Kolkata: Urging people to create awareness on autism, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Tuesday that West Bengal will soon have a world-class township near Kolkata, where people suffering from the disorder will receive training, treatment and boarding facilities. The centre, a first of its kind in India, is expected to have housing facilities for 350 residents and daycare centre for over 200 children, adolescents and adults, according to a state government official. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “Today is #WorldAutismAwarenessDay. We must create more awareness about autism among the people. You will be happy to know that a world-class autism township is coming up near #Kolkata, where autistic children and adults will receive training, treatment and boarding facilities,” the CM tweeted. World Autism Awareness Day is observed every year on April 2 to generate awareness on the developmental disorder. The theme for this year is Assistive Technologies, Active Participation.
Kolkata: Election Commission officials would capture videos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election rally at Brigade Parade ground on Wednesday.The commission will also keep a tab on the rally to ascertain if there is any violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). The commission will also carry out an assessment to know if the entire cost of organising the rally has been spent as declared by the state BJP leaders, while taking permission for it. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe commission will also monitor to see if the controversial theme song of the party sung by its Asansol MP Babul Supriyo is played during the rally. The song is yet to receive permission from the EC. Meanwhile, Special Central Police Observer Vivek Dubey will hold meeting with all the observers at Siliguri Circuit Bench on Wednesday, to take a stock on the poll-preparedness in the two districts that will go to poll in the first phase on April 11. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwaySeven companies of Central Forces have been sent to North Bengal for the first phase of polls. The first phase of elections would be held in Alipurduar and Cooch Behar. Sanjay Basu, additional Chief Electoral Officer, said that seven companies have been taken from the existing 10 companies which have been presently deployed in the state. The forces have been sent to the North Bengal districts as a part of the confidence boosting measure.
New Delhi: In a shocking incident, a family of Delhi was brutally thrashed with sticks by private bouncers and security guards at the AIIMS Trauma Centre. Moreover, a video of the incident shows police present at the situations was just mute spectators, while guards were beating the kin of the patient.Talking to Millennium Post, Asgar Ali, the father of the girl patient named Adeeba, alleged that the guards present at the hospital used to pass lewd comments on his wife. When he and his relatives objected to this, the bouncers and guards started hitting them, leaving them critically injured. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderAccording to Ali, a resident of Delhi’s Nizamuddin area, his daughter Adeeba was admitted to the Trauma Centre on Monday after she fell from the fourth floor of a building while playing. She was operated the next day and was under observation. While his wife used to stay at the hospital during day, Ali used to stay at night. The guards present there – who belong to an agency named SWIFT Security – used to pass remarks on her, he alleged. “My wife complained about this to the head of the guards but he did not take action. She then told me about this. I also approached the security head but he was rude with me,” Ali informed. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings”Today, some of my relatives came to visit Adeeba. They were not allowed to enter the ward. We, along with other people present there, asked the guards to apologies to my wife on which they got angry started threatening us,” he added. Ali said he then dialled 100 and called the police. Meanwhile, the bouncers came out with iron rods and sticks and started thrashing them. The girl’s father has suffered bone fracture in his shoulder and 4-5 stitches in his head while his nephew Altaf has got 15 stitches on his head. Clearing it’s state, Dr Biplab Mishra said that around 8-10 people were trying to meet the patient in group but according to the norms only a attendant allowed to enter in side the ward. Hence, security person were opposing the entry of multiple relatives which lead to altercation and later turned into a scuffle. Even, our security gaurds were injured. Furthermore, We will initiated the internal inquiry and culprit will not be spared, said Dr Mishra. At about 3 PM a PCR call was received regarding quarrel at Trauma Centre . The complainant reported that gaurds at the gate had injured her husband and assaulted her sister also. In all, six people were injured. A case has been registered and 5 persons have been apprehended.
