Daily Brief - Monday 13th February, 2023


UTT inducts 4 new professors

The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) conferred professorships to four career academics in the areas of agriculture, process engineering, utilities engineering and the performing arts, according to a media release. The four are: Professors Puran Bridgemohan, Rean Mahara, Adel Elgamma and pannist Leon “Smooth” Edwards. Bridgemohan is a crop scientist at the Biosciences, Agriculture and Food Technology Unit at UTT. He is known for his outreach activities and research skills, specifically the outstanding contributions to the Caribbean and Latin America in agriculture – notably rice and sugar cane research, production and weed management - the university said. Read more here

Heritage cleans up Guaya oil spill

Heritage Petroleum Company Limited (Heritage) said it has identified the source of an oil spill in its Guayaguayare Field and the 10-inch trunk pipeline was repaired using a pipeline clamp. In a statement late yesterday, the state-owned energy company said the leak, which was reported on Saturday, was not in close proximity to any populated communities. “Heritage’s Oil Spill Response Team immediately mobilised resources for containment and recovery of the spilled hydrocarbons, and commencement of restoration of the impacted area. Wildlife surveillance and rescue crews were also deployed to survey and assess the area,” the company said. In keeping with its oil spill response protocols, Heritage is carrying out intermittent air quality testing in the affected area and the levels continue to read “within acceptable parameters.” Read more here



THA secretary hails Tadco, Namdevco MOU: It's a massive step

Secretary of Food Security, Natural Resources, the Environment and Sustainable Development Nathisha Charles-Pantin has described the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Tobago Agribusiness Development Company (TADCO) and National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation (Namdevco) as a "massive step" for agriculture in Tobago. The MoU seeks to strengthen their business relationship as it will benefit all stakeholders along the chain from farm to table. Charles-Pantin attended the signing ceremony on Wednesday at Namdevco's Piarco Packinghouse, Caroni North Bank Road and said she was excited at the prospects. Read more here

Moonilal: No vehicle inspection fines until Licensing "cleans up its act"

Opposition MP Dr Roodal Moonilal is calling on the government to halt any penalties for motorists who are unable to inspect their vehicles because of issues in the Licensing office. There have been complaints from the public that their electronic certified copy is different from their actual registration. The problem stemmed from the attempt to digitise records. Speaking at the UNC's Sunday press conference, Dr. Moonilal said Licensing is punishing the population for something that is not their fault. He complained that people now have to go to the licensing office where the data is "faulty and inaccurate." He called on the office to clean up its act. "Imagine through no fault of your own you get a $5000 ticket and points off your license because the Licensing Office system is faulty, inaccurate and improper," he said. "Today we call on the Transport Commissioner, the Minister of Transport Rohan Sinanan, please put things in place to ensure that a motorist due to no fault of their own cannot get their inspection on time are not charged, ought not to face a penalty by licensing officers." Read more here



Love in the time of Carnival: How is Valentine's Day impacted by the 'greatest show on earth'

It’s almost that time of the year again when the streets and stores are laced with red and hearts for the impending celebrations of love. However, not everything seems to be a bed of roses, as festivities seem to be a bit muted this year. And Carnival may have a part to play with that. Storeowners, managers and even vendors say they are yet to see the annual rush of those purchasing little tokens for their loved ones to commemorate Valentine’s Day. According to Crystal Rajcoomar, a florist and granddaughter of the owner of Garden of Eden Flower and Gift Shop on Queen Street, Port-of-Spain, “I wouldn’t say this is one of the worst, but it is one of the slowest we’ve experienced in a long time because of Carnival...every time there is Carnival around Valentine’s time we are always impacted because of the fetes and the season; a lot of people pay more attention to that.” Read more here

Who will bear the cost?

Who will bear the costs of climate change? This was the question posed by former minister of finance Mariano Browne during his presentation at the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business (Lok Jack GSB) on Thursday at the AMCHAM T&T seminar on Climate Change and COP 27. The event, which was also hosted by the Institute of International Relations and The University of the West Indies, focused on the need for unified Caribbean leadership to treat with climate change. Read more here



President’s ‘Agri Youth’ initiative bears fruit

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha announced on Saturday that the government’s Agriculture and Innovation Entrepreneurship Programme (AIEP) has earned more than $10 million to date. During an outreach at Black Bush Polder, Corentyne, Region Six (East Berbice- Corentyne), Minister Mustapha highlighted the success of the innovative venture, and shared several plans for its expansion. “The project already earned more than $10 million. On a monthly basis and a weekly basis these crops are being sold to the oil and gas industry, to the hotel chains in our country,” the Minister was quoted as saying by the Department of Public Information (DPI). Read more here



Turkey earthquake: Being buried alive with my newborn son

It has been a week since a deadly earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, killing thousands. But amid the despair, there have been stories of "miracles". This is one of them. When Necla Camuz gave birth to her second son on 27 January, she named him Yagiz, meaning "brave one". Just 10 days later, at 04:17 local time, Necla was awake feeding her son at their home in southern Turkey's Hatay province. Moments later, they were buried under mounds of rubble. Read more here


13th February 2023


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