Fort St John celebrates Canada Day in the rain

first_imgAfter the Parade, Mayor Lori Ackerman announced the top three floats.  In third place was ProStreet Automotive.  Second, went to Westjet Encore and first to the Doig River First Nation.To wrap up the day, the City of Fort St. John will show a fireworks display at Surerus Ball Diamonds starting at 10:45 p.m.  Fireworks are still planned to happen even with rain in the forecast for Sunday night.  If that changes, we will post an update or you can follow the City of FSJ Recreation Facebook page.Below are a number of pictures from the parade and events in Centennial Park. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Although the weather didn’t co-operate, residents came out in full force to celebrate Canada Day in Fort St. John.The day started with the pancake breakfast at the Fort St. John Fire Hall. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go directly to the Fort St. John Firefighters Charitable Society, which helps local families cover medical travel expenses.From there most of the activities took place around Centennial Park.  Evangel Chapel held Church in the Park and there were live music, bouncy castles and other fun family entertainment.  You can still enjoy the fun in Centennial Park until 4 p.m. Sunday.  A live stream of the main stage has been made possible by Poorboy Trucking.  You can watch the stream at www.energeticcity.ca/live or at www.facebook.com/energeticcitylast_img read more

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Canada will feel oilpatch pain but likely wont be as bad as

first_img“In terms of the Canadian economy, it is fair to say that the data released since our October (monetary policy report) have been on the disappointing side,” said Poloz.Poloz added that he remains hopeful that business investment will rebound now that much of the uncertainty surrounding the North American free trade has been eased following the signing of a new agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada. OTTAWA – The negative impacts of low oil prices that have struck Western Canada will reverberate across the entire national economy, the head of the Bank of Canada said Thursday.But governor Stephen Poloz estimates the latest drop in crude prices will likely have less bite across the country than the 2015 oil-price crisis, which contributed at the time to a slight, technical recession.In prepared notes for a speech in Toronto, Poloz said oil and gas production now makes up just 3.5 percent of Canada’s economy, compared with six percent in 2014. “It is already clear that a painful adjustment is developing for Western Canada and there will be a meaningful impact on the Canadian macroeconomy,” Poloz said in an address to be delivered at a breakfast event hosted by CFA Toronto.“That said, given the consolidation that has taken place in the energy sector since 2014, the net effects of lower oil prices on the Canadian economy as a whole, dollar for dollar, should be smaller than they were in 2015.”Looking at the positive side, Poloz said the ongoing “oil-price shock” has also arrived at a time when Canada’s economy is running close to full tilt and the unemployment rate is at a 40-year low.The stronger economy has put the central bank on a rate-hiking path, to keep inflation from running too hot, for more than a year. It raised its trend-setting interest rate at its October meeting for the fifth time since the summer of 2017.But on Wednesday, the bank left the rate unchanged as it underlined fresh negatives, such as the recent drop in oil prices and an unexpected decline in business investment.Market watchers, many of whom had expected the bank to increase the rate in January, now believe the recent economic developments will delay the timing of future rate hikes.last_img read more

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City of Fort St John launches a new website

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City has launched a new website to improve usability, functionality and transparency for users of the site.The City shared there was an identified need for an updated redeveloped website wanting it easier for people to find what they are looking for and the new website will provide this.The redeveloped website has new features and improvements that provide information to users in an easier to understand format such as; Fully responsive design compatible with all major browsersUpdated design and improved navigation systemAbility to view active development applicationsSite-wide search and improve accessibility functionsCommunity event calendar“The new website is much more visually appealing and user-friendly. In addition to improving transparency, the new site will help ensure our citizens receive the best service possible,” stated Mayor Lori Ackerman.Ryan Harvey, Communications Coordinator shares, “It was quite a process, this is a completely brand new backend, we completely moved away from the other website and redeveloped from the ground up.” He goes on to share that the City changed the architecture of the website and the placement of the pages on the site to help residents look for information.The Budget for the new website was $75,000 which was set in 2017 and all the images seen on the site are local content.Residents who currently subscribe for newsletters and updates will receive an email asking to confirm their subscription on the redeveloped site.last_img read more

