Michigans new attorney general to review pipeline deal

first_imgLANSING, Mich. — Michigan’s new governor and attorney general moved quickly Wednesday to review the legality of a contentious state deal to run an oil pipeline beneath a crucial section of the Great Lakes.Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced her request for a legal opinion from Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat who welcomed the opportunity and expressed concern with a law that facilitated the agreement between the state and Canadian pipeline company Enbridge. Such opinions, while not the same as legal rulings, are considered to bind state agencies unless reversed by a court. Both Whitmer and Nessel had questioned the deal before taking office Tuesday.The Republican-led Legislature and GOP former Gov. Rick Snyder rushed to enact the law after Whitmer was elected in November. The new Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority then quickly approved the proposal to drill a tunnel through bedrock up to 100 feet (30.4 metres) below the more than 4-mile-wide (6.4 kilometre) channel that links Lakes Huron and Michigan. A new segment of pipeline would extend through the tunnel, replacing twin pipes that have lain along the lake bed since 1953. They are part of Enbridge’s Line 5, which carries crude oil and natural gas liquids used in propane from Superior, Wisconsin, through northern Michigan to refineries in Sarnia, Ontario.“There are serious and significant concerns regarding (Public Act) 359, which the previous governor and legislature initiated and passed without the care and caution one would expect for an issue that will have a monumental impact on our state,” Nessel said in a statement.Whitmer said resolving any legal uncertainty over the law, the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority and the panel’s speedy approval of the agreement “is necessary to assure that we can take all action necessary to protect the Great Lakes, protect our drinking water and protect Michigan jobs.”Line 5 has drawn fierce criticism in recent years from environmental groups, native tribes and tourism-related businesses fearful of a rupture that, according to worst-case scenarios outlined by university researchers, could pollute hundreds of miles of Great Lakes shoreline.Enbridge has steadfastly defended the pipelines, contending they are in sound condition and could last indefinitely. But with public pressure mounting amid reports of gaps in protective coating and dents from a ship anchor strike in April, the company embraced the tunnel option.Whitmer asked Nessel six legal questions, including whether a requirement that authority members serve six years or more violates a constitutional four-year limit for newly created commissions. She also wants to know whether the new law improperly made changes to a 1952 law.David Eggert, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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2019-10-13

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US newvehicle sales in 2018 rise slightly to 1727 million

first_imgDETROIT — Sales of new vehicles in the U.S. rose slightly in 2018, defying predictions and highlighting a strong economy.Automakers reported an increase of 0.3 per cent over a year ago to 17.27 million vehicles.The increase came despite rising interest rates, a volatile stock market, and rising car and truck prices that pushed some buyers out of the new-vehicle market.Industry analysts and automakers said strong economic fundamentals pushed up the sales and should keep them near historic highs in 2019.Tom Krisher, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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2019-10-13

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City of Fort St John gets approval to sign firefighting agreement with

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John has gotten approval from the Peace River Regional District Board to sign an agreement to provide fire protection services to the consortium responsible for building a major component of the Site C dam.According to a letter to the PR Board from Protective Services Director Jim Rogers, the City was approached earlier this year by the Aecon-Flatiron-Dragados-EBC partnership – which won the contract to build the generating station and spillways at Site C – to provide the consortium with fire protection and rescue services for a five-year term while the component of the dam is being built.He said that staff began preliminary discussions in March, and in late May began negotiations with AFDE about the range of services that would be provided, along with the pricing. The Fort St. John Fire Department is the only fire department north of Prince George that is listed as a rescue provider under the BC Construction Safety Alliance Technical High Angle Rope Rescue Program that can provide the Tower Crane & high angle rescue services that were being requested by AFDE.Rogers explained that the proposed agreement is similar to those that the City signed with ATCO and Tembec, under which the Fort St. John Fire Department currently provides fire protection services to the worker accommodation camp at Site C, and formerly provided services to Chetwynd Mechanical Pulp.In a closed meeting on June 25th, Fort St. John City Council approved a motion to have a letter sent to the PRRD Board asking the Board’s permission to enter into an agreement with AFDE, similar to what was previously done when the City entered into agreements with ATCO and Tembec.However, at the PRRD’s Board meeting on June 28th, Chair and Electoral Area ‘C’ Director Brad Sperling voiced opposition to the request, citing concerns about the agreement’s impact on the Mutual Aid Agreement between the City and the Regional District.During the discussion, Sperling stated that his opposition was based on a lack of notice from the City about the agreement, and that there was nothing in the letter from Fort St. John’s Acting City Manager David Joy that addressed the Mutual Aid Agreement.Despite a request from Director Byron Stewart, the PRRD Board declined to hear Fort St. John Fire Chief Fred Burrows – who was present at the meeting – come forward to explain the request. The Board then voted against granting permission to the City. At last Thursday’s meeting, the Board then discussed Rogers’ letter that further detailed the proposal, which would see the PRRD compensated for the Charlie Lake Fire Department attending to assist with a fire if the Fort St. John Fire Department were called out to a fire at the dam construction site.Footage from both Board meetings can be found at the two links below.http://prrd.bc.ca/board/agendas/2018/2018-20-247804065/AGENDA.htmlhttps://prrd.wistia.com/medias/6tjj92nieglast_img read more

