1. Today is Friday 19th September, 2014. There are in parts, collective sighs of relief as the United Kingdom remains intact for at least a little while longer. Sierra Leone begins a three-day lockdown in the fight to stop Ebola’s spread. The French have joined the United States in attacking ISIS by air. This is the Round Up.

    **PM PROBES ROWLEY…orders commission of enquiry into Las Alturas apartments under former housing minister
    http://ift.tt/1tsO49b /
    **Probe into failed housing project
    http://ift.tt/XPOF8F /
    **Utter madness
    http://ift.tt/1twmjMY /

    The Newsday headline ironically gets it right.

    Now, do not get me wrong. I have no problem with a government looking into a failed construction project to determine where things went wrong with it.

    However, the Prime Minister has timeline and summary of the entire project in her speaking notes in Parliament yesterday. Certainly, these would have been extracted from more comprehensive source documents which are, clearly, available for examination.

    Your first step is “Commission of Enquiry”?

    Yuh never hear about an audit, Kamsie?

    And is one even necessary? Yuh ent done have *EVERYTHING* yuh need to move forward and take action already? All this for 26 million dollars? The old people have a saying about candles and funerals that Kemlr has quite clearly never heard.

    Further, given that Las Alturas was a UDECOTT project and by the terms of reference that the Prime Minister has outlined, shouldn’t this have been considered in the Uff Enquiry into the costruction sector, an enquiry that cost taxpayers a reputed 46 million dollars already?

    To put this foolishness into perspective, Adolphus Daniell walked away with 34 million Jwalas without doing a lick of work. Action to date: Zero.

    But then, perhaps an enquiry is indeed required in order to get facts straight. Kemlr claims that the project fell under Dr. Keith Rowley’s oversight when he served as Housing Minister from 2003 to 2007. Rowley’s response to that is in the links following.

    **Rowley: $20m payout for lawyers: I am not responsible for collapse, says Opposition Leader
    http://ift.tt/XPP0Ir /
    **Rowley: Lawyers will benefit most
    http://ift.tt/1twml7z /
    **Al-Rawi: PM will face embarrassment
    http://ift.tt/XPOZV0 /

    No need for these articles to be summaries. All of their content is pertinent.

    **‘Small response by PM to big issue’
    http://ift.tt/1tsJpUY /
    **Kublalsingh on second day of hunger strike: PM handling it wrong
    http://ift.tt/1twml7D /

    From the Guardian article: Leader of the Highway Re-Route Movement Dr Wayne Kublalsingh said Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is wrong in her handling of the disputed Debe to Mon Desir leg of the Point Fortin Highway. He also dismissed claims by Persad-Bissessar that he was holding the nation to ransom, saying she was instead being held to ransom by “certain people” who have been “obstructing her heart, kindness and integrity to do the right thing.”

    A friend summarises the situation thus: “Dr. Kublalsingh has not said don’t build the highway. He has simply asked that it be re-routed and that the Armstrong report be reviewed. So this nonsense about whether the highway is needed or not is irrelevant. The arguement here is where it is being routed. If you look at what is suggested by their movement it is actually shorter and less costly to do what he suggests. The PM has painted a picture as if he does not want the highway at all and that is not true.”

    **Full support from mother of activist
    http://ift.tt/1tsJjwB /

    In the mean time, Dr. Kublalsingh seems to have prepared his family for his making the ultimate sacrifice for the cause.

    Kamla has near forty Police slayings on her hands in the past eight and a half months alone. Will the death of one activist move her?

    **Changes please Debe residents
    http://ift.tt/1twmjNa /

    "…some residents said even though they were bracing for impending floods… they did not want the highway to stop…"

    I. Do. Not. Understand.

    From the article: Nazamud Sahadath, of Pundit Trace said since the construction started, Debe had experienced the worst flooding in history. “We are calling on Government to build a box drain at Sahadath Avenue and this will take away the water flow. Last month we had three feet of water under the houses.”

    Uhm… How big that box drain hadda be?!

    **Debe divided: Opposition, support for Kublalsingh and Re-Route group
    http://ift.tt/1DmqX4F /

    "THE people or Debe are torn. The majority are United National Congress (UNC) loyalists and die-hard government supporters, expected to support the Debe to Mon Desir segment of the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension to Point Fortin."

