Daily Brief - Wednesday 29th March, 2017

NEWS

Murder Enterprise

Four murders have been committed within the space of five days — between Friday last and yesterday — as the situation in crime-ravaged Enterprise, Chaguanas continues to teeter on the brink of open warfare between rival criminal gangs. In the latest blood-letting, a man was shot yesterday morning and died later at a health centre. Then on Monday night, another man was gunned down while attending the wake for Sylvan Alexis, who was shot dead last Friday in Enterprise. In the Monday night incident, father of three Patrick Isles of Southern Main Road, Enterprise was shot dead shortly after 10 pm, while at the wake held for Alexis, 60. Police said a gunman opened fire at persons assembled in the yard of Alexis’ Francois Street home. As the gunman ran off, persons spotted Isles slumped on the ground. He died not too far from where Alexis was shot dead last Friday. Read more here

Bike cop critical after PBR crash

A police constable was seriously injured in an accident in Macoya yesterday. According to reports, around 1 pm, PC Jasanie Davis was riding along the Priority Bus Route (PBR) when he collided with a maxi taxi near Constantine Park, Macoya. The impact caused the maxi taxi to capsize. Davis, who is assigned to the Court and Process Branch, sustained injuries to his pelvis and legs as well as internal bleeding. He was taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope where he remained warded in a critical condition up to late yesterday. Read more here

Schoolboy’s stabbing threat sparks protest

A threat by an 11-year-old boy to stab someone at his school reignited protest action by parents of pupils attending the Santa Rita Roman Catholic School in Rio Claro yesterday. The school was shut down as parents burned tyres outside the gates, preventing pupils and teachers from entering the compound. The parents demanded a meeting with Education Minister Anthony Garcia. Yesterday, the Ministry of Education’s Chief Education Officer Harrilal Seecharan said the child will be taken out of the school and officials from the Student Support Services Division will work with him for a period of time until he can be reintegrated into the school. Savitri Persad said she and her fellow parents were not prepared to endanger their children’s lives by sending them to school. She said: “The boy told a taxi-driver yesterday that he was not feeling to go to school and he was feeling to stab someone at school. Read more here

 

 

POLITICS

She had a weapon

Education Minister Anthony Garcia said yesterday a 14-year-old Mayaro Secondary School student who was beaten by three schoolmates on March 14, broke the school’s rules by entering the compound with a weapon. This, he said, was the reason she, along with her alleged attackers, were suspended. Garcia made the announcement after he and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley visited the St Barbs Government Primary School at Mentor Alley, Upper Laventille Road, Laventille. “I was reluctant to say more because it is a child and I did not want to give adverse publicity to the child,” Garcia said. Read more here

PM: Parents must join PTA

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday urged parents of children attending St Barb’s Government Primary School to get more involved in their children’s lives in a bid to mold them into becoming productive members of the nation. Rowley stressed that parental involvement was an important component where change was also necessary as he committed Government’s involvement to ensure children from communities within the Morvant and Laventille districts received the same opportunities and chances for positive growth and development like so many others across the country. Addressing a fraction of the school’s 124 student population during a symbolic T-shirt presentation ceremony at the school, Rowley said, “Even though we might not have all the money in the world, we have enough money to give you a good education.” Read more here

Mark: Dillon should be fired for incompetence

Are gangs being allowed to “kill out” each other in this country? Opposition Senator Wade Mark asked this question yesterday as he called for National Security Minister Edmund Dillon to be fired from office for incompetence. Mark was speaking in the debate on a motion at the Senate sitting yesterday raised by Opposition Senator Wayne Sturge calling on the Government to deal with the unacceptable crime level in Trinidad and Tobago. “Crime is out of control and sometimes one wonders whether there is a policy on the part of the Government to instruct security forces to have a hands- off approach in areas where criminal gangs operate,” he said. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Opportunities in print industry

Government and local businesses are being told to view the printing industry as an avenue towards meaningful diversification especially given the downturn in the economy. The call was made by David Lewis, managing director of the Label House Group on Monday during a print media management conference at the Trinidad Hilton. He suggested the country also needs to look at investors from Germany, Canada and Europe as the printing sector presents an amazing opportunity to create more jobs during a time of declining gas and oil revenues. Lewis said the printing sector needs a major shake-up in order to take advantage of existing opportunities... otherwise it will die. Read more here

