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Sports - 18 hours 49 sec ago

HARARE—Favourites West Indies were bracing for a spin assault from hosts Zimbabwe, in today’s all important Super Sixes clash of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers.

Much will be riding on the contest at Harare Sports Club as the winners will take a giant step towards the fnal and clinching one of the two remaining spots at next year’s World Cup in England.

With spin having played a key role in Zimbabwe’s unbeaten run in the tournament, veteran seamer Kemar Roach said Sunday the Windies were already aware of what to expect.

“Spin will definitely be a factor in the match. The wickets are under wear and tear now so it’s going to be tough for us to put a big score on the board,” Roach explained.

“But runs on the board is the name of the game and obviously as a bowling attack, we have to put pressure on the Zimbabwe batsmen and we’ll be fine.”

In conditions which will favour the hosts, the Windies will have to deal with the likes of left-arm spinners Tendai Chisoro and Sean Williams, leg-spinner Graeme Cremer and off-spinner Sikander Raza.

The match took on even more significance after West Indies were upset by Afghanistan in their opening match of the Super Sixes last Thursday at Harare Sports Club.

Though the defeat was their first of the tournament after finishing the preliminary round unbeaten, it saw West Indies slip down the table to third and out of the qualifying positions.

Zimbabwe lead the standings with five points, ahead of Scotland only on net run rate, with the Windies on four.

Roach, who missed the Afghanistan defeat through injury but will return to face Zimbabwe, said the squad understood the importance of the encounter and were up for it.

“It’s a big match for us obviously and I’m looking forward to it. I missed that last one due to injury but I’m feeling much better now. I put the work in at practice and I’m ready and raring to go,” he said.

“There’s definitely a lot to play for. Playing Zimbabwe in their home town is going to be tough so the guys are mentally prepared and physically prepared for this game. It’s going to be a tough one but I believe we will come out on top as we should.”

He added: “The guys are obviously very focussed. This is like the biggest career match for most of these guys, so to win this match and win the other one [against Scotland] and go to the World Cup is obviously the pinnacle, so these guys are very focussed.

“The camp is good – everyone is focussed, everyone is happy – and we’re just going to go out there and play the best cricket we can.”

West Indies are bidding to continue their proud tradition of having contested every World Cup, since winning the first two back in 1975 and 1979 under the legendary Clive Lloyd.

The qualifiying campaign has been their first, however, after finishing ninth in the ICC world rankings and outside the automatic qualifying spots.

And Roach said even though they had been up against lesser-ranked teams in the competition, the Windies had been kept on their toes throughout.

“There have been no easy games for us. I think we’ve stuck to our tasks and we’ve had to work for our wins but obviously it’s not finished yet,” he stressed.

“We’re halfway through and I think this is the biggest part of the tournament now for us. I think once we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we will come out on top and we will be fine.”

The match bowls off at 9:30 am (3:30 am Eastern Caribbean time). (CMC)


ZIMBABWE – Graeme Cremer (captain), Tendai Chatara, Tendai Chisoro, Craig Ervine, Kyle Jarvis, Hamilton Masakadza, Solomon Mire, Peter Moor, Blessing Muzarabani, Sikandar Raza, Brendan Taylor, Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams, Cephas Zhuwao

WEST INDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Jason Mohammed, Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Nikita Miller, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Kesrick Williams.

Categories: News

Oh for somewhere to feel safe...

Columnists - 18 hours 17 min ago

I got home very late from work and ready to collapse only to find the bed under a low-hanging, tent-like sheet, apparently making a ‘fort’.

I deliberated whether, out of sheer nostalgia and love, to shuffle underneath for a night of claustrophobic, but cuddly sleep (the kind where there’s always a small, brown limb thrown across one’s neck), leaving the sheet at its angle about a foot from my head. Or, whether to take it down because, while there was space for her, she being the size of Donkey to Shrek (me being Shrek), at least I wouldn’t die of suffocation while she sleeps peacefully and would be alive and breathing enough to risk her seven-year-old disappointment in the morning.

There are few adults who didn’t build “forts” of some kind growing up. Obliging parents let us take sofa cushions, lean them against each other in squares and then spread sheets across, with the greatest of joys being crawling under there with books, toys, a flash light, friends or siblings and those Chinese shrimp chips that expand when fried and taste like childhood bliss.

Childhood has changed. No children I know still play “elastic”, and those worldly girls of today look like you are describing a rotary dial phone, a wholly foreign thing none of them have seen, when you ask.

Yet, there are some things that remain consistent and, unfortunately, one of them is bullying. Still, we now think about it differently from before, and can help children grow into kinder, gentler human beings than we are, perhaps creating a more golden experience of growing up than what nostalgia allows us to recollect.

If you want to get a picture of what bullying looks like, at least in secondary schools, look up The Silver Lining Foundation’s just released Trinidad and Tobago School Climate Report on Bullying and Gender-Based Violence in Secondary Schools. Overseen by a team of young researchers and activists, 651 students from 20 schools were surveyed, with the majority of respondents being 13-16 years old.

The study is nationally generalisable so note that in the three months prior to the survey: 73 per cent of students indicated they had been teased or harassed at least once; 24 per cent indicated that they had been pushed or hit at least once; 40 per cent indicated that their belongings were stolen or damaged, 29 per cent were victims of sexually explicit taunts or advances; and 28 per cent reported being inappropriately touched by another. Primarily, appearance, ability and sexual orientation and gender expression were the most common causes of verbal teasing, harassment or intimidation.

What was just as disturbing was that these numbers were matched by students indicating that they had actively participated in teasing, harassment, stealing, pushing or hitting, threatening and sexual aggression. Boys were more likely to engage in bullying than girls, but also experienced verbal and physical bullying at slightly higher rates than girls who experienced greater sexual and cyber bullying. Boys’ experiences centred around attacks on their masculinity which targeted their sexuality or gender expression, and LBGT students experienced bullying at higher rates than others.

Significantly, 63 per cent of students never or rarely reported incidents of bullying because they didn’t want to be seen as tell-tales, did not trust teachers, did not want bullying by teachers or peers to worsen, or reported and felt too little was done.

