1. Today is Wednesday 30th July, 2014. This is the Round Up.

    **FAMILY TRAGEDY: Father, mother, son killed by garbage truck on Uriah Butler Highway
    http://ift.tt/Xd7eDL /
    **Triple fatality on highway
    http://ift.tt/1rEIduw /
    **EID TRAGEDY
    http://ift.tt/1pqZzLu /

    Four years ago, 13-year old Nyron Ramcharan became the country’s youngest kidney transplant recipient. His mother, Nanda Ramcharan, was the donor.

    Yesterday afternoon, Nyron, Nanda, and father and husband Mahadeo Ramcharan were on their way home to Penal from the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex at Mount Hope where Nyron had gone for dialysis.

    Their lives were cut short by a driver in a white Mitsubishi Lancer.

    I saw today in social media one poster say that Jesus called the Ramcharan’s home.

    We need to stop blaming Jesus for people’s actions.

    Condolences to the Ramcharans’ remainig family and their loved ones.

    **Griffith: More audits coming - ‘If there is fat to be cut, we cut it’
    http://ift.tt/Xd7frj /
    **Griffith orders more audits
    http://ift.tt/1ztBdFn /

    From the article: On the heels of an audit into the LifeSport programme, National Security Minister Gary Griffith says he intends to conduct more audits into social programmes being run by his ministry.

    Gary. Stop talking. You are behaving in a manner brand new. Currying favour with the public with your newfound diligence is not a good look.

    Micromanagement is further not a good thing. You are not allowed the micromanage public servants in the execution of their duties. You are overstepping.

    If, God forbid, there is large scale malfeasance found in the programmes under your ministry’s purview, it won’t be about “cutting the fat”.

    You will put yourself in a position where you also need to step down from your Ministerial post. You will have been there for a year or more, and that malfeasance would have been occurring under your watch while you played with the soldiers…

    Huh.

    Gary, forget I said anything. Go ahead and commission yourself some audits if you can.

    But while you’re attempting to blow level smoke up the public’s rear ends as you pretend to be suddenly diligent, start first by talking to your permanent secretary about the role and function of the Ministry’s Internal Audit Department, and then try reading the independent Auditor General’s reports. Look them here -> http://ift.tt/1tuJ9pt.

    **Woman succumbs in hospital
    Shot on Sunday night in Carapichaima…
    http://ift.tt/Xd73bC /
    **Iron dealer killed in shooting
    http://ift.tt/1pqZCqF /

    Meanwhile, crime outside of Laventille continues unabated…

    **Ghanaian’s case put off to tomorrow
    http://ift.tt/1Ax4Uqy /

    …and other matters that should be of concern to the Minister - Immigration falling within his Ministry…

    **Businesswoman robbed at Indian Expo
    http://ift.tt/1tuJ9Wr /

    …and then this, where the lady lost her registered 9mm pistol among other items, also not in Laventille.

    All of this seems to escape the Minister of National Security’s pointed attention completely.

    **Top cop receives report
    http://ift.tt/Xd79A1 /

    It has been nearly a week since the LifeSport report was laid in the Parliament by the Prime Minister. (I refuse to call it an “audit” anymore because it is not.)

    The press and public have pored over the document and dissected it over the course of days.

    Is it that Williams needed an original copy, received at Police Headquarters, stamped and initialed in the Registry Book, so that he can be absolutely certain in his mind that he was actually reading a copy of the report? Does he believe that he can do nothing at all until he has hardcopy in his hands?

    That the delivery of the report to the Ag. Commissioner of Police has to be a news item is sad, and a harsh indictment against him.

    **Online petition growing daily for Anil’s firing immediately
    http://ift.tt/Xd7brD /

    You know what the hardest thing about this petition would be? That it’s possible that a number of people who signed it have probably never seen the inside of a polling station in their adult lives.

    **Roberts on calls for his resignation: I will say no more
    http://ift.tt/1qK40Vv /

    In the mean time however, Anil Roberts has made it quite clear that he has none of us to study…

    **Anil must resign
    http://ift.tt/1tuJckY /

    …including former head of the Public Service, Reggie Dumas, who continues to insist that by the practice and traditions of the Westminster system, Roberts should step down.

