1. Today is Friday 25th July, 2014. This is the Round Up.

    **A CASE FOR DPP: PM to lay LifeSport audit in Parliament today
    http://ift.tt/1zcqqz7 /

    "The Express understands seve­ral senior officials from the Ministry of Sport have been identified in the report for misuse of public funds, misbehaviour in public office and con-spiracy to defraud the Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago."

    While we knew this before, I’m glad for the confirmation.

    "[Prime Minister Kamla] Persad-Bissessar said the decision to lay the report in Parliament was in keeping with transparency and accountability to the people of Trinidad and Tobago."

    No, that’s the transparency part. Accountability will be the part where people take account for what has occurred in the programme, and people are asked to fall on their swords for this mess.

    "It should be recalled that within days of reports of possible irregularities in the programme published in the media, the Prime Minister took steps…"

    As for this garbage, if the media is correct, this is the *third* audit into the LifeSport programme, with issues cited in the two previous. Thus, had the media not reported on the alleged irregularities, LifeSport would have continued pumping millions of dollars into the hands of people doing little productive?

    And finally, Kamsie, if Larry sent you this report on Tuesday, it took you a full day to decide to send it to Parliament? And how come we ent see a letter of resignation from Anil yet?

    **PM: ‘I’ve dealt with it’
    http://ift.tt/WQszCX /

    But then, if you can’t get on the phone since last week when Anil and Gary started their sniping, and tell both to keep their backsides quiet re Red Steel, I ent expect that you’d be able to ask anybody for anything resembling even an apology, far less a resignation letter.

    **Dookeran on claims of visa restrictions for citizens: T&T, British govt working out issues
    http://ift.tt/1pi9SPh /

    "[Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran] conceded there was a matter of contention between the British government and Trinidad and Tobago in the area of security… to satisfy the British authorities that we do not pose a security risk in any way, form or fashion… we believe that we are well on the way to resolving all of the issues that have been raised…"

    What issues? What security risks? And what, pray, has Trinidad and Tobago done at all in the last few years to positively impact security in a areas that would be of specific interest a foreign power?

    Immigration is in a torrid mess. Airport security had been up in arms up to recently. And a Laventille lockdown does little to impact crime in the rest of the country. By the Guardian count, the murder toll now stands at 248 with another body found in Fyzabad and a shooting in Moruga.

    We’re yet to hear anything definitive coming out of the juice tin cocaine haul, other than word from a Brit that the coke started its journey to the US from the UK.

    And the latest secret crime initiative seems to be people in Ministry of National Security-issued red shirts stalking our homes after dark like bandits.

    What could we possibly say to the British - having pulled out of a major contract with one of their companies and taking them to arbitration to get money - to assuage them about security?

    **‘Security forces equipped for any action’
    http://ift.tt/1zcqqz8 /
    **Griffith on Bakr’s statement: Any coup will be crushed in hour
    http://ift.tt/WQsBL0 /

    "What may have happened in 1990 that took five or six days to quell, well, rest assured, it will be dealt with in an hour…"

    And thus Griffith, with bombast, minimises everything he said before that sentence, trivialises the events of 1990, and again takes a stab at the Defence Force’s commanders in those days, led by former Chief of Defence Staff Ret. Maj. General Ralph Brown for whom he seems to be toting hard. See http://ift.tt/1zXXlJ6.

    More and more, Gary’s bravado makes him look very small. And we hope and pray that nobody takes him up on his very, very idle boast.

    **Top cop: Bakr statement no threat
    http://ift.tt/WQsBL4 /
    **…‘Police prepared for any event’
    http://ift.tt/WQsBL5 /

    Agreed on the statement made by Imam Yasin Abu Bakr not being a threat to national security.

    I’m not so hip to the notion that the Police are ready to handle anything that comes up.

    There are high-powered weapons here that have not been found.

    There are persons of questionable character who will have been very well trained before being bounced from the local military.

    There are certainly deportees from the United States here who would have learned a lot in gang culture there, and as of right now, we have no indication that we who they are.

    The nation’s “hot spots” - all of them unplanned developments in hills and valleys - are literal labyrinths.

    The Parliament is on the waterfront, accessible via the Gulf of Paria, is situated next to the country’s highly-rated hotel.

    But at least Ag. CoP Williams’ speech was far more diplomatic and less daring than the Minister of National Security.

    **An ‘improved’ Williams gets fourth term
    http://ift.tt/1zcqqzd /
    **Appraisal shows top cop’s performance improves
    http://ift.tt/1zcqqzh /

    Some steadiness may have come for him from being informed that he is approved for a further extension of his acting appointment.

    **Fuad Abu Bakr leads peaceful protest: No evidence against them
    http://ift.tt/WQszTl /
    **Muslims pray outside stations for detainees
    http://ift.tt/WQszTm /

    And in the mean time, Griffith should be ashamed - if the notion wouldn’t be sure to go over his swollen head - that somebody named Abu Bakr is more level than he is at a time like this.

    **State appeals ruling on Invader’s Bay project
    http://ift.tt/1zcqqPy /

    From the article, “The State has appealed the decision of High Court judge Justice Frank Seepersad, ordering Planning Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie to release information to the Joint Consul­tative Council (JCC) on the $5.5 billion development at Invader’s Bay in Port of Spain.”

    What. Is. There. To. Hide?

    **Verna wants to sue State over abuses
    http://ift.tt/WQszTp /

    I got nuthin’.

    **CEPEP worker shot dead
    http://ift.tt/1zcqqPz /
    **Murder in ‘Skull Mountain’
    http://ift.tt/WQsC1t /
    **Suspected drug dealer shot dead
    http://ift.tt/1zcqoY9 /

    …in the gut, in his home which is not in Laventille.

    And two very different stories are carried by the three newspapers. It makes one wonder whether the details provided to the press in one paper had impact on the allegation that Police ignored reports made to them about threats to the deceased’s family’s lives.

    **‘PH’ taxi driver was burnt alive
    http://ift.tt/WQsC1v /

    Moruga “PH” taxi driver and lorryman Francis Sampson, who was murdered in his car, was alive when it was set on fire by his killer or killers on Wednesday near his home.

    He was reported to be looking forward to retirement next April.

