A lot of women would still be alive if they listened to

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe testimony of the families of murdered and missing women continues this week at the inquiry into why it took so long for police to catch serial killer Robert Pickton.Ernie Crey says his family carries a constant burden knowing that if police had done their job properly, his sister Dawn may still be alive.APTN National News reporter Rob Smith has this story.last_img

Grade 12 student from Saskatchewan drafts federal law on Indigenous languages

first_imgPriscilla WolfAPTN NewsGrade 12 student Elgar Pakingan from Saskatchewan is helping make Canada better after winning a contest called Creating a better Canada.It was originally started by NDP MP Nathan Cullen in 2009.Ten years since its inception, NDP MP Nathan Cullen’s contest to turn a policy pitch from one lucky constituent into a private members’ bill has been catching on among his caucus colleagues as an innovative way to engage, educate, and excite high school students to help write a federal law.NDP MP Sheri Benson of the Saskatoon West riding has made this contest available to grade 11 & 12 students in her riding for the second year in a row.Shortly after winning the contest Pakingan, a student at Bethlehem high school in Saskatoon, headed to the House of commons in Ottawa and got to see up close what it takes to draft a bill.NDP MP Sheri Benson helped draft a bill based on Pakingan’s winning idea to preserve indigenous languages.Bill C-443, An Act to Protect, Maintain, Revitalize and Strengthen Indigenous Languages was introduced as a private members bill April 29.MP’s Romero Saganash and Gerogina Jolibois also helped draft the bill.Pakingan said he was overwhelmed with his visit to Ottawa.“The trip to Ottawa was amazing it was real good. I loved seeing all the buildings everything all the historical buildings,” he said.“Obviously the best part was hearing my name being presented in the House of Commons and have a bill that I thought about be presented in the House of Commons that’s great.”The experience helped Pakingan learn more about Canadian politics and the Indigenous culture.He was first inspired to draft the bill after learning about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its Calls to Action in school.Call to Action number 14 calls on Indigenous languages to be tough in schools.“This was my first time ever being really involved in politics,” said Pakingan.“It was great for me to see how they work seeing people in person seeing how they are and seeing how the house of commons actually works.”Benson said she hopes that his bill is passed or helps improve Bill C-91 the Indigenous Languages Act that was tabled by the Liberal government.It is currently being studied at a Senate committee.“We also decided to work with the Senate who’s looking at the governments bill right now and to work with senators on  amendments we made. to see if they can add it to the governments bill to make it better,” she said.One of the additions that was added to Pakingan’s bill that is different than Bill C 91 is stating specifically that if a languages commissioner is appointed that the person be Indigenous.pwolf@aptn.ca@priscillawolf11last_img read more

QuickList August inflation rate for selected Canadian cities

first_imgOTTAWA – Canada’s national annual inflation rate was 1.4 per cent in August, Statistics Canada says. The agency also released rates for major cities, but cautioned that figures may have fluctuated widely because they are based on small statistical samples (previous month in brackets):— St. John’s, N.L.: 1.2 per cent (1.0)— Charlottetown-Summerside: 2.2 (1.6)— Halifax: 1.0 (0.9)— Saint John, N.B.: 1.8 (1.5)— Quebec: 1.1 (1.0)— Montreal: 1.3 (1.1)— Ottawa: 1.3 (1.0)— Toronto: 2.1 (2.0)— Thunder Bay, Ont.: 1.1 (0.9)— Winnipeg: 0.9 (0.8)— Regina: 1.8 (0.8)— Saskatoon: 1.9 (1.0)— Edmonton: 1.1 (1.1)— Calgary: 1.2 (1.3)— Vancouver: 2.4 (1.9)— Victoria: 1.8 (1.8)last_img read more