    But Roberts, indeed the entire Cabinet, would consider Dumas and his traditions to be anachronistic. Honour after all is an old timey sort of thing that went out of style on May 24th, 2010, or at the very least must only apply to PNM members.

    **Attorney: Education Ministry to blame for teens taking $30,000
    …they were trying to provide for themselves
    http://ift.tt/1uFGgDy /

    From the article: Two Form Six footballers, who admitted to stealing $30,000 from a cinema, were said to be in need of the money to fund their sporting career. Defence attorney Ainsley Lucky said the Ministry of Education had failed to provide the pupils’ sporting supplies.

    Stop it, Lucky! Stop it!

    **HDC owed $12.4M
    http://ift.tt/1tuJ9Wt /

    I’m looking at the list of issues outlined by Housing Minister Roodal Moonilal, and frowning with scepticism.

    In 2011, the former Housing Minister and Opposition Leader, Dr. Keith Rowley, claimed that construction design on the Victoria Keyes development had altered to change the apartment units from three bedroom family homes to upscale one- and two-bedroom units. The allegation was only barely denied by Housing Development Corporation Managing Director, Jearlean John, who claimed that the units were being reconfigured because the rooms were too small. She also claimed that the reconfigured units would have been more suitable to persons who are in the “HDC database” without expanding on that notion. See http://ift.tt/1pqZzLA.

    It stands to reason though that reconfiguration of apartment units would cause issues with design, and significantly delay a project that was, according to Dr. Rowley, 90% complete in 2010.

    It further casts a shadow of doubt on the design deficiencies Moonilal claims existed when the current administration took over the project, since the design would have been heavily altered in the reconfiguration.

    Further questions are raised when one examines historical versions of the lead contractor’s webpage for Victoria Keyes, which show that the completion date has moved four times in four years. The project’s completion date moved from December 2010 in April 2010, to December 2011 in September 2010, to August 2013 in May 2013, to December 2013 in October 2013. The completion date on the current site is now May 2014. See http://ift.tt/1tuJacK and http://ift.tt/1pqZzLC.

    **Malala praises harmony in T&T
    http://ift.tt/1rO1kFS /
    **Malala joins in Eid prayers at Waterloo
    http://ift.tt/1qK5y1Q /

    Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai yesterday thanked Trinidad and Tobago for showing the world how people can live in harmony with each other. “I am really thankful,” she said, “that even though most of you are not Muslims but you are still celebrating Eid with your Muslim brothers and sisters. So thank you so much for showing the world how people live in harmony together with each other.”

    Malala herself performed her Eid salat at the Masjid Un Nur in Carapichiama yesterday.

    **Imam lashes out at extremists
    Muslims urged to set moral standards for the world to follow…
    http://ift.tt/1rO1gWI /

    Imam Yaseen Fernandez of the La Romaine Jamaat delivered a message at their open-air Eid Salaat yesterday that is universal.

    **Rajaee Ali: We have only ourselves to blame
    http://ift.tt/1tuJacM /

    And think not of the messenger for the five minutes it takes to read this story in the Newsday, and consider his message. In fact, I would love it if the Newsday would print his entire message. From their snippets, it looks like he had quite a lot to say to his congregation yesterday that’s worthy of a listen.

    **Tobago masjid head questions arrests in Carapo
    http://ift.tt/1rEzcl6 /

    Then there’s this: “Imam Muzafar Mohammed is calling on the authorities to tell the Muslim population why a number of them were arrested and then released without any charges being laid.”

    **Turkey to establish embassy in T&T
    http://ift.tt/1nSsr0S /

    All of a sudden, Trinidad and Tobago seems to be jumping into new relations with a lot of new and interesting foreign partners.

    Now it’s Turkey, whose Deputy Prime Minister has just become target for some viral online mockery in stating that women shouldn’t laugh in public (See http://ift.tt/1toaMjT)

    This week, we kowtowed to the Japanese Prime Minister who, in the wake of what is an environmental disaster at Fukushima, albeit under some management, has doubled down on nuclear power. (See http://ift.tt/1tuJacQ)

    And following our reciprocal state visits with China, the Chinese Ambassador’s statement that, “China and T&T are far apart, but close on the Internet,” is kinda funny given that the Chinese state employs massive censorship and surveillance on their citizens’ use of the internet, supported by a wide variety of laws and regulations.