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal Saturday said the BJP has “imported” singer Hans Raj Hans from Punjab as it thought that no backward class member from North West Delhi is “eligible” to contest the Lok Sabha polls. Addressing his supporters during a roadshow in Bawana, he asked if the people will go to Punjab for redressal of their problems. “By importing the singer Hans Raj Hans from Punjab, the BJP is telling the people of North West Delhi that no backward class member is eligible to contest the elections from this area.” Kejriwal said. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehicles The Aam Aadmi Party has fielded Gugan Singh from North West Delhi, the Lok Sabha seat reserved for Scheduled Castes. The Congress’ candidate from the seat is Rajesh Lilothia. “He (Gugan Singh) is fighting for the people of North West Delhi. Elect him to make him stronger,” Kejriwal told the people as his caravan passed through the sea of supporters in Bawana. This was Kejriwal’s fourth roadshow in the national capital. On Wednesday, he carried out a roadshow in Chandni Chowk along with party candidate Pankaj Gupta. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: Javadekar On Thursday, he led East Delhi candidate Atishi’s roadshow and on Friday, he participated in North East Delhi Dilip Pandey’s roadshow. His roadshows are part of the party’s third phase of campaigning, which started Tuesday and will continue till May 10. Delhi goes to polls in the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections on May 12 and the campaigning will end on May 10. The AAP has already carried out campaigning in two phases. The first phase was from March 10 to April 7 and the second phase from April 10 to April 25. In the first phase, campaigning was carried through jansabhas, while in the second phase door to door campaigning was done.
Gurdaspur: Bollywood actor and BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate, Sunny Deol says he is focused on the task ahead and is not affected by his opponents dubbing him an “outsider”.The BJP has pitted the 62-year-old actor against sitting MP and Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar from Gurdaspur. “People keep asking me this question (on rivals dubbing him an outsider) and I say, I am not here to reply to what all is being said. “I have come here to work and serve the people, I have come here to do my job.My job is to understand my people, my constituency, Deol said during his campaign trail here. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghThe son of veteran actor and former MP Dharmendra, Deol has been accused by the opposition of having no understanding about Punjab, and has been termed an “outsider” and a “parachute” candidate. Waving at crowds from the sunroof of a Range Rover or from atop a mini-truck, Deol has been attracting a large number of people at his roadshows. He is being accompanied by leaders of the BJP and its ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). He said, if elected, he will never let the people down, and “never betray their trust . Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadThe love they have shown towards me is just overwhelming. I am that kind of person who likes to take peoples’ sorrows and make them happy, this is my nature, said Deol, who is famous for his hit films like ‘Border’, ‘Gadar: Ek Prem Katha’, ‘Ghayal’ and ‘Damini’. I am a newcomer, but I am ‘Ziddi’ (stubborn) and I will go on to achieve what I set out for, said the actor.’Ziddi’ was one of his popular movies. I speak dialogues in films when I play a character in films, that is what I have been doing. In real life, I am what every person should be, which is truthful, hardworking and sincere in what one is doing. Rest, it is up to ‘Waheguru’, Deol said. Congress candidate Jakhar has accused Deol of having no understating of Punjab’s issues and asked him to share his vision for the Gurdaspur constituency, telling him that “politics is a serious business and not a time pass activity”. I am from Punjab and belong here, Deol said, adding that opponents may keep saying what they feel like but that does not affect him. There are many issues in Gurdaspur, mostly related to farmers and youth, he said and assured “I will look for solutions to these issues. When asked why he chose the BJP, Deol said: I chose this party because I like Narendra Modi quite a lot, he has taken the nation forward during the past five years, our country has progressed.” “India’s global prestige has increased under this government. We need a strong leader, he said. My father had connected with (the then prime minister, late Atal Bihari) Vajpayee ji and now, I got an opportunity to connect with Modi ji,” Deol said. The 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, including Gurdaspur, will go to polls in the seventh and final phase of polling on May 19. Jakhar won the seat in the 2017 bypoll, which was necessitated after the death of actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna of the BJP in April that year.
