1. Today is Thursday 21st August, 2014. This is the Round Up.

    http://ift.tt/1BFOgpb /
    **COPS KILL 3
    http://ift.tt/1z6eld0 /
    **Mom admits son’s bad company led to his death
    http://ift.tt/1BFOgpc /

    I saw this story first on the TV6 News while preparing for work yesterday evening.

    Is it alright for me to day that, before hearing the details, that I saw the head of the North Eastern Division Task Force Inspector Roger Alexander in the background and simply assumed that the story involved police killing?

    Put the three dailies’ stories together and stuff just doesn’t add up.

    The Police surround a building of interest to them.

    They claim to have come under “heavy and rapid” gunfire. By this description, I’m thinking full automatic weapons, fired Rambo-style, hailing the Police with hot lead.

    Thus the Police say they had absolutely *no choice* at all but to return fire.

    You see, I say with tongue in cheek, the Police were aware that the men in the apartment were sitting on a major stockpile of ammunition. And despite the fact the building was surrounded, the alleged shooters would have come out with guns blazing, kill all the Police present, and make off to the coastline. There was no reason to wait out the alleged shooters, because they Police were outgunned, outarmed and outmanned nuh.

    With fire returned, when the smoke clears, Police enter the building and find three men dead. They find two handguns - a Ruger .45, a revolver, and five rounds of ammunition.

    Unless a fourth and fifth assailant escaped through an undetected underground tunnel with full automatic weapons and a crate of ammunition, these two pistols are what created the “heavy and sustained” gunfire, with required an immediate response.

    By the time the Police killed the alleged assailants, “heavy and sustained” would have been just five rounds heavier. Hindsight being 20/20, could the Police not have tried to contain the situation instead?

    It would appear too that the men were caught by surprise because, having been shot through the heart, they had not had time to get their bulletproof vests on.

    And as one commenter reported last night, three men, two guns - was one shooting at the Police with his finger?

    People may want to say that the men were criminals, but what they deserved was their day in Court, not death at the hands of the Police. We don’t yet live in an era where law enforcement is in the hands of Judge Dredd.

    Or do we? The implication of the quote from Inspector Alexander’s appearance on his evening TV6 programme found in the Newsday report is chilling to say the least.

    If the woman and child that one neighbour reported had been seen at the apartment before were there, would have have been killed too?

    Sadly, people aren’t going to have a problem with this until someone in civil society, and it probably has to be somebody who doesn’t look like Sandy, falls victim to Police execution.

    By then, it will likely be too late to do anything about it anymore.

    In the mean time too, Express’ interview with Dr. Valery Alexandrov has me looking at him differently.

    From the article: “He was asked if there was any gunpowder residue on the hands of any of the three men, but he said swabs of the men’s hands had been taken but if they were using a semi-automatic pistol, as opposed to a revolver, there was a slim chance any residue would show up on their hands.”

    Firstly, one would think that, by now, a gunshot residue test would be standard in a situation like this.

    Secondly, the Guardian was able to report that a revolver was in fact recovered at the scene. Did no one inform Alexandrov?

    What’s Alexandrov’s real deal giving out all these alleged details?

    And in closing, Guardian, your headline stinks.

    **Audit shows 43 guns missing from FSC
    http://ift.tt/1BFOgpd /

    "AN AUDIT carried out at the Forensic Science Centre (FSC) has now revealed that 43 guns remained unaccounted for at the ballistics room located at the second floor of the facility at St James… Newsday understands the police audit is yet to be completed and this will furnish investigators with information on how many guns were stolen and if any ammunition was stolen as well. "

    Kamla might have been right. It would seem that the fight really is on the land. The guns are coming from right here.

    While they’re at it, the Centre might want to check to see whether any drugs that they’re holding has not been consumed by rodents.

    I was about to call out Wowsie on this one, having not realised that the Forensic Science Centre is now a division of the Ministry of Justice.

    That being said, is there anything that Minister Emmanuel George would like to over-share?

    **‘Money launderers will be caught’ - Miscellaneous Provisions bill passed
    http://ift.tt/1z6eiOk /
    **…21 categories of crime
    http://ift.tt/1nckSgF /

    The The Miscellaneous Provisions (Proceeds of Crime, Anti-Terrorism, Financial Intelligence Unit of Trinidad and Tobago) (No 2) Bill 2014 debated by the Senate yesterday was passed unanimously with amendments.

    One hopes that the loopholes identified by Independent and Opposition benches in the original bill have all been closed by the suggested amendments, and that we really do not have another Section 34 on our hands.

    **FIU staff to be increased by 10
    http://ift.tt/1BFOgpf /

    From the article: Cabinet has approved an increase in the staff of the Financial Intelligence Unit by ten, Minister of Finance and the Economy, Larry Howai, revealed yesterday as the Senate passed legislation designed to make it easier for the State to pursue money-launderers.

    Much belated this is in my mind.

    Firstly, what’s the Head of the FIU been doing for the last two years that her staff complement has only now been expanded?

    Secondly, what are these new posts, how long again will it take to fill these new posts, and how soon before the bodies in the posts get up to speed?

    Thirdly, what happened to the plans crafted by David West for the operating structure of the FIU? Did Susan Francois toss them and do a do-over?

    Are the Government and institutions of State really serious about countering money laundering?

    **TCL chief executive suspended
    http://ift.tt/1qrT8p2 /
    **…‘Resignations example of shareholder democracy’
    http://ift.tt/1pgoAdH /
    **CEMEX director in charge
    http://ift.tt/1z6eiOn /

    More here on the goings on at Trinidad Cement Limited.