    Paris-based Reporters Without Borders stated in 2010 and 2012 that “China is the world’s biggest prison for netizens.” The offences of which they are accused include communicating with groups abroad, signing online petitions, and calling for reform and an end to corruption. The size of the Chinese Internet police force was reported to be 2 million in 2013.

    Consequently, it’s funny too (but not “ha ha”) that the feature address at a symposium titled, “China Connect: Trends and Opportunities”, was delivered by the executive secretary of the All-China Journalists Association, who said that distance should not be a barrier to communication and trade between China, Asia, Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean. (See http://ift.tt/1uFG8ny)

    **Remembering WWI… Aug 4, 5 symposium at Military Museum
    http://ift.tt/1lbqNBI /

    This year, we commemorate 100 years since the start of the Great War, the first supported by massive industrialisation and technological development, a war that saw the disappearance of four Imperial powers, and by whose end there were some 9 million combatants killed.

    The 100th anniversary of the start of World War I (1914-1918) will be commemorated at the Chaguaramas Military and Aerospace Museum on August 4 and 5.

    A symposium titled “World War I and its effect on Trinidad and Tobago” will be held from 2-8 p.m. on both days.

    Academic papers will be presented by a panel of speakers including an officer from the Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard; Dr Radica Mahase; University of the West Indies senior history lecturer Dr Jerome Teelucksingh and principal of Queen’s Royal College David Simon.

    The Chaguaramas Military Museum is welcoming all members of the public to attend and support the symposium to honour the 100th anniversary of World War I.

    **Sport Round Up
    Thus far today at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow:

    - Cleopatra Borel-Brown has won silver for Trinidad and Tobago in the Women’s Shot Putt.

    - Lalonde Gordon secured bronze for Trinidad and Tobago in the Men’s 400M this afternoon in a race that featured the continued domination of Grenada’s Kirani James. James idly broke the Games record in securing gold. T&T’s Jarrin Solomon placed sixth in the final and Renny Quow is officially recorded as having not finished the race.

    - Jehue Gordon won his 400M Hurdles heat, and advances to the final tomorrow at 3:15PM with the second fastest time in the round. He will run in lane 5.

    - Reyare Thomas, our lone competitor in the Women’s 200M has advanced out of the qualifying rounds, placing third in her heat with a season best time of 23.25s.

    - In the Men’s 200M event, Rondell Sorrillo, Kyle Greaux and Jereem Richards all participated in the heats. All three young men placed third in their qualifying races, but only Greaux and Sorrillo advance to the semifinals among the fastest losers.

    Both Sorrillo and Greaux will race in lane 1 of their respective semifinals tomorrow at 1:32PM and 1:38PM respectively.

    - Middleweight Boxer Aaron Prince competed in the quarterfinals of his competition, but lost this morning to Vijender Vijender.

    - Our Squash and Table Tennis teams are in competition today. It’s a little much to summarise here, so readers can check out the competition results at http://ift.tt/1pqZCqK and http://ift.tt/1ou8xbz /

    Have a great afternoon, everyone. //

  2. Today is Tuesday 29th July, 2014. It is the Eid Holiday in Trinidad and Tobago. This is the Round Up.

    **TOKYO CALLING
    PM: T&T to set up Embassy in Japan, InvestTT office
    http://ift.tt/1pDjSCQ /
    **PM: InvesTT to set up in Japan
    http://ift.tt/1nFTc7I /
    **Two agreements signed
    http://ift.tt/1pDjTGP /
    **Abe: Dialogue with Caricom important
    http://ift.tt/1pDjSCS /
    **Japan’s firms to focus on ICT, agro processing
    http://ift.tt/1rxf846 /

    The Japanese Prime Minister was here for a CARICOM/Japan Summit to speak on energy matters and climate change with CARICOM, and two agreements were signed under those banners.

    I’m struggling at this point to find the pair of articles where on the one hand, the Prime Minister announced on her return from China that the Japanese PM would make a state visit to Trinidad and Tobago, and the Japanese Consulate said, “uhm… no…”

    The coverage and published statements of the visit leaves strong hints that the Japanese Embassy is right.

