Daily Brief - Friday 25th November, 2022


How Ja, T&T thawed frosty trade relations

A decade after antagonism between Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago over trade and immigration issues reached a crescendo, officials from the latter believe that the CARICOM nations are now on good terms and are trying to leverage opportunities equally. Tension between the nations swelled in 2013 when Jamaican exporters called for a boycott of Trinidadian imports into the island. Local exporters have long complained of the trade imbalance between the countries and the difficulties they were having in accessing markets in the twin-island republic. A trade mission comprising 16 companies from Trinidad and Tobago has highlighted the tight bond the countries now share. Read more here



Engineer describes efforts to save divers – CHAOTIC RESCUE ATTEMPT

While friends and relatives of the four men trapped in an undersea oil pipeline begged to try to rescue them, Paria Fuel Trading Company instead first sought to find out conditions in the pipeline and to use approved divers, amid fears of more lives being put at risk. This was the testimony on Tuesday from Michael Wei, technical and maintenance manager at Paria. Divers Fyzal Kurban, Kazim Ali Jr, Rishi Nagassar and Yusuf Henry died in the tragedy, while Christopher Boodram was the sole survivor. Read more here

Severe flooding prevents rehab works in Manzanilla

Parts of the Manzanilla/Mayaro Road have caved further into the sea as floodwaters continued to rise in the area yesterday, covering miles of the roadway and leaving many citizens stranded. Over the last two days, the villagers have been battling nature as the Ortoire River and Nariva Swamp crossed their thresholds and flooded the roadway, causing devastation and uprooting trees, while five sections of the road caved in towards the Atlantic Ocean. In 2014, the villagers living along the Manzanilla/Mayaro coast faced a similar disaster. However, the claimed the current scenario has been the worst. The villagers’ only defence is placing sandbags to prevent the water from crossing into their homes but that has not been helpful. Read more here



AG calls in scrap iron dealers for Friday crunch meeting

The immediate future of the much-maligned local scrap-iron industry could be decided on Friday when Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC, sits down with executives of the industry's association at Government Campus Plaza in Port of Spain. President of the Scrap Iron Dealers Association Allan Ferguson is expected to be up front and centre at this crunch talks with AG Armour scheduled for 9.30 am. Ferguson himself confirmed the meeting in a message sent to Newsday on Thursday. He said the top of the agenda will be discussions on the association's suggestions for the regulation of the industry. Read more here



BP Lightsource, Shell 'very close' to solar project agreement with government

BP, BP Lightsource, Shell and the government are "very close" to signing the project agreement for what is set to be the Caribbean's largest solar farm. BP corporate communications manager Giselle Thompson revealed this to Newsday on Thursday afternoon. In November 2021, Energy Minister Stuart Young met Lightsource BP CEO Nick Boyle and other company officials to discuss solar park projects in Trinidad. Shell eventually also became a partner for the projects. Lightsource BP's website lists the projects' sites as Brechin Castle (92 MW) and Orange Grove (20 MW.). Read more here



Over $1B more in salaries for over 8,000 in the Disciplined Services

PRESIDENT Dr. Irfaan Ali on Thursday announced sweeping changes to the salaries of several categories of workers in the Disciplined Services of Guyana. The increases, which will benefit ranks of the Guyana Police Force, Guyana Fire Service and the Guyana Defence Force, reflect a more than $1 billion annualised increase to the sum paid to those workers. Further, those increases which will take effect from January 1, 2023, will add to the eight per cent across-the-board retroactive increase already announced for public servants. In a virtual announcement, Dr. Ali explained that the government, in determining the adjustments, was mindful of the need to resolve anomalies and disparities across the Disciplined Services and across comparable positions. Read more here



Itamar Ben-Gvir: Israeli far-right leader set to join new coalition

Israel's far-right Jewish Power party has signed a coalition agreement with Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party. Its leader, Itamar Ben-Gvir, is set to become national security minister under the deal. The ultra-nationalist politician is known for his anti-Arab comments and has a past conviction for racism. It comes after Likud and its religious and far-right allies won a majority in an election earlier this month, marking a dramatic comeback for Mr Netanyahu. "We took a big step tonight toward a full coalition agreement, toward forming a fully, fully right-wing government," Mr Ben-Gvir said in a statement after the deal was agreed. Negotiations with other potential coalition partners are continuing. Read more here

25th November 2022


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