UK tries to bring home 110000 travellers after airline fails

first_imgLONDON – British authorities are scrambling to bring home 110,000 travellers after Monarch Airlines collapsed Monday, cancelling all flights by what had been Britain’s fifth biggest carrier with 2,100 employees.The Civil Aviation Authority said it has leased 30 aircraft to transport Monarch customers scattered around holiday destinations ranging from Turkey to Spain and Sweden. Flights will be provided at no additional cost to passengers.“This is a hugely distressing situation for British holidaymakers abroad, and my first priority is to help them get back to the U.K.,” Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said in a statement. “That is why I have immediately ordered the country’s biggest ever peacetime repatriation to fly about 110,000 passengers who could otherwise have been left stranded.”Some 860,000 customers in all are affected, with 750,000 with future bookings.Monarch ceased operations after failing to reach a deal with regulators to extend the company’s license to sell package holidays to overseas destinations. Monarch Chief Executive Andrew Swaffield said the airline’s troubles stemmed from recent terror attacks in Egypt and Tunisia and the “decimation” of the tourist trade in Turkey.The airline had tried to pivot from short-haul flights to long-haul travel to reduce losses as consumers shied away from Middle Eastern and North African destinations after the June 2015 attack on tourists at a resort in Tunisia, the bombing of a Russian airliner that had taken off from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, a few months later and the attempted coup in Turkey in 2016.The CAA is advising Monarch customers who are trying to get home from abroad to visit the agency’s website for information about their flights. Passengers who were preparing to leave the U.K. on Monarch flights should not go to the airport.The first repatriation flight carrying 165 passengers from the Spanish resort island of Ibiza has already arrived at London’s Gatwick Airport, the aviation authority said.“The scale and challenge of this operation means that some disruption is inevitable,” agency CEO Andrew Haines said. “We ask customers to bear with us as we work around the clock to bring everyone home.”Monarch’s collapse represents the biggest ever failure of a British airline.KPMG partner Blair Nimmo said administrators are now considering breaking up the company as no buyer has been found to purchase Monarch in its entirety. Counting the airline and tour operator business, the company had 2,100 employees.The airline said companies affected by its failure include Monarch Airlines, Ltd., Monarch Holidays, Ltd., First Aviation, Ltd., Avro, Ltd. and Somewhere2stay, Ltd.“All future holidays and flights provided by these companies have been cancelled and are no longer operating,” the company said.Among those affected was a British couple who had intended to fly to Gran Canaria with their family to get married.Bricklayer Alan Jee, 42, was five minutes away from his scheduled flight time when he learned the news. The flights for 30 of his friends and family — including fiancee Donna Smith — were also affected.“My missus just burst straight into tears, and my mother-in-law, and my mum,” he said. “They (Monarch) are doing absolutely nothing about it whatsoever, they’ve palmed us off.”Greybull Capital LLP, which owns The Monarch Group, said it was “deeply saddened” by the airline’s failure.___Kurtenbach reported from Tokyo.___Monarch Airlines: https://monarch.caa.co.uk/customers/i-am-currently-abroad/last_img read more

YYCs International Terminal opened one year ago

first_imgIt’s been one year since Calgary’s airport opened a new international terminal.In the last 12 months, YYC has welcomed 21,000 flights, 3.7 million pieces of baggage, and 4.8 million passengers.“I think early on we received feedback and we worked on that and we actioned it,” Dean Paddock, Director of Communications said, acknowledging there has been a bit of turbulence.A common complaint is getting around on time due to the size of the space.“There didn’t seem to be enough places to eat, places to get coffee, that has improved, but it is problematic, if you’re having to connect from a domestic flight because it is so spread out,” one passenger tells CityNews.Paddock said they’ve been working at it.“We have a really unique to Canada solution, which is a Canadian-built, custom designed electric vehicle. These shuttles move our passengers through our connections corridor at a rate of about 3,500 people per day,” he said.“We worked with airlines and we received customer feedback to ensure that our link shuttles are moving at the proper pace when flights are arriving and when flights are departing to ensure that our wait times are actually very low.”Paddock said the airport is very pleased with new routes added on WestJet and Air Canada, and the addition of two new airlines to the terminal: Aeromexico, and Hainan Airlines.last_img read more