    The visit appears analogous to having people come over to visit an old aunt who is staying in your home for a few days. You pull the best wares out of the credenza to serve them biscuits and sponge cake, you all chat really nicely, and talk about how nice it would be for you to come see them yourself. But they’re really only there to see Tantie.

    While Kamla did play hostess with the most-est (late arrival to the official reception at the Diplomatic Centre aside), Abe was not here on an official state visit, something which has a very specific definition in diplomatic circles. And despite the Express headline, Tokyo didn’t come calling on us.

    All of the statements made show Trinidad and Tobago extending itself on this visit to Japan, and there appears little reciprocity, perhaps nothing beyond a polite thank you on the part of the Japanese.

    I could be wrong because coverage is not complete. But we need be careful as consumers of news and political fluff about the manner in which this is sold to us, and be mindful of what we can really expect to come of it for Trinidad and Tobago.

    **Mrs Abe loves mango chow: Japan PM’s wife samples local delicacy
    http://ift.tt/1pDjTGS /

    In the week of both Eid and Emancipation, I’d love to know what Mrs. Abe’s official itinerary entailed, and whether she was exposed to any of Trinidad and Tobago’s rich culture at all.

    I suppose though, the government of Japan having donated half a million dollars to five greenhouse projects in Trinidad and Tobago (http://ift.tt/1nFTc7U), her specific interest would have been in what she knew.

    It’s a pity though that she may not have had an opportunity to explore Trinidad and Tobago and its people in a manner more in line with her personal interests. One wonders how Sat Maharaj would feel knowing that Akky was a deejay and is an open proponent of LGBT rights.

    **AG aims to recover $34m
    Ramlogan reviewing LifeSport audit
    http://ift.tt/1pDjST8 /

    Steups. A real Senior Counsel is looking at this already, firstly.

    Secondly, in the face of some 400 million more that has gone astray and a Cabinet colleague who continues to distance himself from what is his responsibility (http://ift.tt/1nFTdsi), red herring.

    Could be low-hanging fruit for the AG though, given that more than four years later, Calder Hart is still chilling in Florida.

    **Appeal Court stays Invader’s Bay ruling
    http://ift.tt/1pDjST9 /
    **Appeal in Invaders Bay case on Nov 20
    http://ift.tt/1nFTdsj /

    The Appeal Court has put a stay on a judgment ordering the Planning Ministry to disclose confidential legal advice related to the award of a $5.5 billion contract to develop public property in Invader’s Bay, Port-of-Spain. The stay was granted by appellate judge Maureen Rajnauth-Lee yesterday afternoon after a brief chamber court hearing with attorneys representing the ministry and the construction lobby group, the Joint Consultative Council for the Construction Industry (JCC), which won the right to access the documents almost two weeks ago.

    The Appeal hearing will be on November 20th, 2014. Between now and then, much work can take place at the site which would make the Invaders Bay project a fait accompli, and the JCC’s court action of nil effect, much like the situation with the Debe to Mon Desir section of the new South highway extension.

    **House holds hand on money bills
    http://ift.tt/1pDjTXc /
    **Pension bills not law yet
    http://ift.tt/1nFTdsm /

    If the Prime Minister wanted to cement the government’s ill favour with the population, she would have taken a different course of action here, setting herself for retirement.

    **Public Procurement Bill will lapse
    http://ift.tt/1pDjTXi /

    Sadly, and perhaps conveniently, the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Bill is among pieces of legislation set to lapse.

    Views on this are mixed. While procurement reform is required, if improperly implemented, at least one colleague of mine has suggested that all the bill will do is map the path for lawful bobol.

    Going into an election year with an anticipated bumper budget, a good piece of procurement law would really have helped to stem the flow of funds into the hands of friends of government.

    **No evidence to charge Duke, says lawyer
    http://ift.tt/1nFTdsr /
    **Mendes: OSHA evidence worthless
    http://ift.tt/1pDjTXo /

    Given that the issues at Immigration are actively being addressed, the continuitation of this matter against PSA President Watson Duke feels both punitive and petty. Worse, with Senior Counsel representing the Government, Lord knows how much this matter is costing the State.

    **Griffith: Talk of rise in crime baseless
    http://ift.tt/1nFTdss /

    There is a lot of bluster and old talk here on both sides here.

