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General Discussion / Cops move to find Rev Juliana Pena
« on: June 08, 2010, 04:55:40 AM »

Cops move to find Rev Juliana Pena
By NALINEE SEELAL Tuesday, June 8 2010

Anti-corruption investigators are to seek the assistance of Interpol to locate Reverend Juliana Pena, the spiritual adviser of former Prime Minister Patrick Manning, as they begin an investigation into the construction of a multi-million dollar church at the Heights of Guanapo.

Pena, investigators said, lives in the United States, and has only been to the church site once since the start of its construction by Chinese contractor Shanghai Construction Group (SCG) which also built the estimated $250 million Prime Minister’s Residence and Diplomatic Centre under the Manning administration.

Investigators said yesterday that despite attempts to contact Pena about the project they have been unsuccessful in locating her. She previously had addresses listed in Arima, where relatives now live. Investigators added that Interpol in the United States will be asked to help them locate Pena, so she can be interviewed.

Manning, who has denied any use of State funds in the church, as well as any personal involvement, may also be interviewed by the police. The police also want to question former Udecott executive chairman Calder Hart, who reportedly helped Pena to contact SCG and arranged for her to meet architect Stephen Mendes who gave advice on the church designs.

Mendes this weekend disclosed he met Manning about the church, which was reflected in correspondence he sent to Hart where he referred to Manning as “PM”. Manning, before his defeat in the May 24 General Election, said PM may have stood for “project manager” and not prime minister.

In a faxed statement to the media, Manning again denied any role in the church project.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard yesterday confirmed he advised the police to begin an investigation of the construction of the Light House of the Lord Jesus Christ Church at the Heights of Guanapo, and is expected to meet with Acting Police Commissioner James Philbert for an update into the probe later this week.

Gaspard told Newsday, “Yes I did get the documents pertaining to the church and wrote the Commissioner giving him certain advice.”

Philbert, who is set to demit office next Monday, said he has instructed officers of the Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau (ACIB) to launch a full probe into the construction of the church. Sources revealed yesterday that the police probe centres around misconduct in public office and an alleged misuse of public funds.

Apart from Pena, Manning and Hart, the police are also expected to interview officials of Town and Country Planning Division and SCG.

Hart is also a subject in a separate police investigation of the Legal Affairs Tower project, in which his wife’s relatives were awarded the contract.

On May 23, the day before the General Election, Chinese workmen who were hired by SCG to build the church fled the Guanapo site taking with them important documents which could have assisted the police in their investigations.

On May 15, the People’s Partnership held a press briefing and produced documents linking Hart and Manning to the controversial church. The documents revealed apparent links with Udecott.

It also made reference to the Prime Minister’s Residence and Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s and raised questions over a possible direct connection between Manning and the project.

The documents also made reference to someone referred to as “the PM” and also showed that the Town and Country Planning Division granted final approval for the church on April 16 this year.

On Friday, architect Stephen Mendes in a sworn statement to a media house, confirmed the “PM” he wrote about in a letter dated May 2, 2006, and addressed to Hart, referred to Manning.

Mendes had stated that the structural drawings developed to date are not in accordance with the recent changes made to the architectural drawings as a result of “PM’s requests”, referring to Manning.

Additionally he noted in his letter that the consultants needed to develop and finalise their general arrangements drawings due to the recent changes called for by “the PM”, including those related to the residential component appended to the church.

In his correspondence, Mendes said Pena made an “impassioned plea” to him after he met her at Hart’s office where he went for a meeting on a separate matter. He agreed to give advise on the designs for free and subsequently appealed to Hart to inform Town and Country Planning Division that he was not the owner nor contractor for the church project, after the division sent him an application for the project asking him to provide additional information.
© newsday.co.tt - www.newsday.co.tt

General Discussion / Hurricane forecast goes from bad to worse
« on: June 04, 2010, 03:55:27 AM »
Hurricane forecast goes from bad to worse
Friday, June 4 2010

THE 2010 Atlantic hurricane season will be even more active than feared, leading US forecasters said on Wednesday as they predicted at least ten hurricanes, five of them major, with a 76 percent likelihood that a major hurricane would hit the US coastline.

The outlook from the Colorado State University team follows predictions by US government scientists for an intense season that could disrupt efforts to contain a huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill and also batter earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

Increasing a previous estimate for a “very active” season, the leading CSU storm research team founded by hurricane forecast pioneer William Gray said the six-month season beginning on June 1 would likely see 18 named tropical storms.

Of these, CSU saw ten becoming hurricanes, with five becoming major Category 3 or higher hurricanes with winds above 110 miles per hour (177 km per hour).

The CSU scientists increased their forecast from an April 7 prediction of 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes.

The CSU team saw a 51 percent chance that a major hurricane would make landfall on the US East Coast, including the Florida Peninsula, and a 51 percent chance that one would hit the Gulf Coast, from the Florida Panhandle to Brownsville, Texas.

It put the chance of a major hurricane tracking into the Caribbean at 65 percent.

Detailing weather conditions seen favouring the formation of hurricanes, Gray said the CSU team increased its forecast “due to a combination of a transition from El Nino to current neutral conditions and the continuation of unusually warm tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures.

Click here to send your comments on this article to Newsday's Ch@tRoom

General Discussion / Licensing HQ to go Central
« on: June 03, 2010, 06:50:43 AM »
Licensing HQ to go Central
By RHONDOR DOWLAT Thursday, June 3 2010

Transport officers and members of the media visit one of the proposed sites for the Licensing Authority at Eagles Drive, Carlsen Field. ...
The Licensing Authority will be relocated to either Carslen Field, Chaguanas or Caroni and is expected to be “up and running” by December.

This was revealed by Minister of Works and Transport, Jack Warner who visited the proposed sites yesterday.

Warner was in the company of Minister in his Ministry, Rudranath Indarsingh; Transport Commissioner, Ruben Cato and the Works Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Cheryl Blackman.

The Carlsen Field site, which Warner and his team proposed, is at Eagles Drive. It’s the former location of lumber company Tanteak.

Warner said he thought the site was spacious since the headquarters needed a lot of land.

“I find that it has a lot of space here and also it is easily accessible to motorists but not accessible to persons on foot, which is one of the factors I am looking at. I will have to visit the site at Caroni and from there, decide which one is more fit for the purpose,” he said.

“I expect that the site will be chosen soon and construction to start immediately and that it should be done and open by December 2010. It can be done. I promised to deliver and I will,” Warner added.

The Licensing Authority would have been initially constructed at Mt Hope, a move made by Warner’s predecessor Colm Imbert. Warner said the relocation from Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain carried a cost of $23.5 million but the figure will have to be reviewed with the new plans.

Warner said there would be a state-of-the-art computerised system put in place so that driver’s permits can be renewed in just about 15 minutes.

He revealed that ten licensing authority offices will be constructed throughout the country including Point Fortin, Princes Town, San Fernando, Mount Hope and Tobago.

On the question of corrupted officers in the institution, Warner said, “Under this new administration, corruption will be a thing of the past and I will not let it bring down Kamla’s government, especially under my watch.

Whoever is corrupt they have a few days to pack and go. I shall weed out all corrupt officers because our function is to serve the people.”


