Daily Brief - Friday 2nd December, 2022


TTMA alarmed 19,000 containers entered T&T unchecked

The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) says it is alarmed that 19,000 containers entered T&T over an eight-month period without being properly scanned. The TTMA’s statement came after top officials from the Customs and Excise Division told a Joint Select Committee of Parliament on Wednesday that this scenario developed because of the lack of operational scanners and proper staff numbers at the country’s ports. “Traditionally, TTMA has lobbied for greater efficiency on the port and has, in the past, welcomed the introduction of scanners to aid in this efficiency. The reports of these scanners not working are concerning and its negative impact on the ease of doing business cannot be denied,” TTMA president Tricia Coosal stated. Read more here



New US ambassador-designate arrives

New United States Ambassador-designate to TT, Candace A Bond, expressed her eagerness to begin her new duties in this country. A statement issued by the US Embassy said Bond arrived in TT with her family on Thursday. She is expected to present her letters of credence to President Paula-Mae Weekes soon and begin her official duties thereafter. Bond said, “It is a great honour to be in beautiful TT with my family. I look forward to presenting my credentials to President Weekes and meeting and working with the wonderful people of this country.” Read more here

South doctors perform bloodless heart surgeries

Prominent Indian cardiothoracic surgeon, Professor Dr Prashant Vaijyanath, has performed South Trinidad’s first bloodless beating heart bypass surgery at the Southern Medical Clinic in San Fernando. Speaking to Guardian Media during an exclusive interview, Professor Vaijyanath said the two surgeries were performed without any blood transfusions and any blood products last weekend. He said the patients were able to walk and talk within hours of the procedures. Explaining the process, Professor Vaijyanath said with the beating-heart bypass surgery, the patient is operated on while the heart continues to provide blood to the rest of the body during the surgery. Having done 15,000 open heart surgeries during his lifetime, Professor Vaijyanath said the first surgery took two hours while the second was more complicated and took two and a half hours. Read more here



Govt to spend $150M on flood relief initiatives

The Government yesterday agreed to make available 50 million for flood relief to farmers and citizens affected by the recent flooding disasters, plus 100 million for landslide and road reinstatement work. Among the funding, the Government has allocated an immediate $40 million to the National Flood Relief Programme. This was announced by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) following Thursday’s Cabinet meeting. Residents in areas across T&T – from North to South – were affected by rains which began last Friday and continued into Monday. Water receded, but El Socorro, Bamboo and Manzanilla were said to still be affected up to yesterday. The Government had closely monitored the weather situation as it descended on T&T last weekend, warning of arriving aspects and effects. Read more here



A Scrumptious online push

Six years ago, Malissa Patterson, the head mixtress of Scrumptious Organic Care, had a conundrum. For a very long time, she could not find an external solution to her concerns, so she went out and found her own. “I experienced extremely dry skin, psoriasis as well as acne, and I felt that nothing was working when I went to the pharmacy. I was tired of it, so I did my own research. And I discovered that the products that I started to mix cleared up my skin a lot. And then other people noticed,” said Patterson on the birth of her business following some prodding from others to not only sell her mixtures but to register the brand. “Now I help people like myself who have eczema, psoriasis, acne, fallen hair as well because the aim is to really take people on a journey to skin and hair confidence so they have one less thing to be concerned about,” said Patterson, who expanded her product line to cover issues such as skin discolouration and bald spot treatments. Read more here




Historic achievement

The Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) has issued the world’s first The REDD+ Environmental Excellence Standard (TREES) credits to Guyana, marking the first time a country has been issued carbon credits specifically designed for the voluntary and compliant carbon markets for successfully preventing forest loss and degradation – a process known as jurisdictional REDD+. “Following completion of an independent validation and verification process and approval by the ART Board of Directors, ART has issued 33.47 million TREES credits to Guyana for the five-year period from 2016 to 2020,” ART said in a press release. Those serialised credits, listed on ART’s public registry, are available to buyers on the global carbon market, including for use by airlines for compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s global emission reduction programme, CORSIA, as well as for use toward voluntary corporate climate commitments. Read more here



Ukraine war: Animal eye packages sent to six embassies across Europe

Parcels containing animal eyes have been sent to six Ukrainian embassies in Europe, its foreign ministry says. Spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said the "blood-soaked" packages were found in Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Croatia, and Austria. It is not yet clear who sent the packages. It comes two days after an employee was injured after a letter bomb exploded at Ukraine's embassy in Madrid, Spain - one of a series of alleged incidents. Mr Nikolenko referred to a number of others in a statement released on Facebook, including that the entrance to the premises of the Ukrainian ambassador to the Vatican have also been vandalised. What's more, he added, the embassy in Kazakhstan has received a spoof bomb threat, while the embassy in the USA has received a letter containing a photocopy of an article critical of Ukraine. Read more here

2nd December 2022


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