MSJ: Government failed to put spotlight on the people

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


MSJ political leader David Abdulah. FILE PHOTO –

MOVEMENT for Social Justice (MSJ) political leader David Abdulah said he was left disappointed by the “Spotlight on the economy” event last Friday. He said the forum did not pay attention to the needs of the people.

The event was held by the Finance Ministry at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port of Spain. At a virtual news conference on Sunday, Abdulah said, “Our spotlight is on the people. That’s where we should begin.”

While accepting that data about TT’s macroeconomic indicators is important, Abdulah claimed both Dr Rowley and Imbert missed the point of what a budget is supposed to do.

A budget, he continued, is supposed to organise the collective resources of a country to benefit its people.

Abdulah said that conversation was not had during the spotlight event.

Referring to the opening of the new school term on Monday, Abdulah said the fact that nearly 50 per cent of students who wrote the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination did not pass, points to ongoing deficiencies in the education system.

He asked what was Government doing to address this as the new school year opens.

Abdulah suggested that Government use some of its additional revenues to digitise textbooks used by primary and secondary school students to avoid their parents having to physically purchase them from bookstores.

He also suggested a proper transport system to take students to and from school.

Abdulah said discussions could be held with various maxi taxi associations to arrange a system whereby maxi taxi transport could be dedicated only to students at specific times of the day.

He wondered whether Imbert’s comments about Rowley wanting to further reduce the fuel subsidy, translated to a further increase in fuel prices. Abdulah was concerned that this could have a knock on effect on the cost of other goods and services.

On September 2, Imbert said the fuel subsidy was currently $2.6 billion and a $2.1 billion figure was being projected for next year. He added that Rowley wants a limit on this amount, to use the rest of such funds for other purposes.

Abdulah also asked what Government was doing to help people deal with the rising cost of food.

He suggested that property tax be implemented on commercial properties first instead of residential ones.

Abdulah also reiterated the MSJ’s call for Government to impose greater taxes on wealthier individuals and companies in TT as opposed to poor people.

CSO: Economy declines by four per cent

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


FILE PHOTO: Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago –

THE Central Statistical Office (CSO) has reported that the economy declined by four per cent in the first quarter of this year.

This was indicated on Sunday in the CSO’s release of the quarterly Gross Domestic Product for the first quarter 2022.

The CSO said, “This was due to contractions in both the energy and non-energy Industries of 1.3 per cent and 5.2 per cent respectively.”

The former recorded declines in asphalt (56.1 per cent), petroleum support services (46.7 per cent), crude oil exploration and extraction (5.2 per cent) and manufacture of petrochemicals (5.1 per cent).

In the latter, there were declines in trade and repairs (excluding natural gas and petroleum distribution)- 15.2 per cent, other service activities – 10.2 per cent, construction – 9.2 per cent, electricity (excluding gas) – 3.8 per cent and textiles, clothing, leather, wood, paper and printing – 5.3 per cent.

The CSO said decline in parts of the energy sector were offset by increases in other parts

These were refining (including LNG-liquefied natural gas) – 12.1 per cent, natural gas exploration and extraction – 5.5 per cent, condensate extraction – 4.5 per cent and petroleum and natural gas distribution – 0.5 per cent.

The decline in areas of the non-energy sector were similarly offset by increases in other areas of the sector.

These were food, beverages and tobacco products- 8.9 per cent; other manufactured products – 5.6 per cent; transport and storage – 4.2 per cent and accommodation and food services – 1.9 per cent.

Fake policeman slapped with 11 charges

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday



CENTRAL Division police have made a breakthrough in a robbery incident involving bandits pretending to be police officers.

A police press release said on Sunday, that Anthony Hoyte, 30, of Roystonia, Couva was expected to appear before a Chaguanas magistrate on Monday to answer 11 charges, namely three counts of robbery with violence, two counts of assault with intent to rob, one count of robbery with aggravation and five counts of false imprisonment.

Hoyte was charged on Saturday.

According to reports, five men all dressed in police tactical wear and all armed, held up a man at Derrick Road, Chase Village last week. The men took the man to a nearby house where they relieved him of his cell phone.

The suspects then entered the house where they confronted the three occupants and tied up two of them. The three occupants were relieved of a quantity of cash and jewellery.

The bandits also stole a white Toyota Fielder which they used in a bid to escape. The police press release said the men were later forced to abandon the vehicle. One man was subsequently arrested.

Investigations were led by Snr Supt Curt Simon, Supt Edwards, ASP Dipchand and officers of the Chaguanas CID, the Central Division Gang Unit and the Freeport CID.

No school for many Venezuelan migrant children

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


FLASHBACK: A Venezuelan family arrives at the port in Cedros. Many Venezuelans are still unable to send their children to local schools although they have been granted legal status by the TT Government. FILE PHOTO –

OVER three years after this country’s government granted legal protection for Venezuelan migrants fleeing political oppression and economic hardship in their home country, there is still a major challenge in getting migrant children into the local school system.