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Sri Lanka resorts face uncertain future after suicide blasts

first_imgColombo: The cancellations started before the dust had settled on the hotels and churches hit by suicide bombers in Sri Lanka as tourists and operators pressed the panic button. Sanath Ukwatte, chairman of the colonial-era Mount Lavinia hotel in Colombo, said he lost about 30 percent of his bookings within days of the Easter Sunday attacks that killed 253 people. Many holidaymakers got the first plane out of Colombo after the blasts — at least 40 foreigners were among the dead — raising fears for a tourism industry that had managed to move on from the shadows of a decades-long civil war. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportThe United States, Britain, Australia, India and Israel have all warned their nationals against visiting, while the Netherlands is organising a special flight to evacuate hundreds of Dutch tourists. On Friday, European travel giant TUI announced it had stopped taking bookings for the South Asian country. And the crisis could get worse before it gets better for the island nation, whose palm-fringed beaches and mountain tea plantations were recently named the best place to visit in 2019 by the Lonely Planet guide. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsSri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera had hoped tourism would earn a record 5.0 billion this year, up from 4.4 billion in 2018. He thinks the attacks could now see the country lose up to one third of that. Tourism accounts for about five percent of the economy, with Britain, India and China the main markets. Official figures show tourist arrivals in the first quarter of this year jumped 4.6 percent to 740,600 from 2018. But with armed guards now a fixture in some Colombo hotels and cancellations flooding in after the carnage unleashed by coordinated suicide attacks, Samaraweera must work out a rescue plan for establishments now facing ruin. “We expect a 30 percent drop in arrivals and that means a loss of about 1.5 billion in foreign exchange,” he said on Friday. Ruchir Desai, a senior investment analyst with Asia Frontier Capital in Hong Kong, said the next year will be a tough one for Sri Lanka. “Given the scale of the attack I still think you would see a negative impact on the industry,” Desai said. “It should recover,” he added, “obviously it depends on the steps the government takes to improve stability.” Ukwatte, who is also president of the Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, hopes Sri Lanka can “bounce back”. Sri Lanka’s tourism is heading into its low season, and Ukwatte believes if confidence can be restored by October or November, “then we will be able to revive the industry with European winter travellers.” Finance Minister Samaraweera highlighted how other countries hit by Islamic State-inspired attacks rebuilt their image and convinced tourists to come back. “Typically, countries that suffer isolated IS-style attacks see tourism recovering within one-to-two years, as long as root causes are addressed and security measures taken are well communicated,” the minister said. He pointed to tourist industries in Belgium, France, Spain and Tunisia as countries which had all managed to bounce back after suffering indiscriminate terror attacks. Much will depend on how the government gets its message across, observers said. Canadian adventure tourism promoter Wade Campbell criticised the government’s communications after the attacks, particularly a top defence ministry official — who has since resigned — who said Sri Lankan hotels should have arranged their own security to avoid being hit. Danger is “a perception thing,” said Campbell, who is now looking at redirecting bookings to rival destinations like Nepal. Italians Donatella Papi and her husband Maurizio Fantappie were on a 25-day holiday in eastern Sri Lanka when the bombers struck. “My husband wanted to leave after the bombings, he suggested going to Thailand. But I wasn’t too scared then, I thought it would settle down,” said Papi. “I think Sri Lanka tourism will fall — we are very sad about it. This year is the anniversary of the end of the war — it was supposed to be a celebration,” she said.last_img read more

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Alwar gangrape case SCST panel wants FIR against negligent cops