    But this is an interesting tidbit that might be worth following:

    "Long-standing director, Alejandro Alberto Ramirez was appointed as acting CEO. Ramirez is country director of CEMEX Puerto Rico. CEMEX, the Mexican cement giant with international subisidaries, is the largest shareholder in TCL with a 20 percent stake."

    **Nine TTPost bosses quit
    http://ift.tt/1ncj07w /

    Nine senior managers resign from an organisation, leaving it with no senior staff.

    Word is that they were dissatisfied with the composition of the Board, particularly with the fact that there is a conflict of interest where the Chairman is concerned.

    The Line Minister’s response: “Meh! People are free to resign if they wish.”

    Rome burning, and Nizam twiddling?

    The story must be read. The nepotism here would appear to be more than a little bit brazen.

    **Govt looking at alcohol policy
    http://ift.tt/1pMruHl /

    This feels so deja vu.

    **Duke: Treasury back in business on Monday
    http://ift.tt/1qrTaxi /
    **Duke: Treasury workers back on job Monday
    http://ift.tt/1ncj2MF /

    From the article: President of the Public Services Association (PSA) Watson Duke has said the Treasury at the corner of St Vincent Street And Independence Square, Port of Spain, will be fully functional for customers from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Monday.

    The public likely has no idea how much the closure of the Treasury and Board of Inland Revenue has impacted the efficient financial operations of the country.

    Consider that as long as Inland Revenue remains closed, the Government cannot receive revenue collected by various government agencies including Licensing and Customs, and multinationals will be unable to pay their taxes and duties to the Government. As long as the Treasury remains closed, Government is similarly unable to spend money in a number of instances.

    The public impact of the shutdown of the Immigration Department is just one visible impact of Duke’s “Sick Building” campaign.

    Frankly too, Duke “Sick Building” campaign is simply a symptom of the government’s malaise re building maintenance across the service, and their further tardiness with respect to completing new buildings earmarked for public service departments. The towers at the Waterfront Complex are only a few of these.

    **‘Howai should intervene in BIR disruption’
    http://ift.tt/1oThbSs /

    Consequently, I don’t know what Seenath Jairam expects the Minister of Finance to do here.

    The government squashed plans for the Revenue Authority - an agency which would have been charged with all revenue collection on behalf of the Government. They not only replaced that with nothing, they also left all agencies that would have been impacted by the Authority’s start up as is.

    This is akin to deciding to buy a new car because the old one was failing, changing your mind, doing nothing about the old car, and then complaining bitterly a year later that something wrong with the old one when it breaks down on the Beetham.

    **Health workers threaten to stay away over Ebola
    http://ift.tt/1z3NgHs /

    Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan is advising health workers on the frontline if they cannot do the job, they “should get out of the system.”

    This is in response to health worker concerns about Trinidad and Tobago’s preparation for handling incidences of Ebola here, and their saying that they would withhold their services if there is a likelihood that they would contract the virus.


    **Douglas: T&T is violent
    http://ift.tt/1kWBuNK /

    From the article: “Arts and Multiculturalism Minister Dr Lincoln Douglas says T&T is a violent nation. He said so in response to receiving several threatening phone calls at his home and office. He added his colleagues have been contacted by people seeking information on him, leaving him feeling threatened. In an interview yesterday at Radisson Hotel, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, Douglas said since the public airing of protesters burning an effigy of him on Sunday, it was easier for people to target him.”

    This big hard-back milquetoast goes on to say other silly things in his interview with the Guardian.

    Douglas might want to take Fuad’s advice to health workers here.

    But this - “He said such protests could escalate to the violence being experienced in Rwanda” - is asshattery. Be a frightened Freddie on your own behalf, but do not lose your mind and invoke shit like this.

    Douglas shows here a complete and total absence of understanding and appreciation for one of the greatest atrocities of modern history in the first place, minimising the slaughter of nearly a million people over 100 days to seek solace and support for his own situation.

    You are a small and shameless man, Lincoln Douglas, this, Kamla’s Minister of Multiculturalism who has neither understanding nor appreciation for the expressions of the people over which he has policy responsibility.

    Have a great day, everyone. //

  2. Today is Wednesday 20th August, 2014. This is the Round Up.

    **Flight to Florida
    http://ift.tt/1uUkqLU /
    **Hamel-Smith to miss Runoff debate
    http://ift.tt/1n9HI8D /
    **Text of media release by Senate president Timothy Hamel-Smith
    http://ift.tt/1qog0G7 /

    After Reggie Dumas waste down the Senate President in print for partisan behaviour in an independent office, the Senate President claims that he never intended to sit for the debate of the much divisive Constitution Amendment Bill because he wasn’t going to be here anyway.

    The Me: He coulda say that loooooong time, even before he consulted with the Attorney General and Senate Leader of Government Business on whether he should preside or not.


    **Kamla knocks race card use in reform debate
    http://ift.tt/1pJCd4K /
    **Kamla: PNM playing on the fears of people
    http://ift.tt/1oPulQn /

    Meanwhile, Guardian seems to have skipped a reporting day, publishing today story of the PM pulling the race card, while complaining about other people allegedly using it.

    And Earth to Kamla, if the people didn’t have fears to play on, they couldn’t be played.

    **Independents: Anti-terrorism Bill has flaw
    http://ift.tt/1kTrHbc /

    And while the House of Representatives was called out from their vacation last week to debate the COnstitution Amendment Bill, the Senate get a body-beat and ended up doing other business.

