Daily Brief - Thursday 2nd March, 2023


CoP gets support from business chambers, associations

Police Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher has received the support of several of this country’s major business chambers and associations following her promise to reduce murders in three months. “We are, however, hopeful, and optimistic that the new CoP will implement measures that can bear positive results. Indeed, it is encouraging to hear about the goals that are being set for the TTPS. The Joint Chambers commend her for this,” the Joint Chambers stated in a release issued yesterday. The Joint Chambers comprise the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the T&T Manufacturers’ Association, the Energy Chamber of T&T, and the American Chamber of Commerce of T&T. Read more here



Heritage meets Barbados National Oil Co

A team from Heritage Petroleum Company Ltd visited Barbados to meet the Barbados National Oil Company (BNOCL) to discuss possible collaboration in oil recovery in Barbados. The Heritage team comprised Kerry Rampersad, business development leader; Nigel Campbell, chief financial officer; and Richard Jebodhsingh, subsurface leader. This meeting explored possible collaborating on a joint secondary recovery programme at BNOCL’s Woodbourne Oilfield, Barbados. This discussion follows Heritage’s ongoing success in boosting oil production through its enhanced oil recovery programme. Read more here

DNA test confirms ID of mom found in torched car

Donna Pierre's worst nightmare was realised yesterday, after a Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test confirmed that the burnt charred remains found in car in Claxton Bay were those of her daughter Danette Pierre. "I feel like I'm floating," Donna Pierre told Guardian Media hours after the police told her the result of the DNA test. In a telephone interview, she said around 2.15 pm, the sergeant at the Ste Madeleine Police Station, who has been in constant communication with her, came to her home with another officer and broke the news to her. Danette, 31, a mother of three, of Petite Morne, Ste Madeleine, hustled out of her home around 8.30 pm on January 28 after receiving a phone call. She told her mother she was "making a turn" and was "coming back now." However, Pierre was never seen or heard from again. Read more here



Browne: No overnight return of ISIS families from Syria

Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs Dr Amery Browne on Wednesday said the Government was open to offers of collaboration to return to TT the families of local men who went to fight for ISIS in Syria, but said such a repatriation could not be done overnight. He was answering reporters questions at a briefing at his ministry at Prada Street, St Clair, the day after New York-based NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) held a briefing to urge the Government to bring the families back to TT. HRW's Letta Taylor said her group's report cited a group of 100 TT nationals in camps in Syria, consisting of 13 men (including a teen boy), 21 women and 56 children, while her colleague Jo Becker said a survey of 100 children repatriated elsewhere had found they had integrated/reintegrated well into their countries. Read more here

Fresh human trafficking allegation swirls around UNC CoP launches probe

Even as the United National Congress (UNC) continues to vehemently deny that any member of its party has ever been involved in human trafficking, Commissioner of Police Erla Harewood-Christopher has launched an investigation into the matter now swirling around in the public domain. A release from the TTPS yesterday said, “Commissioner of Police, Erla Christopher, has ordered an investigation into the allegations of human trafficking currently in the public domain. Following a meeting with the Director of the Counter Trafficking Unit, Commissioner Christopher appointed a special team of officers to investigate the matter.” The release quoted Harewood-Christopher as saying, “These allegations of human trafficking are serious, and will not be taken lightly.” The TTPS said the CoP has given the assurance that the matter will be vigorously pursued and thoroughly investigated. Read more here



TTRA strategic plan: Integrate, transition, grow

Finance Minister Colm Imbert has given details of government’s three-year plan for the TT Revenue Authority – the incoming state revenue-collection agency, which will be birthed out of a merger between the Inland Revenue Division and Customs and Excise Division. Speaking in Parliament last Friday, Imbert said the plan for the new division seeks to facilitate a smooth merger between the two organisations and to have the TTRA meet key objectives over the next three years to integrate the organisations and retrain staff in the first year, transition the organisation into one that encourages customers to meet obligations voluntarily and to transform and grow the TTRA into an organisation that uses data-driven collection methods and streamlines customer service. Read more here

Gopee-Scoon: SMEs account for 91% of all registered businesses in T&T

Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon says as the Government builds resilience and accelerates the transition towards more sustainable and inclusive growth, it is compelled to place greater attention on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that scale up and harness revenues, productivity, innovation, competitiveness and job creation. She cited that SMEs contribute approximately 28 per cent to this country’s gross domestic product, and account for 91 per cent of all registered businesses and employ more than 200,000 people. Speaking at the graduation for Cohort 2 Scale Up T&T Business Accelerator Programme which was held virtually yesterday, Gopee-Scoon said when SMEs are negatively impacted, the economy of many countries, including this one underperforms. Read more here



Democracy restored but past must never be forgotten

March 2 will forever be an infamous date etched into the minds of Guyanese both at home and those in the diaspora, who remember it for the notorious events that followed this date in 2020 that marked the start of what would be a harrowing, dragged out five-month long process in one of the most blatant attacks on democracy. As Guyana’s Regional and General Elections began one early Monday morning three years ago, thousands of Guyanese ventured out to exercise their right in a process that many anticipated to last a week at best. “Persons voted in what was a peaceful uneventful day, but clearly there was an attempt by some very deranged minds, who got together and decided they were going to subvert the electoral process. Depriving the electorate of their will,” Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Commissioner, Sase Gunraj recalls. Read more here



Greece train crash: Rail workers strike as anger over crash grows

Rail workers across Greece have begun a one-day strike after Tuesday's train crash which killed at least 43 people. "Pain has turned into anger for the dozens of dead and wounded colleagues and fellow citizens," the workers' union said in a statement. The walkout follows protests in Athens, Thessaloniki and the city of Larissa, near the site of the disaster. Rescue workers are still going through burned and buckled carriages, searching for victims. This was the "most difficult moment", rescuer Konstantinos Imanimidis told Reuters news agency, as "instead of saving lives, we have to recover bodies". The incident happened just before midnight on Tuesday. A passenger train carrying 350 people collide with a freight train after both ended up on the same track - causing the front carriages to burst into flames. Read more here

2nd March 2023


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