The Economic Commission for Latin American and Caribbean (Eclac) says T&T will suffer a -2.5 per cent economic contraction this year.
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‘Girls’ man’ killed at birthday party
The country’s murder toll increased by one on Sunday with the shooting death of 33-year-old Karlan St Bernard who was killed at a birthday party in Gonzales, Port-of-Spain. Speaking with members of the media yesterday outside the Forensic Science Centre, St James, relatives of St Bernard described him as a quiet man who came to the area to celebrate the birth date of a friend who was killed. The relatives said St Bernard had recently been employed at AS Bryden and was a “girls’ man.” One said he was a quiet and cool person who never got into any trouble. Eyewitness reports state that around 4.30 pm St Bernard was at a house when a gunman walked up to him and opened fire, hitting him several times about the body. He was taken to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead.
Relatives of St Bernard, who lived at Agostini Street, Tacarigua, said he had been away from the area for a while before returning to celebrate the life of a friend when he was ambushed and killed. In an unrelated murder, the aunt of slain teen, Akile de Silva, told the media her nephew did not deserve to die the way he did. Erica Charles said De Silva, 19, would always make her laugh. Charles said her heart went out to De Silva who she said was quiet, loving and caring but especially to the person(s) who shot him. According to police reports De Silva was digging a trench in his yard at Scorpion Alley, Carenage, around 12.10 pm when he was shot several times by gunmen. In another unrelated killing, a press release issued by GPS Experts, whose founder, Rawle Francis, was shot last Friday and died on Saturday morning assured its customers the company remained vigilant.
The release said the nature of the attack had left the company in shock and disbelief. It added: “This is a terrible loss for all of us in the company and for our community. Mr Francis is lovingly remembered by his wife, three children (19, 16, 11), parents, sister, relatives and friends. “GPS Experts Ltd Sales and Installation Departments will be closed for the next few days. However, the Emergency Hotline and Response Department remains vigilant and ready to respond at a moment’s notice.” Francis was responding to a stolen vehicle report at Queen’s Park East and Jerningham Avenue, Port-of-Spain, when three gunmen approached him and shot him around 10 pm on Friday. He died at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital at 5.35 am Saturday.