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The North Matters touring Northeastern BC in support of natural resources

first_img“We need to do something to get the Minister of Finances’, Bill Morneau’s attention on these steel tariffs because these tariffs are killing us… In the meantime, we need to get this project going to create opportunities for everyone, from the upstream to the downstream, so we can make this project happen from Fort Nelson, Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, and down to Kitimat. A lot of opportunities are at stake here. We ended up getting 1,500 letters personally signed by people in the community. We put them into a Xerox box and I just mailed them to Bill Morneau’s office.”According to Johnston, his group is taking a proactive and positive approach when it comes to educating people on the need for natural resources and is currently working to build a network with communities to further gain support.In helping with educating and gaining support, the group will be presenting Independent Investigative Researcher Vivian Krause in Taylor on June 14.More information can be found on The North Matters’ Facebook page. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A grassroots natural resource support group, The North Matters, is currently touring Northeastern B.C.Group Founder, David Johnston, says the group formed a year-and-a-half-ago and aims to work hard to help end the divisiveness that communities are facing over natural resource developments.Johnston says he, along with many supporters, are looking to get Bill Morneau’s, the Minister of Finances’, attention in removing steel tariffs in order to get the LNG project underway as soon as possible. Johnston has sent a petition of letters to the Minister in order to apply pressure to the situation.last_img read more

JDS seeks to expand base in LS polls by capitalising on it

first_imgBengaluru: Limited to a couple of constituencies in the old Mysuru region in the successive Lok Sabha polls since its formation in 1999, the JD(S) in Karnataka is aiming to break new ground in the coming parliamentary elections capitalising on the party being in power. After the Janata Dal split in 1999, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda’s JD(S) has been winning two to three Lok Sabha seats in the old Mysuru region, largely from party bastions of Hassan and Mandya, dominated by the Vokkaliga community, its solid vote base, as also from Bangalore Rural and Chamarajanagara once. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day The JD(S), the lone surviving active offshoot of the erstwhile Janata Dal in the state, which has seen a revival with it coming to power in Karnataka in alliance with the Congress after the May 2018 assembly polls, wants to use the opportunity to expand its horizons. The party’s presence in the coalition government with the Congress and H D Kumaraswamy’s stature as chief minister will help the party in increasing its tally in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, senior JD(S) leader Y S V Datta told PTI. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents on Reliance penalty “It is true, if we were not in government and if there was no coalition, then our strength would have been limited to two or three seats in the old Mysuru region, but now that we are in the government and since our leader Kumaraswamy is chief minister, we can capitalise on his stature across the state,” he said. Datta, who is party’s campaign committee chief, said as per the understanding, the Congress will not field its candidates where the JD(S) is contesting, so minorities, backward class and SC/ST votes that were traditionally with the grand old party in those constituencies, will get transferred to the party. However, he also conceded that the JD(S) should have a base in those constituencies, as one cannot bat on a dead pitch. The Congress will contest 20 seats and the JD(S) eight in the Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka under a deal finalised by the two partners of the ruling coalition on Wednesday after weeks of haggling and uncertainty. The Lok Sabha constituencies that the JD(S) will contest in are Uttara Kannada, Chikmagalur, Shimoga, Tumkur, Hassan, Mandya, Bangalore North and Bijapur. However, political analysts don’t see JD(S) gaining much in this election. “It is a bit unlikely… The JD(S) can improve its performance only if the Congress supports it wholeheartedly, which seems unlikely, because the sentiment that both parties should come together to forge an alliance against the BJP is not shared among the party’s rank and file,” Narayana A, a professor at Azim Premji University, told PTI. The kind of signals that have been going out ever since the formation of the coalition government has created some kind of confusion among the workers as to whether they are really in alliance, he said. “So it is unlikely that one can expect the kind of support from the the Congress that the JD(S) needs to win,” he said. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the vote share of the JD(S) in the seven constituencies was — Chikmagalur 1.44 per cent, Shimoga 21.29 per cent, Tumkur 23.47 per cent, Hassan 44.43 per cent, Mandya 43.95 per cent, Bangalore North 6.83 per cent and Bijapur 5.95 per cent. The party had not fielded any candidate from Uttara Kannada. The JD(S) had won the Hassan and Mandya seats in the last general elections. The Congress had bagged nine and the BJP 17 seats. However in the by-polls, the BJP yielded the Bellary seat to the Congress. Among the eight seats that the JD(S) is contesting this time, it has its sitting MPs in two. Tumkuru is with the Congress and the rest five constituencies are represented by the BJP. According to sources, during seat negotiations, the JD(S) got the Tumkur seat, dominated by the Vokkaliga community, after a hard bargain as the Congress had decided not to cede those constituencies to the regional partner where it has a sitting MP. Mysore-Kodagu was another constituency that the JD(S) had demanded from the old Mysuru region, but could not bag it due to opposition from Siddaramaiah, as the seat is in his home turf, sources said. Narayana also feels that despite the JD(S) fielding Deve Gowda’s grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy in their bastion of Mandya, it will not be a cakewalk for the party this time. “I’m not too sure that the party workers will have the same kind of feelings towards him, as they had towards, Deve Gowda or Kumaraswamy,” he said. He however said, Hassan should not be much of a problem for the JD(S), where Gowda’s other grandson Prajwal Revanna is the candidate, as he has been associated with the party affairs there for some time now. There is opposition to Nikhil Kumaraswamy’s candidature in Mandya, as many who claim to be JD(S) supporters have hit out at the party leadership for sidelining loyal party workers to favour some one from their family, despite not being actively involved in party activities in the district. Nikhil is likely to be pitted against Sumalatha Ambareesh, wife of late actor-turned-politician Ambareesh in Mandya.last_img read more

