Parliament

False alarm: No fire at the Red House

There was no fire at the Red House yesterday.

This is according to Colleen Holder, Director of Corporate Communications and Production at the Parliament. Holder said an emergency evacuation procedure was initiated after the fire alarm was triggered by dust caused by ongoing work.

Holder said that the Fire Service was called in as part of the emergency protocol.

PEP protests outside the Red House

On the first day of the reopening of Parliament at the Red House, members of the Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP) gathered outside the Red House to deliver a letter to the Prime Minister.

In the letter, the political party requested an enquiry into the activities of UDECOTT and an audit of the terms of the contracts awarded to the Corporation for the renovation of the President’s House, the President’s Cottage, the Red House and White Hall.

Dressed in orange the members started by singing the National Anthem.  They also conducted their walk gagged and silent.

Please, get your flu shots—health minister

To date, the health ministry has distributed 48,411 flu vaccines, and the health minister is once again appealing to the population—especially those in the vulnerable and high risk groups—to get vaccinated.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh laments the fact that the anti-vaccsers lobby is having so much success at preventing people from taking care of their health—to the point where the anti-vaccsers are not only dominating social media, but showing up in Parliament.

Imbert to banks: Ease up the elderly, please

Finance Minister Colm Imbert says he will be asking the banks to waive their service fee for changing the $100 bills, especially for elderly citizens, but noted that the state cannot compel them to do so by law.

The minister told Parliament this morning that under the current law the central bank is empowered to fix bank charges and fees with respect to loans, deposits and credit finances, but it does not apply to over the counter transactions.

He said they may need to consider changing that.

Ummah T&T: Muslims Disrespected Again

UMMAH T&T Muslim Federation has instructed its attorney to initiate moves to file a constitutional motion against the legislation to take out of circulation the existing $100 dollar bills within a restricted period of time.

This was revealed by Imam Rasheed Karim, chairman of the largest local group of independent Islamic organizations who criticized the move.

According to the Imam, the switch to the polymer bills infringes on the rights of the 180,000 strong Muslim community.

Tewarie tells Govt: "Pay cane farmers before they die..."

Ca­roni Cen­tral MP Dr Bhoe Tewarie made a pas­sion­ate plea for Gov­ern­ment to pay the coun­try’s age­ing cane farm­ers who he claimed are owed mil­lions of dol­lars be­fore they die one-by-one.

The mat­ter was raised at yes­ter­day’s Stand­ing Fi­nance Com­mit­tee in ex­am­in­ing the 2020 ex­pen­di­ture of the Min­istry of Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment in Par­lia­ment.

The com­mit­tee was told that $5 mil­lion was al­lo­cat­ed in the 2019 bud­get for the farm­ers of which $1.7 mil­lion had been spent.

INTERNATIONAL: Brexit: EU and UK reach deal but DUP refuses support

A Brexit deal has been agreed between the UK and EU before a meeting of European leaders in Brussels.

Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker called it a "fair" outcome. The EU Commission President said there was no need to extend the Brexit deadline.

He said: "We have a deal so why should we have a prolongation."

This will be a boost for the PM [Boris Johnson], but he still faces a battle to get the deal through Parliament on Saturday, with the DUP opposing it.

Mr Johnson urged MPs to "come together" and "get this excellent deal over the line".

DPP to get file on eye clinic

Health Min­is­ter Ter­rence Deyals­ingh said yes­ter­day that a file is be­ing com­piled and will be sent to the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions in re­la­tion to the com­pa­ny in­volved in the drug which caused sev­en pa­tients to go blind in ei­ther one eye or both eyes.

INTERNATIONAL: New laws on crime, health and the environment in Queen's Speech

The government of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out "ambitious" policies on crime, health, the environment and Brexit in a Queen's Speech that opposition parties have dismissed as an "election manifesto".

Plans for tougher sentences for violent offenders and legal targets for cutting plastic pollution are among 26 bills set out at Parliament's State Opening.

But with the PM having no majority, many of the bills may not become law.

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