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Imbert to meet with private schools on new fee

News - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 22:10

Principals of the Private Secondary Schools who have been lobbying for an increase in the fee currently paid per student per term by the Government will get their chance today to make a case for the increase to Finance Minister Colm Imbert.

Principals of the private secondary schools told Guardian Media they were contacted by phone yesterday to attend today’s meeting which begins at 2.30 pm at the Ministry of Finance, following the weekly Cabinet meeting.

They say they are “looking forward to the meeting,” and are “optimistic,” that something positive would come out of the discussions.

Last Thursday, Education Minister Anthony Garcia took a proposal to Cabinet on the request by the Association of Private Secondary Schools for an increase in the fee from the current $1,200 to $5,700. The

Cabinet sent the matter to the Finance and General Purpose Committee of the Cabinet.

The last time the private schools got an increase in the fee paid by the government was 13 years ago in 2005 when the fee was increased from $1,000 to $1,200.

But principals say the reality is that they are unable to meet all the educational requirements with the current fee structure.

One school official told Guardian Media that the private schools need to get a commitment from the Government to increase the fee to a more “realistic figure,” from September 2018. There is also a suggestion that a timetable should be set for review of the fee structure.

The impasse between the private secondary schools and the Ministry of Education resulted in a decision by the private schools not to accept government students when this year’s SEA results were released.

Many of the schools ended the school year without receiving payments from the Ministry for the last school term.

Private schools say over the years they have been “subsidising” the cost of education to government-placed students and had passed their borrowing limits and the goodwill of those who assisted them in meeting financial commitments had all but run out.

Garcia admitted that the request for an increase in the fee was “fair,” but he said the quantum would have to be decided by Cabinet.

Any increase in the fee would have to be included in the 2018-2019 budget and will be implemented in the new school term, he previously said.

Categories: News

Beetham teen killed in ‘shootout with cops’

News - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 22:03

Senior police officers in the Port-of-Spain Division have launched an investigation into a shooting incident involving police officers at Hell Yard, Beetham Gardens yesterday which left a teenager dead.

A 19-year-old man who was shot was taken to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

He was identified as Akiel Thomas, of Phase Five, Beetham. Police claimed he was shot during an exchange of gunfire around 6.30 am.

This incident triggered scores of residents to protest in anger and some attempted to block the roads—the Eastern Main Road, the Priority Bus Route and the Churchill Roosevelt Highway, Beetham.

Their actions were short-lived after vanloads of heavily-armed police officers arrived on the scene.

According to a police report, officers of the Port-of-Spain Division were conducting exercises in the community when they were confronted by a group of people at Hell Yard.

One of the men, police said, pulled out a firearm and opened fire on the police.

The police returned fire shooting Thomas in the chest. The other men, police said, ran off. Police said they recovered a firearm on the scene.

Police said Thomas was known to them and was believed to be involved in a gang.

Guardian Media was told that he acted as a “lookout” out to monitor who was attempting to enter the area.

A relative denied the police claims saying that Thomas was no gang member.

“He was a girl’s man and lime out late almost every day. He probably limed late last night (Tuesday) and slept away on the chair outside.

“He was sleeping on the chair and the police come up and shoot him just so. There was no shootout. He had no gun,” the relative, who refused to give his name, said.

The T&T Police Service’s public relations officer, ASP Michael Jackman said police officers have in place several plans to deal with the Beetham residents should they “act up.”

“The police would respond accordingly should anything take place. The head of the Port-of-Spain Division is well on top of the matter and the situation there is clearly being monitored,” he said. The flow of traffic, up to press time, was normal along the PBR, main road and highway.

There was heightened police presence during peak afternoon traffic and the patrols are expected to continue over the next few days, police said.

The latest police killing incident has been recorded as the 19th for the year so far.

Investigations are continuing.

Categories: News

Stuart knocks UNC’s launch boycott

News - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 21:59

Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young yesterday lambasted the Opposition for not attending the launch of the National Crime Prevention Programme (NCPP), saying all they were interested in was politicising crime.

Young made the statement as he delivered the feature address on behalf of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, who also failed to attend the event at the Hilton Trinidad due to a “pressing matter.”

Young said while everyone is affected by crime, the PNM Government would “not bury its head in the sand pretending and believing that crime does not exist and things do not need to be done to deal directly with crime.”

In fulfilling one of Government’s promises in its 2015 manifesto - the NCPP - which became Government policy, Young said the only way to tackle crime head-on was the involvement of every patriot of T&T.

“So I must register a bit of disappointment this morning on behalf of the Government of T&T, that we invited every single member of the Opposition…as a Member of Parliament and as a Senator and unfortunately they have not turned up.”

Young said Chaguanas Mayor Gopaul Boodhan, who was listed as a speaker at the launch, also failed to show up.

“Citizens, crime is not about politics. And from the time we begin to politicise crime and the issues of crime and wish that the scourge of crime continues to develop in the hope that it mars a Government…and make a Government look bad you are failing your country and wider national community.”

He pleaded for all to come together to do whatever we can to tackle frontally the issue of crime.

“Don’t shirk that responsibility and duty.”

Asked after the launch if the Opposition gave a reason for not attending, Young replied, “Not that I am aware of. It’s quite unfortunate that none of them came here today on this national crime prevention programme.”

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, who was also present, said the absence of Boodhan was startling “because the MPs for that area have been crying out for the attention and specific focus of taking Chaguanas as one of the pilot projects was very targeted and intended.”