Union Cabinet condoles Parrikars death

first_imgNew Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Monday condoled the death of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who passed away at his private residence in Panaji on Sunday evening after a prolonged battle with advanced pancreatic cancer. He was 63. The Cabinet also extended condolences to the former Defence Minister’s family and the people of Goa on behalf of the Central government and the entire nation. It observed a two-minute silence and also approved a day of mourning at the Centre and flying the national flag at half-mast on Monday across the country. Also Read – MP woman hangs herself after killing three children “The Cabinet expresses profound sorrow at the sad demise of Manohar Parrikar. In his passing away, the country has lost a veteran and distinguished leader, affectionately called as the Chief Minister of commoners,” a Cabinet statement said. It observed that Parrikar would be remembered for his simplicity and his abilities as an exceptional administrator. “His contribution to the building of modern Goa and to the modernization of India’s Armed Forces as well as improvement to the lives of ex-servicemen will never be forgotten.” Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Born on December 13, 1955, at Mapusa, Goa, Parrikar was educated at Loyola School, Margao and later graduated in Metallurgical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai in 1978. Before entering politics, Parrikar had joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at a young age and became a Mukhya Shikshak (Chief Instructor) in the final years of his schooling itself. After graduating from IIT, he resumed RSS work in Mapusa and became a Sanghchalak at the age of 26. As a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Parrikar was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Goa in 1994. He became the Chief Minister of Goa for the first time on October 24, 2000 and continued till February 27, 2002. He was re-elected as Chief Minister on June 3, 2002 and served till February 2, 2005. Parrikar became Chief Minister of Goa for the third time on March 9, 2012, and continued till November 8, 2014. On November 9, 2014, he became Union Minister of Defence and continued till March 13, 2017. He was again sworn in as Chief Minister of Goa on March 14, 2017. Parrikar was awarded the ‘Distinguished Alumnus Award’ by IIT Mumbai in 2001, Honorary Doctorate by National Institute of Technology, Goa in 2018 and the Dr. S.P. Mukherjee Award in 2018, among others. He is survived by his two sons.last_img read more

EC rejects govts request to publicise summer camps in Delhi govt schools

first_imgNEW DELHI: The Election Commission Tuesday turned down the AAP government’s request to release advertisements about summer camps in government schools prompting Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to write a letter to the poll body to reconsider its decision.The EC has pointed out that it has no objection to running summer camps which is part of AAP government’s Mission Buniyad Programme, subject to the condition that the appeal to send their wards to the camp has to be made to the parents through schools and not through print, TV or radio advertisements. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderSisodia, who is also Delhi’s Education Minister, questioned the “basis” on which the request has been rejected. “I feel extremely disappointed that the ECI chose to look at this issue from a very narrow political lens, completely ignoring the interest of lakhs of children largely from marginalised section of society. The success of the camp is contingent upon support of parents which is ensured through regular reach out to them by government using print media, TV and radio,” Sisodia said in a letter to the ECI. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsHe said by exercising your power to stop a simple message to the poor parents asking them to send their children to school during summer vacation, do you really think you are aiding in conducting free and fair elections? “The elections will be over in the next one month but the loss to lakhs of children cannot be compensated if you allow your unjustified decision to stay on,” he added. During a press conference, Sisodia said,”Did the EC even think for a while as to what mode to be adopted by the school to ask the poor parents to come to school in the first place?” The summer camps in Delhi government’s school, an initiative of the AAP dispensation will be organised from May 16 to June 9 for classes 3 to 8.last_img read more