General Discussion / A hero Arrives ..... lol
« on: June 02, 2010, 06:13:25 AM »

By RHONDOR DOWLAT Wednesday, June 2 2010

click on pic to zoom in

« prev photo next photo »
IT WAS A happy mob scene when Jack Warner arrived yesterday at the Ministry of Works and Transport’s head office in Port-of-Spain, where he received a rousing welcome from staff as he took over from Colm Imbert as the line Minister.

Imbert was the Works and Transport Minister in the last PNM administration.

At about 1.30 pm, members of staff, like fans waiting to a see a superstar, gathered outside the building at the corner of Richmond and London Streets. Some stood inside in the reception area looking through the glass wall, while others waited on each platform of the staircase on all six floors, also looking through glass windows.

Fifteen minutes before Warner’s arrival, Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism Winston “Gypsy” Peters and Minister of Community Development Nizam Baksh stopped in a SUV to see why a crowd was outside the Works Ministry.

“Nizam, Gypsy, Jack (Warner) coming just now?” Works employees shouted when they recognised the two ministers.

Then, at about 2.30 pm, Warner and Rudranath Indarsingh, Minister in the Ministry responsible for transport, arrived and the staff welcomed them with loud cheers and thunderous applause.

Some jumped up and down, waving and calling out to Warner. A few said, “Today is a new day with Jack (Warner).”

Clearly surprised, Warner stood on the pavement for a few moments, before climbing the stairs to the entrance. “I am humbled by your hearty welcome. I am humbled,” he told the staff, as they mobbed him, some recording the moment on their camera cell-phones, one even had a Canon digital camera.

Stunned, Indarsingh stood quietly beside Warner.

Also waiting outside for Warner was former public relations officer of the Route Two Maxi Taxi Association, Elu Dillon, who advised him to have proper consultation before making any decision to open the Priority Bus Route (PBR) to the public during peak hours in a bid to ease traffic congestion. Dillon told Warner that if he decides to open the PBR, maxi taxi operators who have contracts to transport schoolchildren will be affected.

She also said if schoolchildren are transported by PTSC buses, maxi taxi drivers will also lose. “We have a lot of new maxis on the bus route and we have to pay as much as $15,000 to $20,000 per month, not only will the maxis lose out but also the banks and the credit unions who loaned us the monies to purchase the new fleet of maxis. We have been carrying schoolchildren for as many as four years. We really would want you to seek the best interest, not only for us but also for the country as a whole,” she said.

Warner assured Dillon he will meet with members of the Maxi Taxi Association tomorrow where he will listen to their issues, concerns and suggestions.

Dillon expressed her appreciation to Warner for his willingness to hear what maxi taxi operators have to say.

As Warner and Indarsingh moved off and walked up the stairs to the entrance, they were surrounded by employees, most of them pushing for a handshake from Warner. Some even stole hugs and others shouted, “Welcome, welcome Mr Warner.”

Members of the media had to hold on to the railings to avoid being pushed over by the enthusiastic crowd.

As Warner and Indarsingh entered the foyer, the staff inside began to applaud and cheer as well, and again they took pictures of their new Minister.

“All you pushing me, I can’t see him, I can’t see him,” said one employee. Several openly said they were glad Imbert was no longer their Minister. Some are even looking forward to a “fantastic Sports Day” complaining that the event was cancelled because it was scheduled for May 22, the day the People’s Partnership and the PNM held their final political rallies before the May 24 General Election, which the PNM lost.

They also hope to have a “very Merry Christmas party” this year. :rotfl:

One employee said she was certain her new boss will provide proper drinking water for the staff. “We have water-coolers but the water comes from the pipes. We hope now that Mr Warner replaces the water-coolers with filtered water dispensers, for example Blue Waters, for drinking.”

Speaking with reporters, Warner said he expected to find resignation letters on his desk from the board members of several special purpose companies that fall under his new ministry, and if not he promised to “write them”.

Last Sunday, during Indian Arrival Day celebrations at his Chaguanas West constituency office, Warner said the People’s Partnership Government expected directors on the boards to resign by the time he took up office.

Yesterday, Warner told reporters his first order of business was to meet with senior staff members of the ministry, including the Permanent Secretary, to find out “what outstanding work there is?”

“ I want to know how much money was spent? How much money remained? What contracts were signed in the last months before the General Election was called and if any contracts were signed after the election?”

After speaking to reporters, Warner and Indarsingh walked towards an elevator, amid another round of cheers and applause.

As the Newsday team attempted to follow Warner to his office to get a photograph of him behind his desk, MTS security personnel blocked them and said they were acting on instructions from the PS “not to let any media into the building”.
© newsday.co.tt - www.newsday.co.tt

General Discussion / PNM interim leader
« on: May 27, 2010, 05:18:41 PM »
its official, Rowley is interim opposition leader of the PNM. Manning resigned today

General Discussion / Saved from certain death
« on: May 13, 2010, 05:00:41 AM »
True heroes........fire is not an easy thing nah

Saved from certain death
By INDARJIT SEURAJ Thursday, May 13 2010

click on pic to zoom in

Drop in a bucket: Firemen had little choice but to fill a bucket from a standpipe to help them put out a fire at Siparia Hill, Laventille on Tuesday, ...
TWO CHILDREN escaped certain death yesterday when they were pulled from their burning Beetham Gardens home moments before it was completely engulfed in flames. The daring rescue took place at 17th Street (B), Phase Three, Beetham Gardens where fire fighters had to burst a hole in the concrete wall to gain access and rescue the children.

Freda Wilson, five, and her brother Jerry, three, were treated at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) in Mt Hope, for smoke inhalation. Afterwards, their father Glenroy Wilson praised the Fire Service officers for their timely response in rescuing his children.

“Their swift response most likely saved the lives of my children,” Wilson said. “The firemen came and took them out of the house,” he added. Wilson and his wife Cleopatra Derrick were nursing minor burns to their hands after trying to gain entry into the house.

Acting Fire Station Officer Nazrudeen Khan also praised his officers for their good work.

“I think the men did a fantastic job,” he said. He said on receiving the call just after 9.15 am yesterday, they acted “promptly” and quickly determined the best course of action to take at the scene.

“We quickly assessed the situation and moved quickly to remove the children,” he said.

Appliances from the Fire Service Headquarters on Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain and from the San Juan Fire Station responded to the scene. Firemen were up to late yesterday trying to ascertain the cause of the blaze.

Derrick said she left her children home for a few minutes to go to a parlour, but when she returned she was greeted by the sight of her home on fire. Recalling how helpless she felt when her children were trapped inside, Derrick said, “I could hear their screams and I started talking to them.” Minutes later, firemen arrived and rescued the trapped children.

The PNM’s candidate for Laventille West in the May 24 general election, Ni Leung Hypolite visited the scene and reassured the displaced family that they would receive Government assistance. “I have already made some calls to get assistance for the family,” Hypolite said.
© newsday.co.tt - www.newsday.co.tt

General Discussion / You won't believe who's caught doing what!
« on: May 12, 2010, 07:44:55 AM »
THIS IS A  "MUST WATCH"  Manning's Fab Bunch.
You won't believe who's caught doing what!
They are practicing for their new jobs after May 24th. Look out for them at a show coming soon to your nearest NAPA.
click below



General Discussion / German man 'weds' his dying cat
« on: May 03, 2010, 11:27:14 AM »
German man 'weds' his dying cat

A German man has unofficially married his cat after the animal fell ill and vets told him it might not live much longer, Bild newspaper reports.