    Police suspect Sampson may have been an innocent victim of drug dealers who use the Moruga beach as a transhipment port for narcotics.

    Note the syntax. The article does not say “used to use”, “may be using”, or “suspected of using”.

    **‘Underworld figure’ held for murder
    http://ift.tt/WQsC1A /
    **Suspect held in courier’s murder
    http://ift.tt/1zcqpet /

    Again, this man was not held in nor is he from Laventille.

    Kudoes though to the Central Division which has been doing well under the supervision of Senior Superintendent Johnny Abraham, in spite of the behaviour and utterances of his superiors.

    **Communities under siege
    http://ift.tt/WQsChR /

    Persons supporting the military’s action in Laventille would be mindful of the following in its entirety:

    "Some residents of Laventille who claim they are targeted by the soldiers say they welcome them but not the beatings and searching of homes as the automatic-gun-toting, mask-wearing regiment officers go about their work."

    **Laventille residents on men in green: We sleeping good
    http://ift.tt/WQsChS /

    As re the unsustainability of the military operation, there is also this very simple statement from a woman who returned to the St. Paul Street area to reopen a business she is saying she had previously closed:

    "As soon as them gone, I gone."

    And then there is this:

    "People who get beat up give attitude and the army not taking that. They trained a different way. They not making friends with you. The police does try and fight down small talk, not the soldiers. Who would have a problem is the gangs. Monkey know what tree to climb. If the soldiers getting the job done, let them stay."

    For me, I am all for a peaceful existence for the residents of East Port of Spain. But this is a military occupation which cannot continue forever. Further, at some point, people will become inured to the presence of soldiers and the reported beatings.

    Beyond a police camp for children, we have heard little about any programs in place or to be put in place to ensure that persons do not return to criminal activity after the Army leaves the area.

    And with the Minister of National Security having stated previously that there will be nothing for criminal elements, what are the fellas who are those “elements” supposed to do to get right?

    **20% discount on rice, flour, oil
    PM: Specials for Eid, Emancipation…
    http://ift.tt/WQsChT /
    **Kamla’s Eid/Emancipation gift — 20% off flour, rice and oil
    http://ift.tt/1zcqqPI /

    LifeSport, murders all over the country with a detection rate that is abysmal to say the least, the Army hunting citizens for reasons no one can say, the Minister of Labour has a union leader in court, Bhoe Tewarie refusing to give information on the granting of valuable state land to a business entity, the State chooking the congregants of a former insurrectionist, OSH issues in buildings occupied by public servants all over the country, and what does Kamsie come to the table with?

    Oil, flour and rice. Again.

    Nutritional risks? Diabetes, heart and circulatory complications, and beri beri.

    Gift? There is no gift that the Prime Minister can give to the country because it is our money -whether tax dollars or earned revenue - that she is spending to pay for it.

    For those with room in their fridges to store bulk, the list of discounted products is in the article.

    **$30m to be spent on pay rise for health workers
    http://ift.tt/1zcqqPK /

    This story needs more meat, including additional information on the current state, and how this “investment” is to be operationalised.

    **Councillor’s defamation suit settled… Warner must pay $262,000
    http://ift.tt/1zcqpez /

    One would hope that Faaiq hasn’t spent this money before he got it. If the TTFF matter is anything to go by re Jack’s complying with orders of the Court, the youth might be waiting a while for his money.

    **Govt to invest $320m in Carnival industry
    http://ift.tt/WQsCi2 /

    Is this 320 million dollars extra? Or does this include the money already spent by the State on Carnival every year, including the reported 11 million to put up and take down the North Stand?

    As for the objective of the Carnival Industry Development Programme, it sounds very, very buzzwordy.

    To me, before we start spending a cent, the “Carnival Industry” needs to be properly defined.

    Do we even know what a Carnival industry is? Can we properly define “Carnival” as a productive enterprise?

    With the stated intent to raise the industry’s growth rate to 5%, does this imply a comparable increase in government subventions and grants to continue to support Carnival organisations and events?

    Why does stakeholder collaboration and study have to cost the country 320 million dollars?

    With a well established Carnival Arts Department at the University of the West Indies seeming ignored in all this, I fear that the government is over-thinking the problem of Carnival and doing that in a very, very costly manner.

    **‘Refusing to work is not industrial action’
    http://ift.tt/1zcqqPN /

    Understory: [Senior counsel Douglas Mendes]… raised questions as to [Chief Inspector at the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) Gaekwad] Ramoutar’s credibility, stating that Ramoutar did not meet the minimum qualifications necessary for the position of Chief Inspector. The position requires a degree in Occupational Safety and Health but Ramoutar holds a degree in Environmental Management.

    **Sport Round Up
    Congratulations to young Machel Cedenio who not only took gold but obliterated the field in the Men’s 400 metre event at the IAAF World Junior Championships yesterday evening. He completed the race in a personal best time of 45.14 seconds.

    At the Caribbean Premier League yesterday, the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel captain, Dwayne Bravo pulled off some last ball heroics slogging a six with six runs required to win their match against the Guyana Amazon Warriors in a nail-biting affair, with the Bravo brothers - Darren and Dwayne - putting up 131 runs to make a chase at the Guyanese total.

    At the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Trinidad and Tobago’s most positive result came from our netball ladies who beat Barbados in their first preliminary match by 38 to 37.

    It would appear though that they have lost their second preliminary match to South Africa, 56-40. By the match stats, despite shooting more accurately than the opponents, we had far fewer shots overall.

    The ladies next face Wales who have gone down 36-63 and 25-65 to Australia and England respectively. //

  2. Today is Thursday 24th July, 2014. This is the Round Up.

    http://ift.tt/1sYyEud /
    **Jamaat leader warns Griffith, Williams following raid on Carapo mosque
    http://ift.tt/1tG9Zbe /
    **…Rajaee Ali among 18 detained
    http://ift.tt/1sYyGCg /

    Let’s lay out a couple things here first.

    It is not a crime to be a Muslim in Trinidad and Tobago, and it does not matter to which sect you belong.

    It is thus not a crime to be a member of the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen, a religious organisation.

    Imam Yasin Abu Bakr is a religious leader, and it is not a crime to be the head of a religious organisation.

