Trinidad e Tobago

Sargassum struggles in Mayaro/Rio Claro

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - 45 min 20 sec fa

MAYARO/RIO CLARO Regional Corporation CEO Ashmead Mohammed has asked for funds to deal with sargassum seaweed on beaches in the area, but none have been forthcoming. He was speaking as officials of the corporation, the Princes Town Regional Corporation and the Local Government Ministry met with the Joint Select Committee (JSC) on Local Authorities on Wednesday at the Parliament building. JSC member Khadijah Ameen said along the east coast there is the challenge of sargassum and, with the corporation having a substantial portion of the coast, what role was it playing in trying to clear the beaches. Mohammed said beaches and by extension the shoreline and coastline are the remit of the Tourism Ministry. "However," he said, "we have this sargassum seaweed problem for a number of years." He said the corporation has tried its best to address the sargassum "in-house" during peak periods when there are a number of tourists, both local and foreign, flocking to the beaches of Mayaro. These periods were Carnival, "summer vacation" and Easter. He reported for the past Easter weekend workers were paid overtime to clear sargassum in high-traffic areas. "But the problem with the seaweed is if you clear it ten o'clock in the morning, by two o'clock in the afternoon it is back there. (Because of) the volumes in the waters out there, no matter what you do it repeats itself (on the beach) in a couple of hours. So all we do is very cosmetic."

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Driver accused of stealing 103 bales of toilet paper

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - 1 ora 24 min fa

A TRUCK driver was accused of stealing 103 bales of toilet paper from the Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation. This was reported as officials of the corporation as well as officials of Princes Town Regional Corporation and Local Government Ministry met with the Joint Select Committee (JSC) on Local Authorities Wednesday at the Parliament building. JSC vice chairman Ramona Ramdial asked about "some misappropriation" of toilet paper by a corporation driver and what disciplinary action was taken. Corporation CEO Ashmead Mohammed said the incident occurred a year ago and it was anticipated that with the "glaring evidence" the matter would have been dealt with by the municipal police. He said, however, that a week before the submissions to the JSC, a new inspector informed the corporation the period to lay charges had expired and no action could be taken. Ramdial asked if the driver still worked for the corporation and Mohammed confirmed he did. He also reported the driver was currently the subject of another investigation, this time into his behaviour to members of the public and reckless driving. He reported the investigation tribunal has completed its work and a pronouncement would be made in a week. JSC chairman Varma Deyalsingh asked the cause of the delay in the initial charge. Mohammed replied the previous inspector did not feel the CEO was his supervisor, though it was always the clear demarcation that municipal police fall under the corporation and the CEO as the municipal head. Ministry Permanent Secretary Jennifer Daniel confirmed that the CEO is responsible for the municipal police and when someone challenges that authority it is up to the CEO to treat with the matter.

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Bravo named in West Indies’ World Cup squad

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - 1 ora 36 min fa

DARREN BRAVO is among four TT players named on the West Indies squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales. Fellow left-handed batsman Evin Lewis, wicketkeeper/batsman Nicholas Pooran and fast bowler Shannon Gabriel are the other TT players in the 15-member squad, which will be captained by Jason Holder. Interim chairman of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel Robert Haynes announced the squad during a media conference today at the Sandals Royal Resort, Barbados. The squad includes nine players that will be making their first appearance in the global showpiece, including emerging batting star Shimron Hetmyer, the captain of the West Indies Under-19 side that won its first ever ICC Youth World Cup three years ago in Bangladesh, and the side is boosted with the inclusion of big-hitting all-rounder Andre Russell. [caption id="attachment_762071" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Nicholas Pooran[/caption] “Based on the new selection policy approach which allowed us to consider a number of players that have not regularly appeared in the side over the last two years, we had a wide base of talent from which to choose,” said Haynes. “There were a number of tough calls we had to make to settle on our squad of 15, including ensuring there was some continuity in the side, but we believe we have chosen a strong squad of players taking into consideration such factors as experience, fitness, team balance, current form and conditions.” Haynes noted that off-spinner Sunil Narine and emerging fast bowler Alzarri Joseph were not considered, due to finger and shoulder injuries, respectively.  

