Daily Brief - Tuesday 7th March, 2023


Maharaj, Charles raise questions on human trafficking

Former People's Partnership (PP) government minister Devant Maharaj and Naparima MP Rodney Charles on Monday raised questions about allegations of human trafficking against the Opposition UNC and the Government, respectively. In a statement, Maharaj questioned recent comments by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar that she was unaware of a report he made to her about alleged prostitution and human trafficking activity taking place while the PP was in office between May 2010 and September 2015. "Did anyone expect the UNC or the leader (Persad-Bissessar) to say that she got the report and was aware of it and still continued to support the individuals involved? " Read more here

Wallerfield farmers join forces against violent gang

More than a dozen farmers on 100 Acres Road, who received death threats from a gang of violent men who moved into the area a few months ago, are getting support from the wider Wallerfield farming community. The farmers had made several reports about being threatened, intimidated and assaulted by a group of men who want to illegally take control of agricultural lands leased to them by the State. Yesterday, following a Guardian Media report on the situation, one of the affected farmers, Paul Abraham, said farmers from other parts of Wallerfield offered to provide them with protection whenever they go to their farms to tend to their crops and livestock. “It will be safety in numbers. Going to plant alone is a risk,” Abraham said. Livestock farmer Wayne Bowen said he had no issue with assisting the affected farmers but the police needed to do their work. Read more here



THA employs len' hand to build homes

Home ownership is beyond the reach of most Tobagonians, Chief Secretary Farley Augustine has lamented. He was speaking on Sunday at the roll out of the Home Ownership Made Equal (Home) initiative in Bon Accord. At the site where the first home in the programme is being constructed, Augustine said the initiative is focused on providing support to Tobago’s most vulnerable, as he acknowledged that the cost of land and houses at market price are extremely high. Read more here

Al-Rawi in Miami for T&T’s Piarco Airport civil case

Government’s civil case stemming from the Piarco Airport corruption matter finally moved forward in Florida yesterday—after 19 years. This, while at the same time in T&T yesterday, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard withdrew the longstanding Piarco Airport 3 corruption inquiry case against former prime minister Basdeo Panday, his wife Oma, former minister Carlos John and businessman Ishwar Galbaransingh. However, in Miami yesterday, former attorney general Al-Rawi appeared as a nominal representative for T&T as the trial began on Government’s 19-year-old civil asset forfeiture case stemming from the Piarco corruption probe. Developments took place in the Miami 12th Court (Number 2) against defendants, businessman Steve Ferguson, former minister Brian Kuei Tung and US businessman Raul Gutierrez Jr. Read more here



IDB urges T&T to push for further resilience

President of the Inter-American Development Bank Ilan Goldfajn has urged T&T to continue its efforts to build resilience amid growing external pressures. In his address at the pre-annual meeting of the board of governors of the Caribbean Country Department of the IDB at the Hyatt Regency yesterday he noted that Latin America and the Caribbean has seen “more frequent and costly natural disasters.” He however said in the midst of these challenges T&T has shown the way to overcome these challenges. “T&T has been an example of how we can overcome tough challenges. T&T used its heritage and stabilisation fund to expand social support and provide credit to small companies. That kept businesses afloat and protected jobs. Read more here

EDO hosts community health fair

El Dorado Offshore (EDO) hosted over 150 attendees on Saturday at its Community Health Fair at the bp Resource Centre, Mayaro. The event was organised to provide on-the-spot medical screening and health awareness workshops for members of the communities in South-Eastern Trinidad to promote the importance of physical and mental health, the company said in a news release. More than 50 personnel from the Ministry of Health, CLIMB Consultancy, First Choice Family Clinic, Lifetime Smiles, Value Optical, the Ambulance Division of Amalgamated Security and other volunteers were present to provide blood pressure and glucose testing, vision testing, eye health evaluations, mental health lectures, first aid and CPR demonstrations. Read more here



Guyana building world-class regulatory environment

The government’s intention is to create a world-class regulatory environment which would be consistent with the highest industry standards and encouraging for investments, Vice-President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo said during a CERAWeek 2023 discussion on Monday. “We want to emerge as a predictable environment where our regulations dictate the highest industry standards, but they don’t become a humbug to the development of the industry. And, on the fiscal side, we want a lot of incentives remaining with people so that they can invest in Guyana so that we remain attractive, but at the same time we want a greater take for the country and the people of the country,” Jagdeo said. Part of this process is the creation of a model Production Sharing Agreement (PSA), which would be used to guide future deals with investors. Read more here



Japan forced to destroy flagship H3 rocket in failed launch

Japan was forced to blow up its new rocket during a failed launch on Tuesday, setting back efforts to crack a market led by Elon Musk's SpaceX. Its space agency had to send a self-destruct command to the H3 rocket when its second-stage engine failed minutes after lift-off. Observers say it is a significant setback for Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa). The government called the test failure "extremely regrettable". The H3 rocket is the first medium-lift rocket designed by Japan in three decades. It has been presented as a cheaper alternative to SpaceX's Falcon 9 for launching commercial and government satellites into Earth's orbit. Read more here

7th March 2023


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