Quebec raising minimum wage to 12 as of May 1

first_imgMONTREAL – Quebec will raise the province’s minimum wage to $12 an hour as of May 1, Labour Minister Dominique Vien announced Wednesday.More than 352,000 workers stand to benefit from the 75-cent increase, the largest hike in Quebec history.Vien said in a statement the rise is in line with a four-year plan to have the minimum wage equivalent to 50 per cent of the average provincial hourly wage by 2020, without exceeding that level.Quebec’s thriving economy has also helped the average hourly salary rise more quickly than anticipated, she added.“The good economic performance of Quebec allows us to substantially raise the minimum wage,” Vien said.“This increase will improve the quality of life for low-income workers as well as promote the incentive to work, raise the amount of disposable income and contribute to lowering the rate of poverty, without harming the job market and competitiveness of our businesses.”The raise represents between $462 and $979 in the pocketbooks of minimum wage earners, depending on hours worked and family situation.At $12, Quebec’s minimum wage would be the third highest in the country behind Alberta’s and Ontario’s.Ontario raised its minimum hourly wage to $14 per hour on Jan. 1 and plans another increase to $15 next January.Alberta’s minimum wage is expected to rise to $15 later this year.Daniel Boyer, president of the Quebec Federation of Labour, which represents about 600,000 workers, said the province could have done better.The labour organization was behind a fight that began in May 2016 for a $15 minimum wage in the province — something Quebec wouldn’t commit to.Employer groups like the Canadian Federation of Independent Business expressed concern with the sudden hike, adding it hoped Quebec would stick with its initial plan.“It’s a bit unexpected,” said Martine Hebert, the group’s senior vice-president. “We would have preferred the government follow its original game plan.”In January 2017, Vien had mapped out increases of 50, 35 and 35 cents between 2018 and 2020, bringing the minimum salary to $12.45 by 2020.But she cautioned at the time the increases could change depending on the economic situation.Workers who make minimum age with tips will see their hourly pay climb by 35 cents to $9.80 an hour, also on May 1.last_img read more

Tim Hortons franchisees say company wont meet with them to mend relations

first_imgTORONTO – A coalition of rebellious Tim Hortons franchisees is accusing the fast-food giant’s parent company Restaurant Brands International Inc. of trying to sideline the group by refusing to recognize it and stonewalling efforts to meet and mend their relationship.In a letter obtained by The Canadian Press, the Great White North Franchisee Association told its members it has sent emails to Tim Hortons President Alex Macedo requesting a meeting, but has found Macedo has “no interest” in sitting down with them. GWNFA’s letter said its attempts to meet and work together have also been rebuffed by the company’s advisory board, which is elected by secret ballot and meant to represent all Tim Hortons franchisees.On Thursday, GWNFA spokesperson Patti Jameson said the company has so far only been open to meeting with association president David Hughes as an individual restaurant owner and not as a leader of the organization.“We are very disappointed and surprised,” she said. “We continue to have well over 50 per cent of franchisees as part of the association and yet they still seem to want to exclude one half of the chain by refusing to recognize the association and we find that very disappointing and perturbing.”Tim Hortons’ chief corporate officer Duncan Fulton told The Canadian Press that GWNFA’s claims are “false” and “disappointing” and said that Macedo and Hughes spoke on the phone recently for 45 minutes — a call that Jameson also confirmed but refused to share details about.“Mr. Macedo offered to clear his entire afternoon to give Mr. Hughes, as a restaurant owner, as much time to raise any issues that he wanted and Mr. Hughes declined to raise any issues at that time,” said Fulton.“Every effort continues to be made by the company and certainly by the advisory board to take any issues raised by owners, so the suggestion that that is not happening is categorically and completely untrue.”Tensions have been flaring between Tim Hortons and GWNFA for months.The two sides have sparred publicly over everything from alleged misuse of a national advertising fund to cuts to employee benefits after Ontario’s minimum wage hike, but their spats had quieted after Macedo vowed to improve relations back in May and criss-crossed the country to meet with franchisees in a bid to regain their trust.Macedo also rolled out all-day breakfast, announced 1,500 Tim Hortons locations will open in China and teased that a kids menu and delivery and loyalty programs are coming soon.GWNFA remained quiet through most of Macedo’s announcements, even abandoning a protest it had planned for the company’s Oakville, Ont., headquarters over the treatment of Mark Kuziora, a franchisee who was previously involved in a class-action lawsuit against RBI and has alleged that the company told him it would deny the renewal of his licence for one of his two Toronto locations when the licence expires on Aug. 31.Jameson would not say if the company would be changing its approach to dealing with Tim Hortons or the advisory board, which she said has a “minority” of GWNFA members who haven’t publicly shared their allegiance.GWNFA’s missive says, “we have no choice but to accept the reality that the advisory board and RBI have no interest in working with GWNFA.”The letter claims a “small group of influential” board members agreed to a discussion with the association after at least two GWNFA members reached out, but the meeting was “derailed at the 12th hour.” The letter did not say why the meeting did not take place.Advisory board representative Lou Gossner said he wasn’t aware of why it did not happen, but he “didn’t think it was any big deal at all.”He said board members have always been opening to meet with GWNFA franchisees, but that the association refuses to disclose what their issues are, so “that is where the conversation always ends.”“It doesn’t seem like their goal is to resolve franchisee issues. It is more about the association itself,” he said.“It is really difficult to know why they don’t want to bring issues to the advisory board in the same way every other franchisee does.”GWNFA’s letter also contains a copy of a note Hughes allegedly emailed Macedo asking for a one-hour meeting “so we can meet and hopefully agree on enough issues so we can rebuild this iconic brand together.”GWNFA’s letter also said the association is “not at liberty” to share Macedo or Hughes’ messages, but said “the net result is that (Macedo) has no interest in meeting with (Hughes) as a member of the Association.”The letter ends with a few lines saying “all of these efforts to sit down and find a way forward remain on the table” and teases “stay tuned — there is more to come!”(Companies in this story: TSX:QSR)last_img read more