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TT pair handed life bans by FIFA

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - 1 ora 42 min fa

THE TT pair of Keyeno Thomas and Karlon Murray were among eight individuals (past and present players and a players' agent) handed life bans by FIFA today for their involvement in match manipulation/fixing, in violation of article 69 paragraph 1 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (unlawfully influencing match results).

The 41-year-old Thomas made 74 international appearances for TT between 1998 and 2005, and played locally with Joe Public, San Juan Jabloteh while the 34-year-old Murray (who, like Thomas, was a central defender) represented TT at the youth level and had stints at the Pro League with Jabloteh and Police FC.

Also given life bans by FIFA were Hellings Mwakasungula (Malawi), Ibrahim Kargbo (Sierra Leone), Kudzanai Shaba (Zimbabwe), Séïdath Tchomogo (Benin), Leonel Duarte (Cuba) and Mohammad Salim Israfeel Kohistani (Afghanistan).

Kenyan player George Owino Audi was slapped with a 10-year ban from any kind of football-related activity at both national and international level (administrative, sports or any other).

According to a report on the FIFA website, "The formal disciplinary proceedings into the aforementioned individuals stemmed from an extensive investigation into various international matches that Wilson Raj Perumal attempted to manipulate for betting purposes. This large-scale investigation was conducted by FIFA over several years through its Integrity Department and in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders and authorities."

FIFA pointed out that the individuals were notified of the decisions today, the date on which the relevant bans come into force.

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No water in Tableland for over a month

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - 1 ora 44 min fa

PRINCES Town Regional Corporation financial officer Mahabir Gheesan says the corporation was in a "crisis" owing to the failure to release funds to supply water via trucks. He was speaking as officials of his corporation, the Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation and the Local Government Ministry met with the Joint Select Committee (JSC) on Local Authorities today at the Parliament building. He said the corporation has had issues with receiving releases for truckborne water. In the last financial year the allocation was $400,000, but he added that the corporation received no releases and contracts that had been awarded had to be paid for in this financial year. "In this dry season that we are in now, the situation after we paid the workers just over $100,000, we were only able to award contracts for water trucking for just two weeks." Gheesan said it was fortunate the corporation had three water tenders to assist. "At this time it is a crisis within the Princes Town Regional Corporation, because not only in the areas where we are responsible for assisting for water, even in the areas that WASA is responsible for, the electorate is coming to us, because not even WASA is supplying water. "I can tell you in the Tableland area people have not had water for over a month, and people have been begging us to assist."

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No decision by CAL on Max 8

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - 1 ora 44 min fa

STATE-owned Caribbean Airlines (CAL) has taken no decision as yet about whether or not it will proceed with a lease arrangement contract for 12 new Boeing Max 8 aircraft. Contacted on Wednesday, CAL officials indicated the airline had nothing to add, further to its public statement on March 19. In that statement, CAL indicated it would not and could not introduce any aircraft into its fleet that did not meet the most stringent international and domestic regulations. CAL said if the Boeing 737 MAX-8 aircraft failed to meet any of those very stringent requirements "it will not, and in fact cannot, be added to the fleet." The airline said its international aviation consultants, attorneys, and management were closely monitoring the situation. They will take all required steps to continue to safeguard the airline, its customers and staff. At a post Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre on March 14, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said, "CAL has been instructed by me to get the best legal advice in the world regarding these leases and also to put contingency arrangements in place with the aircraft leasing companies (for) alternative aircraft in the event that, as we get closer to December, the FAA decides there is a permanent problem with the aircraft." Imbert is the line minister for CAL. While CAL made a US$7 million down payment for the new aircraft, Imbert said that would be contingent on the successful delivery of planes that had been deemed airworthy by the relevant authorities. CAL’s current fleet comprises 12 Boeing 737-800s. Last November, CAL had announced its plans to upgrade and replace its fleet with the Max 8 aircraft. Last month, CAL CEO Garvin Medera said the airline would put safety first and base its decisions on the relevant reports and conclusions. In March, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) ordered a temporary grounding of Max 8 planes after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Max 8 plane in the same month. All 157 passengers and crew on board were killed in that crash which occurred six minutes after take-off. A preliminary report into that crash said the crew followed all the right procedures but could not stop the plan from nosediving. Boeing in a statement said it would “carefully review” the report and “take any and all additional steps necessary to enhance the safety of our aircraft." The blame for the crash was placed on the plane's anti-stall software. Last month, the FAA tentatively approved a software update for the Max 8. A full report into the Ethiopian Airlines crash will be released in about one year. *Just In**

