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Calypso Spikers finish 11th

Sports - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 00:16

Turkey-based Krystle Esdelle scored a tournament-high 25 points which helped T&T record a 26-24, 25-18 and 25-16 win over Costa Rica in the Play-off for 11th and 12th spots at the Women’s Volleyball Pan American Cup Tournament, Ricardo Arias Pavilion in the Dominican Republic yesterday.

The outcome for the Renele Forde-led T&T women’s team could have been a different one after falling behind 20-24 in the opening set mainly because of many unforced errors. However, captain Esdelle rallied her team to take the next points and secure the set win, which seems to deflate the Central Americans.

The second set again belonged to Esdelle as she spiked ten kills to help T&T overcome its errors while Jalicia Ross-Kydd and Channon Thompson also came to life and helped the team win the second set.

The third set was all T&T as even without the rested Sinead Jack, the reigning eight-time Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) champions dominated and raced into an 8-1 lead before completing what in the end turned out to be a comfortable win.

Esdelle’s tally included 20 spikes, two blocks and three service aces, while Thompson, who divided her 2018 club season between Turkey and Philippines got 12, laced with eight kills and four aces.

The Sweden-based Forde added seven points, Ross-Kydd, six and Darlene Ramdin, also based in the Philippines, chipped in with five for the winners who completely dominated on spikes 43-23, and aces, 10-3.

However, without the presence of Jack, Costa Rica edged T&T on blocks, 10-7 and also had fewer errors 16-22.

Tannia Carazo had a team-best nine points for the Central Americans, Yolianna Gonzalez, seven, and the pair of Johanna Gamboa and Valeria Madriz, five each.

Last year in Peru, the T&T women had a best-ever finish of ninth while in 2016, the Calypso Spikers ended in the tenth spot, which equalled equal their finishes from 2009-2013 while they ended 12th on debut in 2007 as well as 2008 and 11th in 2014.

In yesterday’s other matches, Argentina came up against Mexico for the ninth spot while in the main draw semifinals, Brazil met the Dominican Republic, and defending champions the USA, battled Canada.

On Thursday night in the fifth to eight semifinals, Colombia defeated Cuba 25-20, 25-21, 25-17 and Puerto Rico beat Peru, 25-20, 25-16, 25-20.

Apart from the final (6 pm), and third place (4 pm) playoff matches today, Colombia and Puerto Rico will meet in an all-important clash from 2 pm with a ticket to the Pan Americans Games in Lima, Peru, next year, at stake to the victor as a top-five finisher.

Peru and Cuba will get the day’s action going with the seventh-place match from 12 noon.

This was the third tournament of the year for the Calypso Spikers after a fourth-place finish at the NORCECA Women’s Challenger Cup in Edmonton, Alberta in northwestern Canada in May and a successful defence of their CAZOVA crown for a seventh straight time earlier this month in Paramaribo, Suriname.

Forde and her team-mates will have little rest as they are set to head to Barranquilla, Colombia next week to compete at the 23rd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games from July 20 to August 3 versus host Colombia, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica in Pool B.

Champions Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela will compete in Pool A.

Categories: News

Last medal chance rests with relay team

Sports - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 00:13

Any chance of T&T winning a medal at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships lies on the performance of the Men’s 4x100 metres relay team today.

Yesterday at the Ratina Stadium in Tampere, Finland, the local quartet of Keon Benjamin, Carlon Hosten, David Pierce and Tyrell Edwards, running in that order, ran a season’s best 39.67 seconds to place third in heat three and qualified for the final.

Sprints coach Kelvin Nancoo was pleased with the team’s showing and expects the national youth team to do well in the medal race today after advancing with the fourth fastest time.

“It is tough but we were excellent today (yesterday),” said Nancoo. “We now have to regroup and get set to run for T&T tomorrow (today). Once we execute well, we can medal.”

T&T finished behind Japan, which ran a season’s best 39.18, and the USA, which also qualified with a season’s best 39.46. Four of the other finalist’s also-ran season’s bests including Italy (39.75), Czech Republic (39.91) and Spain (39.99). Filling the other lanes are Germany, which clocked a world-leading U-20 time of 39.13, to be the fastest qualifier and Jamaica with a 39.68-clocking.

In today’s medal race at 9.40 am, the final event on the penultimate day of the Championships, T&T will line in lane two.

Earlier, Iantha Wright reached the semifinal round of the women’s 200m events but her time of 24.41 in the first heat for fourth place, was not quick enough to progress to the final. It was a slower time to her first round run of 24.16 when Wright placed sixth in heat one.

Akilah Lewis was also to line up in the event but unfortunately, she did not compete.

Over on the field yesterday, Tyriq Horsford placed 11th in group B of the qualifying round of the men’s javelin throw, to finish 21st overall with his best-measuring 64.90m, not good enough to move on to today’s final round.

The four-time Carifta champion second was his best after opening up with 61.44m and his third and final reached 62.35m.

On Thursday, Lewis and Jenea Spinks made it to the semifinals of the women’s 100m on Thursday but did not advance. Lewis, running in the semi-final heat two, finished fourth in 11.65 and Spinks, in the third and final semi-final heat, was third in 11.62.

Later, Jamaican sprint star Briana Williams, who is coached former T&T sprinter Ato Boldon won gold in 11.16, ahead of American Twanisha Terry in 11.19 and Kristal Awuah of Great Britain in 11.37.

Also on that day in the first round of the men’s 200m, Timothy Frederick placed fifth in heat one in 21.30 seconds move on to the semi-final round, as one of the fastest ‘losers’ while Ako Hislop finished seventh in the third heat, crossing in 21.91.

Later on the third day of the junior track and field meet, Frederick’s placed seventh in the second of three heats in 21.48 in the semi-finals, failing to progress to the medal race.

Categories: News

Magnolias, Defence Force take hockey titles

Sports - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 00:11

Shandy Carib Magnolias and Defence Force were crowned new champions in the abbreviated T&T Hockey Board Women and Men Championship Divisions League competition which concluded at the National Hockey Centre, Orange Grove Road, Tacarigua, earlier this week.

The women’s title race came down to goal-difference as Shandy Carib Magnolias secured a much-needed win, 5-0 over rivals Malvern to claim the title on Tuesday night on goal-difference.

USA-based Brianna Govia scored a pair of goals for Magnolias in the 33rd and 43rd minutes while Savannah De Freitas, her sister Shaniah De Freitas, and Samantha Olton, all national women’s team’s players got the goals.

With the win, Magnolias ended with 19 points from eight matches, level with Malvern, but with a superior goal difference of plus-26 to plus-13 to dethrone Paragon, winners of the last league competition in 2016.

Two days earlier on July 8, the Malvernites had put themselves in the driver’s seat for the title with an entertaining 4-2 defeat of the same Magnolias led by a double from Daniella Martin, in the 43rd and 51st.

Andrea Jackson and Krizia Layne got the others for Malvern while Savannah De Freitas netted both Magnolias items.

However, just needing a point on Tuesday night, Malvern had its worse performance of the season, and first defeat as well.