It says Uwe Mitzscherlich, 39, paid an actress 300 euros (£260,$395) to officiate at the ceremony, as marrying an animal is illegal in Germany.

Mr Mitzscherlich said he had wanted to tie the knot before his asthmatic cat Cecilia died.

The cat and groom have lived together for 10 years.

"Cecilia is such a trusting creature. We cuddle all the time and she has always slept in my bed," Mr Mitzscherlich, a postman from the eastern town of Possendorf, told Bild.

Actress Christin-Maria Lohri, who officiated the ceremony, was quoted as saying: "At first I thought it was a joke. But for Mr Mitzscherlich it's a dream come true".

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2010/05/03 16:07:23 GMT


General Discussion / Uganda's highest ice cap splits
« on: May 03, 2010, 09:58:01 AM »
I does study if it sooo hot now in T&T, how hot will it be when my son grow up or will it be unbearable for his children in time to come.....serious times ahead yes :-\


Uganda's highest ice cap splits
The ice cap on Uganda's highest peak has split because of global warming, Uganda's Wildlife Authority (UWA) says.

The glacier is located at an altitude of 5,109m (16,763ft) in the Rwenzori mountain range, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The authorities say a crevasse has blocked access to the Margherita summit - the third-highest peak in Africa, and a popular destination with climbers.

Scientists say glaciers in the Rwenzori range could disappear within 20 years.

UWA officials said a team had been sent to the mountain to assess the extent of damage on the route to Margherita.

According to researchers, the ice cap covered 6 sq km (2 sq miles) 50 years ago. It is now less than 1 sq km.

The mountain range, which is one of the few places near the equator to have glaciers, was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1994.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2010/05/03 14:30:48 GMT


General Discussion / eX jUSTICE Volney
« on: April 29, 2010, 05:05:18 PM »
 just wanna let u guys know that hubert volney will be on cnc 3 live @ 8 tonight.

General Discussion / Cops: 3rd-grader gave out heroin at school
« on: April 14, 2010, 01:49:34 PM »
Cops: 3rd-grader gave out heroin at school

Officials say the bags had the words ‘trust me’ stamped on them

The Associated Press
updated 8:43 a.m. ET April 14, 2010

WILKINSBURG, Pa. - Police near Pittsburgh have confiscated what they suspect were 50 to 60 small bags of heroin from a third-grade student who was passing them out at his school.

Tests will be done on the substance, but Wilkinsburg police suspect the 8-year-old boy was passing around the drug Tuesday at Turner Elementary School.

Officials say the bags had the words "trust me" stamped on them and would have a street value of about $1,000 if the substance is indeed heroin.

Wilkinsburg School District officials sent home a letter to parents says some students may have had touched the substance. The letter also asks them to discuss the matter with their children.

Police say the investigation is continuing. No charges have been filed.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36499364/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/

General Discussion / Padded bikini for girls withdrawn
« on: April 14, 2010, 01:47:48 PM »
Padded bikini for girls withdrawn
Clothing chain Primark has withdrawn the sale of its range of padded bikini tops for girls as young as seven following criticism.

The company apologised to customers for "causing offence" and said it would donate profits to a children's charity.

The Children's Society criticised Primark for "premature sexualisation and unprincipled advertising".

Conservative leader David Cameron said it was "disgraceful" but later added he was delighted by the withdrawal.

The £4 bikini sets came in candy pink with gold stars and black with white polka dots.

Penny Nicholls, director of children and young people at The Children's Society, said: "We know from our research that commercial pressures towards premature sexualisation and unprincipled advertising are damaging children's well-being.

'Better values'

''The evidence shows that adults feel children are more materialistic than in past generations, while children themselves feel under pressure to keep up with the latest trends.

"We need a significant change at the heart of society where adults stand up for better values.''

Mr Cameron said: "I'm delighted that they've taken the decision to withdraw this product because we do need a more responsible society."

Justine Roberts, founder of the online forum for parents, Mumsnet, also welcomed Primark's decision to remove the bikini range, saying it was a shame it was ever on sale.

Mumsnet recently launched a Let Girls Be Girls campaign aimed at persuading retailers not to sell products "prematurely sexualising" children.

Ms Roberts said it was "very clear that parents just don't want to see this stuff on shelves".

Prime Minister Gordon Brown backed her campaign, saying: "There's something wrong when companies are pushing our kids into acting like little grown-ups when they should be enjoying being children."

The Liberal Democrat's spokeswoman for equality, Lynne Featherstone, also welcomed the decision, adding: "How on earth could they have thought that this was a good idea in the first place?"

Child protection consultant Shy Keenan, of The Phoenix Chief Advocates which helps victims of paedophiles, said: "Primark have made a mistake here, but at least they have listened to their customers and taken real steps to put it right. We could not have asked for a better outcome."

Pole-dancing kit

Primark, which is well-known for its heavily discounted brands, has 138 UK stores and 38 in Ireland.

It is the latest chain to face criticism over products considered too adult for youngsters.

Asda has been singled out for a push-up bra aimed at young girls, and Tesco withdrew a pole-dancing kit from its toys section.

Last year WHSmith also withdrew its Playboy stationery, but did not say if that was because the products were sold to children.

A Primark spokesman said it has "taken note" of concerns about the product which is said it sold in "relatively small" quantities.

"The company has stopped the sale of this product line with immediate effect, the spokesman said.

"Primark will donate all the profits made from this product line to a children's charity, and apologises to customers for any offence caused."

A selection of your comments may be published, displaying your name and location unless you state otherwise in the box below.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2010/04/14 11:18:43 GMT


Property tax bills on hold until Minister settles special cases
Ria TaittPolitical Editor
Tuesday, April 6th 2010
No property owner will receive bills until the Government settles the issue of all those who qualify for deferment of the payment of the tax, Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira confirmed last night.

Asked whether no bills will go out, she said: ’Not yet.’

Pressed further on whether property owners would have to pay the old rate or would not have to pay anything until they receive bills, she said property owners would have to pay nothing until they receive bills. ’From January of this year the new rate came into effect. But we want to deal with certain policy issues before it is implemented,’ she said.

’That is why no bill has gone out, because the Cabinet and Government have taken that position,’ the Minister told the Express in a telephone interview.

One issue which has to be settled, the Minister said, relates to the question of the deferment on the payment of taxes owing to financial hardship. The other issue relates to the question of preparing the Rent Assessment Board. Noting that the Property Tax Amendment Act has implications for the Rent Assessment Board, Nunez-Tesheira said the question of treating with unscrupulous landlords, who may want to take advantage of the ’insignificant increases’ in property tax to institute unreasonable increases in rent, has to be addressed. She noted that some ’harmonisation’ between the Rent Assessment Board and her Ministry would have to take place. Rental properties constitute a significant percentage of the national housing stock.

FINANCE MINISTER: Karen Nunez-Tesheira

On the issue of the deferment, Nunez-Tesheira pointed that under the old act, there was only provision for exemption from taxes, and there was no recognition of economic hardship.

The new act, which was passed late last year, makes provision for deferment on the basis of economic hardship.

But she said ’in looking at the classification of persons who would benefit from this provision it is not as easy, as it may appear on the face of it to make it (the Act) implementable. We have been doing a lot of work and looking at other jurisdictions to see how they have treated with it. And it is in that context that if you send out the bills, persons who would qualify for deferment would not benefit, if we were to send out the bills right now’.