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Caribbean coral reefs critically endangered

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - 1 ora 48 min fa

The reefs around TT, as well as throughout the Caribbean, are critically endangered said coral reef ecologist at the Institute of Marine Affairs and weekly columnist for Tobago Newsday Dr Anjani Ganase. Ganase said although coral reefs were vital to a country’s economy, people did not pay enough attention to how they were treated. Ganase was addressing a small group of marine stakeholders today at the second seminar on modern Caribbean seascapes/coral reefs, held at the Institute of Marine Affairs auditorium, Hilltop Lane, Chaguaramas. [caption id="attachment_759433" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) colonies found in the shallows along Pirates Bay Reef.[/caption] “Don’t walk on it. We depend on the reefs for food. Buccoo Reef is a classic example of a reef that has been well-visited but well-destroyed because we physically touch it too much. “We intend to use scientific research and innovative communications to connect people to the marine world, inspiring them to be responsible, by encouraging the implementation of environmental management policies.” [caption id="attachment_759432" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Overview of Pirates Bay. Coral reefs fringe the edges of Pirates Bay.[/caption]

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Keep publishing SEA results

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - 2 ore 54 min fa

THE SANATAN Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS), which runs several Hindu primary and secondary schools, has taken issue with a proposal by the Education Ministry to stop publishing the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exam results in the daily newspapers. The SDMS says the need for transparency trumps the right to privacy. Education Minister Anthony Garcia last week said no final decision had been taken and the ministry had received the views of various stakeholders with the need for transparency being weighed against the rights of the child and parents’ wish for privacy. Parents have called on the ministry to stop the practice of publishing the results. However, the Maha Sabha has threatened to take the ministry to court if it chose not to publish. In a pre-action protocol letter sent to the ministry yesterday, attorney Stefan Ramkissoon said the sudden refusal on the part of the ministry to publish the results was unlawful, malicious and arbitrary. In his letter to the minister, Ramkissoon said by doing so, the ministry was acting with malice and deliberate indifference to citizens’ constitutional rights in defiance of settled and indisputable law. Ramkissoon said the SDMS proposed to take legal action on behalf of its schools and the children who attend its schools. The lawyer said at a recent meeting with SDMS secretary general, Satnarayan Maharaj, Garcia made "vague" references to the effects the SEA exam was having on children. But at this meeting, Maharaj pointed out that the right to privacy should not outweigh the need for transparency as this was not a privately funded examination. Ramkissoon said there has been no proper consultation and accused Garcia of causing further anxiety. The SDMS gave the ministry until 4 pm yesterday to respond, promising to approach the High Court for an order preventing it from executing any plan to stop publication of the results. Contacted for comment yesterday, Garcia told Newsday the ministry is now seeking the opinion of Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi on whether to discontinue the annual publication of SEA results which will be out by July. That decision was reached at yesterday’s meeting of the ministry’s Strategic Executive Team. Garcia added, “We got the opinion of our own legal advisor today.” Asked if confidentiality was not just a legal matter but also a sociological issue, he said the ministry has also sought opinions from the NPTA, National Primary School Principals Association, Association of Denominational Schools and several individuals. ( Additional reporting by SEAN DOUGLAS)

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Aguilleira retires from international cricket

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - 3 ore 47 min fa

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua - Cricket West Indies (CWI) announces the retirement of one of its longest serving West Indies Women’s players, Merissa Aguilleira.

