TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

Over 200 cases of zika virus confirmed

August 15, 2016

Trinidad and Tobago health authorities said that the country now has 254 confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

The Ministry of Health in a statement noted that the number of Zika positive pregnancies stands at 78.

It said the figures were released after consultation with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and that while four of five infected persons will not show any symptoms of the virus, only ‘high risk’ cases are confirmed by the Trinidad-based regional agency.

The Ministry of Health said that it would continue to intensify its efforts to monitor and manage the virus that is spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which is also responsible for the disease such as dengue and Chikungunya

Authorities investigate ISIS plot to bomb shopping malls

May 23, 2016

Police are currently investigating the authenticity of two audio recordings now circulating on social media, warning of a threat by ISIS operatives to detonate bombs at local shopping malls in the country.

In the first recording directed to a What's App group, the man uses the word "batch" which is commonly used by soldiers, and makes reference of information he says came out of the camp he is in.

He goes on to refer to the camp as being close to where the Special Anti-Crime Unit of T&T (SAUTT) operated, which seems to refer to the military camp in Cumuto.

The man then says the word reaching the camp is that ISIS is planning to detonate bombs in the malls sometime between Thursday and Sunday.

He is telling those to whom the audio is directed, to warn their families and to spread the word.

In the second recording, a man's voice is heard telling a woman to stay away from the malls for the same reason. He says he got word from his "boys from inside".

Police are in possession of the recording and are seeking to determine whether it is authentic or a hoax.

National Security Minister Edmund Dillon is urging citizens not to panic.

CONCACAF sues Jack Warner

May 23, 2016

Jack Warner, the former vice president of football’s world governing body (FIFA), is being sued for more than $50 million by the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association (CONCACAF).

The new suit centres around a lavish soccer facility built in Trinidad with millions of dollars in funding from FIFA.

The suit accuses Warner, who served as CONCACAF president for 20 years before resigning in 2011, of fraudulently securing FIFA and CONCACAF funding to develop the property.

The site now includes a hotel and banqueting facilities and is said to be built on lands belonging to Warner.

 

His wife, his accountant and two companies linked to the 73-year-old are also named as defendants.

 

Warner, who has in the past denied wrongdoing, is also facing corruption charges in the US and remains in Trinidad where he is fighting extradition.

Warner, who was banned from soccer by FIFA in September is one of four presidents who have been forced from office amid claims of wrongdoing, with three charged by the US Department of Justice.

President Carmona issues warning to future recipients of national medal

April 27, 2016

 

Trinidad and Tobago’s President, Anthony Carmona has sent out a stark warning to future recipients of the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (ORTT) medal – the country’s highest national honour –after the one awarded posthumously to trade union leader Adrian Cola Rienzi, was returned to the twin-island republic, after being auctioned on eBay.

 

“If you don’t want, it don’t accept it, and if having accepted it you no longer want it or appreciate it, don’t sell it or condemn it, simply give it back,” said Carmona. He also suggested that a review to determine who holds the rights to national awards when recipients die, may be in order.

 

The medal put up for sale by Rienzi's son, was purchased by the ANSA McAL Group for US$25,000 and returned to the country.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rowley: We must stay out of IMF

April 06, 2016

Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley says every citizen will have to sacrifice in some way, including becoming more fuel conscious, and this “medicine” was necessary to keep the country out of the “arms” of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

 

“I have given a commitment to this country and I want to give it again to the population. As leader of this Government, as leader of Trinidad and Tobago’s business, I will do everything that is required to ensure that this country does not end up in the arms of the IMF again,” he said. 

He was responding to the midyear review by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in Parliament last Friday. On the increase in gasoline and diesel he questioned how we feel spending $31 billion supporting the purchase of gasoline and diesel. He said he knows of no person in his circle when contemplating a trip considers the price of fuel. 

He said this country must become more fuel conscious. He pointed out that a lot of fuel is burned up in traffic jams in places like Chaguanas, the East West Corridor and San Fernando. He said Government will intervene to “de-bottleneck” these jams and with easier traffic flow they will use less fuel. 

CAL denies aircraft held in Venezuela

April 06, 2016

The State-owned Caribbean Airlines (CAL) has denied a local television report that one of its aircraft had been detained in Venezuela this week and released only after the crew had handed over fruit juices.

 

In a statement on its website, CAL said that the report by CNC 3 was “devoid of fact” and called on the television station, “to immediately retract the incorrect story carried in its newscast on Tuesday” night.

 

“This type of tabloid journalism has far-reaching consequences and Caribbean Airlines is asking CNC 3 to be more responsible in how it presents news stories,” the airline said.

 

The newscast had reported that the aircraft had been surrounded by Venezuelan soldiers who were demanding fruit juices as the Spanish-speaking country continue to feel the impact of an economic downturn occasioned by low oil prices.

Rowley: Crime in Trindad and Tobago at crisis level

April 04, 2016

Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, has described the unacceptable level of criminal conduct in the country as a "national crisis".

