Daily Brief - Wednesday 15th March, 2023


TTUTA cautions teachers after confirmed hand, foot and mouth disease cases

TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) president Martin Lum Kin has urged teachers to be on the alert for symptoms of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) in schools after Education Minister Nyan Gadsby-Dolly confirmed cases in North and South Trinidad for this term. Gadsby-Dolly told the media on Monday it was not unusual to have reports of a few cases “from time to time.” In a media report, the ministry confirmed another case at a school in Carenage. When Newsday contacted Gadsby-Dolly for an update on Tuesday she repeated Monday’s information. Read more here

Trincity residents adopt self-imposed restrictions after carjacking

Although car-jackings and armed robberies in the Trincity area are not new, residents say they will continue to adopt self-imposed restrictions to escape the criminal elements. Fresh concerns surfaced yesterday, following the robbery of an El Dorado man after he arrived to visit a relative at Tenth Street West, Casselton Gardens, around 8.25 pm on Monday. The 38-year-old victim was held up at gunpoint by two men in front the home, following which he handed over the keys to his black Honda Vezel valued at TT$185,000. Read more here



Young signs NDA with Venezuelan oil company

Minister of Energy Stuart Young signed a non-disclosure agreement with PDVSA on Tuesday, in his latest visit to Venezuela concerning the billion-dollar Dragon Gas project. The agreement “governs the negotiations between the parties and the exchange of information as we progress the technical and commercial aspects of the planned development,” Young said in a media release. The TT delegation included permanent secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries Ms Pennelope Bradshaw Niles, president of NGC Mark Loquan, Trinidad and Tobago’s Ambassador to Venezuela Major General (Ret’d) Edmund Dillon, and other members from NGC’s executive. Read more here

UWI money crunch ... Eyes new projects in fight for survival

As enrolment numbers dwindle and financial concerns continue to linger, the University of the West Indies (UWI) St Augustine Campus is fighting to stay afloat by focusing on strengthening the university’s chances of self-sustainability and economic survival. According to Campus Principal, Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, despite UWI offering the lowest degree costs out of all regional campuses, during the 2021/22 period, student enrolment numbers for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes decreased by 8.7 per cent and 28 per cent respectively. Total student enrolment declined a further five per cent from 15,931 in the previous year to 15,130 students. In addition to undergraduate enrolment dropping by a further 4 per cent from the period 2020-2021, there was also a 38 per cent decrease in students pursuing undergraduate certificates/diplomas. Read more here




Endeavour Holdings profits jump 235%

Publicly listed Endeavour Holdings Ltd (EHL) yesterday reported after-tax profit of $71.68 million for the nine-month period ending January 31, which was an increase of 235 per cent over the $21.40 million the property holding company reported for the same period in 2022. Most of the company’s increased profit of $50.3 million was as a result of a gain of $43.8 million, which it recognised on its acquisition of Massy Properties (Trinidad) Ltd. That acquisition, which was renamed Endeavour PoS Properties Ltd (EHLPOS), was consolidated onto EHL’s books as at July 8, 2022. The acquisition comprised Uptown Mall, the CHIC Building, among others, according to a statutory announcement made by EHL on May 31, 2022. Read more here

T&T must prepare properly for more regional workers

The Trinidad and Tobago government will have to do an assessment to determine the carrying capacity of both the Health and Education systems as it allows more categories of Caricom workers to come to this country, work and stay indefinitely. This is the view of economist Dr. Marlene Attzs who in welcoming the government’s decision to increase the categories of Caricom workers who can come to T&T and work under the CSME, said we cant forget that it is not as simple as offering employment but things must be put in place to ensure they have access to the services that come with living here, without compromising citizens. Read more here




Guyana stands to benefit more from oil

THE government on Tuesday released the draft model petroleum agreements which outline more benefits for Guyana, including a royalty rate increased from two per cent to 10 per cent, corporate tax of 10 per cent and a cap on cost oil of 65 per cent. The agreements will now undergo a 14-day consultation period before finalisation. During this process, members of the public could send feedback on the drafts to the Minister of Natural Resources at licensinground2022@petroleum.gov.gy with the Permanent Secretary copied at jmckenzie@nre.gov.gy. The agreements also include better provisions for the signing bonus, relinquishment terms, activities related to the abandonment of the block, and an increase in the training fee. Read more here



Russia pilots reckless in drone collision – US

The US has accused Russia of reckless behaviour after an American drone crashed into the Black Sea following an encounter with Russian fighter jets. Before the collision, Russian jets are said to have dumped fuel into the path of the drone which the US says was in international airspace. The damaged MQ-9 Reaper drone was brought down by the US after it became "unflyable", the Pentagon said. Russia has denied its two Su-27 fighter jets made any contact. The key question is whether the encounter was merely an attempt by Russia to disrupt the US drone and its work - or whether it was a deliberate attempt to bring it down. US military officials said the incident happened at about 07:03 Central European Time (06:03 GMT) on Tuesday and the confrontation lasted around 30-40 minutes. Read more here


15th March 2023


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