Parts of T&T’s lavish performing arts centre deemed unsafe

(Trinidad Express) PARTS of the National Aca­demy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) have been shut down as they were deemed unsafe by the Occu­pational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism Lincoln Douglas confirmed yesterday.
Douglas, who is currently in Tokyo, Japan, told the Express he intends to take a note to Cabinet for a special allocation, which could run into hundreds of millions, to address the “fundamental problems” at NAPA.
NAPA was constructed under the former People’s National Movement (PNM) government administration at a cost of approximately TT$500 million.
In April, Douglas had told Parlia­ment NAPA was showing some “sig­nificant signs of deterioration” because of the low-grade type of materials and workmanship.
He said tiles were falling off the building, plumbing was failing due to inferior-grade sanitary ware and fittings, and the foundation was failing, in terms of its design and filtration system.
He said the moving stage showed major defects and support stands for the stage were crumbling.
Douglas said further, there were leaks appearing around the steel pipes, indicating a breakdown of the wall of the pipes, on the assumption inferior pipes were used by the contractor.
Since April, the problems at NAPA have escalated, resulting in some of the areas being shut down.
Douglas said the issues are being addressed.
He said there were serious problems with design and infrastructure and, also, the lack of maintenance.
“It is quite a significant effort to bring that whole building into compliance. We have been working on it,” he said.
“I have asked the PS (permanent secretary) to continue a full study into all of the issues for us to take a note to the Cabinet to deal with that building. We are talking about hundreds of millions to bring this building into compliance,” he said.
He said when the building was constructed, there was no long-term maintenance plan in place and over the years, it deteriorated.
“Some of the floors are not even fixable. There are fundamental problems that need to be addressed,” he said.

 

With her 14-month daughter Kaylee seated on her lap, Giselle Glaude shares a light moment with her attorney, Jason Nathu, at the Equal Opportunity Tribunal building before judgment was delivered in her favour yesterday.

T&T Muslim woman wins discrimination case over hijab

(Trinidad Guardian) A Muslim woman yesterday won a landmark judgment against a security firm for discrimination on the basis of her religious beliefs.

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Venezuela gov’t aims to sink Maduro recall, opposition protests

CARACAS, (Reuters) – Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government sought yesterday to scupper a push by the opposition to oust him this year via a referendum, while his opponents called for protests to demand the vote.

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No amnesty for war rapists: Colombia peace talks turn to women’s rights

BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Colombia’s government and FARC rebels have pledged to improve access to land for women and ensure perpetrators of sexual violence, including rape, will not be eligible for amnesty as part of ongoing peace talks to end five decades of civil war.

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Colombia declares end to Zika epidemic inside country

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombian health officials declared yesterday that the worst of a Zika outbreak in the Andean nation had passed just 10 months after its arrival, raising questions about how the virus is affecting parts of Latin America differently.

Damage to the MV Xin Fei Zhou

Ship hits wall of Panama Canal, renews design concerns

HOUSTON (Reuters) – A Chinese container ship hit a wall of the new lane of the Panama Canal, a Canal Authority official and a local ship agent said yesterday, the third such incident since the expanded waterway opened one month ago amid design concerns.

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Little enforcement of Jamaica Tobacco Control Act douses its relevance

(Jamaica Observer) It has existed on Jamaican law books for three years now, but the one-time much heralded Public Health Tobacco Control Regulations Act 2013, seems to have virtually gone up in smoke.

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