Wed, 25 Nov 2020 23:08:57 +0000 16 groups tell PM: Uphold your obligations on child, refugee rights

SIXTEEN groups – comprising both local and foreign NGOs – have written to the Prime Minister calling on this country to fulfil its domestic and international obligations to protect the rights of children and to protect foreigners seeking safety from danger. A copy of the letter was e-mailed to Newsday on Wednesday by Denise Pitcher, executive director of the Caribbean Centre for Human Rights, one of the signatories to the letter. The groups' letter comes after 16 children and nine adults, who were deported by boat on Sunday, returned to Trinidad on Tuesday and are now legally fighting the deportation order. Among those returning on Tuesday was a four-month-old baby. The return of the group, the letter said, gives Dr Rowley and his government a second chance to uphold domestic and international obligations pertaining to the rights of children and refugees. The letter called for the government to immediately reunite the children with their families, grant them access to apply for asylum, screen them to determine if they have been trafficked and provide medical attention. The group said some 50 children have been deported from Trinidad and Tobago this year, despite this country being a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Chi

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Wed, 25 Nov 2020 20:45:29 +0000 US envoy on migrant row: Don’t blame Trump, blame Maduro

THE US ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago has deflected criticism by the Prime Minister over the Venezuelan migrant crisis, shifting blame to the Maduro regime. US Ambassador Joseph Mondello, responding to queries from Newsday, said neither the current leadership of the Organisation of American States nor  outgoing US President Donald Trump could be blamed for the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. Rather, he said the Maduro government was responsible for the near-collapse of the country's economy and grave human rights violations against its people. Millions of Venezuelans have fled their country over the last six years, seeking refuge in Colombia, Nicaragua, Brazil and other South American countries. Law-enforcement authorities in TT have been documenting significant numbers arriving on beaches in southwestern Trinidad over the last three years. In May 2019, in response to the influx of Venezuelans, the government allowed both legal and illegal migrants to register to live and work in TT. A total of 16, 523 were processed and they now stand to benefit from permanent residency in TT, according to a statement by the P

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Wed, 25 Nov 2020 12:19:13 +0000 Larson says it is ‘shameful’ that some have attacked the work of task force volunteers

The National Food Distribution Task Force has moved into phase two of the program, which aims to assist those who are considered to be the “most vulnerable”, Chairman Susan Larson said yesterday, adding that it is “shameful” that some have attacked task force volunteers on social media. “The task force applied internationally recognized criteria to … The post Larson says it is ‘shameful’ that some have attacked the work of task force volunteers appeared first on The Nassau Guardian.

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Wed, 25 Nov 2020 19:34:57 +0000 Fenwick: Maradona ruined my career in 90 minutes

FORMER England defender and current coach of the TT men’s football team Terry Fenwick has hailed legendary Argentine footballer Diego Maradona as the greatest ever. Maradona, 60, died on Wednesday in Argentina after a heart attack. He was discharged from hospital weeks ago after a successful brain surgery. Arguably the greatest footballer of all time, the Argentine had health complications for a number of years. Maradona made his full international debut at age 16, against Hungary, in 1977. He was immortalised in world football after leading Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title in Mexico. He ended his career with 34 international goals in 91 appearances. His most memorable goal came against England in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup, dribbling from his own half past several English players to score a sensational solo effort. Fenwick, who was one of the Englishmen unable to stop Maradona that day, said on Wednesday, “I think he is the greatest that I have ever seen, absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt. He (has) done everything. He was invincible.” Fenwick added, "He was capable of doing unbelievable things. He is still on record as scoring the best-ever goal in world football, which was against England – the second

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Wed, 25 Nov 2020 18:22:57 +0000 UN Human Rights Office ‘deeply concerned’ by treatment of migrant children

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is "deeply concerned" by the Trinidad and Tobago Government's decision to deport 16 Venezuelan children and nine adults, even as an application was being lodged against their removal in the courts. In a statement on Wednesday, the OHCHR said all refugees and migrants, regardless of status, are entitled to the respect and protection of their human rights. "With regard to refugee and migrant children, states have a special duty of care – the best interests of the child must be a primary consideration in all decisions affecting them," the statement said. On November 22, the migrant group, which had arrived in Trinidad on November 17, was put in two boats and escorted by the Coast Guard out of the country’s territorial waters towards the Venezuelan coast as the petitioners on their behalf awaited a ruling from Justice Avason Quinlan-Williams. The judge ordered the State to return the group of Venezuelan children and women and produce them to the court at 1.30 pm on Monday, but the migrants had already been despatched by the Coast Guard. On Monday, the High Court dismissed the application, as the Venezuelans were considered to be outside the country’s jurisdiction.

