Update: A police officer has been detained in connection with the rape and stabbing of an 18-year-old Venezuelan woman on Tuesday. The suspect — who has addresses in Blue Basin, Diego Martin, and Long Circular Road in St James — was held, along with another individual, just after 11am today during an operation along the Foreshore. The officer in question is reportedly on extended sick leave. He was last attached to the Besson Street Police Station. The suspect is currently being questioned by officers of the Western Division Task Force at the Four Roads Police Station. It is alleged that the vehicle in which the victim entered, as shown on the CCTV footage, is registered to his name. He is expected to be delivered to the southern division later today as this is where the allegations were made. Original story: Police are now searching for three men who they believe were involved in a viciousattack onan 18-year-old Venezuelan woman on Tuesday. A PH taxi driver reportedly discovered the victim lying on the ground around 1.40pm whiletravelling along M2 Ring Road in Debe and contacted the police and paramedics. The woman — whowas covered with blood and had what appeared to be stab wounds to her hand, chest, and face — was rushed to the San Fernando General Hospital. She was later identified as an 18-year-old Venezuelan national, who works as a vendor and lives in Siparia. The police have since reviewed CCTV footagewhich appears to show the moment the woman got into a vehicle with three other individuals. Police say theyreceived further intelligencewhichwill aid in their probe of the attack. Anyone with information that can lead to the identification of the three suspects is asked to contact the police, or they can give the information by calling 555 or 800-TIPS, texting 482-GARY, or utilising the TTPS App.

Police said a San Juan man was arrested after trying to sell fake jewellery as authentic. In a statement, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) said the 22-year-old man advertised a pair of gold bracelets via social media and met a prospective customer in Sangre Grande. The TTPS saidOfficers of the Sangre Grande Criminal Investigations Department and Special Operations Unit carried out an anti-crime exercise on Tuesday between 4 pm and 6 pm,during which they paid surveillance to persons suspected of fraudulent activities using social media platforms. During the exercise, officers observed a suspect who had advertised a pair of gold bracelets for sale via social media and was contacted by interested persons in the Sangre Grande district. The TTPS said the suspect allowed thecustomer to take the jewellery to be appraised at a jewellery store and even requested the sale take place near the Sangre Grande Police Station. However, before handing over the bracelets, he quickly exchanged the genuine pair with a pair of gold-coloured costume jewellery bracelets of similar design. When he was approached by officers, it was discovered that the suspect had already hidden the genuine pair of bracelets in his slipper. The TTPS said he was arrested in connection with the incident. Investigations are ongoing.

The Immigration Division office at the Port Authority Complex, Scarborough, Tobago will be closed for sanitisation until further notice. The National Security Ministry on Wednesday night advised that Immigration Enforcement Unit staff members housed at that office have been identified as part of a contact trace investigation for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As a precautionary measure, the Ministry said all employees attached to that office have been quarantined. On Wednesday, 26 new infections were reported, bringing the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 316. The Health Ministry’s latest available update puts the number of active cases at 179.

Health officials expect to see an increase in the number of cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) within the coming days. Technical Director of the Epidemiology Division at the Ministry of Health, Dr Avery Hinds at the Ministry’s virtual media briefing on Wednesday indicated that with a rise in movement and gathering in recent days an increase in infections is more than likely. “As you have seen there has been a fair amount of gathering and movement in the past few days which we alluded to, we expect will cause an increase in the number of cases,” he said. Dr Hinds said approximately 64 percent of the virus cases are associated with clusters. Settings like bars, religious gatherings and other places of gathering present the highest risk for transmission, he advised. With a steady rise over the last few weeks in cases pending epidemiological investigation, the medical expert sought to offer a clearer picture of the process involved in determining how a patient contracted the virus. “One of the things we need to clarify or get a better understanding out to the public is what we mean by pending epidemiological investigation. When we begin an epidemiological investigation, we don’t walk up to someone and scan the QR code on their foreheads and get all their epidemiological information. It's a process where we ask about activities, we ask about interactions and we ask about locations.” He said this process of investigation gives health officials an idea of how patients might have been exposed or who they might have exposed to the virus. Dr Hinds reiterated the advice of health officials for people to stay home if they are feeling ill or exhibiting flu-like symptoms. He added that citizens should not hesitate to seek medical attention if they are experiencing more serious symptoms like shortness of breath and difficulty breathing normally. “We are urging anyone if they are ill not to go to school, not to go to work, not to go to any of the other gatherings they would have gone to but to isolate themselves at home from their families as well, following the precautions such as hand washing and staying in your room and not sharing utensils and spaces even within the household. If the symptoms are more serious and require medical care, we encourage you not to hesitate to seek that care. So, muscle fatigue, tightness of the chest and shortness of breath, any of those things definitely do not remain at home with those things, definitely go out and seek care.” Dr Hinds said there has been an increase in people presenting at medical institutions which suggests that this advice is being heeded. Trinidad and Tobago currently has 161 active cases, with eight new infections reported in the numbers available as of Wednesday morning. The country's confirmed cases of the coronavirusstands at 308, at this time.