    If people are to be upset that he is a free man today having led the 1990 insurrection, take that up with Winston Dookeran and Emmanuel Carter, the former who left women behind in the Red House to run out and help organise an amnesty agreement that stood up better in court than both men’s spines have in any subsequent situation.

    LifeSport allegations aside, this is not the first time that people from the Carapo Mosque have been picked up, and in prior days they have been released without charge.

    Taken from the point of view of the members of the Jamaat, if the members of the Carapo Mosque are released again, this action on the part of the state has long crossed the border into harassment. Indeed, by the article, it appears that the detainees were picked up under the provisions of the Anti-Gang legislation, and attempts are being made to get them to incriminate themselves under heavy questioning.

    Abu Bakr also asserts that when his adherents were picked up two nights ago, children were left behind unattended. And if this is true, the Police have some very hard questions to answer about operating procedure where children of detainees are involved.

    As a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, he is allowed to seek audience with the Commissioner of Police, and with the Minister of National Security. Whether that audience is permitted is up to both offices.

    As for Abu Bakr’s threats, the courts have not been unfavourable to him in spite of 1990’s actions, and civil action against the state remains an options. Even so, the last time I saw Rajaee Ali on camera, he looked unphased by the State’s attention and content to just deal and shrug.

    The Ministry of National Security has also issued statements indicating that there is no evidence of a threat to public safety.

    **Gender Ministry: Boys of St Michael’s School to be sent home
    http://ift.tt/1tG9X33 /

    The St. Michael’s School for Boys does not have a board of management. The board plays no role in managing the school. Management of the school is wholly and solely in the hands of the Ministry of Gender. The Anglican Church here is no more than a landlord. And if the St. Michael’s School for Boys now has a board of management, then they only became one after some kind of agreement was reached after Brandon Hargreaves died.

    The Ministry cannot make the sweeping decision to “send the boys home” for a number of reasons. The first is that there are boys at the home who are wards of the court, and they have been ordered to he housed at the home. Secondly, there are boys who either have no real home to which they can return, or whose home situations are worse than anything they would find at St. Michael’s.

    As for the retreat that the remaining boys are to attend, where is this going to be conducted and for how long? Who is on this team of “eminently qualified experts”?

    Given the situation and the manner in which issues are being aired, the handling of the boys requires full transparency, not bullshit buzzword bingo.

    **Minister: Brown playing politics
    http://ift.tt/1sYyGCl /

    By his utterances here, the Minister of National Security has the behavioural development of a two year old. To wit:

    * Becomes easily frustrated when things don’t turn out as expected.

    * Begin to test the limits of their behaviour.

    * May throw tantrums.

    * Becomes independent and finds own limits.

    * Wanting to please adults.

    * Will follow rules to please adults.

    * Able to follow simple rules.

    * Beginning to comprehend the relationship between actions and consequences.

    Of course, any parent who has had a rambunctious two-year old knows that if rules and boundaries are not properly established, you can very easily have a little monster on your hands. You also need to properly establish who the child’s exemplar adults are, otherwise standards of behavious will be guided by anyone’s whim.

    The national mother and grandmother would be well advised therefore to manage her toddler, and the following broad guidelines can help.

    * Have clear, simple rules. Avoid the law books. He doesn’t seem to get it. Break things down for him, such as: masks are bad, thus patrol is bad.

    * Praise good behaviour. He seems to like a little pat on the head every now and again.

    * Be consistent in managing behaviour. Use the same technique rather that a different one each time. And the same technique needs to be utilised for all the children. For example, you can’t have Anil running around, behaving all wild and uncontrolled, dragging his little dolly all over the place, and not expect Gary to behave himself, and not throw his toy soldiers all over East Port of Spain.

    That said, if Wowsie ever turns up at a post-cabinet press conference with a Spider-Man mask and gloves, then that will be quite the indictment on Kamsie as a parent.

    [Parenting Tips from http://ift.tt/1tG9Zbh]

    **Griffith: Laventille now safest in years
    http://ift.tt/1sYyEKx /
    **Griffith: Believe, have faith in Defence Force
    http://ift.tt/1tG9Zbj /
    **Soldier patrols in Laventille ‘legitimate’
    http://ift.tt/1sYyEKz /

    Where do I begin with the Minister, Ag. CoP’s and CDS’ hair splitting here?

    From the articles: [Griffith] also called for a “middle-ground” to be established as soldiers daily were putting their lives on the line and were impotent to make arrests. He made it clear he was not demanding that soldiers be given powers of arrest.

    Uhm… the power to arrest is as absolute as “Yes” and “No”. One either has the power to arrest or one doesn’t.

    From the articles: On statistics on soldier abuse the acting top cop said he had triple-checked, even before the press conference, and there were none.

    Uhm… and this may keep Williams busy for a while, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Meanwhile, you have a man with visible injuries lying down in the hospital. But the Police can go out and find a woman who was allegedly in a video on Facebook though.

    From the articles: On whether Dillon “Bandy” Skeete, said to be the target of searches by soldiers, was wanted for homicides, Williams said that was not the case.

    Uhm… to the press, yuh stick! Where were your immediate follow-up questions? Why was Skeete’s family terrorised in Couva? Why was his brother picked up and detained for two days in Grenada?

    From the articles: On the purpose of soldiers in Laventille [CDS Maharaj said] there has been a “significant refinement” in the concept of operations.

    That sounds very much to me like, “we are reading the law from a position of convenience.” It also runs a little counter to the CDS’ prior admission that he had given no authority to run any special operations.

    All that said, and given calls by the Minister for the public to “have faith” in the Defence Force, do something for us. In the same way that the operating parameters for the Defence Force as Defence Force are clearly articulated in the Defence Act (http://ift.tt/1sYyEKD), provide us with their clearly articulated operating parameters for their current mode of operations in Laventille. That a “joint patrol” can take place with the Police two kilometres away from members of the Defence Force makes absolutely no sense.

    I ask this because semantics will soon lead to someone’s grave injury or death without recompense. Let it be that criminals are the only people walking around with weapons and no operating parameters.

    **Murder near police station
    http://ift.tt/1tG9Zbn /

    But while Wowsie beating his chest and fanning himself over how safe Laventille is, the panacea for all crime in the country having become “lock down Laventille”, the murder toll reached 247 yesterday, with one taking place in broad daylight within a trot of the Maraval Police Station.