New Delhi: As campaigning for the final phase of Lok Sabha elections came to an end on Friday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi accused the Election Commission of being “biased” and said that it has a different set of rules for the Prime Minister and for the opposition leaders.”It does not look good to say this but the role of the Election Commission has been biased,” he said, adding that it has different rules for Modiji and different rules for us. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework”Partiality is clearly visible,” he said. “Even the entire election schedule has been made to benefit Modi, but the people of the country understand it,” he said, adding that the Congress believes in the Election Commission as an institution. Gandhi also said, “Modi and BJP have lots of money. They have unlimited money but we have truth on our side and truth will win.” Turning the tables on PM Modi, Rahul said he lost the huge opportunity that he had got in 2014. “He (Modi) forgot that people had not made him the PM to make big speeches, but to put India on the path of development.” Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygenGandhi hit out at the BJP and PM Modi for showing the door to senior leaders of the party and said that his party respects the seniors and will make use of their experience. “Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and our other senior leaders have much more experience. And we will use their experience,” Gandhi said. To a question that Modi was using personal attacks against him, he said: “If Modiji wants to talk bad about my family then it is up to him. But I would not speak anything bad for his family or him and instead, I shall return love to him.” The Congress leader also refused to comment on how many seats the party will win. He said: “I have said it many times people of the country will decide. And on the basis of the people’s decision, everything will be decided. So I would not speak on people’s decision before May 23.” The Congress chief took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not taking any questions at his first press conference since taking office five years ago. “Congratulations Modi Ji. Excellent Press Conference! Showing up is half the battle. Next time Mr Shah may even allow you to answer a couple of questions. Well done!” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
Casablanca- A student attempted to set himself on fire with gas at Errazi High School in Settat, a city in central Morocco, after a fight with his teacher.According to the daily Al-Akhbar, the student would have died if students and teachers did not interfere quickly to save him.The student got in a state of hysteria following a big disagreement with his math teacher concerning her grading technique. He, then, attempted to commit suicide inside the school. The student’s peers and the high school staff rushed to him after he poured gas on himself . According to Al-akhbar, some sources from the administration of Errazi High School said that it is plausible that the student’s reason for doing so was to get sympathy from his math teacher.After the problem was contained within the school, the Academy of Education was notified as well as National Security personnel who came to gather the necessary information in regards to the incident.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedEdited by Zahra El Alami
Rabat – The Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Désiré Kadré Ouedraougou, who is on a working visit to Morocco, said Wednesday in Rabat, that the regional organization “relies heavily on the support of the Kingdom to implement its strategy to promote development in the Sahel.”“We request the support of the Kingdom to promote trade and investment in the region of West Africa in order to meet the needs of the population and strengthen peace and stability,” said Ouedraougou in a statement to MAP, following a meeting with Minister for Foreign Trade, Mohamed Abbou.Ouedraougou said that his visit to the Kingdom aims to strengthen economic and trade relations between the fifteen West African states which form ECOWAS and Morocco. For his part, Abbou stressed the readiness of Morocco to provide the necessary support to this regional grouping in its efforts to address the security and socio-economic challenges threatening the countries of the Sahel-Saharan region.
Casablanca- A few days after he euphorically announced that all Moroccan college students would benefit from government scholarship, Moroccan Minister of Higher Education recanted his announcement.Moroccan Minister of Higher education, Lahcen Daoudi, has recanted his decision to extend state scholarships to all college students. This comes after he had announced in a parliamentary session that all students would obtain scholarships starting from the next school year.Moroccan college students were in a celebratory mood. Daoudi had announced, in a speech given before the lower chamber of the parliament in Rabat on Monday, that his ministry would provide scholarships to all students who would file an application for the 2014-2015 school year. But the Minister was quick to recant his grandiloquent pronouncement. “[The generalization] concerns only part of the candidates, whose applications were approved, but did not make it to the last phase, because of budgetary issues,” Douadi told the daily Akhbar Al Yaoum. “Only 230,000 out of 615,000 students are targeted by this initiative.”In his parliamentary speech, the Minister did not make it clear that not all college students would benefit from state scholarships next year, but only the neediest among them. Quite the opposite, Daoudi unmistakably announced that “state scholarships would be generalized starting from the next school year.”“Yes, we have raised the prices of gas and oil,” the minister stated. “Now, good news for all Moroccans. All college students, I repeat, all college students who apply for a scholarship will receive it.” Clearly, No mention of particular exceptions was made in his address.Almost all reactions to Daoudi’s recent reconsideration of statements expressed frustration. Moroccans, including current and future college students, expressed their disappointment at the Minister’s recent clarification via social networks.“Was this a hidden camera or something?” a Moroccan college student sarcastically commented on a Facebook post announcing the news. “I will no longer trust any politician,” bitterly read another comment.“This is utter childishness,” echoed others.Seemingly, the Minister’s recent rectification of his previous announcement has aroused Moroccans’ skepticism about every other statement he made in his speech. One of these statements avowed that the ministry “will invest more than MAD 600 million” in scientific research.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.
