No mistake, pure mischief

By Raffique Shah
Septe,ber 21, 2014

Raffique ShahWhen, last Monday, Chief State Solicitor (CSS) Christophe Grant distanced himself from a very political letter that was purportedly penned by him, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) hastily issued a statement saying that some official there had made a mistake by attributing the authorship to Grant.
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How the US Helped Create Al Qaeda and ISIS

By Garikai Chengu
September 20, 2014 – counterpunch.org

ISILMuch like Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is Made in the USA, an instrument of terror designed to divide and conquer the oil-rich Middle East and to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region. The fact that the United States has a long and torrid history of backing terrorist groups will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore history.
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Better bite the bullet now

By Raffique Shah
September 14, 2014

Raffique ShahNine out of ten people, if asked to comment on Government’s 2014-2015 budget, would quietly, and many grudgingly, say it was a good package.

For the average citizen, what matters most in the annual Appropriation Bill are what new measures strip him (or her) of some portion of his earnings or wealth, meaning taxes or levies, and what new benefits accrue to him by way of increases in grants, subsidies, soft loans and so on.
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WELFARE BUDGET

By Andre Bagoo
September 09 2014 – newsday.co.tt

WELFARE BUDGETSTATING Government is moving to safeguard the welfare of society, Finance Minister Larry Howai yesterday unveiled a record $65 billion budget. It contained increased benefits on a wide range of fronts, including pension enhancements which will affect more than 131,020 retired and self-employed persons, a new minimum wage, improved allowances for the disabled and easiser access to mortgages for more than 26,100 prospective homeowners.

In the fifth Budget of the People’s Partnership administration, Howai announced:
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Establishment of the North Caroni Growth Pole

By Stephen Kangal
September 07, 2014

Stephen KangalThere would appear to exist in the North Caroni Area the basic building blocks including the most important that of unused land -space that can serve as the requisite triggers to launch the North Caroni Growth Pole as an aspect of regional development geared to spur growth in the domestic economy and employment.
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Politics and ethics only rhyme

By Raffique Shah
September 07, 2014

Raffique ShahArchbishop Joseph Harris strikes me as being a “rootsy Trini”—a prelate who commands respect beyond his flock even as he exudes a tremendous sense of humour.

What I could not discern from a distance (I’ve never met the good Father) is that he is also a humorist who can put veterans such as Paul Keens-Douglas and “Sprangalang” to pale on any stage at any time.
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What About Dat Sex Ed Ting Jred?

By Corey Gilkes
September 04, 2014

Sex EducationI come to pelt jep nest again. In a few days school will be reopened and in light of all the various bacchanal going on, in and out of Parliament, it isn’t surprising that many may have forgotten that the Ministry of Education is supposed to be embarking on a revamped programme dealing with sexuality, relationships and sexual health aimed at schoolchildren.
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One dose of democracy

By Raffique Shah
August 31, 2014

Raffique ShahOne thing we citizens can celebrate on the 52nd anniversary of the nation’s independence is just how dependent we are on our illustrious politicians to tell us what is wrong and what is right, what is good for us and what is not.

Mere mortals that we are, and ignorant ones at that, we were blissfully unaware that for five decades-plus, we had engaged in general elections 13 times (counting 1961), but mostly, the results have yielded governments that did not reflect the will of the electorate. This seething but invisible problem has been the root cause of all our woes — rising crime, nagging poverty, dysfunctional health and education systems, and so on.
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Bill passed after heated debate

August 29, 2014 – guardian.co.tt

ParliamentThe controversial Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2014 was passed in the Senate last night with the support of Independent Senators Dhanayshar Mahabir, Rolph Balgobin and David Small.

After almost three days of heated debate, the bill was passed at 11.09 pm with a total of 18 senators voting for it and 12 against it. All the Opposition Senators present and six independents voted against the bill. However, the bill received the three Independents’ votes only after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar agreed to accept an amendment to the controversial runoff clause put forward by Mahabir.
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Manning Drifted Off on A Pathetic Political Tangent

By Stephen Kangal
August 26, 2014

Stephen KangalFormer Prime Minister Patrick Manning now in the twilight of his long political career, albeit sadly interrupted by an unfortunate cessation of blood to part of his brain, made a fool of himself by concealing more than revealing in his Press Statement on the magnanimous offer of an ORTT by the Prime Minister.
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