    Debate took place on the amendments to legislation which suggested as being required to strengthen the country’s anti-money laundering and criminal financing efforts. But the Indepedents (All hail Ma Drayton!) saw the gaping holes in the amendments almost immediately, describing them as another Section 34.

    Is this why Kamla and Anand are disrupting public peace of mind with the run-off provision? To again conspire to slip loopholes into law for friends and financiers?

    A friend and colleague yesterday described the impact of the amendments as put to the Senate thusly:

    "This bill is another Section 34, looking to protect the persons in the FCB fiasco.

    "Consider: Clause 3 of the Bill would exclude Mutual Funds and Remittance Services from the definition of ‘financial institution’ in the Proceeds of Crime Act would thus exclude the Director of a Mutual Fund if say, his cousin was the Chief Risk Officer of a bank issuing an IPO. Similarly, any ex-Senators that run such Mutual Fund would also be exempt.

    "And wouldn’t the Remittance Service include Cambios? When we had that shortage of USD’s in the local market recently, because the Central Bank found new issuers…won’t some of them Cambio start ups?

    "Funnily, Clause 2 would bring freeness from telcos under the ambit of the Act (‘value transfer services’)

    "Also Consider: Clause 26 means that any leak to the media (or the Opposition) of information regarding a matter before the FIU becomes an offence with a penalty of $5Million!! I guess we not really interested in Whistleblower Protection in T&T…"

    This bill is a sieve.

    **Only four charged with ‘laundering’ under existing law
    http://ift.tt/1uUkj2Z /

    From the article: “ONLY four people have been charged with money laundering under the current Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), Finance Minister Larry Howai disclosed yesterday. Howai made the statement as he introduced the Miscellaneous Provisions (Proceeds of Crime Anti-Terrorism, Financial Intelligence Unit of Trinidad and Tobago) (No. 2) Bill, 2014 in the Upper House yesterday.”

    …and apparently the solution to this problem is to make the bill weaker.

    Is the problem really the law? Or is it simply a failure or, worse, unwillingness to prosecute offenders? Mayhap Larry would have wanted to dig a little deeper toward root causes before bringing legislation to table that the Independents have immediately declared faulty.

    **‘Ultimate big fish’ being monitored in illegal quarrying
    http://ift.tt/1qofZC6 /

    Somebody, please, get Gary Griffith to hush.

    Our Ultimate Big Fish is involved in the arduous task of organising backhoes and dump trucks to steal sand and gravel. Not drugs. Not guns. He is “not even semi-skilled”, says Wowsie. Perhaps he looks like Sandy?

    [Expletive deleted] Idiot.

    **Protest continues outside Senate over election bill
    http://ift.tt/1kTrJ34 /
    **Online petition to halt bill gets 1,655 signatures
    http://ift.tt/1uUkhrG /

    And while all this is going on in the Senate, the bill which has been deferred on their agenda because the Attorney General is on vacation is still being protested outside of the Parliament building.

    http://ift.tt/1pZzDac /
    **New Board moves to suspend CEO
    http://ift.tt/1tnfGdS /

    Outside of the Parliament, and another matter on which the public should keep an eye, the board of Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) all resigned yesterday ahead of a Special Compulsory Meeting of Shareholders.

    Shareholders installed a new board whose first order of business was to suspend the Chief Executive Officer.

    TCL has been a financial disaster, and reportedly human resource and general management mess, and at the centre of rising construction costs for years in this country.

    This is definitely one to watch.

    **AG sees end to fight with Google
    http://ift.tt/1kTrCVb /
    **AG gives green light to Google
    http://ift.tt/1qofXKv /
    **Six legal documents filed in California
    http://ift.tt/VEf4oE /

    Here’s what’s humbugging me about the Attorney General’s pontificating and disclosures here.

    If you know that you haven’t been involved in an email chain involving multiple recipients, and an email address cited in the disputed and reputed chain of email messages is not yours, why are you suing the email provider for information that is not there?

    Unless… your months-old, quietly executed, and only recently revealed suits in private capacity to which the public will have no access except for what you tell us about it was really to make sure that what you feel is “irrelevant” to the discussion and what needs to be “irrelevant” isn’t there. Guardian’s verbatim reporting sans analysis of the Attorney General’s legal documents will require some reading and poking.

    && thinks himself smart in his sharkskin suits.

    These are not the actions of the innocent.

    **Petrotrin oil spill victim suffers miscarriage
    http://ift.tt/1uUkgUT /

    Petrotrin’s second disaster in short order is giving apparently creating problems still in Marabella.

    **Man shot, burnt in D’Abadie
    http://ift.tt/1uUkfQN /

    …and crime continues with murder number 272.

    **Four held in $1m cocaine bust
    http://ift.tt/1kUIdI3 /

    Good. Now close this case. And follow the money trail upward. It probably doesn’t lead to an illegal quarry.

    **Wanted man in critical condition after shoot-out with police
    http://ift.tt/1oPunrF /

    Just a thought. I’m beginning to wonder whether some miscreants are shooting first because they believe that the Police will kill them if they don’t.

    **Prison officers outraged
    http://ift.tt/1qofUy4 /

    This would be the second case of open-mouth-insert-foot on the Justice Minister’s part in very recent history.

    The first would have been his ill-advised admission that the Chief Justice had been consulted on a piece of legislation, a matter that raised the concern of the Opposition re the separation of the Legislature and Judiciary.

    Now Prison Officers are upset that the Justice Minister’s and Prisons Commissioner’s revelation that they have been issued more Firearm User’s Licences has made them targets.