Rabat – A Scottish nurse was diagnosed with the Ebola virus. British officials are tracing scores of passengers on the nurse’s Royal Air Maroc flight into the UK from Casablanca international Airport.According to the Guardian, the nurse spent the last month working as a volunteer with Save the Children in Ebola-stricken Sierra Leon to help combat the epidemic.She had been volunteering at a newly built hospital at Kerry Town in Sierra Leone run by the charity Save the Children since November 23rd. She was transferred from Glasgow airport in a quarantine tent surrounded by a group of health worker in full protection suits to the Royal Free Hospital in north London.It is the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed on UK soil, added the Guardian.The British officials from Health Protection Scotland and Public Health England are also mapping out scores of 71 passengers on her internal British Airways connection from Heathrow to Glasgow on Sunday night.Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister said on Monday that the search for passengers was “very much precautionary measures.”“The risk to other people as a result of this Ebola case is deemed to be extremely low,” Sturgeon told a press conference.
Marrakech – A number of Moroccan filmmakers decided to send a letter to the head of the Moroccan Cinematographic Center in which they express their indignation about the poor quality of film production in Morocco.To the Director of the Moroccan Cinematographic Center:We, the signatories of this petition, young filmmakers and passionate about movies, would like to express our indignation about the quality of film production in our dear country. You are aware of the role that Cinema plays in the image a society has of itself, its identity, history and culture but also the image that other nations have of it.When we see what the current Moroccan cinema present to us, we have the bitter feeling that our ” filmmakers ” are insulting our intelligence by presenting us with superficial works both in substance and form. Works that betray the artistic incompetence of some people whose only motivation seems to be monetary.Rare are the times when we come out of a Moroccan film screening feeling that we have seen a state of the art film. The empty chairs at the movie theater are the greatest proof of this drama. This leads us to ask the following question: is it really worth producing 30 feature films a year?Sir, you now have an opportunity, more than ever, to reconcile Moroccan citizens with their cinema by opening the debate, and questioning the current status quo that only benefits a minority whose artistic effectiveness have failed to prove itself over the past years. We need new blood!Who has the right to direct a film? Who benefits from the professional filmmaker card?Young filmmakers are required to make three short films that should be produced by a CCM authorized production company, and after obtaining a degree in film. This is understandable since the goal seems to be to ensure the quality of films made, but in practice the reality seems to be quite different.In fact, by going to an authorized producer, the young filmmaker finds himself/herself rejected for not possessing a professional card. As you know, a producer only works with filmmakers when his/her production company has access to the CCM funds allocated for short films. For this to happen, one (the filmmaker) has to have at least a first assistant professional card. This seems to be the very definition of a vicious circle!Sir, in the practice of Moroccan cinema, every young director has to go through a battle whose only real purpose seems to be to keep it a “closed club” to new people except for those who agree to submit to the game by putting any artistic ambitions and dignity aside. What about cinema in all this?We ask you Sir, through this petition, to reconsider the requirements to obtain a professional card by opening the door to young and passionate talents, armed with love for their country. Let’s stop this pointless hazing that only benefits greedy producers who continue to enrich themselves without giving any real contribution to Moroccan cinema. Let’s open the door to new talents, and may the wind of a new era raise the flag of Moroccan cinema!
By Scheherazade BloulRabat – Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu could risk arrest if he sets foot in Spain after a Spanish judge issued an arrest warrant for him and seven other former and current government officials.According to the Jerusalem Post, the national court judge Jose de la Mata issued the warrants over the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla attack after the case was reopened. The case was brought against the group after Israeli security forces attempted to stop a group of six aid ships trying to reach Gaza, which ended in the death of 10 activists, eight of whom were Turkish nationals.Israel Defence Force boarded the Mavi Marmara, the main civilian vessel and opened fire after they were attacked by the human rights activists killing nine. The tenth activist later died in hospital after sustaining wounds in the debacle.The raid drew widespread condemnation and resulted in tensions between Turkey and Israel after Turkey recalled its ambassador and called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. Other men who face arrest include former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman, current defence minister Moshe Ya’alon, former ministers Ehud Barak, Dan Meridor, minister-without-portfolio Bennie Begin and vice admiral Eliezer Marom, who was in charge of the operation. An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokeperson told The Jerusalem Post: “We consider it to be a provocation. We are working with the Spanish authorities to get it canceled. We hope it will be over soon.”