    Since the slaying of Lance Corporal Kayode Thomas in John John on June 29th, there have been murder in Gasparillo, Patna Village, Erica Street (x2)*, Penal, Success Village*, Tacarigua, Pashley Street*, Dan Kelly*, Vessigny, La Romaine, Beetham Gardens, Bagatelle, Hardbagain, Siparia, Wilson Road, Blanchissuese, Barrackpore, Corinth, Orange Hill, Maturita, Arima, Maraval, and San Juan, and bodies found in Freeport, Caparo and Mount Grace, Tobago. [See http://ift.tt/W8ny8b for the Trinidad Guardian’s tracking sheet]

    But Laventille is safe now, and the soldiers are not going anywhere anytime soon. So we good, even though…

    **Woman shot in face
    http://ift.tt/1tG9X38 /

    …in Petit Valley, and…

    **‘PH’ driver killed… charred remains found in car
    http://ift.tt/1sYyGCr /

    …in Moruga, where “An investigator told reporters the case has been classified as murder, but a motive has not been established for the killing.” And…

    **$200,000 ransom to release gardener
    http://ift.tt/1tG9ZrH /

    …who was reportedly kidnapped on Tuesday. But…

    **‘Regiment here to stay in Laventille’
    http://ift.tt/1tG9X3b /

    This is funny though, and not ha-ha.

    In 2011, the state was warned by residents, activists, police, and politicians alike about the closure of police posts across East Post of Spain. “The criminals are watching and they say the target get soft,” then Opposition Senator Fitzgerald Hinds had said on the matter.

    Now the vacuum left by civilian law enforcement has been occupied by a force that is beholden by law to a politician and disgraced soldier, who has no respect for opposing views, low regards for law, has been a stranger to the truth on occasion, and for whom no citizen of Trinidad and Tobago has cast a vote.

    Just let that sink in for a bit while you read the next story below.

    **Senator Drayton ‘being emotional’
    http://ift.tt/1tG9ZrK /

    Where are the feminazis, by the way? “Emotional” is how Griffith describes the Senator?

    **Rowley takes issue with ‘comfort police’: They’re untrained
    http://ift.tt/1A8LgAM /

    In other Security Ministry madness, there is this, as described by the Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley at a public meeting this week.

    He said Government’s latest plan was “comfort police”. “I come out of my gate…I see this strange car coming down the hill…And the car drove up to my gate and it contained two fellas unknown to me in red shirts and they not PNM. Then I see a little thing on the door (marked) ‘Comfort Police’…I acknowledged the young men and they said something to me about patrolling my area to give me comfort. When did the Police Service relinquish the requirement to secure me and give me comfort in my neighbourhood?”

    Rowley said anyone can put on a red shirt and drive through neighbourhoods saying they are comfort police and do anything if they are so inclined. “And the next problem in this country is that they become a problem.”

    As for me, having not seen anything from the government formally announcing this service, I shall be treating anybody not Police or Soldiers I see as if they are trespassers and/or bandits that I suspect to be staking out my house.

    **CJ on prison law: No breach of principle
    http://ift.tt/1sYyF18 /
    **CJ: Separation of powers not breached
    http://ift.tt/1tG9ZrL /
    **AG urges minister to stay CJ’s letter
    http://ift.tt/1sYyGSU /

    On matters of governance and separation of powers, there’s this. And while Chief Justice Ivor Archie is of the view that there is no problem with his communications with the Justice Minister on new prison legislation, first Ganga Singh in the Senate and now the Attorney General are attempting to block any further examination of that communication by the nation’s legislators.

    What really going on here?

    **Kambon: Immigration detainees being abused
    http://ift.tt/1tG9X3g /
    **Call for investigation into ‘brutal incident’ at Detention Centre
    http://ift.tt/1sYyH9a /

    If this is allowed to go uninvestigated and, if wrongdoing is found, unpunished, we will have lost the script.

    **$160m for Carenage, Diego health centres
    http://ift.tt/1tG9ZrQ /
    **Construction of Carenage Health Centre starts tomorrow
    http://ift.tt/1sYyH9b /

    On behalf of the people of Diego Martin and environs, thanks much in advance.

    **Callender: No EHS service
    http://ift.tt/1tG9X3k /
    **Concerns raised over EHS response in high-risk areas
    http://ift.tt/1sYyH9f /

    This needs to be dealt with too. Perhaps Health can be added to the new National Security Super-Ministry, it having already absorbed URP, part of Social Development, and now Sport.

    **Walcott leads T&Tcontingent at opening
    http://ift.tt/1tG9ZrW /
    **Keshorn does the honours
    http://ift.tt/1sYyH9k /

    Olympic gold medallist Keshorn Walcott led the T&T contingent onto the floor at Celtic Park as they joined with athletes from the other countries, yesterday, to open the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

    The javelin thrower proudly carried the T&T flag as he and his fellow Trinbagonians splendidly dressed in their red, black and white celebrated the beginning of what is to be a very intense competition over the next 10 days.

    We have 125 athletes at the games, many with good prospects for bagging gold, including Michelle-Lee Ahye, Jehue and Lalonde Gordon, Njisane Phillip, Renny Quow, Richard Thompson, and Walcott himself.

    Trinbagonians will have to follow the games via Youtube livestreaming at [http://ift.tt/1nfS2yX], and can find links to download mobile apps for Android and iOS at[http://ift.tt/1rtMxhR].

    Have a great day, everyone, and be safe. //

  3. Today is Wednesday 23rd July, 2014. This is the Round Up.

    **LifeSport coordinator, others held as cops raid Carapo mosque
    http://ift.tt/1uf0fc2 /

    Between six and seven in the evening yesterday, at a time where Muslims would have been breaking fast together and praying, a contingent of Police and Soldiers descended on the Carapo Mosque associated with the Jamaat-Al-Muslimeen.

    Word is that over 20 persons were held, including Rajaee Ali, son of the Imam and LifeSport coordinator, and his brothers, all of whom were previously held by the police for questioning on various matters.