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2019-10-13

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Province releases review of hydraulic fracturing in BC

first_imgVICTORIA, B.C. – The Province of B.C. has released a review of hydraulic fracturing.  The report, prepared by a three-member panel makes 97 recommendations the focus on environmental impacts and knowledge gaps about the industry.The report focused on four main areas, water quality, water quantity, induced seismicity, and fugitive emissions.   The panel also reviewed how hydraulic fracturing impacts human health, impacts on environmental health, and cumulative effects of the process. The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources says they will take a phased approach to implement the scientific panel’s 97 recommendations. In May of 2019, the Province will release its short-term plan and in December the long-term plan.Read the full report below.The Province says they have already started to make changes to now the OGC regulates dams and water storage, new regulations for orphaned well sites and instructing the OGC to work more with Treaty 8 members.last_img read more

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2019-10-13

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Malaysia Airlines could be sold or shut down PM

first_imgKuala Lumpur: Malaysia Airlines may be sold or shut down, Malaysia’s leader said Tuesday, the latest bad news for a carrier that has been in crisis since suffering the loss of two planes. The 71-year-old airline has been on the ropes since 2014 when Flight MH370 disappeared and MH17 was shot down by a Russian-made missile over war-torn Ukraine. With the carrier teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, sovereign wealth fund Khazanah stepped in to take it over several years ago and major reforms were instituted, including cutting thousands of staff. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! But it has continued to fare poorly and its performance was blamed in large part for a set of poor financial results released by Khazanah last week. Responding to questions about the airline’s future, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told reporters in parliament: “I think it is a very serious matter, to shut down the national airline. “We will nevertheless be studying and investigating as to whether we should shut it down or we should sell it off or we should refinance it.” Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed Official news agency Bernama reported that Khazanah last week posted a pre-tax loss of 6.3 billion ringgit (USD 1.54 billion) for 2018, compared with a pre-tax profit of 2.9 billion ringgit the year before. Mahathir, 93 and in his second stint as premier, is seeking to reduce a mammoth national debt inherited from the previous, corruption-plagued regime. Malaysia Airlines said in a statement it had been “working closely” with Khazanah on the next phase of its turnaround plan since September. The disappearance of Flight MH370, which was carrying 239 people, remains one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries, and successive searches have failed to find the plane.last_img read more

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2019-10-12

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Pak HC forms panel to probe Hindu sisters forced conversion marriage

first_imgIslamabad: The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday formed an independent five-member commission to probe the alleged abduction, forced conversion and marriage of two teenage Hindu girls in Sindh province that led to massive protests by the minority community in the country. A high court bench led by Chief Justice of IHC Athar Minallah heard the petition filed by the two sisters — Reena, Raveena — and their alleged spouses, Safdar Ali and Barkat Ali, to seek protection. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USIn their plea, the girls claimed that they belong to a Hindu family of Ghotki, Sindh but converted willfully as they were impressed by Islamic teaching. The counsel for the girls’ parents, however, asserted that the case pertained to forced conversion. Their father on Monday also filed a petition in the IHC for a medical board to determine the exact ages of the two sisters as well as to test the girls for Stockholm Syndrome, a state of mind when a victim develops trust or affection for kidnappers. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsJustice Minallah said the matter requires transparent inquiry and it is the government’s job to conduct probes not the judiciary’s. The chief justice said the court had to ensure that there was no forced conversion. The bench formed a five-member commission to probe the matter. The commission includes Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Chairperson Mehdi Hasan, National Commission on the Status of Women Chairperson Khawar Mumtaz, veteran human rights activist I A Rehman and renowned Islamic scholar Mufti Taqi Usmani. The federal government has been tasked to organise meeting of the commission. The incident came to light when a video surfaced online showing the teenagers’ father and brother claiming the girls were abducted and forcefully converted. It was followed by another video snippet in which the two girls claimed that they had converted to Islam. Amid the uproar, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed Sindh and Punjab to investigate the matter and recover the girls if the forceful conversion allegation was correct. Chief Justice Minallah also ordered that a medical board be constituted to determine the age of the girls. The court ordered the medical board to submit its report at the next hearing on April 11. Earlier, a medical report by Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences stated that the girls were not minors at the time of their marriages. The report was dismissed by the family of the girls as well as opposition lawmaker from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Darshan Punshi, who belongs to the Hindu community. Both the family and the lawmaker demanded an independent medical board to determine the age.last_img read more