Aguilleira, 33, played in over 100 One Day Internationals (ODIs) and captained the West Indies Women from 2009 to 2015, a period during which she led the team to the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup in India 2013, and the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s World T20 in 2010, 2012 and 2014 and was part of the 2016 ICC Women’s World T20 winning team in Kolkata.

In her primary role as a wicketkeeper, she has over 100 dismissals in ODI cricket, having recently achieved the magical three figures during the home series against South Africa Women in September 2018. In addition, she has over 70 dismissals in T20 internationals (T20Is) from the 95 matches she has played.

Having made her ODI debut against the Netherlands Women in July of 2008 and her T20I debut against South Africa in June of 2009, she played 112 ODI matches, amassing 1752 runs at an average of 20.61 and 95 T20Is, scoring 768 runs at an average of 14.49.

Aguilleira expressed her gratitude by saying, “I wish to thank all members of the team with which I worked and worked with me to secure success in our endeavours to bring pleasure, pride, happiness and inspiration to West Indian people everywhere. It is an absolute honour to have been of service to West Indies Cricket. My continued goal is to assist CWI to build and develop women’s cricket and help others like me to achieve their dreams.”

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Sexologist:’Teach sex education, prosecute predators’

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - 4 ore 2 min fa

Teaching young people decision-making skills through sex education and punishing perpetrators for breaking the law and taking advantage of minors would help decrease the number of teenage pregnancies. This was the view of Onika Henry, trained sexologist.. Last week at a parliamentary Joint Select Committee (JSC) it was revealed there were 3,777 teenage pregnancies in TT between 2014 and 2018. There were 570 and 2,970 pregnancies in the 13-16 and 17-19 age groups respectively. The statistics on the fathers showed 1,395 were between the ages of 20 and 30. There were 146 fathers between 31 and 40, and 24 between 41 and 50. Henry told Newsday in a phone interview, "It is clear, especially since we have laws, because we have such power dynamics, that the adults are the ones who need to be held accountable. They are the ones who are responsible for the situation. That is clear to me." She said there is a controversial issue of men who exclusively target girls of a particular age. There are three categories of people who have sex with minors: paedophiles are those who have sex with prepubescent children; hebephiles are attracted to early-adolescent minors, typically between 11 and 14; and ephebophiles prefer people between the ages of 15 and 19. These categories, she said, "may have that age group as their only attraction. They are not interested or sexually attracted to adult women or women of their own age. "That controversial issue is that it is an orientation that needs to be dealt with in the mental health facilities, where men are taught to reframe their thinking of how to view the opposite sex in a particular kind of way and how to manage their feelings and behaviours." Henry said sex education would be key to teaching adolescents proper decision-making tools to empower both boys and girls. "Sex education includes not just knowing about safer sex practices, it includes learning about understanding your body, preventing pregnancies, preventing STIs (sexually transmitted infections). It includes teaching young people very real skills they could apply to their lives to keep themselves safe. It includes sexual decision-making. It includes understanding risk and avoiding risk, and it includes abstinence." That, she said, was "a very real skill. Abstinence is something that is part of comprehensive sex education. "We do not view abstinence as a talent. It is a skill that you teach, and you can teach your young people how to be abstinent. That is part of decision-making. If we teach them these skills, along with punishing perpetrators for breaking the law and taking advantage of minors, I think we could make a huge improvement and a huge dent in the number of teenage pregnancies we have." Henry said the ways boys and men are socialised to view women also contribute to the rates of teenage pregnancies. These include hypermasculinity, hypersexuality and the notion that being a man involves having control over their woman and female partner. "That whole abstinence skill is something boys need to learn too. That whole understanding of power and the dynamics in gender, boys also need to learn. "If we start to do this education with adolescent boys and girls, right through the developmental stage, then we would have less and less men who engage in that type of behaviour of wanting to be in that position of power and control, which is a symptom of toxic masculinity," she said.