    It is unknown at this time whether police and soldiers would have entered the mosque in their boots, nor whether there was any concern on the part of the security forces for the fact that it is the holy month of Ramadan, and that persons in the mosque would have been in prayer.

    The press have also not recorded comments from the five Muslim leaders who have been pre-occupied with Opposition Senator Faris al-Rawi’s lineage and eating habits.

    **RED STEEL SPIN: Griffith, Anil clash as T&T name returned to CPL cricket team
    http://ift.tt/1tzZc2t /
    **Griffith: Cabinet not involved in decision… Roberts ‘wrote on his own’
    http://ift.tt/1uf0fc3 /

    Today’s red herring and matter of little importance is this, Anil versus Gary on whether the Caribbean Premier League’s Red Steel can prefix their name with “Trinidad and Tobago”.

    Why this should be front page and banner news of a major publication is beyond me.

    **Uproar over CJ’s role
    http://ift.tt/1tzZarh /

    The other major daily leads with this from yesterday’s Senate sitting, a story with barest reportage and absolutely nothing by way of explanation for the Independent and Opposition senators’ consternation.

    We don’t even know whether it was that Opposition and Independent benches were punking the Justice Minister because he’s a noob, which is exactly how he seems to be sounding and would be in keeping with the manner the queries are reported in the story.

    The public would have been better off had we been provided with the sitting’s Hansard.

    The Express features a more substantial story on the debate and how the matter of communication with the Chief Justice arose - http://ift.tt/1uf0fc4 - and the Newsday article, though not directly, provides greater clarity on the issue relative to the Judiciary, the Legislature and required separation of powers, albeit that clarity comes in a government senator invoking standing orders to block the querying of his colleague’s gaffe - http://ift.tt/1tzZciI /

    **‘Not a LifeSport cheque’
    http://ift.tt/1tzZciO /
    **Roberts: Life Sport story misleading
    http://ift.tt/1tzZarl /

    Hours before the Caparo mosque was raided, Anil Roberts called a press conference to complain on the media, split hairs, tote over Juliana Pena, avoid answering questions, and show off his incredible knowledge of synonyms.

    His SAT vocabulary section score must have been off the curve.

    Between you and me though, I feel really sorry for his wife who he seems to drag all over the place behind him like a parent who can’t find a babysitter.

    **‘That’s not me’
    http://ift.tt/1tzZarn /
    **Mom, lawyer visit Morvant station
    http://ift.tt/1uf0fcb /

    From the article: A woman believed to be the one recorded in a video beating her child with a shovel, yesterday flatly denied she was the person in the video, as she was interviewed by Morvant police.

    Inspector Roger Alexander said that when he asked the women if she was the person on the video armed with a shovel beating a child, she said: “Ent Anil Roberts the Minister said a person resembling him in a video was not him? Well that is not me!”

    The lady has pulled what we shall now refer to as The Roberts Defence.

    **Drayton: Griffith disrespectful
    http://ift.tt/1tzZciT /
    **Griffith disrespectful to Brown, says Drayton
    http://ift.tt/1tzZaHI /

    Heading back to the Senate sitting, Independent Senator Helen Drayton pulled the belt out for Gary Griffith yesterday over his response to retired Major General Ralph Brown’s letter to the editor.

    Old Royal Bankers would advise Gary Griffith to say nothing more than a very quiet “yes, ma’am,” and that he start penning a letter of apology in fountain pen on parchment paper to be delivered for vetting by Ms. Drayton and onward transmission to Maj. General Brown, with c.c. to all major dailies, by no later than Friday P.M.

    POSTSCRIPT: A radio news story at seven this morning seems to suggest that Griffith has doubled down, adding Ma Drayton to his List of the Scorned and Uninformed.

    **Drayton: Time for modern children’s home
    http://ift.tt/1uf0gwK //
    **Camille: St Jude’s Home needs attention
    http://ift.tt/1uf0gwL /

    I agree with both senators here. Like I said in the Round Up yesterday, this situation at St. Michael’s School for Boys goes well beyond St. Michael’s School for Boys, and we must not approach it with narrow focus.

    **Al-Rawi: I was talking about Mrs Creed #3
    http://ift.tt/1tzZaHN /

    And as if the Senate must go full gamut, we go from sublime to ridiculous. Opposition Senator Faris Al-Rawi, pushed by the Senate Vice President and cross talk, supports a statement he previously made on the Senate floor by exposing Ashwin Creed’s business.

    This really didn’t warrant a whole story in the paper, and indeed, it shouldn’t have been on the Senate floor at all in the manner in which it was divulged.

    However, if there is truth to the matter that someone with whom the PS has a relationship has been given lucrative contracts, then we have a problem.

    Given all that is already in public domain with respect to the Ministry of Sport, SPORTT and the LifeSport programme, no matter how this one shakes out, it will be instructive.

    **Al-Rawi: UK visa coming for T&T
    http://ift.tt/1uf0fsu /

    On a more serious note though, Al-Rawi sounded warning from the Home Office in the United Kingdom, something Dookeran as Foreign Affairs Minister should be aware of and highlighting to the Cabinet, National Security Council, and at the very least pointedly to the Prime Minister, if he is not asleep at the wheel.

    **Judge dismisses Dumas application on President
    http://ift.tt/1tzZaHO /

    I’m really sorry that former Attorney General Karl Hudson-Phillips and former Head of the Public Service Reggie Dumas, fellow Queen’s Royal College alumni, weren’t able to see this through together.

    **Immigration chief: Duke did not incite staff to leave work
    http://ift.tt/1uf0gwM /
    **Court hears in contempt motion: Poor air quality at passport office
    http://ift.tt/1tzZczj /

    It appears the Chief Immigration Officer did not get the Minister of Labour’s memo articulating that Watson Duke needs to see the inside of the jail.

    Further, “When asked if he felt his staff’s concerns over their health and safety were unfounded or unreasonable, Downes said no,” McLeod must be spinning.

    And that thing they say about the law comes to mind when Senior Counsel Russell Martineau objected to concerns about similar air quality in another building caused it to be closed completely, saying that air quality was only one in a list of otherwise favourable factors.

    Earth to Martineau: It’s not a hole in the ceiling or a tear in the carpet. It’s shecking *AIR*.