    In this Express article, I see the following words used by persons who have cleared the path for the highway:

    - frightened
    - fearful
    - victimised
    - ridiculed
    - threatened (x2)
    - hounded
    - afraid
    - unfairly treated by the State

    One resident: “This is a flood-prone area already, when the highway (is) complete it will form a ring around Debe which would be like a bowl for people to drown.”

    **Resident vows own hunger strike
    http://ift.tt/1BS9UWq /

    From the article: Debe businessman Indar Jairaj intends going on a hunger strike in support of the building of the Debe to Mon Desir segment of the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension to Point Fortin.

    Please click the link. See Indar Jairaj’s picture. Don’t tell me what you’re thinking. I thought it already. In the words of Kemlr: Let’s move on.

    **PM: Baby grant for fathers too
    http://ift.tt/1wKCYiG /
    **Dads get $500 grant for babies too
    http://ift.tt/1BTDNpk /

    Thus in the first year of a baby’s life, where the mother is absent, the father would be the recipient of the grant.

    The unsophisticated nature of the whole plan aside, did this need to be said?

    If in the first TWELVE months of a baby’s life, the mother is missing, I would think that purchased milk would be an absolute necessity, not so?

    But again, has the need for this type of support been assessed, and does it have to be part of a completely separate programme of support from everything else that the Ministry of Social Development affords?

    **Two schools shut down
    http://ift.tt/1twmjNg /

    And it starts with the closure of two schools, after infection and the sudden realisation that they are bombarded with mosquitoes.

    There is an economic impact to disease that the Ministry of Health and all other responsible agencies seem not to be considering in not having admitted there is a problem, and not getting ahead of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, vector of both ChikV and Dengue, even before ChikV was confirmed in Trinidad and Tobago.

    The disease is now progressed from the North West hills into suburban centres of Belmont and Maraval, and now into schools where children may carry the disease to their families as far abroad, by reports, as Arima and Chaguanas.

    The head of Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) may have understated it when he said that the “full bloom of chikungunya virus is yet to come.”

    **Ebola scare at Mt Hope
    http://ift.tt/1wKCSYh /

    And given the woeful response of the authorities to the ChiV spread, and further the seriousness of the Ebola virus, this Guardian headline above would understandably cause some degree of panic, until one clicks thought and reads the sub-caption, “…but patient had malaria”.

    According to one of my friends, Guardian, #StopIt!

    Have a great weekend, everyone. //

  2. Today is Thursday 18th September, 2014. Scotland decides whether to leave the United Kingdom today. This is the Round Up.

    **WE WON’T BE HELD TO RANSOM: PM writes to Wayne as hunger strike #2 begins
    http://ift.tt/1tjUIyA /
    **PM: We will not be held to ransom by Kublalsingh’s action
    http://ift.tt/XH0mhN /
    **HIGHWAY GOES ON
    http://ift.tt/1qNCx4D /

    After attempting to defraud the population with content of a letter that the Chief State Solicitor denied vehemently having written, the Prime Minister begins, “Dear Wayne”.

    And if that disrespect is insufficient, she goes further, saying to Dr. Kublalsingh that the matter is before the courts so he should stop, but despite the fact that the matter is before the courts, we won’t.

    The TV news also reports that two men came aaaaaaaaallllll the way up from Debe to hurl abuse and insults at Dr. Kublalsingh, one even telling the press with trembling chins that he would start a hunger strike too in support of the highway.

    **Moonilal: Full steam ahead with highway
    http://ift.tt/1ubaDgA /

    Understory: Word is that stomachs were stapled. Not everyone can afford this.

    **…Armstrong: Report was supposed to prevent repeat
    http://ift.tt/1mdrlgK /

    From the article: “DR James Armstrong, former head of the Highway Review Committee (HRC), said yesterday the work of that body was in part supposed to prevent a repeat of the 2011 hunger strike of Highway Re-Route Movement activist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh. The HRC was formed on the orders of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar soon after Kublalsingh began his first hunger strike, upon pleas from various quarters—including unions, NGOs and religious bodies—that she move to put an end to the 21-day fast for the sake of Kublal­singh’s life.

    "The resultant report had recommended the Government pause construction of the $7 billion highway to re-assess its social and economic impacts, the existing literature on which the committee had found wanting."

    But (begin Mervyn Assam voice) THAU-znds and THAU-znds (end Mervyn Assam voice) want the highway. So the report that the Prime Minister herself commissioned remains ignored by the Prime Minister who commissioned it, even though the report says to pause and review.

