Trinidad Faces Humanitarian Crisis As More Venezuelans Come For Refuge
When Reyna Cumberbatch climbed out of a boat and onto a deserted beach in the Caribbean twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, she was nervous but deeply relieved. Back in her home country of Vene...
Trinidad: Ex-Petrotrin workers to get land for housing, agriculture
A former Petrotrin workers speaks for his colleagues with this sign outside Petrotrin’s refinery compound on Friday. (Trinidad Express) Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has announced that lands belongin...
(Trinidad Guardian) Police believe a hit was called on the life police constable Kryston Ramirez. However, they say they are close to making arrests after receiving critical informat...
Wales announce Trinidad & Tobago friendly fixture as Ryan Giggs' side make Wrexham return
Wales will face Trinidad & Tobago in a friendly fixture at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground next March. Given that Ryan Giggs' side were drawn in a group of five in their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, the...
Wales to host Trinidad and Tobago at Wrexham's Racecourse
Wales will return to Wrexham's Racecourse for the first time in 10 years when they face Trinidad and Tobago in a friendly on 20 March 2019. The match will be part of Wales' preparations for their open...
Trinidad: 5-year-old scratch bomb victim gets prosthetic hand
Joshua Rufus plays with an “Iron Man” prosthetic hand at Qualitech Machining Services Ltd in Point Lisas where local engineers will build him a 3D printed prosthetic arm in the coming weeks. (Trinidad ...
(Trinidad Guardian) A police officer was shot dead at a bar in Carapo Village, south of Arima, around 3 pm yesterday. The officer identified as PC Kyrston Ramirez was assigned to the Guard and Emergen...
Al-Rawi sets date to meet texter, after sharing cell number
Jessie Dowlah, 18, is probably the envy of many women in TT after she not only messaged but received a response from Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, who promised to meet with her in the new year.
On Saturday night Al-Rawi gave out his cellphone number to attendees at the Greater San Fernando Area Chamber of Commerce's (GSFCC) Christmas function. He said he was feeling "left out" after former PP minister Devant Maharaj, gave out the majority of Government ministers numbers except his.
“I ask you to note that whilst everyone else’s number was made public, except my colleagues opposite, and mine wasn’t, its 683-6442. You’re welcome to call, it’s been in the public domain for a very long time. So I had to call my good friend Devant, because he is my good friend, and I said to him, 'Devant boy, how you leave mih out so?', he say, 'Faris they wanted your number too bad so I didn’t give it to them'," Al-Rawi said.
At 10:37 pm on Sunday, after reading a Newsday article by Richardson Dhalai, Dowlah messaged the number released asking if it was really Al-Rawi.
A minute later he responded, confirming it was him.
[caption id="attachment_681564" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Finance Minister Colm Imbert and Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi. File photo.[/caption]
Speaking with Newsday, Dowlah said she was sceptical even after she was told it was him but she told him of her passion for seeing a better TT. Dowlah said she opposed the People's National Movement (PNM) but was in support of Al-Rawi and some of the policies brought to Parliament by him.
"I told him I wanted to be a lawyer and study psychology as well. I remember in 2015 he came to Presentation College and spoke and from then I wanted to be a lawyer. I told him all of that," she said.
The Tableland resident said she was shocked not only about speaking with Al-Rawi but the ease at which they communicated although they had opposing views. One thing they agreed on, she said, was that they want the best for TT. Neither of them, she said, plans to "convert" the other. Dowlah, who applied to UWI to study law in September next year is expected to meet with Al-Rawi within the first two weeks of January. She was sent a screenshot of him adding her to his calender for 2019 on January 4.
Al-Rawi went a step further in Parliament yesterday during the Proceeds of Crime Bill. He said: "I promised today that I will compliment one young lady in particular who did not believe I was actually the Attorney General answering a message and had to test me to make sure I was. Bright young lady, past student of (St Joseph's) Convent San Fernando, past college prefect, urging us to step up to the plate. I promised her that I will tell her yes it is really me, I did reply to your messages and it was a pleasure to engage the conversation."