first_imgAlwar/Jaipur: National SC/ST Commission Vice Chairman L Murgan on Friday recommended that an FIR be registered against police officers whose alleged negligence led to delay in action in the Alwar gang rape case.Murgan along with Commission secretary Pritam Singh, Rajasthan Chief Secretary D B Gupta and DGP Kapil Garg held a meeting in Alwar to review the progress in the case, which has triggered wide-spread outrage in Rajasthan. “I have asked that negligent police officers should be booked under section 4 of SC/ST Act, charge sheet should be filed within 15 days and the case should be monitored on a daily basis. The family has demanded government job. I have asked the district magistrate to see how it can be provided, Murgan told reporters in Alwar after the meeting. The victim’s husband had claimed that he had approached the police on April 26 after the incident, but an FIR was filed on May 2. He had alleged that the police did not take action saying that they were busy with elections. On Tuesday night, the Rajasthan government removed Alwar Superintendent of Police Rajiv Pachar and suspended SHO of the Thanagazi police station Sardar Singh while four policemen were taken off active duty. Murgan said that a compensation of Rs 4,12,500 has been paid to the woman victim apart from Rs 50,000 provided by the women and child development department. The victim’s family submitted a memorandum for speedy trial, compensation and government job. The Commission has also asked the state government to check how the victim’s husband can be provided compensation under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, he added. Meanwhile, protests continued in parts of the state including in Makrana of Nagaur district and Kota where people demanded strict action against the accused. Police have arrested all six accused — Indra Raj Gurjar, Mahesh Gurjar, Ashok Gurjar, Hansraj Gurjar, Chhote Lal Gurjar and Mukesh Gurjar — on charges of gang rape and filming the crime. On April 26, the victim was riding pillion on a motorcycle with her husband when the accused, who were on two bikes, accosted them at Thanagazi-Alwar bypass and took them to an isolated place off. They allegedly beat up the husband and raped her in front of him, threatening them of dire consequences. Mukesh Gurjar allegedly filmed the incident in his mobile phone. The victims went to the police when the accused demanded money for not circulating the video on social media, but the FIR was lodged only on May 2.last_img read more

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6 police killed as Tunisia waits for govt to quit

first_imgTUNIS- Six Tunisian police were killed in clashes with gunmen Wednesday, as the country waited for the government’s expected resignation and the launch of talks on ending months of political deadlock.Fighting erupted in the central Sidi Bouzid region, when members of the National Guard raided a house where the militants were holed up, a police source told AFP.In the ensuing firefight, six police were killed, a medical source and the official TAP news agency said, while two gunmen also died, according to state television. In the meantime, a keenly awaited speech in which Islamist premier Ali Larayedh was expected to announce his government’s intention to step down under the terms of a deal with the opposition was heavily delayed.And the hard-won national dialogue between Larayedh’s ruling Ennahda party and the opposition, which was the centrepiece of the plan for ending the crisis, had yet to begin by early evening, as anti-government protesters massed in the capital.“We hope that Larayedh will have enough courage to announce the resignation of his government within three weeks to save the country,” Hamma Hammami, a leader of the opposition Popular Front party, told AFP.Parliament speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar said on Tuesday evening that he expected Larayedh to announce his commitment to resign, paving the way for the launch of the dialogue with the opposition.“In principle, the government will announce its commitment to respecting the roadmap and its resignation within a few weeks,” Ben Jaafar said in a televised interview.Some 60 opposition MPs who have been boycotting parliament since the the July murder of opposition MP Mohamed Brahmi said they had received assurances the dialogue would begin with a “clear commitment” by Larayedh to quit.The prime minister has previously said he would step down only after a new constitution has been adopted, in line with the roadmap drawn up by mediators and agreed to earlier this month by his party.Mediators hope the long-awaited dialogue will mark a crucial step in the country’s democratic transition and avert the kind of turmoil that has rocked Egypt since a military coup ousted elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.Some 10,000 opposition protesters gathered on the capital’s Habib Bourguiba Avenue on Wednesday, waving Tunisian flags and shouting slogans such as: “Government of traitors, resign!”Mourning strikeThe deadly fighting in Sidi Bouzid highlighted opposition complaints of inadequate action by the Islamist-led government to rein in jihadist groups, who are blamed for the murder of Brahmi and another opposition MP in February.The powerful UGTT trade union confederation has called a strike in the central region on Thursday to mourn the slain members of the security forces.Last week, two policemen were killed in the Beja region west of the capital, and while the authorities said nine “terrorists” were killed in an operation to catch those responsible, the deadly violence has fuelled anti-government sentiment within the security forces.Dozens of police trade union activists drove Larayedh and President Moncef Marzouki away from a memorial service last Friday for the policemen killed in Beja.The defence ministry has admitted it lacks the resources to combat militant groups and has struggled to contain them.Wednesday’s planned dialogue comes exactly two years after Ennahda emerged as much the largest party in an election for a National Constituent Assembly, following the 2011 overthrow of veteran strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.The Islamist group was heavily repressed under the Ben Ali regime.  But since its triumph at the polls, the party has been weakened by accusations that it has not done enough to fix Tunisia’s ailing economy and improve living standards.After three months of political uncertainty and a false start to the national dialogue on October 5, the Tunisian press has grown increasingly critical of the ruling elite and sceptical of efforts to end the crisis.“A national dialogue starts on the day of a symbolic anniversary. But it has been compromised by the prevalence of suspicion, deceitful language and ambiguity,” Le Temps said in an editorial on Wednesday.last_img read more

