Sat, 04 Jan 2020 00:19:55 -0500 Tufton demands ‘cream of the crop’ for hospital security - Calls for high-quality guards as billion-dollar contracts signed

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton is adamant that the Government is spending heavily on security to get value for money and has warned contract awardees that only the most competent personnel should be assigned to hospitals. This assertion...

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Fri, 03 Jan 2020 15:14:40 +0000 Govt. agencies deficit gap tops US$317.0M

Santo Domingo.- The deficit shouldered by the Dominican Government varies, depending on the agency which reports the statistics. For the Central Bank, the gap between income and expenditure is different from what the General Budget Directorate (Digepres) established. From January to October 2019, the government’s fiscal deficit was RD$42.1 billion, according to the Central Bank, which for that type of figures has been implementing the IMF’s Public Finance Statistics Manual since 2014, which allows comparing the country’s figures with other nations in the region. For Digepres meanwhile the Govt. deficit from January to October was RD$25.3 billion, a difference of RD$16.8 billion (US$317.0 million).

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Fri, 03 Jan 2020 06:13:16 +0000 Non-energy sector improved $1b in 2019

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has announced that the value of TT’s total non-energy exports grew by 22 per cent and about one billion dollars in the first half of 2019. The ministry in release reported that non-energy exports rose from TT $4.97 Billion during January to June 2018 period compared to TT $6.07 Billion over the period January to June 2019. “Non-energy exports performed well in a series of products and sectors to both traditional and non-traditional markets including those in Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union (EU).” The highest increases were for non-alcoholic beverages (63 per cent) in Jamaica (110 per cent), rum and other spirits (48 per cent) in Grenada (82 per cent), plastic bottles (43 per cent) in St Vincent and the Grenadines (42 per cent), and chocolate and other cocoa preparations (40 per cent) in Jamaica (37 per cent). The ministry noted that it is responsible for the growth and expansion of the non-energy sector in Trinidad and Tobago. “This improvement in the country’s non-energy export performance from 2018 to 2019 is directly attributable to various measures undertaken by the Ministry and its agencies such as exporTT and other stakeholders to boost the performance of the

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Thu, 02 Jan 2020 21:32:49 +0000 Google to end Bermuda tax scheme

Google parent company Alphabet said it will discontinue this year the use of an intellectual property licensing scheme that in 2018 moved US$24.5 billion through a Dutch holding company to a Bermuda subsidiary.

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Thu, 02 Jan 2020 09:25:51 +0000 Help Gary

ONE DAY after gunmen went on a shooting rampage on George Street, Port of Spain, the usually rollicking street was eerily quiet. The normal crowds on the corner of George and Queen Street, waiting on North Coast Road maxis to take them to the beach, were absent and the bars and food places were closed. There was no music playing and no one was outside socialising as residents remained locked in their homes. Residents said Tuesday’s shooting incident which left one woman, Lystra Rodriguez, dead, and several others wounded was frightening. They said they were now living in fear and their only hope for peace is Police Commissioner Gary Griffith. They also want the support of all sectors and stakeholders to help Griffith and the police in the fight against crime. “We need everyone on board with Gary,” said one resident, “Because what is happening is madness.” “We have to stop playing games. “The Law Association and them saying the right thing when they say ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ but a country with 1.3 million people

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Thu, 02 Jan 2020 09:36:05 +0000 TTCB/Bmobile grads given keys to success

THE latest batch of inductees in the TT Cricket Board/Bmobile Cricket Academy was recently gifted with what has been described as "the most impactful and life-transforming concept" which has proven to key to the success for many around the world. The words of wisdom were given by Amanda Reifer, head of the Cave Hill Academy of Sport in the newly established Faculty of Sport in Barbados. A holder of a BSc and MSc Degrees in Management Studies, Reifer was speaking at the graduation ceremony of the annual cricket academy on Saturday at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy at Tarouba. Rhetorically asking her audience why only one percent of the more than seven billion people in the world are the most successful and wealthiest, Reifer said they all possess one specific mindset. Armed with discipline, superior consciousness, constant focus, and awareness, she told the young men that the law of attraction can help them realise their wildest dreams. "Now I know many of you may be thinking, 'Well I want many things that I don't get,' and that is true because the principle of the law of attraction is not solely based on thinking," she said. The key to the realisation also involves feelings, energy, and an unwavering sense of self-belief which must be acted out