Categories: News

Dillon seeks full support for new crime plan

News - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 21:58

National Security Minister Edmund Dillon has promised not to surrender to criminal elements who have been waging an all-out war against law-abiding citizens.

Dillon gave the commitment at the launch of the National Crime Preventative Programme (NCPP) at the Hilton Trinidad, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

However, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, who was listed to deliver the feature address and unveil the NCPP logo, did not attend. Elements of the NCPP were first mentioned by Rowley at a PNM convention in 2016 and again in the 2018 budget presentation last October.

Yesterday, Dillon said he was aware of the challenges society faces as a result of crime.

“Crime affects all of us. There is no doubt about that. It saddens me deeply to hear the loss of life increasingly through the acts of violence, especially with the use of weapons and ammunition.”

He said crime was being perpetrated by a small group of criminals who have been “spreading fear and discord in our beloved country.”

He reiterated the call to all law-abiding citizens, police officers and the Government to unite to reclaim T&T from those who are supportive of criminality and lawlessness.

“The time has come for all of us to put all differences of opinion aside and work together as one cohesive unit to let the criminal elements know in society that they will never get the upper hand on us. We will never surrender. As a matter of fact, failure should never be an option.”

The NCPP, Dillon said, was anchored in Government’s 2030 National Security Strategic Plan and will address the root causes of crime and criminality and make communities more resilient.

The programme will be implemented on a phased basis and 15 community crime prevention councils, representing 14 regional corporations and the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), will interface directly with communities to determine their needs and respond appropriately. The programme will first be implemented in the Diego Martin and Chaguanas corporations and the THA before being rolled out in the other 12 corporations.

“I guarantee once we put our necks to the grind or foot to the peddle we will see some results in the future,” Dillon said.

“The NCPP heralds the beginning of a new era of development and stability for our people and our country, by promoting and facilitating good order as well as transparent and accountable governance. Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

Among the measures implemented, Dillon said, was the strengthening of the T&T Police Service, Strategic Services Agency, Defence Force Intelligence Unit and T&T Prisons Intelligence Unit.

“Yes, the T&T Prisons Intelligence Unit, because we believe and we have found the prisons provide a great deal of intelligence. So we have established a Prisons Intelligence Unit. The prison provides an area of intelligence which we would not normally have.”

Categories: News

Sixth man charged with Tamana killing

News - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 21:54

The next door neighbour of Guaico, Tamana mini-mart owner has been charged with conspiracy to murder John Samaroo.

Devon Dillon appeared before Senior Magistrate Gillian Scotland in the Sangre Grande First Court yesterday.

Dillon, 35, was charged by Cpl Seecharan of Arouca Homicide Bureau, Region 2.

Five other people are also charged with the same offence and appeared in court last week.

Ferdinand Mora, aka ‘Fredi’, 32, Bonifacio Mora, aka’ Chin’, 46, Javon Mora, aka, ‘Mickey’, 25, Justin Durity, 22 and Nickie Paradaisee 35, appeared in court on July 12. The magistrate after perusing the prisoner’s criminal record granted him $250,000 bail.

Dillon will return to court on August 9 along with his five other accused.

Samaroo, the owner of J&J mini-mart was attacked and chopped repeatedly when went to empty garbage in a barrel on the outside of his business place on June 21.

His wife, Saraswatee Samaroo, was also chopped during the incident but survived.

RALPH BANWARIE
 

Categories: News

We acted prudently in matter—NGC

News - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 21:51

The National Gas Company last evening defended its right to pursue litigation against Super Industrial Services. However, the company said the matter is still before the courts and could now be prejudiced.

In a statement last night, NGC said it was sub judice and former attorney general Ramesh Maharaj should not have commented on the matter as it was due to come up before the High Court in December.

“Those proceedings involve allegations of fraud against SIS and RFRL and seek remedies in respect of same. Arbitration proceedings were commenced by NGC against SIS in October 2016 seeking to recover more than TT$400 million from SIS arising out of the breach of contract by SIS leading to its termination. NGC has at all times taken steps to diligently prosecute those proceedings and continues to do so,” the NGC said.

Saying SIS is due to file its defence to the claim this month, NGC said, “The sub judice rule prevents parties including their attorneys from commenting on matters that are before a court or tribunal for judicial determination. Breach of the rule is punishable by contempt.”

However, NGC said Maharaj’s statements relating to the pending proceedings were designed to and were capable of prejudicing the fair hearing of the proceedings.

Nevertheless, NGC said it needed to correct inaccuracies in Maharaj’s statements.

Noting that terminating SIS’s contract was done on the advice of Senior Counsel, NGC said: “SIS has never offered NGC an undertaking not to dispose of its assets up to the value of TT$180 million pending the hearing and determination of the arbitration proceedings. The Court of Appeal in a decision dated 12 June 2017 found that NGC was right to reject any undertakings offered by NGC.”

It added: “NGC has at all times acted prudently, in its commercial interest and in the public interest in seeking to recover millions of dollars from SIS which were overpaid during the currency of the contract, or which are due to NGC arising out of SIS’s breach of contract.”

It also denied that it has to pay SIS’ legal costs, saying,”Judgments registered against SIS operate as charges on the assets of SIS, thereby encumbering its assets so that they are not available for execution if NGC succeeds in the arbitration.”

The company said in March 2018, SIS allowed one such judgment in the sum of $18,386,289.66 to be entered against it by failing to enter an appearance to the claim.

During the press conference yesterday, Guardian Media asked Maharaj whether his statements were sub judice, but he said no.