Now think back to children’s familiar instinct for creating “forts” as part of play or over their bed. Their desire to construct safe spaces, whether from cushions at home or in terms of relationships with family, teachers and peers, continues as they grow into adolescence. Without options for feeling sheltered, and because bullying still exists, vulnerability can easily outweigh young bliss.

I stood tiredly at the bedroom door, my shadow crossing the sloping sheet, thinking of the dream that children could both feel and be safe. You understand now why I decided to leave her “fort” in place.

Categories: News

Make cocoa T&T’s national fruit

Business - 18 hours 22 min ago

Natasha Lee, President of the National 4-H council of T&T, wants cocoa to be named the country’s national fruit.

She said T&T’s rich history with cocoa, which at one time was a key contributor to the economy, makes it is good choice.

Lee explained: “We all have heard the words ‘When cocoa was King’ and yes, it was. We had an entire productive industry based on this crop and today we are trying as hard as possible to get more people, especially young people, back on board when it comes to cocoa production.

“Its time that cocoa be given the recognition it deserves as the national fruit. Trinidad and Tobago cocoa has won many awards and needless to say we have the best cocoa in the world. 4-H is also working in partnership with Cocoa Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited on a new project that is training members in bringing the bean to the chocolate bar.”

Lee said the workshop, which focused on plant propagation, was aimed at giving 4-H clubs a skill that could help them raise revenue for projects in hard economic times.

“Our voluntary leaders have left today with vital skills of propagating plants, especially budding and grafting skills. This means that groups can produce grafted avocado plants, grafted mango and citrus.

“When we go to the plant shops we see these grafted fruit trees selling at high prices. Avocado plants are selling for as much as $90 a plant. With these new skills clubs now have an avenue to raise revenue and can have annual plant sales if not this year, certainly next year. As we struggle with the realities of the economy we have to be creative when it comes to earning money and saving money through growing our own food,” she said.

Categories: News

TSTT celebrates fibre network milestone

Business - 18 hours 26 min ago

Telecommunication Services of T&T (TSTT) is celebrating the doubling of customers connected to its fibre network. In a statement, CEO Dr. Ronald Walcott reiterated that the company’s fibre network had reached a footprint of more than 100,000 homes in December.

He said, “This is nothing short of meteoric considering that in May 2017, TSTT announced its plans to purchase Massy Communications (now known as AMPLIA Communications). The combined fibre network of both covered just about 54,000 homes. This represents a 200 per cent expansion in just seven months, helping TSTT to reach its five-year goal of reaching 200,000 homes.”

Walcott added that installing a fibre-based network and expanding TSTT’s existing Fixed Wireless Broadband Long-Term Evolution network will provide an opportunity for improved service delivery to existing and potential customers, as well as increase revenue for the telecom company.

“Our improved network will support a solid foundation that provides reliable, ‘lightning speed’ access for customers and users, an imperative for our competitive advantage and business’ survival.”

Regarding Tobago, he said the island has been one of the key beneficiaries of TSTT’s fibre expansion programme, with as much as 80 per cent of all households falling within the catchment area of the network. He added that “TSTT’s universal access philosophy has enabled the company to focus on areas that have been under-served by other service providers. “

According to Walcott, in Tobago TSTT has a base of 17,000 homes and in communities like Penal and Santa Flora, customers have embraced TSTT for being digitally inclusive by empowering the residents with access to the most advanced communications solutions

“TSTT’s investment in future-proofing its network along with our convergence strategy of becoming a broadband company will provide long term financial viability and sustainability. We must therefore remain committed to our Digital Transformation efforts because there simply is no other way,” Walcott said.

Categories: News

Dispute payouts up to $300,000

Business - 18 hours 26 min ago

Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon says some 700 reports regarding the purchase of products are made annually by unsatisfied consumers.

However, the new National Consumer Policy of T&T will not only ensure consumers are sufficiently well-informed and empowered, but also minimise and discourage unfair business practices.

Gopee-Scoon made the comment while delivering the feature address at the policy’s official launch at Nicholas Towers, Port-of-Spain, on Friday.

She said while existing consumer protection legislation provided some protection to consumers, there were still some deficiencies in addressing several important emerging issues, such as protection for services and digital content transactions.

As such, Gopee-Scoon said it is proposed that existing Consumer Protection and Safety Act, Chapter 84:34, be repealed and replaced in main, but not exclusively, with the provisions of the approved Caricom Model Consumer Protection Legislation in the form of the New Consumer Protection and Empowerment Act.

“More specifically, the new legislation places greater emphasis on consumer empowerment through additional rights and guarantees for consumers of goods, services and digital content. Another major aspect of the proposed legislation is the establishment of a quasi-judicial tribunal,” Gopee-Scoon said.

She said this medium will provide consumers with quick, inexpensive and binding means of settling consumer disputes up to a maximum of $300,000 in a timely manner.

Specifically, the new legislation will make provisions to address the following:

1. False, misleading or deceptive representations

2. Prohibition of restrictive trade practices

3. Prohibition of unfair trade practices

4. Misleading conduct in relation to employment advertising

5. Unreasonable transactions

6. Unfair and unjust transactions

7. Unconscionable conduct

8. Renegotiation of terms

9. Bait advertising

10. Referral selling

11. Pyramid selling

Gopee-Scoon added, “As it relates to penalties, the new Consumer Protection and Empowerment Act will expand beyond the current enforcement responses of authorised officers, allowing more stringent provisions against offences such as misleading, false and malicious advertisements.”

She said given the recently approved National e-Commerce Policy, there is an urgent need to harmonise the contents of the two policies to address holistically, consumerism and consumer protection in the current dispensation.

The minister added that as digital content awareness was also creating a huge e-commerce market globally, the new legislation will establish guarantees for digital content similarly included in the 2015 UK Consumer Rights Act, which include a guarantee to acceptable quality and a guarantee that digital content is fit for particular purpose.

“The New Consumer Policy seeks to address fulsomely, the issue of errant businesses, strengthen the avenues for timely redress against such businesses that persist in pursuing unfair business practices and make provisions for service providers and distance content issues,” Gopee-Scoon said.