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2019-10-12

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Mumbais Joint CP Bharti transferred on ECs order

first_imgMumbai: Mumbai’s Joint Commissioner of Police (law and order) Deven Bharti was transferred on Sunday after the Election Commission (EC) asked the Maharashtra government to shift him, an official said. Bharti became the city’s joint commissioner of police (law and order) in April 2015 and was the longest serving officer on the post. The Maharashtra government had earlier sent a proposal to EC for continuing Bharti on the post, but it was rejected. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The EC directed the state government on Saturday to shift Bharti following which he transferred, a senior official told PTI, adding that his new posting was yet to be decided. Meanwhile, a search for Bharti’s successor was on, he said, adding that the post will be filled soon. The 1994-batch IPS officer conducted investigations in several high-profile cases, including the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack and journalist J Dey’s killing. He was also instrumental in breaking the backbone of terror outfit Indian Mujahideen in the state.last_img read more

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2019-10-12

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Womans saree gets stuck in metro train door

first_imgNew Delhi: A 40-year-old woman suffered head injuries on Tuesday after her saree got stuck in a carriage door of a Delhi Metro train as it was about to leave a station, due to which she got dragged on the platform.The victim, Gita, was travelling with her daughter when the incident took place at the Moti Nagar metro station on the Blue Line. “Gita and my daughter were travelling from Nawada. They got off at the Moti Nagar station when the ‘pallu’ of Gita’s saree got stuck in the closing door. As a result, she got dragged for some distance on the platform,” her husband Jagdish Prasad said. Gita, a housewife, suffered injuries on her head and was rushed to a nearby hospital, Prasad added. “I got a call from my daughter who told me about the incident. One of the commuters had pressed the emergency button to alert the driver for stopping the train,” he said.last_img read more

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2019-10-12

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Governments need to regulate technology Tim Cook

first_imgSan Francisco: Apple CEO Tim Cook believes that governments need to regulate technology in order to ensure data privacy for common people. “Technology needs to be regulated. There are now too many examples where the no rails have resulted in a great damage to society,” The Verge quoted Cook as saying during the Time 100 Summit in New York City. “We all have to be intellectually honest, and we have to admit that what we’re doing isn’t working,” he added. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year In a bid to explain to US-based lawmakers what he meant, Cook cited the example of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) data privacy rules in Europe. “Europe is more likely to come up with something. GDPR is a step in the right direction,” Cook said, adding “We are advocating strongly for regulation – I do not see another path at this point.” However, for improving data privacy, he said he does not promote going overboard with depending on the government or leveraging the government with favours and cited Apple as an example. Also Read – New HP Pavilion x360 notebook with in-built Alexa in India “We cannot look for the government to solve all of our problems. Apple doesn’t have a Political Action Committee (PAC) and I refuse to have one because it shouldn’t exist. The company donates zero to political candidates,” Cook noted. In the US, PAC is an organisation that pools campaign contributions from members and donates those funds to campaigns for or against candidates, ballot initiatives or legislation.last_img read more

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2019-10-12

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Karima Rhanem only Moroccan to take part in Model United Nations