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Wed, 25 Nov 2020 16:55:57 +0000 Football legend Maradona has died

FOOTBALL legend Diego Maradona, 60, has died. Arguably the greatest footballer of all time, the Argentine had had health complications for a number of years. Maradona led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title, ending his career with 34 international goals in 91 appearances. His most memorable goal came against England in that World Cup, dribbling from his own half to score a sensational solo effort. Maradona made his full international debut at age 16, against Hungary, in 1977. During his illustrious playing career, he played for several prestigious clubs, including Barcelona, Napoli and Boca Juniors. The post Football legend Maradona has died appeared first on Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

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Wed, 25 Nov 2020 14:04:11 +0000 Argo Group Announces Closing Of Ariel Re Sale

Argo Group International Holdings Ltd. today [Nov 25] announced the closing of the sale of Ariel Re to Pelican Ventures and J.C. Flowers & Co. “This is an important milestone for Argo Group as we simplify our operations – primarily as a U.S.-focused specialty insurer,” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin J. Rehnberg. “We are pleased […](Click to read the full article)

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Wed, 25 Nov 2020 12:08:08 +0000 Dominican Republic public debt soars to US$51.9B

Santo Domingo.- Consolidated public debt continues to increase, this time due to the emergency commitments that the country had to assume due to COVID-19, and already amounted to US$51.9 billion at the end of the third quarter of the year. The data published by the Public Credit Directorate of the Ministry of Finance indicates that the consolidated public debt –which includes both that of the central and decentralized government as well as that of the Central Bank- increased by 8.2 billion dollars or 66% of GDP during the last year. It is a similar amount to the total of the international reserves that the country has. Consolidated public debt in the third quarter was equivalent to 66% of a Gross Domestic Product reduced by the pandemic. “The debt will possibly […]

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Wed, 25 Nov 2020 12:06:25 +0000 Rowley slams OAS, critics of Trinidad and Tobago treatment of Venezuelan migrants

THE PRIME MINISTER, in a statement on Wednesday morning, claimed the Organisation of American States and US President Donald Trump have declared war on Trinidad and Tobago for failing to join efforts to force "a violent regime change in Venezuela." In a post on the official Facebook page of the Office of the Prime Minister at 7 am on Wednesday, Dr Rowley blamed the OAS and its president Luis Almargo for "almost singlehandedly" "triggering and fuelling the current Venezuelan" migrant crisis in TT. The message, couched in unusually undiplomatic language, was also sent as a media release. The PM wrote: "Trinidad and Tobago is currently under the latest assault, using nameless, faceless people armed with innocent children, to try and force us to accept their understanding of 'refugee status and international treaty' where a little island nation of 1.3 million people must be expected to maintain open borders to a next-door neighbour of 34 million people even during a pandemic. “This is a matter, not for the OAS but for the people of TT.” Rowley pointed out that TT's borders were closed to nationals and non-nationals on March 22 as one of the more stringent measures to limit this country's exposure to new cases of covid19 and the national s

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Wed, 25 Nov 2020 05:28:57 +0000 Young: All illegal immigrants to be deemed undesirables

ANYONE caught trying to sneak into this country illegally will be sent back immediately, as they have now been deemed “undesirables.” Minister of National Security Stuart Young, at a media briefing at the ministry in Port of Spain, on Tuesday said the situation had reached crisis proportions, with scores of illegal Venezuelans entering Trinidad and Tobago in the midst of a global pandemic. He said government policy is to protect the people of TT even as illegal migrants and human traffickers aided by law enforcement officers, were attempting to “break the borders” which were closed on March 22, to limit this country’s exposure to the pandemic. Young said government had taken the humanitarian approach last May to register all Venezuelans living in TT, both legal and illegal, and in a two-week process 16,523 people were registered. Immediately following the close of the registration process, government imposed a visa requirement for any visiting Venezuelan national or they must get an exemption from the Minister of National Security to enter, since the borders were closed. The government extended the validity of the one-year registration status until December 31, because of the pandemic, and he said Cabinet will meet to decide o

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Wed, 25, Nov, 2020 07:01:00 GMT 'America is back'

WILMINGTON, United States (AFP) — President-elect Joe Biden yesterday introduced a slate of veteran diplomats and policymakers who will make up his national security and foreign policy team, saying: “America is back, ready to lead the world.”