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Over 1500 migrants storm across Spainoccupied Melillia

Nador – Some 1,550 illegal migrants, divided into five groups, tried on Wednesday to storm the Spain-occupied city of Melillia in the Moroccan northeastern locailities of Morales, Kalita, Iyassinene, Mari Wari and, says a release of local authorities.“The groups did not heed the warnings and threw stones, injuring four security agents and damaging three vehicles”, the source explained.A total of 500 persons were arrested, including 10 wounded persons who were taken to the Nador hospital.

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Moroccos Mounir Haddadi Scores Two Goals with Barca in Friendly

Fez- Moroccan young player Mounir Haddadi is making his way to become one of FC Barcelona’s stars this year.The 18-year old player, who was born and raised in Spain, showed the greatness of his talent on Monday in a friendly game against Mexican side Leon de Guanajuato, which the Catalan club won by 6-0Hadadi, who came in in the second half in substitution of Neymar, scored his team’s fourth and fifth goals at the 55th and 78th minutes respectively. Mounir had already scored two more goals against Helsinki, which makes him Barcelona’s top scorer in this pre-season.Last year Mounir one of the top stars of Barcelona’s Juvenil team, the reserve team of Barcelona that plays in the Spanish second division.

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Morocco Absent from Paris Conference on ISIS

Rabat- Morocco will not take part in a conference scheduled to be held in Paris on Monday to devise a strategy to destroy the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS).The conference, which is being convened by French President, Francois Hollande, will be attended by 30 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and Jordan.The conference comes four days after the Jeddah meeting attended by the six Gulf countries, as well as Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey in addition to the United States. Like other countries of the Maghreb, Morocco was not invited to participate in the Jeddah meeting. Following the meeting, the participating countries issued a communique in which they pledged to undertake the necessary “actions to combat terrorism, including stopping the flow of foreign fighters through neighboring countries, countering the financing of ISIS and other terrorist groups and repudiating jihadist ideology.”In addition, they agreed to “join in the many aspects of the coordinated military campaign against ISIS, as appropriate.”The Paris meeting will be followed by a Security Council meeting scheduled to be held on September 25 on the sidelines of the sixty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly. President Barack Obama will preside over the Security Council meeting as the head of the delegation from the member-state that holds the rotating presidency for September 2014, the United States.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

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Israel Appoint New IDF chief of Staff of Moroccan Origin

Rabat –  Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) new chief of staff, Gadi Eisenkot, will be the first Israeli of Moroccan descent to attain the senior post within the Israeli Army hierarchy.According to Israeli daily Haaretz, Gadi Eisenkot’s parents were born in Morocco.However, the IDF’s new chief of Staff has an Ashkenazi sounding last name which prompted many Israeli newspapers, including the Yedioth Ahronoth, to ask how come a Moroccan by origin has a last name indicating that he is of European origin. Haaretz said that Eisenkot is derived from Azenkot and other variations on that spelling that are quite popular among the Jews of Tunisia and Morocco.The name Azenkot comes from the Berber languages, where azankad means ‘deer.’ It appears in names of several Berber tribes such as the Aza Izenkad tribe of the Tata oasis and the Old Izenkad tribe, both in south Morocco, highlighted the Israeli newspaper.Haaretz went on to add that Jews with names derived from this Berber word probably had an ancestor who had some kind of relationship with these or other Berber tribes, such as trading with them or living among them.The name is recorded among Sephardic Jews as early as the 17th. According to the same source, the first record of the name was in the person of Rabbi Saadia Azencot, who lived in the Netherlands at the time, where he was teacher of famous Swiss theologian Johann Heinrich Hottinger. read more

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Shocking Stories of Moroccans Abducted by Algerian Army

