Daily Brief - Thursday 2nd March, 2017

NEWS

Full and extreme cuttail

Ultimate Rejects led by MX Prime (Edghill Thomas) not only won the 2017 Road March title with Full Extreme but the hit song broke the record for the most number of plays in the competition’s history with 556 plays. The previous record holder was Super Blue (Austin Lyons) with his song Fantastic Friday, which was 511 times during Carnival 2013. President of the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) Lutalo “Bro Resistance” Masimba made the announcement yesterday. “The song relates directly to the times, the song brings a breath of fresh air where the music is for the road. It also shows that any composer could have an opportunity to win a Road March title,” he said. When Newsday spoke to MX Prime yesterday he said records were made to be broken. “Someone would come and break that record but for now we are humbled that the DJs played the song that much and that people requested the song. Read more here

McIntosh elated

This year was like deja vu for Ronnie McIntosh and his wife, Caroline, after their band, Ronnie and Caro, captured the National Carnival Commission’s Band of the Year title in the Large Bands category and the Port-of-Spain Downtown Carnival for the fourth consecutive time. The Lost Tribe placed second, repeating the position it placed in 2016, while Trini Revellers copped the third position, also as it did last year. The announcements were made by National Carnival Commission (NCC) communications manager Kevon Gervais, at a news conference at the NCC’s Executive VIP Lounge at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain. K2K Alliance & Partners won the Medium Bands category, beating back Mas Passion and Just We and Friends respectively. Read more here

‘Song highlights the resilience of our people’

“Full Extreme”, popularly called “We Jammin’ Still”, resonated with people and was a hit because it is a song about resilience and survival despite the challenges, according to the psychiatric and psychological experts. The band Ultimate Rejects featuring MX Prime won the 2017 Road March title with their smash hit “Full Extreme”, which ruled the stage, having been played a historic 556 times. The Express yesterday spoke with professionals to find out just why the song affected the psyche of the people so much so that it dominated the roads as well as social networking sites. Psychologist Daryl Joseph said the song is one of courage and triumph in the face of adversity. “Trinbagonians are very resilient people, we try our best to not get overwhelmed by the seriousness of any situation. We try to keep things to a degree of light-heartedness and that allows us to continue functioning.  Read more here

 

POLITICS

Parents blamed for high pupil absenteeism

An estimated 82 per cent of secondary school pupils were absent from schools across the country yesterday, the Education Ministry announced yesterday. The attendance at primary schools was a slightly better with a 26 per cent of pupils showing up for classes. And parents were blamed for the high level of absenteeism. At a press conference held at the Education Ministry in Port-of-Spain yesterday Education Minister Anthony Garcia described the situation as untenable. He said it was the sole responsibility of parents to ensure children went to school. Read more here

Was Carmona’s costume disrespectful?

For many, the Carnival costume worn by President Anthony Carmona was simply a representation of the diverse culture of Trinidad and Tobago. But for some devout Hindus, it was seen as a mockery to Hindu priests. Carmona wore a Dhisha Moorjani design as he participated in Brian MacFarlane’s 2017 Carnival presentation, Cazabon—The Art of Living, as a masquerader in the section Apna Desh. Carmona’s costume was a white dhoti, kurta, turban and sacred chains worn by pundits while performing Hindu rituals. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Locust warning in effect

A public awareness seminar on the Moruga locust was held on Thursday last at the Richard Douglas Presbyterian School in Barrackpore targeting residents and farmers of the southern side of Barrackpore, where locust swarms were previously identified. This session was coordinated by the Ministry’s Regional Administration South Division (Victoria County Agricultural Office) and facilitated by the Agricultural Assistant III (with direct responsibility for the Locust Control Programme), Rudy Ramdass. Read more here

New oil from Goudron this month

New oil is expected to flow from a field deep in South Trinidad, a statement by London-listed LGO Energy plc said on Monday. LGO’s full-year 2016 average oil production out of Trinidad was 548 barrels per day (bopd) and the company has an estimated 800 million barrels of oil in the ground (oil in place—OIP), according to previous statements. Most of the company’s production comes from Goudron (over 420 bopd) and the rest from Icacos. The nearest inhabited village to Goudron is Guayaguayare. ‘Drilling to start in the next week’ Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Barbados dollar in no danger of devaluation, says minister

The Barbados dollar is not in any “danger of a devaluation” against the US dollar, asserted minister of finance, Christopher Sinckler on Monday, as he addressed a press conference to discuss the Barbados economy. He told the media: “It [devaluation] is not going to happen next week, next payday, next three months, next year or at any other time in the foreseeable future. That is simply not going to happen!” He noted that, though the foreign exchange reserve levels had temporarily fallen below the 12 weeks standard threshold, this was not the first time it had happened in the history of Barbados’ economy. “We previously operated this economy successfully with lower levels of reserves in 1998 (9.1 weeks) and in 1999 (9.9 weeks). In neither of those instances there was ever a question that any government of the day would countenance any decision to adjust the value of our currency. Similarly, it is not a scenario that this administration will permit to happen under its watch,” he insisted. Read more here

Fully Focussed On Growth - Holness Defends Delay In Proposed Legislative Agenda

Criticisms over the Government's failure to introduce far-reaching legislative changes, including those to fix the date for general election and introduce impeachment options for parliamentarians, have been rejected by Prime Minister Andrew Holness. Last week the Opposition People's National Party knocked the Holness-led administration over its failure to introduce the pieces of legislation to Parliament, despite promising to do so on the campaign trail and again in the first Throne Speech after being elected.  "The Government promised 15 pieces of new legislation including a fixed election date, term limits for the prime minister, referenda on critical national issues; and not one of these has been brought to Parliament," argued the PNP in its critique of the first year of the Holness administration. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions under fire over Russia meetings

Attorney General Jeff Sessions met Russia's ambassador during the election despite telling his confirmation he had "no communications with the Russians". The justice department confirmed he met Sergei Kislyak in July and September last year as part of his role on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Mr Sessions said his comments at his confirmation hearing had related to his role on the Trump campaign team. Claims of Russian interference in the election have dogged President Trump. The US intelligence community believes the alleged Russian hacking of Democratic organisations was carried out to help Mr Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. Read more here

Democrats call for Sessions to resign over meetings with Russian envoy

Senior Democrats have called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign after it emerged he failed to disclose two meetings with Russia's ambassador to Washington during the US election campaign. Sessions did not mention the meetings with Sergey Kislyak during his confirmation hearings, when was asked if he knew of any contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Sessions campaigned on behalf of Donald Trump throughout 2016. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Session should resign. Pelosi said Sessions' answers in his confirmation hearing amounted to "apparent perjury" and said he was "not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officer of our country." Read more here

2nd March 2017

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