Nunez-Tesheira said her Ministry was currently liaising with the Ministry of Social Development, which would be responsible for handing out the certificates of deferment to eligible persons. She said Government wants to do the deferment exercise up front so that it could capture home owners who qualify for it and not have people who are eligible (for deferment) receiving property tax bills.

’It is an exercise that we started with the Ministry of Social Development. We are working with them because they would be responsible for the certificates. We are in active engagement with them and we are looking at seeing how we can implement something which would address some of the concerns that we have heard, and we have started that process,’ she said.

On the Rent Assessment Board, Nunez-Tesheira said the Minister of Legal Affairs had raised some issues and had prepared a policy document.

’We are working with him,’ she said.

She added that the Government wanted to ensure that before bills are sent out, people who stand to benefit can do so and not have to face any difficulties.

The purpose of the Rent Assessment Board was to assess the rent chargeable for properties. And it offered protection to tenants who face unreasonable rent increases.

The Minister said while the sending out of the bills has been delayed, the Government did not anticipate that it would have to extend the penalty period (for non-payment) beyond the current deadline -December 31, 2010. She said if it becomes necessary to do so, it would be done.


hmmmm they hold back on the RATT and now the land tax. Wait til after elections.

General Discussion / Hazel visits fire victims
« on: March 26, 2010, 04:37:07 AM »
Hazel visits fire victims
By CECILY ASSON Thursday, March 25 2010

WHILE employees of local soft drink manufacturer SM Jaleel and Sons Ltd resumed duty yesterday following Tuesday’s fire which destroyed its Otaheite warehouse, the lives of five Siparia families whose homes were destroyed by bush fires have not returned to normalcy.

These families who on Tuesday lost their homes and livestock to the raging bush fire, were yesterday still struggling to come to terms with their losses. They however received an unexpected “solidarity” visit not from their MP Kamla Persad-Bissessar but from an inter-ministerial team appointed by Prime Minister Patrick Manning and led by his wife, Local Government Minister Hazel Manning, who discussed with some of them their immediate needs.

Accompanying Mrs Manning yesterday morning were Social Development Minister Dr Amery Browne, Culture Minister Marlene McDonald, Minister of State Tina Grunlund-Nunez and Ambassador Joan Yuille-Williams.

The families were promised immediate relief inclusive of temporary shelter along with food and water. Mrs Manning said she was happy with the response from the Disaster Preparedness Unit in Siparia.

“Now that it is over, we have started to clean up and hand over to the other agencies so that Community Development could do what they have to do plus Social Development etc,” Mrs Manning said.

Minister Browne who also spoke to Newsday, described the events of Tuesday as “an unfortunate family tragedy” and said the assessments were still being carried out on those affected by the disaster.

“We are here to demonstrate a sense of solidarity with the residents. I have brought a van load of hampers, food items, bottled water and other supplies which we will distribute to the affected households,” Dr Browne said.

- Kudos to Mrs. Manning. First thing that ran though my mind when i saw this in the news was if Kamla visited them. I really hope the govt can help these people rebuild. Fire is a dread thing yes. I does pray that my family and my house don't burn down. It real scary.

General Discussion / kamla better watch she back yes
« on: March 26, 2010, 04:32:33 AM »
UNC backbenchers hold own caucus
Ramnath: It focused on plans to mark 22nd anniversary
Published: 26 Mar 2010

Kelvin Ramnath
UNC backbenchers Kelvin Ramnath, Basdeo Panday and Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj held a caucus yesterday afternoon at Rienzi Complex with several persons to discuss “the future,” of the party and their plans, Ramnath confirmed after he was contacted about the development. The meeting was scheduled at Rienzi Complex, where the UNC also has head offices and Panday has a constituency office as well.
Ramnath denied the meeting was held to plan a split in the UNC or launch another party. He said the caucus focused on plans by its founders to mark the UNC’s 22nd anniversary on April 30. The group invited a few councillors and several persons who had contested the UNC’s January 24 internal election. Also invited was UNC MP Mikela Panday. MP Subhas Panday was invited as well but his attendance was uncertain. Efforts to contacted him by phone proved futile. Ramnath said he had received approval from the general secretary of the sugar union, which owns Rienzi Complex, to use its conference room. UNC’s new national executive, headed by Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who ousted Panday in recent party elections, met at the same venue on Wednesday. Asked about the meeting, Ramnath described it as a “caucus.”
Ramnath added: “It was held to discuss the recent party elections and implications for the future, including the role of MPs such as ourselves in the Parliament. “Those matters will include the UNC’s motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister which comes up on April 9 and Local Government polls.” “We also wanted to discuss the UNC’s future, including its 22nd anniversary on April 30, and a programme for that month marking the event. “We intend to have a number of radio spots in which we will all be speaking about the party’s development from its beginnings as Club 88 to date.” Ramnath said the radio spots would feature other party founders, including John Humphrey who has agreed to participate as well as others. He said the anniversary plans would culminate with a dinner in honour of the contributions of UNC founder Panday. Asked if the group was launching a parallel organisation or planning towards a new party, Ramnath said: “Not at all. The present people with UNC believe it started with the last election and we as founders have to educate the public as to what the UNC really is all about.
“UNC is very different from any other party even with its one-man-one vote system. We’re entitled to question the decisions of the leadership and that is what we’re doing.” Asked whether the group would not be guilty of doing the same thing, criticising the party they had accused others of doing prior to elections, Ramnath added: “We must be able to discuss what the leadership is doing and we should be able to make recommendations and tell them how we feel about the new culture. “More than that, though, our job is to prevent and protect democracy in the UNC and the party’s image.” When contacted, Panday said Ramnath had organised yesterday’s meeting at Rienzi Complex. Panday added: “I pay rent for my space in the building, I’m a tenant. I remember having to insure my life to get money to build that building.”

General Discussion / Manning booed
« on: March 26, 2010, 04:05:06 AM »
Manning booed
Protesters call for PM to resign
Camille Bethel South Bureau
Friday, March 26th 2010
Prime Minister Patrick Manning faced an unprecedented protest outside his San Fernando East constituency office yesterday, involving union members pushing for him to reverse unpopular decisions amid growing public discontent.

They also asked that he resign.

Manning refused to meet with protest leaders, ignoring them as he left at around 6.30 p.m. He was booed by protesters but cheered by office staff.

Police SUVs were used to form a barricade to prevent protesters from getting close as a smiling Manning left.

Manning normally meets constituents between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. every Thursday.

UNPOPULAR: Prime Minister Patrick Manning was booed by union protesters but cheered by his San Fernando East constituency office staff yesterday. Members of the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union (OWTU) are demanding that Manning reverse unpopular decisions and resign. -Photo: Trevor Hackett

The protest was kept secret. The media were invited to attend an emergency general council meeting of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) at its San Fernando headquarters, and then taken by bus to Manning’s Coffee Street office of 13 years.

Union president general, Ancel Roget, said he did not bother asking for a meeting with Manning ’because we don’t expect him to come in his arrogance’.

The protest was kept secret until the final minutes to prevent the police from finding out, the Express was told.

Southern Division Task Force officers arrived during the protest and ordered protesters off the road as they chanted ’we will keep on struggling until Manning goes away’ and ’Manning in the office hiding from workers’.

Roget said the protest was meant ’to bring the message to Manning that he must go. This PNM government is the most corrupt in the history of Trinidad and Tobago. If Manning wants to say this is political, then it is’.