In the Men’s Championship Division, Defence Force completed the season unbeaten in six matches for 14 points, one ahead of Malvern while Petrotrin, champions in 2015 and 2016, ended third with one.


July 10
Women’s Championship
SC Magnolias 5 (Brianna Govia 33rd, 43rd, Savannah De Freitas 9th, Shaniah De Freitas 25th, Samantha Olton 43rd) vs Malvern 0
July 8
Women’s Championship
Malvern 4 (Daniella Martin 43rd, 51st, Andrea Jackson 11th, Krizia Layne 30th) vs SC Magnolias 2 (Savannah De Freitas 26th, 35th)
Trinity Men
Malvern 2 (Aidan Marcano 27th, Jonathan Warren 55th) vs Carib 1 (Joshua Gibson 43rd)
July 7
Trinity Men
Paragon 3 (Gerron Frank 12th, Salim Clapman 46th, Keston Paul 56th) vs Carib 1 (Joshua Gibson 60th)
Trinity Women
Paragon 2 (Jhania Gajadhar 7th, Harmony O’Brian 34th) vs SC Magnolias 0

Categories: News


Sports - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 00:09

Bangladesh was bowled out for 149 in reply to West Indies’ 354, producing yet another inept batting display. Jason Holder led the home side’s bowling attack with superb spells on either side of the tea interval.

He removed three of Bangladesh’s four most experienced batsmen - Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim - before completing his third five-wicket haul with the wickets of Mehidy Hasan and Abu Jayed.

West Indies opted against enforcing the follow-on but lost Kraigg Brathwaite, whose series ended with a low score when he was bowled by Shakib in the day’s last over for eight. It was a minor slip-up in an otherwise superb day for West Indies, which they ended on 19 for one.

Up until the tea interval, the two teams had taken one session each. Bangladesh had taken six West Indies wickets for just 59 runs in the first session, as the home side was bowled out for 354. But Holder and Shannon Gabriel brought them back in control with two wickets each in the middle session, before a Keemo Paul beauty gave the fast bowler his first Test wicket. Tamim Iqbal, who had survived two reviews, a dropped catch by Devon Smith at slip and several close shaves, finally fell for 47 in the final session. Paul beat his outside edge with an angled delivery that many experienced fast bowlers find hard to create.

Next ball, he had Nurul Hasan lbw for a golden duck although replays suggested that he had been struck outside off. But Mushfiqur at the other end didn’t offer any help as Nurul walked away.

Mushfiqur’s stay didn’t last long either. He was caught by Shai Hope at gully, to give Jason Holder his third wicket. Miguel Cummins joined in the act with Mehidy Hasan Miraz’s wicket, another lbw decision that was upheld after the review.

Holder’s fourth wicket was Taijul Islam, bowled through the gate with Bangladesh still five runs short of avoiding the follow-on, The second session had begun badly for Bangladesh as they lost Liton Das and

Mominul Haque quickly. Liton was slightly unlucky as replays showed that the Gabriel delivery would have missed his leg stump. Liton, too, didn’t review.

Mominul’s difficulty dealing with the full ball continued when he edged to gully for the second time in the series while on the move. His dismal scores read 1, 0 and 0 so far.

Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim handled the West Indies attack better thereafter, adding 59 runs for the third wicket. They struck a number of fours through point and cover but had loose moments. An over after he was dropped, Holder removed Shakib with an incoming delivery that he misread and attempted to cut. Mahmudullah was then trapped leg-before for a second-ball duck.

Bangladesh’s batting difficulties made it easy to forget how well Jayed and Mehidy had bowled in the morning session. Shimron Hetmyer, through his second Test fifty, showed glimpses of a classy left-hander willing to find gaps in the off-side ring. But on the second morning, there was no solidity of Kraigg Brathwaite at the other end, with whom he had shared a 109-run stand on the first day. Jayed removed him for the addition of only two runs to his overnight 84. Roston Chase followed soon, continuing his difficult year in Test cricket, as Jayed trapped him leg-before for 20.

Mehidy removed Paul and Cummins to complete his five-for, but some lusty hitting in a last-wicket stand of 35 helped the hosts stretch past 350. (ESPN CRICINFO)


West Indies vs Bangladesh
2nd day, 2nd Test
WEST INDIES 1st Innings
(overnight 295 for four)
K Brathwaite c Islam b Hasan 110
D Smith c Haque b Hasan 2
K Powell lbw b Hasan 29
S Hope c wkpr Hasan b Islam 29
S Hetmyer c wkpr Hasan b Jayed 20
R Chase lbw b Jayed 20
S Dowrich c Hasan b Islam 6
J Holder not out 33
K Paul c Haque b Hasan 0
M Cummins lbw b Hasan 0
S Gabriel b Abu Jayed 12
Extras (b20, lb7) 27
TOTAL (all out, 112 overs) 354
Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-59, 3-138, 4-247, 5-297, 6-302, 7-318, 8-319, 9-319
Bowling: Abu Jayed 18-7-38-3; Shakib-Al-Hasan 22-3-60-0; Mehidy Hasan 29-9-93-5; Taijul Islam 25-4-82-2; Kamrul Islam Rabbi 10-1-34-0; Mahmudullah 8-1-20-0
BANGLADESH 1st Innings
Tamim Iqbal b Paul 47
Liton Das lbw b Gabriel 12
Mominul Haque c Hope b Gabriel 0
Shakib-Al-Hasan b Holder 32
Mahmudullah lbw b Holder 0
Mushfiqur Rahim c Hope b Holder 24
Nurul Hasan lbw b Paul 0
Mehidy Hasan lbw b Cummins 3
Taijul Islam b Holder 18
Kamrul Islam not out 0
Abu Jayed b Holder 0
Extras (lb5, nb8) 13
TOTAL (all out, 46.1 overs) 149
Fall of wickets: 1-20, 2-20, 3-79, 4-79, 5-117, 6-117, 7-128, 8-135, 9-149, 10-149.
Bowling: Gabriel 10-3-19-2; Paul 9-2-25-2 (nb3); Cummins 9-1-34-1 (nb4); Holder 10.1-1-44-5 (nb1); Chase 8-0-22-0
WEST INDIES 2nd Innings
K Brathwaite b Hasan 8
D Smith not out 8
K Paul not out 0
Extras (w1, nb2) 3
TOTAL (1 wkt, 9 overs) 19
Fall of wickets: 1-19
Bowling: Abu Jayed 4-1-8-0 (nb1, w1); Mehidy Hasan Miraz 2-1-8-0; Taijul Islam 2-0-3-0 (nb1); Shakib-Al-Hasan 1-1-0-1
Position: West Indies lead by 224 runs with nine second innings wickets standing.
Toss: Bangladesh.
Umpires: R Illingworth , S Ravi; TV – R Kettleborough.


Categories: News

Lessons from World Cup

Columnists - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 23:12

I personally would have preferred a “Belgium versus Croatia” final but the football Gods willed a “Croatia vs France” duel. There were many upsets during this World Cup tournament and it seemed that nations who had never won the title before all came prepared to fight and to take the trophy home.

