Rowley not among 5 Caribbean leaders to meet with Trump Friday

The White House says President Donald Trump will meet with leaders of five Caribbean nations on Friday in an effort to strengthen cooperation on security and trade issues.

Trinidad and Tobago will not be represented at that meeting.

The meeting at Mar-a-Lago, the president's resort in Palm Beach, will feature the leaders of the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Saint Lucia.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says Trump will use the meeting to thank the leaders for their support for peace and democracy in Venezuela.

Kamla meets US Ambassador

Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar has met with US Ambassador of the United States of America to Trinidad and Tobago, Joseph Mondello.

A statement by the Office of the Leader of the Opposition says that several matters of national importance were discussed during the meeting, which took place at the Office of the Leader of the Opposition, Charles Street, Port of Spain.

The statement did not go into any further details.

19 countries confirm attendance to CARIFESTA XIV

With 5 months to go to CARIFESTA XIV, 19 countries have confirmed their attendance at this premier festival of the arts from August 16th-25th, 2019 in Trinidad and Tobago. 

Sixteen Caribbean member and associate member states have responded to the official invitation to participate in the festival which was issued via a CARICOM SAVINGRAM on December 7, 2018.

In addition, Canada, Venezuela and Curacao have also signaled their intention to be part of the event. 

USAID gives T&T US$1.6 million to assist Venezuelans fleeing homeland

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has made available US$1.6 million to Trinidad and Tobago to assist Venezuelans fleeing their homeland.

Representatives from USAID, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S. Embassy, Trinidadian and Venezuelan civil society met in Port of Spain between March 13-15, to determine how the U.S. can assist the people of Trinidad and Tobago in managing the impacts of the political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

PM's Office condemns New Zealand terror attack

The Office of the Prime Minister has expressed shock and horror at the terror attack on the Muslim community in New Zealand.

In a statement issued Friday, the Office of the Prime Minister condemned the attack.

"It is with shock and horror that we the people of Trinidad and Tobago received the sad news of the unspeakable tragedy that has been unleashed on the Muslim community and the entire nation of our sister Commonwealth nation, New Zealand.

American Airlines gets permission to fly out grounded Max 8

An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 will depart this country tomorrow morning, despite an order banning its operation our airspace. 

The approval was granted by the Civil Aviation Authority based on a request by the airline.

Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority Francis Regis says this is a normal procedure even in the face of an airspace restriction. 

He says the order does not allow for commercial flights but there is room for ferry flights.

Embassy changes policy - no more interviews to renew US visas

Effective immediately, persons seeking to renew their United States visas will no longer be required to go through an interview process, as long as they do not wait a full year to do so.

The announcement was made by US Ambassador Joseph Mondello at the Buccoo Integrated Facility, Buccoo, Tobago at 11.30 this morning.

The ambassador said the new policy would require renewed visa applicants to simply send in the required documents for processing.