    Does the Minister get to say, “oops” here when a Prison Officer is held up in his home for his licensed firearm?

    **Cory Ammon: Starting again from the bottom
    http://ift.tt/1n9HI8H /

    I know Cory. This is very brave.

    Have a great day, everyone.

    ADDENDUM: Keep your eyes on these weather systems, folks. (http://ift.tt/1lw1gSU) //

  3. Today is Tuesday 19th August, 2014. This is the Round Up.

    Guardian, me ent too impressed with yuh apparently non-linear web presence.

    http://ift.tt/VB8pM3 /
    http://ift.tt/1oNkgn5 /
    **US judge backs Integrity body against Google
    http://ift.tt/1oMHfie /

    Frankly, meh. As a techie, I’m a lil disappointed that this is as far as this has gone.

    The subpeona issued by the Northern District Court of Calfornia doesn’t order Google to provide the content of email allegedly sent. It simply requests that Google confirm or deny whether three listed email addresses exist.

    Google has 14 days to say whether or not they contest the subpeona.

    For more reading on Google and transparency though, see http://ift.tt/1vcqXPi /

    **PM hits critics for ‘mass hysteria’ over Runoff Bill
    http://ift.tt/1oNkdYh /

    From the article and the Prime Minister: “In this country leaders want to hold on to power until you have to drag them ‘screaming and kicking out the door’, said Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.”

    Unless the PM is talking about herself, this is bullshit.

    Since Dr. Eric Williams passed away while still in office, no leader in this country has gone above and beyond to remain in office. In fact, the UNC’s biggest bogeyman, Patrick Manning, even gave himself two truncated terms in response to public discontent with his administrations.

    Kamla, on the other hand, won’t even call internal elections in her own party.

    The first two provisions of the bill - Prime Minsterial term limits and recall - are piss poor solutions looking for problems that don’t exist. And the Prime Minister and government are playing bait-and-switch with the those two and the provision that’s the real problem that is the two-round system of voting.

    There’s no point my going into the reasons that the two-round system is not in keeping with all the that government says to us that it is. There have been too many commenters in the public space who have voiced from concern and outright rejection of both the provision and the way in which it was introduced.

    **PM: No Indian takeover
    http://ift.tt/1BvUiZj /

    That smacking sound you just heard was the PM slapping the race card down on the table.

    If we are to follow the analogy further, she then flipped the table over, declared herself victrix, sending the checker pieces and board flying across the room.

    I listened to the debate when I was off on vacation. I do not recall any opposition voice citing an “Indian takeover” as ground for rejecting the run-off provision. Nor do I recall any reasoned or reasonable argument citing race as a reason for rejecting the run-off elections.

    Kamla further needs to stop using mathematics in her arguments. It continues to show up how foolish either she or her advisors are. If her advisors are that foolish, it is indicative of how much more dense she is because she’s citing them without thinking about what she’s saying.

    **Debate at UWI seminar: Only one voice against the bill
    http://ift.tt/VB8nUy /

    I’d like to know who organised this discussion, and whether they’re seething that all four participants didn’t declare their love and full adoration for the Constitution Amendment Bill.

    At the same time though, Kuboni’s rejection of the bill odiously raises the race specter, validating the Prime Minister’s assertion.

    Given the UNC’s penchant for carefully crafted propaganda in recent years, one wonders now whether this objection was staged.

    And it is passing strange that you have at table Ghany, Ragoonath, and Lester Henry with his charts and graphs, and the only dissenting voice in an intellectual forum is one that appeals to emotion.

    **Ghany: Group against reform
    http://ift.tt/YrYydn /

    From the article: “There is a group in this country that does not want to see reform to the Constitution at all, says Dr Hamid Ghany.”

    Identify them, Dr. Ghany. If not, your assertion is without proof.

    Most commenters have issue with the three provisions hurriedly presented in the Parliament last week, not that they have issue with reform of the Constitution at all.


    Thou shalt not commit logical fallacies, Dr. Ghany.

    Then there is this: “He said the re-call mechanism of the bill needed some sort of protection for the MP in the event that he was elected on a minority basis.”

    But… isn’t the run-off provision there to ensure that the MP is elected by 50% of either the first or second vote?

    The more the proponents of these measures argue for them, the less sense they make.

    **Griffith: Ideal time to go after the ‘big fish’
    http://ift.tt/VB5cfC /

    From the article: Now is the ideal time to go after the “big fish” in this country, National Security Minister Gary Griffith has said.

    Thus, I find myself thinking, prior to “now”, pursuing “big fish” was not ideal?

    Further: “We have gotten to the stage where we are genuinely desirous of protecting our country from the corrosive effects of money laundering and terrorist financing,” Griffith said.

    Thus, prior to “this stage”, “we” were not so desirous?

    He trying to out &&, Larry, Vasant, and Dooks or what? It’s not four years now that the four of them have been trumpeting our ability to remain off the Financial Action Task Force’s blacklist?

    How it go look that after Ministers of Finance and Attorney General talk big about all that is actively being done contain money-laundering and terrorist financing, you as National Security Minister jump up and get on like the country now ready to do something about both?

    Wowsie’s foolish utterances aside, link to the bill to be debated in the Senate today is here: http://ift.tt/1vcqXPk /

    The Bill Essentials document at the link is very useful and an easy read.

    **Bring a new vision for housing
    http://ift.tt/1vcqVai /

    From the article, “Recent reports that the HDC housing waiting list has reached 200,000 have thrown up questions about strategies for land usage, housing design and urban planning in T&T.”

    I find 200,000 in a population of 1.3 million mind-boggling.