On the other hand, Neymar has already gone rolling back to Brazil, Ronaldo diving back to Portugal’s waters and Messi along with Argentina all returned home early. Even the power-house Germany, who copped the title the last time around, went home before the end of the first round!

It seemed that the time had come for the underdogs to reign over established football leagues. However, France was the only nation of the old order to have survived to the end.

The countdown is definitely on as you read this article and only time will tell which country will be the 2018 FIFA World Cup champion.

Each fan, each person, each country would have learnt something on differing levels along the way. I looked in on a few events which really made me wonder whether T&T was a forward moving nation as other countries. The underdog teams, though lacking in experience, did not simply lose to the bigger names. Each underdog team which qualified for the World Cup delivered a sterling performance and did not cower under fear or refuse to fight their respective matches.

Why did T&T not qualify for this World Cup? Are we as a young footballing nation investing sufficiently and/or appropriately in achieving true international status? Are we moving forward with clear ‘goals’ in mind for the next World Cup in Qatar, 2022? We should take a page from these underdog teams and start manufacturing the right formula for success.

When Japan, in their bid to reach the final stages lost 3-2 to Belgium, they immediately shocked the rest of the world by their actions. It is reported that the Japanese team cleaned up their lockers and changing room and left a note thanking the host nation, Russia. It was further reported that the Japanese fans “had happily, autonomously, unpretentiously, humbly and meticulously cleaned up their stands…” Fans took their own garbage bags and cleaned up the stands.

Would that ever occur in T&T? My brothers and sisters at home litter our country as a matter of habit. If you tell someone that they have dropped some garbage on the floor, they would steups at you. Garbage is routinely thrown out of moving vehicles. People stare at you in your own moving vehicle as they are parked on the shoulder of the highway taking a ‘piss.’

In the job-place, you would not dare tell fellow employees to clean up their work area. If an employer circulated a memo to its employees that they needed to clean up before leaving work for the day, the trade unions of our beloved T&T would march around Port-of-Spain chanting hymns and slogans. How dare you unilaterally impose terms and conditions upon the working class? This is a return to slavery conditions.

Truth be told, if a company like TSTT or Petrotrin or even a Ministry was to impose some kind of clean-up policy in the workplace, the Industrial Court would be inundated with reports of industrial relations offences. If you reflect on this hypothesis, you would soon realise that sadly, I am not joking.

How is it that good habits are being inculcated in nations of hundreds of millions of people whilst our country of just over one million people cannot begin to reflect on our own behaviour. Is it because we like to drink and make merry in a nasty, ‘dutty’ yard? Why are we focused on which schools did not participate in a primary school chutney singing competition when we should be ingraining our kids with concepts of cleanliness being next to Godliness?

Let’s all take stock of the direction we are heading as crime and other ills plague our nation. The time is now or never! I am sure the players in tomorrow’s World Cup final encounter are saying the same thing but obviously in a different context. I end with the words of the World Cup 2018 theme song, “…One life, live it up cuz we got one life, one life live it up cuz you don’t get it twice…” (Nicky Jam, Will Smith, Era Istrefi).

Categories: News

Govt weaknesses, UNC’s Barataria bid

Columnists - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 23:11

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley may have chortled at the quips which he delivered on Thursday. But he was also very serious in frankly admitting to weaknesses in the anti-crime fight and Government’s responsibilities on this.

When asked that day about the fact both his past and present Public Administration Ministers were and are ill, he quipped with a laugh, “All I could tell you is if I offer you a portfolio there - don’t accept it.”

If that Ministry’s duties have seen both past Minister Maxie Cuffie and present Minister Marlene McDonald falling ill – whether with pre-existing conditions or not – the situation indicates more than medical weaknesses among PNM’s team.

PNMites confirmed that a few weeks ago, Cuffie received doctors’ approval to return home by month-end, following recent neurosurgery. He’s completing therapy and will take up the post of Minister in Public

Administration on return. How much help he’ll be to McDonald with her medical issues remains ahead.

Her situation presents certain challenges for Government, particularly evident from muddled messaging on the matter from both her constituency’s releases – which seemed to want to protect information on her – and Government which communicated a more serious picture.

Credibility on Government’s image from the at-odds messaging is less an issue than McDonald’s health itself.

After admission to St Clair Medical Centre last Saturday - with bronchitis later found to be as severe as pneumonia - by Wednesday she’d indicated to Government she was being discharged, but was staying on to have fluid suctioned from her lungs and nebulizing (medication via mist).

She was discharged, home Thursday, speaking in strong voice – with ripe cough – watching reports on her illness. Yesterday there was Government silence on claims about her condition. She only said she was “tired.” McDonald’s sick leave includes next week.

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar texted her get-well wishes. UNC MP Ganga Singh has hypoglycemia aids he bought for McDonald since her recent bout with that.

However, Government manages two ministers with health issues in the same ministry, more immediate challenge is Monday’s Belmont East and Barataria by-elections.

Government in a negative term seeking to hold two local government seats, one in an Opposition-held marginal constituency.

Opposition targetting Barataria to reinforce footing in a constituency it holds.

Each trying to improve political face.

Belmont electorate remains 3,237, as it was for 2016 Local Government polls when PNM won with 744 votes to UNC’s 49 (amid 34 per cent voter turnout).

Barataria has 10 fewer voters than its 2016 electorate of 10,217. PNM won the seat with 1,898 votes to UNC’s 1,506.

That Government is taking seriously UNC’s bid for Barataria was confirmed by Rowley’s letter issued Thursday night to “Dear Resident” (of Barataria).

Engineered to counter Persad-Bissessar’s recent lobby of Muslim voters, his 12-plus paragraphs stressed elections shouldn’t be decided on “religion, fear and misinformation.”

Persad-Bissessar tore up the letter at a meeting that same night.

PNM’s attempted to avoid making the polls a referendum on Rowley and Government’s performance, portraying the campaign as one of the local issues. But the fact PNM’s also campaigning on the basis of its recent 126-page “Never Again, Kamla!” booklet shows its employing general election tactics also.

PNMites walked Barataria endlessly, knowing residents by name. PNM’s poll last week showed a 15-16 point lead.

Secure with Belmont, they believe, it’s a question of whether UNC saves its deposit there. UNC whip David Lee admits, “Belmont’s a hard fight, but we expect more than the 49 votes of 2016.”

UNC’s Belmont campaigning was led by deputy Jearlean John. MPs Barry Padarath, Ganga Singh, Lee, Fazal Karim headed Barataria’s campaign.

Monday’s results will confirm the level of apathy in both areas, whether UNC’s traditional support outnumbers youth voters in Barataria and if its initial projection on the Muslim vote is accurate - or if this waned recently.

On Monday night, PNMites will await results at Balisier House while UNC gathers at each campaign office.

Monday’s polls coincide with the targetted arrival date of the controversial Galleon’s Passage. Exactly who sails home politically – PNM or UNC – remains to unfold.

Categories: News

$0.02 decline in Clico Investment Fund

Business - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 23:03

Overall market activity resulted from trading in 14 securities of which three advanced, four declined and seven traded firm.

