Did the PMO sideline WilsonRaybould on failed framework negotiations This chief believes

first_imgNation to NationAs the scandal involving the Prime Minister’s Office and former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould continues to grow by the day, everything that led up to it erupting last week is now getting a closer look.That includes Wilson-Raybould’s involvement in the failed Indigenous rights framework that fell apart late last year.Or more so, her apparent lack of involvement in what was supposed to be a game-changer for First Nations and the dismantling of the Indian Act.“I feel the Prime Minister’s Office held (Wilson-Raybould) back on this work,” said Chief Judy Wilson of the Neskonlith Indian Band in British Columbia. “We were dealing mostly with Minister (Carolyn) Bennett who, as you know, rolled it out very terribly.”Allegations surfaced last week that the PMO pressured Wilson-Raybould to intervene in a criminal case involving SNC-Lavalin. The Globe and Mail newspaper suggested in its report this was the reason why she surprisingly demoted from justice minister to veterans affairs last month.Wilson-Raybould resigned earlier this week from her role as minister of veterans affairs.It’s a scandal that doesn’t appear to be going away.As for work Wilson-Raybould was doing as justice minister, chiefs in B.C. couldn’t understand why she wasn’t more involved in developing the framework. Rather, Bennett, as minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, took the lead.“I think she was more or less sidelined in that work,” said Wilson on Nation to Nation Thursday. “We couldn’t understand why those two ministers weren’t working better together.”The framework was promised exactly a year ago on Feb. 14 when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood in the House of Commons delivering a speech that came with big promises. One of those included tabling legislation by last December.It never happened as chiefs and Indigenous leaders pushed back against the process saying it was flawed from the get-go and never seemed to get any better.Now the government is rolling the framework out in pieces, including the Indigenous Languages Act that was tabled earlier this month and the proposed Indigenous child welfare bill that still hasn’t reached the House of Commons.“We have serious work before us with child and family legislation and language. This takes away from that work,” said Wilson.Grand Chief Joel Abram of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians said a draft of the child welfare legislation is weak.It doesn’t respect First Nation jurisdiction or the need for proper funding in order for nations to take back control of child welfare.In fact, the government is proposing First Nations or groups interested in controlling child welfare first have to make a deal with the federal government and another with provinces.“It’s not true recognition of First Nation authority if you require ministerial agreements with the province or the feds,” said Abram.Trudeau promised to table the legislation by the last week of January but as of Thursday there is still no word on when, or if it will.N2N@aptn.calast_img read more

Israel says Oman will open its airspace to Israeli carrier

first_imgJERUSALEM — Israel’s prime minister says Oman will open its airspace to Israel’s national airline.The move appears to have no immediate practical effect as the carrier is barred from flying over Saudi Arabia. But it marks another sign of warming ties between Israel and Gulf Arab states.Benjamin Netanyahu told a gathering of Israeli ambassadors Monday that Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said granted El Al permission to pass through its airspace during the Israeli leader’s surprise visit to the country in October. The two states have no formal diplomatic relations.Saudi Arabia broke a decades-long ban on the use of its airspace for flights to Israel last spring, when it allowed India’s national carrier to transit its skies. The kingdom’s approval did not extend to El Al.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Taxpayers federation seeks standing in pipeline carbon tax legal battles

first_imgVANCOUVER, B.C. – An advocacy group that argues for the interests of taxpayers will be asking the courts to allow it take part in separate legal cases in British Columbia and Saskatchewan in a dispute over federal and provincial jurisdiction.The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says it will request permission for intervener status in order to fight against the federal carbon tax in Saskatchewan and in favour of getting pipelines built through B.C.A reference question filed in the B.C. Appeal Court by the provincial government is asking it to affirm its right to protect the province from the threat of a diluted bitumen spill. The group is also applying to the courts for standing in the Saskatchewan case where the provincial government wants a ruling on whether the federal government can impose a carbon tax.Federation director Aaron Wudrick says it’s critical that Canadian taxpayers be represented at both proceedings where federal and provincial jurisdictions will be clarified.The federation says it will be filing the intervener applications over the coming weeks.The federal Liberal government has already announced that it will intervene in the B.C. case, which could decide the future of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from the Edmonton-area to port in Burnaby.Kris Sims, the B.C. director for the federation says the Canadian way of life and economic prosperity depend on oil and gas and British Columbia must stop efforts to block the expansion.“We are going to bat for taxpayers in this fight because without a robust economy, and without access to affordable oil and gas, people in B.C. won’t be able to drive to work, the cost of everything will surge and they won’t be able to pay the taxes that our governments impose on us,” Sims says.last_img read more