Rabat – Moroccan young leader Karima Rhanem will take part in the largest Model United Nations in the Balkan scheduled to take place in Albania on May 2-5. Ms. Rhanem will be the only  guest speaker from Morocco for the opening of the conference and a chair of the simulation of the United Nations General Assembly Disarmament and International security committee (DISEC).“I am very honored to have been selected by the Balkan Model United Nations Secretariat to open the conference among other national and international personalities. I am more thrilled for my selection to chair the DISEC committee to discuss important issues for the international community such as cyber crime and terrorism,” Ms Rhanem told Morocco World News. She added: “being the only Moroccan to take part in the Balkan MUN is a great responsibility and I will do my best to better represent Morocco, hoping to see an increase in the number of Moroccan young leaders in such international gatherings.”Klevis Rreshka, Secretary General of Balkan Model United Nations 2014 said: “we have chosen Karima Rhanem as a guest speaker in the Balkan MUN, because of her spirit to inspire young delegates. Young diplomats like Karima will be an added value to our conference and we are looking forward to learning from her wide experience in youth work and public diplomacy. Her background in cyber security and internet Governance will also help delegates from Balkan Countries to draft resolutions to fight cyber attacks.”For Karima, participating in conferences such as Model United Nations illustrates the important role these public diplomacy conferences play in preparing a new generation of young diplomats who could be their country’s future decision makers.“Ambassadorship of a given country is not solely the responsibility of official diplomats, but also of a young generation of today’s leaders who could play a key role in advancing foreign policy goals and influencing international decision-making through non-governmental and people to people diplomacy,” she stressed.Karima Rhanem has been involved in youth and NGO empowerment work for the past 15 years and in public diplomacy for the past 6 years. Thanks to her continuous involvement in several development and diplomacy programs worldwide, she has been nominated Morocco World News good will Ambassador for the year 2012.  She was also appointed by the Moroccan Ministry in charge of Relations with the Parliament & Civil Society member of the national commission in charge of the Dialogue on Civil Society and Constitutional Prerogatives. Recently, she has been selected by UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States member of the Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) 2015 Youth Consultative Group to promote genuine youth-led reflections on development choices in the Arab region, through meaningfully consulting young people to bring their voices to policy-makers.She has also received several awards from international institutions for her creativity in communications, management of youth and civil society programs, and for her efforts in promoting good governance and peace in the MENA region. In 2012, she was nominated, among several young leaders from different parts of the world, Crans Montana Forum “New Leader of Tomorrow.” She was also awarded a certificate of appreciation from the Association for Public policy and the Administration for her professionalism and contribution to the causes of peace and sound governance in the Middle East.With a rich international experience, she took part in world leading conferences and seminars such as the 2003 Young Ambassadors MENA Leaders Program at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania (USA), the Youth General Assembly at the United Nations in New York in 2011, the International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in Geneva in 2012, the world Forum of Young Diplomats in Turkey in 2013, Crans Montana Forum 15th International Summit on Transnational Crime and Security in 2013. She has also participated as a guest speaker and workshop facilitator at several conferences – in Europe, USA and the MENA region – designed for youth inclusion and empowerment and for the use of media for sustainable and human development.Throughout her career, she founded several non-governmental organizations such as “Dialogue for Peace Association” and “The Moroccan Association for Development and Public Diplomacy,” and organized various youth forums at the national level. She currently serves as a MENA representative of the London based Non-profit Global Diplomatic Forum, and director of ‘Dialogue for Peace” cooperating circle of United Religions Initiative in Morocco.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed. read more

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2019-10-12

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PJD Categorically Refuses Legalization of Cannabis Cultivation in Morocco

Rabat – The Justice and Development Party expressed its opposition to proposed policies to legalize cannabis cultivation in northern Morocco, even for medical or industrial uses.The issue of cannabis cultivation legalization triggered tension between the old rival parties: the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) and the Justice and Development Party (PJD).In a statement released on April 6 following the meeting of the General Secretariat of the PJD held on April 2, the PJD expressed its “categorical refusal of any questionable approaches that aim to decriminalize the cultivation and consumption of cannabis because of the proven danger to the health of citizens and social cohesion.” The PJD, whose secretary general is Morocco’s head of government, also accused supporters of the decriminalization of cannabis cultivation of “exploiting” the issue “for electoral purposes.”“The fact is that decriminalizing the cultivation of cannabis, its trade and its consumption will inevitably lead to its spread…which will…strengthen the domestic and international drug trafficking networks that go against the interests of citizens, the reputation of Morocco and the country’s international obligations,” the statement said.The statement comes as a response to the symposium on cannabis organized by the Regional Council of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima, chaired by Ilyass El Omari, in partnership with the Association for the Fight Against AIDS (ALCS) and the Confederation of Associations of Senhaja of the Rif for Development (CASRD).Under the motto “All for Alternatives Based on Sustainable Development, Health and Human Rights,” El Omari, President of the Regional Council of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima, organized the first international conference on drugs and cannabis on March 18 and 19 in Tangier.The international conference, which is part of the preparatory procedures for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) that will be held in New York between 19 and 21 April, addressed the issue of cannabis cultivation as an economic activity of the majority of the population living in the Rif Mountains.Edited by Kelsey Fish read more