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Thu, 02 Jan 2020 09:45:52 +0000 China's clout

The exploration by the Caribbean Investigative Journalism Network (CIJN) of the extent and impact of China’s increasing interest and investment in the region, which was published in last week’s edition of Business Day, disclosed the startling fact that in the case of TT, senior government ministers spanning different political administrations have confessed to not having viewed final documentation despite giving their approval in Cabinet in relation to Chinese-backed projects. This fact alone is symptomatic of the power and seemingly inexorable nature of Chinese influence, as well as the lack of transparency with regard to these arrangements. As a region, it’s clear we need China and China needs us. We gain funding for major projects, and China is able to benefit from long-term repayment as well as increased influence. Because China now has a stake in the region, it’s in China’s interest that we do well to repay. This can only serve to deepen globalisation and economic integration. Yet, as the CIJN journalists found, the relationship comes with a trail of official secrecy, questionable procurement processes, and the looming threat of insurmountable debt. Is it worth it? Certainly regional governments think so. From 2005-2018, Ch

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Thu, 02 Jan 2020 09:46:00 +0000 2 taxi drivers’ lessons on growth

kmmpub@gmail.com “Eh boss, look ah big thief man overtaking us,” was, it seems, our driver Waja’s traditional welcome as we set off last week on the two-lane road from Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan airport. Similar sentiments, if less literal, were expressed by our driver Mukesh as we drove in from Piarco airport in TT. Piecing together these two monologues, enthusiastically delivered to captive audiences, is as revelatory as any conversation on the future of both countries, as we enter a new decade. If this country is the ghost of Christmas future, then Guyana is the ghost of Christmas present. In more ways than one, being in Guyana felt like turning back the clock to the early seventies, when TT still had hope that we might use our coming wealth to create a new paradise. Guyana still has that grip on hope, if one becoming weaker with each new revelation and power grab by the political classes. Waja seemed to know every detail of what was perceived as the government’s “sell-out” and the tax arrangements of the oil companies. At a Guyanese wedding reception, rumours abounded of other weddings – those of government officials paid for by oil company consultants. Guyana’s hope may derive from va

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Thu, 02 Jan 2020 09:56:00 +0000 Prime minister promises 7.5 per cent growth for 2020

By Elesha George Prime Minister Gaston Browne has declared a new dawn for the economy of Antigua and Barbuda with a projected 7.5 percent growth rate and $1 billion worth of private sector investment. The pronouncements came in his New Year’s message entitled “THE BRIGHT PROSPECTS OF 2020”. Browne said his government would continue to stimulate economic growth in 2020 by, among other things, using two main platforms – foreign direct investment and tourism which brought the country 6 per cent growth in 2019. The Prime Minister listed a few of the expected investments, to include: $325 million in construction by […]

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Thu, 02 Jan 2020 09:36:05 +0000 Lewis: Sport will bring unprecedented success

PRESIDENT of the TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) Brian Lewis, said despite all the challenges for sport in 2019 the year was a successful one. He believes the new decade will bring more positivity to TT. Lewis was speaking at the 2019 TTOC annual awards ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port of Spain on Sunday. The TTOC president reflected on the memorable performances of TT's cyclists at the Pan American Games led by Nicholas Paul and Teniel Campbell, winning the bid to host the 2021 Commonwealth Youth Games and ensuring TT was in compliance with the WADA anti-doping code. Lewis said it was not always a smooth process. "We lost some close friends, we learned that life isn’t always fair...there will be mistakes and errors made. But we must allow ourselves, we must allow our youth and young people to develop and grow. We must stop being hard and harsh to them and place demands on them that we will not place on ourselves. We must stop being hypocrites. We must support the youth and the young people. We must commit in this generation and with this generation of youths to impact them, to ensure that the next generation to come has a better opportunity." Lewis said sport is the tool to make TT a better place but the country needs an all-hands-on-d

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Wed, 01 Jan 2020 16:49:51 +0000 TT Chamber boss: Help business