Dowlah said she spoke with the AG about her activism during the anti-buggery law changes and expressed her desire for social justice, human rights, and the socio-economic position TT was in and how to advance it. She said she was convinced to reach out after reading the article in this newspaper where the AG's cellphone number was published. She thought "lemme message him" and so she did and has no regrets so far. Dowlah, who sees herself as someone "passionate about politics" was advised by Al-Rawi to place education as a priority if she wanted to achieve her life's goals.
"During the conversation ,he told me that I was cut out for law and he told me he will show me how I can fit in (with ongoing volunteer work and other ways to advance TT). I was just thinking that I am now starting my career and he thought this highly of me. It was very uplifting. He proved himself and stuck to his word," Dowlah said.
She added that she received minimal negative feedback, but with the support of her family she said she will persevere. She highlighted that she never sent any pictures of herself, clothed or otherwise, to the married father of two. Dowlah is now looking forward to meeting with the AG and discussing ways to improve TT together.
PRESIDENT of the Registered Nurses Association Idi Stewart is calling on the CEO of the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) Davlin Thomas to ensure the minimum staff-to-patient ratio exists within the institutions, and at least get to the level the Ministry of Health has approved.
Stewart told Newsday today, the hospitals under the NCRHA were in a crisis because there was not sufficient staff to monitor patients.
He said the ministry approved 683 nurses in the RHAs, but there are only 447 nurses in the NCRHA.
“Our main issue right now is the crisis in the NCRHA in terms of staffing. It is at a really terrible stage right now and it is placing patients’ lives at risk.
“Not only are they short of staff, but the staff they do have on duty are junior nurses. The RHAs are refusing to hire nursing personnel, we are not sure where the funds that are allocated from the Ministry of Health is going, but it is certainly not being used to hire nursing staff.”
TWO prospective landowners, who say they were duped by a real estate agent and a contracting company of millions of dollars for parcels of land in Cedros, have applied to the high court for permission to represent at least 66 other people who have also lost millions.
Fitzroy Williams and Neil Bishop are hoping their application will be granted so they can take the agent, the contracting company and the landowner to court.
The group is represented by attorney Josiah Soo Hon and in their application they say in April 2016, they responded to a newspaper advertisement for the sale of land in Cedros.
They contacted the real estate agent and all 68 of them paid various amounts in down payments, amounting to more than $7 million.
They were shown the development plan for the lands as well as Town and Country approvals before making their payments.
Some of them made down payments while others paid the full price for the land.
They said when they attempted to contact the agent and the landowner to complete the sale, they were only given a photocopy of their deed of conveyance.
To date, none of them have received their deeds or their lots of land.
They intend to file a breach of contract claim against the agent, the company and the land’s owner once permission is given to Williams and Bishop to represent all the people who lost their money in the land deal.
Prison escapee, 26-year-old Teddy Singh, was killed after a shootout with police early this morning.
At around 5 am, Arima CID police responded to reports of a home invasion at Maturita when they saw three men exiting the house. The police said they were fired upon by the men, and returned fire shooting one man in the knee, while two escaped.
They later found the men, accompanied by another man in the forest near Dump Road, Arima. There was another shootout and the three men, including Singh, were killed.
They are believed to be responsible for a series of crimes between last night and this morning in Arima, including breaking and entering, chopping and sexual assault.
Singh escaped custody at the Arima magistrates’ court in May.
SAN FERNANDO attorney Ravi Gooljar appeared before a magistrate a short while ago charged with fraud relating to non-payment of stamp duties involving land and property transactions.
Gooljar, 59, of Gulf View, La Romaine, who has 33 years in practice, appeared before senior magistrate Cherril-Ann Antoine who read to him a charge that on May 14, 2014, at the Registrar General Office, Port of Spain, he uttered a deed which bore a false stamp duty for $55,750 purported to have been paid on a property valued $2.8 million.
And on the same day, he is alleged to have committed the same act in relation to payment of $222,554 on a $4.2 million property.
Antoine read another charge to Gooljar that he cheated the public revenue of $48,250 in stamp duty on a $1.8 million property.
The charges stemmed from months of investigations by the Fraud Squad and culminated with Gooljar, whose law offices are located at the back of the police station, giving himself up to police at the charge room early this morning.