New York – “Venezuela, which is the last dictatorship in Latin America, has no legitimacy to attack Morocco and the recovery of its Sahara,” Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Omar Hilale, said during the 4th Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations.This came following a statement of Venezuela’s ambassador, who described the Sahara as “the last colony in Africa.”Morocco “recovered its Sahara which was under Spanish occupation, while Venezuela claims half of Guyana’s territory under the pretext of territorial integrity,” he pointed out, adding that “Venezuela will become the first colonizer of the 21st century.” “Saharawi population in Laayoune, Dakhla and Smara live in freedom, without fear or violation of their rights. This is not the case in the last dictatorship in Latin America. Venezuelan political leaders are kidnapped, imprisoned and tortured and innocent demonstrators are killed on the streets of Caracas,” he went on.According to US media, “citizens’ quality of life in the Sahara is a thousand times better than that of citizens in the last dictatorship in Latin America,” he noted.Some 28 heads of State sent a motion to the Chairman of the African Union for the immediate suspension of the so-called “Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic,” Hilale said, noting that several countries withdrew their recognition of the so-called SADR. This was the case for Zambia and Jamaica, who withdrew their recognition of “SARD” recently, he said.Soon there will be no country to recognize this ghostly republic, the ambassador added.
Beryl Kessio Rabat – In his “exit interview” with Rolling Stone magazine, President Obama said that marijuana should be treated as a public-health issue, like how the U.S. treats cigarette and alcohol use. “Look, I’ve been very clear about my belief that we should try to discourage substance abuse,” Mr. Obama said. “And I am not somebody who believes that legalization is a panacea. But I do believe that treating this as a public-health issue, the same way we do with cigarettes or alcohol, is the much smarter way to deal with it.” This isn’t the first time President Obama has made public his position on marijuana. In a New Yorker interview he conceded that marijuana isn’t as dangerous as other drugs.“As has been well documented,” Mr. Obama told David Remnick, “I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”When pressed to elaborate on how, he said marijuana is less dangerous “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer.”More recently, Obama told TV host Bill Maher, “I think we’re going to have to have a more serious conversation about how we are treating marijuana and our drug laws generally.”Noting that Mr.Obama hasn’t made significant strides to legalize marijuana during his tenure, Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner asked why Mr. Obama didn’t take a stronger position on the issue.In response, Obama pointed to the political climate, saying that it just didn’t allow for this issue to be focused on. He also believes that “it’s important” that states are free to try a different approach.In August the Drug Enforcement Administration shot down petitions to loosen federal restrictions on marijuana, citing the drug’s lack of “accepted medical use” and its “high potential for abuse.”Last year Obama indicated that “if enough states end up decriminalizing, Congress may then reschedule marijuana”, a step he described as “progress.” But so far Congress has not taken any steps to amend the federal Controlled Substances Act, and it doesn’t appear to be a top agenda.Obama hinted that once he leaves office he might be more vocal about marijuana issues: “I will have the opportunity as a private citizen to describe where I think we need to go” he said.
Rabat – Since it took the centre stage internationally as the fiercest and bloodiest terrorist group, ISIS has been successful in attracting thousands of men and women from all over the world.Many females joined the terrorist organization where they became brides of the group’s fighters, dreaming of “Jannah” (Heaven) and wives, greater in number and beauty, than the ones they already have, whether they willingly offered their bodies to them, or were forced to.Some of these brides were neither captives, nor recruits who joined the group by their own free will. One of them was a Moroccan who was lucky enough to escape her sordid life as an ISIS sex object. Here is her story, as she told it to the media. An Ideal Husband“It was a family marriage. I was just like any other girl getting what she wanted: a husband”, said Islam Maytat, a Moroccan young woman who lived for three years in ISIS camps, as she recalled her very sad experience.Maytat was first married to an Afghani man. They met through social media and soon connected. Her suitor came to Morocco and the two got married afterwards.Her spouse had a British nationality, and so Islam was hoping to live in Britain. The sweet dreams of life in a foreign country would turn, later on, to the worst of nightmares.Islam’s husband convinced her they had first to go to Afghanistan to see his family. After a month there, the Moroccan young woman could not bear staying in a country plagued by war, so she asked to go back home.She spent month and a half in Morocco before packed again, and this time her destination was Turkey. Her husband had convinced her he found a job there.Everything seemed normal until the husband started asking her to change the way she dressed. She got rid of her “Abaya” (traditional dress worn by women in Gulf countries), and put on a modern dress “in order not to arouse suspicions of the Turkish police”.Shortly after, Islam Maytat found herself crossing the Turkish-Syrian borders along with her husband and other strangers she met in the border city of Gaziantep.The Road To Daech“We are going to the land of Islam and Khilfah,” said the husband to the Moroccan young woman.She was in a state of shock but could not say anything. She could not protest even though she knew she was going to an inferno where war and destruction were all around.