Rains thunderstorm leave nearly 50 dead in 4 states

first_imgJaipur/Bhopal/Ahmedabad: Nearly 50 people were killed as rains coupled with thunderstorm and lightning hit several parts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra overnight, officials said Wednesday. The unseasonal rains and storm also caused damage to property and crops in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Rajasthan witnessed the maximum casualties with 21 people killed in rain-related incidents following by Madhya Pradesh where 15 were killed. While 10 people were killed in Gujarat, three were killed in Maharashtra. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to twitter in the morning to express anguish over the loss of lives in the rains in Gujarat and announce relief. Soon afterwards Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath hit out at the prime minister, accusing him of being concerned only about his home state Gujarat. The PMO in a tweet later said,”PM @narendramodi has expressed grief at loss of lives due to unseasonal rains and storms in MP, Rajasthan, Manipur & various parts of the country”. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday “An ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of those who lost their lives due to unseasonal rain & storms in MP, Rajasthan, Manipur & various parts of the country has been approved from the PM’s National Relief Fund. Rs 50,000 each for the injured has also been approved,” the PMO said. Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the government is closely monitoring the situation in rain-hit areas and is ready to provide all possible help to states affected by rains and thunderstorm. In Jaipur, Rajasthan Relief Secretary Ashutosh A T Pednekar said 21 people died due to unseasonal rains. “4 deaths were reported in Jhalawar, Udaipur and Jaipur each, two each in Jalore and Bundi and one each in Baran, Rajsamand, Bhilwara, Alwar and Hanumangarh, he said. Compensation of Rs. 4 lakh each has been announced to the families of victims. Another official said crops have suffered damage and the assessment is being done. Several cattle were also killed in rain-related incidents. Condoling the deaths, Chief minister Ashok Gehlot said in a tweet, “Deeply pained by loss of lives due to unseasonal rains and storms in various parts of the country including Rajasthan. My thoughts and prayers are with bereaved families. I pray for the speedy recovery of those injured”. Of the total 21 deaths, 7 are in Kota division.Heavy dust storm accompanied by moderate to heavy rains, thundershowers also lashed parts of Hadouti region (Kota division) on Tuesday causing damage to crops. Survey of crop damage is underway. BJP candidate from the constituency Om Birla demanded the state government declare compensation to farmers for crop damage. Birla also blamed the state government for not issuing alert and taking measures to prevent the crop damage. The department has predicted dust storm/thunderstorm accompanied with high velocity winds and lightning at a few places during the next 24 hours. Officials in Bhopal said unseasonal rain accompanied by thunderstorm and lightning hit various parts of Madhya Pradesh, leaving 15 people dead and injuring some others. Rains claimed three lives each in Indore, Dhar and Shajapur, two in Ratlam and one each in Alirajpur, Rajgarh, Sehore and Chhindwara districts. Nath expressed grief over the deaths and charged that Modi’s concerns were limited to his home state Gujarat. “Modiji, you are the PM of the country and not of Gujarat. In MP also, more than 10 persons were killed because of unseasonal rains, storm and lightning. But you have confined your feelings to Gujarat only. Though your party has no government here people live here also,” Nath said in a tweet. The BJP hit back, accusing Nath of doing politics over the loss caused by rains and storm. BJP media head and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni said in Delhi that Nath is well aware of the procedure that the state government has to first inform the Centre about the damage in such a natural tragedy to get relief but instead of doing so, he was tweeting and doing politics. “Instead of informing the Centre, he chose to do politics over the tragedy,” Baluni charged. In Ahmedabad, Gujarat government’s director of relief G B Manglpara, told PTI that at least 10 people have died in the rain and dust storm reported from various areas including districts in North Gujarat and Saurashtra region. Also, a portion of a tent erected for Prime Minister Modi’s rally in Himmatnagar town of North Gujarat was also damaged in the dust storm, an official earlier said. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced an aid of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased in the western state. “While the PM has already announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh, the Gujarat government will also give Rs 2 lakh to kin of those who lost their lives,” Rupani told reporters in Dahod. “We will also conduct a survey to assess the damage to crops and pay accordingly to affected persons,” he added. Apart from rain, the storm also resulted in hailstorm in some parts of Rajkot district of Saurashtra and Banaskantha district of north Gujarat. In Mehsana, farm produce kept in the open in the agriculture produce market committee premises got damaged, an official said. Besides, officials in Banaskantha said the watermelon crop, mainly grown in and around Deesa, got damaged due to hailstorm and thunderstorm. In Maharashtra, a 71-year-old woman, a 32-year-old man and a temple priest died when lightning struck them in Nashik district during rains on Tuesday, police said.last_img read more

