Pictured: Jevon Sanchez (Photo provided by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service)

A Sangre Grande man was granted bail after pleading not guilty to obtaining money by false pretense from a male victim in 2018. Jevon Sanchez, 35, of Nicholas Street, Wallenvale was charged with the offence when he appeared via video conferencing before a Sangre Grande Magistrate on Wednesday. He was granted $80,000 bail with surety or a $20,000 cash alternative. The matter was adjourned to August 5. The male victim reported to police that between the period February 2, 2018 and September 9, 2018, he paid a man sums of money totaling $80,000 for a vehicle after being informed that it was free from all encumbrances. Sometime after the victim took possession of the vehicle, it was seized by a bailiff acting on behalf of a financial company. The victim later learned that the man he bought the vehicle from had failed to complete making payments for it and was in arrears. A report was made to the police and an investigation launched into the matter. Sanchez was arrested on Tuesday and the charge laid by PC Gadar of the Fraud Squad on that same date.

A 21-year-old labourer was arrested for possession of a firearm and quantity of ammunition during an anti-crime exercise in Valencia on Tuesday. During the exercise, the officers received a report of a man armed with a firearm at Tattoo Trace, Valencia. They conducted a search in the area and based on intelligence received, it was revealed that an individual known as “Indian” was brandishing a firearm during a fight which occurred earlier in the day. When the officers returned to the station, they saw a man who arrived at the charge room to report the fight which occurred at Tattoo Trace, Valencia. After the man was interviewed, he allegedly confessed to brandishing the gun in the fight and said he would carry the officers to retrieve it. The firearm, a Beretta Sarsilmaz ST10 with 15 rounds of ammunition, was retrieved from a wooden structure. The man was arrested and charged in connection with the find.

FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2019, file photo, pedestrians walk through the gates of Harvard Yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging the Trump administration's decision to bar international students from staying in the US if they take classes entirely online this fall. The lawsuit, filed in Boston's federal court, seeks to prevent federal immigration authorities from enforcing the rule. The universities contend that the directive violates the Administrative Procedures Act because officials failed to offer a reasonable basis justifying the policy and because the public was not given notice to comment on it. The Trump administration did not immediately respond to requests for comment. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement notified colleges Monday that international students will be forced to leave the US or transfer to another college if their schools operate entirely online this fall. New visas will not be issued to students at those schools, and others at universities offering a mix of online and in-person classes will be barred from taking all of their classes online. The guidance says international students won't be exempt even if an outbreak forces their schools online during the fall term. The guidance was released the same day Harvard announced it would be keeping its classes online this fall. Harvard says the directive would prevent many of Harvard's 5,000 international students from remaining the US Harvard President Lawrence Bacow said the order came without notice and that its "cruelty" was surpassed only by its "recklessness." "It appears that it was designed purposefully to place pressure on colleges and universities to open their on-campus classrooms for in-person instruction this fall, without regard to concerns for the health and safety of students, instructors, and other," Bacow said in a statement Wednesday. "This comes at a time when the United States has been setting daily records for the number of new infections, with more than 300,000 new cases reported since July 1." The guidelines have provoked backlash from universities across the US who say international students have an important place in their communities. Many schools have also come to depend on tuition revenue from international students, who typically pay higher tuition rates. It creates an urgent dilemma for thousands of international students who became stranded in the US last spring after the coronavirus forced their schools to move online. Those attending schools that are staying online must "depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction," according to the guidance. Dozens of colleges have said they plan to offer at least some classes in person this fall, but some say it's too risky. The University of Southern California last week reversed course on a plan to bring students to campus, saying classes will be hosted primarily or exclusively online.

Loop Breakfast Bites is a round-up of the top international stories making headlines. [related node_id='939162ea-a16e-4a2f-81ad-dfa623e38461'] [related node_id='380eb6e7-76eb-432a-be50-491fb61a8711'] [related node_id='ae0ca60b-88f2-4d86-852b-b4fca9de1328'] [related node_id='9871a28f-1aba-4e63-9ac5-2d2bffb25de6'] [related node_id='cf7362d6-f591-4b35-a876-8dea7cb9db74']


Finance Minister Colm Imbert has rubbished claims that the processing of Salary Relief Grants has been stalled by the lack of a printer. In an opinion piece appearing in a daily newspaper, Celia Gibbings claimed that her employee said she received a call from someone who purportedly advised that she should resubmit her documents to access the grant as the Unit’s printer was not functional. The letter followed an incredulous story of a man purchasing a typewriter which he then donated to the Licensing Office so that his taxi badge could be printed. Shedding some light on the situation, Minister Imbert said the claim that the Unit’s printer was not working was entirely false. “No one from the SRG Unit made any such call. This is NOT the practice. Calls are made to applicants to sort out missing or incomplete information on forms.” He indicated that the Unit is not hamstrung by any malfunctioning equipment. He tweeted: “And all equipment in the SRG Unit is fully functional and has been since inception. It's ridiculous for the newspapers to print a pejorative letter based on no facts about an anonymous call to an unknown company about an imaginary event.” In June, Government announced that measures had been put in place to expedite the payment of the relief grant and other support grants in light of COVID-19. The last count provided indicated that Salary Relief Grants had been paid to 47,000 people.

Pictured: Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh. Photo courtesy the Office of the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago.

With over 3,000 applications from nationals abroad wishing to return home, Government is assuring that it’s not trying to penalise anyone still waiting for a response on their request for repatriation. At the Ministry of Health’s virtual conference on Wednesday, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh reiterated the plan for repatriation as laid out by National Security Minister Stuart Young on Monday. Young at the conference on Monday indicated that T&T nationals stuck in Cuba and St Martin, along with students at St George’s University in Grenada, are among the next tranche of people to be brought home. Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram confirmed that around 100 nationals are among the group which is expected to arrive over the weekend. The Health Minister said while he understood that nationals are anxious to return home, it was Government’s duty to respond responsibly in managing the virus. He maintained that Government has managed its response to the virus responsibly. “The responsible response is to have a managed intake of our nationals abroad, based on the quarantine facilities we have so that they could be properly quarantined to protect not only their health, but the health of their families when they eventually go home to them and the wider nation.” Deyalsingh continued: “We can only imagine what they are going through but as a Government we have to respond in a careful, measured manner and the Minister of National Security will, as he said on Monday, treat with all these requests based on the policies he has set out.” Painting a picture of the reality of the situation, he said he personally knows someone whose daughter died abroad and he was not able to attend her funeral. Deyalsingh assured that there was no “diabolical plan” to keep nationals from returning home. The Minister encouraged nationals abroad who wish to return to the country to submit their applications for exemptions. Arrangements are being made to bring citizens home from Canada and the United Kingdom.