Daily Brief - Wednesday 26th July, 2017

NEWS

Mom was raped, strangled with own dress

Within 24 hours, between Monday and yesterday four people were murdered in three unrelated incidents while a man was shot dead by a security guard in what has been described as a botched robbery and two others remain warded at hospital following a shooting. On Monday evening, a woman who decided to pay her mother a visit, found the 59-year-old woman’s nude body inside her (the victim) Valencia shack. The victim, Christiana Lewis, a mother of three, lived alone. Her wooden house was ransacked. An autopsy done yesterday at the Forensic Science Centre by Pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov revealed that Lewis was raped and strangled. Read more here

Dad, son killed

An employee from the Port-of-Spain General Hospital (PoSGH) and his father, a retiree who also worked at the hospital, were both ambushed and killed by gunmen in Laventille yesterday, while responding to a call of an accident along Picton Road involving one of their vehicles. Fitzroy Daniel, 65, and his son Jabari, 25, were taken to the PoSGH after the attack but Daniel was pronounced dead on arrival. Jabari died while undergoing emergency surgery hours later. Both father and son lived at Boxhill Trace, Laventille. The men were shot in the back of their heads and torsos around 12.30 pm by attackers using high-powered rifles, according to investigating officers. Read more here

‘Internal memo called for lowering of UWI entry’

An internal memorandum from The University of the West Indies (UWI) has indicated there was a request for a reduction in the Grade Point Average (GPA) for admission into degree programmes in the Faculty of Social Sciences. This was requested because of the low number of applications for the programmes. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Kamla: Money could fund 20,000 students

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said alleged excessive costs for the two newly- leased ferries for the Trinidad to Tobago sea bridge could have funded tertiary studies for 20,000 students even at a time of cutbacks in courses and enrolment at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine. She was speaking at a Monday Night Forum of the United National Congress (UNC) at La Horquetta/ Talparo. Minister of Works and Transport, Rohan Sinanan, yesterday assured all was above-board with the ferry leasings. Persad-Bissessar also vowed to personally prosecute the case of an injured policeman who cannot access compensation due to the Government failing to activate the Protective Services Compensation Committee. Read more here

AG proposes legislation to deal with Marcia cases

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi has proposed legislation to deal with the 52 part heard matters left in limbo by Marcia Ayers-Caesar. The proposed legislation is also aimed at avoiding a recurrence of a similar situation and a such the Government is “eager to proceed” with it. The corrective action proposed by Al-Rawi is the Miscellaneous Provisions (summary Courts and Preliminary Enquiries) Bill 2017. It is to be presented to the Parliament soon. Al-Rawi has written to president of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT) Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes seeking “urgent advice” on the Bill. Read more here

 Legal action coming

Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan says legal action is coming on a criminal and civil level with respect to the procurement of the Super Fast Galicia. Speaking to the Express by phone yesterday, Sinanan said that advice from senior counsel was received two to three months ago and is in the hands of the Attorney General. “Based on the legal opinion that we got, we were advised to continue to pursue legal action in terms of evidence for a criminal offence and civil action,” he said. He opted not to give any further detail except to say that the Government will be moving forward on this issue. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

TT not making use of free trade agreement with Costa Rica

Despite the fact that the country is in recession and desperately needs to diversify its economy, local businesses are not taking full advantage of trade opportunities available to them. One such opportunity is the Costa Rican market. Sheri Joseph, business development executive in the TT Trade Promotion Office at Procomer, the Costa Rican export promotion agency, said last year Costa Rica exported $60 million worth of products to this country while local businesses sent a mere $16 million worth of goods to the Central American country. This despite the fact CARICOM and Costa Rica signed a Free Trade Agreement in 2005. Read more here

ExxonMobile confirms discovery of 2nd giant oil field in Guyana

United States oil giant ExxonMobile has discovered more oil in the Payara reservoir offshore Guyana. In making the announcement yesterday, ExxonMobil Corporation says this increases the total Payara discovery to approximately 500 million oil-equivalent barrels. “These positive well results increase the estimated gross recoverable resource for the Stabroek Block to between 2.25 billion oil-equivalent barrels and 2.75 billion oil-equivalent barrels,” the company said. The well drilled by ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd and encountered 59 feet of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone in the Payara field. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

MoBay Is Ready - Mayor Says City Ripe For Zones Of Special Operations

As St James continues to bleed, with the murder rate racing past 160 following the killing of two persons in a brazen gun attack in Salt Spring on Monday, it would appear that Montego Bay's mayor, Homer Davis, is ready to embrace the recently enacted zones of special operations initiative. Speaking in Montego Bay on Monday, the mayor, who is a former member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, described the zones of special operations law as a step in the right direction and intimated that, with the ongoing criminal carnage in St James, the parish needed that kind of intervention. "Over the years, we have tried the Suppression of Crime Act, which, over a while, did not serve its purpose," said Davis. "I believe the new act will go a far way in dealing with the crime situation." Read more here

CDB grant to build regional capacity for climate forecasting

The board of directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved €773,000 in grant funding to enhance regional resilience to climate variability and change. The grant will be provided to the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), and will be used to strengthen national and regional institutional capacity for weather and climate forecasting. “Severe weather events produce some of the most significant negative socio-economic impacts in the region and climate change is predicted to increase both the frequency and intensity of these events. Without appropriate mitigation and adaptation measures, these events will continue to hamper the development of the region. Equipping policy-planners and the most vulnerable communities with early climate/weather information and advisories to anticipate climate-related shocks and changes is crucial to inform planning for climate resilience and disaster risk management,” said Cheryl Dixon, coordinator, Environmental Sustainability Unit, CDB. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

European Union warns US over Russia sanctions bill

The European Union has delivered a stern warning to the US over a plan to impose new sanctions on Russia, opening up the prospect of a rift between the two allies over how to deal with Moscow's foreign interventions. EU President Jean-Claude Juncker said the bloc would act "within days" if it does not receive reassurances on the potential impact of new sanctions on European interests. Russia also reacted angrily, saying the sanctions bill passed by the US House of Representatives on Tuesday risked worsening the already poor relations between the two countries. The bill, drawn up largely in response to Moscow's alleged meddling in the 2016 US election, calls for new measures against Russia, North Korea and Iran. It also limits any effort by the White House to weaken such penalties. Read more here

France wildfires force mass evacuation

Wildfires in south-eastern France have forced the evacuation of 10,000 people overnight, officials say. Hundreds of firefighters have been deployed to battle the fires near Bormes-les-Mimosas, in the country's Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. France earlier asked its EU neighbours for more help fighting the fires. Some 4,000 hectares (15.4 sq miles) of land have burned along the Mediterranean coast, in the mountainous interior and on the island of Corsica. "The evacuations, at least 10,000, followed the progression of the fire," a fire official was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency. "It's an area that doubles or triples its population in summer," the official added. One of the worst fires is raging in an area near the popular resort of Saint-Tropez. In Corsica, hundreds of homes have been evacuated. Read more here

26th July 2017

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