Google CEO faces House grilling on breach China censorship

first_imgWASHINGTON — Google’s CEO faces a grilling from U.S. lawmakers on how the web search giant handled an alarming data breach and whether it may bend to Chinese government censorship demands.CEO Sundar Pichai’s appearance Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee comes after he angered members of a Senate panel in September by declining their invitation to testify about foreign governments’ manipulation of online services to sway U.S. elections. Pichai’s no-show at that hearing was marked by an empty chair for Google alongside the Facebook and Twitter executives.Pichai went to Washington later in September to mend fences. He took part last week in a White House meeting with other tech industry executives that focused mainly on getting government and businesses working more closely on accelerating emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence.Marcy Gordon, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Saguaro Resources Ltd well blow-out near Laprise Creek update

first_imgCALGARY, AB – An uncontrolled release of gas occurred at 11:10, September 1st, 2019 at Saguaro Resources Ltd well site located 125km northwest of Fort St. John near Laprise Creek.According to Saguaro Resources Ltd, no personal injuries or equipment were damaged and there is no risk to the public.The location has been isolated with roadblocks to prevent any unauthorized entry to the area. The company has implemented emergency response procedures to protect the public, workers and the environment.The cause of the release is not known yet and there is no estimate of damages shared a spokesperson for Saguaro Resources Ltd.last_img read more

