No Happy New Year for the destitute

by Raffique Shah
December 31st 2006

DestituteForget those never-fulfilled New Year resolutions as the not-so-magical midnight hour approaches tonight. Let’s be realistic: we hardly ever adhere to our wishes because we simply do not have the will, the discipline to break bad habits or to adopt new, supposedly good ones. I can visualise it even as I write on Friday. Sloshed-to-bollocks, as the Brits would say, wealthy men and women with those gaudy, comical (and conical) hats, whistles and champagne glasses competing for space in their mouths, shouting in drunken stupor: Happy New Year!
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New Year Resolutions For The Business Community of Trinidad and Tobago

By Linda E. Edwards
December 29, 2006

TT MoneyAs the year 2006 draws to a close, some people have made a lot of money in Trinidad and Tobago, and some have become distinctly poorer as the cost of living soars to the sky. Money is flowing in the land, it seems, but it is not circulating. The flow is in one direction, from the pockets of wage earners to the pockets and bank accounts of “businessmen”. Many businessmen seem to give nothing back.
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Designing a Pro-Israel Middle East Policy

Middle EastTHE EDITOR: During the recent Heads of Mission meeting held in POS Prime Minister Manning indicated that in the face of increasing purchases of security equipment from the State of Israel T&T will have to review its foreign policy in the Middle East. In my view, it is clear that PM Manning did not realise that there was a hidden quid pro quo for being granted access to Israeli spying technology. He is now being forced to forge a pro-Israeli foreign policy in the Middle East that will in fact constitute a radical departure from our traditional Middle East Pro-Arab-Palestinian, Group of 77 policy.
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Indian leader likens caste system to apartheid regime

By Maseeh Rahman, The Guardian UK
December 28, 2006

IndiansIndian prime minister Manmohan Singh became the first leader of his country yesterday to compare the condition of low-caste Hindus with that of black South Africans under apartheid.

Mr Singh drew the parallel at a conference in New Delhi on social and caste injustices saying it was modern India’s failure that millions of Dalits (meaning “oppressed”) were still fighting prejudice.
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Chatham residents win smelter war

By Corey Connelly

Aluminum SmelterGovernment has decided to immediately discontinue all plans to establish an Alcoa aluminium smelter on the Cap-de-Ville estate, Prime Minister Patrick Manning signalled yesterday.

“Instead, we shall accelerate development of a new industrial estate offshore at Otaheite Bank from which aluminium production can now be pursued together with other industrial plants,” Manning said in a televised Christmas Day address to the nation.
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Cheap Politics and Racism Cannot Beat the Steelpan

By A. A. Hotep
December 23, 2006

SteelpanWhy try to deny the legitimacy of the Steelpan being our national instrument?

The Steelpan is globally recognized as the only acoustical instrument developed in the 20th century. The fact that this instrument was created and developed in Trinidad and Tobago out of the experiences of Africans seems to be troubling to a few Indians in Trinidad and Tobago.
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Exploding the Pan National Instrument Myth

By Stephen Kangal
December 23, 2006

SteelpanSimultaneous with my recent objections to the notes of the tenor pan being elevated by the National Symbols and Observances Committee (NSOC) to the status of an exclusive cultural symbol to represent the distinctive Indian cultural presence in T&T in the medallion of the OTR and being snowed in by an avalanche of criticisms reinforcing and re-asserting pan as the national instrument, I must now call into question, in this context, Pan Trinbago’s “black mail” mantra and/or ultimatum of:
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Violence Escalates As If He Never Was

By Linda Edwards
December 22, 2006

Jesus BoxA Two Thousand Year Search For Peace gets no closer to actuality as 2006 comes to a close. Daily, the dead bodies pile up in the Middle East. In Gaza, where the Israelis (not the Children of Israel) continue to slaughter Palestinians and take their land, while such atrocities continue to be funded by American taxpayers, of whom I am one. Further to the east, in Iraq, children and grandmothers die daily as violence of brother against brother, as well as American death incursions continue to take their toll on humanity.
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Single regional airline?

By George Alleyne,
December 20 2006

AirlineThe increasing change in carrier preference in the international transport industry by passengers over the past decade and a half, spurred on by the horrendous events of September 11, 2001, along with the seeming reluctance of trade unions representing BWIA workers to appreciate this is the principal reason why BWIA had to be closed down and replaced with Caribbean Airlines.
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An Inconvenient Protest

By Linda Edwards
December 21, 2006

A comment on an article in The New York Times of Sunday, Dec. 17th, 2006.

Sean Bell ProtestThe Times reported on Sunday, that there was a massive protest down Fifth Avenue in New York, to protest the killing of Sean Bell, the young man murdered on the morning of his wedding, by a gang of New York’s Finest, the city police. A total of fifty shots were fired by the police at a car with three unarmed young African Americans in it, one being the groom-to-be on his way home from his Bachelor Party. He died on the spot. According to The Times, the protest, a silent one, was organized in the heart of the shopping district to bring maximum attention to this grave situation. It was organized to say that human lives, even the lives of African American young men in New York, who seem on their way to becoming an endangered species, had value, and people should be concerned about this.
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