Daily Brief - Tuesday 8th August, 2023


Political analysts: Labour influence on elections weak

Political analysts Derek Ramsamooj and Dr Bishnu Ragoonath do not see the activities of trade unions during the local government elections campaign having any influence on how people will vote on August 14. The Movement for Social Justice (MSJ), is the only labour-based party contesting the elections. MSJ is only fielding three candidates, in the PNM-controlled Point Fortin Borough Corporation. Over the last two decades, Ramsamooj said the role of labour in influencing election outcomes "has been experiencing diminishing returns." Read more here



Hosein: Public must note Integrity Commission's conduct

San Juan/Barataria MP Saddam Hosein is warning the public to note how the Integrity Commission has treated with a matter involving the Prime Minister, especially since that commission is supposed to be an independent body tasked with ensuring people in public life adhere to requirements spelt out in the Integrity in Public Life Act. In a release sent to Newsday on Monday, Hosein said he was still trying to understand how the commission could, on one hand, find that Dr Rowley breached the act by failing to disclose particulars of the purchase of a townhouse in Tobago, but on the other hand, close the investigation and rule that no action would be taken. Read more here

PM hits Opposition for seeking to reopen Integrity probe

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has criticised the Opposition for challenging the decision of the Integrity Commission to close its investigation into him over disclosure of the purchase of a townhouse in Tobago.  In a post on his Facebook page, yesterday afternoon, Rowley took aim at a legal threat made by social and political activist Ravi Balgobin Maharaj toward the Commission, last week.  Rowley, who did not refer to Maharaj directly, said: “Imagine the UNC is the undisputed champions of corruption but they are taking issue with the Integrity Commission which investigated and could find no evidence of corruption. “In other words, they are angry because the Integrity Commission was unable to confirm their lies,” he added, as he referenced several media reports over his declaration to the commission over the townhouse purchase.  Read more here



Trinity confirms Palo Seco onshore oil find

Trinity Exploration and Production – a local independent oil producer – has confirmed the discovery of new onshore oil in the Palo Seco area. This follows the completion of drilling of its onshore Jacobin-1 well. Trinity, in a press release on Monday, said the Jacobin-1 well was successfully drilled to a total depth of 10,021, feet where over 290 feet of net oil pay was encountered. Jacobin-1 is one of the deepest wells drilled in recent times in the prolific Palo Seco area, onshore Trinidad. Read more here

Woodside begins phased restart

Woodside Energy yesterday said it has begun a phased restart of production at its Angostura facility following an incident two weeks ago which led to a gas shortage hitting the Point Lisas Industrial Estate and ¬resulting in at least four plants having to shut down. “Woodside on 4 August 2023 commenced a phased restart of production at its Angostura facility offshore Trinidad and Tobago. The facility had been shut in the previous week as a precautionary measure following a process safety incident. The phased restart commenced following completion of relevant safety checks, which will continue as production ramps up. As always, the safety of our personnel and our operations is Woodside’s priority,” a Woodside spokesperson told the Express yesterday. Read more here



New Local Government Minister soon

This announcement was made at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, where President Ali administered the Oath of Office to mayors and their deputies of the 10 municipalities, along with the Vice-Chairman for Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice). On the sidelines of the event, the President told reporters that the replacement for former Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamall, will come “very soon…sooner than you could imagine.” Amidst the allegations levelled against Dharamall, the President had issued a statement, noting that he would allow justice to run its course and reiterated that he values the welfare of women and children “From the inception, I advised the population that I would allow the system to work. I would never and the government would never intervene in the system. We’ve allowed an independent investigation; the minister proceeded on leave to ensure that an independent investigation was conducted,” the statement read. Read more here



Carbon credits - land grab or the Amazon’s future?

This week, delegates arriving in Belém's international airport are being welcomed with a lively "Boi de mascara" folkloric dance routine. In fact, the whole city is celebrating being in the spotlight, playing host to the Amazon Summit. It also feels like a bit of a warm-up for 2025 when the city will host COP30. These two events are a big deal for this part of Brazil - a region that often feels forgotten. Belém is well placed too, as the capital of Pará, the state with the highest deforestation rate in Brazil. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva called this summit to bring together the eight South American countries who share a slice of the Amazon. Read more here

8th August 2023


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