“I was afraid, and I thought I would better keep silent lest I get hurt. I was a stranger in the country. I decided to remain silent until I find a way to flee the place. I was scared they might discover what was going on in my mind and accuse me of apostasy or something like that. My fate would have been terrible”, said Islam Maytat.In her early 20’s, the Moroccan woman became a widow when her husband was killed in battle in 2014 after he joined the ranks of Daech. The young widow was pregnant with her first son, Abdullah.An ISIS BrideApparently there is not such a thing as a single mom in ISIS camps. That is why Islam soon got married to a friend of her late husband when she was in Raqqa.But soon after she asked for divorce and moved on to another house. Yet, she could not escape the fate of being married once again.The third husband was an Indian ISIS fighter who later on became the father of her second child, a baby daughter. Islam put on a condition to live among Syrian civilians and not the people who immigrated to join the terrorist group.Her idea was to look for a person who would help her escape from ISIS. “There, I met individuals from People’s Protection Units (YPG) and they were the ones who helped me get out of Raqqa. They took me to the territories held by Syrian Democratic Forces,” she said.The nightmare ended with her leaving ISIS held territories. She told the world about her plight in a press conference as she sat holding her young daughter on her lap, while her son was looking with amazed eyes to the many cameras filming the trio.It is hard to say it was a happy ending, but it is surely a new start for a woman whose determination helped her flee the inferno of ISIS. Hopefully, she begins a better life now.
Rabat – For the second time in a month, the Saudi-owned TV channel Al Arabiya Al Hadath aired a report critical of Moroccan sovereignty in the Western Sahara.The Saudi channel aired the controversial report several times on Friday, despite a current lack of developments related to the Western Sahara issue.The controversial report has been seen by Moroccan media as being in favor of Polisario by echoing its claims over Western Sahara and its description of Morocco as “an occupying force.” The tone of the report stands in total contrast with the Saudi public position, which is largely in support of Morocco’s sovereignty over the disputed territories.The report, which was first aired on May 2016, was broadcast on June 2017 amid the tension between a group of Saudi-led countries and Qatar. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt all announced severing ties with Qatar and impose and embargo over the small Gulf country.Throughout the ongoing conflict, Rabat, an ally of both Riyadh and Doha, has taken a neutral position and offered to mediate between the two countries.The report of the Dubai-based Saudi-run news channel was read by observers and Moroccan media as an indication that Riyadh is not happy with Rabat’s decision not to side with it in its campaign against Doha.
Catwoman actress Halle Berry and her Canadian co-star, director, producer, and musician Keanu Reeves are shooting the American action/thriller franchise, John Wick 3 in Essaouira.The two stars have shared on Instagram a string of photos and have Snapchatted their time in Morocco’s “Atlantic Blue Pearl” port city.Berry boasted a Bohemian look with a headscarf and colorful, striped traditional dress as she held a cat, captioning her Instagram, “One with the locals.” Another shot shows the Oscar-winning actress enjoying a camel ride, titling the photo: “I’m free here, I’m me here.”Keanu Reeves is also enjoying Essaouira. The Hollywood star shared photos of him and his fans in the city and magical moments in Essaouira’s mesmerizing desert.The movie staff arrived in Morocco in August and will continue shooting in the country until December.Celebrities and Hollywood remain enamored with Morocco’s charm, as illustrated by directors’ penchant for filming in Morocco, primarily in Ouarzazate, “the gateway to the desert.”Movies and television shows like “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962), “Gladiator” (2000), “The Sheltering Sky” (1990), “Game of Thrones” (2013), “Prison Break” (2015), “Sherlock” (2016), and “The Nine” (2017) were all shot in the city.In recent months, American television host Ryan Seacrest and his girlfriend model Shayna Taylor enjoyed their trip to Morocco’s mystical Sahara Desert dunes, and the mother of football star Cristiano Ronaldo, Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro, raved about Moroccan couscous during her mini-vacation in the red city of Marrakech.Pop superstar Madonna also went into raptures over her memorable 60th birthday party in August in Marrakech. The singer, calling herself “BerberQueen” as she donned the Moroccan Amazigh look, shared a plethora of photos and videos of her time in the city on her Instagram with fans.She thanked Morocco for a “magical birthday week.”