Rabat- Following last month’s incident when an Algerian soldier entered Moroccan territory and arrested three Moroccans, Morocco’s Daily Al Massae published a new investigative report on Thursday that shed light on the untold stories of Moroccan citizens who have been abducted and jailed by the Algerian Army.Most of those abducted by the Algerian Army were shepherds. One victim was Boujamaa Touil, who was abducted from the Moroccan territory and had his 160 sheep seized by the Algerian Army.Boujamaa was taken to Algeria where he was sentenced to 17 years of imprisonment. He spent only one month in prison, and then he was granted a pardon on the eve of Algeria’s National Holiday. Abdelkader Ettaouil, another Moroccan shepherd, was taken from the Moroccan territory in Oued Jedid by an Algerian military patrol while he was grazing his herd of sheep.Abdlekader was transported to Algeria for trial. The judge accused him of entering Algerian territory illegally and sentenced him to two years and four months in prison. The judge ignored the fact that he was arrested in the Moroccan territory, although the Moroccan suspect tried to make this argument in his defense.Al Massae also told the story of Ammari El Bachiri, who was abducted from Ayn Cheaair, located in the southeast of Morocco near Bouarfa, on the border with Algeria. Ammari was abducted by the Algerian Army in Moroccan territory while he was collecting medicinal herbs that grow in the area.Several of people interview by Al Massae stated that the Algerian Army open fires on Moroccan citizens at the border from time to time, saying that they communicate with lead rather than words.The most recent Algerian attack on Moroccan citizens dates to October 2014, when members of the Algerian army shot Moroccan citizens at the border, leaving one person seriously injured.Edited by Timothy Filla© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed. read more

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Tangier Salafi man arrested for Drug Trafficking

Rabat – Police in Tangier has succeeded in dismantling a network of cocaine smugglers that used a man with Salafi leanings as an informant. According to daily newspaper Al Ahdath Maghribiya, police have dismantled a network that trafficked cocaine, heroin and other hard drugs in the Beni Makada neighborhood in Tangier.Beni Makada is notorious for drug trafficking and violent clashes between rival gangs, especially the areas of Mabrouka, Ard Daoula and Bouhssain. It was also the scene of gunfire exchange that had erupted between the police and drug dealers in 2014. Among those arrested is a man with links to the Salafi movement who worked for drug traffickers as an informant. He also used to sell contraband cigarettes and aluminum foil for heroin users.Police also arrested a drug smuggler who happened to be under national arrest warrant. All the accused were taken into custody under the orders of the General Prosecutor.Investigators continue interrogations with other gang members, said the Arabic-language newspaper. read more

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Spanish Catholic Group Advises People to Avoid Mixed Beaches This Summer

Rabat – A Catholic group in Spain has advised people not to go to mixed beaches during the summer to avoid what they described as “sins of the flesh”.The group from the northern Spanish region of Asturias has caused controversy in Spain by calling for beaches to be segregated by sex, according to the Spanish website The Local.“Catholics, preserve your decency in summer, too: Don’t go to mixed beaches!” reads a poster uploaded by the group to its Facebook page. The poster was accompanied by a list of recommendations on how beachgoers should behave during the holiday season in Spain. The group warned Spaniards against visiting swimming pools, “where the reduction in space and the mass of people brings danger even closer,” the same source added.The group also included a dress code for people who consider visiting the beach during the summer. According to the Catholic group, men are advised to wear a simple bathing suit while women should wear a swimsuit that covers their body and a little skirt for when out of the water.“The nudity of the bodies and the prevailing hedonism can weaken the devout soul,” said the group which was formed in 2014. The group is comprised of 29 members.The group, which calls for “Catholic resistance” against the “current modernist Church”, said that it would be better for people not to go to beaches if they fail to find one which is segregated by sex.A similar call was made in Spain’s southern neighbor, Morocco, when a group of young men in the southern city of Agadir urged tourists not to wear bikinis during the holy month of Ramadan. read more

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Video When Morocco Hosted French Refugees in 1943