The Elections and Boundaries Commission has released the preliminary results for the 2020 Parliamentary Elections. In a release, the EBC noted that of the 1,134,135 electors eligible to vote in this year’s election, 658,297 votes were polled. This represents a voter turnout of 58.04 per cent. The EBC also noted that there were official requests for recounts by the People’s Democratic Patriots and the United National Congress. The electoral districts where recounts were requested are: St. Joseph Tunapuna La Horquetta/Talparo Toco/Sangre Grande San Fernando West Tobago East The EBC said that during the recount in the electoral district of Tobago East, the candidate for the People’s Democratic Patriots, Watson Duke conceded, ending that recount. Five recounts are still ongoing. Click here to view the Preliminary Results for the 2020 Parliamentary Election or you can click here for our updated interactive election map.

UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar arrives at the Hermitage Presbyterian School, La Romaine on August 10, 2020 to cast her vote. (Photo by Darlisa Ghouralal)

Members of the United National Congress (UNC) have come out in defence ofparty leaderKamla Persad-Bissessar even as others have called for her resignation followinganother defeat at the polls onMonday. During a conferenceon Tuesday, UNC public relations officerAnita Haynes affirmed the party’s confidence in Persad-Bissessar,but at least two members hold the view thatshe should vacate the post. Former MP for Barataria/San Juan Dr Fuad Khan, as well as former minister Devant Maharaj, on Wednesday, urged the UNC leader to offer her resignation. The two also shared the view that the party’s request for recounts in five constituencies was an effort in futility. But following Khan and Maharaj’s call,several UNC members came out toendorsePersad-Bissessar’s leadership. Deputy leader David Lee —who was re-elected to thePointe-a-Pierre constituency—commended his leader for her “people-centred approach”.He said Persad-Bissessar is needed at the helm to hold the government accountable. He said: “At one of the most uncertain times in our nation's history, we need stellar leadership to keep the Rowley regime in check and ensure the rights of our people are protected. That Leader is Kamla Persad Bissessar. “As leader, Kamla Persad Bissessar continues to have the vision, drive and compassion needed to get this country working again.” Lee added that her leadership “remains as the only potent option to restore this nation”, and it was for this reason that she has his full support. Barry Padarath, who retained thePrinces Town constituency, echoed similar sentiments, noting thatPersad-Bissessar is the right person to continue leading the party at this time. He added that she has his full, unconditional support as the leader of the UNC. Padarath commended Persad-Bissessar on her selection of candidates to contest the election, stating that she had demonstrated her commitment to empowering young people by the number of young, fresh faces she has placed in the Parliament. Adding his voice to the outpouring of support for the UNC leader, incoming Caroni East MP Rishi Seecharran said Persad-Bissessar is the most popular political leader in Trinidad and Tobago. He added that it is clear that there is widespread support for the UNC throughout the country. “The extensive electoral support is also a tremendous vote of confidence for MrsKamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, the esteemed and visionary leader of UNC,” he said. Meanwhile, re-elected Naparima MP Rodney Charles and the constituency executive opposed those calling for the removal of Persad-Bissessar as leader. Following an emergency session on Wednesday, the returning MP backed by the Naparima executive voiced support of her leadership. “In our view, the political leader ran an imaginative, thought-provoking, innovative, policy-based campaign that found favour with the majority of voters from all demographic groups, especially the youth,” a statement read. General Secretary Davendranath Tancoo backed Persad-Bissessar, calling her a "true leader" who cares for all citizens. "This is the leadership we need right now: strong, unwavering, focused and determined. We need that combination of caregiver and warrior to lead us now as we face the most serious challenges of our generation," he said. Incoming Cumuto/Manzanilla MP Rai Ragbir also endorsed Persad-Bissessar's leadership. "She has proven time and again within the eyes of the people of Trinidad and Tobago to be the most qualified person to lead both party and nation in times of need," Ragbir said. Persad-Bissessar has not responded to any of the calls for her to step aside from the leadership of the party.