    **Lawsuit against run-off bill in court
    http://ift.tt/Xljfqg /

    In other matter where the government has been stubborn, the Independent Liberal Party has taken the government to court over the consitutionality of the Run-Off provision in the Constitution Amendment (2014) Bill.

    On a side note, did you know that the former CONCACAF building on Edward Street is now ILP headquarters?

    **TSTT’s acting CEO resigns
    http://ift.tt/1rcHDql /

    This is interesting. More interesting is that TSTT directors want to appoint Digicel’s former Chief Technical Officer to the position.

    Digicel’s response to a Garvin Medera appointment would be even more interesting given that he left their employ relatively recently, in June 2013.

    **Fuad makes Glenn an offer
    http://ift.tt/1ubaCJC /
    **Fuad offers Glenn a job - I need his expertise
    http://ift.tt/1uWjK5D /

    Member of Parliament for Diego Martin Central and former Social Development Minister Dr. Amery Browne says it better than I can here:

    Does Fuad think he’s spending his own money in this arrangement?

    1) There have been public allegations of abuse of office and direct physical exploitation of vulnerable citizens while engaged at a government ministry. These allegations have NOT been refuted or properly investigated.

    2) The individual in question clearly has no competency or experience that can reasonably qualify him above all other citizens for such a consultancy.

    3) Under such circumstances such a ‘sole selected’ award is highly inappropriate, particularly as vulnerable families may be forced to interact with him in pursuit of prosthetic limbs for their loved ones (as opposed to HDC housing on the last occasion).

    **Browne: Fraud in Life Fund
    http://ift.tt/1uWjK5F /

    Allegations of fraud in the Children’s Life Fund was just the tip of the iceberg in Dr. Amery Browne’s budget presentation. He also hit out at incomplete investigations into number of deaths and medical malpractice, took issue with incorrect statements made by the Finance Minister in his most recent Budget presentation, and major mismanagement in the health sector.

    **Fuad: 50 per cent of T&T women overweight
    http://ift.tt/1rcCSNA /

    This is symptom of a larger societal problem, if we care to examine root cause.

    Longer hours in traffic with children eating breakfast and fast food dinners while in transit, children heading to extra-lessons earlier and earlier in their primary school career to prepare for an ever-mutable primary curriculum on the march toward the Secondary Entrance Assessment examination, and children not being able - given reduction in available hours - to go outside and play unsupervised because of safety concerns…

    Is it any wonder that people, mothers and their children in particular, are getting fatter?

    **Mystar: We are working to minimise police shootings
    http://ift.tt/XljjGx /

    From the article: “The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service(TTPS) shares concern with the public as it relates to shootings involving police, and all efforts were being made to minimise such occurrences in the future.”

    The choice of words here is unfortunate in the extreme.

    Does “minimise” mean that the TTPS will be working to bring Police shootings down to acceptable levels? What would that threshold number be? Twenty dead and sixty wounded per year? Five dead and ten wounded per quarter, perhaps?

    What happens when threshold is crossed? Does the TTPS stop issuing ammunition so that the number doesn’t go above “acceptable” limits?

    And while Mystar says that the public needs to understand that Police are forever in life threatening situations, my challenge here is that we have heard about too many dead by Police where there does not seem to be sufficient credible evidence to support use of deadly force.

    At this stage and in these situations, gunpowder residue tests should be standard fare. But all that Valery Alexandrov seems interested in taking to the press when interviewed is “he was shot in the front”.

    **Casino couple robbed: ‘cops’ take $600,000
    http://ift.tt/1mdnVdL /

    From the article: “A source said three men in plain clothes, who identified themselves as police officers from the Northern Division, had a search warrant to execute on someone in the upstairs apartment of the house, who they suspected was staying there illegally. One of the officers even flashed his badge and gave a surname.”

    When I heard this story on the news last night, the Denzel Washington movie “Training Day” came IMMEDIATELY to mind.

    Further, one, there is a huge difference between $300,000 and $600,000, a difference that could probably easily be “unaccounted for”, and two, how does a body come by two duffel bags with $600,000 in cash?

    **7-foot caiman attacks south family’s dog
    http://ift.tt/1uWjJ1s /

    Hunting is banned for two years, including the extermination of “pests” that encroach on urban areas.

    The relevant Ministry may want to consider an organised survey and cull before one of these monsters grabs somebody’s child.