Antoine told Gooljar that he was remanded into custody in relation to the charges.
However, attorney Charlene Kalloo pleaded with the magistrate to read the Port of Spain charges and grant the attorney bail. Antoine said the summons for the defendant in relation to those charges recommended that no bail be granted upon arrest.
Kalloo pressed on with her plea saying Gooljar was not a flight risk and is a father of three children. Prosecutor Cleyon Seedan said he had no objection to bail being granted, but asked the magistrate to impose conditions.
Antoine granted Gooljar $600,000 bail to cover all the charges and ordered that he surrender his passport and report to the police weekly.
He will appear tomorrow in the Port of Spain magistrates' court and in San Fernando again on Friday.
AG: Overwhelming support, messages made me ‘blush’
ATTORNEY General Faris Al-Rawi says after the recent release of his personal number he has overwhelmingly received messages of support and gratitude, as well as some messages from young ladies which made him blush.
On Saturday night he gave out his number to a packed room of businesspeople at the Greater San Fernando Area Chamber of Commerce's Christmas function in response to former UNC minister Devant releasing the cell numbers of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and a number of Cabinet members.
Al-Rawi, speaking in a telephone interview today, said his number has always been in the public domain and has been the same number "forever." He added since giving out his number on Saturday night he has received a significant number of calls.
"I have had the most wonderful number of messages from people just saying 'you are doing a good job,' 'we are praying for you,' (and) 'thanks for doing what you are doing.' Overwhelming support and gratitude."
He said people also reached out to ask for help in the coordination of services as well as some messages of affection.
"I had a whole bunch of messages from some very lovely young ladies expressing affection. They had me chuckling and blushing at times."
Al-Rawi said he had not received any messages from "haters" and he believes the issue of releasing numbers will peter out over time. He again accused Maharaj of doxing (trying to crash the system by having Cabinet members inundated by calls) and if Maharaj was serious about access to those in public life he would also publish the contacts for his UNC colleagues.
BAIL was increased by $.2 million for one of the four people on charges which resulted from the multi-million-dollar drug bust at an apartment at Regents Gardens, Westmoorings, on December 4.
Jervon Cole was today granted bail in the sum of $6.2 million by Port of Spain magistrate Aden Stroude because of a pending charge on a road traffic-related incident.
He had initially been denied bail when he appeared in court last week Monday since police had to verify an address he gave as his home at River Estate, Diego Martin. It was verified by police.
Atiba Eligon was again denied bail because of his previous convictions on drug-related charges.
Last Monday, the two women, Krystiana Sankar and Yannis Pebbles Augustine, were each granted $6 million bail by Stroude. There was no reduction in their bail amounts.
They have not yet accessed it, but is expected to later today as Stroude approved an application for two properties to cover the $6 million to be approved by a clerk of the peace II. The same allowance was made for Augustine.
All four were advised to apply to a judge for a variation of their bail amounts.
They will return to court on January 8.
According to the evidence present in court, the drugs – 1.04 kilogrammes of cocaine and 191.66 kilogrammes of marijuana – carried a total street value of $3.8 million: $400,000 for the cocaine and $3.4 million for the marijauana.
All four accused have been jointly charged with possession of marijuana and cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
Sankar faces an additional charge of possession of a firearm and ammunition allegedly found in her apartment.
They were charged on Thursday by a high-level team of investigators from the Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit, police said in a statement. A fifth person, the driver of a BMW who was arrested away from the drug-bust scene, was released from custody after consultation with the DPP.
The raid which led to the arrest of the four was led by Police Commissioner Gary Griffith and was made by officers from the new Special Operations Response Team (SORT).
The accused are represented by attorneys Larry Williams, Criston J Williams, Shirvani Ramkissoon, and Samuel Thomas.
Relatives of murdered cop: He wasn’t supposed to be working
RELATIVES of murdered PC Kryston Ramirez said he was filling-in for a friend at the Classic Bar, Carapo where he was gunned down yesterday afternoon.
Speaking with Newsday at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, this morning Ramirez's relatives said he was working extra duty at the bar to pay for his 5-year-old daughter's birthday party next week.