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THA head: Nothing wrong with racing goats

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - 4 ore 8 min fa

Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles says there is "absolutely nothing" wrong with Tobago men taking part in goat racing. Delivering the feature address at the 94th annual Goat and Crab Race Festival at the Buccoo Integrated Facility, Tobago, Charles said goat racing was not "an ordinary pastime" but required skill, time, patience, dedication and commitment. "Some may be ignorant. And I say this with emphasis.....But I am particularly proud to say to Tobago and indeed all of TT that nothing, absolutely nothing is wrong with goat-racing," he declared. "I go further to state that nothing, absolutely nothing, is wrong with Tobago men partaking (sic) in goat racing." Charles' declaration came days after Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha secretary general Sat Maharaj spoke disparagingly about the poor work ethic of Tobagonians during a Jaagriti broadcast. He described the men in particular as lazy and only fit to run crab and goat races. In his address, Charles made no mention of Maharaj's comments but said Tobagonians were "elated" goat racing was part of the island's unique cultural heritage. "It is a source of great pride and joy for all who have witnessed it. And it is important for us to recognise that and we must never lose it, as goat racing has become part of Tobago's DNA." There are many places in the world where you will finds all kinds of activities, he said, "But I am not sure you can find goat racing anywhere else in the world. And even if you do, I am not sure you can find one that matches the authenticity and the spectacle that is characteristic of the Buccoo Goat Race Festival." Reflecting on the significance of Easter – death and resurrection – Charles urged the gathering to "put death" to negativity, bad habits, selfishness, ingratitude and jealousy. "Brothers and sisters, any attitude and mindset that does not promote the building of Tobago should be put to death today." On the flip side, he challenged Tobagonians to "resurrect parts of us that will build and develop our Tobago and by extension, our country, TT. "We must never succumb to negativity and despair. Easter is a time of hope, renewal and new life."

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Gyandass, Mallo missing at sea for 9 days

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - 4 ore 12 min fa

For nine days Etwaria Gyandass, 74, has been praying to the goddess of the ocean, Mother Ganga, to find her son, offering her flowers and rice every morning. Six friends in all ventured out to sea and met with an accident that claimed at least two lives. Two of the men swam ashore and two are still missing. Doubles vendor Siewnarine Gyandass, 51, and Denish Mallo, 23, both of Beaucarro Road in Freeport, are still missing. Kumar Lalla, 49, and Glen Dave Prahalad, 32, survived and swam ashore. The bodies of both Chunilal Gyandass, 53 and Ronald Narinesingh, 37, were found floating at Carli Bay two days later. These two were cremated on Monday. A relative said Etwaria, mother of both Chunilal and Siewnarine Gyandass, has been unable to sleep and is constantly praying for her missing son and his friend Mallo. The family has hired professional divers to search for the two missing men. “We are not depending on the Coast Guard as they go about their duty not doing anything about finding the men,” the relative said. Both Chunilal and Siewnarine, the relative said, were fond of the sea and spent a lot of their spare time fishing. “It is always a treat for them to go out at sea and they always have lots to talk about when they return.” Councillor for Orange Valley Allan Seepersad said Narinesingh was a hard-working employee of the Couva/Talparo Regional Corporation. “He recently asked for a job letter to purchase a vehicle to transport crops that he had grown,top be sold at the Couva market,” Seepersad said. The councillor joined with others from Orange Valley in the search for the missing men. “This is very strange, as when or if someone drowns, the body floats up within a week. In this case nine days have gone by, and no signs of the bodies of the two remaining men.” It was on April 14 the six friends went on a fishing lime in the Gulf of Paria. Their flat-bottomed boat overturned and sank. Survivors Lalla and Prahalad attended the funeral for Narinesingh and Gyandass on Monday. Afterwards they joined mourners at the seaside in Carli Bay in search of the two missing men. Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh said the Coast Guard did not respond to the SOS call until near midnight on the night the men got into difficulties and questioned the CG’s response, saying it was unco-ordinated and lacked any sense of urgency. “I would like the National Security Council headed by PM Dr Keith Rowley to do a comprehensive review and assessment of the functions and service of the Coast Guard,” he added. The Coast Guard, Indarsingh said, is supposed to be the gold standard when it came to ocean safety and protecting the country’s maritime boundaries.