Rabat – In the lead up to next week’s talks, the four parties are mobilizing their delegations to take part in the meeting, an initial step toward an agreed upon solution to the conflict.The pan-African magazine Jeune Afrique reported that Morocco’s delegation will include the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region President Khattat Yanja and and the Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra region President Hamdi Ould Errachid.The UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy for Western Sahara, Horst Kohler, invited Morocco, Algeria, the Polisario and Mauritania to a UN roundtable of talks in Geneva. The UN wants the meeting to serve as an initial step toward a more robust move in preparation to re-launch negotiations to find a mutually acceptable political solution to the conflict.Algeria, which claims itself an observer to the conflict, will be represented by Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdelkader Messahel, his adviser Abdallah Baali, and Algeria’s ambassador to the UN Sabri Boukadoum.While Algeria denies its responsibility in the conflict, UN Resolution 2440 called on it as well as the other parties to “work constructively with the Personal Envoy, in the spirit of compromise, throughout the duration of this process to ensure a successful outcome.”Analysts say the resolution represented a diplomatic gain for Morocco because it included Algeria, calling it a neighboring country to the conflict.Algeria still calls itself an observer despite the UN’s clear message in Resolution 2440, adopted on October 31.Mauritania’s delegation, which will take part in the Geneva roundtable of talks, will include Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. The separatist group will be represented by the self-proclaimed president of Parliament Khatri Addouh, and M’Hammad Khaddad, former chief of military security.Read Also: UK: UN Talks in Geneva Important for Moroccan-Algerian DialogueThe meeting, the first of its kind since 2012, will oversee the determination of the parties to engage in future negotiations.In October, Bourita said that Morocco would attend the roundtable to remind the participants of Morocco’s firm conditions.Morocco is firm that it will accept no solution other than its autonomy plan.The Moroccan official also said that Algeria needs to contribute to finding a solution to the conflict, saying it is the “one which created the problem.”Read Also: Western Sahara: Kohler Invites Morocco, Polisario, Algeria and Mauritania for Talks in GenevaKing Mohammed VI called for more dialogue between Morocco and Algeria to break tension and the stalemate resulting from frozen diplomatic ties.The King’s offer was echoed by Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs during a meeting between Bourita and Algeria’s ambassador to Rabat on MondayIn the meeting, Bourita told the Algerian diplomat that Morocco wants to know the official response of Algeria regarding Morocco’s dialogue offer.
Rabat – The Collective Retirement Benefit Scheme (RCAR) announced the acquisition of 16,229,447 shares from the Moroccan telecommunications company, Maroc Telecom.RCAR announced the acquisition on June 17, Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) reported.RCAR exceeded the threshold of 5% stake in Maroc Telecom. The buyer, managed by Morocco’s Caisse de Depot and Gestion (CDG), now owns 51,060,810 shares (5.81%) in the operator’s capital.Read Also: Morocco Would Gain MAD 8.87 Billion After Sale of 8% Shares in Maroc TelecomRCAR also plans to continue to purchase more shares within a year of meeting the threshold.Morocco’s government has been looking for local investors to buy shares from the company since the sale of 8 % of the company’s shares would inject MAD 8.87 billion in the government’s budget.The government’s ownership would drop to 22% from 33 % following the sale of 8 % of the shares.The company is one of the most influential communication firms as it owns subsidiaries in a number of African countries, including the Central African Republic, Niger, and Mali.The sale is part of Morocco’s privatization program to slash the budget deficit by 0.6 %.Morocco’s government also seeks to sell their holdings in La Mamounia hotel in Marrakech as well as the Tahaddart power plant in northern Morocco.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced a ban of alcohol advertising on city property.The ban, which takes effect immediately, applies to bus shelters, newsstands, Wi-Fi kiosks and recycling kiosks. Venues currently permitted to sell alcohol, such as restaurants, stadiums and concerts halls, are exempt.Existing ads will also be allowed to remain until their contracts end.The health commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot (OHK’-see-rees bahr-BOH’), says there are “far too many deaths related to alcohol.”The deputy mayor for health and human services, Dr. Herminia Palacio, says ads can influence how much people drink and how young they are when they start.A Metropolitan Transportation Authority ban on advertising alcohol beverages on all New York City buses, subway cars and in stations took effect in January 2018.The Associated Press