Daily Brief - Friday 10th March, 2023


PAHO warns: Covid19 is still with us

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) director Dr Jarbas Barbosa has warned against complacency over covid19, pointing out that the pandemic is still going on. He said there have been more than 1.5 million cases and 17,000 deaths in the Americas over the last month. “Covid19 is still with us, and the virus has yet to settle into a predictable pattern. We cannot be complacent. Testing rates have dropped, (but) it is crucial that countries maintain and continue to strengthen surveillance, as the virus can evolve and adapt quickly.” Read more here

GML launches Freedom 106.5FM

A few years ago, Guardian Media took a decision to review its radio network. And while Freedom 106.5 FM was well established with various audiences, GML’s Commercial Manager for Radio, Tova Satnarine-White, said there was also a desire to make a positive difference in society by offering a source of credible information and quality entertainment. Freedom 106.5 FM was thus rebranded just over a year ago, with current affairs programmes being one of the core elements. The official launch of the station took place on Wednesday night at GM Labs, Guardian Media Building, St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain. GML Managing Director Dr Karrian Hepburn Malcolm said the need for current affairs programming should not be taken lightly. Read more here



Hinds: Counter-trafficking specialist coming by end of month

A special adviser recruited by the US government will be coming to Trinidad and Tobago by the end of March to assist with bringing human traffickers to justice, said Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds. He made the announcement while addressing citizens in Barataria at a PNM political meeting on Thursday. “We have negotiated that they send a special adviser to us on the business of human trafficking to work closely with our counter trafficking units and our working groups to assist us in meeting the standard of their laws to bring about more convictions in the court,” Hinds said. Read more here

PM weighs Mexico request to join US anti-gun lawsuit ... To discuss issue at Caricom Crime Symposium

Mexico has asked Caricom to join its legal fight to hold US gun manufacturers and distributors responsible for the crime mayhem their weapons of destruction have been used to unleash in some countries - and T&T is actively considering the request. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley indicated this last night at the People's National Movement's public meeting at Barataria Community Centre. It was the PNM’s first public meeting for 2023. On Mexico’s request, Rowley said, “T&T is actively considering that to test the legality of those who make those weapons of war that are destroying our societies – we have to join that fight.” Rowley said he suspects the proposed legal battle, which will be undertaken in the US courts, is one of the things that will come out of the Caricom Crime Symposium that will be held here in T&T from April 16-17. He noted that he is responsible for national security in the Caricom quasi-Cabinet format. Read more here



Lashley: Energy sector powered NEL’s $2B turnaround

Strong performances from the energy sector bolstered the National Enterprises Limited’s (NEL) financial performance for 2022, its chairman Ingrid Lashley has said. Lashley said the company recorded a net profit of $1.98 billion for the financial year ended September 30, 2022. This represented an increase of over $2 billion compared to a loss of $270 million in the previous financial year, Lashley explained at the company’s annual general meeting at the Hyatt Regency yesterday. “A significant turnaround in our net profits and dividend income arose from increased profitability in our investing portfolio in the energy sector. This has allowed us to consider a dividend flow that will give shareholders access to their returns in the shortest possible time. We expect our energy portfolio to continue to provide solid performance on the basis of market strategies of companies like Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited whose penetration into new international markets has established a platform for successful growth and profits,” Lashley said. Read more here

Flight turbulence

It is much more difficult to get to Trinidad and Tobago by plane than it was pre Covid-19. Figures provided to the Express Business by the Airport’s Authority for the month of February, leading up to this year’s Carnival, show the number of flights coming to Trinidad and Tobago from all destinations decreased by a massive 46 per cent. There were 408 flights this year when compared to 760 in 2020. It must be noted that for both years Carnival fell almost on the same date and therefore the peak demand period was the same. Read more here



No end to investment opportunities in Guyana – Dr Peter Ramsaroop

AS government continues to work aggressively to advance the country’s infrastructural and economic development, Chief Investment Officer and Head of Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), Dr. Peter Ramsaroop, has said that the investment opportunities that are available are limitless. During a recent interview with the Guyana Chronicle, Ramsaroop explained that the massive investment that the government is making in the public sector is encouraging investments in the private sector. He noted that if the private sector is to look at where government is initiating development, they would recognise that there are many activities that they can invest in. Read more here



Hamburg shooting: Seven killed in attack on Jehovah's Witness hall

Seven people, including an unborn baby, have been killed in a shooting at a Jehovah's Witness meeting hall in the German city of Hamburg, police say. They say the gunman acted alone in Thursday's attack, and later took his own life. His motives are unknown. The suspect, named only as Philipp F, 35, is a former member of the religious community, who had "ill-feelings". Dramatic footage has now emerged that appears to show the suspect firing many rounds through a window of the hall. He is a former member of the religious community, who had "ill-feelings", the police said at a briefing. All those shot dead were German nationals. Read more here

10th March 2023


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