Trading activity on the First Tier Market registered a volume of 224,815 shares crossing the floor of the Exchange valued at $7,893,312.94.

Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited was the volume leader with 103,458 shares changing hands for a value of $806,053.58, followed by Scotiabank T&T Limited with a volume of 100,682 shares being traded for $6,554,398.20.

T&T NGL Limited contributed 8,240 shares with a value of $245,140, while Massy Holdings Limited added 3,000 shares valued at 140,980.

JMMB Group Limited registered the day’s largest gain, increasing $0.10 to end the day at $1.85.

Conversely, Clico Investment Fund registered the day’s largest decline, falling $0.02 to close at $20.51. Itwas the only active security on the Mutual Fund Market, posting a volume of 30,750 shares valued at $630,530.

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

• The Composite Index advanced by 1.70 points (0.14 per cent) to close at 1,221.82.
• The All T&T Index advanced by 0.11 points (0.01 per cent) to close at 1,719.37.
• The Cross Listed Index advanced by 0.46 points (0.48 per cenr) to close at 97.25.

Categories: News

T&T Chamber cautious on IMF growth forecast

Business - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 23:03

The T&T Chamber is maintaining a cautious stance on the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) projection that T&T’s economy is entering a phase of slow economic recovery.

Commenting on the concluding statements from the IMF’s recent Article IV Mission to this country, the Chamber said feedback from the business community shows that there has not yet been any material improvement in consumer demand. It also cited the IMF’s observation of key risks that “may continue to weaken market confidence, not the least of which is energy price volatility.”

The Chamber said in a statement: “July 11, 2018, saw one of the steepest one-day oil price declines in a year; while this may not be sustained, it highlights the risks we face as an energy dependent economy.

“It also emphasises the need to insulate our economy from future shocks, and to intensify efforts to address the barriers to non-energy growth.”

The group also highlighted its call for a national transformation strategy in which the private sector can play a part.

According to the Chamber, the IMF identified risks T&T must address to continue the drive to “transform the economy, improve competitiveness and reduce reliance on the energy sector.”

It said: “We therefore concur with the call for the speedy approval of the Revenue Authority legislation, as well as the acceleration of VAT refund payments. We are also keen to see the updated figures and charts on the status of VAT refunds, as was done in the last report, and reiterate the need for more active management of the foreign exchange market to ensure equilibrium between supply and demand.

“As far as the proposed increase in utility tariff rates goes, while the T&T Chamber recognises the importance of reducing subsidies, it is equally important to improve efficiency and ensure that services provided by the government are competitive. Urgent action is needed to reduce labour rigidities in the public sector and to improve the efficient delivery of public services, which ultimately requires meaningful public sector reform.”

Noting that the IMF had welcomed National Insurance Service (NIS) reform initiatives such as further contribution rate increases, the Chamber said these cannot be the only solutions.

“Unfortunately, decisions made in previous administrations have increased the pension subsidy paid, which has further exacerbated the problem. The increased cost to both employees and employers will further contribute to making Trinidad and Tobago more uncompetitive in the global landscape.

“Corrective actions must be taken: Barbados, for instance, as at January 1, 2018, increased its retirement age to 67,” the Chamber said.

The business group said it agreed with the IMF’s observations and recommendations for structural reform to support sustainable growth.

“We also back any balanced approach to crime prevention and control. Finally, we maintain that large budget deficits cannot be maintained, and we endorse the recommendation to adopt a clearly communicated Medium Term Fiscal Policy Framework (MTFF),” the Chamber said.

Categories: News

Archie: An embarrassmentdere

News - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 22:44

The reluctance of T&T to make the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) its final court of appeal is an embarrassment.

The statement was made by Chief Justice Ivor Archie as he addressed a special sitting of the court to commemorate the appointment of new CCJ President Adrian Saunders.

The ceremonial hearing was held at the CCJ’s headquarters at Henry Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday morning.

Archie said: “I consider it a continuing embarrassment that as the seat of the court we do not yet access its appellate jurisdiction.”

Archie’s comments were supported by almost all the speakers who proceeded him including the Chief Justices of Barbados and Guyana and several senior regional attorneys.

Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs Fitzgerald Hinds also echoed that statement in his address on behalf of the Government.

“I have taken note of the expressions of embarrassment by the CJ and others and I too am embarrassed,” Hinds said as he claimed that his Government and political party has always supported this country’s ascension to the court.

In an interview after the ceremony, Hinds explained that while the Opposition United National Congress (UNC) had signed the initial treaty establishing the court in 2000, it has since repeatedly refused to support moves to replace the United Kingdom-based Privy Council with it.

“Once the Government changed 2001 there was a sudden turnaround and we have not been able to get their support since,” Hinds claimed as he pointed out that Opposition support was vital as such a change required a special majority of Parliament to be ratified.

In his speech, Law Association president Douglas Mendes, SC, who regularly appears at the CCJ in regional appeals, claimed that issues with ascension were also caused by misinformation on and misconceptions of the court.

Mendes said: “Contrary to the naysayers, this court has not been an instrument of the heads of Government.”

Of the 12 Caricom nations which signed the treaty, only Barbados, Guyana, Belize and Dominica have made the move to have their criminal and civil appeals heard by the CCJ. The CCJ still has exclusive jurisdiction to hear all cases involving the interpretation of treaties dealing with Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) for all 12 signatory states.

Speaking with reporters after the event, Sauders, who is from St Vincent, admitted that he and his colleagues hoped that more countries would take the step.

“That is a political process though but there are things we can do in order to assist that process,” Saunders said as he admitted that more public information was needed.

“One of those things is providing more information on the court, on what it does and about the processes we undertake and some of the cases we do. People can get a greater sense of confidence about the court and about our ability to be a protector of the rights of people and to serve the Caribbean public in promoting the rule of law and defending democratic values,” Saunders said.

He also admitted that in the past education programmes only targeted bar associations and professional organisations.

“I think we need to spend more time engaging with people on a broader or grassroots level,” Saunders said. He suggested that the court was considering using social media and mass communication methods to get its message across.

Saunders admitted that there was misinformation in the public domain about the court independence and ability.

“The Court actually has produced far more judgements for the four countries that are on board in the appellate jurisdiction than the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has produced for the several other states that are still sending their final appeals to them,” he said.

Saunders claimed that the large case-load was possibly caused by the easy access to the court and fact the appeals to it are much cheaper for litigants.

Asked if the court could handle an even larger case-load when more countries agree to sign on, Saunders said yes as he pointed out that the CCJ has provisions for 10 judges, although it currently has seven.

“Because they send the most appeals to the Privy Council and given that we reside here, if Trinidad were to come on board there is every likelihood we would need another judge,” Saunders said.

Categories: News

Parliament debates Williams as top cop next Friday

News - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 22:29

The Parliament meets next week Friday—July 20— to discuss a nomination sent from the Police Service Commission for the post of Commissioner of Police.

Stephen Williams topped the merit list which was compiled by the firm KPMG.