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Wed, 25 Nov 2020 05:30:05 +0000 Back in police custody

LAUREL V WILLIAMS MOMENTS after they arrived at Los Iros beach in Erin on Tuesday afternoon, a group of people including women and children, all believed to the Venezuelans were detained by South Western Division police. The group which arrived on Tuesday at 1 pm contained 16 children and 11 adults. This group is believed to be among 16 children and nine adults who were deported on Sunday even as an attorney was trying to get a court order staying the deportation. As soon as they arrived on Tuesday, the Venezuelans told Newsday they had not slept since Sunday when they left in two pirogues from the port at Cedros off the Gulf of Paria. The youngest arrival on Tuesday was four-month-old Keysha Gobin. Keysha’s petite mother Keren Gobin, 17, said, “It rained last night. We hovered over the children and tried to shield them with our bodies. We did not have plenty of food with us. Last night, mosquitoes bit all of us. The children were crying and we could not do much to help. The waves were rough. We could have drowned. Water entered the boat.” Although they left in two boats, one had mechanical problems while in the Orinoco River. Two of the men on board tied them together so that the working vessel could tow the other. They said th

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Wed, 25 Nov 2020 05:44:14 +0000 Preserving TT’s heritage…one brick at a time

MILLE FLEURS, one of the Magnificent Seven buildings around the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, was created by Scots architect George Brown. It was built in 1904 by the Prada family and changed hands three times before government bought it for approximately $1 million in 1979. In 112 years, it degraded, owing to disuse and neglect. In April 2016, Cabinet commissioned Udecott to renovate and restore Mille Fleurs. The work cost approximately $10 million. In August, Mille Fleurs was declared the home for the National Trust. Newsday spoke with Margaret McDowell, the trust’s chairman, about its history and ability to preserve culture. The National Trust Act was passed in 1991 and proclaimed in 1999. The trust's mission is to identify properties and landmarks deemed historic, with the aim of preservation. The trust started off as two people in the National Museum and Art Gallery. Its chairman until 2013, Vel Lewis, was the curator of the museum. The trust’s first CEO, Shamila Ramcharan, was recently appointed. The trust has fallen under various ministries but is now under the Ministry of Planning and Social Development. McDowell said this was the right fit. [caption id="attachment_859536" align="alignnone" width="1024"]

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Wed, 25 Nov 2020 00:15:24 -0500 NMIA upgrade delay - US$100m fix on despite 70% traffic loss but new timeline sought

PAC Kingston Airport Limited, PACKAL, operator of the Norman Manley International Airport, NMIA, in Kingston is maintaining that its pre-COVID commitment to invest more than US$100 million to upgrade the airport will be honoured, even as its parent...

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Wed, 25, Nov, 2020 07:01:00 GMT JBDC partners with international company to provide support for MSMEs during COVID-19

The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) recently partnered with international organisation CIAL Dun & Bradstreet to deliver critical development services to businesses in the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) sector as they grapple with the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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Wed, 25, Nov, 2020 07:01:00 GMT BOJ confident of Jamaica being removed from Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Financing of Terrorism watchlist

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is confident of having Jamaica removed from the international watchlist of countries with weak Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (CFT) regime based on the work being carried out by the bank.

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Wed, 25 Nov 2020 05:28:57 +0000 Undesirables

ANYONE caught trying to sneak into this country illegally will be sent back immediately, as they have now been deemed “undesirables.” Minister of National Security Stuart Young, at a media briefing at the ministry in Port of Spain, on Tuesday said the situation had reached crisis proportions, with scores of illegal Venezuelans entering TT in the midst of a global pandemic. He said government policy is to protect the people of TT even as illegal migrants and human traffickers aided by law enforcement officers, were attempting to “break the borders” which were closed on March 22, to limit this country’s exposure to the pandemic. Young said government had taken the humanitarian approach last May to register all Venezuelans living in TT, both legal and illegal, and in a two-week process 16,523 people were registered. Immediately following the close of the registration process, government imposed a visa requirement for any visiting Venezuelan national or they must get an exemption from the Minister of National Security to enter, since the borders were closed. The government extended the validity of the one-year registration status until December 31, because of the pandemic, and he said Cabinet will meet to decid

