Daily Brief - Friday 24th February, 2023


Families a year after Paria drownings – 'Wounds still deeply open'

Two days before the anniversary of the Paria diving tragedy, a memorial service was held, and the lone survivor planted five poui trees in remembrance of the four divers who died outside the office of Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh. A commemorative plaque with the names of the four was planted by Christopher Boodram, the lone survivor, and Indarsingh, and unveiled by the dead divers' families. It bore the message: “They fought for their lives bravely, and today we continue to fighting for them. May their memory and love live on.” Read more here

Lost Tribe wins one for Carnival family ... secures first NCC Band of the Year title

The Lost Tribe has copped the coveted Band of the Year title for Carnival 2023 with its presentation of 202WE, the National Carnival Commission (NCC) announced yesterday. It is the first time the band has taken the overall top title, although it won the Large Band of the Year category in 2019 with its presentation Taj. After two days across several judging points in northern Trinidad, judges gave The Lost Tribe 1,303 points, well ahead of Ronnie and Caro’s ‘This is Paradise (1,257 pts), and Showtime Carnival’s ‘Metamorphosis’ (1,213). Paparazzi Carnival, Trinidad All Stars and Mardi Gras TT were third, fourth and fifth respectively in the same category. Read more here



Young: We'll succeed in negotiating the dragon deal

Energy Minister Stuart Young was confident that the deal for TT to receive gas from Venezuela's Dragon gas field would not be stymied by conditions laid down by the US Government for this project, including how TT will pay for the gas and for how long would the project be exempted from US sanctions against the Venezuelan Government, initiated over alleged election rigging. He was addressing a post-Cabinet briefing on Thursday at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann's. In 2018, the Prime Minister and Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro danced in a conga line in the Miraflores Palace in Caracas after inking a deal for TT to buy Venezuelan gas and monetize it on the world market for the benefit of TT and Venezuela, but the project stalled when sanctions bit Maduro's regime. Read more here

PM to attend Parliament virtually after contracting COVID again

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has again tested positive for COVID-19. His condition was confirmed by the Office of the Prime Minister through a social media post. According to the OPM, Dr Rowley was tested yesterday morning after experiencing mild flu-like symptoms on Wednesday night. It said the PM will thus remain in isolation in keeping with the current COVID-19 protocols but will continue working from his office at the Prime Minister’s residence. He still led the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday virtually and is also expected to attend Parliament virtually today, where he will answer Prime Minister’s questions. This is the fourth time the Prime Minister has tested positive for COVID-19. Read more here



Tobago Jazz on this year, but THA hopes to revamp event

There are plans for a Tobago Jazz Festival this year, but Chief Secretary Farley Augustine is hoping to revamp the event. Augustine said the Tobago House of Assembly’s current handling of the event was not sustainable. “What this administration intends to do however if we are to keep the Jazz festival is to transition so that private promoters are the ones running most of it and the THA perhaps just takes charge of the marketing aspect and the marketing of the destination but private promoters get the opportunity to run with the events as opposed to the THA doing the marketing, bringing the artistes, paying for all the events, paying for all the logistics. And paying for everything, zero to 100 per cent. That is not sustainable,” said Augustine following the handover of the Manta Lodge Hotel in Speyside on Wednesday. Read more here

We can’t open today

While the scrap iron industry is set to partially re-open today, its president said this will not take place as they have not received export licences. Speaking during a news conference at Paramount Building in San Fernando yesterday, head of the Trinidad and Tobago Scrap Iron Dealers Association (TTSIDA) Allan Ferguson said over the past six months they were unable to export materials and this will continue today. He said re-opening of the industry will depend on the Ministry of Trade. The partial proclamation of the Scrap Metal Act will be made today. Read more here



New energy, momentum in India-Guyana bilateral relations

High0 exchanges between India and Guyana reflect new energy and momentum in bilateral relations, India’s Ministry of External Affairs has said. Vice-President Bharrat Jagdeo and India’s Vice President, Jagdeep Dhankhar, during a meeting on Thursday, agreed to continue strengthening bilateral partnerships in various sectors including petroleum and natural gas, agriculture, agro-processing, education, healthcare, capacity building, ICT, renewable energy and climate change. Jagdeo is in India on an official visit from February 20-25, 2023, at the invitation of the Vice President of India. He is accompanied by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh. Read more here



Ukraine war: Vuhledar, the mining town Russia wants to take

Beneath his green helmet, dark shadows ringed his eyes. He had been on his feet all night fighting. Like many on Ukraine's eastern front, he is both battle-hardened and war-weary. "It's difficult. People don't get enough sleep. They are standing for 20 hours. The fight goes on around the clock. I can't say more, it's secret. But, we can't go back." His unit, from the Ukraine's 35th Brigade, is part of the defence of Vuhledar. The name means gift of coal, and this prosperous mining town was once home to 15,000 people. But now it's a wasteland - one of many on Ukraine's 1,300 kilometre (807 mile) front line. Read more here


24th February 2023


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