“With respect to matters before judge and jury, the jury will decide on a case so therefore sub judice has less effect on a civil matter,” Maharaj said.

“If you are pressurizing a judge to make a decision that is a problem, but in a famous case in London with the Attorney General vs the Sunday Times it was said a judge in a civil case who can be persuaded by what he or she reads in a newspaper, has to have second thoughts about being a judge.”

He also said politicians had also spoken extensively on the SIS issue on a public platform.

Categories: News

Public funds being wasted

News - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 21:50

Former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj SC says the National Gas Company is wasting millions of dollars of public money to pursue a case against Super Industrial Services Ltd (SIS) over the failed billion-dollar Beetham Waste Water Recycling Plant despite Monday’s ruling by the Privy Council.

During a press conference at his San Fernando Chambers yesterday, Maharaj said after two and a half years of litigation, T&T’s highest court - the Privy Council - dismissed NGC’s appeal on Monday (July 16) lifting a previous order freezing SIS assets.

The NGC had challenged a decision to strike out the gas company’s multi-million lawsuit which was heard before the Privy Council, but hours after Monday’s ruling the NGC obtained a new interim injunction to freeze $180 million of SIS’ assets to preserve its $400 million claim against the contractor and Rain Forest Resorts Ltd (RFRL), Maharaj said.

Describing this decision as puzzling, Maharaj said despite the Privy Council’s ruling and NGC’s liability to now pay SIS and RFRL costs as well as substantial compensation to the companies because of the claim and the freezing order, the NGC was now looking at restarting legal proceedings all over again.

Asking why the NGC had not taken steps to have arbitration done expeditiously, Maharaj said, “Since the award of the contract, the management of the contract and the actions taken by the NGC against SIS have received great public attention over the last four years. It must be regarded as puzzling why NGC has not taken steps to have the arbitration on this matter expeditiously so that the merits of NGC’s claim that SIS owes it money can be determined by arbitration.”

He said it was in the public’s interest for NGC to have expedited the arbitration process.

“NGC continues with the litigation by now applying to the High Court to correct their omissions and regularise their position so that the matter may be resuscitated and the litigation resumed all over again, which means its applications for relief from sanctions can go from the High Court to the Court of Appeal and to the Privy Council again, incurring substantial legal costs,” Maharaj said.

Noting that it was in the interest of democracy and public interest that the matters be raised, Maharaj said, “It is important for the public to know that as a condition... NGC had to give an undertaking to the court that it agreed to pay the damages which both SIS and Rain Forest would suffer as a result of the injunctions in the event that NGC did not succeed.”

He said SIS continues to operate, but its business operations and image have been severely affected by the failed project.

He also said it was clear that based on documents, SIS was taking the position that it was facing political victimization by the present Government. Saying he was not appearing for SIS, Maharaj said NGC owed it to the public to explain its decisions.

“NGC, in the face of the termination of the contract and the legal battles which have been embarked upon and are pending, have a duty to the country to give its side of the story in respect of the legal issues and the future of the plant.

“Has the Government decided to abandon the project? Does it intend to sell the plant? Why since 2016 to now has the plant not been constructed or if not constructed sold or be made available to the private sector?” Maharaj questioned.

NGC embarked on litigation against SIS in 2015 following delays in the US$162,055,318.77 project, which was due to be completed on October 21, 2016. The contract was eventually terminated on November 24, 2016, after SIS reportedly informed NGC it was unable to continue with the work, which included laying 34 kilometres of 36-inch pipeline from a base in Point Lisas to the plant in Beetham.

Categories: News

McCollin hosts netball camp

Sports - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 00:43

Professional netballer Kalifa McCollin recently returned home from her second stint in England and she’s ready to give back to the sport locally by hosting two threeday camps in Trinidad this weekend and next week in Tobago.

The international shooting sensation, this season, competed with benecosMavericks in the Vitality Netball Superleague, following her debut season with Celtic Dragons of Wales in 2017.

The Gilbert Netball Ambassador helped her Mavericks team to fifth place. (Gilbert is a company that sells custom-designed dresses, shoes as well as exclusively netballs) The first camp will be held at the Jean Pierre Complex in Mucurapo, Port-of-Spain from Friday to Sunday from 9 am to 12 noon and over in Tobago at Shaw Park netball court.

The event is in collaboration with the Lystra Lewis Port-of- Spain Netball League.

McCollin, a national senior player, who is also a United Kingdom Coaching Certificate (UKCC) Level II certified coach, will be joined by former national captains Rhonda John-Davis and Lystra Solomon Simmons, and senior national player Afeisha Noel, who also has experience playing in England.

John-Davis, who is the most capped player in this country, is the national Under-21 coach and Solomon-Simmons is the current national U-16 team assistant coach.

Each has sound knowledge and experience of the game and an understanding of the rules.

They will assist McCollin in delivering aspects of on offensive and defensive drills; intensive, tailored training from a dynamic team of professionals; and there will also be prizes for challenge winners. The cost is $30 per session and registration is $10.

For more information call 776-7363, 762-3605 or 389-7563.

Categories: News

Coaching in T&T is voluntary

Sports - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 00:41

Comments made in an article published yesterday in the Jamaica Gleaner headlined: Not ‘coaching against Trinidad’—Boldon hits back at claims he is ignoring T&T for regional rivals” was met with mixed reactions from National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) president Ephraim Serrette.

The piece included an interview with one of T&T’s most-celebrated athlete, Olympian Ato Boldon, who recently coached Jamaican junior sprinter Briana Williams, to a historic sprint double in the women’s 100m and 200m events at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland, last week.

