Category Archives: News

‘Express’ fund a ray of hope


download“Building our nation through education” is the motto of the Express Children’s Fund (ECF) and, since its inception in 1989, hundreds of children of primary and secondary school age have benefited from the fund in some way.


It has been a source of relief to children in need and has eased the burden on parents through the provision of books, uniforms, transportation and other educational necessities.
But in recent years the fund has morphed into much more, becoming a ray of hope for children requiring a range of medical procedures.


ECF director Karlene Ng Tang, who spoke at the Express Children’s Fund’s 20th annual dinner and dance held on Saturday night at Hilton Trinidad, St Ann’s, noted that the number of requests for assistance with medical expenses has been steadily increasing over the last few years.


Most of these requests were granted, she said, and the fund has been able to provide assistance for children in need of both minor and major medical procedures.


The fund has disbursed more than $3 million to date.
Ng Tang noted that this would not be possible without the continued support of both corporate entities and the public.


She hailed the Express newspaper “for recognising the need in our society and establishing this fund to provide hope to children”.


Ng Tang also noted the large turnout at Saturday’s event where, naturally, children took centre stage.
Nine-year-old Marie Ellen Samuel impressed with a flawless pan rendition of the national anthem, while the Arima Central Secondary Dance Sport Club showed off their ballroom dancing skills.


Those in attendance also enjoyed music from Imij and Company and The Alternative Quartet.


Door prizes were given out and, in a true spirit of charity, several winners opted to give their prizes to the talented youngsters of the dance club.


Among those present were CCN chief executive officer Shida Bolai, Express general manager Douglas Wilson, Express editor-in-chief Omatie Lyder, former Express Newspapers chairman Ken Gordon and the Korean ambassador, along with ECF chairman Allan McKenzie and other members of the ECF board.


TV6 journalist Faine Richards was the MC for the function.


One Caribbean Media (OCM) Ltd, the parent company of Caribbean Communications Network (CCN), of which the Express is a member, has yet another charity event planned for next month in the form of a 5k and 10k charity walk and run on November 28.


The event is spearheaded by the Guardian Group through its recently-launched charitable initiative, “Securing Hope for Those in Need” (SHINE).


Funds raised from this initiative will be shared among several charities, including the ECF.



(Trinidad Express)

Barack and Michelle Obama sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Usher


Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 9.11.37 AMUsher spent his birthday last week being serenaded by Barack and Michelle Obama.

Usher, who was at the White House to participate in In Performance at the White House, an “all-star music tribute celebrating the cultural resonance of art and literature in unique American musical form” that will air on PBS in 2016, turned 37 on Oct. 14, and received a cupcake and birthday singalong led by the President of the United States.

“So this really happened the other night,” Usher wrote on Facebook. “The President and First Lady sang me Happy Birthday at The White House & I got to perform for them. I couldn’t be more grateful for this moment and all of the birthday wishes from everyone. THANK YOU!!!!! #Blessed #OlderWiser.”

Usher did not comment on dessert he was given in addition to the song, but Barack Obama vouched for its quality: “That’s a good cupcake, too,” the president said.




Imbert: Do the rich need GATE?


Gate_20solidw_243172562Should the rich people in this country benefit from the Government Assisted Tertiary Education (GATE) programme?

According to Finance Minister Colm Imbert, this is a question that must be discussed.

The issue was raised at the Standing Finance Committee discussions at the Parliament sitting yesterday. Former Tertiary education minister Fazal Karim noted that $650 million was allocated for GATE. But, he said, this sum does not reflect Government’s statement that the programme will be expanded.

He further asked whether this sum would cover expenses for some 67 medical students.
Imbert said that GATE is a special fund to which there are transfers. He said $650 million has been allocated and there was a balance before, so there was now about $700 million allocated for 2016 expenses.