    This bad gyal is seven feet long and is clearly setting to lay eggs. Our spectacled caiman species can lay as many as 40 at a time.

    **Minister: $19 million Carenage fishing centre under probe
    http://ift.tt/1qNCypk /

    Is anybody about to pull up Jairam Seemungal for lying to the Parliament?

    See Hansard of September 2nd, 2011, under Oral Answers to Questions, subject “Carenage Fish Market/Waterfront Development (Construction Project)”: http://ift.tt/1uWjKlV /

    Have a great day, everyone. //

  3. Today is Wednesday 17th September, 2014.

    Today’s Round Up is brought to you by getting up on time, leaving the house well before daylight, and avoiding the morning rush.

    Yesterday’s Round Up could not be delivered because 15 minutes’ delay added one hour and 45 minutes to what is normally a one-hour commute. I can feel my shoulders tightening up again as I think about it.

    At a specific point in the morning, the maxis working my route are all on the highway in traffic or are providing contracted school transport services, the line for the bus to Port of Spain is long, and taxis too are few and far between, also stuck in the traffic.

    So long as there are no Police officers on the de facto taxi stand at Busy Corner, persons attempting to get out of Chaguanas and into town are herded by a tout into cars and the odd PH eleven-seater as these pull to the curb.

    If the Police do arrive and park on the corner, usually around 6:30 AM, commuters must stand in a cluster in the sun further down the Southern Main Road on the official taxi and maxi taxi stands.

    Between 6:00 and 7:45 AM, it’s a rush and a hustle to get into a vehicle, knowing that you’re looking at 90- to 120-minutes at barest minimum to get to a destination that should normally take no more than twenty.

    Yesterday morning, a lady passenger and I hopped into an H-registered seven-seater whose driver seemed to have had a change of heart about taking a trip immediately, wanting to get gas first and come back around.

    While pulling into the gas station, the lady grumbled something about the traffic and getting to town after eight o’clock. The driver turned and said to her, matter of factly, that if she expected him to risk getting a ticket and drive down the shoulder of the highway, she was mistaken, and she should take another car.

    The lady immediately hopped out of the taxi and made her way presumably back to Busy Corner to seek alternative transportation.

    Apparently soured on the notion of facing cross-Chaguanas traffic to go back to the stand, the driver headed straight for the highway and took me by myself to Port of Spain, and on the way we had a lively discussion about road safety, causes of traffic, and on current and pending alternatives.

    On arrival in Port of Spain, cross-town traffic for a five minute is another half-hour’s dance, as hundreds (by my estimate) of commuters, including school children, push into the road to jostle for cars.

    I could go on, and perhaps one of these days I’ll take the time to break down commuter woes more comprehensively through the eyes of a member of the travelling public, resident in one of the fastest expanding dormitary communities in the country, set to grow even faster as uninhabited HDC communities are suddenly filled.

    **Harvey’s thoughts on police killings: Cops toting 3, 4 ghosts
    http://ift.tt/1teadbr /

    Yesterday was the opening of the new Law Term. And at yesterday’s celebratory church service, Catholic Priest Reverand Steve Harvey took the Police to task for potentially stepping outside of the justice system.

    He noted something that I myself have absently thought about but not sought to quantify.

    Who are the Police Officers or Police Units that have been involved in police killings? And how many persons have individuals in these units killed?

    Why are they still, if they are, on active duty until investigations are properly completed into their shooting incidents?

    Do we have “serial killers” in our Police Service?

    And I believe I heard the Minister of National Security on a tear recently, talking about the public not knowing about criminals firing on officers, and officers having to shoot back. But do they? Do we have law and order descend to the level of the lawless, sans control, sans strategy, sans accountability, sans game plan that goes beyond “return fire”?

    The snippets captured in the Guardian are interesting. It would have been good to hear his homily in its entirety.

    **Dumas: Grant should have cleared his name quietly
    http://ift.tt/Xf1uZC /

    From the article: “Chief State Solicitor Christophe Grant should have taken quiet steps to clear his name, according to former head of the Public Service Reginald Dumas.” This is response to the Chief State Solicitor immediately taking to the press to clear his name after a letter made out to have been written by him to Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh was cited by the Office of the Prime Minister.

    And I understand exactly where Mr. Dumas is coming from here.

    By law and practice, a public servant is sworn to secrecy and does not comment in public domain on the goings-on and affairs of the Service. There is a confidentiality oath in fact to which some senior public servants must swear, with legal implications for breaking it.