At the time, Serrette said he had not read the article which included some slighting comments from Boldon on the local track and field association and its programmes.

In the first instance, Serrette agreed with Boldon in saying that the four-time Olympic medallist is: “Not coaching against T&T.”

“He is coaching one of Jamaica’s athletes, he is not helping the Jamaican programme,” said Serrette.

“All of our top athletes are coached outside so it’s a similar situation.”

Serrette, who has been in charge of the governing body for the past 10 years, was told the article said: “Boldon is disappointed that he was not given an influential role in T&T’s track and field programme, like his counterparts from other nations, who have moved on from competing to coaching.”

With Boldon saying that: “I have watched all my peers being given leadership roles—and succeed,” he said. “Glenroy Gilbert (a former sprinter) of Canada, whom I had a conversation with on this very topic; Dennis Mitchell; Jon Drummond (both former sprinters as well), who coached the USA women to the world record in the 4x100m relays.”

For this Serrette responded by saying: “All of them have clubs in the respective countries that they are coaching,” said Serrette. “None of our coaches are paid. It is all voluntary. I do not get paid for my role either, but I am doing my part and giving it my all to ensure that the sport prosper.

“In T&T, development happens at the club level.

The existing clubs operate as ‘one man operations’ and usually the one man is the coach. The association hosts workshops and seminars designed to build capacity and improve accountability across its member clubs.

“The NAAA role is to support and provide general oversight of competitions through clubs and associations for athletes at national competitions, which we have done over the years.”

On learning that he referenced the NAAA as “mediocre,” Serrette said, “That’s Boldon’s opinion.

We had our sprinter Michelle-Lee Ahye win gold at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year.

I’m not going to go tit-fortat with Ato.”

Boldon, won a bronze in both the 100 and 200m sprints at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA, in 1996, then a silver in the 100m and a bronze in the 200m four years later at the Sydney Games in Australia, had short stints as coach of T&T sprinters Richard Thompson and Kelly-Ann Baptiste, coached the national team previously and was appointed sports ambassador for T&T in 2000.

Boldon’s father Guy also had a local club called Gold Rush but it folded some years ago.

Categories: News

Maharaj tops Chaguanas East tournament

Sports - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 00:33

National youth player and Women’s Singles semifinalist at the recent Solo National Table Tennis Championship, Shreya Maharaj, captured the Women’s Open title when the second annual Fazal Karim Chaguanas East Invitational continued on Monday night.

In the decider, Maharaj battled past Ambika Sitram 11-7, 3-11, 11-7, 11-5 at the Warrenville Sports Club, Munroe Road, Warrenville.

It was the third title so far for the Carenage Blasters player after winning the Under-21 Division, beating Derah Ramoutar in the final Sunday, and the U-16 crown, a day earlier.

When the women’s knockout stage started on Monday night, Maharaj was handed a quarterfinal bye before she defeated Ramoutar 11-8, 11-4, 11-7 in the semifinals while Sitram, also got a last-eight bye before she stopped Rayanna Boodhan 11-4, 11-9, 11-7.

Ramoutar had earlier rallied past Arlene Joseph 6-11, 11-6, 13-11, 12-10 and Boodhan overcame Gail Rajack 11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 11-8 in the two quarter-final encounters.

On Sunday, Musaahib Newaj captured the U-21 Men’s Division by beating Reeza Ali, 12-10, 13-11, 11-6.

Newaj got the better of Kevin Ramrattan 11-8, 11-3, 9-11, 12-10 in his quarter-final, and Al Ameen Ali, 11-9, 14-12, 10-12, 11-7 in the final-four while Ali ®, outlasted Kishan Ramoutar 6-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8, and Akeem Beharry, 11-9, 11-7, 11-2.

In the other quarter-finals, Ali (Al Ameen) outplayed Sameer Ali 11-6, 11-7, 11-8, and Beharry ousted Jasesh Ramphalie.

Yesterday the Men’s B Division reached up to the finals with Donald Humphreys beating Reeza Ali to set up a final’s clash with Al Ameen Ali, on Saturday, after the latter’s defeat of Ramrattan.

On Saturday, Maharaj playing against players from Chaguanas East Constituency and Environs only, played unbeaten in the three-player round-robin series beating Ramoutar 13-15, 9-11, 11-8, 16-14, 11-3 and Boodhan 11-6, 11-7, 11-4 to claim the Girls Under-16 title.

Today the Men’s Veterans will continue while tomorrow will see the completion of the Men’s Doubles and Teams B Class followed by the Men’s Singles A Class on Friday.

On Saturday, July 21, the tournament will conclude with Teams A (Open Gender), Teams A and B, Men’s A and B Singles.

Results

Women’s Veterans:
1- Gail Rajack (Warrenville United), 2- Arlene Joseph
Under-21 Men: 1- Musaahib Newaj (Servivors), 2- Reeza Ali (Warrenville United), 3- Al Ameen Ali (Central Warriors) & Akeem Beharry (Warrenville United)
Under-21 Women: 1- Shreya Maharaj (Carenage Blasters), 2- Derah Ramoutar (Warrenville United), 3- Sarah Mohammed (Warrenville United) & Rayanna Boodhan (Warrenville United)

Categories: News

Harvard takes pole position in rugby

Sports - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 00:30

Unbeaten Harvard Sports Club is on top of the leaderboard in the Championship Division of the T&T Rugby Football Union Tournament.