"His friend was supposed to be working at that bar but he wasn't answering his phone, so they called him (Ramirez) out instead. He was already tired but he did it anyway because his daughter's birthday is next week and she said she wanted a pool party."
Relatives described Ramirez as a loving father who was protective of his two daughters and dreamed of climbing the ranks in the police service.
They said one of Ramirez's daughters died from medical complications three years ago.
Sangre Grande CID and Region 2 Homicide Bureau police are investigating the deaths of a 32-year-old woman and an unidentified man shot and killed at around midnight last night. ACP McDonald Jacob said the woman lived in the area but the man is believed to be from Belmont.
Natalia Marsha Cardogan, and the man were at the house at LP 101 Toco Main Road, Vega de Oropouche when neighbours reported hearing gunfire. They called the police, who went to the scene with a district medical officer, who had the bodies sent to the Forensic Science Centre for autopsy.
Recent abuses of St Kitts-Nevis citizenship programme raised in Parliament
By Caribbean News Now contributor BASSETERRE, St Kitts — In his budget presentation in parliament last week, St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris touched upon the abuses recently uncovered in the country’s citizenship by investment programme (CIP), including allegations of forgery and fraud, but offered no substantive detail and, predictably, blamed unnamed […]
CSEF VI highlights transformative role clean energy can play in CARICOM
PLACENCIA, Belize — Clean energy in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has to be further developed to play a transformative role in economic development, poverty alleviation, and building resilience to deal with climate change. Electricity and fuel sector regulations also must be right-sized to suit the needs of member states, and stakeholders must find innovative forms […]
IDB lends further support to CDB’s investments in regional energy security
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), has mobilised more than US$85 million to increase the region’s energy security through geothermal energy development. On Thursday, CDB’s board of directors approved acceptance of further financing under the Sustainable Energy Facility (SEF) for the Eastern Caribbean from IDB, […]
CDB approves US$5.9 million to Belize to improve road safety efforts
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — Road traffic accidents are the seventh leading cause of death in Belize, with approximately 21 deaths per 100,000 persons. This is the highest fatality rate among CDB’s 19 borrowing member countries (BMCs). In response to this challenge, the board of directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved funding of US$5.9 […]
American Airlines begins non-stop service to St Vincent
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent — American Airlines made its inaugural non-stop flight from the Miami International Airport to the Argyle International Airport on Saturday December 15, 2018. The year-round AA1427 service will operate on an Airbus A319 every Saturday, leaving Miami International Airport at 11:00 am and arriving at the Argyle International Airport at 3:40 pm; […]
Antigua-Barbuda PM invites Scotiabank to early meeting to discuss purchase of Antigua holdings
ST JOHN’S, Antigua — Prime Minister Gaston Browne has invited the competent authorities of the Bank of Nova Scotia to a meeting by January 7, 2019, to discuss the purchase of the bank’s branch holdings in Antigua and Barbuda. The invitation is contained in a letter sent on December 13 by the prime minister to […]
By Ray Chickrie Caribbean News Now contributor PARAMARIBO, Suriname — Thirty-year old Nisha Madaran, an artist from Suriname, who began singing at age 16 in her family band, made history last week by becoming the first Surinamese, and perhaps first in the Caribbean diaspora to sign a Bollywood playback singing contract. Madaran signed the contract […]
Three suspected smugglers apprehended in the Eastern Caribbean with $30 million in cocaine
ST THOMAS, USVI — The crew of the US Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos offloaded 2,606 pounds of cocaine and transferred custody of three suspected smugglers on Friday to US Drug Enforcement Administration special agents in St Thomas US Virgin Islands. Coast Guard and Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) law enforcement authorities seized the $30 […]
Dominican Republic to scale up efforts in improving learning
WASHINGTON, USA — The World Bank has approved an additional financing of US$100 million to help the government improve the quality of education and learning in the Dominican Republic. “This additional support from the World Bank will boost the most profound education reform led by President Danilo Medina and contribute to help produce better educational […]
CDB launches Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has announced the launch of a new fund to provide financial support and stability for the region’s cultural and creative industries. The Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF) will provide grants for innovative projects within the creative industries sector. It was established with an initial US$2.6 […]