english news

Cops probing Venezue­lan links with Trinidad gangs—Dillon


Sur­veil­lance on Venezue­lans le­gal, il­le­gal and crim­i­nal. The TT Po­lice Ser­vice (TTPS) is mon­i­tor­ing the con­nec­tions be­tween Venezue­lan crim­i­nals who have been iden­ti­fied in T&T and the lo­cal gangs. And TTPS and oth­er se­cu­ri­ty agen­cies are al­so mon­i­tor­ing the move­ments of Venezue­lans en­ter­ing Trinidad & Tobago legal­ly as well as il­le­gal­ly.

Act­ing Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Ed­mund Dil­lon con­firmed this in Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day when he was grilled by Op­po­si­tion MPs Rod­ney Charles, Roodal Mooni­lal and Vidia Guyadeen-Gopeesingh on re­ports about il­le­gal Venezue­lans in Trinidad & Tobago and crim­i­nal links with lo­cal gangs.

“A num­ber of mon­i­tor­ing and in­tel­li­gence gath­er­ing ex­er­cis­es are tak­ing place right now from the TTPS,” Dil­lon said, de­tail­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. Dil­lon, act­ing for an ab­sent Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young, was grilled about the sit­u­a­tion fol­low­ing re­ports that 25 Venezue­lan na­tion­als were held for il­le­gal­ly en­ter­ing T&T and claims that lo­cal gangs are be­ing in­fil­trat­ed by cer­tain no­to­ri­ous Venezue­lan drug car­tels.(Trinidad Guardian)…[+]

Theresa May and Leo Varadkar attend Lyra McKee’s funeral


The funeral of Lyra McKee, the journalist shot dead in Derry last week, brought a rare political unity to Northern Ireland on Wednesday. Theresa May joined dignitaries including the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, the Irish PM, Leo Varadkar, the Irish president, Michael D Higgins, and the Irish minister for foreign affairs, Simon Coveney, at the funeral.

The New IRA shot McKee, 29, while she observed rioting in Derry last Thursday. The group has apologised and said its gunman was aiming at police. The Northern Ireland secretary, Karen Bradley, and leaders of Northern Irish political parties are also at the service, which started at 1pm at St Anne’s Cathedral in central Belfast.

McKee’s death has prompted calls for the leaders of Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist party (DUP) to restore power-sharing, which collapsed in acrimony in 2017, leaving a political vacuum. McKee’s north Belfast family is from a Catholic background but chose a Protestant cathedral because it wanted a cross-community, cross-border and multi-cultural service. The service is led jointly by Stephen Forde, the dean of St Anne’s, and Fr Martin Magill, a Catholic priest. Members of the National Union of Journalists are to form a guard of honour. McKee is due to be buried later on Wednesday at Carnmoney cemetery.(theguardian)…[+]

Europe wildfires: Norway police evacuate hundreds in Sokndal


Hundreds of people have had to leave their homes in Norway as emergency services try to extinguish forest fires raging in the south of the country. Some 148 homes were evacuated around the town of Sokndal, where fires have been burning since Tuesday.

Police say the fires are still out of control and warn that heavy winds could help them to spread. April is very early for forest fires in Norway, and experts have warned of a dramatic increase across the continent. This month alone, wildfires have broken out in Sweden, Germany and the UK.

Fires in Europe “are way above the average” for this time of year, an official at the EU’s European Forest Fire Information System (Effis) told the BBC. “The season is drastically worse than those of the last decade.” The official added that a “very dry winter in most of Europe” and persistent drought had contributed to the rise in forest fires, and that the “long term forecast is not promising for an improvement”.(BBC)…[+]

Illegal guns, ammo found in Jamaican cemetery


The Hanover police yesterday seized four illegal firearms and several rounds of ammunition in a cemetery as part of what is being described as heightened operations across the western parish over the Easter weekend.

A release from the police Corporate Communication Unit (CCU) today said the seizures occurred about 1:10 p.m. yesterday when a team of police carried out an operation at the Santoy Cemetery on Church Hill Road, Green Island in the parish.

Hanover’s divisional commander, Superintendent Sharon Beeput, said the operations were part of plans to ensure the safety and security of residents and visitors alike amid several social events scheduled to take place throughout the parish during the Easter holiday period. Beeput said an intense investigation is now under way to find the persons responsible for the illegal cache.(Jamaica Gleaner)…[+]

Italian mayor bans bean growing to help child with rare allergy


The mayor of an Italian town has banned the cultivation of broad beans within a 300-metre radius surrounding the home of a child who has a rare allergy.

Lorenzo Falchi introduced the ban in Sesto Fiorentino, near Florence, at the request of the mother of the child, who has favism, a genetic disorder that triggers anaemia if broad beans are eaten or their pollen is inhaled. People growing the bean, which is popular in Italian cuisine, near the child’s home must stop within the next seven days. Local reports say the ban, which will remain in place indefinitely, affects an “ample” area. But Giovanni Rizzo, a spokesman for the mayor, said it would have limited impact on growers.