    However, the last several years have arguably pushed many a public servant to the breaking point, as politicos make skewed exposures in order to score brownie points with the public, often throwing individual public servants under the bus.

    Take for example Tim Gopeesingh’s scolding a school principal in front of reporters, likely knowing full well that she could not and would not correct the assertions he was making about her responsibilities right there and then.

    Another recent example saw the former Solicitor General demit office, and then subsequently write very cautiously in attempt to clear hear name after the Prime Minister and her former boss, the Attorney General, muddied public information on Prison-Gate.

    The AG in particular has shown and pretty clearly, that civil interaction between politicians and public servants is out the door. Grant likely felt - especially when one considers all that happened with Eleanor Honeywell-Davidson - that he needed to get out from in front of this train, established practice be damned.

    And again, while I understand where Reggie Dumas will be coming from, it’s unfortunate that civil discourse between politicos and public servants is an anachronism.

    Sadly too, this UNC administration has firmly established a dichotomy where if one is not for them and their plans and actions, one is the bogey that they have made “PNM”. Thus Grant’s objection, while most defintely non-political - a fraud has been perpetrated against him for all intents and purposes - it is unfortunate that his standing for himself would today appear to be political in nature.

    It probably doesn’t help though that he ghost-writes calypso.

    **Minshall writes PM: As Wayne prepares for hunger strike
    http://ift.tt/1DhCNNq /

    From the article: “Hours before environmental activist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh is set to embark on a second hunger strike to protest continued work on the Debe to Mon Desir Highway veteran masman Peter Minshall, lecturer and novelist Merle Hodge and businessman Dave Ramkissoon delivered a letter to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar requesting a meeting to discuss the issue.”

    I know that St. Clair Avenue is where the PM’s office is officially, but is the PM ever actually there? Or is it just a large multi-storey post box?

    Further, Minshall said: “I am in support of the society, the environment, democratic well-mannered communication and democracy.”

    The seeming attempt at fraud that appears to have been perpetrated on the public by collusion of the AG’s and PM’s offices in presenting a letter which was not written by the Chief State Solicitor but presented as such suggests that the government is nowhere close to the realm of “democratic well-mannered communication”.

    I love Minsh and Ms. Hodge, but this call to the PM is likely falling on already deaf ears of wilful individuals concerning an infrastructure project over which they have shown themselves to be increasingly stiffnecked.

    **Speaker bouffs Gopeesingh
    http://ift.tt/1teadrJ /

    "…House Speaker Wade Mark yesterday scolded Caroni East MP and Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh for making a derogatory remark to Opposition MP Nileung Hypolite…"

    Classy.

    **Carolyn wants probe into alleged fight
    http://ift.tt/1DhCMZW /

    I’m sorry. But the COP is way too forgiving and inclusive for my liking. Carolyn herself admits that there are concerns about the return of one of the alleged combatants to the party in the first place, moreso, there are concerns about the role that they have near immediately been granted. And this pretense of civility in the face of verbal and physical abuse, and assault…

    Have a great day, everybody. Keep it copacetic. //

  4. Today is Monday 15th September, 2014. This is the Round Up.

    **UNEASE ON SOLDIERS’ CALLOUT: Rowley wants President, PM to explain why Defence Force reserves called to duty
    http://ift.tt/XnT0zD /
    **Why call out volunteer troops now?—Rowley
    http://ift.tt/Xl6Ti3 /
    **PREZ CALLS OUT ARMY RESERVES
    http://ift.tt/XkZ5wT /

    Since Gary Griffith can’t keep a story straight for longer than a news cycle, I’d be uneasy about this too. After much hyperbole about the need to tool the forces in preparation for unknown eventualities, his latest wine back came as a result of reportage that the armoured vehicles acquired for the Police were not for the crime fight but to be used by Police Special Branch for escort purposes.

    So the question needs be asked multiple times therefore, why this and why now? What is the specific threat for which the VDF has been called out? What unit are they going to be asked to augment and support? Why just 50 volunteer soldiers?

    If it really is as simple as “the PNM used to do it too”, is that good enough really? Did the PNM have clear rationale for deploying volunteers up to the day after Three Kings’ Day? Can the current Minister clearly articulate that rationale beyond, “The reserves… have always played an important part in buttressing law enforcement activities during Christmas and Carnival period”?