    **Termite-ridden Arima New Govt school to be demolished
    http://ift.tt/1uf0fsy /

    From the article: “Neither the Arima Central Government Secondary School nor the Arima Hindu Primary School will be occupying the vacant building of the Arima New Government School in September.”

    Well… I guess that fixes that problem.

    **No one fired from St Michael’s yet - De Coteau: We want due process
    http://ift.tt/1tzZczl /

    Chapter 8 of the Public Service Commission Regulations are instructive here. See http://ift.tt/1uf0fsA.

    With respect to the Permanent Secretary’s indication that the Ministry has never gotten any negative feedback from the board, perhaps not under her watch, and that with reasons later articulated. And that would not be the only point on which she is likely incorrect, or may be being disingenuous.

    By the Constitution and the same Public Service Regulations, given that the staff of the institution are public servants or officers contracted by the Ministry, they are beholden to the Permanent Secretary and to the Statutory Authority Service Commission which has the responsibility for appointment, promotion, and discipline of staff. As such, the board has no standing in this area, contrary to what the Permanent Secretary is saying.

    Consequently, even if the management and staff of the school made a habit of interacting with the board, they are in no way beholden to report back to the Ministry on any interaction.

    But we remember Sandra Jones.

    Regardless, De Couteau sounds very disconnected from the issues at hand, especially when compared to Verna St. Rose-Greaves who served in the Ministry before him.

    Mental Note: Bookmark the Children’s Authority Act for reading (http://ift.tt/1uf0fsC).

    Have a great day, everyone. //

  4. Today is Tuesday 22nd July, 2014. This is the Round Up.

    **FLY OUT, CAL: London calls for separate airline to operate Tobago airbridge
    http://ift.tt/1o6Sel0 /

    …which on its face makes no sense given economies of scale. I can understand though the impetus behind the Chief Secretary’s call: the need for an airbridge that works and works well, and one that is shielded from the vagaries of the Trinidad-based management teams.

    CAL now requires another complete overhaul to undo the horrid mess that was made over the last four years, various incarnations of the board having taken the company from the black to one where they are woefully in debt.

    One hopes at the end of all this, with precedent set by E-Teck civil suits, that GoRTT will take the former boards to task for management missteps.

    **London reveals new Tobago crime plan
    http://ift.tt/1p7CJpm /

    Tobago, it seems, is also not waiting on Central Government to address critical issues before they get out of hand.

    **Law Association on soldiers’ operations: They must get cops’ ok
    http://ift.tt/1p7CLgL /
    **Soldiers on search & entry exercises
    http://ift.tt/1p7CLgM /

    The Law Association now adds their two cents on the matter of the legality or illegality of soldiers’ operations in the country today, agreeing with the Ag. Commissioner of Police and the Police Social and Welfare Association, and disagreeing with the Minister of National Security who, as far as we know, is not a lawyer or police officer and was barely a soldier.

    As it stands though, we seem to be operating under some version of martial law. I look like Sandy, and I am afraid.

    **Sexual allegations at St Michael’s: Teen ready to talk with cops about abuse
    http://ift.tt/1p7CLgP /
    http://ift.tt/1p7CJFE /
    **Cops to interview 38 inmates
    http://ift.tt/1p7CLgV /

    As more young and not so young men come forward with revelations about abuses at the St. Michael’s School for Boys, we still don’t know who is really in charge of the situation today and thus who dropped the ball.

    But the press is seeming missing deeper subtext.

    What is and what has been going on in our children’s homes? St. Michael’s is not the only one in the country. Are the situations there unique? Are there similar accounts of abuse and neglect that can be heard from former residents of St. Mary’s and St. Jude’s? From inmates of YTC?

    Or is the press, and the nation, in denial about the fact that incidents like those being reported do happen, have been happening, continue to happen, and they are swept under the carpet and blotted from memory?

    **LifeSport was easy $$
    http://ift.tt/1p7CJFG /

    If I’m understanding this expose correctly, this Lifesport participant earned a 5% commission on the value of cheques cashed, with the remainder handed over to officials of the Ministry of Sport.

    So Curtis Gibson, deceased bodyguard of the Deputy Director of Physical Education and Sport Ruth Marchan and reported to have links to the Carapo base of the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen, is now alleged to have arranged for this participant to receive government cheques in his name, and then for him to deliver the funds to Ministry officials, in this instance to the tune of approximately 1.9 million dollars.

    Further, in saying, “we went by the gangster house”, he uses the determiner “the”? There is a specific gangster “the” who played host in money transfers?

    Anil’s poker face is instructive, this from a man who is expressive to incivility.

    **Engineer fired… for alleged false qualifications; BC project cost overruns
    http://ift.tt/1p7CLgZ /

    This should not be news. This should be straightforward.

    News however would be that the Human Resource Manager who failed to pick up the alleged qualification discrepancy was fired.

    News would be that the gentleman has been picked up by the Police for fraud, if that’s indeed possible given that NAMDEVCO waited two years to check his qualifications.

    News would be that Rajab turned around and is suing NAMDEVCO for wrongful dismissal. The dismissal letter seems to offer quite a bit more detail than many I’ve ever seen. But that’s one for the HR pros and the civil lawyers.

    As an aside, prior to his stint at NIPDEC, Rajab was apparently a manager at Caroni (1975) Limited who had received performance bonus payments at a time where the company was receiving cash injections by the state to stay afloat. See http://ift.tt/1o6Sctb /

    **No fire inspection at NAPA
    http://ift.tt/1o6Sctd /

    From the article: WHILE Minister of Arts and Multi-Culturalism Dr Lincoln Douglas this month told Parliament that the much-used National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) was subject to fire services inspection every three months, Fire Service officials yesterday said the last time the facility had been inspected was actually two years ago.

    Did Goodluck Jonathan lie, or was he misinformed? One more for Watson Duke here?

    The article goes on to make all sorts of quite alarming revelations about NAPA, including that it seems it never received final fire safety certification.

    Understory here is the Chief Fire Officer’s admission that, “Under the previous Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act an inspection was mandatory every two years. Now that is no longer the case. Once it is inspected it’s not inspected again unless a change in use of the building occurs.”

    Questions continue to arise therefore about the administration’s ability and willingness to properly manage and maintain the country’s building stock.