Two weeks ago, the Parliament rejected the nomination of Harold Phillip as Commissioner of Police and referred the issue back to the PSC advising them to use the merit list which continues to be valid for a year.

Phillip and another deputy Deodat Dulalchan were rejected by the Government because they both applied for the job of deputy commissioners and not that of Commissioner of Police.

Williams, who has been acting Commissioner of Police for the past six years, applied for the job of top cop and topped the merit list.

Asked by the T&T Guardian whether he was willing to accept the job if the Parliament accepted the nomination Williams said he had not commented on the issue around the commissioner’s appointment since the process started and he will; not do so now.

Williams told the Guardian that his effective date of resignation is August 8, 2020.

Despite the fact that two of his deputies were interviewed for the post of commissioner and were nominated before him for the position, Williams said he had seen “no obvious dissension among the ranks over the issue of commissioner,” but he declined further comment.

Although the country has been experiencing a severe spate of crime which has seen a spike in murders, Williams said, “Over the past four to five years we have been averaging 12,500 serious crimes in Trinidad and Tobago, compared to an average which was 20,000.”

Williams said he has “weekly meetings with my divisional heads” as they seek to get a handle on the crime problem.

Categories: News

PM: No racial, ethnic sacrifice to win election

News - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 22:28

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says his Government “ will never sacrifice the racial, ethnic and religious stability of T&T in attempting to win an election.”

Addressing a political meeting in Belmont on Thursday night he accused the UNC of “starting a race war in El Socorro.”

He accused the Opposition of being “prepared to risk the country’s social ethnic and religious stability to win one local government seat.”

He said he understood the problem, “if you lose eight times in a row you can’t risk loss number nine,” but he said it was at the price of telling Muslims in El Socorro that the anti-terrorism act is anti-Muslim and the government attacking Muslims.”

Rowley also took to task one Muslim leader who criticised him after he described the Boardwalk killings was akin to terrorism.

He said he made no apologies for his statement. “I say a man in using an automatic weapon to spray a crowd of innocent people trying to kill somebody and you end up killing three people and four almost got killed and others could have been killed, this indiscriminate killing isn’t that what terrorism is, indiscriminate killing of innocent participants that is what it is,” the PM said.

The Prime Minister said there are guns in this country “that can shoot many rounds within seconds” and anyone who has such a weapon “could act like a terrorist.”

His statements about the Opposition and the race war were in sync with a letter which residents in El Socorro have been receiving in their mailbox in the lead-up to the bye-election in Barataria in which residents were told that their decision “should be decided on real issues, on the truth and not on messages of fear and religion.”

Although there was no signature, the letter head was ‘From the desk of Dr Keith Rowley Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and Political Leader of the peoples National Movement.

Addressed to ‘Dear resident,” the letter described Barataria as an “ethnically, culturally, religiously diverse and suburban neighbourhood.”

The letter, which residents said they found in their mailboxes, listed eight challenges which “as a society and government we face.”

Those included “overcoming the scourge of violent crime,” protection and education of children, restructuring the energy economy, looking after the vulnerable in society, confronting and changing the culture of corruption in public affairs, diversification of the economy, and building public institutions to work “in the people’s interest and not against it.”

A concern was conveyed in the letter that while no path is without challenge, T&T has of late been “tarnished by the few trying to divide us or inflame emotions,” to choose a government “along lines of religion, misinformation and fear.”

Barataria is a widely Muslim community. Homes in Mohammedville and the Nur ul Islam Mosque were among those raided during the so called terrorist threat over the Carnival period.

The letter stated: “As your Prime Minister, but more importantly as a fellow citizen, I have seen an alarming willingness of a few in the public space to use their religion, misinformation and fear to obscure the real issues and divide this nation along fault lines that fit their own narrow interest or personal agendas.”

It said: “The growing intensity of their actions and the indifference towards the threat it presents to our social stability should be seen and rejected by all.”

The letter detailed historically from the Peoples Charter by Dr Eric Williams in 1956 which were enshrined in the Constitution highlighting the national watchword ‘tolerance’ stating that as a country we had moved “far beyond” the meaning of the word.

It said as a national T&T had crossed boundaries and celebrate each other’s culture, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Shouter Baptist , Indian Arrival Day, Emancipation Day and more recently the First Peoples holiday, “our children grow up as we did celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr, Christmas and Divali.”

It included the Prime Ministerial oath, and sought to assure that “as your Prime Minister I lead a Government and a party,” that not only has an “abiding loyalty,” to the oath but “we have always believed that religious liberty is an indivisible right under the Constitution.”

Those things the people of Barataria were told were being brought to their attention to show that the society as it is today was “built one block at a time on ideals like tolerance, discipline and production.”

The letter noted: “Our success as a society does not only lie within the usual boundaries of just respecting our differences, but because we have crossed those boundaries and grown to celebrate and embrace them as our own.”

Residents were told “you will have a choice to make in the upcoming by-election, I believe that this seat, like all seats, should be decided on real issues, on the truth and not on messages of fear and religion.”

The letter added: “No election should be decided on religion, fear or misinformation,” but about making a choice to voting to “continue on a path to progress, prosperity, stability, tolerance and service,” and “selecting a trusted political party to best serve you,” as it urged residents to vote for Kimberly Small. See Page A10

Categories: News

Judge asks to recuse self over ‘threat’ text

News - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 22:21

Alleged improper communication between prosecutors and a magistrate may derail the preliminary inquiry into the assassination of former Independent Senator Dana Seetahal, SC.

Lawyers representing some of the 10 men charged with the crime yesterday made an application calling for Senior Magistrate Indrani Cedeno to recuse herself from the case, which she has been presiding over since 2016.

In the application, which was obtained by the T&T Guardian, the group’s lawyer Criston J Williams explained that the improper communication was revealed to him and other defence attorneys during a chamber court hearing before Cedeno on June 1.

Williams said at the meeting they were informed that there was communication between the prosecution and Cedeno in November last year and in May.

“This ex-parte unilateral communication caused Magistrate Cedeno to have heightened sense of fear as she perceived the nature of the communication received subjectively and subsequently made a formal application for ‘increased security’,” Williams said.

Williams alleged that the communication related to a series of violent threats made in series of Whatsapp messages. The messages, which do not directly refer to Cedeno or the case, were attached to the application.

In the application, Williams suggested that the communication and the failure of Cedeno to disclose it within a reasonable time was improper.

“It is fundamentally flawed and unbecoming of the prosecution led by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and begs the question of prosecutorial conduct in the circumstances,” Williams said.

He also suggested that her conduct may make a fair-minded observer question whether she would be biased against the accused men.

“In the instantaneous case at the bar, it shall be difficult to persuade the hypothetical observer that the magistrate has or may have the ability to dismiss from her mind her perceived subjective threat in making of her decisions,” Williams said.

In the event that Cedeno agrees to recuse herself, it would mean that the preliminary inquiry, which is already at an advanced stage, would have to be restarted before a new magistrate. This would further delay the case, as prosecutors will have to re-tender the 50 witness statements that have already been put into evidence. The ten witnesses who have already given evidence before Cedeno will also have to take the witness stand a second time and be cross-examined by defence attorneys. It will also have a ripple effect on other unrelated cases in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court, as most magistrates do not schedule hearings of their cases when the high-profile case is listed due to heightened security measures implemented for it.

