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Community Development Ministry to showcase services at upcoming Community Fair

General News

The Ministry of Community Development will showcase its full range of programmes and services, at a Fair to be hosted by the Couva South Constituency Office on Saturday January 14, 2012 from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon at the constituency grounds opposite the Couva Health Facility.

Information on the Ministry’s programmes/services to be exhibited and disseminated at the fair are as follows:

• Community Education (Skills Training) Programme, CEP
• Geriatric Adolescent Partnership Programme, GAPP
• Community Development Fund, CDF
• National Commission for Self-Help Limited, NCSHL
• Export Centres Company Limited, ECCL
• Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition
• Division of Ageing
• Community Mediation Division
• National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Programme, NADAPP
• Adult Education

The primary objective of the fair is to create public awareness and interest in government services which are available to citizens of the community and surrounding areas.

Caption: Staff members of the Geriatric Adolescent Partnership Programme, GAPP provide information to a visitor at the Ministry’s booth during a Health and Career Fair hosted by the San Juan Laventille Regional Corporation on the Promenade at the Croisee in San Juan on November 1, 2011.

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Trinidad & Tobago offers to host Pravasi Bharatiya Divas


JAIPUR: Indian-origin Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar today expressed readiness to host the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in her country, saying it would help in sharing “new understandings” and developing appreciation for the Diaspora.
Bissessar, the Chief Guest of the 10th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here, said small countries like hers would benefit immensely from such events.
“I wish to sincerely urge that consideration be given to holding of Pravasi Bharatiya meet in the Caribbean and for which I pledge the support of my country,” she said in her address.

In doing so, Bissessar said, “Countries can share new understandings, and develop appreciation for Diaspora in their adopted homelands.

“It will become a type of pilgrimage that combines tourism, education, education and business development.”

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Tacarigua community group starts free tae-bo workout

Friends for the Improvement of Tacarigua today announced that it will be hosting a free tae-bo workout in the buildup to Trinidad and Tobago Carnival 2012 at the Eddie Hart grounds starting Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm.
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US President Obama names new Chief of Staff

The following is a transcript of the words of US President Barack Obama as he transitioned from one Chief of Staff to another.

Hello, everybody. Hope you all had a good weekend.

Last week, my Chief of Staff, Bill Daley, informed me that after spending time reflecting with his family over the holidays, he decided it was time to leave Washington and return to our beloved hometown of Chicago.

Obviously this was not easy news to hear. And I didn’t accept Bill’s decision right away. In fact, I asked him to take a couple of days to make sure that he was sure about this. But in the end, the pull of the hometown we both love -- a city that’s been synonymous with the Daley family for generations -- was too great. Bill told me that he wanted to spend more time with his family, especially his grandchildren, and he felt it was the right decision.

One of the things that made it easier was the extraordinary work that he has done for me during what has been an extraordinary year. Bill has been an outstanding Chief of Staff during one of the busiest and most consequential years of my administration.

We were thinking back, just a year ago this weekend, before he was even named for the job, Bill was in the Situation Room getting updates on the shooting in Tucson. On his very first day, Bill took part in a meeting where we discussed Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad. This was all before he even had time to unpack his office.

Over the last year, he’s been intimately involved in every decision surrounding the end of the war in Iraq and our support of the people of Libya as they fought for their freedom. He was instrumental in developing the American Jobs Act and making sure taxes didn’t go up on middle-class families. He helped us reach an agreement to reduce the deficit by over $2 trillion. And he played a central role in passing historic trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. Given his past record of service as Secretary of Commerce, he was invaluable in all these negotiations.

So no one in my administration has had to make more important decisions more quickly than Bill. And that’s why I think this decision was difficult for me. Naturally, when Bill told me his plans to go back to Chicago, I asked him who I thought could fill his shoes. He told me that there was one clear choice, and I believe he’s right. So today I’m pleased to announce that Jack Lew has agreed to serve as my next Chief of Staff.

Let me begin, first of all, by thanking Ruth for allowing Jack to serve in what I know is one of the most difficult jobs in Washington. But Jack has had one of the other most difficult jobs in Washington. For more than a year, Jack has served as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. As anyone who’s been following the news lately can tell you, this is not an easy job.

During his first tour at OMB under President Clinton, Jack was the only budget director in history to preside over budget surpluses for three consecutive years. And over the last year, he has helped strengthen our economy and streamline the government at a time when we need to do everything we can to keep our recovery going.

Jack’s economic advice has been invaluable and he has my complete trust, both because of his mastery of the numbers, but because of the values behind those numbers. Ever since he began his career in public as a top aide to Speaker Tip O’Neill, Jack has fought for an America where hard work and responsibility pay off, a place where everybody gets a fair shot, everybody does their fair share, and everybody plays by the same rules. And that belief is reflected in every decision that Jack makes.

Jack also has my confidence on matters outside the borders. Before he served at OMB for me, Jack spent two years running the extremely complex and challenging budget and operations process for Secretary Clinton at the State Department, where his portfolio also included managing the civilian operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. And over the last year, he has weighed in on many of the major foreign policy decisions that we’ve made.

So there is no question that I’m going to deeply miss having Bill by my side here at the White House. But as he will soon find out, Chicago is only a phone call away and I’m going to be using that phone number quite a bit. I plan to continue to seek Bill’s advice and counsel on a whole range of issues in the months and years to come. And here in Washington, I have every confidence that Jack will make sure that we don’t miss a beat and continue to do everything we can to strengthen our economy and the middle class and keep the American people safe.