New Pakistan, old gameplan

first_imgThe street smart tactics of the Pakistan army – played out by Prime Minister Imran Khan at its behest – to somehow diffuse the overwhelming pressure of international opinion blaming it for collusion with Islamic militants, are not doing much for it this time. It was an unprecedented setback for Pakistan’s deep state when India got instant support – open or implicit – from the international community for its “preemptive and non-military” strike on the training facility of Jaish-e-Mohammed far inside Pakistan’s territory. Also Read – A special kind of bondWhat has followed is a series of inconsistent responses from Pakistan’s policymakers. The Indian Air Force (IAF) bombing at Balakot – as a declared reprisal by India against the terror attack on CRPF troopers in Pulwama – was viewed with a sense of “understanding” by the entire democratic world, led by the US, as a legitimate operation since it was carried out in the backdrop of calls being made by the world community to Pakistan – over a long period – to stop providing safe havens to terrorists on its soil. Also Read – Insider threat managementSince Pakistan army was trying to pull wool over every body’s eyes by pretending that the Islamic outfits instigating terror across Indo-Pak border in Kashmir and elsewhere were “non-state” actors not in its control, India’s stand that Balakot was not an attack on Pakistan made sense to all, much to the frustration of Pakistan. Pakistan’s references to “escalation” did not cut much ice and even its desperate attempt to use F-16 bombers on a military target on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) on the day following Balakot received a cold snub from all the countries as an unjustified bravado. The focal point of accountability on Pakistan’s ruling dispensation remains on the lack of effective action against the militant outfits operating from within that country. The world opinion has hardened on this issue as the developments in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) with regard to naming Maulana Masood Azhar, the chief of JeM, as an international terrorist amply demonstrated, notwithstanding the fact that China has once again blocked the decision with its veto. Imran Khan in a statement earlier had reiterated that “he pledged not to allow Pakistani soil to be used for terror directed at other countries” which seemed to be a part of the wishy-washy announcements of his government about “restrictions” placed on Jaish and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) front Jamaat-ud-Dawah. Meanwhile, US National Security Advisor John Bolton has called upon Pakistan Foreign Minister once again to ensure “meaningful” action against terrorists who had attacked India. India has to critically assess the impact of US intervention. Imran Khan has – unsurprisingly – used the current situation to encroach on India’s domestic politics by alleging that the Narendra Modi government was engaging in “the politics of hatred” with an eye on the upcoming general elections in India. He openly accused Prime Minister Modi of “dividing people for votes” and went on to state that after Pulwama, hatred was being spread against a community because of which Kashmiris were targeted in many parts of India. Pakistan has been trying to fish in the troubled waters of Indian electoral politics in a manner that creates a convergence between what its leaders propagate and the anti-Modi tirade that the Opposition in India made on the issue of “protection of minorities” here. Pakistan is consciously indulging in the dangerous game of suggesting that there was a sense of identification between Muslims of India and Pakistan and that the minority community here should help to pull down the Modi regime. Imran Khan had stated sometime back that he looked forward to dealing with a new dispensation in India in 2019. Fomenting terrorist violence by exploiting faith-based motivation should be condemned by one and all and the question of who should be given credit for the military operation against the Jaish establishment at Balakot should be debated with political finesse and not political bias. Balakot underscores a strategic response to the serious threat of cross-border terrorism facing India and any critique of the same should be kept free of communal overtones. We should not fail the world community that is seized of this threat at the global level by throwing up internal political divisions on matters of national security. Indian diplomacy is going to run into the challenge – sooner than later – of Pulwama and Balakot events being flagged by other countries as the ground for the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan. China has expectedly taken the lead in recommending talks between the two countries for “long term improvement in bilateral ties.” China, unlike the US and many other major countries, is keen to bail out Pakistan which faced isolation on the issue of Islamic extremism and terror. India has rightly demanded “credible, verifiable and sustained actions” against terror outfits in Pakistan. However, we must be specific about calling for effective punitive action against both Hafiz Sayeed and Masood Azhar for their involvement in the 26/11 and Pulwama attacks, respectively, and make it a condition for a possible resumption of dialogue with Pakistan. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has done well to dare Imran Khan to hand over Masood Azhar to India if he was serious about taking action against terrorists. India has to keep up its alignment with the US, the UK, France, Japan, Australia, Russia, and the Gulf countries on the issue of putting down terrorism. Securing convergence between India, the US and Russia on the future of Afghanistan should also be an important aim of our diplomatic endeavours. The Pakistan army-ISI duo have realised that the line “you give me evidence we will proceed” had this time failed to impress anybody and they are therefore trying to hoodwink the international community by pretending to put curbs – administrative and financial – on the terrorist outfits. They plan to brave through the world pressure and apparently feel convinced that they could continue with their efforts to create political destabilisation in Jammu and Kashmir and keep the pot boiling there. Pakistan knows it cannot take on India in a conventional war but has reasons to believe that it could indulge in its covert offensive on LoC to keep the limelight on the Kashmir issue. India has stronger justification after the Balakot strike to follow an “offence is the best defence” approach in dealing with any ceasefire violations. With the onset of summer, Pakistan would be tempted to step up infiltration of terrorists into the valley – notwithstanding the fact that strong action against separatists and pro-Pak elements would have shrunk the circle of support that Pakistan had enjoyed there so far. For India, there is no looking back on the mission of eliminating the last terrorist gun in Kashmir, neutralising the Pakistan agents there and developing J&K as a democratically governed state that is economically self-sufficient, socio-politically harmonious and viable as a multi-religious entity. (The author is a former Director, Intelligence Bureau. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

SC agrees to hear plea of Cong MP alleging violation of Model Code by PM Modi & BJP chief Amit Shah

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear tomorrow a plea of Congress MP Sushmita Dev alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah have been violating the Model Code of Conduct during their campaigning for Lok Sabha polls. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it would hear the petition of Dev tomorrow. Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Dev, alleged that Modi and Shah have violated the Model Code of Conduct and the Election Commission is not acting on her complaint. Singhvi said four weeks have passed since the Model Code of Conduct was enforced in the country and both the prime minister and Shah have been allegedly violating the code. To this, the bench said it will hear the plea on Tuesday.last_img read more