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2019-10-12

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Doing Business Russia Africa And The Media

Moscow – Over the past few years, Russian authorities have been prioritizing media cooperation and the use of soft power to address the falling image of Russia among the political and business elites in Africa. The authorities have also made persistent efforts to inform the elites and business community about the positive developments and emerging economic opportunities in Russia, but Russian media and policy experts say there is still much room for improvement. Quite recently, Olga Kulkova, a research fellow at the Center for Studies of Russian-African Relations, Institute for African Studies in Moscow, noted in her opinion article that “in the global struggle for Africa, Russia is sadly far from outpacing its competitors. In terms of stringency of strategic outlook and activeness, the country is seriously lagging behind China, US, EU, India, Brazil.” For example, at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) meeting, both China and Africa have fixed a “China-Africa Press Exchange Center” in China to encourage exchanges and visits between Chinese and African media, and China already supports frequent exchange of correspondents by media organizations of the two sides. Professor David H. Shinn, an adjunct professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs George, Washington University, thinks that China Central Television, China Radio International, China Daily, and China‘s official news service, Xinhua, have made a major media push into Africa. This effort coincides with China‘s expanding economic and political engagement, including the fact that China is Africa‘s largest trading partner at more than $200 billion annually, Shinn, who was a former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia (1996-99) and Burkina Faso (1987-90), wrote in an emailed interview to Buziness Africa: “Neither Russia nor the government-controlled media of any other country has made a comparable media outreach effort in Africa. This situation speaks more, however, to the extraordinary effort China is putting into its African media campaign than it does Russia‘s comparative lack of effort.” Kulkova suggested that “Africa needs broader coverage in Russian media. Leading Russian media agencies should release more topical news items and quality analytical articles about the continent, on-the-spot TV reports in order to adequately collaborate with African partners and attract Russian business to Africa. More quality information about modern Russia should be broadcast in African states. Indisputably, it would take a lot of money and efforts, but the result will pay off.” The 21st century is the century of new technologies bringing international communication to a qualitatively different level, it is a time for new methods of “struggle for the hearts and minds” of African partners. Russia ought to take that into account if it wants to improve the chances for success in Africa. All the leading countries have been doing that quite efficiently for a long time, Kulkova noted. While many experts say African media seem uninterested in developing links to Russia, Vasily Pushkov, an independent expert on international media relations argues that “it works both ways and moreso the two regions are very far from each other. They are not as interconnected as they were during the Cold War era. But, the interest in the media is relatively high right now.” He explained that Russia might have an image problem among African elites, “partly due to the fact that Russia had to somewhat reduce its different development and investment programs in the African continent compared to the Soviet era. There is also a communication problem. Most African media get their global news from the leading Western media outlets, which in turn have a nasty and longstanding habit of always portraying Russia as the world’s bogeyman.” Some problems and challenges in developing the media connection to Africa still remain. Pushkov said: “Africa is a huge continent. And it is only fair to remind oneself again and again that it is not a single entity. It has multitude of languages, cultures, nations, customs and regional or global interests. This is something that many people tend to forget when dealing with the continent.” “But this diversity also means that you can not cover the whole continent by firmly establishing yourself in just one part of it. This calls for a very complicated and structured work that requires a lot of resources the amount of which has been significantly reduced by the global financial crisis,” Pushkov explained assertively. He, however, points to positive trend in media cooperation. Last year for instance, Russian media made somewhat of a breakthrough in establishing partnership relations with African media companies. The main progress was reached during the forum of the heads of the BRICS countries’ leading media outlets “Towards creating a common information space for the BRICS countries” which took place in October in Moscow. This resulted in a number of signed cooperation agreements between Russian and South African media companies. Furthermore, leading Russian media outlets have continued their work to expand coverage of events happening on the African continent. China is leading among the BRICS. During the Sixth Ministerial Meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in December 2015 in Pretoria, both China and Africa aspire to reach new milestones in many spheres, one of which is to train hundreds of journalists, help them with skills development and skills transfer programs. According to the official reports, this will provide an opportunity, by using the power of modern media, for advancing the common interest of the two regions in a mutually beneficial way. For the past few years, Russia has made some efforts to return with investment and business to Africa, but unfortunately only a few of those development projects have been made public. “Russian media write very little about Africa, what is going on there, what are the social and political dynamics in different parts of the continent. Media and NGOs should make big efforts to increase level of mutual knowledge, which can stimulate interest for each other and lead to increased economic interaction as well,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of the journal Russia in Global Affairs. “To certain extent,” Lukyanov said, “the intensification of non-political contacts may contribute to increased interest. But in Russia’s case, the main drivers of any cooperation are more traditional rather than political interests of the state and economic interest of big companies. Soft power has never been a strong side of Russian policy in the post-Soviet era.” But, this trend may be changing. In a foreign policy speech, President Vladimir Putin urged all his Russian ambassadors and diplomats to actively use new technologies to highlight Russian success stories, improve Russia’s image and defend its interests abroad, according to Russian daily Kommersant, quoting an official who attended the meeting. “It’s not enough to just crow something once… We should explain our positions again and again, using various platforms and new media technologies, until they understand,” the official, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, quoted Putin as saying. According to experts, the level and intensity of cultural influence can be raised by the effective use of soft power, and of course, social media as pointed out by President Putin in his mid-July address to Russian diplomats at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But the primary task is for diplomatic representations both in the Russian Federation and inside Africa to recognize these new methods of disseminating information, work with transparency and self-dedication, and keep up their legitimate responsibilities within the policy framework. read more