So I want to thank, once again, Bill for his extraordinary service, but also his extraordinary friendship and loyalty to me. It’s meant a lot. And I want to congratulate Jack on his new role. I know he is going to do an outstanding job, so thank you.

Thank you, everybody.

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Iranian President begins Latin America tour

General News Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad will arrive in Venezuela today to begin a short Latin Aerican tour of ally countries including Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador. According to analysts quoted by the newswires, he is travelling to these countries in the face of increasing isolation resulting from pressure from western powers to dismantle his nuclear programme, and to elude, albeit circumstantially, growing political tensions in his home country spurred by economic problems at home.

The United States of America was said to have already warned countries of the region against broadening relations with Iran. "We are making it absolutely clear to all countries of the world that this is not the time to strengthen neither economic nor security ties with Iran," US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland was quoted as saying.

"The (Iranian) regime is feeling more and more pressure, is desperately seeking friends and is travelling frantically to places of interest to make new friends," she was also quoted as saying.

In November last year US President Barack Obama's National Security Advisor Tom Donilon elaborated on two of the problems the United States has with Iran. He said, "The first is, with respect to the International Atomic Energy Agency report, which after (a) tremendous amount of work by the professional technical staff at the IAEA, found that in fact up to 2003 the Iranians were pursuing nuclear aspects of their nuclear efforts -- weapon aspects of their nuclear efforts and that some of those elements continued after 2003. It was a thorough, professional and impartial report."

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Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business to launch 10th DLIC

The Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business will launch its 10th Annual Distinguished Leadership and Innovation Conference (DLIC) 2012 next Tuesday. DLIC 2011 featured Michael Porter truned out to be a huge event with over 800 participants, and this year the GSB will be featuring Malcolm Gladwell - a New York Times Bestselling Author and influential speaker.
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Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister to trace roots in India

Story by ARCHIS MOHAN IN NEW DELHI, The Telegraph (India)

Photo by GISL

Her ancestors boarded a ship to the West Indies from Calcutta in the late 19th or early 20th Century. More than 150 years later, Kamla Persad Bissessar, the first woman Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, is eager to retrace the journey when she visits the city next Wednesday.

Bissessar believes her ancestors were kalkatiyas — indentured labourers shipped to the West Indies from Calcutta to work in sugarcane plantations. More than 1,47,000 labourers, mostly from Bihar and eastern UP, made the journey to Nelson Island between 1845 and 1917. Those who left from Calcutta were called kalkatiyas while those who boarded ships from Chennai were named madrasis.

Bissessar, who landed in New Delhi on Thursday, is on a 10-day state visit to India. She will be the chief guest at this year’s Pravasi Bharatiya Divas from January 7 to 9. But apart from meeting Indian leaders and attending conferences organised by industry chambers, Bissessar will make a journey to trace her roots.

The 60-year-old politician is eager to visit the port from where indentured labourers or girmitiyas were shipped. She will visit the Calcutta Memorial for indentured labourers on Wednesday, officials said.

Bissessar will also visit her relatives in her ancestral village Bhelupur in Buxar, Bihar. In Calcutta, she will also visit the Missionaries of Charity and Rabindra Bharati University.

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Three community groups receive vehicles from CDF

General News

Minister of the Community Development, the Honourable Nizam Baksh officially handed over vehicles to three non-governmental organisations - the Living Water Community, Raffa House and the Barrackpore Islamic Centre during a short ceremony at the Ministry’s Adult Learning and Resource Centre in St. Ann’s on Thursday December 29, 2011.

The Minister was the feature speaker at the event which was organised by the Community Development Fund, an arm of the Ministry of Community Development dedicated to poverty alleviation.

Below is the address (verbatim) delivered by Minister Baksh.

It is indeed for me, a great pleasure for my Ministry to be involved in this Vehicle Handover this afternoon. Mr Gopaul and his dedicated team at the Community Development Fund Secretariat coordinate the arm of the Ministry specifically dedicated to poverty alleviation. Earlier this year, in August, Missions International received a vehicle through the fund. I’m proud this afternoon that three (3) equally worthy non-governmental organisations will receive keys to brand new vehicles.

The Ministry of Community Development and the Community Development Fund are proud to invest in community-based groups like yours who administer services to the disadvantaged persons in our community.
Community based organisations need allies to achieve their goals and at the Ministry of Community Development, we see you as effective partners in improving communities across Trinidad and Tobago.
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Minister Baksh to attend CDF vehicle handover

General News

Minister of Community Development, the Honourable Nizam Baksh will attend and deliver remarks at The Community Development Fund’s Handover of Vehicles Ceremony on Thursday December 29 2011, at the Ministry’s Adult Learning and Resource Centre, La Fantasie Road, St. Ann’s at 3:30 p.m.

The following groups, which were granted funding, will receive vehicles in support of their projects:

• Living Waters Community – ‘Vehicle for Ministry to the Poor and Underprivileged.’

• Raffa House/Love Until Foundation – ‘Support to Raffa House for the Re-integration of abused, abandoned.’

• Barrackpore Islamic Centre – ‘Rural Outreach to Poor and Disadvantaged Communities.’

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Christmas takes over Trinidad and Tobago

General News

Many citizens chose to observe the Christmas season by being charitable to the less fortunate. These volunteer Santa Claus, Mrs Claus and Rasta Claus combed the streets of Cumuto and Caratal and brought gifts and Christmas cheer to children in the area.

Minor accidents occurred on the roads and police came out in all parts of Trinidad to mount roadblocks, but Christmas for most Trinidadians and Tobagonians is turning out to be primarily incident free. The above accident took place this afternoon just after the Couva flyover on the southbound lane of the Solomon Hochoy Highway today.