Categories: News

Mixed views on re-negotiating gas contracts

Business - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:59

Former Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine has no problem with Government seeking a better deal for gas contracts.

He told the T&T Guardian: “The Train 1 agreement expires in September 2018. I would assume that the Train 1 owners (mainly BP and Shell) would want the commercial life of Train 1 extended or renewed. This of course presents an opportunity for the Government to renegotiate a new Train 1 agreement that gives the country more value from that particular Train.

“When this was raised with me three years ago, our position was that any new Train 1 agreement would be premised on BP finding new natural gas. This has happened with the discoveries of Savannah and Macadamia.

“The ball is in the Government’s court on whether Train 1 will be continued post September 2018.”

At a PNM post general council briefing at Balisier House last week, Energy Minister Franklin Khan said Government had already had preliminary discussions with some gas companies and is open to talking about re-negotiating contracts.

Khan said the Government is not extracting as much economic rent as it could from gas companies. Ramnarine said whatever is re-negotiated must be done in good faith.

“Sanctity of contract is a fundamental pillar of modern commerce and any attempt to renegotiate LNG off take contracts would have to be done via mutual agreement between the contracting parties which happen to be privately owned entities.

“We must also be cognisant that when companies evaluate investment decisions they consider political risk as one of the variables,” he said.

In a statement on its website, the Energy Chamber of T&T urged caution around the renegotiation of contracts. The group said it is reasonable, given the country’s current revenue situation, for Government to want to revisit some contractual arrangements in the sector where there is opportunity to get higher economic rents.

The Chamber said while it recognises the rights of parties to respectfully revisit contracts or regulations when conditions change, Government must protect T&T’s reputation as a country where commercial contracts with international companies are respected.

“In any renegotiations, the Government must be mindful of our well-deserved reputation as a jurisdiction that fully respects commercial contracts.

“We must ensure that this reputation is preserved or even strengthened in this process. In this regard, we were pleased by the relevant statements made during the Prime Minister’s closing remarks which suggest that he is so minded,” the group warned.

Categories: News

Eight times champions T&T opens against Bajans

Sports - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:59

T&T, the most successful team in the history of the West Indies Under-15 cricket series, will open its campaign against defending champions Barbados on March 28 in Jamaica.

T&T has won the title on eight occasions more than any other team and will be looking to regain the title it surrendered last year. Out of the eight victories, six were achieved at home, so the team will attempt to improve its away record. T&T won the 2013 competition which was played in Jamaica. The team is currently in camp with coach Keshava Ramphal and yesterday the players were involved in classroom sessions with team psychologist Amanda Johnson and also had an anti-doping session as well. The team also continued its on-field preparations at the NCC venue in Couva, and will continue its preparation. The players were engaged in a practice match at UWI Spec on Wednesday and will leave for Jamiaca today.

Meanwhile, CWI Director of cricket Jimmy Adams says, “This is one of the key development tournaments on the Cricket West Indies annual calendar. This tournament serves the purpose of encouraging junior players from across the Caribbean to excel and be given the opportunity for early recognition, while promoting competition among their peers at the regional level.”

Adams added, “In our bid to make Windies a consistently successful side in the near and long-term future, it is important that we pay close attention to our development pipeline and make sure it is working effectively. Having regional matches for players in this age group is extremely valuable in helping us understand what’s in the pipeline, so we know where to focus our attention.”

Adams said the Tournament was shifted back to the Easter weekend this year in order to reduce the cluster of junior competitions held in the summer, allowing for CWI to provide more focus on this important age group.

“It also better aligns with our annual Under-15 Tour of the United Kingdom in August, by allowing the selectors to choose from a more recent group that are of similar age to their counterparts in the UK,” he said.

The Regional Under-15 Tournament is in its 23rd season and will be contested under a round-robin format, featuring five rounds of matches with the team accumulating the most points being declared champions.

Round 1 – Wednesday, March 28

Barbados vs T&T – Melbourne Oval

Guyana vs Windward Islands – Up Park Camp

Leeward Islands vs Jamaica – Kensington Cricket Ground

Round 2 – Thursday, March 29

Windward Islands vs Barbados – Chedwin Park

T&T vs Jamaica – Kensington Cricket Ground

Leeward Islands vs Guyana – Melbourne Oval

Round 3 – Saturday, March 31

Barbados vs Jamaica – Chedwin Park

Windward Islands vs Leeward Islands – Jamalco Cricket Ground

T&T vs Guyana – Windalco Cricket Ground

Round 4 – Monday, April 2

Leeward Islands vs Barbados – Windalco Cricket Ground

Guyana vs Jamaica – Jamalco Cricket Ground

T&T vs Windward Islands – Chedwin Park

Round 5 – Wednesday, April 4

Guyana vs Barbados – Up Park Camp

T&T vs Leeward Islands – Kensington Cricket Ground

Jamaica vs Windward Islands – Melbourne Oval

(All matches start at 9:30 am local time–East Caribbean add 1 hour)

Categories: News

Manning’s widow hits back at Rowley

News - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:59

Hazel Manning, widow of former Prime Minister Patrick Manning, and former Housing Minister Emily Gaynor Dick-Forde have criticised Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley for the comments he made on Saturday about the Vieux Fort Housing project in St James. Dr Rowley claimed the project had fallen prey to politics after Manning launched an investigation into missing money.

Yesterday, both women insisted that Manning would never have stopped any project that would have benefited citizens.

Mrs Manning, in a letter to the media, quoted her late husband saying: “Facts are stubborn things. They are very hard to go away.”

She said she had just returned home from Costa Rica and was “stopped short by headlines full of acrimony and blame about Vieux Fort Housing Development, St James, in particular, articles arguing that based on reports from a Cabinet colleague about another project, Prime Minister Patrick Manning stopped the Vieux Fort Project.”

Mrs Manning said it was her responsibility “to reply on Patrick’s behalf” to allegations made by Rowley about the project.

