In­ter­na­tion­al re­la­tions ex­pert: Rowley should have avoided bait

Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley should not have ven­tured in­to a tit-for-tat sit­u­a­tion with the Unit­ed States.

So said for­mer di­rec­tor of the Uni­ver­si­ty of the West In­dies In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tion­al Re­la­tions Prof Andy Knight in re­sponse to Row­ley's at­tack last Fri­day on the US State De­part­ment for T&T's rank­ing in their 2019 Traf­fick­ing in Per­sons Re­port which placed the coun­try at Tier 2.

Row­ley ac­cused the US of hypocrisy, giv­en their own strug­gles with mi­grants.

Duke gives budget a failing grade

The To­ba­go House of As­sem­bly’s (THA) Mi­nor­i­ty Coun­cil says the THA’s draft es­ti­mates for rev­enue and ex­pen­di­ture for fis­cal 2020 pre­sent­ed by Fi­nance and Econ­o­my Sec­re­tary Joel Jack yes­ter­day are “a colos­sal fail­ure.”

In an im­me­di­ate re­ac­tion just af­ter Jack pre­sent­ed the over two-hour long $4.72 bil­lion bud­get, Mi­nor­i­ty Leader Wat­son Duke gave the bud­get a fail­ing grade.

UNC internal elections begin

Round one of the internal UNC constituency elections are over and victorious slates are now mobilizing to prepare for the local and general elections. 

Newly elected public relations officer of the Fyzabad constituency Doodnath Mayrhoo said the healing process has started as they have reached out to the losing slates so there will be cooperation in the real fight against the PNM.

Chairman of the UNC David Lee said the constituency elections was proof of the democracy that existed in the UNC.

Govt moves to allow retirement from 60 onwards

Gov­ern­ment is "eye­ing" op­tions, in­clud­ing al­low­ing peo­ple to choose to re­tire at var­i­ous ages from 60 on­wards, in its bid to se­cure the Na­tion­al In­sur­ance (NIS) fund.

But there's def­i­nite­ly no rec­om­men­da­tion or con­sid­er­a­tion to re­duce the NIS pen­sion.

Min­is­ter in the Min­istry of in Fi­nance Alyson West con­firmed the po­si­tions yes­ter­day when asked by the T&T Guardian about re­cent con­cerns about the NIS sys­tem/re­tire­ment age voiced by the Op­po­si­tion and labour lead­ers pri­or to, and dur­ing Labour Day.

"PNM wants Venezuelan votes to win elections" - Kamla

Opposition Leader  Kamla Persad-Bissessar has accused the PNM of wanting to use Venezuelan migrants to steal upcoming elections. 

Persad-Bissessar, who is also the UNC leader, was at the time delivering the feature address when Ummah TT/Muslim Federation held its annual Eid Dinner on Sunday night June 23, at the Felicity Diplomatic Centre, Chaguanas.

She said the government is seeking to pass legislation that would give the aliens the right to vote. 

THA wants $4.7 billion for next fiscal year

The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) wants $4.72 billion to run Tobago's affairs for the financial year 2019/2020.

Of that sum, the THA is projected to collect $212.9 million in taxes and non-taxes in Tobago.

This from Finance and the Economy Secretary Joel Jack as he presented the draft estimates for revenue and expenditure at the THA's 27th Plenary Sitting held in the Assembly  Chamber, Jerningham Street, Scarborough on Monday, June 24.

Abdulah: Let labour govern

The Move­ment for So­cial Jus­tice (MSJ) po­lit­i­cal leader David Ab­du­lah has lament­ed that 90 per cent of work­ers have not had a wage or salary in­crease in the last six years, even while the Par­lia­ment de­bat­ed pen­sion in­creas­es for re­tired judges, MPs, prime min­is­ters and pres­i­dents.

He said this was one of the many is­sues the work­ing class faces un­der an in­equitable eco­nom­ic sys­tem that the PNM and UNC have sub­ject­ed the coun­try to, as he called on thou­sands to par­tic­i­pate in to­day’s Labour Day cel­e­bra­tions.

Jean de la Vallette arrives in T&T

The fast fer­ry HSC Jean de la Valette has ar­rived safe­ly in Trinidad and To­ba­go.

The ves­sel docked at the Port of Port-of-Spain short­ly af­ter 8 am af­ter a jour­ney from Spain that start­ed last Fri­day.

A state­ment from NID­CO said the ves­sel will now un­der­go rou­tine in­spec­tion and clear­ance by Cus­toms and Ex­cise and the process of ac­quir­ing rel­e­vant ap­provals and train­ing of lo­cal staff as re­quired for the ves­sel’s op­er­a­tion will start.

MSJ to contest local, general elections

The Move­ment for So­cial Jus­tice (MSJ) says it will con­test all 114 elec­toral dis­tricts in the up­com­ing Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Elec­tions and 41 con­stituen­cies in next year’s Gen­er­al Elec­tion as it seeks to over­throw the Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment (PNM).

Nom­i­na­tions for can­di­dates will take place at the par­ty’s head­quar­ters from Ju­ly 1 to 31 be­tween 9 am and 4 pm. Forms are avail­able at the head­quar­ters and on­line. Can­di­dates will be screened fol­low­ing nom­i­na­tion.