    Let’s call this a pop quiz for a Minister who is part of a government that claims as hallmark of their administration transparency and accountability.

    **Kublalsingh told: Hunger strike at your own peril
    http://ift.tt/1y4uDrI /
    **Highway will not be stopped
    http://ift.tt/1wupXto /

    From the article: “The State cannot bow to the request of environmentalist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh to stop the Debe to Mon Desir section of the Point Fortin highway and to do so would lead to anarchy and tyranny in this country, according to the Chief State Solicitor.”

    **…Wayne wants to hear from PM
    http://ift.tt/1y4uB30 /
    **Wayne weak… but ready for second hunger strike
    http://ift.tt/1tTUEmR /
    **Kublalsingh ready for another hunger strike
    http://ift.tt/1m75lUv /

    …and Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh puts his life on the line again to try to get the Prime Minister to keep promises made in the past.

    **BREAKING: The Chief State Solicitor Christophe Grant is apparently making the media rounds this morning saying that he never penned any letter to Wayne Kublalsingh, and that the first time he heard about the letter sent to Kublalsingh was at 3:00 AM today. Reports say that he sounds angry.

    **Activist faces arrest, warns Griffith
    http://ift.tt/1y4uvs6 /

    “If at anytime anyone decides to commit an act that is against the law, they will be arrested on sight. There will no negotiation or compromise to this, this is not zero tolerance, this has to do with the broken windows theory that if you break the law you would be arrested,” said [Minister of National Security Gary] Griffith.

    Wowsie thinks that preventing Kublalsingh from protesting will stop murder in hot spots. In a little while again, he will cite the Butterfly Effect as corollary.

    **Rowley praises working with Manning
    http://ift.tt/1y4uzrL /
    **Rowley pays tribute to Manning
    http://ift.tt/1qClkeu /
    **‘Manning paved the way for me’
    http://ift.tt/1tTFNsK /

    This is called class. That is all.

    **Controversy over UWI ‘political meeting’
    http://ift.tt/1sU6tvl /

    From the article: “Ravi Maharaj, a UWI employee, in an email copied to Peters and copied to politicians, the media, St Augustine campus principal Prof Clement Sankat and others, raised concern over the event. Maharaj’s email described the event as ‘a political meeting’ that was being held ‘under the guise of academic forum.’”

    One wonders whether Mr. Maharaj raised similar concerns about the UNC Youth Arms very open activity on campus over the last several years or, at the very least, raised concern about SALISES forums held in the past to discuss UNC internal elections.

    That said, one man writing a letter to the Principal is news and “controversy”?

    **More oil, gas leaks in South
    http://ift.tt/1qXiVKy /

    This is news and, given previous leaks within the last year, needs to be followed to full resolution.

    "GAS and crude oil leaks in Palo Seco and Point Fortin were being contained yesterday. Petrotrin’s head of corporate social responsibility, George Commissiong yesterday said work was being done at a well in Los Bajos, Palo Seco when ‘some problems developed’."

    **Cox questions $60,000 a month for Malabar FC
    http://ift.tt/1qE6bcB /

    Some interesting questions being asked here. Why would the Ministry of Sport be funding a football team monthly, with approval signed by a Permenent Secretary who is on leave?

    Why are contracts issued for work on basketball courts and community centres that don’t exist?

    What else has taken place of the last four years?

    **Give private docs part-time Govt contracts
    http://ift.tt/XnSYYs /

    This made for interesting reading, and the headline does not properly summarise the proposal advanced.

    Essentially, Dr. Narayansingh is addressing the training and development of junior doctors, particularly knowledge transfer from seniors to juniors in the profession, and the fact that that is not being properly facilitated today.

    I’ll need to read it again myself, with additional information on how doctors are contracted in the local health care system to properly understand the merits and demerits.

    Have a great day, everyone.

    PS: The Budget Debate resumes this morning, with Colm Imbert stepping up to the crease at 10:00 AM. //

  5. Today is Friday 12th September, 2014. This is the Round Up.

    **COPS KILL MAN #35… and mix up name of deceased
    http://ift.tt/1AEvOKa /
    **Anger in St Barb’s after Police kill man two days before birthday
    http://ift.tt/1sx2sNs /
    **MY SON INNOCENT
    http://ift.tt/1rSXpCW /

    From the Newsday: “A mother is making a tearful plea to the police to ‘stop killing innocent people’ after her son was shot dead by officers of the Port-of-Spain Task Force in Laventille early yesterday morning.”