St Patricks Day Family Dinner and Dance

first_imgThere will be a Photo Booth and a DJ for the dance and other prizes to be won.Free tickets can be picked up at;-Party Town in Fort St John-The Taylor Hub in TaylorTo view the FB Event Page; CLICK HERETo view the Phoenix Volunteer Club FB Page; CLICK HERE TAYLOR, B.C. – The Phoenix Volunteer Club is hosting their 2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day, Free Family Dinner and Dance to say thank you and give back to the community.Friday, March 8th from 5 pm – 9 pm at the Taylor Community Hall, there will be prizes for best dressed in St. Patrick’s themed outfit.Hot dogs and hamburgers will be served for dinner, with pop, water and coffee to drink.last_img read more

RCMP present Annual Report to Taylor Council

first_imgWhen it came to vehicle offences, such as impaired driving, the RCMP reports that those caught was up to 12 in 2018 from 2 in 2017.Perret says the reason for the number increase in impaired driving does not necessarily mean there are more impaired drivers but could be due to heavier Police presence within the District.“When we talk about stats, we could spin this one way or the other. Either we have a huge increase in the amount of impaired drivers in Taylor or we’ve done a better job of doing impaired driving enforcement.”For more information on the RCMP Annual Report, you can view it on the District of Taylor’s website. The total number of service calls for 2018 was 452, up from 440 in 2017.In criminal activity, some offences saw an increase, while others saw little to no change.Criminal activity is divided into a few different sections.In persons violent crimes, Police report that there was a decrease from 40 in 2017 to 36 in 2018.Property crimes saw an increase to 70 in 2018, up from 63 in 2017.Other crimes have been stable at 24 incidents for two years in a row. TAYLOR, B.C. – At a Council Meeting on Monday, the RCMP presented their Annual Report to the District of Taylor Council.Presenting the Annual Report was Staff Sargeant Steve Perret & Sargeant Dave Tyreman of the Fort St. John RCMP Detachment.The Annual Report focused on statistics for service calls, criminal activity, and motor vehicle offences specifically in Taylor.last_img read more

Severe Thunderstorm Watch issued for BC Peace and Pine Pass

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for the B.C. Peace and Pine Pass.The watch says that conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms that could produce strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain.  The forecast says Fort St. John could receive 10 to 15 mm or rain.See the full warning below. 10:59 AM PDT Friday 28 June 2019Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for:B.C. North Peace RiverB.C. South Peace RiverConditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain.Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. Lightning kills and injures Canadians every year. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors!Severe thunderstorm watches are issued when atmospheric conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms that could produce one or more of the following: large hail, damaging winds, torrential rainfall.Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to BCstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #BCStorm.10:59 AM PDT Friday 28 June 2019Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for: Highway 97 – Pine PassConditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain.Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. Lightning kills and injures Canadians every year. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors!Severe thunderstorm watches are issued when atmospheric conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms that could produce one or more of the following: large hail, damaging winds, torrential rainfall.Weather in the mountains can change suddenly resulting in hazardous driving conditions.center_img Road conditions are available at www.drivebc.ca.Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to BCstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #BCStorm.last_img read more