The OWTU is one of the largest unions in the country and represents workers of Petrotrin, T&TEC and more than 60 other companies involved in oil and gas, manufacturing, agriculture and financial services.

Roget said the union learnt on Wednesday that Cabinet had instructed Petrotrin to give $46 million toward a development at Plaisance Park, Pointe-a-Pierre, as an act of political patronage.

’We see it as further politicking to support themselves in office, as they brace themselves for what will be a very turbulent general election to come,’ he said.


General Discussion / PM: I'm the target of drug dealers
« on: March 24, 2010, 04:14:32 AM »
PM: I'm the target of drug dealers
After launch of Coast Guard boats...
Carolyn Kissoon South Bureau
Wednesday, March 24th 2010
Prime Minister Patrick Manning believes his launch last month of drug interdiction Coast Guard boats has something to do with the increased level of attack against him in the media in recent weeks.

He said the information ’we have’ is that the drug dealers were targeting him, not his party, because he could not be bribed.

Manning’s comments came as he spoke to supporters at a cottage meeting in St Margaret’s Village, Claxton Bay, on Monday night. This statement comes a week after a meeting in San Juan, at which he declared war on the local construction sector and spoke of a ’plan to kill Manning’.

He said on Monday that his mission was to end the drug trade between this country and Venezuela, but it would not succeed without the support of the armed forces.

Manning said he intends to guard these forces, especially the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, against corruption. He warned that they should not allow themselves to become corrupted by the drug lords.

’Anytime you tackle the drug trade, you are up against a powerful force. They have so much money that they do not count it anymore, they weigh it. And they are not afraid to spend it to continue their nefarious activities. We have to guard against the armed forces being corrupt, especially the Coast Guard,’ he said.

Manning said after his disclosure on six patrol boats deployed to fight the drug trade, there were attacks on him in the media.

’There are drug dealers in this country and I am not calling any names. But the information we have is that they are not so much against the PNM, but against the Prime Minister because that is the man standing in their way.

’You see integrity-that is all I have. I am incorruptible. You cannot buy me, I am not for sale. So I am watching the attacks, but we will see. Stand by, we have some action coming. The Government will not waiver one iota in its commitment to rid this country of the drug trade,’ he said.

Manning said although the authorities were aware of the drug trade, no charges could be laid. ’Information is not evidence. It is not a simple or straightforward matter. It is not easy to get evidence,’ he said

Rowley's wife writes Jeremie: Tell public Cayman Islands bank cleared my name
Ria Taitt
Tuesday, March 23rd 2010

Dissociating herself from any account in the Cayman Islands, Sharon Clark-Rowley, wife of Dr Keith Rowley, has appealed to Attorney General John Jeremie to take the necessary steps to clear her name.
In a letter which was hand-delivered last Friday to Jeremie’s office, Rowley (S) called on the Attorney General to release the information provided to him by Alexandria Bancorp Ltd (the bank in which a US $6.5 million account is allegedly held), which would clear her of any suspicion that she has money in the Cayman Island jurisdiction.

Sharon is a senior attorney and Jeremie, as Attorney General, is also titular head of the Bar.

Mrs Rowley told Jeremie that the circulation of a document alleging that she and her husband had bank accounts in the Cayman Islands was “clearly the act of a malicious individual or individuals, determined to destroy my good reputation and that of my husband”.

“That is particularly so since I had never heard of the Cayman bank prior to the revelation (in the media). I do not have an account in the Cayman Islands. I have never held an account in that territory and I hold no account outside of Trinidad and Tobago,” she stated in the letter.

UNDER FIRE: Attorney General John Jeremie

Shortly after Mrs Rowley delivered this letter, Jeremie made a statement to Parliament, in which he made no mention of any alleged Cayman Island account or of the Rowleys.

But in the draft of the statement, he had stated that reports of a Cayman Island bank account held in the name of a former minister were a hoax and a total fabrication.

Yesterday, Jeremie, when questioned about the letter sent by Mrs Rowley, said he acknowledged receiving the letter and said he was giving consideration to it.

He stressed that he had “nothing further to add to his release of Saturday”, in which he stated that “despite strenuous attempts through the official channels to investigate the veracity of reports of Cayman Islands accounts, the Ministry of the Attorney General is still not yet in receipt of any definitive, official information required to make a statement on this issue”.

The manager of the Cayman Island Bank (Alexandria Bancorp), in a letter dated March 17, had advised the Rowleys to go to the Attorney General. The Rowleys had corresponded and received a communication from the bank manager, Robert Madden, which advised them to seek information from the Attorney General.

Madden, in the letter to the Rowleys’ attorney, Margaret Rose, revealed that his bank had made representations to the Ministry of the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago regarding the alleged accounts.

“As I suspect that you may have a right to disclosure of these representations, I would encourage you to contact the Attorney General’s office,” he wrote.

Madden stated that his bank, as a general practice, does not respond to “civil requests for account information... whether such accounts exist or not”.

“However,” he noted, “given the particularly public nature of the allegations, we are sensitive to your interest in answering these charges. I am prepared in this context to disclose to you that we have made representations to the Ministry of the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago.”

Sharon Rowley, in her letter to Jeremie, conveyed this information to him. “Having regard to the very serious nature of these patently false allegations, contact has been made with Alexandria Bancorp and information has been provided that there is no such account at this bank in my name... The bank has advised that we should contact you in order to have this information disclosed... I hereby request that you advise me of the response of Alexandria Bancorp, in so far as it relates to the alleged bank accounts or, in the alternative, that you make public the content of such response,” she stated in her letter.

It would appear that Madden was under the mistaken impression that the Rowleys had been “vindicated” by the Attorney General’s statement and in an e-mail sent at 16.58 (4.58 p.m.) on Friday to the Rowleys’ attorney, Rose, stated: “I understand that earlier today the Attorney General for Trinidad made a public announcement advising that his office had fully investigated the allegations and determined that they were a complete fabrication. I hope that this brings vindication to your clients.”

Yesterday, Rowley said the Attorney General had created this whole situation and the only remedy was to publish for the whole country to see, what the Cayman Island Bank told him “so we can all know what the truth is”.

Rowley said his wife, a senior member of the Bar, had written to the Attorney General and he (Rowley) expected the AG, as head of the Bar, to do all he can to clear her name. But he was doing just the opposite.

“It is her name that is on that ‘hoax’ document,” Rowley noted. He added: “They are now having difficulty admitting that it was all a hoax. But on close examination, one doesn’t have to look very far to see the origin of the hoax.”


hmmmmmm what was it the esteemed and honorable PM said in his last address?

Asked why he failed to take action on a report of bid-rigging at Udecott made to him by his fired Trade Minister Diego Martin West MP Dr Keith Rowley since 2003, Manning said, “You don’t know the whole story. You only know part of that story. The rest of the story will come out in due course. Let’s not be side-tracked with this issue at this time. Let me also say this. Please do not come to conclusions on the basis of a part story of which you might be aware. The matter is not over yet.”

Asked if the public is right to feel that Rowley who was fired after raising questions over the management of Udecott in 2008, is near total vindication, Manning said, “If that is the view of the public, that is the public’s view, let’s see. Remember what I’ve said before. One has to await the evening in order to determine how splendid the day has been. It’s not evening yet.

