What a day, what a day! I was swamped … I couldn’t even steal a few minutes to do my daily local news update! I know you’re simply dying to find out what was in the news today (and I’m obviously assuming that you haven’t felt the urge to simply … pick up a newspaper yourself).
Let’s dive in, shall we?
The government’s finally gotten around to addressing their assertions that Calder Hart used his position as head of UDeCOTT to get rich quick before fleeing to the US. Perplexingly, they’ve decided to pursue this as a civil matter rather than a criminal one, but then again, when has white collar crime ever really been a crime down here in sweet T&T?
Naturally, Hart claims to be innocent. Of course, he continues to make those claims from way up there in the good old US of A …
Through the Honourable Dr. Roodal Moonilal (Leader of Government Business), the PM gives us to know that Opposition Leader Rowley’s decision to take his concerns about her use of state funds to fly her sister around the world is just a case of “playing politics”.
The PM (through Minister Moonilal) also requests that Rowley “get some more serious matters to address at this time”. Serious like … multiple defamation lawsuits?
The Auditor General’s 2011 Audit Report shows that this government is flushing millions of dollars of state funds down the toilet.
If you’ve got the stomach for it, see the details here.
Should there be any actual questions about this utter waste of public funds, the response will likely be something along the lines of “The PNM did it too/worse!”
Wait for it.
San Fernando Mayor Marlene Coudray is the latest politician to jump on the “sue the haters” bandwagon:
San Fernando mayor Marlene Coudray is getting ready to take on her detractors whom she has accused of making slanderous statements against her.
Now one of three deputy political leaders of the United National Congress (UNC), Coudray said she was compiling documents and the matter was in the hands of her lawyer.
The Honourable Dr. Roodal Moonilal (who happens to be Minister of Housing as well as Leader of Government business) continues sounding the alarm about the new tough squatting laws to come.
Alleging that as much as a quarter of T&T’s population 1.3 million people might in fact be squatters, he warned that squatters will soon face jail or fines.
I won’t address the shortcomings of a society that could result in 25% of the population squatting, but I will say that this government seems to be in an awful rush to criminalize things that have become a way of life for the lower classes while completely ignoring the things that have illegally and unethically fattened the pockets of those in the upper classes. Also, I can’t imagine that this is going to go over well in the next election but I’m sure there’ll be lots of smokescreens to distract us between now and then.
The latest officer to shame the entire T&T Police Service is Constable Jamraj Lall, who managed to forge enough medical certificates to earn himself 100 extra sick days.
Lastly, Sgt. Wayne Mystar revealed himself to be a serious grown-up too busy to be bothered with that newfangled Facebook thingamajiggy:
Speaking at the police daily press briefing yesterday, Mystar said that cyber crime is a growing trend in the country and includes harassment over the Internet.
"I have been reliably told by one of our experts about the issue of tagging. A lot of persons will tag persons pictures without their authorisation. Sometimes you may be on Facebook and suddenly see yourself appear on Facebook. It is said that persons who are tagging one another need to get permission if they want to tag that person’s picture," Mystar said.
"For tagging photos, you need to get authorisation. The whole aspect of seeking permission for the person to say that I want my picture here or I don’t want my picture here, those are simple integrity issues that need to be addressed," Mystar said, adding that the act of taking someone’s picture and posting in on Facebook, in itself, is not illegal but borders on being illegal.
Asked whether “poking” on Facebook can be deemed as cyber harassment, Mystar said not really.
A. I have a sneaking suspicion that he wasn’t really sure what “poking” was.
B. Whichever journalist asked him that question has a wicked sense of humor.