Daily Brief - Tuesday 15th August, 2017

NEWS

Father of drowned toddler granted $75,000 bail

There was a brief uproar in the Port of Spain Magistrate’s Eighth Court yesterday as relatives of Atiba Gorkin, the father of 3-year-old Josiah Messi Gorkin who drowned during a family outing to the Chaguaramas boardwalk last month, expressed their outrage at an objection to bail by a prosecutor. Gorkin appeared before acting Chief Magistrate Maria Busby Earle- Caddle charged with manslaughter arising out of the death of his son. His attorney Samuel Pete Thomas requested that his client be granted bail as he was the bread-winner of his family and was struggling to come to terms with his son’s death. He said Gorkin’s experience has been made even more traumatic since his arrest last Tuesday. “Your worship while my client may have had matters before the court in the past, these matters have been resolved and all but two were ruled in his favour. Read more here

PATT board in marathon meeting

Some members of the Port Authority of T&T (PATT) and its chairman Alison Lewis were locked in an emergency meeting at the Port of Port-of-Spain over the sea bridge fiasco up to late last night. The meeting started at 11 am with a stern faced Lewis arriving at 12.10 pm at the administrative building, ducking the media as they asked questions. It was unclear if all seven board directors attended the marathon meeting, and there was no information on whether Lewis or any of her directors had tendered their resignations or what was discussed behind closed doors. Read more here

Sophia’s Choice

Independent Senator Sophia Chote proved she has a heart of gold when she gave up her business class seat to gold medallist Jereem “The dream” Richards, who was seated in economy at the back of the British Airways plane on the return flight from London. Trinidad and Tobago has been celebrating the golden victory of the track and field athletes at the 2017 IAAF World Championships but while Richards's performance was first class this was not reflected in the booking of his return ticket home. The team, comprising Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Jereem Richards and Machel Cedenio, secured gold on Sunday for this country in the men's 4x400 metre final at the IAAF World Championships in London. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Kamla: Fix the ferry scandal

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar accused Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley of simply not caring about the problems his Government is presiding over, chief of which is the Tobago ferry scandal. In a statement yesterday, Persad- Bissessar said she was unimpressed with his apology over the Ocean Flower 2 ferry which failed to arrive in this country. “Rowley’s apology was too little, too late and did nothing to comfort the people of Trinidad and Tobago,” she said. Persad-Bissessar alleged the sea-bridge woes began under Rowley’s tenure and, over several months, he issued several apologies but failed to find a resolution in the interest of citizens. Read more here

Apology does little to appease public—Kamla

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is describing Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s latest apology for the challenges in getting a replacement ferry for the inter-island sea bridge as “a pathetic attempt at distracting from his incompetence in handling this situation.” She said more than the “too little, too late” apology, the Prime Minister “must accept responsibility for this debacle,” deal with his Minister of Works and Transport, as well as the chairman and members of the Port Authority of T&T board and 23 months after assuming the mantle of leadership he should call a fresh election. In a release on the issue, Persad-Bissessar said Rowley’s apology “did nothing to comfort the people of Trinidad and Tobago.” Contending that the problems with the sea bridge started under his tenure, Persad-Bissessar said in the months that followed, “the Prime Minister issued a number of apologies but failed to take any action to correct the problems and bring about a resolution in the interest of the people of this country.” Read more here

Darryl ducks foundation talk

Sport Minister Darryl Smith yesterday opted to no longer talk about the controversial “Darryl Smith Foundation” but asked the Express to focus on his “fruitful” trip to China. The Express contacted Smith yesterday by phone to ask for further information about his recent trip to China as well as to query how funds donated to the foundation were accounted for. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Republic Group appoints new Chief Risk Officer

Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) has announced the appointment of Farid Antar to the position of Chief Risk Officer, with effect from October 1, 2017. Antar, the current General Manager for Corporate Operations and Process Improvement at Republic Bank Limited, will assume the role from Anthony Subero, who will retire from the bank after more than 35 years of sterling service. Read more here

BP begins production from Juniper project

BP Trinidad and Tobago (bpTT) yesterday announced first gas from the Juniper development, the fifth of BP’s seven Upstream major project start-ups planned for 2017. The project is expected to boost bpTT’s gas production capacity by an estimated 590 million standard cubic feet a day (mmscfd). With an investment of approximately US$2 billion, Juniper is BP’s first subsea field development in Trinidad. It produces gas from the Corallita and Lantana fields via the new Juniper platform, 80 kilometres (50 miles) off the south-east coast of Trinidad in water approximately 110 metres deep. Read more here

NFM: No flour rise despite 22% profit fall

Chief executive officer of the National Flour Mills (NFM), Kelvin Mahabir, is assuring that there will be no hike in the price of flour anytime soon, despite NFM's 22 per cent decline in profits, due in part to the increased cost of input. The price of flour has remained the same since 2008. “We will not be increasing prices in the near future,” Mahabir told the Express yesterday. He noted that the price of flour is influenced by the cost of international grains. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Shocking! - Green's Colleagues, Constituents Trying To Make Sense Of His Sudden Death

As recent as Saturday, Dr Winston Green sent WhatsApp messages to parliamentarians, showing highlights of a health fair he had hosted in his St Mary South East constituency, according to general secretary of the People's National Party (PNP), Julian Robinson. This is why, Robinson said, it has been made even harder for his family, close friends and colleagues to wrap their minds around his sudden passing yesterday. Green died early Monday morning at Andrews Memorial Hospital after collapsing at home. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

North Korea's Kim to Trump: It's your move

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un has finished reviewing a plan to fire four missiles off Guam, and has opted to wait to see what the "foolish Yankees" do next. The comments, published in North Korea's state media, KCNA, Tuesday, came after US Secretary of Defense James Mattis warned that if North Korea fired on US territory it would be "game on." Speaking at the Pentagon Monday, Mattis told reporters, "you don't shoot at people in this world unless you want to bear the consequences." The KCNA report Tuesday said Kim had "examined the (strike) plan for a long time and discussed it with the commanding officers in real earnest." The statement then appears put the onus to act on Trump, saying Kim would "watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees." Read more here

Zimbabwe's Grace Mugabe due in South Africa court over assault

Zimbabwe's first lady, Grace Mugabe, is due in court in South Africa following reports of an alleged assault, South Africa's police minister says. Fikile Mbalula said: "She's not under arrest because she co-operated and handed herself over to the police." She is alleged to have attacked a young woman at a Johannesburg area hotel. The woman, 20, accused Mrs Mugabe, 52, of hitting her in the face and put images of a head wound on social media. Mrs Mugabe has not yet commented. South African police confirmed that the 20-year-old had registered a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. Mrs Mugabe allegedly attacked the woman with an extension cord after finding her with her two sons in a hotel room in Sandton, a plush suburb north of Johannesburg, reports the BBC's Pumza Fihlani. Read more here

15th August 2017

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