Cedeno only took control of the case in 2016, after former chief magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar recused herself from the case after it was revealed some police officers in her security detail had assisted in investigating Seetahal’s murder. However, Ayers-Caesar’s recusal did not totally derail the inquiry as the State had not begun to lead evidence when it occurred.

The application is expected to be considered when the case comes up for hearing before Cedeno, next Wednesday.


The issue is the second alleged blunder by the prosecution team since reputed gang leader Rajaee Ali and 13 alleged associates were charged with the crime, a year after Seetahal was murdered on May 4, 2014.

Seetahal was shot dead behind the wheel of her SUV while driving along Hamilton Holder Street, Woodbrook.

Ali, his brothers Ishmael and Hamid Ali; Devaughn Cummings, Ricardo Stewart, Earl Richards, Stephan Cummings, Kevin Parkinson, Leston Gonzales; Roget Boucher and Gareth Wiseman were initially charged with the crime.

They, along with Rajaee’s wife Stacy Griffith, Deon Peters and David Ector, were also charged under the Anti-Gang Act for being members of a gang.

In 2016, the DDP’s Office applied to amend the gang charges due to an administrative error made when they were laid on the group.

Cedeno dismissed it as she ruled that the time for making the amendment had expired. Peters and Ector were set free, while Griffith remained as she was charged with an unrelated gang offence that was not affected by the blunder.

Cedeno’s decision on that issue is being challenged in the Court of Appeal next week.

In December last year, the murder charge was discontinued against Stephan Cummings, who was instead charged with conspiring to murder Seetahal.

Ector was murdered earlier this week.

Categories: News

Ex-WASA boss, Kall Co exec on bribe charges

News - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 22:17

A former Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) executive and a construction company director have been each released on $250,000 bail after appearing in court on corruption charges yesterday.

Wendell Diaz, the former head of Procurement and Logistics at WASA and Michael Arjune, a director of Kall Co Ltd, were granted bail when they appeared before Magistrate Kerri Honore-Narine in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court.

Diaz was charged with corruptly accepting a $30,000 bribe from Arjune as a reward for influencing the award of WASA contracts to the company. Arjune was charged for paying the bribe in December 2013. The charges did not state if any contracts were induced by the alleged bribe.

The duo was not called upon to plead to the charges, which were laid indictably.

Police prosecutor, acting Inspector Rajesh Lal, objected to bail for Diaz, who lives at Red Hill, D’Abadie, and for Arjune, who lives at Boissiere Village, Maraval.

Honore-Narine disagreed.

Kall Co is one of several contracting companies that were named in a recent novel state civil cartel claim over $200 million in contractors awarded under the People’s Partnership government in the run-up to the 2015 general elections. The cartel claim centres around 10 contracts for rehabilitation of roads in Caroni, which were granted to five contractors by the Estate Management and Business Development Company Ltd (EMBD).

The other contractors, who are also challenging the claim, are Namalco, Fides, TN Ramnauth and Company Ltd (TN Ramnauth) and Mootilal Ramhit and Sons Contracting Ltd (Ramhit).

That claim, touted by the People’s National Movement (PNM) Government as its first corruption case, is currently before High Court Judge James Aboud and is yet to go to trial.

Kall Co has also won several millions of dollars in lawsuits over uncontested work it performed for other State agencies over the past few years.

Even after it was implicated in the cartel claim, the Government still awarded it a $400 million contract for the first leg of the controversial Churchill Roosevelt Highway extension to Manzanilla, which is currently under construction.

Diaz was represented by Ulric Skerritt, while Jagdeo Singh and Criston J Williams represented Arjune. They were charged by PC Patrice Loney-Phillip of the Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau.

Both men were ordered to reappear in court on August 10.

When contacted on the matter yesterday, WASA chairman Romney Thomas said he had heard that charges have been laid against Diaz.

“What I can tell you is that Mr Wendell Diaz was the former acting director of corporate services prior to his termination in March of 2017 for gross misconduct,” Thomas said, adding the AG’s office continues to work on claims of a civil nature involving corruption.

Pressed further, Thomas refused to comment saying Diaz’s matter was now before the court.

Calls to Kall Co’s office yesterday went unanswered.

Categories: News

Chairman resigns after questions over $$

News - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 22:14

Carl Celestine has been appointed interim chairman has been appointed at the National Commission for Self Help Limited

This after the organisation’s chairman Edgar Zephyrine tendered his resignation.

In April the commission appeared before the PAEC chaired by Wade Mark and was described as a “rogue entity.”

Zephyrine was accused of “doing your own thing as chairman,” by Mark.

Several committee members including Mark, Jennifer Baptiste-Primus and David Small had raised concerns about the Abercrombie Fund which the Commission invested TT$20 million in at First Citizens.

“How does a company on a tight budget have $20 million to invest?” Small asked. Zephyrine said the investment in the fund “has been a bit of a mystery.”

But Baptiste-Primus noted Zephyrine himself had signed off on two withdrawals from the fund.

Baptiste-Primus expressed concern that money from the fund was used to pay suppliers without approval from either the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Community Development.

The Committee also heard from the commission’s corporate Secretary and Legal Advisor Kendra Thomas-Long who said she had recognised “certain breaches of control by the Zephrine- led Board and “sought to raise it via a board note, but I was prevented from doing so.”

The T&T Guardian was told that Zephyrine subsequently resigned as chairman. Another Board member also tendered her resignation shortly after the PAEC meeting.

Yesterday, employees of the Commission suggested the need for a “forensic audit” into the entity as they called for an account of the TT$10 million withdrawn from the Abercrombie fund under the tenure of the Zephyrine- led Board.

The T&T Guardian was also told that an acting CEO is due to take up duties on Monday after the CEO, who was suspended by the Zephryine led- Board, decided not to return to the commission .

Senior staffers said the organisation is “finally settling down,” and returning to “its original purpose where it gives grants and help people. We were at a standstill but things are slowly picking up.”

Efforts to contact line Minister for the Commission Nyzan Gadsby Dolly proved futile yesterday.

Categories: News

Forgenie blatantly lied to us

News - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 22:11

Member of the Public Accounts Enterprises Committee (PAEC) David Small says “a clear message has been sent out by the Board of the Youth Training and Employment Partnership Programme (YTEPP) following the Board’s dismissal this week of the programme’s chief executive officer Nigel Forgenie.

The Board is chaired by Thora Best

Small added: “And I suppose by extension the Government that if your hands are found in the kitty they are prepared to take action.”

Small was the committee member who put the question to the now sacked chief executive officer of YTEPP three times on July 4 whether he had a relative working at the company or whether any relative had been given a contract.

On the three occasions Forgenie responded in the negative.

He was warned by committee chairman Wade Mark of having to face the consequences if he did not tell the truth since he was under oath.