    When last has the Housing Development Corporation scrubbed this list? Speaking for myself, I’m a home owner for a number of years, and as far as I know, I’m still on the HDC’s list.

    Further, in order to qualify to apply for an HDC home, one must be “Neither owner nor part owner of a house or land (new home applicants only)”. Does a Certificate of Comfort qualify as “ownership”?

    **Mom fined for smoking in bar
    http://ift.tt/VB8mQv /

    I can’t believe that this has actually made it to Court. I cannot believe it at all.

    **More prisons officers carrying guns
    http://ift.tt/YrYzxV /
    **Govt spends $7.5m on bulletproof vests
    http://ift.tt/1o8WhJ1 /

    Have we fixed the problem of rogue prison officers yet? You know what I mean. Have we weeded out of the prison service those prison officers who smuggle things into the prison and deliver messages from prisoners to undetained miscreants outside of the prison?

    Does this mean that we may now be issuing firearms to undetected rogue prison officers?

    Will the bulletproof vests that are being acquired for prison officers also to be allowed outside of the prison?

    Does anyone realise that the possibility exists therefore that there is the possibility that rogue prison officers could be out in the public space with both weapon and shield?

    **$230m for Santa Rosa warehouse prison but more $$ needed to make it better
    http://ift.tt/1oMWdES /

    Under all seriousness, when did government come to the determination that they would buy the “Eastern Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre”?

    Have we yet come to any determination as to how it came to be rented in the first place?

    Who set the value of the facility at nearly a quarter of a billion dollars?

    The downpayment is to be made when exactly? And who approved it?

    How much more needs to be spent now to retrofit what is being described as a warehouse to make it a prison?

    Independence is coming, the current administration’s annual “dead of night”. We have to keep our eyes open for literally anything.

    Have a great day, everyone. //

  4. Today is Monday 18th August, 2014. This is the Round Up.

    The Round Up has been on vacation (or rather, its author has been.) There is nothing quite so refreshing as being out of the jurisdiction, indeed, out of the time zone, and more so when the time is spent with people you care about.

    http://ift.tt/1map28l /
    http://ift.tt/1oI1k9a /

    Well, yes.

    Whatever happened to, “the voice of the people is the voice of God”? It would seem that as with many of the ultra-religious, God finds Himself a convenience.

    A couple things are instructive here.

    Firstly, Roodal Moonilal - “I think the PNM has engendered a lot of hysteria and emotion on this matter.”

    Thus, according to the Acting Attorney General, all opposition to the bill has been drummed up by the PNM, meaning that if you don’t support the bill and its provisions, you are of the PNM.

    Therefore, the COP members who voted against and Jack Warner are PNM. The former UNC head of a regional corporation who resigned from the party this weekend is a PNM. Various civil society groups, columnists and academics who have poo-pooed the bill are all PNM.

    Secondly, the kick off meeting to discuss the bill is going to be held in Gasparillo.

    Has the UNC fallen out with the Sugar Workers Union? When was the last time they did anything in Rienzi Complex?

    I won’t bother here to go into all the logical disconnects in Moonilal’s arguments for the run-off provision. That would occupy half the morning’s writing time.

    **PNM, Ramesh to appeal in court
    http://ift.tt/1pw28wG /
    http://ift.tt/1oI3hCC /
    **Constituents burn Lincoln Douglas ‘bobolee’
    http://ift.tt/1map1kN /

    And in the mean time, this is just the stuff that has made the news. In the face of all this, there will not at all be a rethink?

    http://ift.tt/1qjBnZf /

    Further, even as the Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith’s independence is being questioned, he exacerbates the situation by meeting with the Government Senate Leader and Acting Attorney General to determine whether he should sit out the Senate debate on the Costitution Reform bill? What manner of nit is this man? Does he expect the Government to suggest to him that he sit out? How much more partial can he now look when the people from whom he seeks advice are among the bill’s biggest proponents?

    **London: Self-govt a political football
    http://ift.tt/1pw24NA /

    From the article: “The issue of self-government for Tobago has become a ‘political football’ manipulated by parties for mileage, Chief Secretary for the Tobago House of Assemby Orville London has said. London made the statement yesterday during a consultation on Tobago autonomy held at The University of the West Indies St Augustine campus Teaching and Learning Centre.”

    One of the first provisions that should have been tabled for reform of the Constitution should have been changes to local govenment, including self-government for Tobago. This would all be to include proper provisions for revenue collection and expenditure, and devolution of central government power and authority to the local government bodies, making them responsible for their affairs. All this would free the central government of a lot of the local administration that is currently done.

    Ideally, it would see a return of a number of duties and taxes required to support the work of the local government bodies.

    But low-hanging fruit is interfering with the provisions required to get elected and to stay in office.

    http://ift.tt/XuGZJk /

    From the article: “In the aftermath of the discovery of 42 guns stolen from the ballistics room of the Forensic Science Centre (FSC) Minister of National Security Gary Griffith yesterday advised that effective immediately the police will do random checks at all private security firms and other law enforcement agencies to ensure that all weapons are accounted for.”

    Seriously? In the aftermath?

    There are only a handful of security firms in Trinidad and Tobago that are permitted to hold firearms and issue them to properly authorised estate police officers.

    By the Firearms Act, the Commissioner of Police is already responsible for maintaining a complete control and record of all legal firearms and firearm users in the country. See http://ift.tt/XuGZJm /.

    One would think that with information in the public space that Police and other persons are renting out their firearms to persons intent on committing crime that Gallery Griffith’s instruction would already be in effect, and that the Commissioner of Police would already be flexing his extensive powers of control. Note that he is even authorised to suspend ALL licences and call in ALL legal firearms in the country.