Last weekend’s convincing 31-13 victory over Royalians at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port-of- Spain saw the team surge to the top with nine points, but only on a better goal difference to arch-rivals Northern.

Northern was also in winner’s row at the weekend, coming from behind to whip Caribs 10-5 to be well positioned with the end of the first round in sight. In one of just two championship matches on Saturday, Caribs drew first blood from Ronaldo Bermudez midway in the opening half to give his team a 5-0 advantage at the interval.

Northern though had to dig deep before they got the equalizer from Ronald Mayers’ try midway in the second half. Sebastien Navarro made no mistake on the conversion to put his side up 7-5 before he later converted a penalty to complete the win 10-5.

In the other game, Harvard got two tries from the prolific Shakeel Dyte and others from Nigel Ballington

Wayne Kelly and Tariq Cheekes, three of which were converted by Aasan Lewis to push its tally to 31. For Royalians there were tries from Kelson Figaro and Keishorn Walker, as well as a penalty that was converted by Felicien Guerra in the 8th minute of the match.

Harvard will now await a juicy contest with Northern on July 28 at the Savannah in a match that will determine the leaders on the standings.

CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION STANDINGS

Team Position MP& W D L Bonus PF PA DIFF Pts
HARVARD 1 2 2 0 0 1 48 28 20 9
NORTHERN 2 2 2 0 0 1 34 23 11 9
CARIBS 1 3 2 0 0 2 1 20 27 -7 1
ROYALIANS 4 2 0 0 2 1 31 55 -24 1

WALTER ALIBEY
 

Categories: News

Bajans deny T&T U-17 title by 0.1 point

Sports - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 00:29

T&T Under-17 team won the battle against the Leeward Islands but lost the war, as it surrendered the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional Under-17 title that it won last year to Barbados by just 0.1 point yesterday.

T&T the two-time champion team went into the final round match needing to win against the Leewards and this the team did handsomely. The hosts needed leaders Guyana to lose its game to Barbados but that did not happen as the Barbadians played so well, that they went on to win the title by a whisker.

Teams were awarded an extra 0.1 point for every wicket taken by a fast bowler during the tournament. The Barbadians prospered and this left them with a table-topping 20.6 points after five rounds of round-robin play. T&T painfully ended the tournament on 20.5 points.

Realising that bonus points would come into play if Guyana loses, T&T added the extra fast bowler in Vanir Maharaj to its line up for the crucial contest. Batting first T&T bowlers forced out the Leewards for 124 with Maharaj taking two wickets. Four wickets went to medium pacer Leon Basanoo, one to Jayden Seales and one to Rivaldo Ramlogan. T&T actually got 0.8 bonus point from this game and a total of 6.8 for the win.

When T&T batted it rushed to victory at 125 for five with main batsman Leonardo Julien striking an unbeaten 67 made off 95 balls with seven fours and a six.

Across the National Cricket Centre (NCC) in Couva, Guyana batted first and scored 181/9 with Sachin Singh getting a top score of 32. Ramon Simmonds took two for 41, while there were also two wickets apiece from N Austin and J Hoyte. When Barbados took to the crease it went about getting the target in a very positive manner with Antonio Morris hitting an unbeaten 101. He faced 85 balls, striking five fours and four sixes. Getting runs also was Mathew Forde with 23 not out.

Guyana going into the last round as leaders ended up in third place with 19.2 points. The Leewards finished fourth with 13.5 points, while the Windwards had 13.4 and Jamaica which had a terrible tournament ended with just 1.5 points. CMC

SCORES

At Gilbert Park: Leewards 124 all out (Rasheed Henry 49, Leon Basanoo 4/39, Samir Ali 2/7, Vanir Maharaj 2/21) vs T&T 125/5 (Leonardo Julien 67no) - T&T won by 5 wkts.
• At the NCC: Guyana 181/9 (50) (Sachin Singh 32, Ramon Simmonds 2/41, J Hoyte 2/24, N Austin 2/22) vs Barbados 184/4 (35.4) (Antonio Morris 101no, Mathew Forde 23no, N Deodat 3/24) - Barbados won by 4 wkts.

FINAL STANDINGS

Team P W L NR PTS
Barbados 5 3 1 1 20.6
T&T 5 3 1 1 20.5
Guyana 5 3 2 0 19.2
Leewards 5 2 3 0 13.5
Windwards 5 2 2 1 13.4
Jamaica 5 0 4 1 1.5

SCORES

At Brian Lara Cricket Academy: T&T won by 151 runs (D-L-S Method)
• TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 259 for seven off 50 overs (Isaiah Gomez 66, Antonio Gomez 49, Tariq Mohammed 43)
• WINDWARD ISLANDS 72 off 25.3 overs (Nicholas Ali 4-25; Jaden Seales 3-5)
At Gilbert Park: Guyana won by 31 runs.
• GUYANA 174 for seven off 50 overs (Sachin Singh 48, Andre Seepersaud 38, Leon Swamy 25; Romaine Jacob 2-24, Brandon English 2-37)
• JAMAICA 143 off 48.5 overs (Daniel Beckford 73 not out; Romaine Jacobs 2-24, Brandon English 2-37; Niran Bissu 3-15, Leon Swamy 2-13)
At National Cricket Centre: Barbados won by 130 runs.
• BARBADOS 245 for seven off 50 overs (Matthew Forde 68, Antonio Morris 50, Jaden Leacock 42 not out; Jaylen Francis 2-51)
• LEEWARD ISLANDS 115 all out off 33.5 overs (Solomon Gokrran 27; Jayden Hoyte 3-29, Nicholas Austin 2-26)

Categories: News

T&T juniors win, loss at ITF/COTECC

Sports - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 00:25

There were mixed results for T&T’s Boys and Girls junior tennis teams at the National Racquet Centre (NRC) in Tacarigua yesterday when action in the ITF/COTECC Sub Region 4, 12&Under Development Tennis Tournament continued.