Speaking on Saturday at a Housing Development Corporation distribution ceremony for Vieux Fort, Dr Rowley recalled a public spat with Manning which he said had the result of depriving citizens of housing. He said he had carried the burden for a long time and had specifically asked Housing Minister Randall Mitchell to ensure that he was invited to the distribution ceremony.

The project was started in 2006 when Rowley was the Minister of Housing and he said it “fell prey to our own politics in the PNM.”

In response to Rowley’s claims, Mrs Manning called on those with the information to “connect the dots” for her.

“What is the true story of the discrepancy that surrounds the $10 million dollars, at the Cleaver Heights Project, Arima? What was said in the Parliament to cause Patrick to ask such a question? Who can connect the dots for me between the $10 million dollars and Vieux Fort, which did not add up in my mind?” she asked.

Mrs Manning urged the HDC to provide the public with facts about the projects and the length of time it took to undertake a new detailed planning and design exercise, when new design consultants hired, new tenders issued and the new revised completion date reached.

The wife of the former Prime Minister added: “I can say without fear of contradiction that Patrick would never stop a project in the manner outlined in the media. It was not in his nature.”

Dick-Forde said she fully supports Mrs Manning’s defence of the former Prime Minister. She said she was “not sure how to comment on such a far-fetched accusation” involving what she said was one of the “badly planned and poorly implemented projects that I found when I was given the housing portfolio in 2007.”

The former minister, an accounting academic and a certified accountant with expertise in corporate governance and social responsibility, said she used all of her knowledge, training and experience to help fix the institutions under the portfolio assigned to her.

Political analyst Dr Winford James said it is not normal for a political leader of the PNM to criticise a predecessor. He wondered whether Rowley’s criticism of Manning is an indication that things are so stressful to him now that “he has taken a direction that is un-PNM-like.”

James said what Dr Rowley did “represents a kind of desperation on his part because he is not as popular as he once was and I don’t know if he is doing that to gain popularity, to gain likeability.”

“I am wondering what would it benefit him to go out on a limb to do something as risky as that,” he said.

James said Dr Rowley runs the risk of alienating people in the party.

Rowley was fired from Manning’s Cabinet in April 2008 after he was accused of “wajang” behaviour at a meeting of the Finance and General Purpose Committee. Mr Manning died on July 2nd 2016.

Categories: News

Quadruple murder suspect held in Valencia

News - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:59

The manhunt for the suspect in La Brea quadruple murders ended early yesterday morning at St Albans Road, Valencia, when police took a 38-year-old handyman/mason, of Lawrence Village, Guapo, Pt Fortin, into custody.

The man was seen by people who knew him walking along the road and they alerted the police. He was held around 9.10 am by officers of the La Horquetta Crime Patrol Unit under Sgt. Vaughn Waldropt. Eyewitnesses said he was dressed in a black t-shirt, jeans and black sneakers and looked well rested. He had in his possession a green knapsack containing items of clothing.

Officers, who went to the area after getting an anonymous call, spotted the suspect walking along St Albans Road. When he saw the police vehicle approaching he ran into nearby bushes but was arrested after a short chase.

He was taken to La Horquetta Police Statio and was later handed over to officers from Homicide Region 11, Arouca. Earlier, at around 8.15 pm, on Saturday, a male relative of the suspect was held at Jacob Hill, Wallerfield, on suspicion of harbouring the wanted man. He is currently detained at the Arima Police Station.

The suspect is being questioned in connection with the murders of Abigail Jones-Chapman, 41, her daughter Olivia, 16, Michaela Mason, 15, a friend of the daughter and landlord, Michael Scott, 70, who all found dead in an apartment building at Khanai Settlement, La Brea, on Tuesday.

The three female victims died after their throats were slit, while the fourth victim died from a blow to the head.

A nationwide manhunt was launched for the arrest of the suspect, spearheaded by acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Crime, Harold Phillip, and involving the Homicide Bureau of Investigations, the Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit and the Northern and South Western Divisions.

Three officers from from La Brea Police Station have been suspended pending investigation into the alleged failure to investigate a domestic violence report made by Jones-Chapman.


Categories: News

Moonilal: Don’t blame PP

News - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:59

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal said yesterday that neither former prime minister Patrick Manning nor the Peoples Partnership had anything to do with the work stoppage at the Vieux Fort Housing Development project. The former housing minister was responding to claims by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley that the project was stopped after Manning reported that $10 million was missing from the Cleaver Heights Project.

Speaking at a function in Debe to mark the start of Navaratri, a Hindu festival, Moonilal said it was quite detestable for Rowley to blame Manning who cannot now defend his decisions and actions.

He said Vieux Fort was one of several started when Rowley was housing minister which were deemed “sick projects” and the major construction/contractual issues at Vieux Fort which affected its completion were poor quality work, poor quality control management, encroachment by local residents, incomplete and deficient drawings and designs, lack of statutory approvals and an injunction which restrained the HDC from continuing works on Building B.

He said after the High Court ruled in HDC’s favour, work resumed in 2010.

Moonilal claimed other projects started under Rowley between 2006-2007 which were plagued by corruption, poor project planning, poor design and infrastructure, included Las Alturas, Wellington Debe Estates, Arima Malabar project and Edinburgh Towers.

“It appears that operation blame Kamla has failed, now is operation blame Manning,” he said.

Categories: News

Fishing Pond villagers do their own road repairs

News - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:59

Villagers of Fishing Pond in Sangre Grande say they have had enough of broken promises from politicians, so they have done somethings about poor state of roads and drains in their community. Pooling their resources and skills, they have done the repairs themselves.

A large section of the roadway in the rural farming community, extending from Gordon Miller Junction to Morin Bay, had been in an advanced state of disrepair, with potholes as deep as 12 inches in some places. With rain the potholes filled with water, creating breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Stagnant water accumulating in clogged drains filled the air with a foul stench.

Ramesh Jurai, chairman of a newly formed Neglected Rural Fishing Pond Group, told the T&T Fuardian: “We trying our best to make the roads more passable.”

He said the villagers did not want to protest by blocking roads and burning tyres.