    Former LifeSport participants couldn’t possibly think that threats of turning to crime would lead to the programme being restarted. In fact, I challenge the Guardian to get any participant to go on record with this.

    The continued oversimplification on the part of the Minister of National Security is absolutely astounding, but then not at all.

    Then there is this piece of gravest boneheadedness: “My job as National Security Minister is not really focused on social crime prevention…”

    Sooooo… what are you *really* focused on, Gary?

    I had no idea that “social crime” is different from other kinds of crime. So while murders are up and the nebulous “serious crime” is forever down, now we have that “social crime” is not really on the National Security Minister’s radar, so if he does anything about it, he’s just kinda doing us all a favour.

    Wowsie might want to review his Ministry’s mission and vision.

    **Autopsy: Farmer got hard blow to head
    http://ift.tt/1pDjSTg /

    Meanwhile, Earth to Wowsie, this here is called a kidnapping and murder. We haven’t had these in a while. And this didn’t happen in locked down Laventille.

    **Man shot at roadside
    http://ift.tt/1nFTdsu /

    And further, the victim hasn’t died and as such it wouldn’t be classified as murder. But I’m sure a shooting is a serious crime. In broad daylight. With the assailants trotting away. Not in locked-down Laventille.

    **Overhaul of children’s home begins September
    http://ift.tt/1pDjUdH /

    Government had a plan to place cameras in children’s homes? Whose brainfart was this?

    That aside, “The nature of the issues that children go to these homes with today are very different from the issues that were there when the state first partnered with NGOs to fund these institutions,” Minister in the Ministry of Gender and Child Development Raziah Ahmed said yesterday.

    Goodly Minister, it is quite disingenuous to say that the Ministry “funds” the homes. Even if the Ministry used to simply “fund” the homes, we have moved past that a long, long time ago. The Ministry **RUNS** the homes. The homes are staffed and managed by persons hired by the state.

    The Ministry needs to stop pretending that they are not completely culpable here, guilty by neglect.

    And I completely agree that a total overhaul is necessary. It is ridiculous - for starters - that the minimum qualification to work in the homes is three O’levels, as has been dropped over and over in the press.

    Mental note: I really, really need to read the Children’s Authority Act and the reports written by Stephanie Daly’s group.

    **NP to set up gas stations, subsidiary in Haiti
    http://ift.tt/1pDjUdK /

    This. Is. Phenomenal. But, actually, only on its face.

    Regional gas station giants, Barbados-based Sol Caribbean and Rubis Caribbean, indeed all of CARICOM, must certainly have sat up when this agreement was announced during the Japan/CARICOM Summit.

    The local papers have slept on the details of the deal however.

    From http://ift.tt/X9MHzT /

    "This Memorandum of Understanding provides the development of a bilateral cooperation in the field of energy and intends to establish a commercial partnership between the two countries:

    1) The construction and management of a modern Port in Miragoâne in the Nippes Department;
    2) The construction of a manufacturing plant of propane tanks (LPG);
    3) The supply of petroleum products from Trinidad and Tobago;
    4) The establishment of 9 gas stations of the brand Trinidadian ‘National Petroleum’ (NP) in Haiti in the next 6 to 9 months;
    5) Exploration and Petroleum Research in Haiti.”

    Points 1 and 2 raise some questions with respect to who gets that business, how is it going to be funded, and who benefits from the revenue stream that will be generated.

    Re point 2, will Trinidad and Tobago also benefit from the manufacture in Haiti of LPG tanks? (*Casts sideward glance at rusty 20lb tank waiting to go around the corner to be changed*)

    Item 4 does raise some questions though. To whom do these gas stations belong now? Will NP own the stations and managers - local or foreign - run the gas stations? Is NP the sole beneficiary? Does the Haitian government recoup anything from the venture?

    It’s sad though that these questions do arise, and that largely because of the government’s record in racket over the last four years. It would be sad too if that is what is happening here, because it would mean that the Trinbagonian state is now taking their bobol regional.

    It also doesn’t help that Haiti is currently ranked near the bottom of Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index with a 2013 score of 19 out of 100, a one point improvement over their 2011 score of 18, but down from 2010’s 22.

