english news

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)…[+]

Jamaica: Dad charged with sexual abuse of his little girls


A Kingston man who is accused of sexually assaulting his two six-year-old daughters was remanded for trial in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on May 24. The 36-year-old resident of a Kingston community is charged with 12 counts each of indecent assault and grievous sexual assault.

The date for the trial was scheduled yesterday when the accused appeared in court before Parish Judge Broderick Smith with his attorney Leon Palmer. According to allegations, the accused performed oral sex on his daughters on a number of different occasions when they went to visit him last year. In January the Centre For Investigation Of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse was called in by the children’s school and following an investigation the accused was arrested and charged. The accused has maintained that he is innocent.(Jamaica Observer)…[+]

Import tax dispute on cement settled by the ccj


Trinidad.  Judgment was delivered today by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in the consolidated matters of Trinidad Cement Limited and Arawak Cement Limited vs. The State of Barbados, and Rock Hard Cement Limited vs. The State of Barbados and The Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The CCJ ruled that the regional tax payable on ‘other hydraulic cement’, imported by Rock Hard Cement from Portugal and Turkey, should be 5%. The case was in the CCJ’s Original Jurisdiction where the Court interprets the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

In 2001, CARICOM’s Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) granted Barbados an exemption, in respect of the regional Common External Tariff (CET) of 0-5%, so that the State could apply taxes of 60% to categories of cement described as ‘other hydraulic cement’. The regional tariff is intended to offer goods produced and distributed in the region an advantage over imported ones.  In 2015, Barbados decided to return to the CET and apply a 5% tax on the ‘other hydraulic cement’ imported by Rock Hard Cement Limited.

In its ruling, the Court decided that where COTED allowed a Member State to charge taxes higher than the regional tariff on the importation of good from outside the region, there was no need for the Member State to obtain approval from COTED to revert to the CET. However, in these circumstances, the Member State should give reasonable notice of its intention of returning to the regional tariff. The Court stated that this notice would ensure that regional businesses enjoy transparency, certainty, and predictability of tax structures. This was, according to the Court, “reflective of good administrative practices, preserved the sovereign autonomy of the Member State and ultimately enhanced the overall functioning of the CSME”…[+]


Bahrain court jails 139 after terrorism trial


A court in Bahrain has handed down prison sentences to 139 people, including 69 life sentences, for terrorism offences after one of the biggest mass trials in the country’s history. All but one also had their citizenship revoked, a statement from the public prosecutor, Ahmad al-Hammadi, said on Tuesday. Local news outlets said the defendants were accused of trying to build a Bahraini Hezbollah, similar to the Lebanese armed group funded by Iran, in order to sow discord in the Gulf kingdom.

Some had trained in Iran, Lebanon and Iraq, Hammadi said, and were found guilty of training with and using illegal weapons and explosives and launching terrorist attacks.  All the detainees are believed to be members of the Sunni-ruled country’s Shia majority, which has long accused the kingdom of discriminating against them. Thirty defendants were acquitted, Hammadi said.

According to rights groups, Bahrain is increasingly using terrorism-related charges and the removal of citizenship to crack down on mostly peaceful political activists. Opposition members and rights activists have been jailed or fled, and authorities have denies multiple accusations of torture. Since new laws were introduced in 2012 after the previous year’s Arab Spring protests, 990 people have had their Bahraini citizenship revoked, 180 of them in 2019 alone, and mass trials have become commonplace.(theguardian)…[+]

Fire guts Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, Macron pledges to rebuild


PARIS – A massive fire consumed Notre-Dame Cathedral yesterday, gutting the roof of the Paris landmark and stunning France and the world, but firefighters managed to save the shell of the stone structure and its two main bell towers from collapse. Flames that began in the early evening burst rapidly through the roof of the eight centuries-old cathedral and engulfed the spire, which toppled, quickly followed by the entire roof.

As it burned into the evening, firefighters battled to prevent one of the main bell towers from collapsing and tried to rescue religious relics and priceless artwork. One firefighter was seriously injured – the only reported casualty. “The worst has been avoided, even if the battle has not been totally won yet,” French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters at the scene shortly before midnight, as firefighters worked to further cool some of the interior structures still at risk of collapse.

