Wednesday, July 28, 2021

May 18, 2021 - Trinidad and Tobago Police Commissioner Gary Griffith said Monday at least 250,000 people have applied for exemptions under the eight-hour curfew that came into effect last weekend.  Griffith, speaking at a Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) news conference, said that an estimated 5,000 applications will be approved.

“Based on the requests that I have seen so far for curfew passes, it seems as though that many persons do not understand the intent for the state of emergency,” he said, adding that some people were of the opinion “it is business as usual and if we continue to do that it is going to defeat the purpose for a state of emergency.”

The last figures issued by the Ministry of Health showed that as of Sunday, Trinidad and Tobago had recorded nine new deaths and 356 new cases of the virus bringing the total cases to 16,255 and 285 deaths.

Last weekend, the Trinidad and Tobago government declared a state of emergency (SOE) and an eight-hour curfew as a ‘scared population” looked to the authorities to implement new measures to deal with a rising number of deaths and infections from the virus.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley said that the curfew, which went into effect on Sunday will be from 9.00 pm to 5.00 am (local time) daily.

“The state of emergency will remain in place until it has expired or continued,” he said, noting that under the law, the SOE remains in place for 90 days in the first instance.

In the proclamation announcing the SOE, President Paula Mae-Weekes said “I hereby declare that I am satisfied that a public emergency has arisen as a result of the outbreak of an infectious disease (covid-19) and a state of public emergency exists in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago”.

Griffith told reporters that in 2011, when the country was under an SOE, “every man and his dog asked for a curfew permit and it was practically given.

“So far in the last 30 hours as Commissioner of Police, I have spent 26 hours non-stop reviewing all of the requests for curfew passes. I have received 2,800 letters requesting curfew passes for employees from organizations”.

Griffith said of these applications “over 250,000 names have come to me asking for passes to be given. This is over one-quarter of the adult population and they are still coming in fast and furious”.

Griffith said these curfew passes were being used by persons to drive around the country.

“Our job is to ensure we minimize the freedom of movement and to reduce the number of persons moving around in the country especially during the curfew period,” Griffith added.

Griffith reminded the population that people who, in the 2011 SOE simply showed their precept document as an explanation for being out during curfew hours, would not be tolerated and that they would be arrested and spend a night in a police cell.

He said if there was an emergency, people would be allowed to leave their homes and if stopped in a roadblock, would get an escort to their destination.

Those working in the public health system would not require a curfew permit, he said. Their Ministry identification document would suffice.

The Emergency Power Regulations 2021 details the prohibitions, requirements and exceptions for the period of public emergency between 5:01 am and 8:59 pm, and during the curfew of 9.00 pm to 5.00 am.

Anyone found in breach of the regulations is liable on summary conviction to a fine of TT$250,000 and to imprisonment for six months.


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July 22, 2021  LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles courtroom Wednesday to four counts of rape and seven other sexual assault counts. Sheriff’s deputies brought the 69-year-old convicted rapist into court in a wheelchair. He was wearing a brown jail jumpsuit and face mask. Attorney Mark Werksman entered the plea for the disgraced movie mogul a day after Weinstein was extradited to California from New York, where he was serving a 23-year prison term. Weinstein spoke only to say “thank you” to Judge Sergio Tapia, who wished him good luck as the hearing ended. He now awaits a second trial on a second coast, and the possibility of another lengthy sentence.

July 21, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — “The View” canceled a planned appearance Wednesday by a woman who settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against Bill O’Reilly, after the former Fox News Channel personality sought and received a restraining order against her. O’Reilly accused his former producer, Andrea Mackris, of violating a non-disclosure agreement by talking about her experiences with him nearly two decades ago. ABC’s daytime talk show, in a statement, said that after being notified of the restraining order “we decided to postpone her interview pending further developments. We look forward to welcoming her to ‘The View’ at a later date.” Mackris gave an interview to the Daily Beast earlier this month detailing her experiences with O’Reilly. She had accused him of making repeated lewd telephone calls, while he accused Mackris of an extortion attempt before agreeing to a $9 million settlement in 2004.