Roger Federer admits he faces real battle against Medvedev

first_imgMiami: Roger Federer admits he faces a real battle to land the 101st title of his career with the in-form Daniil Medvedev next up after Serbian Filip Krajinovic was dispatched 7-5 6-3 on Monday at the ATP and WTA Miami Open. The Swiss superstar produced an excellent all-round performance despite being tested by the world number 103 who belied his lowly ranking by producing some excellent tennis during an exciting first set. Federer, however, stylishly weathered the storm to seal the win – the 52nd of his career in Miami – and set up an intriguing last eight match with the highly-rated Medvedev. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhThe Russian, who is at a career high ranking of 15, saw off American Reilly Opelka 7-6 (7/5) 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (7/0), and has won four ATP hard-court titles, including three since last August. Federer beat him twice last year but is already a fan. “He’s clever how he plays the court because he can play it up and down, and he’s unusual when he plays from back,” said the Swiss, who hit 14 aces and won an impressive 74% of points on his first serve. “It’s a bit of a different approach.Thankfully I played him last year twice in Basel and Shanghai and I’m very impressed about his progress. I must say the last year has been unbelievable for him.” Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterKrajinovic struggled with injury last year as problems with his ankle, left foot and hand restricted him to just seven tournaments in the first seven months of 2018. Yet some fierce hitting from the back of the court surprised the predictably pro-Federer crowd and a brilliant run and flick over the net handed him an early break for 3-2. Keeping the pressure on, however, was a different matter as Federer broke straight back before pocketing the opening set. The second set wasn’t as competitive, Federer easing home and finishing with 35 winners compared to the Serbian’s 18. Elsewhere, number 24 seed Grigor Dimitrov was beaten by world number 77 Jordan Thompson in straight sets ensuring the Australian will meet 2018 Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson who beat Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-4, 7-6 (8/6). Simona Halep, meanwhile, got the better of Venus Williams once again as the Romanian made light work of the 38-year-old American to book a place in the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-3 win. “I was pretty strong with my serve and knew where to bother her,” said the reigning French Open champion who will meet China’s Wang Qiang in the last eight. “When I saw I can win easy games with my serve, it gave me great confidence,” she added. Bianca Andreescu, the 18-year-old Canadian sensation who won the title in Indian Wells, was forced to withdraw in the second set of her fourth round match with Anett Kontaveit. Andreescu was 1-6 0-2 down before a shoulder injury ruined her chances of another run to the finals. The Estonian will meet Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei who continued her excellent form with a 6-3, 6-7 (0/7), 6-2 win over Caroline Wozniacki. Petra Kvitova, the world number 3, booked her place in the last eight, beating Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-3 in a match which was held up for one hour and 40 minutes because of rain in South Florida. Kvitova plays Australian Ashleigh Barty for a place in the semi-finals.last_img read more