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2019-10-12

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Moroccos Minister of Employment Defends Minor Housemaids Law

Rabat – The newly adopted law that regulates the employment of housemaids and sets the age of 16 as the minimum age for domestic workers continues to stir controversy in Morocco, especially on social media. After the objections of human rights organizations, which regard the law as a “violation” of child rights, the Minister of Employment Abdeslam Saddiki finds no ground for this objection and enthusiastically defends the law.The detractors of the ‘regressive’ law find it paradoxical because it was suggested by a ‘progressive’ minister who belongs to the Progression and Socialism Party. In reaction to the controversy, the Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs issued a press release on Tuesday in which it affirms that “the law which comprises five chapters and 27 articles is considered a significant accomplishment to this category of workers because it came to lift the injustice they have been suffering for years.” According to the communiqué that these accomplishments are “the setting of the minimum age for work, the need of a work contract for the housemaid, benefiting from social protection, benefiting from weekly rest and annual holidays, protection against dangerous work, prevention of paid intermediaries, and benefiting from training.”The Ministry also insisted that the new law draws its philosophy and principles from similar international laws, especially the convention number 138 on the minimum age for workers, which provides that the minimum age for workers should not be lower than the age of mandatory schooling. In all cases, it should not be less than 15.According to the Minister, the law goes also in parallel with the convention number 182 on the elimination of the worst forms of child labor, and the convention number 198 on decent work for domestic workers. read more

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2019-10-12

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French National Arrested for Scamming Over 100 Moroccans

Rabat – Moroccan authorities arrested, Wednesday, a French national suspected in a fraud case against more than 100 victims.The suspect, 39, who runs a call center in Casablanca and is currently in an irregular situation in Morocco, had issued a fraudulent ad on an electronic site, the General Directorate of national security (DGSN) said in a statement.This ad proposed a fictitious job offer and specialized training provided that candidates pay 500 dirhams to the company as a cost of the social security fund, the statement added. Some 100 victims were heard by the police, claiming that they have paid the required sum and filled out a form that was distributed to them by the company, without getting job positions.In connection with this case, police arrested one of the employees of the call center, a Moroccan national, for his alleged involvement in these crimes. read more

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2019-10-12

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Algerian PM Asks Wives to Beat their Husbands if They Refuse

Casablanca – Algerian Prime Minister, Abdelmalek Sellal, has created another controversy after calling on women to beat their husbands with sticks if they refuse to vote in Thursday’s legislative elections.Sellal’s statement came during a women’s gathering last Saturday in the city of Setif, in the east of Algeria. The Algerian official told the women “In fact I came here to see your faces and hear your cries[…] Why is your role so important? Because behind every man is a woman…”Sellal added that “the men of Setif are men, and their women are also men.” This sparked laughter within the room. Later, Sellal urged the women to vote in Thursday’s legislative elections.“I urge you to be strong on the day of the elections. It is necessary that you participate and call on your husbands to do so and wake them up in the early morning. Don’t bring them coffee, just send them off to vote,” said Sellal before adding “whoever does not vote, beat him with a stick.”Algerian social media users have shared the statement on Facebook, many dismissing it as pre-election fever, especially in light of a strong anti-voting campaign that has swept through social media. Others mocked the Algerian Prime Minister who is known for his highly controversial declarations. read more