Paks efforts to act against terror groups money laundering questioned at APG

first_imgIslamabad: Pakistan’s seriousness to act against proscribed terror outfits and its efforts to curb money laundering and terror financing were questioned by members of a regional affiliate of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) at a meeting held in China, according to a media report. A 10-member delegation, led by Finance Secretary Mohammad Younas Dagha, attended the two-day meeting of the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) of the Paris-based FATF in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou where it defended Pakistan’s efforts against money laundering and terror financing. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: Report According to a Dawn report, some participants, particularly those from India, raised very tough questions about Pakistan’s seriousness to act against proscribed organisations and effectiveness of internal controls. On May 3, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India will ask the FATF to put Pakistan on a blacklist of countries that fail to meet international standards in stopping financial crime. The APG will submit to the FATF its analysis of the compliance report submitted by Pakistan at the meeting, which concluded yesterday, and the progress made since the group’s on-site inspection in Islamabad and Karachi in March, the report said. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protests The APG report will become the basis for the FATF to decide whether to exclude Pakistan from its grey list or not. The delegation briefed the meeting about Pakistan’s updated actions against currency smuggling, proscribed organisations and tightening of financial and corporate sector systems and operational effectiveness, the report said. Giving examples of the measures taken by it, Pakistan cited arrests of key operatives of some proscribed outfits, putting more such groups and their affiliates in the list of banned outfits, blocking their accounts and financial flows and taking control of their assets. In March, bowing down to international pressure, Pakistan launched a major crackdown on Jaish-e-Mohammad, Jamat-ud-Dawa, Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation and other banned outfits and took over the control of their assets throughout the country. The Pakistan delegation said the country was very close to accomplish the milestones set under the FATF action plan well before the September deadline. It also said the government recently revised its national risk assessment of the corporate sector, strengthened customs procedures on borders and inland movement of funds and assets. Besides, internal control of the banking and non-banking financial institutions, insurance companies and stock exchanges has been strengthened to curb the possibility of money laundering and terror financing. The delegation cited the creation of a specialised directorate of Cross-Border Currency Movement (CBCM) in Islamabad to maintain a database of currency seizures. The APG had earlier flashed contradictory situations and poor coordination among stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, in fighting money laundering and terror financing in Pakistan. Last month, it expressed serious reservations over insufficient physical actions on ground against proscribed organisations to block flow of funds and activities.last_img read more

Chabat Controversy King Mohammed VI Calls Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz

Casablanca — The Mauritanian Press Agency (MPA) has reported that King Mohammed VI spoke with Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz over the phone, following controversy surrounding Chabat’s claims that Mauritania is sitting on Moroccan land. The call comes after a statement issued by the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign affairs, issued yesterday, which reiterated the country’s official respect for Mauritania’s territorial integrity. Moroccan Head of Government Abdelilah Benkirane also confirmed his travel plans to Mauritania with Le360, likely in an effort to smooth over the situation.  Istiqlal Secretary General Hamid Chabat raised controversy this week when he called Mauritania “a Moroccan territory” during a speech, adding that “Morocco’s borders extend from Sebta in the north to the Senegal river in the south.”During the call held today between King Mohammed VI and President Ould Abdelaziz, reports the MPA, “the two heads of state discussed the brotherly bilateral relations and ways to reinforce and develop them.” The MPA did not indicate that any formal discussion was held over Chabat’s controversial statement. read more

UN to Probe Allegations of Sexual Misconduct in CAR in Which

Rabat – The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) announced on Friday that it would probe allegations of mishandling investigations into sexual misconduct in which peacekeepers, from several nationalities, including Moroccans, are accused of involvement.Vladimir Monteiro, MINUSCA spokesperson, told AFP that these allegations are going to be examined.On Wednesday, Code Blue Campaign, an NGO based in the United States, said in a report that a confidential source had given it 14 internal case files regarding allegations of sexual offences against civilians in the African country, committed by UN peacekeepers. Moroccan soldiers are accused of sexual misconduct along with others representing eight nationalities, namely: Pakistan, Zambia, Republic of Congo, Burundi, Egypt, Cameroon, Gabon and Niger.Previous investigations were accused by Code Blue Campaign of not probing in depth the complaints that were made against the UN troops, and that investigators were “overwhelming” biased against alleged victims.The NGO said that in eight of cases “alleged victims were not questioned to provide evidence; potentially corroborating witnesses were not sought out for interviews”.The NGO pointed to a case where a Moroccan solider is accused of sexual assault. His alleged victim said he assaulted her in Obo, eastern CAR. The woman said she was questioned for 13 days by nine men from the UN and local authorities before concluding “her allegation was false and intended to discredit MINUSCA and gain compensation”.In March 2016 a UN report indicated four Moroccan peacekeepers are accused of sexual misconduct, three in CAR and the fourth one in the Democratic Republic of Congo. read more