General Discussion / Govt gags Pat Bishop
« on: March 19, 2010, 04:18:31 AM »
Govt gags Pat Bishop
By ANDRE BAGOO Thursday, March 18 2010

click on pic to zoom in

Artist LeRoy Clarke...
« prev photo next photo »
ARTISTS yesterday expressed deep concern over reports that award-winning musical conductor and Trinity Cross holder Pat Bishop was gagged from speaking at a National Museum event on Tuesday evening by officials of the Ministry of Culture, in the wake of critical comments Bishop made over the museum.

Bishop was scheduled to deliver an opening address for an exhibition of work by artists Glenn Roopchand, Carlisle Harris and Ken Critchlow on Tuesday evening at 6 o’clock. However earlier on in the day, officials in charge of the exhibition, entitled “Perspectives, memory and desire”, were given a directive from the ministry that Bishop was not to be allowed to speak.

Instead, the organisers at the last minute brought in painter LeRoy Clarke to deliver the opening address.

But Clarke, who received information about Bishop’s gagging, spoke about it openly when he addressed a large crowd gathered in the upper exhibition space at the National Museum. “From what I understand, Ms Bishop had made some comments that were critical about future plans to the museum,” Clarke said yesterday. “One got the clear impression that this action was linked to that.”

“The three artists on show had requested her to open the event. She had gone as far as to even write the forward for the brochure for the exhibition,” he noted. “However the curator was told that she (Bishop) was not to open it.”

“On Tuesday, the artists spoke to me and I voiced my own discontent with the whole situation. I think people need to be aware of the dangers when people have these gags imposed on them. I don’t think free speech is a simple matter to be easily dismissed at all. It is something to be fiercely guarded in my view,” Clarke said.

He noted that he spoke about the incident on Tuesday evening, “because it can get worse. Once this is done and it is left to rest, other things can happen.” He also revealed reports of pressure being exerted on staff at the National Museum over the conduct of their affairs.

“We are also getting feed back about staff of the museum coming under pressure to act contrary to their duties. It does not augur well for us as a nation,” Clarke said.

At a media luncheon on March 8 at the Hilton, Bishop expressed concern over the State’s handling of the Royal Victoria Institute, housed in what is known as the National Museum on Keate Street, Port-of-Spain.

Bishop, a former curator of the Royal Victoria Institute who was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of the West Indies in 1994, commented on recently confirmed plans to relocate the Institute from its current home on Keate Street, to Knowsley. She said the plans would result in a loss of “an archival building” in a socio-historical sense on par with the destruction of the Grand Stand in the Queen’s Park Savannah.

“The ministry seemed to disagree with her posturing that way and they banned her,” Clarke said. Newsday also understands that Government officials had received reports that Bishop had also deemed the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) as a “monstrosity”.

Contacted yesterday, Bishop would offer no comment.

“The art community is definitely disturbed by such an action,” Clarke noted yesterday. “It affects the very meaning and being of artists and citizens.” Word of the offensive taken against Bishop came one day after Culture Minister Marlene Mc Donald was accused of abusive conduct in public office. It also came as reports circulated over planned action by the Ministry of Culture to counter what it views as negative publicity over the NAPA facility – which has come under heavy criticism this week – with an advertising campaign featuring hand-picked artist.


Cricket Anyone / Life bans for Yousuf and Younus
« on: March 10, 2010, 04:10:53 AM »
Life bans for Yousuf and Younus

Top Pakistan stars Mohammad Yousuf and Younus Khan have been told they cannot represent their country again.

The Pakistan Cricket Board's inquiry into the tour of Australia found the pair had been involved in "infighting which... brought down the whole team".

Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Shoaib Malik each face one-year bans and big fines.

Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal also face heavy fines while their conduct will be strictly monitored during a six-month probationary period.

The PCB has implemented the recommendations of an inquiry committee formed to evaluate Pakistan's dismal performance against Australia during the winter, when they lost all nine internationals.

Pakistan must now try to defend their ICC World Twenty20 crown in the Caribbean next month with severely depleted resources, before facing what could be a chastening tour of England.

But the PCB was unrepentant, saying in a statement: "This will go a long way to arrest the continuing decline of Pakistan cricket and improve the state of cricket in Pakistan."

The inquiry detailed its sanctions against the seven players in an e-mail issued from its Lahore offices.

It said it had passed judgement "after careful and detailed analysis of the events, the personal accounts of the team management and players and examination of record, videos and statistics".

The unanimous recommendations of the committee were as follows:

• Mohammad Yousuf and Younus Khan - keeping in view their infighting which resulted in bringing down the whole team, their attitude has a trickledown effect which is a bad influence for the whole team should not be part of national team in any format.

• For the shameful act of Shahid Afridi, which has brought the game and country into disrepute, he be fined Rs3m (£23,800). A warning be issued to him by the chairman of the PCB and he be put on probation for six months, during which his conduct be strictly monitored.

• Kamran Akmal be fined Rs3m (£23,800). A warning be issued to him by the chairman of the PCB and he be put on probation for six months, during which his conduct be strictly monitored.

• Umar Akmal be fined Rs2m (£15,000). A warning be issued to him by the chairman of the PCB and he be put on probation for six months, during which his conduct be strictly monitored.

• Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Shoaib Malik be fined Rs2m (£15,000). They should not be part of a national team in any format for a period of one year.

One PCB official later clarified the terms of the bans. Taffazul Rizvi, the board's legal advisor, told Cricinfo: "They will not be part of any Pakistan team in any format from here on... They can play domestic cricket or county cricket here and abroad."

Younus stepped down from the captaincy twice last year with reports of player unrest about his style of leadership liberally strewn across the media.

Why was action not taken earlier against these players? Why did the board keep quiet for so long when the team was on tour?
Yousuf, the third-highest run scorer in Pakistan Test history, led a winless tour to Australia before falling out publicly with Twenty20 skipper Malik. The PCB has not expanded upon the cases of indiscipline that have led to the bans on Malik and Rana Naved.

However, the cases of the Akmal brothers and Shahid Afridi are more clear-cut.

The Akmals were fined for their behaviour after the Sydney Test. Wicketkeeper Kamran, insisted publicly he would be selected in the run-up to the third Test after being dropped from the side. Younger brother Umar was alleged to have feigned an injury to not play the Test in protest, though he did eventually play.

Afridi was punished for the ball-biting incident in the Perth one-day international, when he was captain of the side. He had already been punished by the ICC, who immediately gave him a two-match ban.

Attention will inevitably switch to how the players will respond, with legal action likely to be around the corner.

And another former captain, Rashid Latif , expected those most harshly treated to win their cases. "You can't hand out such severe punishments to players of the calibre of Yousuf and Younus Khan," Latif said.

Inzamam-ul-Haq , yet another former captain and no stranger to controversy himself, was also scathing of the decision.

"Why was action not taken earlier against these players?" he asked. "Why did the board keep quiet for so long when the team was on tour?"

But the PCB's general media manager, Nadeem Sawar, denied it had acted in a draconian fashion. He said: "This is not a harsh decision because the committee has recommended that these steps are necessary and mandatory to keep the team in order.

"The PCB believes team discipline is essential and it does not matter whether the players are senior or junior. I think that the morale of the other players will be up as this would let them know that any breach of discipline would not be tolerated in future."

Story from BBC SPORT:

Published: 2010/03/10 07:56:40 GMT


General Discussion / Massive earthquake strikes Chile
« on: February 27, 2010, 07:32:59 AM »
Massive earthquake strikes Chile
A massive earthquake with a magnitude of 8.8 has hit central Chile, killing at least 78 people, ministers say.