Jaeda-Lee Daniel-Joseph, a winner on an opening day Monday, continued her form by guiding the T&T2 team to a 2-1 triumph over St Lucia on court three. Daniel-Joseph first disposed of Alannah Bousquet 6 1, 6-3 in the battle of the first singles, before Kiera Youseff, who was seeing action for the first time in the tournament, took care of Alysa Elliot 6-0, 6-2. But the win was only complete until the pair of Inara Chin Lee and Daniel-Joseph came from behind to hold off St Lucia’s pair of Bousquet and Iyana Paul 3-6, 6-0, 10-4 in the doubles.

However, a while later, the country’s first team of Jordane Dookie, Cameron Wong and Zara Ghuran stumbled in its encounter with Curacao on court six, losing all its matches on the day. Dookie won her opening set against Angelina Maduro 6-4, but had no answer for her in the latter sets, going down 1-6 in the second before surrendering the third 3-6.

Wong, a standout player at the just concluded Sagicor Junior Tennis tournament at the Trinidad Country Club, also found it hard against Sarah Nita in the battle of the number#1 singles players and was beaten in straight sets 6-2, 6-0, while the duo of Ghuran and Wong went down to the Maduro and Nita 6-4, 6-2 in the doubles. The loss, however, did not dampen the spirits of the country’s first and second boys teams which prevailed 3-0 each over Guyana and Curacao.

Playing on court seven, T&T’s first got a 6-0, 6-0 win by Beckham Sylvester over Guyana’s number#2 singles Jadeon Vieira before Jace Quashie turned back Hayden Mentore in straight sets 6-1, 6-2. Later TT’s pair of Quashie and Nathan Martin defeated Mentore and Vieira 6-0, 6-0.

Luca Denoon led the country’s second boy’s team when he started with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Curacao’s Cody Ritter, before Jaylon Chapman, the under-10 division champion at the Sagicor-sponsored development tournament, then won 7-6(5), 7-5 over Kyan Henriquez in the second game. Chapman then returned to the court with Daniel Jeary to dispose of Ritter and Josephia Zahyd in the doubles 6-1, 6-2.

RESULTS

GIRLS - POOL B
Court 1: ANTIGUA & BARBUDA vs.
GUYANA 3 - 0
No.2 Singles Aysha Hosam,
Reshida Hardy 6-0, 6-0
No.1 Singles Ariel Kelsick, Saskia
Persaud 6-1, 6-0
Doubles Brasha Dyer, Menikshi
Jaikissoon 6-3, 6-1
Aysha Hosam, Saskia Persaud
POOL B
Court 3 ST. LUCIA vs. TRINIDAD &
TOBAGO 2 1 - 2
No.2 Singles Alysa Elliot, Kiera
Youseff 6-0, 6-2
No.1 Singles Alannah Bousquet,
Jaeda-Lee Daniel-Joseph 1-6, 3-6
Doubles Alannah Bousquet, Inara
Chin Lee 6-3, 0-6, [4 - 10]
Iyana Paul, Jaeda-Lee Daniel-
Joseph
POOL A
Court 6 CURACAO vs. TRINIDAD &
TOBAGO 1 3 - 0
No.2 Singles Angelina Maduro,
Jordane Dookie 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
No.1 Singles Sarah Nita, Cameron
Wong 6-2, 6-0
Doubles Angelina Maduro, Zara
Ghuran 6-4, 6-2
Sarah Nita, Cameron Wong
BOYS - POOL B
Court 2 BARBADOS vs. GRENADA
3 - 0
No.2 Singles Zach Anthony,
Rayvon Alexander 6-4, 6-2
No.1 Singles Neil King, Khayden
McQueen 6-2, 6-2
Doubles Zach Anthony, Rayvon
Alexander 6-1, 6-2
Jayden Greenidge, Khayden
McQueen
POOL - B
Court 5 TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 2 vs.
CURACAO 3 - 0
No.2 Singles Luca Denoon, Cody
Ritter 6-1, 6-3
No.1 Singles Jaylon Chapman,
Kyan Henriquez 7-6(5), 7-5
Doubles Jaylon Chapman, Cody
Ritter 6-1, 6-2
Daniel Jeary, Josephia Zahyd
POOL - A
Court 7 TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 1 vs.
GUYANA 3 - 0
No.2 Singles Beckham Sylvester,
Jadeon Vieira 6-0, 6-0
No.1 Singles Jace Quashie, Hayden
Mentore 6-1, 6-2
Doubles Nathan Martin, Hayden
Mentore 6-0, 6-0
Jace Quashie, Jadeon Vieira

WALTER ALIBEY
 

Categories: News

Let’s talk about sex

Columnists - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 00:13

This weekend I posted the details of a sexual conversation that my husband and I had and true to form someone commented that some things are not for FB.

I have a few questions in response to this...

1. How do we determine what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate for social media and,

2. Why does talking publicly about sex in a non-perverted manner make us uncomfortable?

Those questions are for your own introspection. The next question is an answer to the question many of you have on your mind but aren’t brave enough to ask out loud.

Why would I post publicly something as intimate as a sexual conversation with my husband?

The answer is simple.