On June 6, 2019, at a post-Cabinet press conference, the Prime Minister said Government could not prevent Catholic schools from educating the children of Venezuelan migrants.

Since then, more than 1,500 Venezuelan children have been studying under the Equal Place programme – a joint effort by the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency, UNICEF, Living Water Community and TTVSOLNET (TT Venezuela Solidarity Network).

In December that year, speaking at a press conference, Archbishop Jayson Gordon said among the top priorities of the church was enrolling immigrant children in schools.

He said then, “The ministers of Education, National Security and myself have met and worked to make this happen. The PM has said the Catholic Church will educate immigrant children and we have been struggling with very little time and resources to catch up on this.”

According to data from the Equal Place online platform, 1,177 children are enrolled in the primary education programme and 485, in the secondary programme, as of June 30. However, many migrant children are still not placed in schools in TT.

Among the asylum-seekers and refugees registered with the UNHCR, there are 4,000 children between the ages of five and 17 or 18 per cent of the 19,648 Venezuelans requesting refuge or asylum in TT, as of July 31.

According to R4V – a regional co-ordination platform set up in response to the Venezuela situation, there are an estimated 6,900 children in TT who need education support as part of the Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP).

The data managed by the R4V reports 2,900 more than the UNHCR’s reported 4,000, since it includes the numbers managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is on record as calling for migrant children to be given places in government schools. She said every child has a right to education.

She said TT citizens who migrate, expect their children to be enrolled in schools in the countries they go to, and the same courtesy should be extended to migrant children, especially those who have come here from Venezuela.

“You accepted them, you gave them licence to stay in TT,” she told the prime minister.

Yermaris Almeida told Newsday she agrees with Persad-Bissessar’s position but asked that the plight of migrant children not be politicised.

“Venezuelan migrants are not here by choice, but by obligation. Our children are human beings who deserve respect and the same opportunities for education, food and health as any other child in the world,” she said.

Almeida said many Venezuelan families here are being separated because of the lack of schools for their children.

Venezuelan families here are making the decision to send mothers with their children back home so they can study. The fathers remain in TT to continue working in order to send money to loved ones back in Venezuela.

“All I know is that the Equal Place programme was to prepare our children to enter Catholic schools here, but it’s been three years and we have no news and no hope,” Almeida added.

Conservation International Suriname bekijkt samenwerking met drie ministeries

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: De Ware Tijd Online

PARAMARIBO — Conservation International Suriname (CIS) wil formeel samenwerken met de ministeries van Justitie en Politie (Juspol), Grondbeleid en Bosbeheer

Resurgent Man United beat Arsenal 3-1 for 4th straight win Loop Jamaica

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Marcus Rashford’s double and a debut goal for Antony secured Manchester United a fourth successive victory as a 3-1 win ended Arsenal’s perfect start to the Premier League on Sunday.

Deadline-day signing Antony was handed a start after only joining on Thursday and took just 35 minutes to score his first goal, the $95 million arrival from Ajax coolly dispatching a left-footed effort.

By that time, Arsenal winger Gabriel Martinelli had had a goal ruled out after the VAR advised referee Paul Tierney to review Martin Odegaard’s challenge on Christian Eriksen in the buildup.

Arsenal started the second half strongly and equalized through Bukayo Saka, only for United to strike back as Rashford was sent racing through to score by a brilliant through ball from Bruno Fernandes.

The 24-year-old Rashford grabbed his second after Eriksen teed him up in the 75th minute as United won four consecutive Premier League games for the first time since April 2021.

Arsenal’s run of five straight games to open the season came to an end but the visitors dominated large spells at Old Trafford, suggesting they can challenge for a top-four place this season.

The atmosphere was rocking at Old Trafford and play got off to a lively start to a backdrop of anti-Glazer ownership chants that persisted throughout.

Eriksen volleyed narrowly wide at the far post having met a deep cross from Diogo Dalot, while at the other end William Saliba wasted a good chance when the ball fell to him inside the box.

Jadon Sancho followed some quick footwork with a low drive that Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale kept out and a frantic opening reached a crescendo in the 12th.

Odegaard dispossessed Eriksen before Saka put Martinelli through, with the in-form forward slotting past David de Gea.

But Arsenal’s celebrations were brought to a halt by the VAR, with the referee ultimately ruling the goal out after going to the pitchside monitor and deeming Odegaard to have fouled Eriksen.

Antony wastefully bent wide from distance as play became broken up by fouls and periods of treatment before Arsenal had some decent chances.

Martinelli got away a low attempt from an acute angle that De Gea stopped from creeping in at the near post, then soon after produced a superb save to prevent him heading home.

Those stops provided United with the platform to take the lead.