    For reference, the OSH Act can be found at http://ift.tt/1p7CJFJ /

    **Sat rejects Arima Hindu School proposal
    http://ift.tt/1p7CJFL /
    **Two Arima schools vying for same space
    http://ift.tt/1o6SeRW /

    If I’m understanding this story correctly, the Arima Central Secondary School had been lending a building to the students of the Arima New Government Primary School.

    The Arima New Government Primary School moved out of the building two years ago to new facilities in another location.

    The Arima Central Secondary School has grown beyond the capacity of the buildings that they currently occupy and would like to move into their building.

    The Arima Hindu Primary School has been condemned as unsafe by the Ministry of Health.

    The SDMS has a letter dated early June from the Ministry of Education indicating that they school can move to the Arima New Government Primary School building.

    Sat says that they need to occupy the building temporarily until a new location is found and a new school constructed. (Read: Indefinitely)

    The Arima Mayor suggests that the empty building be returned to the secondary school in order to treat with their immediate needs, and recommends the Pinto Road

    Sat says that the Pinto Road Community Centre is too far, and he vex with the Mayor.

    Google Maps seems to suggest that the Arima New Government Primacy School is at least twice, almost three times further away from the Arima Hindu School than the Hindu School is from the Pinto Road Community Centre, 500 metres versus a kilometre and a half.

    Go figure. This is a mess for the Ministry of Education to sort out.

    **Cops get fingerprints: CPL $$ stolen at the Oval
    http://ift.tt/1o6Sf8g /
    **Prints found in larceny of CPL money
    http://ift.tt/1p7CLxe /

    I feel a little bit sorry for the Police here. I’m not sure what they expect to find in their database of registered offenders. Queen’s Park hires registered offenders?

    **Police association: We need a permanent CoP
    http://ift.tt/1p7CLxg /

    The following made me make a funny noise as I burst out laughing:

    "If Mr Williams is again given another extension he would be deemed a repeat offender in terms of the promotional blunders." - Inspector Michael Seales, Police Social and Welfare Association Secretary, commenting on Stephen Williams’ fourth acting appointment as Commissioner of Police. See http://ift.tt/1p7CJFS /

    **Homeless man shot and wounded
    http://ift.tt/1p7CLxn /

    "…the soldier became fearful for his life and that of his son and pulled out his licensed firearm and shot Edwards once in the right calf…"

    Side question: How come so many people get shot in the chest and back by the Police then?

    **Cops raid Central nightclub, arrest 37 illegal immigrants
    http://ift.tt/1o6SfoT /
    **54 foreigners held
    http://ift.tt/1o6SfoU /

    This is good news and good on the Police here, so long as it’s not part of a coordinated “stock refreshment” exercise.

    It would be good if the press could follow the story and let the public know what happens next in all cases - the court matters against those to be charged for various offences, and the treatment and deportation of the foreign nationals.

    **Police quiz Morvant mother over ‘shovel’ video
    http://ift.tt/1o6Sf8x /

    This story gives rise to an “ah thought allyuh say…” moment.

    It was just last week that the Ag. Commissioner of Police said that allegations of abuse by soldiers unless reports were made to the Police.

    But here we have a Facebook video being traced to the Morvant, and the a woman allegedly in the video already being questioned.

    So do Police take in front, or don’t they? At least one man is in hospital with multiple blunt force and puncture injuries. The Police looking into that too? Or his wounds don’t exist until he walks into a Police station with a medical report? Is putting the beating on Facebook key?

    **Pensions bills in danger of lapsing
    http://ift.tt/1o6Sfp0 /

    From the article: Parliament might be hard-pressed to meet the August 2 deadline for the resolution of the issues relating to the Judges Salaries and Pensions Bill, the Legislative Retiring Allowances Bill and the Procurement Bill. The Parliament has to prorogue by August 2. Once the Parliament goes into recess, all unfinished business dies.

    Parliamentarians, take my chupid advice. Let the bills lapse.

    **Public health warning: Don’t dismiss Chikungunya mosquito virus
    http://ift.tt/1p7CLNK /

    "Officials from the Ministry of Health are concerned that members of the public are not taking on warnings about the Chikungunya virus."

    And they would probably be right.

    Peeps, this thing is spread by the same mosquito that carries dengue but it is more serious.

    The Ministry has published some simple protocols for controlling your environment to prevent the breeding of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito at http://ift.tt/1o6Sfp2, and further advises that anyone showing a combination of these signs and symptoms listed on the same page should seek immediate medical treatment at the nearest Health Facility or visit a doctor.

    Have a great afternoon, everyone. //

  5. Today is Monday 21st July, 2014. This is the Round Up.

    **WE’RE NO HACKS: Imams deny UNC connection…knock Al-Rawi’s ‘un-Islamic’ conduct
    http://ift.tt/1wRrLZd /

    We’ll take the Islamic leaders’ word for it that they’re not UNC hacks. But the only thing they haven’t done so far is The Percy.

    And when Yasin Abu-Bakr is the most reasonable sounding person in a discussion, you really should pull back and take stock of yourself.

    **UNC youth arm tells Al Rawi: Don’t misuse heritage for political gain
    http://ift.tt/1zXXlJ2 /

    This is akin to slut-shaming a rape victim after the rapist put her picture up on Facebook proclaiming, “I f@*# she!”

    But then, this is no different from the behaviour of a lot of online hacktivists.

    **Griffith lashes back at Brown: Patrols not illegal
    http://ift.tt/1wRrK7s /

    On the one side, we have a retired Major General, Sandhurst Academy Graduate, who served as Chief of Defence Staff, guiding the country’s armed forces through the 1990 Insurrection, and who also served as the first head of the country’s Strategic Services Agency.

    On the other side, we have a reputedly disgraced Army Captain whose most significant assignment before shmoozing his way to high civilian office was management of a Prime Minister’s household.

    But then, Wowsie could simply be toting much. See http://ift.tt/1zXXlJ6 /

    And in saying, ““Thankfully, he (Brown) does not hold any position of authority because if he did then he would have turned this situation into one big mess,” Wowsie himself seems to have little appreciation for what a mess is.