Modi using govt machinery to intimidate opposition: Mamata

first_imgJalpaiguri/Falakata (WB): Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Sunday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using government machinery and institutions to intimidate the opposition, questioning the removal of Andhra Pradesh chief secretary by the Election Commission. She wondered why PM Modi is not removing his own cabinet secretary or the Union home secretary, if he was so “fond of making last-minute changes”. “Why is the Centre intervening in state matters? Why was Andhra Pradesh chief secretary removed?” Banerjee, who has accused the Election Commission (EC) of working at the behest of the BJP, asked, addressing an election rally. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “Why don’t you (Modi) remove your own cabinet secretary?” the CM said, claiming that she has worked with several prime ministers, but has never seen anyone as “vindictive” like Modi. The EC on Friday removed Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary Anil Chandra Punetha from the post and appointed senior-most IAS officer L V Subrahmanyam in his place. “You have raided the family of Kamal Nath, Karnataka chief minister has been raided, Andhra Pradesh chief minister has also been raided,” she said. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Banerjee accused the BJP-led Central government of using the income tax department and the CBI for raids and getting the institutions to do their bidding. Reacting to the poll panel’s move of removing four IPS officers in West Bengal, including Kolkata and Bidhanagar police commissioners, the West Bengal chief minister Saturday wrote a letter, protesting its decision. The letter said the removals were “unfortunate, highly arbitrary, motivated and biased” and taken at the behest of the BJP, and urged the poll panel to review its decision. Retorting to PM’s claim that the TMC chief was scared of him, Banerjee said it was actually Modi who was afraid of her, and not the other way round. “The more you try to intimidate me, the more will I roar,” she said, addressing two back-to-back rallies, a couple of hours after Modi’s speech at Cooch Behar. “Didi is not a person to be afraid of anything or anybody,” the feisty TMC supremo, who almost single-handedly brought down the CPI(M)-led Left Front in West Bengal, ending its 34-year rule, asserted. Without naming former political associate Mukul Roy, whom she addressed as a “traitor” for quitting her party to join the BJP, she accused Modi of sharing the dias at his public meeting in Cooch Behar with a person (Roy) accused in the Saradha and Narada cases. “You (Modi) have said in Cooch Behar that you will seek answers for Saradha-Narada scams… It’s your leader (Roy) who is accused in these and not the Trinamool,” she said. “Saradha scam happened during the CPI(M) rule, but you have made accusations against us (TMC) in 2014, 2016 and now again. Have you (Modi) been able to clean the Ganga at Varanasi, that you are looking at Bengal?” Banerjee asked, suggesting that BJP should try to save its citadel in Delhi. Asserting that she is not perturbed at the removal of officers in the state, she said those who are afraid of losing elections indulge in such acts. “The more they change our officers, the more we will win,” she said. Terming Modi as a “nakal chowkidar” (fake watchman), she said “chowkidar jhuta jai, chowkidar lootera hai (watchman is liar, he is a thief)”. On the Pulwama attack, the chief minister said the BJP is trying to politicise their martyrdom. She also dared the saffron party to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in West Bengal, asserting it will never be allowed in the state. Claiming that North Bengal was neglected before the TMC came to power, she said the BJP comes like a cuckoo bird in the spring only during the elections. “We are there with the people 365 days a year,” Banerjee said, adding she visits North Bengal every month. Accusing the BJP of engineering unrest in Darjeeling, where violent protests had jeopardised normal life, she said that those who created a rift between the people of the hills and the plains are now candidates of the saffron party. The chief minister said that before her party was voted to power in the state, 400 hundred people used to get killed in the Maoist-affected ‘Jangalmahal’ every year. “When peace prevails in the state, Modi and the BJP are trying to ignite unrest again. Where was Modi when Jangalmahal and Darjeeling were burning?” Banerjee asked, reiterating her recent jab – “Expiry Babu” – at him. Banerjee said that the PM has not given anything to Bengal. “Even the change of the state’s name has not been sanctioned by the Centre.” “We have given rice to the poor people of the state for Rs two per kg, while the Modi government’s actions caused job loss of two crore people in the country,” she alleged. She also accused the PM of allowing people who looted people’s money to flee the country. Banerjee said that the BJP government at the Centre had promised reopening of closed tea gardens in North Bengal, but has failed to do so, while she got a tea garden with 1,200 workers to start functioning again on Sunday.last_img read more

SRH eye play-off berth vs Bangalore

first_imgBangalore: Bottom-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will look to salvage pride while Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will aim to seal the final play-off berth when the two sides square-off for one final time in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Saturday. The Kane Williamson-led Hyderabad side will need to forget their disappointing Super Over loss to three-time champions Mumbai Indians and need to get their act together in their must-win game. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuOne good news for Hyderabad is that even if they lose their last game, they can still reach the playoffs if Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) don’t win more than one of their last two matches. In the absence of their star batsmen — David Warner and Johnny Bairstow — young Manish Pandey shouldered the responsibility in their game against Mumbai as he clobbered Hardik Pandya for a six in the final ball to push the match into the Super Over. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersPandey played a valiant 47-ball unbeaten 71-run knock and didn’t let his team miss the presence of Warner, who had consecutively scored runs for Hyderabad this season. Along with him, skipper Williamson, all-rounder Vijay Shankar and comeback man Wriddhiman Saha will also need to contribute effectively. The Hyderabad bowlers have performed well so far but will need to click as a unit against Bangalore, which boasts of batsmen like AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli. A lot will also depend on leg-spinner Rashid Khan and K Khaleel Ahmed, who have been amongst the wickets for the Orange Army. While Rashid has 14 wickets from 13 games, Khaleel has also been impressive with 14 scalps from just seven matches. They will need the support of the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Coming to Bangalore, the Kohli-led side has nothing to lose and will just look to play for pride after exiting from the race to the play-offs. Kohli will certainly aim to end things on a winning note after losing eight of their 13 games. The skipper, who has amassed 448 runs from 13 games, is the leading run-getter for his side but lacked support from the other batsmen. Apart from him, de Villers has also contributed with 441 runs from 12 games. The duo will need to leave the sad memories behind and get their act together. Bangalore’s bowling would once again rely on Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini. Despite the wicket generally assisting batsmen in Bangalore, the host’s bowlers will have to get wickets at regular intervals besides being economical.last_img read more

