Daily Brief - Thursday 23rd February, 2017

NEWS

Ex-US diplomat writes Speaker on PM’s remarks

According to the Hansard, Rowley had taken issue over Jat­ras’ position on the controversial Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) legislation.  Jatras, who now runs a legal firm in Washington DC, USA, which specialises in foreign affairs and human rights, has launched a worldwide campaign for the US Treasury to repeal FATCA. Rowley had warned Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar of taking advice from Jatras.  Jatras praised Persad-Bissessar’s courage for writing US President Donald Trump and taking a stand with respect to FATCA. Read more here

We’ll Take Justice

Laventille is hurting over the slaying, by police, of Mickel “Small Buck” Lancaster. And Laventille demands justice...apparently by any means necessary. Read more here

Licks for TUCO

The Calypso Monarch competition was thrown into a tailspin of controversy yesterday, after two calypsonians threatened legal action against the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (TUCO) to secure spots in Sunday’s final at the Queen’s Park Savannah. They are St Vincent-born Lornette “Fya Empress” Nedd-Reid, who was disqualified from the final by TUCO due to her nationality and Brian London, who claimed he narrowly missed out on a place in the final after four points were unfairly deducted from his semi-final score. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Camille: More support needed for non-profit organisations

Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis is calling on corporate Trinidad and Tobago to do its part in supporting non-profit organisations such as the Just Because Foundation which helps sick children. Read more here

Rowley: T&T’s future in Opposition’s hands

The country’s economic future is in the hands of the Opposition. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has already made it clear the FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) Bill has 23 PNM (People’s National Movement) votes. It needs a minimum of three Opposition votes to pass, and therein lies the future of Trinidad and Tobago. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Bankers: Get serious, pass FATCA today

Get serious and pass the Tax Information Exchange Act (TIEA) today! This was the message bankers sent to Government and the Opposition yesterday, ahead of today’s debate on the critical piece of legis­lation, in the House of Representatives. The TIEA is the requisite law which will ensure this country is compliant with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Read more here

Chambers want Central bank to rein in commercial banks

Incensed at the wide disparity between interest rates and deposit rates currently being offered by commercial banks, Couva/ Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce (CPLCC) president Liaquat Ali has called for the Central Bank governor to be given greater oversight of the commercial banking sector. Ali was addressing a seminar hosted by the Chamber titled- “Banking and Finance made simple” at the Chamber’s Camden Road, Couva conference hall on Tuesday. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Dominica president addresses rioting in Roseau

Two weeks after violence erupted in the capital city of Roseau, president of Dominica, Charles Savarin, has addressed the rioting and looting. The rioting followed a meeting held by the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) earlier that day near the Financial Centre. Savarin pointed out that, despite the right of every Dominican to freedom of expression and freedom to assemble, citizens should still abide by the law. The president stressed that specific guidelines were given to members of the UWP ahead of the meeting that preceded the rioting and it will be up to law enforcement and ultimately the courts to determine if the terms and conditions were adhered to. Political debate should be alive and well in a democracy like Dominica, Savarin emphasised, but he also cautioned that we should “resist the temptation to tarnish the name and image of our country or its vital economic interests”. Read more here

Illegals Welcome - Montague Opens Arms To Undocumented Jamaicans In US, Threatens To Imprison Rogues

Lawless Jamaicans living in the United States (US) are being warned by National Security Minister Robert Montague that they will be sent to prison upon their return if they disrupt the peace on the island. At the same time, he has rolled out the welcome mat for all undocumented Jamaican immigrants in the US who could very well be deported as a result of President Donald Trump's new immigration order. The minister was speaking at the US Embassy's handover of 200 patrol bicycles and two training simulators for defensive driving as well as firearms to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) at the National Police College of Jamaica in Twickenham Park, St Catherine, yesterday. "We want to remind those who want to come back home and wish to break the law that the JCF does monitor some of you, and if you step across the line, the department of correctional services will welcome you," Montague stressed. Trump has repeatedly expressed a desire to remove millions of undocumented immigrants from the US, which could see an unknown number of the approximately 67,000 undocumented Jamaicans living in the US returning home. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Mosul offensive: Iraqi forces storm airport in bid to retake city

Iraqi security forces have launched an attack on Mosul airport, a key part of the government's offensive to drive so-called Islamic State (IS) militants from the western half of the city. Military police have entered the airport and taken over the runway but have come under fire from IS militants in airport buildings, AP said. They have also entered a nearby military base amid further clashes, a military spokesman said. Eastern Mosul was retaken last month. The airport's runway had already been destroyed by IS, but BBC Middle East Correspondent Quentin Sommerville, who is embedded with Iraqi federal police units, says it still has value. It's a large piece of land, and controlling it will help secure southern routes to west Mosul, our correspondent says. Read more here

Bannon, Pence send contradictory messages to EU

White House strategist Steve Bannon described the European Union as a flawed institution to Germany's US envoy a week before Vice President Mike Pence reaffirmed the US commitment to the EU in Brussels, two diplomatic sources with knowledge of the conversation told CNN. Diplomats said that Pence's message of reassurance fell flat on European officials who are concerned about contradictory messages from Washington regarding the future relationship between the US and the EU. And it adds to the list of subjects about which President Donald Trump and administration officials are confusing allies. Read more here

23rd February 2017

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