    **‘Dear Kamla, fire Anil’
    http://ift.tt/1nFTcok /

    So says Jack Warner, over findings in the Finance Ministry’s Life Sport Programme audit.

    But seriously, this article is a must read. Don’t drink anything while you’re reading.

    **Sport Round Up
    Day 6 of the Commonwealth Games wrapped up today, and Trinidad and Tobago closed out the day with some good results.

    Ayanna Alexander won bronze in the Women’s Triple Jump this afternoon, and all three Trinbagonian quartermilers - Jarrin Solomon, Renny Quow and Lalonde Gordon - advanced to the final of the Men’s 400M event.

    The Men’s 400M Final runs off tomorrow at 3:30pm. Tune in via Youtube livestream at http://ift.tt/1pDjSTj to see the race.

    In other events today, our George Bovell III finished fifth in the Men’s 100M Freestyle in a time of 22.31s.

    Jamaal James and Kendis Bullard both participated in the heats for the Men’s 800M, neither managing to qualify to advance, Jamaal finishing 4th and Kendis finishing 6th in their respective heats.

    The Trinidad and Tobago Men’s Hockey team finished the games with a 4-2 win over Malaysia, with three goals from Kwandwane Browne.

    Men’s Lightweight boxer Michael Alexander won his quarter final bout over Barbadian Cobia Breedy.

    And Trinidad and Tobago’s netball ladies wrapped up the games with a 70-24 loss to the English.

    See you all tomorrow. Have a great night. //

  3. Today is Monday 28th July, 2014. Eid Mubarak to the global Islamic community. This is the Round Up.

    **IT WAS ANIL - $34m for no work in LifeSport, Howai: Sport Minister brought Daniell to Ministry of Finance
    http://ift.tt/1nTxeOb /
    **LIFE AFTER LIFESPORT
    http://ift.tt/1nTxhJF /

    Only two papers lead with LifeSport stories today.

    The Express’ Asha Javeed continues her plumbing the depths of this scandal to tie it all to the man (or woman) ultimately responsible for this drain on the Treasury.

    Unfortunately, LifeSport is beginning to be revealed as a case study in how to do everything wrong in running a government programme. As such, it’s going to take a long time to get into everything here.

    Trinidad and Tobago has found itself focused on the single contract awarded to Adolphus Daniell’s Ebeam Interact Limited, and berating Daniell for taking the money. But while John and Jane Trini doggedly go down this road, there are over 400 million dollars more whose expenditure require examination. And the Central Audit Committee’s report has only just scratched the surface.

    The Newsday’s Nalini Seelal and Sasha Harrinanan start probing the government on whither next. And the fluff is smothering me.

    Firstly, the young men in the programme were abandoned a long time ago, when LifeSport expenditure ballooned wildly, and the Auditor General raised questions about spending in the Ministry of Sport, and no-one in the Cabinet is on record asking hard questions.

    Secondly, from concept to execution, LifeSport has been all wrong. Given all of the issues that have been glossed in the Central Audit Committee’s report, renaming the programme and “plugging the loopholes” is akin to trying to find the good part in a rotten and stinking potato to throw in Saturday soup.

    As for, “…this new and restructured programme should be up and running in three weeks time and those young men who genuinely benefitted from the programme need not fear about their future…”, this is the first indication that Gary Griffith has not one clue what to do with the target group, and quite likely has no idea who the target group really is.

    Contrary to Griffith’s view that the programme will be similar to the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Military-Led Academic Training (MILAT) and the Military-led Youth Programme of the Apprenticeship and Re-Orientation Training (MYPART), LifeSport is and has been none of these.

    By the admission of the Minister of Sport and of Deputy LifeSport Programme Director Ruth Marchan, LifeSport is a catch-all for everybody else who is not interested in not interested at all in productive activity, including all of the above programmes, URP and CEPEP. So in “weeding out criminal elements” (see http://ift.tt/1rxf842), Griffith may end up culling many of the target participants who really do need positive interaction as they face criminal charges for past actions.

    The situation is too complex for Griffith’s grandiose and extremely simplistic broad-brushing. Before attacking “criminal elements”, Gary Griffith may first want to take the report, do a word search for “Limited”, and check the Companies Registry for all the beneficiaries of the two years of LifeSport’s largesse.

    [Note: Seems the Companies Registry Online at http://ift.tt/1nTxhJP is down.]