It was only on the fourth occasion when the question was put to him by committee member Jennifer Baptiste-Primus that Forgenie admitted his wife had been employed in a dance programme run by YTEPP under her maiden name.

Yesterday, Small told the T&T Guardian the dismissal was a “surprise, I think it is the first time in the records of how the JSC functions something like that has occurred.”

He said it was “really unfortunate,” but he said he gave Forgenie “every opportunity to come clean, I told him that we had additional information and I am giving you the opportunity to change your answer and to come clean, and he insisted on going the way he went.”

Small said he took no pleasure in the dismissal of the CEO since “I will be the last person to have any enjoyment or excitement from someone losing their job in this economic climate,” but he said it was clear that things under Forgenie’s 12- year tenure at YTEPP were not as they should have been.

He said he doubts that Forgenie “acted alone, so I expect that the Board will continue its investigation to determine who else in the company is culpable.”

Small said Forgenie’s dismissal “is a huge swelling effect for a long time most people holding those positions would say nothing would happen and we will be able to walk away and life goes on as normal.”

He said while the committee is not a “punitive committee trying to get people to lose their jobs or have people fired,” they do have a duty to “protect the resources of the State in the best way possible to make sure that people who are in charge of these entities who have control of these resources, apply the proper rules and procedures, that’s what we are trying to do.”

Yesterday, calls to Forgenie’s phone went unanswered and calls to YTEPP chairman Thora Best were also futile.

Small said holders of high office at State entities “and I continue to hold the view that when you listen to the way some of the people in charge of these entities operate, they don’t seem to understand that this is taxpayers’ money, this is not a slush fund for you to take and spend and don’t apply proper control or procedures.”

Committee chairman Wade Mark agreed saying “we need value for our money, as I keep telling people there is no party colour in the taxpayer dollar.”

Mark said since assuming the role of oversight JSC’s and parliamentary committees like the PAEC “ had extraordinary success in keeping State enterprises under check and real serious scrutiny and probity.”

Without the parliamentary oversight committees, he said, the public would not have a lot of the information which is now available, “There has been a massive increase in the level of accountability, transparency and openness as a result of the formation and establishment of the committees,” he said.

On the specific case of Forgenie, Mark said his was “unique because he blatantly lied to the committee.”

Mark said, “There are instances where we seek information and get all kind of roundabout answers to questions and a complete refusal to answer.”

He recalled when TSTT appeared before the committee when they were asked about the sale arrangement with Massy Communication, “we asked did they do an evaluation, did you do due diligence, they gave us a cock and bull story. The committee is yet to get the report requested so we sent a report to Parliament to that effect.”

Once the parliamentary committees submit their report with recommendations the State entities under review have 60 days to respond in writing to tell the committee they have received the recommendation and the action which they have taken.

Both Small and Mark believe that while the committees have an important role in keeping the State entities accountable, the organisation charged with monitoring State entities the Investment Division of the Ministry of Finance needs strengthening.

Mark said, “You have 110 State enterprises and 20 people in the Investment Division how can they supervise properly? It is impossible.”

He believes that the Investment Division should become “an independent unit attached to the Parliament with an independent budget and reporting directly to the Parliament.”

Small agreed that the Investment Division “is woefully understaffed, woefully under-resourced, so that needs to be fixed.”

Small said it was a “physical impossibility,” for the division to properly monitor the State entities given its short-comings urging that the issues be addressed.

Categories: News

Trini jailed for fraud in UK

News - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 22:06

A Trinidadian woman has been jailed in the United Kingdom (UK) for defrauding a charity she worked for of in excess of £.75 million.

In an article dated July 13, 2018, on the Metropolitan Police’s website, Nadia Deone Chase-Ali, 35, of Bonchurch Road, W11, was reported to have appeared at Isleworth Crown Court, where she was convicted of fraud by abuse of position, theft and removing money from England and Wales.

She was sentenced to six years in prison.

Chase-Ali was employed as a financial officer with Carnival Village Trust (CVT). She then went on to work freelance for the organisation, holding a position of trust in which she was expected to safeguard the financial interests of the charity.

Over the course of two years, Chase-Ali allegedly made 530 separate payments totalling £784,262.56 from CVT and TW11’s bank accounts into four of her own bank accounts. She disguised these transactions as payments to legitimate suppliers, service providers and government organisations.

To conceal the theft, the article stated, she stole from the charity and company a significant number of financial documents, including outstanding invoices, payment demand letters and financial statements, which were found at her home address the day she was arrested on March 16, 2017.

The trial began on June 11 and on day two of the trial Chase-Ali changed her plea for two counts - fraud by abuse of position and removal of criminal property out of England and Wales. She continued to plead not guilty to theft of the financial documents.

Categories: News

Cerebral Palsy body wants $13m centre opened

News - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 22:05

Wheelchair-bound children suffering from cerebral palsy and their parents demonstrated in the rain yesterday, calling for the opening of the National Enrichment Centre at Carlsen Field, Chaguanas.

The centre was built just over two years ago at a cost of $13.5 million and is equipped with physiotherapy equipment and a pool to treat all people with disabilities but remains unopened.

Cerebral Palsy Society of T&T (CPSTT) president Philip Metivier said his association has been clamouring for the use of the centre for the past two years. However, he said whenever the CPSTT asks about the status of the centre they keep getting excuses from the Ministry of Social Development and a run-a-round from Minister of Social Development and Family Service Cherrie Ann Critchlow-Cockburn.

Metivier said he was supposed to meet with Critchlow-Cockburn in March but she called at the eleventh hour and cancelled the meeting.

“I wrote several letters to her requesting a meeting and I never got a response,” Metivier said.

He said to add insult to injury, several grants, such as the caretaker grant and food cards, were taken away from parents who depended on these state handouts to take care of their children.

Visually impaired parent Angela Swamber, who has been blind for the last 27 years, cried and as she told the media of her plight.

Swamber said there is no help locally for children with CP and the centre offered a ray of hope when it came to therapy. Swamber shed even more tears when she said her son had often asked her why was he born to suffer this way.

Parent Rohini Mootilal complained that they are experiencing problems to get the special Eldamo buses from PTSC to take their children for medical care. They said the drivers also inconvenience the children since they also stop to pick up PTSC workers and delay the process to the health services.

Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh, the former Minister of the People and Social Development under the People’s Partnership administration, said the Government should stop playing politics with children suffering from CP.

Ramadharsingh said: “They are not the average citizen, they are not even the average differently-abled person that is physically impaired. You have a condition in CP where you have a physical difficulty and in some cases, you have a mental challenge as well.”

Ramadharsingh said some children with CP have different nutritional requirements and may have to be fed intravenously or may die.

“They need the food grant, they need this facility for therapy, they can raise funds to bring in specialists. There is a pool for physiotherapy, there is no excuse, even if times are hard a new brand facility should be put to use and not remain unused.

“This is a colossal shame that this facility is not being used and today they have to shelter in a tent while a facility that was built for more than $13 million and being underutilised …do not let political victimisation affect these children, use it constructively for the benefit of the children.”