With a Pinch of Madness an Italian Woman Marries Herself

Rabat – In the presence of her bridesmaids and 70 guests, a woman dressed white dress cut a three-layer cake, celebrating her wedding with herself.The Italian Laura Mesi married herself, joining the growing trend of self-marriage, or “sologamy.”The 40-year-old fitness trainer said she “firmly [believes] that each of us must first of all love ourselves.” “You can have a fairytale even without the prince,” she told Italian newspaper  La Repubblica.Mesi admits that marrying oneself is not as easy as it seems. “To marry yourself you need a certain amount of money, the support of those around you, and above all a pinch of madness.”The newly wed said “yes” to herself after she saw the end of a 12-year relationship, but she explained that the idea of tying the single  knot had been planned beforehand.“I told friends and family that if I had not found my soul-mate by my 40th birthday I would marry myself,” Mesi said.As the marriage ceremony does not have any legal weight, Mesi said she is still open to having a two-person marriage.“If one day I find a man with whom I can plan a future I’ll be happy, but my happiness does not depend on him.”Sologamy is not a recent trend, having existed since at least 1993, reports the BBC.It is also not just Italian. A US-based website, I Married Me, offers self-wedding kits, while in Japan, a travel agency has marriage ceremonies for single women since 2014.Canada’s Marry Yourself Vancouver sees that the growing trend of self-marriage is a result of many people being single. read more

Report suggests Germany may miss defence spending target

BERLIN — Germany’s tightening public finances are raising questions over whether the country will miss its military spending target at a time when the U.S. is increasing pressure on its European allies to increase defence budgets.The dpa news agency reported Tuesday that a Finance Ministry document circulated to other ministries for discussion suggests defence spending won’t increase sufficiently to meet targets amid a projected budget shortfall of 24.7 billion euros ($28.3 billion) through 2023.The Finance Ministry wouldn’t comment, saying only the numbers won’t be finalized until the end of March.Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on a Latvia trip that Germany would still meet its goal to increase military spending to 1.5 per cent of GDP by 2025, already less than the 2 per cent NATO members agreed in 2014.The Associated Press read more

Badou Zaki to Coach Algerian Club Mouloudia Club dOran

Rabat – The former Atlas Lions’ coach, Badou Zaki, has officially signed contract with a club in the Algerian Professional league, effectively confirming recent rumors.While recent reports revealed that the Moroccan legendary goalkeeper and former national head coach was to engage with the USM Alger starting next season, Zaki has committed to Oran-based Mouloudia Club d’Oran (MCO) for the upcoming season.MCO’s executive board announced the decision on the club’s Twitter yesterday, definitively putting to rest speculation surrounding the Moroccan legend’s coaching future. Badou Zaki nouveau Hamraoui!!! pic.twitter.com/FhxokdpDmq— MC Oran ?? (@MCO_Officiel) 6 mai 2018The 1986 African Player of the Year, was reportedly approached by a number of Algerian clubs as a priority coaching pick, according to Algerian footballing outlet, Dzfoot.com, recalling that Badou Zaki won the Algerian cup in 2017 as the head coach of CR Belouizdad, an Algiers-based club.Speaking of Zaki’s ended contract with USM, Algerian sports outlet Competition.DZ reported that the former Moroccan national coach demanded that his salary be paid to his Moroccan bank account, a proposal that the Algiers-based club’s board rejected.“I will not be coaching USM Algiers. The project has been called off, as we did find a common ground regarding some terms of the contract,” the Moroccan confirmed, in an interview with DZfoot.com. read more

Ballard Power Systems signs deal to provide power modules for ferry in

Companies in this story: (TSX:BLDP) VANCOUVER — Ballard Power Systems, Inc. has signed a deal to provide the power modules for a hybrid ferry in Norway.Financial terms of the agreement with Norled A/S were not immediately available.The Norled ferry will be powered by a combination of Ballard fuel cell modules together with batteries.It will be able to carry up to 299 passengers and 80 cars and is expected to be the first liquid hydrogen fuel cell-powered ferry in commercial operation.Under the agreement, Ballard will provide two 200-kilowatt power modules that will be used to power the ferry planned to begin operating in 2021.The Ballard modules will be designed and manufactured at the company’s facility in Hobro, Denmark. The Canadian Press read more

Markets Right Now Stocks open lower crude oil prices rise

NEW YORK — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):9:35 a.m.Stocks are opening mostly lower on Wall Street following a long holiday weekend, while energy stocks rose along with crude oil prices.Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 2.4% early Monday after the U.S. said it wouldn’t renew waivers to five countries exempting them from sanctions if they continued to import oil from Iran.Marathon Oil jumped 2.7%. Other energy companies also rose.Elsewhere, technology stocks and companies that rely on consumer spending posted some of the biggest losses.Western Digital fell 2.3% and Mattel dropped 3.9%The S&P 500 fell 8 points, or 0.3%, to 2,896.The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 84 points, or 0.3%, to 26,472. The Nasdaq fell 29 points, or 0.4%, to 7,968.Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10 year Treasury rose to 2.57%.The Associated Press read more