    **Anil: Premature for me to resign
    http://ift.tt/1nTxhJR /

    From the article: “The audit report into the Life Sport programme is not yet complete. Ministry officials have been given a copy and they, along with Life Sport officials and Sport Company officials, shall be given an opportunity to respond, to provide information and clarification on queries raised in the report. A man of Mr Dumas’s ilk, who has served so well, knows that,” [Sport Minister Anil] Roberts stated. “So his call for my resignation is not only unjustified but it’s a bit premature.”

    Heh! Anil now knows about process?

    From the article further: Roberts then called for a reform of how ministries are run and how responsibility is distributed, saying only then should one expect a minister to resign if something goes wrong during his tenure.

    O.o Seriously?

    The hard part here is that I am too repulsed to begin to pick apart the Minister’s arguments. All I can say at this point is that with this line of thought, the first thing to be done in writing a new Constitutions is that we immediately remove the honorific “Honourable” from all offices.

    **CoP Williams tight lipped on Ruth Marchan
    http://ift.tt/1rxf844 /

    "ACTING Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams yesterday reported that he had not yet received a copy of the Finance Ministry audit into operations of the Life Sport programme…"

    Read: I ent really interested in crime in Trinidad and Tobago unless somebody officially involve me yunno, so until they officially involve mih, doh bother me nuh?

    This oaf has received a six month extension on his acting appointment, raising questions about the quality of the assessment of his performance.

    This is not the first time that the Ag. Commissioner of Police has told the press that he has no opinion because he hasn’t been officially advised. This raises real and serious questions about how deep in the sand he has his head stuck.

    Trinidad and Tobago has been buzzing about the LifeSport Audit Report since the press released copies online on Friday afternoon, and the Ag. CoP can’t even say that he downloaded a copy to get a heads up on what’s happening?

    That said, if Williams is better at policing than he is at speaking off the cuff, then he needs to leave speaking to an assistant or to the public affairs unit.

    **PM to Japan: Help T&Twith arms treaty
    http://ift.tt/1nTxgWk /
    **Persad-Bissessar holds talks with Abe
    http://ift.tt/1rxf5Fp /
    **Japan’s firms to focus on ICT, agro processing
    http://ift.tt/1rxf846 /

    The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, arrived yesterday, accompanied by his wife, Akie.

    I am made to understand that Kamla’s tight schedule which included the Caribbean Premier League match between the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel and the St. Lucia Zouks at the Queen’s Park Oval delayed her arrival at the official reception for the Japanese PM. Thus her record of being fashionably late is shamefully maintained.

    And if the Guardian’s opening paragraph is to be taken as is, Kamla also maintains the country’s prone posture toward foreign nations. I would love though to see her direct quote.

    What’s interesting here though is that while the government plays this visit up, all communication on the Japanese side makes it pretty clear that they are here to meet with CARICOM, and not just Trinidad and Tobago.

    I have to admit that I’m further saddened therefore by what appears to be Trinidad and Tobago’s jostling for the Japanese PM’s attention ahead of our CARICOM brethren, at a time where regional interests should really be paramount. See http://ift.tt/1rxf84c /

    **Malala praises T&T’s free education
    http://ift.tt/1nTxi0d /
    **Malala: T&T reminds me of home
    http://ift.tt/1tRmyAN /

    Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai also arrived at Piarco Airport yesterday for a University of Trinidad and Tobago event at which she is the quest speaker.

    Yousafzai is a Pakistani school pupil and education activist who is known for her activism for rights to education and for women, and for surviving the Taliban’s attempt on her life.

    **Poor turnout at coup ceremony
    http://ift.tt/1nTxi0h /

    Yesterday was the 24th Anniversary of the 1990 Insurrection.

    10 points to Wendell Eversley for keeping the commemoration alive.

    Zero points for complaining that public officials aren’t taking the day seriously. Is he still an executive member of the Congress of the People, one of the parties in Government?

    I suppose a ceremony at the Eternal Flame was always going to be trumped by the Japanese Prime Minister, young Malala Yousafzai, and cricket in the Oval.

    **Five Trinis in Venezuelan custody: Hoping for an Eid verdict
    http://ift.tt/1rxf5Fv /

    Lest we forget, five Trinidad and Tobago nationals are still being held by authorities in Venezuela.