“We are peace loving people with a crime free environment living in harmony and we want it to remain so. With the villagers providing some cash and materials, farmers providing machinery and equipment and labour, we are getting the job done,” he said.

Starting on Thursday, the villages came out with forks, shovels, hoes and other tools andd started the repairs which continued late into Friday evening. They managed to repair about one and a half miles of roadway.

Cumuto/Manzanilla MP Christine Newallo-Hosein said it was the first time she have seen that type of initiative taken by villagers and urged others to follow their good example.

“I also am tired of making complaints to the relevant authorities, but nothing seems to happen,” she said.

Chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation Terry Martin Rondon said he was aware of the problem but could not get funding for the repairs.

“I tired beg to have funding to have the road repaired,” he said.

One villager, who identified himself only as Big David, wants Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan to visit Fishing Pond to see the work that has been done.

He appealed to the minister: “We have done some of the infrastructure works, so to complete the work please provide some hot mix for us. We will provide the labour.”

Categories: News

Pioneering paths are rarely easy

News - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:59

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who made history as the country’s first female prime minister, has told President-elect Paula-Mae Weekes, who is also about to make history, that pioneering paths are rarely easy and she should never “lose sight of the ultimate goal of public service.”

“Once you act in the best interest of our nation, you will never walk alone once it is in the pursuit of excellence on behalf of those you swear to serve,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar told Weekes she presents a “spark of hope” at a time when T&T is beleaguered with crime, failing institutions and mayhem. Restoration of “a true sense of impartiality, non-partisanship and social justice for all is anticipated, by those who know that the country can be “so much better than what we are today,” she said.

The Opposition Leader expressed the hope that as a bastion of T&T’s Constitution and democracy, the Office of the President “will continue to find innovative ways to redefine itself, that the doors will continue to be opened and that the people of Trinidad and Tobago can feel through your words and deeds that they have someone fighting for their interest on their side.”

Recalling her own election as the country’s first female prime minister, Persad-Bissessar told the country’s first female President: “The simple truth is that despite my election as the first female Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, this additional title was but a welcome accessory to the job of Head of Government.”

She said she quickly realised that the job “was much bigger than being the first female Prime Minister” as being the head of government she said “required much more than the empathy, compassion and maternal instincts which are amongst (what I like to think) are my hallmark traits as a politician.”

“Continue to have faith in God and in yourself and to take heart in your own remarkable life story of achievement and successes, and let that guide your tenure,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar said despite being “unfairly and unjustifiably criticized, condemned and ridiculed,” she never wavered in her commitment “to steer the course in the interest of the great privilege of public service and, I encourage you to do the same and move forward with God as your guide always.”

“We must never allow ourselves to lose sight of the ultimate goal of public service, namely, the creation of a nation which embodies the very definition of progress, success, justice and equality for every single citizen. Indeed, it is up to all to work towards this sacred objective, but more so, the ones elected or chosen to hold the highest Public Offices of the land.”

Persad-Bissessar added: “Always remember that our legacy must be anchored in the changes that we bring to the lives of the people we touch and the work that we do to bring about a better Trinidad and Tobago for them and our future generations.

“For five years I had the distinct pleasure of being called Madam Prime Minister, and, on Monday, I truly look forward to addressing Your Excellency as Madam President.”

The Opposition Leader wished Weekes well on her journey, with “strength, wisdom, courage and God’s richest blessings and guidance.” (RS)

Categories: News

The law on domestic violence

News - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:59

Domestic violence is not just physical abuse. It includes sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse and financial abuse.

It is committed by a person against a spouse, child, any other person who is a member of the household or a dependant. Spouse includes a cohabitant—that is a person who lives or has lived with a person of the opposite sex as a husband or wife although not legally married to that person.

The Domestic Violence Act Chap. 45:56 defines and prohibits all forms of domestic violence and provides protection for victims by way of a Protection Order. Most forms of conduct also constitute criminal offences for which abusers can be charged and prosecuted.

Some forms of abuse

Emotional or psychological abuse is a pattern of behaviour of any kind aimed at undermining the emotional or mental well-being of a person. Some examples are:

• Persistent intimidation by use of abusive or threatening language;

• Persistent following of a person from place to place;

• Constantly watching the place where the person resides, works, carries on business or happens to be.

Sexual abuse includes sexual contact of any kind that is coerced by force or threat of force.

Financial abuse is a pattern of behaviour of a kind aimed at exercising coercive control over or exploit or limit a person’s access to money to ensure financial dependence.

Who can seek relief

A person who believes he or she is a victim of domestic violence may apply to the Court for a protection order. This person is called the applicant. A person against whom an application is made is called the respondent.

The following persons may also apply for a protection order on behalf of a victim of domestic violence: any member of the applicant or respondent’s household, a child, a dependant, a parent, a sibling, a person having a child in common with the respondent, a person in a relationship with the respondent, or a police officer, probation officer or approved social worker.

How to get a protection order

An application must be made on a prescribed form and filed with the Clerk of the Magistrates’ Court. The court shall grant a protection order where it is satisfied that the respondent (i) is engaging in or has engaged in domestic violence; or (ii) is likely to engage in conduct that would constitute domestic violence.

What types of relief

The court may grant immediate relief, pending the hearing and determination of the application, and even in the absence of the respondent, if it appears necessary to do so to ensure the safety and protection of the applicant.

An interim order or Protection Order may prohibit the respondent from:

• engaging or threatening to engage in acts of domestic violence;

• being in a place where the applicant is situated;

• communicating with the applicant;

• damaging the applicant’s property;

• approaching the applicant; encouraging another person to do these acts.

A protection order may also direct that the respondent:

• leave any place or residence for a specified period;

• return property to the applicant;

• pay money to the applicant for his or her or a child’s benefit;

• give up any firearm or weapon he/she possesses to the police;

• pay rent, provide care for any children; or undertake professional counselling from an approved agency.

Consequences of breach

A protection order may be made for any period the court thinks necessary but shall not exceed 3 years. Failure to comply with the terms of an order is an offence under Section 20 of the Act.

For a first time breach, the penalty is a maximum fine of $9,000.00 or in default, a maximum of three months in prison.