Morocco Requests Purchase of 24 New Apache Attack Helicopters from US

Rabat – US-managed website Export.gov  reported that Morocco has requested the purchase of 24 new Apache attack helicopters from its main army supplier, the US.Export.gov, a portal managed by the US Department of Commerce, shared an overview of Morocco’s military on July 15, showing Morocco’s latest military purchase activities.The overview shows that Morocco has put in a bid for  24 new Apache attack helicopters at $1.5 Billion. Apache attack helicopters are among the most advanced equipment and are heavily used by the US Army as well as other international militaries.“Over the last decade, Morocco has strengthened its navy and equipped its army with sophisticated vehicles,” said Export.gov.The website also recalled the most significant purchase made by Morocco, which included the 25 new F-16 aircraft in 2019.“The Moroccan defense budget is expected to grow to  $3.9 billion by 2022,” emphasized the website.Morocco’s military budget slightly increased from MAD 29.4 billion ($3.2 billion) in 2012 to MAD 34.7 billion in 2018 ($3.5 billion), according to the 2018 Trends in World Military Expenditure report released in April 2019.Export.gov added that Morocco made other significant purchases, including the  “162 new M1A1 tanks at $.75B, 300 TOW missile launchers with 1800 missiles at $180 Million, and significant interest in purchasing High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), PATRIOT Air Defense systems, and G550 reconnaissance aircraft. Morocco is the largest U.S. weapons buyer in Africa.”The overview said that Morocco signed a contract in 2019 to be provided with “technical support for their Abrams tanks.”“The Royal Moroccan Air Force flies F-16 fighters, C-130 transport aircraft, and CH-47D helicopters, among other U.S.-origin equipment, while the Royal Moroccan Navy operates modern frigates equipped with U.S.-origin digital communications” according to the government website.Morocco received 62% of its arms from the US between 2014-2018. Morocco also received 32% of its major arms from France, a second major supplier for Morocco.Export.gov said that   Spain is also among the list of major military suppliers to Morocco.“Morocco’s military expenditures totaled about $48 billion between 2005 and 2015,” the website added. read more

Ministry of Health Refutes Numbeos Ranking on Moroccos Health Care System

Rabat – The Ministry of Health has refuted the findings of a report issued by database website numbeo. The online ranking lists Morocco’s healthcare system last on a list of 89 countries.The ministry issued a  statement  on Wednesday, August 21, emphasizing that the report lacks “scientific accuracy and the standards adopted by international organizations and competent authorities in the preparation of such reports.”“The data on which the countries were classified, including Morocco, lack scientific and objective accuracy and cannot be scientifically adopted to assess the level of health care at the national level,” added the ministry. The Ministry emphasized that the methodology used in the report also lacks credibility and does not meet the standards of organizations, especially the World Health Organization (WHO).The report, according to the ministry, is based on incorrect data and “not statistically represented to assess the national health system.”The Ministry also advised Moroccan news outlets against “inaccurate data and false reports “ by Numbeo. The ministry added that Numbeo is not affiliated with any international accredited institution for health statistics.The ministry concluded its statement by emphasizing the important “progress of health care, despite some constraints.” The ministry added that the progress enabled Morocco to achieve important results in several areas, including the reduction of maternal mortality by 35% and children under five by 28 % between 2011 and 2018.Numbeo’s findings are based on a survey made through the contribution of  only 125 people. The narrow test group calls the survey’s reliability and accuracy into question.While Morocco acknowledges challenges in the health sector, several reports listed Morocco higher than a number of Arab and African countries, including the Health Assessment Questionnaire without Disability Index in 2018. The index ranked Morocco in 112th place ahead of Paraguay, Nigeria and South Africa. read more

Disney and TakeTwo rise while Ralph Lauren and GIII fall

NEW YORK — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily on Tuesday:Walt Disney Co., up $1.86 to $133.20The entertainment company struck a deal with Comcast to get full ownership of the streaming video service Hulu.Take-Two Interactive Inc., up $3.54 to $103.55The publisher of “Grand Theft Auto” and other video games beat Wall Street’s fiscal fourth quarter profit forecasts.AbbVie Inc., up $1.57 to $78.44The drug developer settled a potentially costly patent dispute over its arthritis treatment Humira with Boehringer Ingelheim.Tencent Music Entertainment Group, down 99 cents to $15.01The Chinese streaming music service said that a co-president is resigning and it is making several other management changes.Ralph Lauren Corp., down $4.33 to $113.95The upscale clothing company reported a dip in revenue from its key North America market.G-III Apparel Ltd., down $1.43 to $32.59The company produces a large amount of its clothing in China and could suffer in the ongoing trade war.Western Digital Corp., up $1.64 to $44.63The data storage device maker and other technology companies bounced back on optimism that the U.S. and China will eventually settle their trade dispute.Marathon Oil Corp., up 48 cents to $15.46The energy company and its peers gained ground as oil prices rebounded from a decline on Monday.The Associated Press read more