    **Call for CCJ probe
    http://ift.tt/1nTxhcJ /

    Unfortunately for the former Acting Registrar, the Caribbean Court of Justice is immune to governmental interference by design.

    Dr. Leighton Jackson may already be on shaky ground by comparing the CCJ to “any of our judiciaries”, suggesting that they and the CCJ should operate in the same manner.

    Further, while he keeps pointing at Sir Dennis Byron who serves as Chair of the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission, I really don’t think that Sir Dennis can act in isolation.

    We may have a situation here where a lot of noise is being made without good grounds.

    Precursor story is here with caption “CCJ faces internal strife”, http://ift.tt/1rxf8kt /

    **WASA employee shot dead by cops
    http://ift.tt/1rxf8kv /
    **Father of three killed by police
    http://ift.tt/1nTxhcT /

    Another Police killing, this time in El Socorro. The deceased’s common-law wife contests the Police’s account re her husband’s character and the details of the incident.

    Question though. WASA has people on staff with charges as serious as cocaine possession and shooting with intent?

    **Arts and culture will save T&T
    Douglas: The very foundation of our lives…
    http://ift.tt/1rxf8kw /

    "The soul of this nation is at stake and it is the arts and culture that will save Trinidad and Tobago."

    [Searches Google for the superheroes “Arts” and “Culture”]

    **New Carenage Health Centre by Dec 2015
    http://ift.tt/1nTxht6 /

    Huzzah for this. Carenage has been waiting for years, and I hope that Diego Martin’s ground breaking will take place soon.

    And I’m also hoping that Fuad isn’t talking off the cuff about the sea ambulance either.

    **Merge three major holidays into Liberation Day
    http://ift.tt/1rxf5VO /

    I have nothing on this one. I’ll leave this for my historian friends to comment.

    The attempt to minimise slavery and advance indentureship though…

    **Mr Partap’s prized car… drove it for 50 years until his death in 2012
    http://ift.tt/1nTxht9 /

    Richard Charan’s human interest piece today.

    **Ethiopian Orthodox members celebrate Emancipation: Rejoice in the streets
    http://ift.tt/1rxf5VQ /

    One of the country’s smaller religious groups is featured here. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church yesterday celebrated its 22nd Emancipation Day celebrations with a thanksgiving service and street parade in San Fernando yesterday. Members of the clergy and congregation took to the streets after the service at the St Peter’s Parish in Cocoyea Village, in a procession led by Archbishop Abuna Thaddaeus.

    The photo that accompanies the online edition of the story is precious. [http://ift.tt/1rxf8kA]

    **Sport Round Up
    At time of writing, T&T’s three Men’s 400M athletes Jarrin Solomon, Renny Quow and Lalonde Gordon have qualified out of their respective heats to make the semifinals of the event.

    Two of our two 400M women, Shawna Fermin and Domonique Williams, participated in the semifinals of their event, but did not manage to progress.

    Our remaining 100M girls, Kai Selvon and Kamaria Durant, also ran semifinals today. Kai came sixth in her race with a season best 11.59s, and Kamaria placed 8th in 11.70s.

    In the day’s biggest heartbreak, Keston Bledman and Richard Thompson both lost out on a chance to advance to the final the Men’s 100M, both finishing third and both not fast enough to advance among the fastest losers. For Thompson, the hurt is greater because his 10.19s in the semifinal is faster than the three slowest qualifiers.

    In Men’s Middleweight (75kg) Boxing, our Aaron Prince won his Round of 16 bout against Bahamas’ Godfrey Strachan.

    George Bovell III also qualified today for the Final of the Men’s 50M Freestyle event tomorrow. He placed third in both his first round and semifinal swims.

    I know that other T&T athletes competed today, but the Commonwealth Games site doesn’t make it easy to single out a country’s competitors’ results. By design perhaps?

    Congratulations too to the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel on completing the home swing yesterday with a comprehensive victory over the St. Lucia Zouks. The Trinidad and Tobago-based team now sits atop the standings in the 2014 edition of the Caribbean Premier League.

    Have a great afternoon, everyone. //

  4. 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. //

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

    **BAKR’S THREAT
    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. //