A second breach attracts a maximum fine of $15,000.00 or in default, imprisonment for 24 months. The magistrate can order the respondent to pay the fine and serve time in prison. Further breaches of the terms of an order can attract a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment.

Co-ordinator: Roshan Ramcharitar. This column is not legal advice. If you have a legal problem you should consult an attorney-at-law.

Categories: News

MSJ wants Caricom support for Venezuela

News - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:59

Officials of the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) and Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) yesterday appealed to Caricom to stand up for the beleaguered nation of Venezuela in the face of a looming threat by the Donald Trump-led US Government.

At a press conference at OWTU’s San Fernando headquarters yesterday, JTUM general secretary Ozzi Warwick said the group is concerned about increased aggression by Trump against Venezuela.

Warwick warned: “Any attempt to interfere and destabilise Venezuela will ultimately destabilise the entire region and for Trinidad and Tobago in particular which is so close to Venezuela it can also destabilise our own country.”

Khafra Kambon, chairman of the Emancipation Support Committee, said an attempted coup or military intervention in Venezuela will have dire consequences for T&T.

“I want to appeal to the public of Trinidad and Tobago to recognise what it would mean if you have the destabilisation in Venezuela that has taken place in all those areas where the United States has gone to bring democracy. Everywhere they have brought democracy to so far, we are seeing displacement, degradation and everything else.”

Kambon said with Venezuela just seven miles away, T&T will experience a flood of refugees.

MSJ leader David Abdulah said Trump has made open threats to remove Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro. “It is very important that small countries like Trinidad and Tobago and other countries in the Caribbean respect these international principles (between states) and adhere to them because if we don’t stand up and speak out against the United States and others who wish to violate those principles by interfering in the internal affairs of Venezuela, or infringing on the sovereignty of Venezuela by military aggression, then what would happen to us as much smaller countries?

“We then we will have no voice speaking out for us if intervention by external forces take place in Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.

Categories: News

Issues for President Weekes to tackle

News - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:59

Madame Justice Paula-Mae Weekes takes the oath of office this morning at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, in a ceremony which will be witnessed by hundreds at the venue and thousands of others who will view the event live on national television.

She will become the country’s first female President and the sixth of the Republic, succeeding Anthony Carmona, who demits office leaving behind controversies surrounding Chief Justice Ivor Archie.

The country waits to see this morning if the beleaguered Archie will administer the oath to President Weekes who may, in one of her first official duties, have to appoint someone to act as CJ.

Israel Khan, SC, said this will be a significant appointment as Weekes will be “acting in her own deliberate judgment after consultation Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition to select a CJ to act, who would be more or less succeeding Archie if he is going to resign or be impeached.”

Khan said the new President can raise with Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley issues which are in the public domain about the CJ, including the resignation of Marcia Ayers-Caesar shortly after she was appointed as a Puisne Judge. Ayers-Caesar resigned when prisoners staged a near riot at the Port-of-Spain Magistrates Court over incomplete cases she left behind when she was elevated to the bench.

Khan said there is also the issue of the CJ’s sabbatical leave.

Avory Sinanan, SC, said because issues affecting the Chief Justice will not be resolved by the time the President takes her oath, “she may well have to pick up the slack and may have to convey the PM’s letter on accumulated leave to Archie if the outgoing President Anthony Carmona had not done so.”

He believes there are a number of other issues which fall on her plate.

“She will want to rekindle the weekly meeting with the Prime Minister, where they meet and she gets a report from the Prime Minister and raises issues with him.

“It is at those meetings that she will use the opportunity to address her concerns about the crime situation. She could ask the PM about a crime plan, but she can’t get too involved or descend into the political arena.”

Sinanan said Weekes can also focus on the nine independent Senators who are appointed by the President. While he does not expect all nine to be replaced immediately, he said “she might want to tweak the bench a little bit.”

Anglican Bishop Claude Berkley said he expects President Weekes “to hold steady in terms of how she understands law and order from the practice and experience of her position as judge and all the other social undertakings she was engaged in.

Using a cricketing analogy he said: “It is difficult to predict how the ground will play, but I expect her to respond with the dignity and astuteness that the office demands.”

Weekes was Chancellor in the Anglican Church for more than two decades

Berkley said: “We can expect that she will try to bring her influence to bear, but all of it within the ambit of what is her duty under the Constitution.”

Categories: News

Man shot by cops to be charged

News - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:59

A Marabella man who was shot by police after he allegedly drew a gun at them is in serious condition at hospital. The 25-year-old man, of Battoo Avenue, was shot once in the chest and three times in his legs. Police said the man had a Glock 17 pistol loaded with 13 rounds of ammunition, a magazine with nine rounds of ammunition and a quantity of marijuana in his possession.

The incident occurred around 5 pm on Saturday when officers, including PCs Ramlal, De Freitas and Figaro, were on an exercise at Ramsamooj Street, Marabella, and saw the suspect who ran into a track when spotted. The police chased after him, he was held, but began to struggle. As the officers tried to subdue him they said he pulled out the gun from his waist. The officers became fearful for their lives and shot him. The man is under police guard at the San Fernando General Hospital. Upon his release, he is expected to be charged with possession of a firearm and marijuana possession as well as assault. (SW)

Categories: News

Police suspensions send clear message

News - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:59

The suspension of the three La Brea police officers sends a clear message to the protective services that they need to treat reports of domestic violence seriously, says Reverend Joy Abdul-Mohan.

She expressed disappointment at the police response to domestic violence reports and the controversy surrounding the judiciary in an interview with reporters at a Presbyterian Board of Women 90th Anniversary Conference at Susamachar Presbyterian Church in San Fernando. The church is appalled at the violence in the country, especially domestic violence, she said.

“And the issue and concern we have as a church it’s how the protective services are becoming irresponsible in their stewardship. Their stewardship needs to be more glaring in terms of how they treat with the victims and those who report cases of domestic violence. They need to deal with it forthwith so that women can be protected and their families can be protected. We are very disappointed in some of our police. We know there are good police officers, but generally our police officers are ignoring their responsibilities as stewards of protection,” Abdul-Mohan said.