Girls speak out for their rights at UNbacked forum

Girls from around the world – including a former child soldier from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), an HIV-positive rape victim from Zambia, and a child-labourer from Nepal – have come together to share the experiences that made them activists at an event at United Nations Headquarters.The poignant voices of these and other girls at Friday’s event, called “Girls Speak Out” and moderated by CBS News anchor Katie Couric of the United States, drew an emotional response from those attending, including delegates to the UN Commission on the Status of Women, whose two-week session ends on 9 March. Madeleine, a 15-year-old former soldier from the DRC, recounted her experiences in the jungles of Eastern Congo, where she fought on the front lines of the civil war. She joined the Mai-Mai armed group in 2002 when she was only 11 years old without having completed primary schooling. After receiving military training, she spent two years with the group in the Uvira region before being demobilized as a soldier in 2004. “Girls who have been demobilized now live in local communities. And I must say that 7 or 8 out of 10 of us have children – children that are being rejected by our communities,” the former girl soldier told her fellow delegates. “Some of us are suffering from diseases like HIV/AIDS, and yet we don’t have access to treatment. What have we done wrong to suffer like this? What will be our future?” she asked, before she broke down in tears. The audience gave her a standing ovation.The event was organized as part of a debate on how to curb the discrimination and violence that girls face in all regions, which is the priority theme of this year’s Commission session. Over 2,000 women and girls have come from around the world to join government delegates in seeking solutions to these problems.The impact of discrimination and violence against girls is staggering: 55 million girls are not in school; millions of school-aged girls work in domestic service; an estimated 40 per cent of child soldiers are girls; and more than 60 per cent of young people aged 15-25 living with HIV and AIDS are female. “We are not only the subject of the conference, but we are also the voice of this conference,” said 16-year-old Jordana Alter Confino from New Jersey, who was a co-moderator of the special event. Ms. Confino is one of the founders of Girls Learn International, a service initiative engaging middle and high school students from the United States in the campaign to achieve universal girls’ education.Katie Couric, a mother of two girls, told delegates that there was so much to learn from this discussion, observing: “To change the world, you have to learn the world.” 3 March 2007Girls from around the world – including a former child soldier from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), an HIV-positive rape victim from Zambia, and a child-labourer from Nepal – have come together to share the experiences that made them activists at an event at United Nations Headquarters. read more

UN official says Bhutanese refugees in Nepal deserve options

24 May 2007Bhutanese refugees who have been living in Nepal for some 16 years should have the freedom to make informed decisions about their future, a visiting United Nations official has said. Bhutanese refugees who have been living in Nepal for some 16 years should have the freedom to make informed decisions about their future, a visiting United Nations official has said.UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) António Guterres told residents at Goldhap camp on Wednesday that there was more than one solution to the plight of over 100,000 Bhutanese who have been living in eastern Nepal for the last 16 years. The High Commissioner outlined the options during his first official visit to Nepal to focus on current efforts to alleviate the long-standing situation of some 107,000 refugees who have been living in seven camps since the early 1990s. Mr. Guterres said the agency is “very encouraged by recent interest in resettling some of the refugees,” referring to an offer by the United States to accept some 60,000 of the Bhutanese in Nepal. Other countries that have expressed similar interest, UNHCR said.At the same time, he voiced hope that refugees who wish to return to Bhutan would be able to return home. “Despite 16 years with little success, we will continue to knock on Bhutan’s door to seek a solution for those who want to go back.” Mr. Guterres stressed that everyone must have the freedom to make his or her own informed decision. “The option of resettlement or voluntary repatriation is for them to choose and decide,” he said, adding that UNHCR’s job “is to open as many doors as possible so that they can leave the long years of exile behind them and start a new life as soon as possible.”The UN refugee agency has started a mass information campaign to sensitize refugees in all seven camps on resettlement procedures and their individual right to decide for or against it. In the capital, Kathmandu, Mr. Guterres met with Nepal’s Prime Minister Giriji Prasad Koirala and other senior officials to thank the country for its “very constructive and positive approach” to finding solutions for the refugees before a comprehensive solution is found for all camp residents in Nepal. Myanmar refugees from Thai camp are being resettled, UN refugee agency saysThe second phase of a large-scale resettlement of ethnic Karen refugees from Myanmar has begun with a group of more than 30 leaving a camp in northern Thailand to start a new life in the United States, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today. “These refugees who fled fighting in eastern Myanmar have little realistic prospect of going home and they have been leading a very restricted life in the camp for more than a decade,” said the UNHCR Representative in Thailand, Hasim Utkan, who was at the camp send-off. “So, while it’s hard for them to leave a country just across the border from their homeland, they are excited about a new future in the US.” Between May 16 and the first week of July, 404 refugees are scheduled to depart for the US, with an overall planning figure of nearly 10,000 refugees from Thailand to depart to America by September 30 this year. “The scale of the resettlement operation is really quite amazing,” said Mr. Utkan. “This is something which has rarely been offered in a refugee situation.”Nine Thai government-run refugee camps strung along the border with Myanmar shelter a total of 140,000 refugees. read more