KCR meets Stalin, bid for federal front appears a non-starter

first_imgChennai: Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrashekhar Rao’s bid to rope in DMK in his proposed alternative front appeared to be a non-starter with the Dravidian party chief M K Stalin urging the Telangana Chief Minister to extend TRS’s support to the Congress.Continuing his efforts to bring together regional parties, Rao called on Stalin at his residence here and discussed with him his proposal for a federal front, DMK sources said. In the meeting that went beyond an hour, Stalin conveyed to Rao that his party was in a pre-poll alliance with the Congress and he had also pitched the name of Rahul Gandhi for the office of the Prime Minister. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh”Thalaivar (Stalin) urged Rao to extend Telangana Rashtra Samiti’s support for a Congress-led government at the Centre,” DMK sources said. Rao, who had days ago called on his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan, exuded confidence in the deliberations that regional parties would emerge as a powerful force with a significant number of seats and neither the Congress, nor the BJP would have adequate numbers to form a government. In such an eventuality, the TRS chief told the DMK president that a government could be propped up by the regional parties with the support of “national parties,” a reference perceived to include the Left parties as well. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadPossible “post poll scenarios” that may merge and how a federal front could help regional parties and “southern States,” were put forth by Rao, sources added. To this,the DMK side,which was also represented by senior leaders Duraimurugan and T R Baalu, felt the situation was conducive only for a Congress-led government at the Centre. Also, the Dravidian party pointed out that toying with the idea for a regime steered by regional outfits at the Centre may not work in view of divergent state specific positions of some parties. The TRS is opposed to both Congress and Telugu Desam Party in Telangana. While Rao did not meet waiting reporters, DMK said the meeting was only a “courtesy,” call. Rao had in April 2018 called on Stalin and then DMK chief M Karunanidhi here. Earlier in the day, he offered prayers at the ancient Sri Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam in Tiruchirappalli. On May 10 he visited the Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameswaram after going to Kanyakumari. Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K S Alagiri downplayed the meeting between the two leaders and asked journalists “why accord importance to the meeting…in India a third front is not possible and not practicable; State parties from Kasmir to Kanyakumari know this very well.” BJP Tamil Nadu unit president Tamilisai Soundararajan wondered what was Stalin’s “hesitation” in his meeting with Rao to assert that he only supported Rahul Gandhi.last_img read more

Sahara: Hilale hands a message from King Mohammed VI to Ban…

New York- Omar Hilale, who was entrusted by King Mohammed VI with the position of ambassador, Morocco’s permanent representative to the United Nations Organization, handed on Thursday to UN secretary General Ban Ki-Moon a message from the Sovereign, on the latest UNSG report on the Sahara.During the meeting, the Moroccan diplomat underlined Morocco’s fundamentals regarding the Sahara issue and pointed out that “any deviation from this framework will be dangerous” for the negotiations process. “Upon high instructions of HM the King, I was received by the Secretary General of the UNO to whom I handed a Royal message related to the UN latest report on the Moroccan Sahara”, Hilale told MAP, noting that he seized this opportunity to recall “the fundamentals of political negotiations” which are “remaining faithful to the UN security council 2007 resolution that defines the mandate of the UN secretary general personal envoy”. Hilale also recalled that King Mohammed VI had, during a phone conversation with Ban Ki-Moon in August 2012 “called for preserving the Personal Envoy’s mandate of mediation, promotion of political settlement and supervision with precise terms as well as Morocco’s contribution within the United Nations.” This reminder of the terms of reference illustrates “Morocco’s attachment to the political process”, its earnest engagement in negotiations under the auspices of the secretary general and the Security Council, and at the same time its “firm opposition” to “any deviation from this framework that would be dangerous to the entire negotiations process.” Hilale further argued that “as much as we are attached to the process of seeking a political, lasting and mutually acceptable solution to this regional dispute, as much we will oppose with strength and determination any attempt to use the issue of human rights to harm the integrity of Morocco’s territory”. read more