 

Speaking at the People’s National Movement (PNM) special convention at the St John’s Ambulance Brigade Hall, in Port of Spain on Sunday, Rowley said with 122 murders to date, if it continued unabated, the country could be looking at 500 murders for 2016.

 

He said for those who felt that they could make this a political issue and talk about the Government and the Minister of National Security: “I am putting it to you today that that level of unacceptable conduct is a national crisis.”

 

The Prime Minister said this was why the Government brought to the Parliament amendments to the Strategic Services Agency and Interception of Communications bills in order to give the SSA greater scope, authority and ability to get involved in collecting information about people who are intent on committing crimes.

 

 

Jamaicans a likely charge on public funds

April 04, 2016

The government of Trinidad and Tobago said that 12 Jamaicans who were denied entry to the country last month were barred on the grounds that they were likely to become a charge on public funds.

The ministry of foreign affairs said this decision is in keeping with the country’s immigration laws and was communicated to Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago David Prendergast during a recent meeting.

 

The foreign ministry has also disputed claims by the Jamaicans that they were ill-treated by immigration personnel after the decision to deny them entry. 

It said once the decision was taken to deny entry to the 12 Jamaicans, members of the group as well as Caribbean Airlines representatives were notified as stipulated by section 21 of the country’s Immigration Act. 

 

Government establishes sex offenders registry

April 01, 2016

The government of Trinidad and Tobago has established a registry for sex offenders, but National Security Minister Edmund Dillon said it would only be available to the police.

 

Dillon told legislators Friday that the registry was established on December 22 last year by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).

 

“This electronic registry is intended to maintain a report of the particulars of sex offenders who have been mandated by the court to give notification. This information will be maintained in a registry to be accessed by authorised officers and investigators in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service only,” he told Parliament.

 

He said the police were now engaged in a training and sensitisation exercise with respect to operation of the registry and accessibility to it, as well as restructuring staff requirements to facilitate its requirement.

“Full implementation of the sex offender’s registry and the accompanying station sex offender registry across all nine police divisions will be implemented by June 2016.”

 

Dillion said he did not believe that it would be better to have public access to facilitate the protection of children, saying “I believe it is designed for police information only and not for the public”.

 

courtesy of: Caribbean News Service

Persad Bissessar accused of hiring relatives

March 16, 2016

Allegations of a breach of Parliamentary rules against the hiring of relatives have gathered momentum with fresh claims that Former Prime Minister and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has broken the rules too.

 

Reports have surfaced that Persad-Bissessar has employed two of her relatives at her Siparia constituency office for well over a decade.

 

With the recent dismissal of Marlene McDonald as housing minister, which was triggered by the revelations that she had ­employed her romantic partner, Michael Carew, and his brother, Lennox, in her Port of Spain South constituency office, the issue of nepotism in the hiring in constituency offices has again come under the spotlight.

 

On Facebook and WhatsApp, messages were being posted alleging that Usha Persad and Lisa Harry, employees at the Siparia constituency office, were related to Persad-Bissessar.

Minister fired and Cabinet reshuffled

March 11, 2016

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on Thursday fired Marlene McDonald from the post of minister of housing and urban development, revoking her appointment and making several other changes to his Cabinet at the same time.

McDonald’s dismissal, six months into the new government’s term, has made her the first minister of the Rowley People’s National Movement (PNM) administration to be removed. She has been replaced by Randall Mitchell, who formerly held the post of public administration minister, the Trinidad Guardian reported.

In a statement on Thursday night, the government announced the changes to the Cabinet that were made following McDonald’s dismissal.

14,000 living with HIV/AIDS

March 18, 2016

An estimated 10,000 to 14,000 people are said to be living with HIV/Aids in Trinidad and Tobago.

 

According to the deputy director of the HIV/Aids Coordinating Committee, Dr Ayanna Sebro, the National Aids Programme has resulted in the diagnosis of 27,000 persons between 1983 and 2014. She also said there has been an increase in HIV rapid testing sites across Trinidad and Tobago from one to 64 during the peri-od 2005-2014.

 

Speaking at the Health Ministry’s weekly news briefing, at the ministry’s head office, Sebro said there was an overall decrease in the number of persons presenting positive with HIV/Aids from 1,445 in 2004 to 1,053 in 2014. Sebro noted that the prominent age group for new infections was between 20-49, with the majority of those testing positive being female.“There is an increasing number of people being tested yearly with a decrease in the number of people presenting positive. Twelve per cent of the new cases are seen in the 15 to 24 population, and we also recognise that services to the under 18 population is very limited.

 

Stigma and discrimination continue to affect and reduce active treatment and support,” Sebro added. Sebro noted more women than men went in for testing, and felt they needed to have comprehensive prevention and strategies to delve deeper into what was happening with the male population.

 

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said getting tested for any disease always posed a problem for men.“It is the male culture and it is not only limited to HIV testing.

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