    From the Guardian: “Enraged at the killing of their neighbour Kerron Wellington by police, residents of St Barb’s, Laventille, yesterday demanded justice and promised to get it for themselves by ‘dealing with police.’ By the end of last night the residents had already staged two separate protests and promised they would not let up until the officers who killed their friend were brought to justice.”

    From the Express: “Police yesterday issued a release at 10.34 a.m., stating 30-year-old Michal Duncan, of Hamlet Trace, St Barbs, Laventille, was killed in an exchange of gunfire with officers… However, at 2.51 p.m., the Police Public Affairs Unit issued another release, retracting the first, stating the dead man is not ‘Michelle’ Duncan but 30-year-old Kerron Wellington, of second Hamlet Trace, St Barbs, Laventille.”

    "[Residents] said the police ordered him out of the track and although he emerged with his hands raised, they still shot him."

    He, the 35th victim of hot lead poisoning by Police resulting in fatal haemorrhage, would have been 28 years old today.

    **Lawyer: Accused suffers broken wrist in station beating
    http://ift.tt/1AEvM59 /
    **Murder suspect claiming police broke his arm
    http://ift.tt/1pVszI8 /

    From one article: “One of the four persons held by police on Monday following the murder of 52-year-old Steven Khan is expected to undergo surgery today to treat a broken wrist, following an alleged police beating.”

    He hasn’t died… but can he be a statistic too? It would be interesting to find out how many people enter a Police Station whole, but do not emerge intact.

    **Battle vehicles to shield VIPs
    http://ift.tt/1rSXqqs /

    Set squarely in the “Making It Up As They Go Along” section, “THE Ministry of National Security has indicated that the 20 armoured cars government will be purchasing over the next year will be to shield VIPs.”

    The state is to immediately acquire 20 Gocking-style domestic armoured vehicles for the Police after all, and they aren’t going to be used in the battle against crime, but rather to protect “VIPs” from the rest of us.

    The acquisition of only six armoured vehicles for the Defence Force is to take place this fiscal year.

    Would Retired Generals Brown and Alfonso consider thus rethinking the praise heaped on the Ministry for the moves on behalf of the Forces? But then, this is still more than the cited Guyana and Jamaica have at present. So, we’re still good, right?

    **‘No one will make a baby to get $500’ - Kamla: Baby care grant comes with parenting classes
    http://ift.tt/1BwxyYe /

    I call bullshit here. The Prime Minister, by her own glib admission, had seven years to flesh out what should by now be a pet initiative, and execute a holistic programme that treats with child and mother health and welfare.

    Sheila Rampersad, gender activist, agrees. See http://ift.tt/1CYb4kI /

    Understory. Online Express accompanies the story with a photo of what looks like half the senior Cabinet at a ribbon cutting. One, why does the Prime Minister have to do a ribbon cutting for a scanner on the Port? Two: Why does half the Cabinet need to be at a ribbon cutting for a scanner on the Port?

    **Howai: Social welfare will help economy grow
    http://ift.tt/1BwxxDJ /

    From the article: “Finance Minister Larry Howai yesterday stressed the importance of social welfare, saying countries with such programmes have experienced significant economic growth. The minister pointed to Sweden and Norway as examples.”

    Google is our friend here. On Norway:

    "The Government has released a white paper discussing challenges and policy options facing the Norwegian economy towards 2060, stating it is likely to be faced with difficult choices in the decades to come.

    "The paper, titled ‘The long-term Perspective for the Norwegian Economy’, states that Norway is a wealthy society with a high income level, comprehensive public welfare benefits and solid public finances.

    "It says that while the starting point is advantageous, the Norwegian economy is likely to be faced with difficult choices in the decades to come, such as those related to changes in the global economy, global warming and population aging. In particular, increased life expectancy will threaten the sustainability of our public finances unless retirement also is postponed."

    (From http://ift.tt/1rSXsyr)

    We are also a wealthy society, albeit with poor income distribution, our public welfare benefits are nowhere near where they should be given GDP, our finances are not optimally managed, and we also suffer have an aging population which will ultimately strain the social safety net. Their government is concerned, and they are starting from a position superior to ours.

    On Sweden, first hit is, “Swedish riots point to deep social problems - Deutsche Welle” (http://ift.tt/XK6Xs9)

    Larry might want to widen the lens. Even then, you run into the following:

    "There’s something unsettling about Scandinavia.