    We are in a situation where various heads disagree on what is really going on, the Ag. Commissioner of Police and head of the Police Social and Welfare Association agree that members of the military are engaging in unlawful if not illegal activity, and nobody is claiming giving green light to the operations that are taking place.

    **Deputy CoP: Duane Skeete is not a wanted man
    http://ift.tt/1wRrK7w /

    To wit, Deputy Commissioner of Police Glen Hackett said, “The T&T Police Service did not make any request to the Grenadian Police Force to arrest anyone, particularly Dillon Skeete, in connection with the killing of Kayode Thomas or anything else.”

    Despite this, T&T national Duane Skeete spent two days in custody of the Grenada Police, they saying that “he was no longer being sought in T&T,” and with his relatives asserting that members of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force were involved in his detention.

    **President Carmona flies out
    http://ift.tt/1zXXlJb /
    **President Carmona leaves for UK
    http://ift.tt/1wRrLZg /

    And meanwhile, the Commander in Chief of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force chooses now to take off.

    Note that it is within the power of the President of the Republic to call the Chief of Defence Staff and bring the forces to heel. But I suppose this is one of the powers of which Lord Pussyfoot knows not, or knows not that we know that he knows.

    **Tobago records 3 murders in 10 days
    http://ift.tt/1zXXnki /
    **Another Tobago taxi-driver murdered
    http://ift.tt/1wRrK7A /
    **Driver shot dead in bed
    http://ift.tt/1zXXlZw /

    And while the Army focuses on one man and Saucy Wowsie focuses on hotspots and letters to the editor, murder is migrating to other parts of the country…

    **Ramesar: Top cop holding back promotions
    http://ift.tt/1wRrK7E /

    …and management issues in the Police Service now threaten what little can be done already to stem the tide of crime and criminality.

    **E-mail probers go to Central Authority
    http://ift.tt/1wRrK7F /

    As for crime and criminality, I don’t expect this matter to go any further now that it requires the intervention of a functionary of the Attorney General who is himself implicated in the matter, and with that assistance being requested very, very late.

    Despite prior assurances made by the AG that he has recused himself from intervention in the work of the Central Authority since June 2013 (http://ift.tt/1zXXlZx), his word was only so good because just months later he was still involved in and directing the Central Authority’s activities (http://ift.tt/1wRrMfA). Admittedly though, he did say that he would recuse himself from the work of the Central Authority relative to the investigation of Emailgate, but one would think that they best approach to ensure full transparency would be to, at the very least, remove himself from involvement in the agency altogether.

    **Call for probe into LifeSport
    http://ift.tt/1zXXlZz /

    At this stage and with the number of matters warranting attention, Kirk Waithe and Fixin’ T&T would be well advised to do the following to help save breath:

    1. Compile a numbered list of the Government’s sins

    2. Publish said list

    3. When making statements, do thus: “Today, we are complaining about item 43 on the most recent issues list dated [x-date], which is directly impacted by items 12, 16, 22 though 26, and 29.”

    **FATF to evaluate T&T in January 2015
    http://ift.tt/1wRrMfE /

    We need also to keep eyes on this.

    This is not the first time that attorney and local anti-money-laundering specialist David West has sounded this warning. See http://ift.tt/1zXXnAF for a more comprehensive statement of the outstanding issues relative to the country’s possible non-compliance with FATF requirements.

    **St Michael’s resident tells of physical, sexual abuse
    http://ift.tt/1wRrN36 /
    http://ift.tt/1zXXnAH /

    The situation at the St. Michael’s School for Boys is not being handled. I can’t even say that it’s not being handled well. It is simply not being handled at all.

    The matter is now a full blown scandal, with allegations being flung left and right, and nobody either appearing to have charge or taking charge of the situation.

    The question remains: Who is overall responsible for the running of the institution, and thus culpable for all that is being alleged to have taken place?

    **Tewarie: Cable car for Laventille only an idea
    http://ift.tt/1wRrN3a /

    If in fact “…the [IADB] has contracted a feasibility study by a consultant…” then this is well beyond “just an idea”, as Dr. Tewarie would assert. Indeed, the Inter-American Development Bank deciding to spend money on a study is for them to determine the best manner in which to execute.

    The assertion though that a cable car is “just an idea” is a major departure from earlier statements on the matter made almost a year ago (http://ift.tt/1wRrN3d) when the cable car was likened to the Macueripe zipline and sounded far more a done deal.

    **NCIC head calls for name change
    http://ift.tt/1zXXlZH /

    Wikipedia says that “Nagar” is a term that means “settlement” in Sanskrit and other Indo-Aryan languages, which would make the Divali Nagar the home of Divali festivities. It is a religious site on which a Hindu temple is situated, but where some commercial activity is also known to take place.

    In claiming the site as the “NCIC Nagar”, does the National Council of Indian Culture now seek to change the significance of the location from one that is religious to one that is purely secular in nature and inclusive of all expressions of East Indian identity, religion and culture in Trinidad and Tobago?

    Will the intended “a peace and spiritual park” be ecumenical in nature? Or will its focus be more insular?

    **As Chikungunya virus in T&T- Clean-up exercise starts in Rio Claro, Mayaro
    http://ift.tt/1wRrMfK /

    Local government working, or at least so it would seem. I’m yet to see a spray truck in my own Corporation district.

    **Complaints over leaking San Fernando courthouse
    http://ift.tt/1zXXnAN /

    And then there is this in San Fernando, now being raised again not long after work began too on the Chaguanas Magistrates’ Court to deal with organisational safety and health issues there.

    **NAR, ILP form alliance
    http://ift.tt/1wRrMfM /

    This is not an original story. Mary Shelley wrote once about the power of a man’s obsession with becoming a god that it led him to create a facsimile of life by combining corruption and death.

    In truth, the local version will be just five years old on April 10th, 2015.

    The novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley - Frankenstein;
    or, The Modern Prometheus - one of my personal favourites, is highly recommended. It’s in free domain and available for download at http://ift.tt/Xx9epK /

    In fact, go further. Start with the Top 100 lists at http://ift.tt/yjuRyx, and then keep digging.

    There’s some really good stuff in public domain, which is understating the point. You might surprise yourself the kinds of things you’d find.

    Have a great day, everyone. //