    Thus it’s one of two things here. It is either, Wowsie on toots as per usual, or the Acting Commissioner of Police who has just received another extension of his acting appointment is not doing one of the best documented components of his job, and one of the most important at this time given the amount of gun crime in the country.

    But while Wowsie wines jerkily on the few security firms that have legal and registered weapons caches, what of the local Firearms Dealers and the Gunsmiths who are not security firms, both also licensed under the Firearms Act and required to operate under law? Shouldn’t they be checked too to determine whether or not they are operating properly?

    In the same way that we might have respectable veterinarians (so
    town say, not me) patching up wounded criminals, couldn’t our respectable gunsmiths and firearms dealers not also be involved in criminal activity, renting out firearms for nefarious purposes? In fact, aren’t they better placed to ensure that they’re not caught?

    Addendum: Trinidad and Tobago has some of the best gun control law, restrictions and firearm record keeping in the world. The problem is, if there is one, enforcement. If, in truth, the security firms are permitting their firearms to run free, then somebody is not doing their job under the Firearms Act.

    See http://ift.tt/1qjBnZh / and don’t just stop with Trinidad and Tobago. Check out other countries listed at gunpolicy.org to see how we compare.

    **SRP questioned over missing gun
    http://ift.tt/Vxr8Z8 /

    All I can do is shake my head here.

    **Big crime drop in 2013
    http://ift.tt/1Bs0AJH /

    From the article: “In 2013, this country experienced the lowest number of serious reported crimes (SRC) in 29 years, a fact which is not known or even recognised by most people.”

    To the Acting Commissioner of Police, the key word here is “reported”. Think on this for a bit.

    And one might call me - and many other citizens - cynical for this. But the Police’s back-patting in the face of the reduced number of serious REPORTED crimes has me thinking very much about COMPSTAT, a programme of measuring Police performance in New York City which saw numbers juggled and crimes downgraded in order to create a falsely positive appearance of the reduction of crime.

    **New point system to grade police officers
    http://ift.tt/1Bs0zp6 /

    "…This point system is a motivating factor for our officers, especially those on patrols, and we will be issuing points based on different successful endeavours. For example, let’s say you recover a firearm, you will receive 100 points to your name, make an arrest for possession of cocaine that would be 25 points, and possession of marijuana that will be 15 points and so on…"

    Essentially therefore, being falsely accused of having marijuana is now worth 15 points.

    Now, this could potentially work if points are only granted on conviction, which would seek to ensure that quality arrests are done.

    I wonder who will get the points at the Biche Station for the gun lost by the Sergeant and found near to the Special Reserve Constable.

    **Northern Division warns would-be criminals
    http://ift.tt/XuGYoK /


    **Defence Force launches five-year human resource initiative
    http://ift.tt/1oI3gi3 /

    It’s one of two things here. It’s either the Defence Force has crafting a solution here for a human resource problem that doesn’t exist, or the Defence Force has a human resource problem, and with this human resource problem, the Minister of National Security and the Government were seeking to foist soldier on the population as police.

    Plenty buzzwords here though. Am I smelling a multi-million dollar contract award for consulting services?

    **Struggles, hopes and efforts in John John
    http://ift.tt/1qjBofB /

    Former Miss Trinidad and Tobago Athaliah Samuel and her work in her home community is highlighted here.

    **Boy, 12, hospitalised after electric shock
    http://ift.tt/XuGZJw /
    **Boy warded after getting electrical shock
    http://ift.tt/1qjBofC /
    http://ift.tt/1mZOf5v /

    In other jurisdictions where utilities are held to account for their infrastructure, this would lead to a multi-million dollar lawsuit, and that even after the involved utilities moved hell and high water to ensure that the little boy ended his ordeal better off than he began.

    **Mandela’s aide describes TT visit as ‘Battle’
    http://ift.tt/1qjBofF /

    No surprises here, really. None at all.

    **The mysteries of the Coora Estate
    http://ift.tt/XuGYoN /

    From the article: “The claystone cliffs at the Quinam Beach on Trinidad’s south coast crumble and recede with every high tide, making the water tea-coloured and leaving it heavy with sediment, but discouraging not a single bather. It is near these cliffs that the Amerindians settled in a time long before ours, and more recently, where troubled people have come to perform prayers — both spiritual and supernatural — the rituals involving fruits, fires, flags, and offerings to the sea.”

    Richard Charan today writes on treasure and the sea. This one was a really nice read.

    **New Greyfriars owner on site’s future: I CAN’T MAKE GUARANTEES
    http://ift.tt/1qjBofH /

    From the article: “Alfred Galy, the businessman who has bought Greyfriars Church of Scotland in Port-of-Spain for an undisclosed amount, says he bought it for its ‘sentimental value’ — but cannot guarantee it won’t be demolished.”

    A shameful situation is made worse.

    Also from the article: “He said if the Government wants to intervene and offer financial assistance for its restoration he would be open to that.”

    The shameful situation is made worse-erer, the new owner having put out his hand for State funds.

    It gets even worse the more you read, and confirms my latest thoughts on the matter that the seller was greedy and didn’t realise what they had, and that the new owner saw a great way to get money out of the Treasury just because he’s holding a piece of property.

    http://ift.tt/VxqYRs /

    Happy birthday, former PM Manning. Here’s to health, life and recovery.

    Find a family member. Give them a hug. Have a great day, everybody. //

  5. Rabbit Rabbit. And a Happy Emancipation Day to all.

    Today is Friday 1st August, 2014. This is the Round Up.