The quake struck at 0634 GMT about 115km (70 miles) north-east of the city of Concepcion and 325km south-west of the capital, Santiago.

President Michelle Bachelet declared a "state of catastrophe" in affected areas and appealed for calm.

People are moving to higher ground on Easter Island amid fears of a tsunami. Alerts are in place across the Pacific.

Tsunami warnings have been issued for Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Central America and Pacific island nations.

Santiago airport has been closed and all flights cancelled until further notice, airline officials say. Flights are being diverted to Mendoza in Argentina.


The earthquake is the biggest to hit Chile in 50 years.

Giving details of the latest casualties, President Bachelet said 34 of the deaths were in Maule, 13 in the Santiago municipality, 12 in the O'Higgins region, 10 in Biobio, five in Araucania and four in Valparaiso.

She said these were preliminary figures and could rise.

President Bachelet said: "People should remain calm. We're doing everything we can with all the forces we have. Any information [we have] we will share immediately."

She said a "wave of large proportion" had affected the Juan Fernandez island group, reaching halfway into one inhabited area. Two aid ships are reported to be on their way.

Ms Bachelet said that "high tidal waves" could also reach Easter Island soon.

"Because of that we are evacuating people living in low-lying areas," she said.

Ms Bachelet said if there were more aftershocks, people in coastal areas of Chile should go to higher ground.

 Haiti, 12 Jan 2010: About 230,000 people die after shallow 7.0 magnitude quake
 Sumatra, Indonesia, 26 Dec 2004: 9.2 magnitude. Triggers Asian tsunami that kills nearly 250,000 people
 Alaska, US, 28 March 1964: 9.2 magnitude; 128 people killed. Anchorage badly damaged
 Chile, south of Concepcion, 22 May 1960: 9.5 magnitude. About 1,655 deaths. Tsunami hits Hawaii and Japan
 Kamchatka, NE Russia, 4 Nov 1952: 9.0 magnitude
She warned people not to travel on roads in affected areas as a number of bridges were down.

Chilean officials said the worst affected town appeared to be Parral, close to the epicentre.

Television pictures showed a major bridge at Concepcion had collapsed into the Biobio river.

Chilean television said there had been a fire involving chemicals in the town of Colina, 20km north of Santiago, but that it was now under control.

Several hospitals have had to be evacuated in a number of areas, including Santiago, because of structural damage.

One resident of Chillan, 100km from the epicentre, told Chilean television the shaking there lasted about two minutes.

Other residents of Chillan and Curico said communications were down but running water was still available.

Many of Chile's news websites and radio stations are still not accessible.

Buildings in Santiago were reported to have shaken for between 10 and 30 seconds, with the loss of electricity and communications.

Officials said damage to Santiago international airport's terminal would keep it closed for at least 24 hours.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the earthquake struck at a depth of about 35km.

It also recorded eight aftershocks, the largest of 6.9 magnitude at 0801 GMT.

The USGS said tsunami effects had been observed at Valparaiso, west of Santiago, with a wave height of 1.69m above normal sea level.

One journalist speaking to Chilean national television from the city of Temuco, 600km south of Santiago, said many people there had left their homes, determined to spend the rest of the night outside. Some people on the streets were in tears.

A university professor in Santiago, Cristian Bonacic, said that this was a massive quake but that the cities seemed to have resisted well. Internet communications were working but not mobile phones.

Chile is highly vulnerable to earthquakes as it is situated on the Pacific "Rim of Fire", on the edge of the Pacific and South American plates.

Chile suffered the biggest earthquake of the 20th century when a 9.5 magnitude quake struck the city of Valdivia in 1960, killing 1,655 people.

Are you in Chile? Did you experience the earthquake? Send us your comments, pictures and video.

Send your pictures to yourpics@bbc.co.uk or text them to +44 7725 100 100. If you have a large file you can upload here.

At no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws.

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Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2010/02/27 12:15:15 GMT


General Discussion / OBAMA COMING?
« on: November 20, 2009, 12:25:32 PM »
International developments taking place have raised the distinct possibility of US President Barack Obama coming to Trinidad and Tobago once again, along with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapetero, and President of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

A late momentum is developing which could see these major world figures coming to Trinidad and Tobago next week to participate in what would normally be a conference exclusive to Heads of Government of Commonwealth countries.

Climate change is the catalyst and motivating factor, UN-based sources outside of Trinidad and Tobago stated yesterday.

Already, non-Commonwealth personalities, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark; and UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon; the co-hosts of the climate change conference to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, between December 7 and 16, together with French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, who is on an urgent mission to secure a climate change agreement, will definitely be in Port of Spain during next week’s meeting, Prime Minister Manning has confirmed.

But sources revealed yesterday that in the wake of the failure of China and the United States to hammer out an agreement during Obama’s recent visit there, and the developing activity around the world -which includes Sarkozy meeting with Amazonian countries to treat with the climate change issue-it was now very possible that both leaders would be in Port of Spain during CHOGM.

Asked about the matter in a brief telephone interview last evening, Foreign Affairs Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said: ’I wish not to comment on those reports.’

Chen Yang, Political Affairs attache at the Chinese Embassy in Port of Spain said last night that they were ’still awaiting a response’ from China when asked if the Chinese president would be here next week.

US Embassy public affairs officer, Matthew V Cassetta, meanwhile, said he had received no official communication that either Obama or US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be flying to this country.

’At this point in time we have no indication that either of them has expressed an interest or plan to attend,’ he said.

CHOGM has not within recent times attracted this kind of attraction. It is unprecedented that countries not related to the Commonwealth will be participating in the conference.

But it is the impending United Nations Climate Change conference that has given this added dimension. And this is reflected in the words of the Prime Minister in his address to the nation on Wednesday night: ’I should also advise you that our country has been at the centre of almost frenzied activity among leading nations from both the developed and developing world as we seek to ensure that we take the strongest possible position in preparation for the Copenhagen meeting.’

Government officials said last night that the persons who attended the Fifth Summit of the Americas conference in April this year left with the highest opinion of this country, and therefore they felt Trinidad and Tobago was conducive to discussing the issue of climate change without being distracted with demonstrations and other such activities.

’That is the feeling among leaders in the international community and it is a tribute to the management of that conference as well as the country’s leadership,’ the official said.

??? so we building many smelters, and steel plants......but we gone host climate talks in we country?

Cricket Anyone / Stay away from cricketers
« on: October 25, 2009, 06:47:53 AM »
John Bravo, father of T&T cricket allrounder, Dwayne Bravo, is sending a message to Prime Minister Patrick Manning to not come to Piarco airport when the team returns home. “Tell Manning don’t come by the airport. We don’t want him up there,” an angry Bravo told the Sunday Guardian shortly after the T&T team lost the final match to New South Wales Blues in Hyderabad, India last Friday. “He aint give the boys nothing.” Bravo was referring to the Government’s alleged lack of financial assistance to the team and the help they solicited from an Indian firm. “We don’t want the Government in the airport,” John insisted. He said he and a Cantaro possee are planning to go to the airport. “I have to go to welcome my son home.”

He said he expected the team to win the league but felt good, nevertheless, because they gave 100 per cent. “They played Australia, who had eight Test players on their side. “Is cricket... If you know cricket, so it is.” T&T cricket captain, Darren Ganga’s entire family went to India to support him and his brother, Sherwin, Barackpore MP, Nizam Baksh said last Friday. “But we’re planning a celebration function for he and Sherwin with their original cricket club, All Apaches. “This is the club they played with from small.” He said Ganga’s grandfather was a cane farmer in the area and his father is a retired school teacher.