Morocco Boasts Very Important Economic Assets, WB Chief Financial Officer

Marrakech –  Morocco has very important economic assets mainly its institutional and economic stability, said, Saturday in Marrakech, World Bank Managing Director for Finance and Chief Financial Officer Bertrand Badré.Morocco showed great institutional and economic stability amid the turmoil that has been going on over the past few year regionally, with what is called the Arab Spring, and internationally with the global slowdown, he told MAP on the sidelines of the 3rd “The Atlantic Dialogues” on Oct. 24-26.Besides its macroeconomic, institutional and economic stability, Morocco has an asset of location in the crossroads of sub-Saharan Africa and Europe, in addition to openness on the Atlantic. He also highlighted the construction of infrastructure and the advanced urbanization taking place in Morocco which are “very important” for the World Bank, calling for the diversification of national economy to include more stakeholders in formal economy.He went on to say that the Morocco-WB partnership, which is creative, is meant to benefit also Morocco’s neighboring countries as well as sub-Saharan African ones. read more

Morocco’s Religious Leadership: Allocation of €3 Million to Train Malian Imams

Taroudant – In its leading role in the fight against religious extremism that has emerged in Africa, Morocco has established a religious center in the capital of Rabat to train imams in the teachings of tolerant Islam.A group of Malian Imams arrived recently in Rabat on to study tolerant Islam. In addition to Quranic studies, the Malian imams will learn about the life of the prophet Mohammad, study Arabic grammar, as well as Communications and Computer Sciences.Speaking in a promotional video aired by TV5monde, AbdelIslam Lazaar, Director of Training for the Malians imams, said, “The purpose of this training is to help the imams exercise their functions properly in their home countries . . . and be able to recognize ideas that are harmful to Islam.” With respect to training imams on tolerant Islam, Idrissa Traoré, a Malian student, said “I don’t know about other countries, but at home it is a way to fight against terrorism because whenever a religious man speaks, everybody listen.”With an investment of 3 million euros, the kingdom provides for the training of these imams for a period of two years with full room and board at the training center.The training center has made available for imams a multimedia room equipped with computers and internet. The center also gives courses on computer studies.One of the imams revealed to the TV5monde’s reporter that it is the first time he has seen a computer.Speaking about the main purpose behind teaching Malian imams computer science and internet, Sanae Benmenana, a computer trainer, said, “We want the imams to leave a good impression of themselves on the internet.”Being a model in the whole region for moderate Islam under the Sunni Maliki School of thought, the kingdom of Morocco has received applications from several countries to train their imams including Nigeria, Gabon, Maldives, Chechnya, and France.According to the same source, the Union of French mosques will send 50 imams to the religious center of Rabat in January, 2015.Edited by Elisabeth Myers read more

Morocco calls for road map to solve Libyan crisis

Cairo  – Morocco called, on Thursday in Cairo, for a road map to solve the crisis in Libya.Speaking at the extraordinary meeting by the Council of Arab Foreign Ministers, foreign minister Salaheddine Mezouar said that the settlement of the crisis in Libya relies on elaborating a road map that encompasses the security, institutional and development aspects. He added that the Libyan people cannot accept that the future and territorial integrity of their State be undermined, all the more so because they staunchly opposed colonialism and despotism, underlining that only legality can achieve reconciliation in this country and restore a climate of security and stability.  This legality will be stronger as part of an inclusive framework that brings together all parties to build the institutions of a modern state capable of addressing the challenges of sustainable development, he noted. Mezouar deplored the worsening situation in Libya that hinders the chances to solve the crisis, undermines the foundations of the Libyan State and poses a threat to the security of neighboring countries. read more