    "No, not the local penchant for heavy metal rock, gloomy crime literature and angst-ridden cinema. But rather with the region’s economies.

    "The trio of countries that form Scandinavia–Denmark, Norway and Sweden–have for years been the heartland of some of the world’s highest standards of living. But it seems the pristine facade has been built on rather wobbly foundations."

    (http://ift.tt/1hgy0BE)

    And another opinion piece with a lot of historical perspective, “Forget Nordic socialism: Welfare didn’t make Scandinavia rich” (http://ift.tt/1rSXqGT)

    Manning was criticised for aspiring to a Singaporean model. Larry might want to quit this path while he’s still ahead.

    **Lockdown at Forensic Science Centre
    http://ift.tt/1qNdQnY /

    Is it that it took a month after 43 guns went missing to lock down the Forensic Science Centre, is it that the Minister is announcing that a lock down will take place more than a month after 43 guns went missing at the Forensic Science Centre, or is he saying that a lockdown took place immediately after 43 guns were discovered to be missing at the Forensic Science Centre?

    If it’s options one or two, somebody needs to be fired.

    As for the listed measures to be implemented, at a location where there are drugs, guns and other evidence related to criminal cases for testing, can I say that I am appalled that something as simple as logging persons into and out of the premises was not taking place?

    **$718m for CAL: most for a State enterprise
    http://ift.tt/1swHGxg /

    It should come as no surprise that after all kinds of costly management mistakes, like continuing to fly a non-productive and non-profitable UK route, that Caribbean Airlines should require yet another major cash injection from Government.

    **Opening of $20m South cinemas hits new snag
    http://ift.tt/1pVszYz /
    **Doors stay shut in Long Circular school dispute
    http://ift.tt/1swHGgS /

    Good, and good. And in the former case, may the cinema stay shut until all approvals are resolved. And in the latter, (sorry kids!) may the school remain shuttered permanently if the building is not compliant with zoning regulations.

    The PTA president here is on toots. The school proceeded with construction with zero approval. It’s too late to be “trying out” anything. The cart wasn’t just put before the horse here. It was kilkitaying down the roadon it’s own while the horse was still grazing.

    **Youth group wants food cards for overseas students
    http://ift.tt/1pVsAvu /

    If the government sends a student abroad to study and has guaranteed to that student that they will bear the full economic burden of their programme, then I can agree that the government should do sufficient to ensure that the student is properly maintained, including issuance of some kind of stipend for food.

    However, if a student has opted on their own to do a tertiary programme overseas, then I would think that the student would have to have thought about how they would live after covering university-related costs. In fact, I’m fairly certain that every university will, in their application and admissions packages, advise overseas students of the money that they should consider having on hand for monthly living and personal expenses.

    There’s a little bit of hyperbole here, because I cannot see how a “poverty-stricken” student will have managed to pull together annual tuition, airfare and room-and-board.

    "The YSJ believes that young people involved in positive behaviour should be encouraged…" but government bailout after you put yourself in monkey pants is encouraging the latching onto the teat of state.

    No.

    **AG sues Rowley over E-mailgate
    http://ift.tt/1sx2vsl /
    **AG sues Rowley
    http://ift.tt/1rSXqGZ /

    Today’s story could and probably should be sub-titled, “More Flash than Bang”.

    **San Juan councillors in CHIKV protest: Spray area now
    http://ift.tt/WQoEp4 /
    **…Ministry tackling problem, says Fuad
    http://ift.tt/1BwxvMa /

    A lot of fear re dengue and chikungunya… while the authorities point fingers at each other over who is responsible for what, and who is not delivering on what.

    The back and forth really needs to end, and agencies have to be fully mobilised to deal with this health and economic threat. A population felled by debilitating diseases can’t work and produce.

    **Trial to extradite Surinamese national: ‘Muntslag was here legally’
    http://ift.tt/1swHApi /

    And the Edward Muntslag extradition matter proceeds quietly, after Dino Bouterse, the son of Suriname president Desi Bouterse, pleaded guilty to the joint drug trafficking indictment and terrorism charges two weeks ago in a United States Federal Court.

    Where will the chips fall here? What else did the younger Bouterse have to share with the US authorities beside what they’ve revealed publicly? They’ve described the details behind the terrorism charge, but what of the drug trafficking charge?

    Enjoy the day, folks. //