Commenting on the suspensions, she added: “When the Commissioner does something as serious as this, it is not that they have lost their jobs but they have been suspended in the interim while the investigation is going on. This will send a clear message that the protective services must do more and must be more vigilant in their stewardship as people of the protective services.”

Abdul-Mohan said the protective services need to network with the church, halfway homes and other stakeholders to effectively deal with the problem. Help is also available for perpetrators, she said.

Her comments were made just days after the bodies of Abigail Jones-Chapman, her daughter Olivia, 16, her landlord Michael Scott, and her daughter’s friend, Michaela Mason, 14, were discovered at a house in La Brea. Jones-Chapman had reported to the police that the suspect had put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her.

The officers who were on duty when the report was made have been suspended pending an investigation into allegations of neglect of duty.

Commenting on the controversy in the judiciary, Abdul-Mohan, a former senator, said: “For us the woman or man on the street, the general citizenry, we feel it has lost its credibility because when an important institution such as the judiciary is in that state it leaves the citizen to wonder what is happening.

“For us as individuals we are disappointed with the rivalry and we feel that more should be done to bring camaraderie and to ensure that proper policy is in place so that people will follow that policy and it will not be in abeyance.”

Categories: News

‘Let him pay for the crime he do’

News - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:59

Christine Jones is demanding the death penalty for the man who allegedly murdered her daughter, granddaughter and two other people on Tuesday.

After getting word that a suspect had been captured, she said her prayers had been answered.

“Prayers is a most powerful thing. I had people praying all over Trinidad because this thing rock the whole of Trinidad. It had people praying in Venezuela, where we used to live, and the Adventist community.

“It had people praying in England so they had to hold him. So if they hold him I thank my God for that,” she said.

The man is being queationed in connection with the murders of Abigail Jones-Chapman, her daughter Olivia, 16, Olivia’s friend Michaela Mason, 14, and Michael Scott, 60.

Their bodies were found at Jones-Chapman’s apartment at Kanhai Settlement, Sobo Village, last Tuesday.

Jones wants to see swift justice in the matter.

“I don’t want him to stay in jail and waste up taxpayers’ money. I want them to torture him as much as they could and if he want to die on his own after the torture, so much the merrier.

“I sending a message out to the family and all the abusers they have in this small Trinidad, is time they start doing something about this, people just want to be murdering other people.

“Hang them. Do that something because is time. How crime will stop if you don’t show some form of deterrence?” she said.

An emotional Jones added: “I just want him to pay for the crime he do. Those two innocent children had nothing to do with him. Mr Scott had nothing to do with him.”

If her daughter no longer wanted his friendship he should have just walked away like a man, she said.

Jones applauded Police Commissioner Stephen Williams for suspending three police officers while investigations are carried out into their alleged failure to investigate a report by Jones-Chapman days before the murders.

Chapman-Jones had told the police that the suspect had put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her.

“The police are there to protect and serve. They are not there to be playing around and in reports like this they are supposed to take immediate action. A woman make a report that the man beating she up...go and hold the man,” said Jones.

She said it is not enough to say “is a love affair they will patch them up just now.”

“When people lives are in danger it have no love affair because if you are in love with somebody you will not hurt them. That person come like part of you.”

Speaking publicly for the first time since Michaela’s death, Carla Thomas said her daughter, the last of her four children was supposed to return home on the day the bodies were discovered.

Overcome with emotion, Thomas and her daughter, Shernice Louison, thanked God that the suspect was caught.

“God is good,” she said.

Yesterday La Brea residents took part in a procession organised by the Sobo Village Council in conjunction with Sobo Village churches to pray for the families of the murder victims.

A single funeral service will be held on Wednesday for Jones-Chapman and her daughter at the La Brea SDA Church, while Michaela’s service takes place tomorrow at the Sobo Basketball Court. Scott’s funeral service is expected to be held on Sunday at the La Brea SDA Church.

Categories: News

Fire Service out shoots Police 29-27 in ASNL

Sports - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:59

If Saturday's meeting between Fire Service and Police Youth Club (PYC) was a prelude to the final of the Premiership Division knockout competition set for today at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya then spectators can expect a treat in the Courts All Sectors Netball League.

The two teams battled in the semi-final of the Steve Sargeant Challenge (SSC) at the Maloney Indoor Sports Arena and it was Fire progressing to the title match after sealing a narrow 29-27 win in an intense affair.

Fire called on goal-shooter Jameela McCarthy to come good and responded well shooting with 84 per cent accuracy under heavy defence from PYC goal-keeper Kemba Duncan and at times double-teamed by goal-defence Janeisha Cassimy. McCarthy was made to work for every one of her 26 goals from 31 attempts in getting her team to the final against the University of T&T (UTT) which won the other semi-final.

Her goal-attack Simone Morgan performed efficiently as the goal-attack, feeding her goal-shooter while contributing to the score, connecting three of her four tries.

Down on the other end, PYC goal-shooter Tahirah Hollingsworth (8/14) and goal-attack Joelisa Cooper (19/21) were under as much pressure from goal-keeper Fiona Holder and goal-defence Onella Jack, as they tried to match their opposing shooters. They did achieved this so much so that the scores were tied 13-13 at half-time to the delight of the crowd gathered that included mostly players from the teams that competed earlier in the Championship Division double-elimination knockout competition.

Fire though stepped up its play at both ends of the court to start the next session and though Garbrel Selmon joined the party late her presence as the goal-keeper was felt immediately with support fro Jack and Holder, who was shifted to wing-defence as halfway through the second half the firewomen had tallied its biggest lead of the match, 25-17.

PYC did not stay down for long and rallied back, pulling within five (25-20) with 7.37 left in the match-up then lessening its deficit to three reaching 22 while holding Fire to 25 with 5.17 on the clock.

Fire too went on a run and put up three quick goals to move away by four (28-24) heading into the final two minutes of the match.

With goals from Cooper, the national senior captain, PYC answered back its challengers and came within two goals (29-27) with 5.1 seconds left but time ran out before either team could add to their scores.