Categories: News

Tumour crushes lung

News - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 22:03

Twelve-year-old student Krist Deolal always dreamed of becoming a police officer so that nobody could take advantage of his family. However, he could not fulfil those dreams after he died from a tumour in his lung yesterday.

Deolal, a student of Salazar Trace Government Primary School, succumbed around 2 am in the arms of his cousin Renn Beharry, while his mother Parbatie Deolal and sister Karina Deolal cried uncontrollably. The family had been desperately trying to rush Krist to the San Fernando General Hospital but just as they arrived at the A&E Department he died.

During an interview, his brother Naresh Deolal, 18, said Krist fell ill last week.

“He had a cold and fever. My father thought it was the regular flu so he bought some medication for him. We thought he would get over it but he got worse,” Deolal said.

The family lives in a plyboard home at LP#54, Salazar Trace, a few miles off the South/Central Road in Point Fortin.

Accustomed to dealing with illnesses on their own, Krist’s family never took him to the hospital until he began complaining that he could not breathe.

“It was like a normal cold and fever. We were giving him Panadol. He never complained before about chest problems. He started to get better. He was eating and drinking. I bought juice and we gave him Gatorade. That night he got up and he was saying he could not breathe so I called my nephew Renn to take him to the hospital,” Deolal recalled.

The distraught father, who works at the Point Fortin Borough Corporation, said Krist loved to play sports and was never sickly as a child.

“He used to play cricket and football. He loved fishing. When I go to use the whacker to cut the grass he would come and help me. He used to go and pick pommerac and mandarine to make chow for his sisters,” Deolal said.

He added that even if he had taken his son to the hospital they may not have known immediately that there was a tumour in his lung.

“He would have had to be X-rayed. I did my best to raise him. The doctors did a post-mortem and they said the tumour in his lung was so big that it compressed the right side of his lung, causing it to collapse,” Deolal added.

He said the family was now trying to raise money for Krist’s funeral tomorrow. Anyone wanting to assist the family can contact Deolal at 324-4429.

Categories: News

T&T boys fall in playoffs

Sports - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 00:07

The local trio of Derron Douglas, Luc O’Young and Javier King were swept aside by Peru 3-0 in their consolation semifinal match-up of the 2018 Pan American Junior Table Tennis Championship in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic on Wednesday night.

Douglas was beaten by Rodrigo Hidalgo 3-0; King went under to Jhon Loli 6-11, 4-11, 4-11, and O’Young fell to Felipe Duffoo, 6-11, 3-11, 5-11.

On Tuesday morning, the T&T boys ended at the bottom of their four-team Group Two round-robin series with a 0-3 record against Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and Argentina In their opening fixture on Tuesday morning, T&T went under to Puerto Rico 0-3.

This was followed by a battling 2-3 loss, at the hands of Costa Rica on Tuesday night in which O’Young and Douglas won for T&T.

For the Central Americans, Daniel Araya defeated Douglas 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5 and Bryan Solis swept past King 13-11, 11-6, 11-8 for a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Luc O’Young then mounted a come-back for T&T when he rallied past Henry Alvarez 8-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9 while Douglas overcame Solis 11-9, 11-13, 12-10, 11-5 to level the tie at 2-2.

However, it was not to be for T&T as King fell to Araya, 4-11, 6-11, 7-11 in the fifth and deciding contest.

T&T then returned to action on Wednesday morning in their final round-robin match against Argentina which defeated Costa Rica 3-0 in its opener, and Puerto Rico 3-0 as well, and was also swept aside by a similar scoreline.

Douglas went under to Santiago Lorenzo 4-11, 11-8, 3-11, 2-11; O’Young was humbled by Leandro Fuentes 8-11, 4-11, 6-11, and King was overpowered by Alexis Orencel, 6-11, 5-11, 9-11.

Today, (July 13), the Junior Boys Singles serves off with all three T&T players in action.

O’Young will compete in Group Four against Chile’s Andres Martinez and Noel Almonte of Dominican Republic.

King will compete in Group Eight alongside Pablo Palou of Uruguay; Canada’s Alexander Bu, and Dominican Republic’s Omar Andujar,

And in Group Ten, Douglas faces Canada’s Terrence Yeung, Sergio Bignardi of Brazil, and Jean-Claude Hoek of Aruba.

Tomorrow (Saturday), Douglas and OYoung will compete in the Boys Doubles versus Puerto Rico’s Angel Noranjo and Jabdiel Torres in the round-of-16.

Categories: News

Morvant Caledonia hunts Army in FCB semis

Sports - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 00:05

Morvant Caledonia United and Defence Force, the Immortelle Group winners, will clash in what is expected to be a mouth-watering semifinal encounter at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, from 6 pm this evening, as action in the First Citizens Cup continues.

The Jerry Moe coached-Caledonia is in pursuit of its third First Citizens title, having won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. The team fancies its chances of a final berth also but must produce the output to match its expectations.

Only Tuesday the Morvant Caledonia men got a morale-boosting 2-0 win over Police FC in a rescheduled fixture at the same Mucurapo venue, courtesy of a goal each from Renaldo Francois and Sedale Mc Lean, both in the first half. Francois put Caledonia in front after 13 minutes of play when he turned Mc Lean’s right side cross past Theon Browne in the Police goal, and later Mc Lean hammered the nail into the Lawmen’s coffin when he drilled a low shot beyond the outstretched arms of the Police second choice goalkeeper in the 35th minute for the 2-0 victory.

The result pushed Caledonia to nine points and second in the Abercrombie Group on an inferior goal difference of four to Police.

Defence Force, a three-time winner of the Cup, will not be intimidated by Morvant Caledonia’s successes to date, as coach Marvin Gordon is confident in his players’ ability and confident in his team on the whole.

“I am confident in what I know my players can do. This is in no way taking Morvant Caledonia for granted because we will not be doing that, but we have been training hard and I know what my team is capable of,” Gordon said.

He noted though that the game will not be an easy one for his troops, as he knows the Morvant team to be very organised one that will fight to the end. According to Gordon, “Once we do what we have been working on and what we are capable of, then we will win the match.”

In spite of their loss, however, the Lawmen still maintained the lead in the Abercrombie group with a goal differential of six and will face Central FC in the second semifinal clash at 8 pm at the stadium this evening.

Police coach Richard Hood, who was certain of his team’s progress to the semis Tuesday due to its advantage in goal difference, took the opportunity to expose a number of his non-starters such as Travis Joseph, Keion Wilson and Kemron Purcell, while, at the same time welcomed the return of left-back Dexter Alleyne and former Pro League top scorer Makesi Lewis.

Lewis missed the last two seasons because of a broken leg and was only happy to be back on the pitch once again. Still, the Lawmen should have taken the lead after just five minutes. Wilson, the stand-in captain on the night, was presented with a golden opportunity but he failed to convert.

In another game on Tuesday MIC-IT, St Ann’s Rangers got a 40th-minute penalty from Saleem Henry, as well as another item two minutes later (42nd) from Allister Bernard to edge San Juan Jabloteh 2-1 in the first game of the doubleheader. Jabloteh’s lone strike came to Sean Bonval in the 70th minute.


Categories: News


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