“It affects a mostly residential area, so there are mainly homes, a big baseball pitch and a number of allotments,” he said. “It’s not as if it’s a big production area for beans, so it won’t put any agricultural companies in difficulty.” The local authority initially rejected the mother’s request but the mayor was eventually moved to act after the child received a long period of care last year at one of Italy’s top children’s hospitals, the Meyer in Florence, as a result of acute haemolytic anaemia.(The guardian)…[+]

Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK set for 3 June

donald trump

US President Donald Trump will make a three-day state visit to the UK from 3 to 5 June, Buckingham Palace has announced. The president and First Lady Melania Trump will be a guest of the Queen and attend a ceremony in Portsmouth to mark the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.

He will also hold talks with the prime minister at Downing Street. Mr Trump met the Queen at Windsor Castle when he came to the UK in July 2018 on a working visit. He also held talks with Mrs May at Chequers before heading to Scotland, where he owns the Turnberry golf course.

The president was promised the visit by Prime Minister Theresa May after he was elected in 2016 – but no date was set. Mrs May said that June’s state visit was an “opportunity to strengthen our already close relationship in areas such as trade, investment, security and defence, and to discuss how we can build on these ties in the years ahead”.(BBC)…[+]

Polish Judas ritual ‘anti-Semitic’ – Jewish congress


The World Jewish Congress (WJC) has voiced outrage over a Polish town’s ritual beating of a Judas effigy which looks like a caricature Orthodox Jew. The Good Friday ritual in Pruchnik, south-eastern Poland, was filmed and posted by a Polish news website.

“Jews are deeply disturbed by this ghastly revival of medieval anti-Semitism that led to unimaginable violence and suffering,” the WJC said. More than three million Polish Jews were murdered during World War Two. In total, Nazi Germany murdered about six million Jews in death camps in occupied Poland and killing fields in the former Soviet Union.

In the Pruchnik ritual – part of Roman Catholic Easter celebrations – children crowded round the effigy beating it with sticks, as adults dragged it through the streets. The mock Judas had a big red nose, black hat and Orthodox-style ringlets. In the past the Catholic Church in Poland had banned such practices.(BBC)…[+]

Top Democrats leave open option of Trump impeachment after Mueller report


WASHINGTON – Top congressional Democrats left the door open today  to the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump, but said they would first need to complete their own investigations into whether he obstructed justice in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

Party leaders have cautioned against impeachment just 18 months before the November 2020 presidential election, although prominent liberals have demanded the start of proceedings to remove Trump from office since the release of a redacted version of Mueller’s report on Thursday.

U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, whose panel would spearhead any impeachment proceedings, said Democrats would press ahead with investigations of Trump in Congress and “see where the facts lead us.”

“Obstruction of justice, if proven, would be impeachable,” Nadler said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” The redacted version of Mueller’s long-awaited report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, the product of a 22-month investigation, outlined multiple instances where Trump tried to thwart the probe. While it stopped short of concluding Trump had committed a crime, it did not exonerate him.(Reuters)…[+]

Bartica man shot dead, miner who witnessed killing abducted in Kuribrong attack


A driver, who had seen persons stripping a vehicle and reported same, was yesterday afternoon fatally shot and a gold miner who witnessed the killing was abducted in the mining district of Hubana, Kuribrong, Region Eight, and remain-ed missing up to last night. The dead man has been identified as Nicholas (only name given), also known as ‘Peron’ of Bar-tica, Region Seven, while the abducted miner was identified as Elon Thomas of Meten-Meer-Zorg, West Coast Demerara.(stabroeknews)…[+]

In major shift, Trump to allow lawsuits against foreign firms in Cuba

major shift

WASHINGTON/HAVANA – The Trump administration will allow lawsuits in U.S. courts for the first time against foreign companies that use properties confiscated by Communist-ruled Cuba since Fidel Castro’s revolution six decades ago, a senior U.S. official said yesterday.

The major policy shift, which will be announced today, could expose U.S., European and Canadian companies to legal action and deal a blow to Cuba’s efforts to attract more foreign investment. It is also another sign of Washington’s efforts to punish Havana over its support for Venezuela’s socialist president, Nicolas Maduro.

President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, will explain today the administration’s decision in a speech in Miami and announce new sanctions on Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, countries he has branded a “troika of tyranny,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It is unclear, however, whether such property claims will be acceptable in U.S. courts. The European Union has already warned it could lodge a challenge with the World Trade Organization. “The extraterritorial application of the U.S. embargo is illegal, contrary to international law and I also consider it immoral,” EU ambassador to Cuba Alberto Navarro said in Havana.(Reuters)…[+]