July 21, 2021  WASHINGTON (AP) — The Kennedy Center Honors will return in December with a class that includes Motown Records creator Berry Gordy, “Saturday Night Live” mastermind Lorne Michaels and actress-singer Bette Midler. Organizers expect to operate at full capacity after last year’s ceremony was delayed for months and later conducted under COVID-19 restrictions. This 44th class of honorees for lifetime achievement in the creative arts is heavy on musical performers. The honorees also include opera singer Justino Diaz and folk music legend Joni Mitchell. All will be honored on Dec. 5 with a trademark program that includes personalized tributes and performances that are kept secret from the honorees. Deborah Rutter, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, said the current plan is to pack the center’s opera house to full capacity and require all attendees to wear masks. But the plans remain fluid and Rutter said they’re ready to adapt to changing circumstances depending on the country’s COVID-19 situation.

July 22, 2021   LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kanye West knows how to make a splash even with a listening event. West is expected to unveil his 10th studio album, “Donda” during a listening event Thursday night at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. His album was named after his mother, Donda West, who died at the age of 58 following plastic surgery complications in 2007.  The sold-out event will be live-streamed on Apple Music. West, 44, is mostly known as being associated with Chicago, but he was born in Atlanta - a Georgia city where there are no restrictions against large gatherings. The rapper-producer gifted 5,000 tickets to faculty, staff and students from some Atlanta HBCUs including Clark Atlanta, Morehouse, Spelman, Morris Brown and the Interdenominational Theological Center. The 22-time Grammy winner revealed in a commercial, featuring U.S. track star Sha’Carri Richardson, during the NBA Finals on Tuesday that his highly-anticipated album will be released Friday. The commercial, scored and directed by West, featured “No Child Left Behind,” a song from his forthcoming album.

Business News

July 22, 2021  WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s administration is beginning to make $3 billion in economic development grants available to communities — a tenfold increase in the program paid for by this year’s COVID-19 relief bill. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said her agency on Thursday will begin accepting applications for the competitive grants, which officials hope will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and help struggling cities and towns make long-term investments to drive development for years to come. “This is about real help for communities across the country as they rebuild,” Raimondo said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press. “It’s about longer-term investments to help communities build themselves back from the bottom up in the ways that work best for them.” The grants will be targeted at supporting local infrastructure, job training programs and developing new industries. Recipients will be selected on the basis of the anticipated return on investment to taxpayers. Raimondo was set to appear at Thursday’s White House press briefing to promote the new program.

July 21, 2021   DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — For months, anyone who wandered onto a dealer lot to look for a used car could be forgiven for doing a double-take — and then wandering right off the lot. Prices had rocketed more than 40% from their levels just before the viral pandemic struck, to an average of nearly $25,000. The supply of vehicles had shrunk. And any hope of negotiating on price? Good luck with that. But now, a sliver of hope has emerged. The seemingly endless streak of skyrocketing used-vehicle prices appears to be coming to a close. Not that anyone should expect bargains. Though average wholesale prices that dealers pay are gradually dropping, they’ll likely remain near record levels. So will the retail prices for consumers. Supply remains tight. And while demand has eased a bit, a steady flow of buyers could keep prices unusually high for a couple of years more. “It’s a short-term correction,” suggested Paul Sugars, sales manager for pre-owned vehicles at Jack Demmer Lincoln in Dearborn, Michigan. “Buyers are sitting on the fence, waiting to see what happens.”

July 22, 2021  SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric plans to bury 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometers) of its power lines in an effort to prevent its fraying grid from sparking wildfires when electrical equipment collides with millions of trees and other vegetation across drought-stricken California. The daunting project announced Wednesday aims to bury about 10% of PG&E’s distribution and transmission lines at a projected cost of $15 billion to as much as $30 billion, based on how much the process currently costs. The utility believes it will find ways to keep the final bill at the lower end of those estimates. Most of the costs will likely be shouldered by PG&E customers, whose electricity rates are already among the highest in the U.S. PG&E stepped up its safety commitment just days after informing regulators a 70-foot (23-meter) pine tree that toppled on one of its power lines ignited a major fire in Butte County, the same rural area about 145 miles (233 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco where another fire sparked by its equipment in 2018 killed more than 80 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

Fashion News

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