Cricket Anyone / WICB BLANK TTCB
« on: October 22, 2009, 06:14:59 AM »
Heard on an interview by fazeer with Borbe that TTCB had written to WICB to have the starting date of the 1 st game of the regional tournament pushed back due to T&T still being in india. It seems that our game against jamaica is scheduled to start next tuesday, however there are concerns that T&T may not make it back on time and now have to seek the Indian officials help in getting flights after the finals. With this in mind, Dereck Murray had written to WICB to have the game pushed back a couple of days, but WICB turned us down saying that it cannot be facilitated.


General Discussion / Principal beats teacher
« on: October 20, 2009, 04:59:56 AM »
story sketchy so far but

apparently yesterday it had two bomb scares in a school in east trinidad (could be el do) and the teacher evacuated his/her class for the 2nd bomb scare to the annoyance of the principal who didnt give the order, and well is some hard slap pass.

principal then threaten MTS, students and teachers to keep it quiet. There is a chance that it may be covered up
Heard talk show men (tony and dale) saying that it might have a video on youtube already, but i cant find any so far.

to be confirmed......

General Discussion / Worse To Come
« on: August 12, 2009, 05:38:31 AM »

Central Bank Governor paints gloomy picture of economy
Curtis Rampersad Business Editor

Wednesday, August 12th 2009


The worst of the downturn in the local economy is on the way.

Central Bank Governor Ewart Williams said yesterday preliminary financial data showed a "sharp slowdown" in economic activity in Trinidad and Tobago, particularly in the first few months of 2009.

He said, however, it did not suggest things had reached recession or "crisis proportions".

But "as of now, there are no signs that things are beginning to turn around", he said, during a media conference at the Central Bank tower in Port of Spain.

Short-term economic prospects point to what Williams described as a "slowdown that has accelerated" in an economy that was already in decline at the end of 2008.

In the first six months of this year, the economy has continued to degenerate rapidly.

The number and value of new real estate mortgage loans approved in the first six months of 2009 were 29 per cent and 20 lower, respectively, than in the similar period in 2008.

New vehicle sales plummeted by 41 per cent in 2009, compared to 2008.

The number of job layoffs continued to rise in the second quarter of 2009, Williams said, adding that almost 1,000 people received retrenchment notices between April and mid-July.

Imports have also come down since the start of the year by about 50 per cent, compared to 2008.

He recalled that an April report envisaged growth for 2009 in the range of zero per cent to one per cent. "We are still reviewing our projections, but all indications are that there would be a decline in real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for 2009 as a whole," Williams said. "If this occurs, it would be the first annual decline in real GDP since 1993."

There is a risk, also, that unemployment could increase to between six per cent and seven per cent this year.

Citizens could also continue to pay high prices for food as international price reversals could keep inflation above the targeted six per cent, Williams told reporters.

"Lagging consumer and business confidence could make for a slow recovery in private sector credit demand," he added.

The downturn may also result in a fiscal deficit, the second for the country in consecutive years, he said.

This could translate to a deficit in excess of $1.6 billion by the end of Government's fiscal year in September.

What this means is that Government will have difficult choices to make in its upcoming national budget because large subsidies have become embedded in the budget, and several large ongoing projects need to be completed, Williams said.

While the United States' economy may be on the verge of a slight recovery, Williams said the prospects were not there for Trinidad and Tobago right now.

He said the economic slowdown was likely to last to the end of this year and even after that, would recover slowly.

"We are not yet seeing those signs (of recovery). Several indicators here suggest that things are continuing to decline," Williams said.


Cricket Anyone / Austraila Get knock out
« on: June 08, 2009, 01:43:23 PM »
from Sri Lanka...by 6 wickets with a few balls to spare in the last over


Cricket Anyone / Aussies make Strauss Ashes target
« on: May 19, 2009, 06:11:50 PM »
Check the kinda of tactics and team selection these fellas does make when going into a series.....no wonder they dominate.  :-\


Aussies make Strauss Ashes target

Ricky Ponting has revealed Australia will target England captain Andrew Strauss in this summer's Ashes series.

Strauss has been impressive with the bat since taking over as skipper at the start of the year but struggled when England toured Australia in 2006-2007.

"We try to target the opposition captain a little bit," said Australia skipper Ponting ahead of Wednesday's announcement of their Ashes squad.

"If you do that you can generally take another couple of guys down with him."

And Ponting added: "He's an important player for them."

Australia's Ashes squad, which will be named on Wednesday, is set to include pacemen Brett Lee and Stuart Clark. Lee dismissed Strauss three times in the 2006-2007 Ashes, while Clark removed the left-handed opener on four occasions.


General Discussion / PANDAY KIDNAP PLOT
« on: March 25, 2009, 04:38:44 AM »
Cops probe report of plan to snatch a daughter of the Opposition Leader

Acting Commissioner of Police James Philbert is investigating an alleged plot to kidnap one of the daughters of Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday.

Sources told the Express last night that Philbert met with Panday yesterday at the Opposition Leader's office in Port of Spain on the allegation.

According to a source, a fisherman overheard a conversation about a plot to kidnap one of the Panday girls early yesterday and contacted the police.

Panday has four daughters -Niala, Mickela, Nicola and Vastala.

His eldest daughter, Niala, was from his first marriage and she currently lives in Scotland. She recently gave birth to a baby girl, Panday's first grandchild.

Mickela is the Member of Parliament for Oropouche West.

Panday, his wife, Oma, and three daughters live in Palmiste, San Fernando.

Sources say the fisherman was at Las Cuevas beach early yesterday morning, when he saw two vehicles.

The fisherman found it curious that the two cars were parked so early in the morning at the beach and decided to casually walk past to see what was happening.

The fisherman told police he saw two men in discussions and one handed the other a big brown envelope.

Sources say the fisherman told police he overheard one of the men say "kidnap one of Panday's daughters". The fisherman, upon hearing this, contacted the authorities.

Sources say a statement was taken from the fisherman yesterday in the presence of the acting Commissioner of Police.

The Express also learned that members of the Anti-Kidnapping Squad visited Panday's Palmiste residence yesterday, where they met and talked with Oma and Panday's daughters.

Panday seemed in shock when contacted last night when asked whether the report was true. After a long pause, he said, "What the hell," and then paused again and before adding, "I can't talk about this, no comment."

Several Opposition MPs were also in the dark last night over the alleged plot.

Contacted again later last night, Panday confirmed the allegations.

Questioned if there was an attempt to kidnap Mickela, he said, "Let's not talk about that."

Pressed further as to if it was true, he responded, "Yes, it is true." Asked again if it was Mickela, he said, "No, no, it's one of my daughters."

Sources said that none of Panday's daughters was identified in the particular report and the fisherman said in his statement that no names were called.

Panday, as the Opposition Leader, has a personal driver and security assigned to him.

Mickela also has a driver but no security detail.

Sources say an arrangement would be put in place to provide police security for all of Panday's daughters.

The Express tried to contact Philbert last night but he did not answer his cellphone.

-with reporting

by Louis B Homer

General Discussion / Apple Safari
« on: March 21, 2009, 07:02:45 PM »
Anybody using this browser?

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