Fire meets UTT in the SSC final carded for March 26 at the Maloney venue. UTT easily defeated the University of West Indies (UWI) 40-22.

Earlier in the Championship knockout competition, the reigning Jean Pierre Challenge champion the Unit Trust Corporation (UTC) and Bermudez played unbeaten to emerge out of the winners' bracket to play for a spot in the final.

UTC beat Police by default in the first round and then topped Defence Force, 13-10 in the quarterfinals while Bermudez defeated Las Lomas by default and TSTT 23-10 respectively to advance.

Coming out of the losers' bracket were Jabloteh, who had fallen to TSTT, 22-17, in the opening round and Police. Jabloteh rebounded to beat La Lomas (21-13) to reach the semifinals. Police booked its spot after topping Fire, 21-15.

The semifinals and the final are set for Saturday at Maloney from 1.45 pm following the same knockout competition for teams in the Alternative Division.


Premiership Division

PYC 27 (Tahirah Hollingsworth 8/14, Joelisa Cooper 19/21) vs Fire 29 (Jameela McCarthy 26/31, Simone Morgan 3/4).

UTT 40 (Anastascia Wilson 16/22, Aquila Blugh 15/26, Kernisha Greenidge 9/13) vs UWI 22 (Daystar Swift 19/22, Zakiya McKenna 3/7, Nicola Solomon 0/3).

Today's matches

Retro Division

Bermudez vs Harlem, 5.30 pm

Les Enfants vs TSTT, 6.20 pm

Premiership Division

Knockout final

PYC vs Fire, 7.15 pm

Categories: News

Central Sports whip Merryboys

Sports - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:59

Central Sports led by the veteran Shazan Babwah scored a wonderful nine-wicket victory over Merryboys, yesterday as the fourth round matches in the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) Premiership Davison I came to an end.

Central Sports were the only team to record an outright victory in the round, as the other three matches all ended in stalemates. Responding to Merryboys first innings score 176, Central Sports on the back of Kamil Pooran’s century made 309. They then skittled out Merryboys for 174 in their second essay, as Babwah grabbed four wickets for just 50 runs to add to his three wickets in the first innings. Central Sports then rocketed to victory reaching its target of 44 runs for the lost of just one wicket of just 5.1 overs. Councillor Adrian Ali slapped a quick-fire 29 not out in the process.

Meanwhile, T&T Red Force batsmen Ewart Nicholson joined the merry band of century makers when he carved out a priceless 105 to join Nicholas Sookdeosingh and Nicholas Alexis who also got centuries yesterday and Yannic Carriah, Kamil Pooran and Leonardo Julien who did it on Saturday.

After Victoria closed its first innings at 315 all out in Barrackpore, PowerGen was struggling in reply until Nicholson held the lower order together in making his second century of the season. Providing good assistance was spinner Jovan Ali with 31 and Jerron Maniram, who scored 25. Andre Bryce who made 54 when Victoria batted grabbed 4/26 and former national player Sherwin Ganga took 3/39. Batting a second time Victoria reached 26 without loss.

Across at Clarke Road, Sookdeosingh, who spent his entire career at Clarke Road, took charge to give his team first innings points against defending champions Queen’s Park Cricket Club. The Parkites had made 280 on the opening day and had Clarke Road reeling at 75/3 at the close, but the left hander who started the day on 43 batted well and score 107. He forged a century stand with skipper, the evergreen Gregory Mahabir who totalled 81. In between that partnership, Sookdeosingh also had a useful stand with Sean Siloch who made 42. Batting a second time Queen’s Park reached 38 for two when the match was called off as a draw.

Comets took first innings points over QPCC II at the Queen’s Park Oval. Responding to QPCC II first innings of 208, Comets made 237 thanks to an attractive 77 from all-rounder Imran Khan. He batted with purpose after securing five wickets when Queen’s Park batted.

Batting a second time, the home team reached 246/9 when the game was called off. Alexis opening the innings made 114, while number-three batsman Sherwin Peters got 57. Kirstan Kallicharan 27 and Joshua DeSilva 25, also continued their good form this season. Khan opened the bowling and continued to star as he grabbed 5/67 - ending the match with 10 wickets.


At the Oval: QPCC II 208 all out (Joshua DeSilva 68, Nicholas Alexis 28, Marlon Barclay 39no, Sherwin Peters 23, Imran Khan 5/76, Rayad Emrit 4/61) & 246/9 (Nicholas Alexis 114, Sherwin Peters 57, Kirstan Kallicharan 27, Joshua DeSilva 25, Imran Khan 5/67) vs Alescon Comets 237 (Imran Khan 77, Andy Gobin 48, Vikash Mohan 45, Philton Williams 4/66, Darren Deonarine 3/50). Match Drawn.

At Felicity : Merryboys 176 (Leonardo Julien 101, Kisoondath Magram 4/41, Shazan Babwah 3/52) & 174 all out (Aniel Kanhai 53, Shazan Babwah 4/50, Kisoondarth Magram 2/43) vs Central Sports 309 (Kamil Pooran 106, Keddy Lesporis 63, Atiba Alert 3/48, Aneil Kanhai 3/42) & 44/1 (Adrian Ali 29no) - Central Sports won by 9 wkts.

At Wilson Rd: QPCC I 280 all out (Yannic Carriah 104, Daron Cruickshank 53, Justin Guillen 39, Kerwyn Sirju 5/102, David Latchya 3/84, Akheel Mollon 2/43) & 38/2 vs Clarke Road (Nicholas Sookdeosingh 107, Gregory Mahabir 81, Sean Siloch 41, Terrence Hinds 3/46, Khary Pierre 3/47, Jon Russ 3/67). Match drawn.

At Barrackpore: Victoria 315 all out (Garey Mathurin 75, Marcelle Jones 61, Andrae Bryce 54, Ancil Bhaggan 4/90, Jovan Ali 4/57) & 26/0 vs PowerGen 240 (Ewart Nicholson 100, Jovan Ali 31, Jerron Maniram 25, Andrae Bryce 4/26, Sherwin Ganga 3/39) - Match drawn.

Categories: News


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