Strengthened UN crucial for resolving global conflicts Ireland tells Assembly

Ireland’s Foreign Minister has advocated strengthening United Nations efforts in the field of conflict prevention and resolution, as well as sharing lessons learned, as key factors to achieving peace in today’s strife-ridden world.“Today, despite all our efforts, violence conflict remains all too common,” Dermot Ahern told the annual high-level debate of the General Assembly. Urging nations to make use of the full array of instruments available to resolve conflict, he stressed that “in making peace, we must be as creative and determined as those who wage war.”Mr. Ahern said it is vital to ensure that the UN Peacebuilding Commission – set up last year to help countries emerging from conflict consolidate their gains and not slide back into war – and the accompanying Peacebuilding Fund are organized and resourced to fulfil their important mandates.He also urged continued support for UN peacekeeping operations, which are currently at an all-time high in terms of their size, scope and complexity, and for strengthening the Organization’s capacities for conflict prevention and resolution. The sharing of experiences, particularly lessons learned, from enduring and complex conflicts such as that in Northern Ireland, could also prove useful, he noted.While he did not believe the success of Northern Ireland, where an historic power-sharing accord has led to the resolution of a decades-long conflict, offers a “universally transferable formula,” its experience provides insights and lessons worth sharing.“First, in the end, those who are part of the problem must be part of the solution – not because we approve of their actions or beliefs, but because without them it is all too easy for an agreement among others to be destroyed,” he stated. Among the other lessons is the need for inclusive dialogue on the basis of clear and guaranteed principles, to take risks for peace and to address all issues comprehensively. “Working with a strengthened UN and sharing lessons with one another, I passionately hope we can advance the day when political leaders from other regions of the world blighted by conflict can announce in this forum that peace has come to them too,” Mr. Ahern stated. 2 October 2007Ireland’s Foreign Minister has advocated strengthening United Nations efforts in the field of conflict prevention and resolution, as well as sharing lessons learned, as key factors to achieving peace in today’s strife-ridden world. read more

Burundis peace process hampered by political crises – UN report

30 November 2007In recent months, efforts to bring a lasting peace to Burundi have been impeded by a deteriorating political situation, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a new report to the Security Council made public today. In recent months, efforts to bring a lasting peace to Burundi have been impeded by a deteriorating political situation, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a new report to the Security Council made public today. “The peace consolidation process in Burundi has passed through a difficult period in the past six months,” Mr. Ban says in a report on the work of the UN Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB) covering the period since 17 May. “The political crises and institutional paralysis, along with the blockage in the peace process, underscores the fragility of the situation and the continued need for vigilance.” The small Great Lakes nation has been the victim of violent coups and political instability since gaining independence in 1962. Decades of ethnic conflict pit the Hutu majority against the Tutsi minority, and enormous challenges persist, the report states. Mr. Ban also voices concern over the worsening overall security situation and ongoing human rights violations. Welcoming the appointment of an inclusive Government earlier this month, he commended President Pierre Nkurunziza “for the leadership and the flexibility in ending the political crisis that had heightened tensions and delayed the implementation of key peace consolidation tasks.” To meet high expectations – both national and international – the new Government must endeavour to address the challenges Burundi faces in its reconstruction efforts, the report notes. In July, the Palipehutu-FNL, the last major rebel hold-out group, withdrew from the Joint Verification and Monitoring Mechanism set up to monitor a ceasefire it signed with the Government last year. “There is an urgent need for the resumption and early implementation of the comprehensive ceasefire agreement within an overall political framework that addresses the concerns of the Government and FNL,” Mr. Ban says. He expresses concern over the continuing stalemate between the sides, which has had humanitarian and security consequences, and urged the FNL to resume its participation in the Joint Verification and Monitoring Mechanism. “I call upon the Government and FNL to meet the aspirations of all Burundians and seize this opportunity by engaging in good faith on the issues that have hindered progress to date,” the Secretary-General adds. The report urges a greater role for BINUB, which “should continue to provide political and technical support to help national actors address the root causes of the conflict, prevent a relapse into conflict and create an environment conducive to recovery and development.” read more