  THE refund of $6 billion in VAT owed to businesses would be a good step by the Government to create a more facilitative environment, urged Gabriel Faria, TT Chamber of Industry and Commerce CEO. Newsday had recently asked how businesses were faring in light of a Central Bank announcement of a 27 per cent rise in retrenchment over the past year. “Many businesses were hoping to see a more expansive approach by the Government pre-election 2020 but are not seeing it,” he told Newsday. “The VAT refunds owed to businesses amounts to $6 billion that the Government has taken out of the private sector. This it has had as an interest-free loan. That puts more pressure on businesses,” Faria added. He said many small businesses are complaining they cannot afford to let the Government hold these funds on an extended basis. “Many small businesses are saying that the VAT refunds owed to them are actually greater than their annual profits.” Faria lamented that no interest is being paid on this $6 billion, allegedly in breach of the VAT Act which he said mandates that after six months interest must be paid at a rate of 12 per cent per year. Many businesses would like to have their VAT refund, plus a 24 per cent interest payment for the

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Wed, 01 Jan 2020 07:05:51 +0000 A time for anger

Entry 357 Diary of a mothering worker motheringworker@gmail.com DR GABRIELLE JAMELA HOSEIN TODAY BEGINS the most important decade of our generation and perhaps of all human time. What we do in these next ten years will determine the future of billions and of hundreds of species on our blue planet, and it will do this with a finality we have never before experienced. On the one hand, it’s the best of times. Even while economic and class inequality increases, the poorest across Asia and Africa are becoming less poor, increasing numbers of girls have access to education, forest protection is emerging as a priority, and agriculture is improving in productivity. Countries around the world are beginning to ban single-use plastics, turn to renewable resources and energy efficiency, and clean up the oceans. On the other hand, it’s the worst of all time. Given the biological annihilation of 60 per cent of all wild animals in the past 50 years, and the extreme loss of insects and birds, we are in what is being described as the First Extermination Event or the Necrocene (necro means dead, so: the age of death). We can also see this globally in the contradictions and realities of flooding, heatwave, stronger hurricane

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Mon, 30 Dec 2019 11:34:46 +0000 Investment in renewable energy in Latin America reaches historical levels

Although hydropower will be critical, wind and solar energy are growing faster Latin America surpasses Asia-Pacific to become the second most popular region for solar and wind energy projects The renewable energy market in Latin America is registering an unprecedented increase in foreign investments in new facilities, led by Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. Latin America experienced record levels of foreign direct investment in renewable energy, with 97 projects valued at US $ 17.8 billion, in the first 10 months of 2019 – a marked increase compared to an annual average of 50 projects since 2013 – according to fDi Markets, a Financial Times (FT) data service that monitors announcements of foreign companies about investments in jobs and new facilities. For the first time, Latin America is the second most attractive […]

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Mon, 30 Dec 2019 03:36:51 +0000 Tobago tech wizard blazing a trail

Sekani Solomon is a down-to-earth, quirky, driven Tobagonian living in New York City. He is a senior motion designer currently working at Cash App in Apple. He has now pivoted to working full-time in the tech area and earlier this month he told Newsday, in five years he sees himself as being an instrumental player in design in one of the largest financial technology companies in the world. Solomon first made his debut in the Black Panther movie in 2017, after he was a part of the production team responsible for building the movie's main title sequence. Before this he designed commercial projects for Dolby, Apple, Facebook, GE, IBM and Disney. His latest accomplishment was becoming the first creative from TT, out of 500 entries from 45 countries, to be inducted in a Young Guns 17, hosted by The One Club for Creativity in New York. The One Club for Creativity is for people excelling in film, animation, graphic design to name a few. The entries are narrowed down to 89 and from this, 28 winners are selected and awarded based on the merits of their work. Young Guns competition is a yearly competition for creative talents under the age of 30. He told Newsday wining a Young Guns award is no surprise to him because of the time and effort invested into h

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Sun, 29 Dec 2019 06:16:51 +0000 WASA’s Christmas challenge, faulty pumps affect water supply

