Better cocoa - Ministry wants improved standard of beans

Minister of Trade and Industry, Paula Gopee-Scoon, has presented two new cocoa standards to The University of the West Indies (UWI) which were developed by the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS), intended to improve the quality of locally produced cocoa beans.

The handover took place at The UWI during the Cocoa Research Centre’s (CRC) Annual Research and Development Symposium.

According to Gopee-Scoon, the Ministry of Trade and Industry is committed to supporting downstream agro-processing as a form of economic diversification.

Kiosks concern - investigation launched into contract costing taxpayers $300M

Former judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice, Rolston Nelson, SC, has been appointed to investigate the circumstances surrounding a contract for immigration kiosks at the Piarco and ANR Robinson airports, that will cost the state US$43 million (approx TT$300M) over 7 years.

The contract is between Novo Technology Incorporation Limited and the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT) and caters for the provision of kiosks that allow passengers to scan their passports at the machines and reduce the time spent in immigration lines.

13 held in plot to assassinate state witness as he left court

Police have arrested of 13 male suspects wanted in connection with a plot to murder a state witness, as he exited a Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

A statement by the Police Service said that strategic planning and diligent work by officers of the Northern Division Special Investigations Unit led to the arrests.

PCA: No wrongdoing by police in Gulf View raid

The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) says it has found no evidence of misconduct on the part of any police officer during the raid of several homes in Gulf View on May 3rd.

It has also begun an investigation into the search of the home of former attorney general Anand Ramlogan's housekeeper.

The PCA said in a statement on Thursday that "a preliminary investigation pursuant to Section 30 of the PCA Act Chapter 15:05, has been completed and there have been no findings of misconduct on the part of any police officer".

Diego man charged for possession of protected birds

A Diego Mar­tin man who al­leged­ly came to South Trinidad hop­ing to sell 16 pro­tect­ed birds, was in­stead ar­rest­ed in a sting op­er­a­tion.

He is ex­pect­ed to ap­pear in the San Fer­nan­do Mag­is­trates Cour­ton Thurs­day charged with 16 of­fences.

The 23-year-old man from Rich­plain Road, Diego Mar­tin, had al­leged­ly bro­kered a sale for ten yel­low head­ed par­rots and six white eyed conures (which are small to medi­um-sized par­rots.)

US Embassy forced to cancel non-immigrant visa interviews today

The US Embassy is advising that it cannot conduct any interviews related to Non-Immigrant Visa applications today as a result of a disruption in services.

The embassy made the announcement on its social media accounts on Thursday.

It said: "There is currently a worldwide disruption of our consular systems. As a result we are unable to work on NIV applications and must cancel interviews today. Affected applicants will be contacted via email ASAP."

The embassy has apologised to applicants for the inconvenience.

PM: Heritage buildings back in shape by December

White­hall should be the home of the Cab­i­net once again by the end of June, Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley has an­nounced.

The Prime Min­is­ter, while ad­dress­ing a Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment po­lit­i­cal meet­ing in Ch­agua­nas on Tues­day, said the restora­tion of White­hall, was mere­ly a part of con­tin­u­ing re­fur­bish­ment of the Mag­nif­i­cent Sev­en, which he said should trans­form Queen’s Park West by De­cem­ber.