“We are comfortable at this point in time that the balance that already exists in the GATE fund, that this transfer of $650 million is adequate to meet all the demands of this fund in fiscal 2016 including the payment for the medical students who were denied GATE funding by you,” he said.

Former education minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh pointed out that the Government had indicated that there would be a means test for the GATE programme and he asked whether this would affect the appropriation.


(Trinidad Express)

Sando-POS taxi fare may increase by $3


taxisTravellers may have to pay three dollars more for taxis going to and from Port of Spain to San Fernando in the near future.

Taxi drivers on the route are considering raising the price from $15 to $18.

This according to president of the San Fernando Taxi Drivers’ Association Paul Lewis.

President of the San Fernando Taxi Drivers’ Association Paul Lewis says that the rates are due to increase since this has not been done in eight years.

“We are in the process of discussing the raising of the fare as well as (addressing) traffic issues and so on,” Lewis said.

Lewis said the Association heads met on Saturday and agreed that there would be further consultation with the wider membership before making a final decision.

Meanwhile the Chaguanas to Curepe Taxi Association and the Curepe to Valpark/Grand Bazaar Taxi Association have also raised their rates by $1 from Monday October 5, 2015.

The Associations say that the rates have not been increased since 2008 and the recent increase in gas and diesel prices have forced the rate increase in order to meet operation costs.

President of the Chaguanas to Curepe Taxi Association Lester Narine said that other associations have raised their prices since then and it is only fair that they do so as well.




Keith Rowley, a 65-year old geologist and leader of the opposition People's National Movement (PNM), talks to the media in Port-of-Spain

Keith Rowley, a 65-year old geologist and leader of the opposition People's National Movement (PNM), talks to the media in Port-of-SpainPrime Minister Dr Keith Rowley slammed what he saw as the flying squandermania of former prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, saying taxpayers had to pick up the $6 million tab for her helicopter travel around Trinidad and Tobago. 

Speaking in the budget debate in the House of Representatives yesterday, Rowley said: “We can’t be wasting in a time like this. And I think it is extremely wasteful for this Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago to fly for 636 hours in helicopters around this country.


The record shows that the last prime minister occupied helicopter time of 636 hours, 415 missions, at a cost of over US$974,000. 

“That kind of expenditure ought not to be on the backs of the people of Trinidad and Tobago,” Rowley said to desk-thumping support from the Government bench.

He gave the “long-suffering” population the assurance he would travel only on the ground and over water, and he would not be in the air, “unless it is absolutely essential and necessary”.

Rowley said he wondered if this abuse was linked to a contract to a company called Bell Helicopter, to the tune of $500 million, by the National Operations Centre (NOC).


(Trinidad Express)

Aunt sues nephew, says his exuberant greeting led to fall

Jennifer-Connell-sued her nephew

A woman is suing her 12-year-old nephew in Connecticut for $127,000 for injuries she says she suffered from his exuberant greeting at his birthday party four years ago.

The Connecticut Post reports that Jennifer-Connell-sued her nephew resident Jennifer Connell says the Westport boy acted unreasonably when he leaped into her arms at his eighth-birthday party.

She says he caused her to fall to the ground and break her wrist. She is asking a six-member Superior Court jury to find the boy liable.

A listed phone number couldn’t be found for the youngster’s father.

The 54-year-old Connell testified she loves her nephew but thinks he should be held accountable.

She says when the child jumped she tumbled to the ground as she tried to catch him.


Ang Dating Daan Chorale breaks largest gospel choir-world record

ang dating daan

ang dating daanThe Members of the Church of God International’s gospel choir, Ang Dating Daan Chorale, broke the world record for the largest gospel choir Monday night when 8,688 chorale members performed at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, the Guinness World Records announced. 

Ang Dating Daan Chorale sang the numbers “Medley 11″ and “Iglesia ng Dios” during the performance.

The largest gospel choir-world record was previously held by the Iglesia ni Cristo, when 4,745 members performed at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan on July 27, 2014. 



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