AFTER complaints of no water supply on Christmas Day in areas like El Dorado, Cascade and Arima, Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte blamed this on faulty pumps, which were due to be rectified by Friday. "Murphy's Law was very active over Christmas," he told Sunday Newsday, referring to the witticism that if something can go wrong it will. "Last Friday (December 20) two important pumps from the North Oropouche booster station went down and were not repaired until Monday because we needed some specialist parts. "Then there were more mechanical problems with pumps and this affected most areas in east Trinidad." Overall, some areas got relief by Monday, others were alleviated by Thursday night, and all other areas were to be rectified by Friday. A notice on WASA's website on Tuesday had named affected areas such as Sangre Grande, Maloney, La Horquetta, Guaico/Tamana and Five Rivers. Sunday Newsday asked if WASA should be better prepared by keeping parts on hand. "It would be an ideal world to have a well-stocked inventory." Le Hunte said this was not so in reality as WASA was "a cash-strapped organisation," with a fair sum of money owed due to be collected. "WASA is a utility in transition, with a lot of legacy issues, including

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Sun, 29 Dec 2019 00:22:20 -0500 KFC eyes new locations in St Elizabeth, St Ann and Kingston

Mark Myers, the managing director of Restaurants of Jamaica (ROJ), has earmarked $1 billion for the build-out of at least 10 KFC and Pizza Hut brands combined across the island for 2020. Over the past 12 months, ROJ has constructed five new...

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Sat, 28 Dec 2019 12:05:32 +0000 Antiguan Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason awarded MBE in New Year’s Honours

According to classicfm.com, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, 20-year-old cellist and Decca recording artist, has been made an MBE (Member of the British Empire) for his services to music. After winning the 2016 BBC Young Musician of the Year, Sheku played to an audience of two billion people at the royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and quickly found international fame as a soloist. He has since been outspoken about music education, and is a Junior Ambassador of London Music Masters, a music education charity that supports young musicians in classical music. “To be awarded the MBE for services to music is amazing,” Sheku […]

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Sat, 28 Dec 2019 11:39:40 +0000 Health tourism contributes more than RD $ 13 billion to the Dominican economy

  The present balance of health tourism in the Dominican Republic during 2019 Ask to reduce infections associated with medical care, establish and comply with the protocol Ensures the formalization and implementation of the health tourism council and implement the quality seal is pending 2019 was a key year for health tourism in the Dominican Republic. Some centers achieved international certifications and the first Dominican health tour operator was launched in Madrid, Spain. Agreements were also signed with financial entities such as Banco Lafise that has a presence in 11 countries to facilitate financing for elective medical treatments to the Dominican Republic. The information was offered by the Dominican Health Tourism Association (ADTS) through a document requested by Diario Libre, which reported that May was a key month for the sector […]

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Sat, 28 Dec 2019 04:27:51 +0000 Central Bank: 27% increase in retrenchments

The Central Bank has maintained the repo rate at five per cent, amidst a backdrop of domestic deceleration, noticeably in the labour force where 27 per cent more people were retrenched this year, compared to 2018. The bank released its quarterly Monetary Policy Report on Friday. In the third quarter of 2019 natural gas production increased to 3,604 million cubic feet per day (mmcf/d), 3.7 per cent above output in the same quarter of 2018, despite maintenance shutdowns at two large natural gas platforms. This spurred year-on-year increases in petrochemicals (23.3 per cent) and liquefied natural gas (8.0 per cent). At the same time, crude oil production remained at its level of just under 60,000 barrels per day during the first half of the year, compared with a daily average of around 64,000 barrels in calendar 2018, a reflection of the ongoing maturation of the oil fields. In the non-energy sectors, preliminary data for indicators monitored by the Central Bank point to modest expansions in the distribution and finance sectors during the third quarter. An uptick in local sales of cement suggests that construction activity is responding to the rise in public sector infrastructural investments. According to data from the Central Statistical Office, headline infl

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Thu, 26 Dec 2019 13:46:19 +0000 Fishing brings in RD $5 billion annually in the DR

SANTO DOMINGO Although the country is not self-sufficient, in the fishing area, that sector moves about RD $ 5 billion a year. However, the low local production and profitability of the activity lead local fishermen to break the law. In fact, this year it is estimated that nine vessels have been captured, said Milton Ginebra Morales, Executive Director of the Dominican Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Codopesca). He said that despite this economic dynamism, the nation does not have the best potential because the rivers do not have the phytonutrients necessary for raising fish and in the maritime part the waters are very hot and the waters are very deep. These factors affect that of every 10 pounds of fish consumed in the country, seven are imported, the official told […]