    And no, there was no Round Up yesterday.

    "Do not be duped by charlatans and modern-day slavers of the mind and body. Let us hold fast and proclaim our heritage, lest we forget and allow the dogs of slavery through the door." - Timothy Hamel-Smith, Ag. President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (July 31, 2014). See http://ift.tt/XpfZe1.

    Emancipation messages from the Prime Minister (http://ift.tt/XpfXTl) and Leader of the Opposition (http://ift.tt/XpfZe3) were also delivered.

    **After mounting calls Anil quits
    http://ift.tt/1nQElY8 /
    http://ift.tt/1sad4B7 /
    **ANIL OUT
    http://ift.tt/XpfZe5 /

    There is only one thing more hilarious than the notion that Anil Roberts had to be forced to give up the Ministry of Sport, and that is his resignation letter. See http://ift.tt/1zBXVeC.

    Even funnier is the Prime Minister’s indication that she “demonstrated patient allowance for all sides of the story to be heard through an independent audit” and “resisted quick judgment and rash decision”. See http://ift.tt/1sad04B.

    The revocation of Anil Roberts’ ministerial appointment should have been made in the same statement where the LifeSport programme was terminated.

    In spite of her speechwriter’s flower, the Prime Minister once again showed indecisiveness in the face of either malfeasance, gross incompetence or both, and failed to stand to her own stated principles of accountability and responsibility.

    The Prime Minister had two successive reports of the Auditor General on which to ask hard questions and make a decision. She waited still on a report by the Central Audit Committee of the Ministry of Finance, and yet it took, according to Roberts, public pressure and pressure within her own Cabinet to do what everyone in Trinidad and Tobago knew needed to be done. And even then, she couldn’t fire the man outright. See http://ift.tt/1rPNVtH.

    **‘Good riddance!’
    http://ift.tt/XpfXTu /
    **Political analyst calls for elections in December
    http://ift.tt/1sacUK4 /
    **MSJ praises power of people
    http://ift.tt/1zBXYaf /
    **‘Kamla bowed to public pressure’
    http://ift.tt/1u606E0 /

    We are now in the aftermath. Persons are cheering Roberts’ removal from both Cabinet and Parliament, as he is confirmed to have given up his seat as well.

    However, questions about LifeSport and by extension the Ministry of Sport must not be allowed to go away.

    Further, the Minister of Finance has hard questions to answer relative to the ballooning expenditure in the programme.

    Even further, the Cabinet has questions to answer, that nagging notion of collective Cabinet responsibility now hanging over their heads. Unless Cabinet is a drinks lime, the Ministry of Sport’s spending had to come up at some point.

    Eyes now are on the Attorney General who jumped out himself to say that he would pursue Adolphus Daniell to recover monies he received on a LifeSport contract. Following that lead, and the fact that he is pursuing Wendy Fitzwilliam in her personal capacity for decisions made by the board of E-Teck, we wait with bated breath (but not holding our breath) for him to launch proceedings against Anil as well.

    In case anyone is wondering as well, there will be no bye-election for the D’abadie/O’Meara seat. See http://ift.tt/UQynuz.

    **COP looks for new candidate
    http://ift.tt/1uNEnF9 /

    The government’s chief apologist must be singled out for attention though.

    One would have though that given Roberts’ behaviour, the Congress of the People would have sought and identified a replacement candidate for D’abadie/O’Meara long ago, especially given their own calls for Roberts to step down.

    As for Prakash Ramadhar saying that “the Prime Minister’s acceptance of Roberts’ resignation in the face of the LifeSport scandal sends the message that this Government was about change,” I’d beg to differ.

    It shows that the People’s Partnership has not been at all good at screening given the rogues’ gallery that has been ejected from the Cabinet and various state institutions in four short years.

    **Industrial Court: PSA Duke has a case to answer
    http://ift.tt/UQylCK /
    **Contempt case against PSA President: Duke loses move for dismissal
    http://ift.tt/1rVvFSV /
    **Court rules over Immigration shutdown: Case for Duke to answer
    http://ift.tt/1rPNL5x /

    I wonder whether any government ever did this to Errol McLeod when he was the head of the OWTU and de facto head of the trade union movement in Trinidad and Tobago.

    Rather than pay Senior Counsel to prosecute Duke, why not use the money to fix the issues he is highlighting all across the public sector?

    **Petrotrin speaks: 5,000 barrels seeped in river
    http://ift.tt/1u60bYp /

    1 Fluid barrel = 31.5 US gallons

    5,000 Fluid barrels = 157,500 US gallons

    5,000 Fluid barrels = 394 small (400-gallon) water tanks

    I’ll get to the reason behind the conversions shortly. But this is a lot of old oil.

    **Petrotrin’s assets to be audited
    http://ift.tt/UQylCM /
    **Tewarie: Audit coming into Petrotrin’s assets
    http://ift.tt/1uNEy2Z /

    The Gulf of Paria has reportedly not yet recovered from the Petrotrin oil spill of December 2013. And according to the President of Fishermen and Friends of the Sea, Gary Aboud, the latest spill into the Guaracara River on Tuesday makes the impact on the two on the fishing industry akin to the devastation of the hydrogen bombs on Japan at the end of World War 2. (http://ift.tt/1u60sug)

    And, “Despite assurances from several press releases from State-owned Petrotrin in the past two days stating its latest oil spill is ‘being contained,’ residents of Mango Alley Silk Cotton Road, Marabella, say the stench of leaking oil and gas is worsening.” (http://ift.tt/1samjS7)

    Further, “In a press release sent late yesterday, Pertrotrin said an inspection of the leaking MP6 tank revealed that the collapsed bund wall, which was built in 2000, was not constructed according to the engineering design specifications. The release added that a multi-disciplinary team had been appointed to conduct formal investigations.”