Somewhere along the road sex became dirty. Maybe it’s because we took something so powerful and we threw it around all over the place like it was worthless. We lost respect for its power and we created a bad stigma for it.

This is quite unfortunate because there are many Christian women who are struggling to properly please their husbands because society has made them feel dirty or sinful for being sexy.

I will never post a picture in my lingerie because obviously, that’s taking it too far but I posted for the sole purpose of subtly letting my sisters in Christ know that once you have gone before God and said those vows, then you have free reign to be as sexual as you desire with your husband.

Christian marriages are not doing much better than secular marriages and our children are watching. They are seeing you living a boring life, void of any spice.

There is nothing better than having your husband love all of you, stretch marks and cellulite included. When your children watch their father embrace their mother even after she has lost her billboard worthy body, it says to them that they are more than their physical appearance. It says to them that a Godly man will continue to be in awe of them long after the youthful “perfections.”

I hear stories of couples where the sex life is suffering because the woman is embarrassed to get naked. Shame has crept in. On the flip side, I have heard of men that are unable to look at their wives that way yet they are addicted to porn. They are incapable because their wives are somehow only seen as the angelic woman that raises his kids. Again, this is because he has associated being sexy, with being bad or sinful.

So yes, I share my intimate moments on social media because I made a promise to God to use my life to glorify Him and if I am led to share something, then I share and trust that there is someone He needed to reach through me.

Wishing all the married couples out there a spice-filled week

Marsha L Walker

Categories: News

Rethinking local government

Columnists - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 00:11

One of the remarkable things about the recently-concluded by-election campaigns in Barataria and Belmont East was the almost complete absence of discourse on the abundant possibilities of local government reform.

Such discussions would have included, but would not have been limited to, a much better deal for the men and women who are essentially on the job 24/7 even as they are compensated as if they provide mere part-time services to the municipalities.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for everything and the platform of a low-profile by-election campaign won’t necessarily take such a discussion very far. But what was disturbing was that the intervention of the political parties in injecting some semblance of a bigger picture on the hustings, appeared opportunistic and in the process belittled the day-to-day causes the six candidates were attempting to highlight.

Without doubt, the United National Congress will continue to gloat over its marginal triumph over the People’s National Movement in Barataria and the PNM its reduced but successful recapture of Belmont East.

But the context of continuing voter apathy hardly signals a genuine victory for the democratic process or the prestige of municipal governance. For, in the process, the electorate also appeared to ignore the bright, flashing lights on display.

In a local government context, a vector-breeding environment that has led to a high incidence of Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya is immensely more important to burgesses than whether official victimisation is occurring on the basis of religion or the length of time the Galleons Passage took to arrive in T&T—as bizarre as the latter circumstance might appear to be.

Past experience with downplaying the parochial, community issues on the hustings is that it has served to undermine the value of the significant contribution local government practitioners make toward enhancing the quality of life of communities.

These kinds of “national” campaigns also belie the high level of bipartisanship that exists in the corridors and chambers of the regional, borough and city corporations.

During national consultations on local government reform, an activity I had the opportunity to moderate in 2016, it was hard to tell one from the other, when it came to the political allegiances of the counsellors and aldermen who participated.

In fact, the base document around which the consultations was centred, emerged out of the work of no fewer than three ministers of local government from the two major parties—the PNM and the UNC—all proposing essentially the same process of devolving central government power and responsibility to local government; nuanced to accommodate political point-scoring of course.

I continue to hold that one of the main reasons why the parties hold essentially the same views on this matter is that central governments have been hopeless on the question of the “little things” that keep people safe and satisfied within their neighbourhoods and communities.

The UNC local government councillor on my neighbourhood Whatsapp group, for example, has worked alongside a representative of the PNM MP for some time now to help resolve community concerns minus the national level rage and partisan finger-pointing.

A reformed process would also enable local representatives to make the big things possible. However, this would require a level of magnanimity and cooperation witnessed every day at the local level, but almost completely absent in national politics.

It also requires that community representatives be nudged up the totem pole of influence and prestige. It is absolutely ridiculous, for example, that their compensation packages do not cater for the fact that theirs is a fulltime occupation.

Representatives of all political persuasions suffer this indignity. Yet, their party bosses, across the aisle, and who can make this possible, are not moved to jointly resolve this problem. It does not require an entire overhaul of the system to achieve this.

So, yes, both parties will continue to moan or to celebrate as they should, but the potential of an empowered system of local government should never be underestimated.

Categories: News

200,000 NCB shares traded for $1 million

Business - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 00:05

Overall market activity resulted from trading in 18 securities of which one advanced, four declined and 13 traded firm.

Trading activity on the First Tier Market registered a volume of 271,265 shares crossing the floor of the Exchange valued at $2,962,664.26.

NCB Financial Group Limited was the volume leader with 200,000 shares changing hands for a value of $1,080,000, followed by T&T NGL Limited with a volume of 19,618 shares being traded for $583,635.50.

National Enterprises Limited contributed 10,980 shares with a value of $104,859.00, while Agostini’s Limited added 10,000 shares valued at $211,000.

Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited enjoyed the day’s sole price increase, climbing $0.01 to end the day at $7.80.

Conversely, Scotiabank T&T Limited registered the day’s largest decline, falling $0.05 to close at $65.05.

Clico Investment Fund was the only active security on the Mutual Fund Market, posting a volume of 37,010 shares valued at $755,999.80. It remained at $20.43.