CNN’s Jim Clancy Resigns For ‘Anti-Israeli’ Tweets

Rabat – CNN journalist Jim Clancy, was reportedly “forced to resign” after a 34-year career in the channel for remarks “against Israel” made on his Twitter account.Jim Clancy, one of CNN’s most familiar faces, announced Friday his resignation just days after criticizing Israel in exchanges on Twitter related to the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.Last week, Jim Clancy defended the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, claiming that the weekly had never criticized the Prophet Muhammad, but “They mocked how the COWARDS tried to distort his word. Pay attention,” he wrote on his twitter account, which has been deleted. Many twitter users engaged with Clancy’s tweet.Oren Kessler, a deputy director of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, challenged Clancy to explain the statement.Clancy responded by one word followed by a question mark “Hasbara?” meaning “explanation” in Hebrew.However, “the term is used by the Israeli government and its supporters to describe efforts to explain government policies and promote Israel in the face of negative press, and to counter what they see as legitimization of Israel around the world,” according to Wikipedia.Clancy then posted a series of tweets including one that said, “These accounts are part of a campaign to do PR for #Israel @JewsMakingNews @elderofziyon Nothing illegal – but PR not HR: Human Rights.” In a statement issued by CNN, a spokesperson said, “Jim Clancy is no longer with CNN. We thank him for more than three decades of distinguished service, and wish him nothing but the best.” read more

Morocco’s Efforts To Counter Terrorism Highlighted in Washington’s Anti-Terrorism Summit

Rabat – The comprehensive approach adopted by Morocco in countering the proliferation of foreign terrorism was highlighted on Wednesday by the Minister Delegate to the Foreign Minister, Mbarka Bouaida, who is leading the Moroccan delegation in Washington countering violent extremism.In this regard, Bouaida highlighted the pertinence of the international initiative against foreign terrorist fighters launched by Morocco in partnership with the Netherlands during the Global Counterterrorism Forum.This initiative aims to increase the anticipation level in countering the threat posed by international terrorist fighters. Bouaida also recalled the adoption of the Hague-Marrakech Memorandum on Good Practices for a More Effective Response to the Foreign Terrorist Fighters Phenomenon in September 2014.This Memorandum represents a platform enabling better coordination of efforts at the national, regional and international level, she said.As a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum, Morocco is fully committed to the four major headings laid down in the Memorandum to address the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, Bouaida said.In this respect, Bouaida highlighted the importance of multilateral cooperation, citing Morocco’s cooperation with Spain as an example that is not only limited to the exchange of information and best practices but includes also joint operations on the ground.MWN with MAP read more

Toyota, Panasonic announce venture for green auto batteries

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. and Panasonic Corp. say they are setting up a joint venture to research, manufacture and sell batteries for ecological autos, an increasingly lucrative sector amid concerns about global warming.The Japanese automaker and the Japanese electronics maker said in a joint statement Tuesday Toyota will take a 51 per cent stake and Panasonic 49 per cent in the joint venture, which is to be running by the end of 2020.Products will be sold to various automakers, they said.The companies have been studying working together on batteries since 2017.Panasonic will transfer equipment, assets and workers from its plants in Japan and China to the joint venture, and 3,500 workers from both companies will be moved to the joint venture.Innovations in batteries are critical for electric vehicles.The Associated Press read more

Morocco Sends Humanitarian Aid to Flood-Hit Burkina Faso

Rabat – In conformity with the instructions of King Mohammed VI and as part of Morocco’s active solidarity with the brotherly African countries, Morocco sent Tuesday to flood-hit Burkina Faso its first batch of humanitarian aid.A plane carrying the first batch of humanitarian aid granted by Morocco, which includes 16 tons of food, medicines and blankets, arrived in Burkina Faso on Tuesday.Five other planes carrying a total of 80 tons of Humanitarian aid are expected to land at the Ouagadougou International Airport as of Wednesday, Morocco’s embassy in Burkina Faso told MAP. The kingdom’s support had been provided following a request from Burkina Faso’s government to ease the sufferings of victims of floods in the country.Morocco will deliver a total of 100 tons of humanitarian aid to Burkina Faso, including food, medicines and blankets.Floods caused by torrential rainstorms in Burkina Faso affected thousands of people in the country. read more