    So I beg pardon if I consider it bollocks, especially in light of the fact that December’s oil spill was so badly handled, that only now after a second blow out has occurred that, “An audit of Petrotrin’s assets, including its infrastructure is to be done…” and “… the proposed audit was agreed to by Cabinet.”

    Additionally, did Ag. Energy Minister Bhoe Tewarie mis-read his speaking notes, saying “gallons” for “barrels”, as reported in the Newsday? Or was he deliberately sugar-coating the situation for the benefit of the press, not knowing that Petrotrin had issued a release citing a loss of 5,000 barrels or 157,500 gallons of slop oil?

    There is quite some difference between Tewarie’s “couple thousand gallons” and over 150 thousand.

    "Let us not call this one an oil spill, it’s a leak on a ruptured tank which in no way turned out to be spillage," Tewarie is reported to have said.

    Petrotrin personnel and processes too will require examination, not just its assets, because treating with the human impact of the spill seems still beyond the company’s ability to effectively manage. (http://ift.tt/1u60ulO)

    **WASA: Water safe
    http://ift.tt/1uNEIrl /

    And I for one am glad to hear this from WASA and so soon. At the same time, one would hope that WASA is supplying the community with potable water and not water that comes straight from the Guaracara River.

    **Emergency hotline
    http://ift.tt/1u60eDp /

    Residents with concerns can contact Petrotrin’s emergency hotline at 658-0235, between 7a.m. and 4 p.m., and 658-4200, ext 2410, after 4 p.m.

    **Daly: New pension bills should be discussed at next Parliament sitting
    http://ift.tt/1rPNJuk /

    Proper compensation for public service is a big issue that needs to be addressed. Truthfully, the only way to attract properly qualified people away from the private sector and into public service is to offer compensation commemsurate.

    For a number of reasons, it is good that the two Pension bills - Judges and Parliamentarian - have lapsed. I agree with Senior Counsel Martin Daly that it gives time for the various issues and objections raised with respect to the two pieces of legislation to be aired and addressed.

    I’m also of the view that the two pieces of legislation, impacting Judges and Parliamentarians separately, should be distinguished from each other completely. They have little in common but for the fact that they address pensions, and they should not be debated on the same agenda so as to avoid both conflation of respective issues and dispel the possibility of public confusion arising. In fact, the judges may well have gotten then new pensions had it not been for public discontent over parliamentarians’ pensions.

    The furore over the bills also raised that the Salaries Review Commission needs fixing, and that badly. If that requires constitutional amendments or simply the action of President Powers, then whatever urgent action needs to be taken must and soon. It’s ridiculous that the same people can serve on the same body, be less than effective, and then complain about resources for so long.

    **Industrial disputes at CCJ
    http://ift.tt/Xpg0P3 /

    Dr. Sheila Rampersad continues her coverage of the internal issues at the Caribbean Court of Justice.

    **3 CAPE pupils granted bail for ganja possession
    http://ift.tt/UQylCO /

    A good lil’ bit of weed found in parts that are not Laventille though.

    **Two charged with killing ex-teacher
    http://ift.tt/1qP6MsD /
    **Two charged for murder of Manzanilla businessman
    http://ift.tt/1rPNOhw /

    Kudoes to the Police for bringing this murder investigation to a close so quickly.

    **Pensioner chopped to death
    http://ift.tt/1rPO5RC /

    This one too should be open and shut, given that the Police have a suspect in custody.

    **Enterprise straightener, TT’s 252nd murder victim
    http://ift.tt/UQylCP /
    **Welder dies after shooting
    http://ift.tt/1qP6Poj /

    This one though, the nation’s 252nd murder for the year, and the victim providing information to the Police before he died, is hopefully as straighforward.

    **Sports Roundup
    All of Trinidad and Tobago must know by now that our boy Jehue Gordon took silver in the Men’s 400M Hurdles yesterday, running in a season’s best time.

    It was quite heartening though to hear the commentators say that he had taken the year to focus on his studies.

    In the Men’s and Women’s 200M semifinals yesterday, Rondell Sorrillo and Reyare Thomas both placed third in their races, but sadly neither was fast enough to make the finals among the fastest losers. Our third athlete, Kyle Greaux, placed 7th in his semifinal race.

    Josanne Lucas battled to take second place in her Women’s 100M Hurdles semifinal yesterday. She will take part in the final today at 5:10PM.

    The Express’ Kwame Lawrence has a far more comprehensive report of yesterday’s events at http://ift.tt/1xJ2fpm.

    Today, Trinidad and Tobago features in the following events:

    - Women’s 4x400 Relay Heat 1 @ 1:40PM
    - Men’s 4x400 Relay Heat 2 @ 2:18PM
    - Women’s 4x100 Relay Heat 1 @ 4:10PM
    - Men’s 4x100 Relay Heat 1 @ 4:35PM
    - Keshorn Walcott in Javelin Qualifying Group B @ 4:40PM
    - Josanne Lucas in Women’s 100M Hurdles @ 5:10PM
    - Michael Alexander in Men’s Lightweight Boxing Semifinal @ 3:15PM
    - T&T Men’s Hockey team in 9th Place match versus Wales @ 1:00PM

    Have a great day, everyone. //