling for his ordeal. According to reports, the victim who is pursuing a law degree, travels to Trinidad every Saturday to attend classes. On Saturday afternoon around 4 pm he exitied a taxi in Arouca and was on his way to board another taxi to take him to the Piarco International Airport, when he saw a man whom he thought looked familiar. Read more here

GATE Fallout

The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has taken a decision to lower the entry requirements for the Faculty of Social Sciences given a drastic drop in the number of applicants. The Express understands that with only 186 students having been offered places in its evening programmes to date, the Faculty of Social Sciences decided to cut its matriculation standards for entry and sought the approval of the Academic Board of the Campus to do this. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Abdulah to Gov’t: Come clean on CLF

Political Leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah has called on the government to give a status report on the assets of CL Financial (CLF) since, according to him, there were very valuable assets held by the conglomerate. “It is our understanding that many companies, in fact, are making decent profits. Why haven’t some of the profits used to repay some of their debt? We need to be informed why that is not taking place. Why are there no proper arrangements for repayment given the cash flows of those companies which have improved significantly post 2009?” Abdulah questioned. He was speaking at a press conference hosted at the party’s headquarters at St Joseph Village, San Fernando. He said CLF had shares in companies such as Republic Bank, Clico, Angostura, insurance companies and so on. “Angostura is an iconic brand and we cannot have those dissipating. We cannot lose what is essentially part of our economic heritage by either a liquidator selling out or shareholders selling out to get cash to repay the debt,” he said. Read more here

Bas: Don’t name anything after me

WHEN he walked out of the Parliament seven years ago, former prime minister Basdeo Panday made one request — do not name anything after him while he was alive. As he was inducted into the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC) Hall of Pioneers on Saturday night, Panday explained why. He said he feared that he may succumb to temptation and “do something foolish”. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Sawmillers: We’re losing millions

Facing hardship since the government banned the export of lumber last year, sawmillers in south Trinidad are finding it hard to keep their businesses afloat. As a result, millions of dollars in lumber are remaining on the hands of the sawmillers. Bevin Lemo, of Bevin’s Enterprises Limited in Penal Rock Road, said he has been forced to send home some of his workers because he could not pay their salaries. “I have $120,000 worth of prepared lumber just lying in my yard and nobody is buying it. I cannot export it and I have used up all my money so I have not been able to pay my workers salaries for the past month,” he said. Read more here

Investor opportunities in fixed income

This week, we at Bourse take a closer look at domestic and international bond markets with a focus on areas in which investors can unlock value. We review the performance of both markets for the year thus far and identify income-generating opportunities that would be an attractive addition to an investment portfolio. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Engine fire indicator causes Caribbean Airlines flight to St Lucia to abort landing

On July 9, 2017, a Caribbean Airlines ATR-72 flying from Port of Spain in Trinidad to Saint Lucia with 68 people on board, was on its approach to George F.L. Charles Airport (SLU), the smaller of Saint Lucia's airports, when the crew decided to divert to Hewanorra Airport (UVF), the larger international airport, reporting an engine fire indication about eight minutes prior to landing. The crew shut the engine down, activated the fire suppression and landed safely at Hewanorra about 20 minutes after aborting the approach to SLU, the Aviation Herald reported. According to a passenger on the flight, they had almost arrived at George F.L. Charles Airport when the crew announced the fire indication and decided to divert. The passengers were instructed to brace and were in that position for about five minutes. Read more here

Get It Out! - Parliament Under Pressure To Remove Provision That Could Shield Cabinet Contracts From Corruption Probes

Jamaica's biggest business group and the main anti-corruption lobby in the island are demanding that the Government remove the 'dangerous' section of an anti-corruption bill that would allow Cabinet to designate some contracts 'confidential' and require that investigators get permission before starting a probe. The controversial Clause 52 of the Integrity Commission Bill was approved by the Senate last Thursday. There were 103 changes to the legislation approved by the House of Representatives in January. When law, it will allow for the establishment of a single anti-corruption agency with prosecutorial and investigative powers. Under the clause, the director of investigations must get permission to probe contracts and licences relating to equipment provision for the security forces. It also includes a third part, which gives the Cabinet the power to make confidential any contracts it "determines", and to probe those will also require permission from the Cabinet secretary. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Poland's President Duda vetoes judicial reforms after protests

Polish President Andrzej Duda has announced he is vetoing a controversial law to replace Supreme Court judges with government nominees. Three key judicial reforms have been passed by Poland's parliament, prompting days of demonstrations across the country. Before they become law, they require approval by the president. The changes have also set Poland's right-wing government on a collision course with the European Union. The European Commission had threatened to impose sanctions this week if the reforms were not scrapped. European Council President Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, had warned of a "black scenario that could ultimately lead to the marginalisation of Poland in Europe". Read more here

Kushner: No additional contacts with Russians

Jared Kushner, the President's son-in-law and senior adviser, said in a statement Monday to the Senate and House intelligence committees that he had no additional contacts with individuals who were or may have been Russian government representatives, beyond those that have already been publicly disclosed. In an 11-page statement released Monday ahead of his closed-door interview with Senate intelligence committee staff, Kushner offers his first public accounting of what he says are his four meetings with Russians during the 2016 campaign and transition, offering previously undisclosed details of those meetings. Read more here

24th July 2017

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