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Wed, 25 Nov 2020 05:21:04 +0000 Views from the bar: Royal rule in the 21st century

KANISA GEORGE Netflix's portrayal of the British monarchy on The Crown showcases the emotional consequences accompanying duty and sovereignty, and has evoked non-stop commentary on the importance and in some cases, the relevance of the royal rule. Despite the emotional turmoil and bitter family discord flagrantly on display, The Crown sneakily illustrates, in dramatic fashion, the value of the British royal family. A beacon of strength and continuity, the rise of monarchical governance took form after Roman rule ended and British began in around 410 AD. Heptarchy dominated Anglo-Saxon England, and kings were selected to rule over the seven kingdoms. Dispelled by William the Conqueror in 1066, heptarchy was replaced by the rule of one declared king. The term monarchy or "one ruler" is Greek in origin and is characterised by an individual who has royal linage. Abstractly referred to as "The Crown", the British monarchy is a source of legislative and executive power. It holds a superior power in its role as a constitutional monarchy or Head of State and undertakes constitutional and representational duties, while the legislative power remains with Parliament. Performing a merely ceremonial and formal function now as opposed to a p

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Wed, 25 Nov 2020 05:40:58 +0000 Mentorship for 25 young aspiring Tobago entrepreneurs

TWENTY-FIVE unemployed young people between ages 18 to 30, including university graduates, will benefit from the Building Opportunity for Sustainable Success (BOSS) mentorship programme. The initiative was launched on Monday by the Division of Finance and the Economy Youth Energised for Success (YES) programme unit at the Victor E Bruce Complex, Scarborough. Assistant Director of the YES programme Melissa James-Guy said the BOSS programme was launched to help mitigate the effect of the covid19 pandemic on young aspiring entrepreneurs. She said, “Covid19 has irrevocably changed the way that businesses will compete over the next decade, and it is the businesses that chooses to capitalise on these underlying changes that will succeed.” The division’s administrator, Brenda John-James, said the programme is geared towards providing mentorship and counselling to young entrepreneurs in Tobago, enhancing their chances of survival and success in their respective ventures. She said, “There is a body of international researchers that tells us that young entrepreneurs are the hardest hit by covid19 crisis. The research suggests that quarantine and social distancing reduced demand, disrupted supply chains, disrupted distribution n

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Wed, 25 Nov 2020 05:51:58 +0000 Simmons: Spend time at the crease

WEST INDIES (WI) coach Phil Simmons stressed on the importance of constructing smart batting partnerships as the squad heads into their second four-day warm-up match against New Zealand “A” in Queenstown, on Wednesday. In the opening warm-up, over the weekend, Darren Bravo smashed an inspiring 135 while Shamarh Brooks struck 80. Opener Kraigg Brathwaite (47) and skipper Roston Chase (42) also had fair contributions. Fellow opening batsman John Campbell (four) and Jermain Blackwood (eight), however, did not impress. Although he reflected on the team’s good performances with the bat in the first practice match, Simmons said consistency is key. “It’s about spending time at the crease. I’m not worried about the fact that Bravo scored a century. I look at the time they spent at the crease and how they controlled their innings. That’s what I’m looking for from John (Campbell) and (Jermaine) Blackwood in this four-day game. “I would be one of the happiest men if we could continue with the partnerships and the time at the crease. The scores will come. We have batsmen with talent. It’s about understanding that you need to spend time out there to score the runs that we need to get to 450 and 5

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Tue, 24 Nov 2020 21:23:57 +0000 Fletcher wants to improve WI T20I record against Black Caps

WICKETKEEPER/BATSMAN Andre Fletcher is intent on improving the West Indies’ (WI) T20 International (T20I) win-record in New Zealand. Of the last seven T20Is played in New Zealand between the pair, the Black Caps have won six. Altogether, both teams have played each other 13 times in T20, with the Kiwis holding a slim seven to five advantage. After three weeks of intense training in Queenstown, Fletcher and the WI team arrived in Auckland on Monday to climax preparations ahead of Friday’s first meeting of a three-match T20 series. Although the records lay in favour of the host-nation, Fletcher believes WI can stage a long-awaited upset. “It’s a game that we cannot predict but hopefully we can allow them to lose the other three (T20s). We’re ready and hoping everything goes with us. We haven’t won a series in New Zealand but hopefully we can change things around. “We’re just looking for the opportunity to make the best use of it. We feel welcome here. We’ve practised very hard, trained and put in the work. We strongly believe that we are capable enough and we are ready for the guys,” said Fletcher. The 32-year old is cautiously optimistic the upcoming series will assist the men in maroon to climb up the T20I r

