Daily Brief - Tuesday 6th December, 2022


TTMA and THA strengthen Ties

The relationship between the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association (TTMA) and the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) has been strengthened, following the recent visit by TTMA President Tricia Coosal and TTMA CEO Dr Mahindra Ramesh Ramdeen. Ms Coosal and Dr Ramdeen paid a courtesy call on Chief Secretary Farley Augustine and his executive team on Friday 2 December 2022—the first ever visit by a TTMA President to the Chief Secretary’s Office in Tobago. An official statement from the TTMA reports that talks between both parties included THA’s greater participation at the upcoming Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) 2023. Read more here



LMCS owner at Paria CoE: ‘Not doing that job again’

KAZIM ALI SNR, head of LMCS, the company contracted to repair an undersea pipeline in which four divers died, including his son, told Monday's hearing of the commission of enquiry (CoE) into the tragedy that he would never again carry out such a job. The CoE resumed after a ten-day break, allowing witnesses to expand orally on their already-submitted witness statements and to be cross-examined. The hearing at the Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain, was chaired by Jerome Lynch, KC, with Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, SC, as CoE counsel and Gilbert Peterson, SC, representing the Paria Fuel Trading Co Ltd, at whose sealine 36 berth six the tragedy occurred. Read more here

3,246 applications for flood relief grants

The Ministry of Social Development has received over 3,000 applications for relief funding from persons who were adversely affected by last week’s by flooding and landslide disasters. In a release yesterday, the ministry said it had received 3,246 applications that will be processed by a special unit within the National Social Development Programme, using a different process flow from the past. This, it said, will see payments being made within a shorter period (two weeks). The ministry said it had also brought in additional resources to support the effort in the field and augmented the administrative processing staff who are managing the online systems. The Ministry of Social Development noted that persons making claims must have some form of national identification and evidence of their loss. The loss must be validated by the DMU or the officers in the field from the ministry. It is noted that persons eligible to make claims through their insurance companies are not eligible for disaster relief grants. Read more here



Ragoonath, George differ on impact of PDP exodus on THA

UWI political scientist Dr Bishnu Ragoonath and attorney Martin George offered different views on whether or not the resignation of Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Farley Augustine and 14 other executive members of the Assembly from the Progressive Democratic Patriots meant the THA has collapsed or that fresh THA elections should be called. While there is nothing legally or constitutionally to prevent Augustine and the other executives from remaining in office until their term of office expires in 2025, Ragoonath said this development raises questions about the stability of the PDP and opens the possibility of Augustine launching a new political entity which could have different political aspirations to the PDP. Read more here

MP slams PM after touring flood-hit areas

Following a tour of his landslip-ravaged constituency, Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh is sounding an urgent call for Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to respond to the cries of thousands of residents marooned in communities now disconnected from other parts of the country. And he is questioning whether Government’s $100 million allocation for landslide and road reinstatement works would be sufficient for the devastation caused by recent flooding. Last week Indarsingh, along with Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation chairman Henry Awong, walked through the affected areas, where landslides have taken down the roadway. The Gran Couva main road, linking the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway to Tabaquite and Rio Claro is impassable and at least one community in Indian Walk, Couva, is inaccessible. Read more here





Port of PoS has fixed scanner

The Port of Port of Spain (PPoS) said yesterday that it is the only seaport in Trinidad and Tobago with a fully operational fixed-container scanner. PPOS issued the news release following an article in the Express last week in which the Customs and Excise Comptroller, Vidyah Marcial, referred to the absence of scanner at ports in the country. Asked how many containers are scanned, Marcial replied: “We now have operational the fixed scanner only at the Port of Port of Spain and from January to August we scanned 3,998 containers out of 23,000 containers.” Read more here



President Ali arrives in Barbados for CARICOM-Cuba Summit

President Dr. Irfaan Ali has arrived in Barbados for a meeting of the Regional Security Service (RSS), and the eighth CARICOM-Cuba Summit to be held today at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. Upon arrival at the Grantley Adams International Airport, President Ali and his high-level team had a brief engagement with the Prime Minister of Belize John Briceño. This December also marks the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between CARICOM and Cuba. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Todd; Guyana’s Ambassador to CARICOM George Talbot; Director of National Intelligence and Security Administration Col. Omar Khan; Head of the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit, James Singh; and Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum are also part of the delegation in Barbados. Read more here



Ukraine war: Russian missile strikes force emergency power shutdowns

Ukraine is switching to emergency shutdowns to stabilise its power grid after Monday's Russian missile attacks, President Volodymyr Zelensky has said. He said many regions were affected, and the local authorities warned that about half of the Kyiv region would remain without electricity in the coming days. Four people were killed in Monday's attacks. Overnight, more missiles hit critical infrastructure near the southern city of Zaporizhzhia, officials said. In a separate development on Tuesday, the governor of Russia's Kursk region said a drone attack on an airfield set an oil storage tank alight. Video posted online shows fierce flames and dense black smoke billowing from the site. Read more here


6th December 2022


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