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2019-10-12

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Algeria Rolls out Barbed Wire Cameras Radar on Morocco Border

Rabat – Algeria has deployed nearly 6,000 kilometers of barbed wire on its border with Morocco, according to Moroccan newspaper Al Massae. The barbed wire is nearly four times the length of the border. The fence also includes surveillance cameras.While Morocco has called for more dialogue and enhanced security cooperation between the two countries, Algeria has not directly responded but has tightening security at the closed border to “combat migration and terrorism.”Both Moroccan and Algerian news outlets, as well as the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), reported about Algeria’s increased border protection. Citing anonymous Algerian sources, Al Massae reported that Algeria built hundreds of control towers along the new barbed wire fence with new generation radar operating day and night.Read aslo: Tunisia Offers to Mediate Between Morocco, AlgeriaAlgeria closed the border with Morocco in 1994. Algeria made  the decision after Rabat imposed visa regulations on Algerian citizens following a terrorist attack on the Atlas Asni Hotel in Marrakech.Tension between Morocco and Algeria dates back decades. In October 1963, they fought the Sand War over the border near Figuig in eastern Morocco. The war ended a year later when the US, the African Union, and the Arab League mediated the conflict.Since then, the border has only been opened between 1988 and 1994. After the decades-long conflict, Morocco extended its hand to break the stalemate by proposing a mechanism of dialogue and consultation at the initiative of King Mohammed VI.The King called on Algeria to propose any initiative that could normalize their diplomatic ties.The president of Algerian opposition party Rally of Culture and Democracy (RCD), Mohcine Belabbas, believes that “a consensus exists among Algerian political actors to reopen the Algerian-Moroccan borders.”For his part, the chairman of the MPS Algerian Islamist, Abderrazak Makri, called on both counties to reopen the border. He said the decision to close the borders must be “reviewed.” read more

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2019-10-12

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Morocco to Allegedly Team up with Spain Portugal to Host 2030

Rabat – Morocco has asked Spain and Portugal to form a trio to host the 2030 World Cup, according to Moroccan media.The 2030 bid will be Morocco’s sixth attempt to convince the footballing world of its ability to host the sport’s most celebrated tournament, following the country’s most recent failure in June at the hand of the North American trio (the US, Canada, and Mexico).Most importantly, though, a successful Morocco-Spain-Portugal trio would be the first time that the World Cup would be hosted on two different continents. Choosing realism over the pan-Maghrebi dreamAccording to Al Yaoum 24, the three countries’ sporting authorities have met several times in recent months, and the agreement has already been drafted. The decision will reportedly be officially announced in the coming weeks, as the three countries have decided to only let FIFA know about their plan once everything is settled.The 2030 FIFA World Cup is expected to attract the attention of footballing heavyweights. Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay, have already announced that they will bid to host as a trio. The South Americans plan to campaign on the notion that Uruguay, which hosted the first World Cup in 1930, should be given the right to host the tournament on its 100th anniversary. England, meanwhile, has given signals of its interest to join the FIFA 2030 contest. Although the European country has yet to announce its final decision, statements and comments from the government, the English FA, and English football fans suggest an equally strong interest.And according to Al Yaoum, Morocco, which has experienced on numerous occasions the high stakes and tough competition that the scramble for the World Cup’s hosting rights entails, has chosen to form a trio with its Iberian neighbors rather than with its North African neighbors.While there have been reports of a Maghreb trio including Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, it was expected that the tense political atmosphere in the region—namely between Algiers and Rabat—would be major obstacle. The tension kept alive, at least from a Moroccan perspective, the possibility of joining forces with Spain and Portugal.Whereas activists, football fans, and cultural workers had expected that football would unify a divided Maghreb, authorities seem to have chosen—should Al Yaoum’s allegations be true—a more politically realistic partnership.“Morocco will bid to host the World Cup in 2030—there is no doubt about that. But we have not yet decided on the co-hosts. The decision will be politically discussed,” said Fouzi Lekjaa, the president of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) when asked whether Morocco would definitely bid in a trio with Algeria and Tunisia. read more

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2019-10-12

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Moroccos Royal Mansour in Forbes List of 58 Most Luxurious Hotels