Eriksen played through the lines to Fernandes and the referee played advantage as the Portuguese passed onto Sancho before being fouled by Gabriel.

The winger fed Rashford, whose delicate pass put Antony in to curl a left-footed strike past Ramsdale. The new boy made the most of the celebrations.

There were a few half-chances as halftime approached before Arsenal returned from the break with renewed intensity.

Gabriel Jesus found Odegaard with a cross from which he could not make a clean connection and Saka rifled across the face of goal as the visitors worked another opening. Tyrell Malacia’s attempt to stop the latter ended in penalty appeals that were ignored.

Saka’s floated cross then landed on the crossbar as United remained under pressure.

Cristiano Ronaldo came on for Antony but in the 60th minute, Arsenal’s pressure told.

Having intercepted the ball, the Gunners quickly launched an attack. Odegaard slipped in Jesus, with Dalot’s tackle on him inadvertently putting the ball into Saka’s path to strike.

It was no less than the league leaders deserved at that time but they were only level for six minutes.

United picked up a loose pass and launched a break, with Fernandes’ excellent ball putting Rashford through to hit a drive that beat Ramsdale and rippled the back of the net in front of the Stretford End.

The Arsenal goalkeeper batted away Fernandes’ chip and, after Jesus went close at the other end, was picking the ball out of his net again in the 75th minute.

Fernandes superbly capitalized on the visitors’ high line with a pass that put Eriksen free. The experienced midfielder squared the ball for Rashford to score his second.

United moved up to fifth place, three points behind Arsenal.

2 held after failed supermarket robbery

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


File photo –

TWO bandits, one from Cocorite and the other from addresses in Siparia and Penal, are in custody following a failed robbery attempt at a supermarket which ended with one of the suspects being shot.

A police press release on Sunday said that the Cocorite suspect, 30, was detained by South Western Division officers after the failed robbery at a Grell Street, Siparia supermarket on August 2.

According to reports, two men entered the supermarket around 7.30 pm. One suspect appeared to be armed with a shotgun. A plain clothed security guard who was on duty at the establishment later opened fire on the men, injuring the armed assailant.

A report was made and officers of the Siparia CID, the South Western Division Task Force and the Siparia Police Station responded.

The wounded shotgun-toting suspect, 26, from Siparia and Penal, was taken to the Siparia Health Facility to be treated for his injuries and remains warded, handcuffed to his bed and under police guard. Meanwhile, the Cocorite suspect was later detained.

A shotgun was recovered from the scene and investigations are ongoing. A CCTV video of the robbery incident was later uploaded to social media and has since gone viral.

Ramnarine: Imbert’s optimism shows disconnect from reality

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


Former Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine. FILE PHOTO –

FORMER energy minister Kevin Ramnarine on Sunday described Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s pronouncements on the state of the economy last week, as further evidence of a major disconnect between the Government and the reality facing many thousands of people.

At the Spotlight on the Economy, held by the Finance Ministry at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port of Spain on Friday, Imbert said TT’s economy was now enjoying a strong recovery following the global fallout caused by the pandemic.

The minister however urged caution as future developments in global events could affect local revenues.

Ramnarine said on Sunday, “It came as no surprise that the Minister sought to paint a glowing picture of the economy under his stewardship.”

But he added, “What was presented at the Hyatt has absolutely no resonance with the man sitting in the red band maxi. The irrefutable fact is the economy has massively declined from 2015 to 2021.”

Ramnarine said in 2015, TT’s real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was $ 187.1 billion.

“By the end of 2021, it was $149.6 billion, that is a 20 per cent decline in GDP since 2014. I am not surprised that this was not a talking point at the Spotlight event.”

Referring to comments Imbert made with respect to energy, Ramnarine said, “It is also interesting that with all the buoyant oil, natural gas and ammonia prices that the country is realising, that our oil and gas revenue in 2022 will not get back to 2015 levels.”

He opined that the answer to this question will present an irrefutable fact.

“Natural gas production, the heart beat of the TT economy, is at a 19-year low. This has compromised our revenue and means that we will not capitalise on the high prices in 2022.”

Ramnarine said, “We must remember that high prices don’t last forever. It is noteworthy that with all the excess revenue in 2022 we are still in a deficit of two billion. The core issue is the production of natural gas and oil.”

Ramnarine also said data from the Central Statistical Office suggests that the economy contracted in 2021 by one per cent. He added that other countries in the world, as captured by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) databases at the time, showed growth.

“This contraction in 2021 says something is structurally wrong with the TT economy

Simon plans to revive vocational skills training in St. Mary’s South

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room


Back to School message from the Director of Education

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room
Director of Education Clare Browne

Back to School message from the Director of Education, Mr. Clare Browne for the 2022/23 academic year.

As the new academic year begins on Monday September 5, 2022 in most cases, the Ministry of Education the message can be accessed using the link below.