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Talks on suicide prevention in May

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - 4 ore 12 min fa

Dr Gerard Hutchinson, University of the West Indies professor of psychiatry, says “suicide and suicidal behaviour continue to be major problems for the health, education and social sectors in Trinidad.” He added that TT needs to respond “more effectively and more comprehensively” in order to save more lives. Hutchinson made the statement in a media release as the International Association for Suicide Prevention readies itself to host the third Caribbean Regional Symposium in TT from May 2-4. It will be held at the Hilton Trinidad, Port of Spain. This symposium will focus on “evidence-based research, best practice and innovative suicide prevention activities,” a release said, and will also be an opportunity to encourage young researchers and practitioners. The symposium will have over 30 presentations and will be attended by delegates from over 20 countries. The media release said the symposium’s aim is to bring together researchers, practitioners, helpline workers, programme planners, graduate students and the community from within TT, the Caribbean and the world. Suicide and suicidal behaviour, the release said, have emerged as “major public health problems in the Caribbean,” with Guyana and Suriname having been reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as among the countries with the highest rates of suicide in the world. TT and Cuba, it added, also have “relatively high rates of mortality from suicide.” The release said while other Caribbean countries have a lower suicide rate, suicidal behaviour and self-harm are “important public health and emergency department problems in most of the region.” Young people were “disproportionately” affected by this, with rates highest in young adults and “negatively affecting economic and social development,” it said. The release said surveillance and reporting of suicidal behaviour was problematic and inconsistent, and few systematic suicide prevention programmes were in operation. The release quoted Dr Lesile Ramsammy, a New York-based clinical research co-ordinator and Guyana Times columnist, who said, "National efforts to stem this raging river of destruction, death by suicide – a majority of which occurs among people suffering mental illness – are in disarray. “Most national programmes to address this national and global crisis, where there are national programmes, suffer from a lack of commitment and an almost universal lack of resources. "More than 90 per cent of the Caribbean countries lack a national strategy to respond to the suicide epidemic and none has a budget to support a suicide prevention programme." Ramsammy will be the symposium’s keynote speaker. The release added that a “cohesive and comprehensive response to suicidal behaviour in the Caribbean” was needed and improved services for individuals and families affected by suicidal behaviour and a commitment to establishing national suicide prevention programmes were the priorities requiring urgent attention. Social and community prevention strategies, intervention protocols and "postvention" support (an intervention conducted after a suicide), the release said, were “sorely needed.” The WHO’s fact sheet on suicide says, globally, close to 800,000 people die by suicide every year and suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds. The symposium will also feature workshops on national strategies, surveillance, gatekeeper training and building hope in hopeless situations. More information can be found at https://iasp.info/trinidad2019/

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Maloney man killed in drive-by

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - 4 ore 33 min fa

Police are investigating the murder of a 31-year-old man they described as a "pest" last night. They said Wadiki Simmons was sitting outside his home at Building 17, Maloney, around 9 pm when a car pulled up. A man then came out from the passenger side and shot him several times, before getting back inside and driving off. Residents heard the gunfire and on checking, saw Simmons bleeding. They took him to the Arima Hospital where he died while being treated. Police said Simmons was a known "pest" and a priority offender. They suspected he was an affiliate of Richard Wilson aka "Bond" who was killed during a confrontation with police in Torrington Drive, Edinburgh 500, Chaguanas, earlier this month.