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Tue, 24 Nov 2020 20:24:58 +0000 Tobago youths urged to learn black history

“Racism is an honest conversation that needs to be had.” This was the view of international and tourism development consultant Korice AQ Nancis, at last Wednesday’s Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation’s second instalment of Black History Month virtual youth forum. According to Nancis, in the Tobago space, there are pockets of racism linked to colonial history that should not be ignored. She said, “Largely because we are a homogeneous society, those of us who are of Afro descent may be oblivious to nuisances of racism in this space because a lot of us look like each other; we have shared experiences, shared beliefs. However, we aren’t the only ones in this space.” Nancis said it is "extremely important" for young Afro-Tobagonians to identify and learn about important periods in black history. “Our history is not taught; it isn’t learnt in any real formal way. We really do not know our history unless you are a super involved young person or someone who tak

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Tue, 24 Nov 2020 19:09:58 +0000 CWI to send inspection team to Bangladesh

CRICKET West Indies will be sending a two-member inspection team, comprising board director Dr Akshai Mansingh (member of the CWI’s and ICC’s Medical Advisory Committee) and Paul Slowe, CWI’s security manager, to Bangladesh this week. The pair will be conducting a detailed assessment ahead of the scheduled ICC Future Tours Programme (FTP) tour of Bangladesh in January. The West Indies are expected to play three Tests, three One Day Internationals (ODIs) and two T20 Internationals, with the Tests part of the World Test Championship. Mansingh and Slowe will visit all the proposed facilities for the tour, in both Dhaka and Chattogram, attend matches in the Bangabandhu T20 Cup and also get a first-hand look at the country's covid19 response protocols. Johnny Grave, CEO of CWI, said, “We would be the first international team to visit Bangladesh since the onset of the pandemic and, acting always with the health and safety of our touring party at the forefront of our minds, we have decided to conduct a pre-tour recce by sending two highly experienced professionals to assess the BCB’s (Bangladesh Cricket Board) bio-secure plans and protocols. "Our respective medical and operations teams have held a number of positi

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Tue, 24 Nov 2020 15:03:59 +0000 Human rights body concerned over Venezuelans’ deportation

THE Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR) is concerned about the deportation of 16 Venezuelan children and nine women on Sunday. The human rights body issued a statement on its Twitter account hours after a writ of habeas corpus was unsuccessful in the court on Monday. The judge hearing the matter agreed the court no longer had the jurisdiction to make any orders, since the Venezuelans were no longer in TT territory. In its statement on Twitter, the IAHCR recalled the resolutions of the human rights treaty and urged the Trinidad and Tobago government to guarantee the group’s entry. It said: “The IACHR expresses concern about the deportation, of Venezuelan migrants including 16 children and adolescents, some of them unaccompanied. According to public information, these people are found at sea and their whereabouts are unknown. “In this regard, the IACHR reiterates its resolutions 2/18, 4/19, and 1/20 and urges Trinidad and Tobago to guarantee entry into the territory of Venezuelan people seeking international protection for urgent humanitarian reasons, as well as respecting the principle of no return. “Likewise, the IACHR urges Trinidad (and) Tobago to strictly observe the duty of special pr

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Tue, 24 Nov 2020 15:02:57 +0000 Review or repeal anti-gang law, says Moonilal

OROPOUCHE East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal said the deportation of Venezuelan women and children while they had a pending court matter vindicates the Opposition's decision not to support the anti-gang law. He said government has breached international laws by putting the migrants in a pirogue and sending them back to their country while legal proceedings were pending. “This is a breach of human rights. You cannot take them from the water and pelt them back in like a herring or a sardine. “Because of government’s incompetence the court must determine their legal status and rights.” Moonilal waved a copy of the November 22 writ of habeas corpus issued by Justice Avason Quinlan-Williams to the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief Immigration Officer, Attorney General, National Security Minister to produce the named migrants. Pointing out the named respondents could face jail if they are found in contempt, he said this was a frightening undermining of the rule of law. “This is obscene. This is breaching international law – and they want us to support anti-gang law in Parliament so they could grab anybody and lock you up for 14 days and further extend it. “If we needed to be vindicated – and we did not – within 48 hours of

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