Miami – A video that dates back to 1943 shows a footage of French refugees arriving in Casablanca, Morocco, fleeing from German-occupied France.Ever since the Syrian Refugee Crisis has become a worldwide phenomenon, countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa are constantly throwing the blame at each other for whose responsibility it should be to host the vast amount of refugees in despair.France, as well as several countries have publicly expressed their tight refugee policy in allowing these Syrian war victims of Daesh and Bachar El Assad to enter their countries. Several videos have gone viral demonstrating the “inhumane conditions” and mistreatment these refugees go through when they arrive in these ‘host’ nations. A YouTube video posted by the British Pathé shows images of a reported 1,700 French refugees arrive by boat in the city of Casablanca, which sheltered them at a time of crisis during World War II.The video narrates how most of them had been “incarcerated at General Franco’s prisons in Spain” and suffered “years of hardships”.Interesting to note how the roles are inverted. Seven few decades back, it was the Europeans, in this case the French, who were once refugees escaping “their own” nation. Today, Syrians flee their nation, escaping “their own” in a very similar manner.However, contrasting the “appalling” videos of today’s Syrian Refugee Crisis, Morocco received the French refugees with order and respect as the General of the Casablanca Military Division showed up to welcome them as they set foot on the Moroccan territory.Even the French Red Cross prepared a buffet to feed themmaking sure “everyone [had] something to keep them going” while they awaited the “official reception” from Moroccan authorities.The video concludes with a hopeful message Morocco instilled to these individuals who sought asylum in the Kingdom. They had “welcome[d] them back to the freedom which one day will be the blessing of all French men”.Let us hope all countries can remember these type of legendary moments that have returned peace, freedom and joy to those in need. One day we could find ourselves in the same situation and reach out for aid hoping to be treated with dignity and respect. read more

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Moroccos Public Debt Represents 64 of GDP

Rabat – Morocco’s public debt reaches up to 64 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).According to the Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohammed Boussaid, this debt is “below the red line set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a debt ratio of 70 percent of GDP for emerging countries.”“To continue the downward trend of debt, the government has introduced new provisions in the new organic law, providing for a more rigorous legal framework of debt, through the introduction of the golden rule, which provides for limiting debt to finance capital expenditures and the settlement of the debt principal,” Boussaid said at the question time of the House of Representatives on Tuesday. The Moroccan official underlined that the government aims to pursue structural reforms to improve the business climate, support production sectors, diversify the national economy, invest in human resources and promote balance between domestic and external resources, taking into account national and international contexts.“This policy will reduce the public debt as of 2017 to reach 60 pc of GDP by 2020,” he said.With MAP read more

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Morocco Produces Record 128000 Tons of Dates in 2016

Rabat – Morocco produced record 128,000 tons of dates in 2016, a 16 percent increase compared to 2015, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.This record production was achieved on an area of 50,000 ha of palm groves, compared to an average annual production of 90,000 tons until 2009, the ministry pointed out in a statement.The date sector contributes 40-60 percent to the agricultural income for more than 2 million people, creates 1.6 million working days per year for the rural population in the most fragile regions of Morocco, and represent nearly 40 percent of the national territory.

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Abdellatif Hammouchi Suggested to be Minister of Interior

Rabat – Abdellatif Hammouchi, Head of Morocco’s Directorate of National Security (DGSN,) is being suggested as the new Minister of Interior, reported weekly newspaper, Al-Oussboue Al-Sahafi.According to the newspaper there is a consensus between the six parties of the coalition government to allocate sensitive ministerial portfolios, such as both the Foreign and Interior Ministry, to technocrats.Nasser Bourita, outgoing Minister Delegate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is being seen as a possible choice to lead Moroccan diplomacy as the Minister of Interior in the new government, headed by Saad Eddine Othmani. The same source also noted that Ahmed Tawfik might remain as the Minister of Endowment and Islamic Affairs over the next five years, following his experience in the field of Islamic affairs. The remaining ministerial portfolios will be distributed among members of the six parties.Othmani has reportedly submitted the list of incoming ministers to the Royal Cabinet in Casablanca.  He is still awaiting the official announcement of the upcoming government by the royal cabinet on Monday.The government will consist of 25-27 ministers and 5-7 Secretaries of State. It will also see the regrouping of some departments under one ministry. The Ministry of Communication will be amalgamated with the Ministry of Culture. By the same token, the Ministry of National Education will be integrated into Higher Education, Scientific Research and Training.The Ministry of Justice and Freedoms will be extended to include the Department of Human Rights. The Ministry of Transport, Equipment and Logistics will now include the Water Department and the Ministry of Energy will incorporate the Sustainable Development Department.The Justice and Development Party (PJD) is reportedly seeking to take charge of the Ministries that its members had led in the former government, including the Ministry of Justice, Freedom and Human Rights Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water Culture and Communication. The PJD is also seeking ministerial portfolios in the field of finance and economy. read more