In Tuesday’s trading session the following reflect the movement of the TTSE Indices:

• The Composite Index declined by 0.16 points (0.01 per cent) to close at 1,223.97.

• The All T&T Index declined by 0.39 points (0.02 per cent) to close at 1,721.03.

• The Cross Listed Index advanced by 0.01 points (0.01 per cent) to close at 97.61.

Categories: News

New platinum option for PriceSmart members

Business - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 00:04

There is a new option for PriceSmart customers in T&T—a new membership category, Platinum, which allows customers to earn two per cent cash back on their total purchase.

This is in addition to two existing loyalty programmes which offer customers discounts, PriceSmart Advantages and PriceSmart Travel.

Operations Vice President Dhanraj Mahabir said membership in the new category attracts an annual fee of US$85 or about TT$580 and existing members have the option of upgrading.

In remarks at yesterday’s launch at PriceSmart, Chaguanas, Mahabir said: “The cost to upgrade will be pro-rated depending on the expiration date of the current membership, but at a maximum upgrade fee of US$46 for Platinum Diamond membership upgrade, and US$51 for Platinum Business membership upgrade.”

He said the new category allows members that spend more to be rewarded more.

The two per cent cash back can be redeemed at any of the PriceSmart clubs for any item in the store.

Mahabir said PriceSmart’s goal was to pass on reduced costs to its customer base and the new Platinum membership programme represents another way for customers to benefit.

Categories: News

Digicel unveils superfast LTE network

Business - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 00:03

Digicel has delivered a $250 million LTE (Long Term Evolution) network to its customers.

At the launch at One Woodbrook Place yesterday,Technical Director Chandrika Samaroo said the new network was “packing superfast speeds up to ten times faster than existing 4G technology” and will deliver expanded coverage, greater reliability and superior availability.

He said this would result in glitch-free video streaming of favourite online content on a mobile device while using interactive apps at home or on-the-go.

“Our teams have worked around the clock to deliver LTE to our customers in north-west, east and central Trinidad, as well as east Tobago. South Trinidad and west Tobago will feel LTE speeds by the end of 2018,” he said.

“Don’t worry if you haven’t seen your area in the list. We’ll be stepping up the pace to deliver on our promise of a nationwide roll out within the shortest possible time,” Samaroo said.

He thanked customers for their patience and understanding with network difficulties while the upgrade was taking place.

“Our network transformation is now in full swing. Our personal and business customers can connect to the future of advanced mobile data.

“With faster speeds and ultra-low latency, our LTE will ultimately deliver and enhance experiences like virtual reality, wearable fitness trackers, remote monitoring, immersive 4K video and more,” Samaroo added.

Customers must ensure that their devices have an LTE SIM and is LTE compatible. This can be done by using Digicel’s LTE checker at www.digicelgroup.com/tt to determine if the device is supported by the LTE network.

LTE sims are available at Digicel stores.

The LTE network will enable a new generation of Internet of Things applications that can power the creation of smart homes and smart cities in T&T.

“Our islandwide LTE rollout is another example of Digicel’s continued investment and leadership in delivering an amazing network experience to our customers,” Samaroo said.

“We are in it for the long haul and are very excited about reaching more people in more places and connecting them new things at prices that will continue to be affordable.”

Categories: News

Man charged with murder of Police Youth club teen

News - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 23:57

A 29-year-old man of Diego Martin has appeared in court charged with murdering a 17-year-old student over five years ago.

Edwin Phillip, of Adam Trace, Diego Martin, appeared before Chief Magistrate Maria Busby-Earle-Caddle in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court charged with murdering Andre Ross on May 3, 2013.

He was remanded into custody and ordered to reappear in court next month.

Ross, a welding student at the Diego Martin Police Youth Club, was walking along Seirra Leone Road, Diego Martin, when he was approached by a man who shot him several times.

Homicide detectives were unable to solve Ross’ murder within months of it occurring and the case was handed over to the Cold Case Unit.

Phillip was arrested last week Tuesday after appearing in the same court on unrelated charges. He was charged after investigators received advice from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The investigation was conducted by ASP Sean Dhillpaul and PC Stephen Smith.

Categories: News

Landscaper jailed for taking mom’s car, possession of ammo

News - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 23:55

A 34-year-old landscaper who took his mother’s car without permission, drove without driving documents and had five bullets has been jailed for 20 months.

David Seon pleaded guilty to the charges when he appeared in the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court.

Seon, 34, of San Fernando was arrested on July 14. Court prosecutor Cleyon Seedan said PC Kelvin Corbette was on patrol along Naparima Mayaro Road, Cocoyea Village, when he saw Seon, who was driving, look at him and speed off.

Corbette made him pull to the side of the road and ordered him out of the car. The officer searched Seon and found five bullets in his right front pants pocket.

When the officer asked for his driving documents, Seon did not produce any. Seon said, “Officer I was disqualified by the court in 2017 for a period of one year.”

When they arrived at the Mon Repos Police Station, Seon’s mother told Corbette she did not give her son permission to take her car.

Told by Magistrate Alicia Chankar to explain himself, Seon said he got in a fight with his brother earlier that day and his brother injured his face.

He said he got the bullets to intimidate his brother. He claimed he did not ask his mother’s permission before taking the car because she was asleep.

Seon said his period of disqualification has expired, but he has not reapplied for his permit. Seon had previous convictions.

The magistrate sentenced him to 12 months in jail on the ammunition charge,one month for driving without a permit, three months for driving without insurance and three months for driving the car without consent.

The magistrate ordered that the sentences run consecutively.

Categories: News

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