Government still pursuing aluminium downstream options

Finance Minister Colm Imbert said yesterday while Government is not pursuing the Alutrint Smelter, it is actively pursuing a key aspect of the original project. Imbert said Government is meeting Alutech representatives on moves to produce large quantities of aluminium downstream products. He said this included pressed aluminium, coils, aluminium sheets for the vehicle industry and wheel rims. Aluminium ingots will be imported to make cast aluminium products. He said it will be the first in the region and will create “thousands of jobs.” Talks are on-going to firm up the bid. Cost of the plant hasn’t been fixed yet. Imbert dismissed a question by the Leader of the Opposition Business, Wade Mark as to how the new venture would survive given that the country recently announced there was a severe shortage of gas. Read more here

At the mercy of fish vendors

The high prices for fish, a trend as traditional as seafoods are to the Lenten period, are likely to remain a permanent feature rather than seasonal spike, partly because of price gouging at the retail end of the marketing chain.  The Express recently reported that king fish was sold at between $50 and $75 per pound at King’s Wharf, San Fernando, with other species somewhat cheaper but nevertheless still expensive. Kishore Boodram, a spokesperson for the fishers, even as he complained of negative factors that impacted them—rough seas, price of fuel, oil pollution-appealed to Government to put in place mechanisms to protect consumers from unfair prices. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Age Does Not Matter - Youth Say Voting Will Not Depend On Maturity Of Political Representative

Several young people across the Corporate Area have strongly dismissed assertions that the age of a political leader will influence their decision to take part in the democratic process. A debate has again stirred surrounding the capacity of the leaders of the two main political parties to reach the youth population and the role their ages would play. Dr Peter Phillips, president of the Opposition People's National Party (PNP), is 67, and Andrew Holness, prime minister and leader of the governing Jamaica Labour Party(JLP), is 44 years old. On Sunday, Phillips became president of the PNP by acclamation at a special delegates' conference held at the National Arena in Kingston, taking over the reins from outgoing president Portia Simpson Miller. Read more here

'Solid case' exists in bribery scandal against Panama Papers law firm

Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers affair, sold shell companies and held bank accounts that were used to help conceal bribes paid across South America, a Panamanian prosecutor alleged at a press conference last Thursday. Rómulo Bethancourt, one of Panama’s organized crime prosecutors, is currently investigating Mossack Fonseca’s alleged role in an international corruption probe. The investigation, known as Lava Jato (Car Wash), is tracing dozens of companies that allegedly paid bribes to politicians and officials in Brazil in exchange for contracts with the state-owned oil company. “We have a solid case,” Bethancourt said about his agency’s investigation of Mossack Fonseca, which began earlier this year. A separate investigation is ongoing into Mossack Fonseca and the Panama Papers. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Storm chasers killed in crash while tracking tornado

The three storm chasers pursued the raging tornadoes for years. When others fled, they drove closer to the spinning winds. That's what they were doing Tuesday, when their two cars rammed into each other 5 miles west of the Texas city of Spur. All three men died, officials said. The incident happened when a black Suburban traveling north ran through a stop sign and collided with a Jeep traveling west, according to Sgt. John Gonzalez of the Texas Department of Public Safety. Kelley Gene Williamson, 57, of Cassville, Missouri, was driving the Suburban. The passenger was his friend and fellow storm chaser, Randall Delane Yarnall, 55, also of Cassville. The Jeep's driver was Corbin Lee Jaeger, 25, of Peoria, Arizona. While he was pursuing the same tornado, it's unclear whether he was with the two men. All three were chasing a tornado in Dickens County, Lt. Bryan Witt said. Read more here

Trump climate: Challenges loom after Obama policies scrapped

Opponents of President Donald Trump's decision to scrap his predecessor's climate change policies say they will organise a public campaign and pursue legal avenues to challenge it. California and New York issued a joint statement saying they would continue the fight against climate change. Environmental groups have hired a host of lawyers to challenge Mr Trump's move that boosts fossil fuel production. Mr Trump said he wanted to end "job-killing regulations". Read more here

 

 

29th March 2017

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