International: Pope condemns child sex abuse

Pope Francis has condemned the "atrocities" of child sex abuse and clerical cover-ups in a letter to the world's 1.2bn Roman Catholics.

The letter to "the People of God" calls for an end to the "culture of death" in the Church, addresses failures to deal with abuse and asks for forgiveness.

Last week a grand jury report detailed seven decades of abuse in Pennsylvania.

The landmark investigation found more than 1,000 identifiable minors had been abused by 300 priests in the US state.

President tells Muslims to remain steadfast in their faith despite attacks on their religion

President Paula-Mae Weekes has called on law-abiding Muslims to remain steadfast in their faith despite the attack on their religion by criminals who call themselves Muslims.

In her Eid message yesterday, Weekes extended solidarity to "true Muslims" saying Islam has been distorted by those seeking violence and discord.

"It is alarming to observe the distortion of the message of Islam practiced by some in Trinidad and Tobago and around the world, who have been drawn into lifestyles of brutality and contempt for human life," she said.

Opposition Leader: "Resist attempts to promote discord"

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is calling on the nation to resist attempts to promote discord and division in the country our nation.

In her Eid message, the Opposition Leader described the attempts by some in our society to promote discord and divide our nation as troubling.  

She urged citizens to not let these persons achieve their goal.

She called on citizens to “join hands and work together to ensure that our nation returns to peace and prosperity. Together, we can make a difference, and bring about positive change.”

Caiso boss disappointed by call

Disappointed. That’s how Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (Caiso) executive director Colin Robinson summed up religious leaders call yesterday for Government to amend the Marriage Act and to not amend Equal Opportunity Act to accommodate the LGBTI community.

Archbishop: There will always be gangs unless T&T finds way to respect, educate youth

Two weeks after the Anti-Gang legislation went into effect, Roman Catholic Archbishop Jason Gordon says unless T&T finds a way to love, respect and educate its youths, there will always be gangs.

Speaking to reporters after the consecration of the chapel of Our Lady of the Presentation, held at Presentation College in San Fernando Monday, Gordon said an intervention was needed within the family if gangs were to be eradicated.

SDMS challenges ‘new’ marriage licence process

The Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) is challenging a recently introduced system of stringent background checks for new pundits seeking licences to conduct marriages.

In an eight-page letter sent to Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi yesterday afternoon, SDMS lawyer Stefan Ramkissoon questioned the lengthy questionnaire, which officers of the T&T Police Service (TTPS) Special Branch introduced for first-time applicants last year.

IWRN condemns treatment of Nafesah Nakhid

The International Women’s Resource Network (IWRN) is adding its voice to the list of condemnations on the issue regarding OJT teacher, Nafesah Nakhid.

The organisation says it objects strongly "to such actions as they can only deepen the country’s already archaic thinking on a number of out-of-the-box issues".

It says Trinidad and Tobago would never be able to rise to international standards once it continues to channel judgements and decisions in accordance with selfish and backward standards.