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Carles Puyol Says Cristiano Ronaldo One of the Best Players But

Rabat – Debates on who serves football spectators best will last forever. Barcelona’s central defender,  Carles Puyol , has labelled Real Madrid’s key forward, Cristiano Ronaldo “one of the greatest footballers in history.” He still believes, however, that Lionel Messi remains the best.The retired footballer told reporters on Tuesday at Under-17 World Cup event in India that Messi is better than Ronaldo. He added that Barcelona’s key forward, Leo is always improving his skills and that his passion for the game always keeps him consistent.Puyol, 39, retired in 2014 after a brilliant career with Barcelona and Spain. The former international footballer added that he will be more happy for his former team-mate Messi if he wins something with his national club, Argentina, in the future.Cristiano Ronaldo has won four Ballon d’Or awards. Barcelona’s Leo, however, hBallonas won five. Who will win the Ballon d’Or in 2017? This is a question for the future. read more

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UK Election Conservatives Lose Majority

Rabat – After calling early elections, British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a major setback with her Conservative Party losing its overall majority in UK Parliament and plunging the country into political turmoil.As results were reported on Friday morning, no clear winner emerged resulting in a hung parliament. Although the conservatives won the most seats, 318, they were several seats short of the 326 seats necessary for a parliamentary majority. Their rival, the Labor party, won 261 seats.Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labor party, called for May to resign indicating that he wanted to form a minority government. He explained, “the mandate she’s got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence.” He added, “I would have though that’s enough to go, actually, and make way for a government that will be truly representative of all the people of this country.” Despite the blow to Conservatives, May intends to stay in power and will aim to form a minority government. A statement released by the prime minister’s office indicated that “The prime minister will be visiting Buckingham Palace at 12:30 today to seek permission from the queen to form a government.”May will likely look to the Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland who won 10 seats as she tries to from a government. With their support, May would have 328 seats – just over the necessary majority. This is a huge loss, however, as in the last Parliament Conservatives controlled 330 seats.With Brexit negotiations set to begin 10 days, the political upset signaled more uncertainty to come and an increased risk that the negotiations would fail. Already the British pound plummeted compared to the dollar and the euro on Friday morning and with a hung parliament the pound could fall further.May called the snap election three years early hoping to win strong support for her party as Britain beings negotiations over its withdrawal from the European Union. The exit from the EU is the result of the 2016 ‘Brexit’ referendum that led to then-prime minister David Cameron’s resignation. read more

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Algerian FM Accuses Morocco of Laundering Drug Money in SubSaharan Africa

Rabat – The Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdelkader Messahel, accused Morocco of “laundering drug money in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Invited to a debate hosted by the Forum of Algerian Business Leaders (FCE), Messahel, accused Morocco of “laundering cannabis money via its banks in the continent.”“Moroccan banks are being used in laundering the revenues from the sales of hashish. Everybody knows that,” the head of Algerian diplomacy claimed.  “I have been told this information by African heads of states,” Messahel claimed.Refusing to consider the Kingdom as an example for investment in Africa, Messahel also accused Morocco’s state-owned carrier, Royal Air Maroc of “carrying something other than passengers” to African destinations.The Algerian foreign minister said that for doing business in North Africa now, there is no “better country than Algeria.”The attack of the Algerian official comes on the heel of Morocco’s successful positioning as a trusted leader in Africa thanks to the African policy adopted by King Mohammed VI over the past 15 years.Morocco’ success in the continent, crowned by its triumphant reintegration to the African Union (UA) in January after thirty-three years of absence, has put Algeria in a difficult spot.The claims of the Algerian foreign minister are debunked by a recent survey that placed Morocco on the top African countries for doing business.According to a survey by an Africa-based economic research institute, Morocco ranked second best African nations for foreign direct investment (FDI) while Algeria ranked seventh.The ranking of Morocco in the Index is based on its solid economic growth, strategic geographic positioning, increased foreign direct investments, import reserve ratio, and an overall favorable business environment. read more

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