Rabat – Forbes Travel Guide included Marrakech’s sophisticated hotel, the Royal Mansour, on its list of the 58 most luxurious hotels around the globe.For the first time, the magazine created a verified list of the world’s most luxurious hotels.The travel guide included 58 hotels and 30 spas. The list includes Marrakech’s Royal Mansour, which celebrates Moroccan architecture at its finest.The hotel features fancy private riads surrounded by gardens and fountains. At night, small candles illuminate the ground like stars.In 2017, the Royal Mansour was named the best hotel in Africa at the ceremony awards “Prix Villegiature 2015.”Forbes selected its list based on luxury standards, according to “sumptuous comfort, as well as extravagant choices and conveniences afforded to guests.”The magazine described the Moroccan hotel as a space for royalty.“Live like royalty at Five-Star Royal Mansour Marrakech, which offers 53 one-of-a-kind riads, or residences built around courtyards.”The magazine added that every detail of the riads respect the privacy and comfort of the guests.“Expect the utmost privacy — a series of underground tunnels ensures that the staff will not intrude upon your stay,” Forbes wrote.The list also includes Rosewood Mayakoba in Mexico, Mandarin Oriental in Singapore, and Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico.Forbes standards also take into account weather, hotel surroundings, and interior design. read more

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2019-10-12

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French Restaurant Refuses Table to Muslim Family

Rabat – A restaurant in the French town of Etretat, Normandy, refused a Muslim family a table on the grounds that the mother of the family was wearing a veil and of the Muslim faith, reports the regional newspaper Paris-Normandy.The father of the family, Mohsen Zemni, told the news organization that a waiter denied their entrance to the terrace of the restaurant La Belle Epoque, who instead proposed they sit at the bottom of the establishment.“I asked him if it was the veil of my wife that was problematic,” Zemni told 76actu news site. “He just reiterated that for us it was at the back of the room.” According to Zemni, other guests were sitting on the terrace at the time of his family’s denial and the refusal was based on Islamophobia. In response, the day after the incident, Zemni filed a complaint online and wrote the mayor of Etretat, Catherine Millet.“I will inquire with the institution because I have only one version of the facts. But if its the truth, it’s intolerable,” Millet said. “Of course, I will answer Mr. Zemni and I will try to reach the restaurant, but so far the communication is very difficult. We have only trade through registered letters.”According to Millet, La Belle Epoque is currently in a dispute with the municipality for illegally constructing a covered terrace in an already narrow street.The restaurant did not immediately respond to Morocco World News’ request for comment. read more

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2019-10-12

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French Authorities Free CAF President Ahmad Ahmad Without Charges

Rabat – French authorities have released the president of the African Football Confederation (CAF), Ahmad Ahmad, after his summoning on Tuesday for corruption allegations.French police summoned Ahmad Ahmad on Tuesday to question him for alleged misappropriation of funds and corruption involving his dealings with French company, Tactical Steel, which some speculate Ahmad has personal ties to.Ahmad allegedly broke his contract with German sports company, Puma before signing to Tactical Steel. Ahmad left the police office without charges and he is eligible to leave France, contrary to what has been going viral on the media.Read Also: Tunisia’s PM Politicizes CAF Decision, TV Channel Provokes MoroccansSports journalist, Juliet Bawuah tweeted an update on his arrest on Tuesday, saying that the sportsman was released without “any charge.”Authorities also handed back Ahmad’s passport to him, making him eligible to travel.The CAF president, however, is expected to attend the opening match at the Women’s World Cup before leaving France.The news on the arrest of Ahmad shocked his fans yesterday, especially when FIFA confirmed the news in a statement.The statement conveyed that FIFA was “unaware of the details surrounding”  Ahmad’s investigation, refusing to express its position regarding the matter.FIFA also asked the French authorities for “any information that might be relevant to investigations taking place within its ethics committee.” The governing body added that while everyone has the right to plead innocent,  “anyone found to have committed illicit or illegal acts has no place in football.”Update on #Ahmad:He has been released without any charge.His passport has been handed to him, meaning he is free to travel.The CAF President is expected to watch tomorrow’s opening match at the Women’s World Cup.He will subsequently leave for Egypt ahead of the #AFCON2019 pic.twitter.com/v6CAg2fecr— Juliet Bawuah (@julietbawuah) June 6, 2019The CAF president has been under pressure for several months, especially when former Egyptian secretary general of the African Confederation, Amr Fahmy submitted a file against Ahmad, accusing him of corruption.Ahmad, however, denied all claims against him, emphasizing that the allegations are part of the attempts from former CAF officials to harm his reputation. read more

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2019-10-12

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