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Carapichaima man beaten, killed, dumped in garbage heap

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - 4 ore 36 min fa

Members of the Central Division are at the scene of a murder in Freeport this morning where the body of a 37-year-old man was dumped after a robbery. Police said Eldon Roopnarine was with a female friend at about 7 pm yesterday when five men approached the Mazda car they were sitting in. The men forced his friend into the backseat, after which he was beaten and bundled into the trunk. The men drove the car to a bushy area where both Roopnarine and the woman were thrown out. The woman saw that Roopnarine was unresponsive and walked through the bush to a house. She borrowed the phone of the residents to call the police. Members of the Central Division went to the scene and after searching the area found Roopnarine's body. Police believe robbery was the motive for the murder.

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Prisoner on death row since 1996

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - 5 ore 20 min fa

THERE are 44 prisoners currently on death row and one has been there since 1996. This was reported on Tuesday in the House by Housing Minister Edmund Dillon, speaking on behalf of the National Security Minister. He read the convict number and date of conviction of the prisoners, but did not provide any names. One prisoner was convicted on June 21, 1996, more than 22 years ago. There were three prisoners convicted for 11 years and two for two years. About 75 per cent had been convicted five or fewer years ago, with the most recent one on January 28 and another on February 12. Dillon was also asked whether there has been an increase in the number of people under the age of 18 joining gangs. He replied that owing to the clandestine nature or gangs and vacillating membership, without standardised procedures, he could not verify the age of every gang member and was therefore unable to say whether there had been an increase or decrease. Naparima MP Rodney Charles asked why the police gang units were not functioning on the basis of international benchmarks. Dillon replied gang cultures differ from country and while in the US gang members can be identified by something like tattoos, in TT a member of a Diego Martin gang may become a member of a Point Fortin gang.

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CCTV camera shot in Laventille

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - 6 ore 50 min fa

A security camera was the only victim in a shootout between gunmen at Eastern Quarry Road, Laventille, and the Beetham this afternoon, police say. Newsday understands at around 3.15 pm, several gunshots were heard along the Eastern Main Road, near the Success Laventille Secondary School. Police said the shooting was a result of ongoing warfare between gangs in both areas. No one was hurt, but on closer investigation residents said a CCTV camera was shot and damaged.

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Judge begins murder trial summation today

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - 6 ore 50 min fa

JUSTICE Hayden St Clair-Douglas will today (Wednesday) begin summing up the trial of two men for the 2006 murder of burger proprietor Harry Chatoor. The accused are Nigel Charles and Marlon Hope, who are before the judge and a jury in the San Fernando High Court for shooting dead Chatoor, 65, on the night of July 7, during a robbery at his home. Chatoor died about three weeks later at San Fernando General Hospital. The State is contending that Chatoor and his family were asleep that fateful night at their Jordon Hill Village, Princes Town home, when men broke down the front door. State attorney Candace Nanton, who is prosecuting with state attorney Hema Soondarsingh, called 21 witnesses. She told the judge and jury that before Chatoor was shot, family members were robbed of electronics, jewelry and cash. Charles, 59, from Embacadere, San Fernando, and Hope, 41, of Cocoyea Village, San Fernando, both testified in their defence and each called one witness. Attorney Kevin Ratiram, instructed by Charlene Kalloo, is representing Hope and attorney Renuka Rambhajan, instructed by Jared Ali, is representing Charles. St Clair-Douglas will conclude his summation tomorrow (Thursday), after which the jury will consider a verdict.

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