Ministry of Education Launches Tadkik, A New Online Service for Baccalaureate…

Rabat – Morocco’s Ministry of Education, Vocational Training, and Scientific Research has announced the launch of “Tadkik” (audit), an online service devoted to students who will sit for baccalaureate exams in the 2017-2018 school year. The service, which will officially launch on Monday, aims to provide baccalaureate students with a reliable and up-to-date student profile database, reported Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).The ministry statement said that the goal of the service is to avoid any profile errors which could potentially alter candidates personal data and scores.The ministry recommends that all applicants verify their data before collecting invitations to take baccalaureate exams.More information is made available at the moudamadris.com website, a platform dedicated to Moroccan students. The process of verifying a student’s data is done through the examination of applicants’ electronic applications, which contain personal data that has been entered into a school management system and approved electronically.If there is a data error in terms of a student’s data, the candidate must correct the error and submit the application again for correction, signed by the candidates and their guardians within established deadlines.Morocco’s national 2018 baccalaureate examination period will take place June 5-8, according to the ministry.325,191 Moroccan students took baccalaureate exams during the 2016-2017 academic year, according to a statement released by the ministry in June 2017.The graduation rate for the 2017 academic year reached 62.5 percent, compared to 61.72 percent in 2016, said the ministry. Some 49,490 students graduated during the retakes, which were held July 11-13. read more

UN Report Addresses Malnutrition in Algeria’s Tindouf Camps

Rabat – The UN secretary-general’s report on Western Sahara has addressed challenges the Sahrawi population faces in the Tindouf camps.The UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, submitted his report concerning the situation on Western Sahara to the Security Council on October 3.The report offers the Security Council a summary of the activities of both Morocco and Polisario in Western Sahara, as well as an overview of the MINURSO mission in the region. Read Also: Number of Refuges in Tindouf Camps Doesn’t Exceed 90,000: UNHCRIn his report, which comes weeks before the end of the mandate of the UN mission in Western Sahara, also known as MINURSO, Guterres pinpointed human rights concerns in the Tindouf camps.Funding concerns for Sahrawis in TindoufFirst, the UN chief recalled the frustration and anger among the Sahrawi population in the Tindouf camps “at the lack of progress in the political process,” as well as “persistent difficulties, such as malnutrition, brought about by the steady reductions in humanitarian aid.”.Throughout the years of the conflict, the Sahrawi population of the Tindouf camps in western Algeria have denounced the embezzlement of humanitarian aid directed to the refugees.Pro-Polisario news outlets, including Futuro Sahara, reported that Sahrawis were surprised to find popular aid products on display in Algerian grocery shops.Read Also: UN: El Othmani Addresses Algeria, ‘Tragic’ Sahrawi Situation in TindoufIn the sixth section of the report, the UN chief spoke further about malnutrition. “Malnutrition and anaemia prevalence remained public health concerns,” he wrote.According to the UN chief, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP), are collaborating to provide humanitarian assistance to the population.“The main challenge for humanitarian actors remained the funding shortfall. In May 2018, the three agencies along with 11 international NGOs launched an appeal,” said the report.The report also recalled that the United Nations Human Rights Committee along with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) have “raised concern about the ‘de facto devolution of authority to the Frente Polisario in Tindouf camps, especially jurisdictional authority.’”The report noted that victims of violations in the Tindouf camps “do not have access to an effective remedy in the State Party’s courts.”Read Also: Polisario Smugglers Again Deprive Tindouf Sahrawis of Humanitarian AidThe report comes just before the Security Council will decide on the mandate of MINURSO in Western Sahara.The Security Council will convene at the end of this month to consider a possible extension of the UN mission in the region.Guterres is in favor of a one-year extension for the mission in Western Sahara.Roundtable talks in GenevaThe UN chief also recalled that his personal envoy for Western Sahara, Horst Kohler, invited the parties for a roundtable talk in Geneva. The talks will take place in December.Morocco was the first to respond favorably to the invitation. The report also mentioned that the separatist group responded positively to Kohler’s invitation.Kohler also invited Mauritania and Algeria. The two countries have not responded to the UN’s invitation yet.Guterres said in the report that Kohler met Algeria’s foreign affairs minister Abdelkader Messahel, who announced that Algeria “was prepared to step up its role in the political process, as a neighbor, as required by Resolution 2414 (2019).”Morocco has been calling on Algeria to shoulder its responsibility in the conflict. Morocco also urged Algeria to engage in the UN-led political process to find an agreed upon and mutually acceptable solution to the conflict. However, the solution should not undermine Morocco’s firm precondition of any deal respecting its sovereignty over Western Sahara and its  territorial integrity.The UN secretary-general is confident that both Algeria and Mauritania will accept Kohler’s invitations for the Geneva round-table.“I am confident that Algeria and Mauritania will respond favourably,” he wrote. read more