Macron said France would launch a campaign to rebuild the cathedral, including through fundraising efforts and by appealing to “talents” from overseas to contribute. “We will rebuild it together. It will undoubtedly be part of French destiny and our project for the years to come,” a visibly moved Macron said.(Reuters)…[+]

Trinidad: 2 fishermen dead, 2 missing after boat mishap


Moya Gyan­dass paced anx­ious­ly along the Car­li Bay shore­line yes­ter­day, as the par­ty who went search­ing for her hus­band Sie­u­nar­ine Gyan­dass and neigh­bour Vedesh Mar­lo re­turned. But Gyan­dass’ hope for a mir­a­cle was quick­ly re­duced to tears as all the crew re­turned with was the life jack­et her hus­band was last seen wear­ing.

Sie­u­nar­ine was the own­er of a flat bot­tom boat that took the ill-fat­ed trip to the Gulf of Paria on Sun­day af­ter­noon. Two of his rel­a­tives drowned while he and Mar­lo dis­ap­peared af­ter the jumped over­board when the boat be­gan tak­ing in wa­ter. Two men al­so sur­vived the or­deal.

Ken­neth Ram­per­sad, who led the search team, said they reached close to Venezuela but had to re­turn be­cause their gas was run­ning low. Ram­per­sad, a cousin, said on their way back he spot­ted the life jack­et float­ing. Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, Sie­u­nar­ine, 51, his broth­er Chu­ni­lal Gyan­dass, 53, broth­er-in-law Ku­mar Lal­la, 49, cousin Ronald Nar­i­nesingh, 36 and Mar­lo, 23 and his cousin Glen Pra­ha­l­ad, 34, left Car­li Bay around 1 pm Sun­day to fish. But the chop­py sea con­di­tion caused the boat to take in wa­ter and around 3 pm when it be­gan to sink the men jumped out.

Lal­la, who wore a life jack­et and Pra­ha­l­ad were able to swim back to shore but the oth­ers drift­ed away.(Trinidad Guardian)…[+]

Nipsey Hussle memorial: One person killed at procession


A person has been killed during a memorial procession for rapper Nipsey Hussle, with three others injured. Shots were fired as the crowd walked through Los Angeles in commemoration of the 33-year-old, who was killed in LA last month. “We must stop this senseless violence,” LAPD Chief Michael Moore said. Thousands of fans came out to celebrate the life of the Grammy-nominated musician, with Barack Obama among the people who wrote letters in tribute.

The suspects fired from a grey Hyundai as the four victims paid tribute to the musician, according to police. The victims are described as three black men and one black woman between the ages of 30 and 50. Jay Z, who Nipsey worked with through his Roc Nation label, attended the memorial service at the Staples Center along with Beyonce. Snoop Dogg, Meek Mill and Diddy were also there to pay respect.(BBC)…[+]

Pope kisses feet of South Sudan leaders, urging them to keep the peace


VATICAN CITY– Pope Francis, in a dramatic gesture after an unprecedented retreat at the Vatican, knelt to kiss the feet of South Sudan’s previously warring leaders yesterday as he urged them to not return to a civil war. He appealed to Presi-dent Salva Kiir, his former deputy turned rebel leader Riek Machar, and three other vice presidents to respect an armistice they signed and commit to forming a unity government next month.

“I am asking you as a brother to stay in peace. I am asking you with my heart, let us go forward. There will be many problems but they will not overcome us. Resolve your problems,” Francis said in improvised remarks. The leaders appeared to be stunned as the 82-year-old pope, who suffers from chronic leg pain, was helped by aides as he knelt with difficulty to kiss the shoes of the two main opposing leaders and several other people in the room. His appeal was made even more pressing as anxiety grew in South Sudan that yesterday’s coup in neighbouring Sudan might put at risk the fragile peace deal that ended South Sudan’s brutal five-year civil war.(reuters)…[+]