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Thu, 26 Dec 2019 10:47:39 +0000 China’s murky trail in the Caribbean

The Caribbean Investigative Journalism Network (CIJN) is a collaborative effort by reporters throughout the region, telling important stories from the Caribbean via a uniquely Caribbean perspective. The project, a digital multimedia platform, was launched on December 5. Newsday’s associate editor for business, CARLA BRIDGLAL, was part of the inaugural team. She, along with journalists from Guyana, Suriname and Jamaica, explored the extent and impact of China’s increasing interest and investment in the region. The following is an abridged version. To read the entire story visit www.cijn.org. CARLA BRIDGLAL, IVAN CAIRO, STEFFON CAMPBELL, ALIX LEWIS and NEIL MARKS A hotel. A highway. A port. The prime minister’s house. For Caribbean countries, one of the most visible, expansive, and expensive forms of Beijing’s engagement with the region is its financing of large-scale infrastructure projects. China’s growing economic presence in the Caribbean is readily associated with such undertakings, but a Media Institute of the Caribbean (MIC) investigation into the conduct of business with the Asian powerhouse in the region has unveiled a trail of official secrecy, questionable procurement processes and the looming t

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Tue, 24 Dec 2019 09:57:00 +0000 Potworks Dam back online, but possibly not for long

For the fourth time this year, Potworks Dam, Antigua’s largest surface water catchment, is back online after being offline from the middle of last month. Water levels at the billion-gallon catchment rose above extraction levels during the rains of late November and early December, allowing for it to be reconnected to country’s water lines to supply potable water. However, this welcome news may be short-lived as, according to the Acting Director of Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services (MET), Dale Destin, “recharge of catchments is very unlikely during the dry season. This is especially so for this coming dry season, as […]

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Mon, 23 Dec 2019 09:43:50 +0000 Kublalsingh calls for $1b for south flood victims

Highway Reroute Movement (HRM) leader, Wayne Kublalsingh, maintains that Prime Minister Dr Rowley is to blame for the recent flooding which occurred in the Debe/Penal/Barrackpore area following heavy rainfall two weeks ago. Kublalsingh was responding to remarks made by Works Minister Rohan Sinanan, at a press conference held along the Oropouche River Bridge on Saturday, where he defended the PM and also assured that no work had resumed on the said watercourse. According to Sinanan, the embankment Kublalsingh believes is the main cause of flooding in this area was built under the previous People’s Partnership government back in 2015 and was in no way affiliated to the current ruling party. Kublalsingh expressed total disagreement. “Dr Rowley cannot say he has no part to play in that,” said Kublalsingh. “We held long discussions when he was Opposition Leader, gave him the Armstrong Report and he said he would raise it in Parliament. To date, he has refused to meet with us. I went twice last week to meet with him at his residence in Whitehall and his office in St. Clair. I gave the protocol officer a letter and spoke to his secretary twice and still nothing. What’s the reason?” The HRM leader explained the embankment was being built in a north/south

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Mon, 23 Dec 2019 09:43:50 +0000 Kublalsingh calls for $1B for south flood victims

Highway Reroute Movement (HRM) leader, Wayne Kublalsingh, maintains that Prime Minister Dr Rowley is to blame for the recent flooding which occurred in the Debe/Penal/Barrackpore area following heavy rainfall two weeks ago. Kublalsingh was responding to remarks made by Works Minister Rohan Sinanan, at a press conference held along the Oropouche River Bridge on Saturday, where he defended the PM and also assured that no work had resumed on the said watercourse. According to Sinanan, the embankment Kublalsingh believes is the main cause of flooding in this area was built under the previous People’s Partnership government back in 2015 and was in no way affiliated to the current ruling party. Kublalsingh expressed total disagreement. “Dr Rowley cannot say he has no part to play in that,” said Kublalsingh. “We held long discussions when he was Opposition Leader, gave him the Armstrong Report and he said he would raise it in Parliament. To date, he has refused to meet with us. I went twice last week to meet with him at his residence in Whitehall and his office in St. Clair. I gave the protocol officer a letter and spoke to his secretary twice and still nothing. What’s the reason?” The HRM leader explained the embankment was being built in a north/south

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