Pragya calls Godse ”patriot”, apologises later & retracts statement

first_imgBhopal: BJP’s Bhopal Lok Sabha seat candidate and Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur Thursday kicked up a row as she called Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a “patriot”, but apologised for it hours later and withdrew the statement. The BJP distanced itself from her statement saying it did not agree with her, as “Mahatma Gandhi’s killer cannot be a patriot”. This is the second time in a month that Pragya Singh has apologised for a controversial statement made by her. Last month, she had stoked a controversy when she said that IPS officer Hemant Karkare had died during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks as she had “cursed” him for torturing her. She had apologised for the controversial remark later and also retracted that statement. Talking to a news channel in Agar Malwa in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday afternoon, Thakur said, “Nathuram Godse was a ‘deshbhakt’ (patriot), he is and will remain a ‘deshbhakt’. Those calling him a terrorist should instead look at themselves. They will be given a befitting reply in this election.” She said this in response to a question over actor- turned politician Kamal Haasan’s remark that free India’s first terrorist was a Hindu”, a reference to Nathuram Godse. Pragya Singh was in Agar Malwa to take part in a road-show of Mahendra Solanki, BJP’s candidate from Dewas Lok Sabha seat. Hours later, her spokesperson and BJP leader Dr Hitesh Bajpai said that she has apologised for her remark. “Pragyaji has apologised for her statement,” Bajpai told PTI. When asked whether she has apologised to the state BJP president, Rakesh Singh, Bajpai said, “That is not an issue, but she has apologised and took back her statement.” The Madhya Pradesh BJP distanced itself from her statement. “BJP does not agree with her statement. The party will talk to her under what circumstances she gave the statement. One who killed Mahatma Gandhi can’t be a deshbhakt,” state BJP media cell in-charge Lokendra Parashar said. Condemning her statement, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said in Ujjain that praising Godse was not patriotism, but an “anti-national” act. He also demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah over her remarks. “Narendra Modi ji, Amit Shah ji and BJP leaders from Madhya Pradesh should apologise to the country. I condemn the words used against the Father of the Nation. Nathuram Godse was a killer and eulogising him is not patriotism, but an anti-national act,” the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister told reporters in Ujjain. Kamal Haasan, while addressing an election campaign rally at Aravakurichi (Tamil Nadu) on May 12, had said, “I am not saying this because this is a Muslim-dominated area, but I am saying this before a statue of Gandhi. Free India’s first terrorist was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse. There it (terrorism, apparently) starts.”last_img read more

FM to chair Arab delegation in Forum on Chinese-Arab cooperation

Rabat – Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar will take part, on June 4-5 in Beijing, in the Forum on Chinese-Arab Cooperation to be held under the theme “Establishing a Silk Road Economic Belt and Strengthening Chinese-Arab Joint Development.”Mezouar will deliver a speech on behalf of Morocco, during the Forum, and another speech in his capacity as President of the 141st session of the Council of the Arab League at the level of Foreign Ministers.He will also chair a coordination meeting of Arab foreign ministers and the second working session of the Chinese-Arab Forum, on behalf of the Arab delegation. On the sidelines of the Forum, Mezouar will meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of China. read more

Tunisian woman allegedly burned pages of Quran with cigarette

Taroudant, Morocco – A Tunisian woman based in Paris has received a massive flood of accusations because she has allegedly “burned a page of the Quran with her cigarette.”The Tunisian website Bouyafar published photos of a woman who desecrated the pages of Holy Quran by her cigarette.The same source said that Khadija Ben Ayed, a Tunisian living in Paris, burned and desecrated the Quran and posted the photos on her Facebook wall. However, the Moroccan French website Telquel said that “these photos that circulated for a while on Facebook do not belong to the Tunisian question in question.“These are screenshots taken from a video posted on YouTube in 2012 of a completely different person, speaking in English, and affiliated with an Islamophobic forum,” the same source said. read more

Moroccan & French Business Leaders Open High Level Meeting in Paris

Paris – A high level meeting bringing together Moroccan and French business leaders opened on Thursday in Paris.Held on the sidelines of the 12th Moroccan-French high level meeting under the theme: “France-Morocco: new realities, new cooperation”, the event is jointly organised by the federation of Morocco’s employers (CGEM) and the French entrepreneur network MEDEF.The event was opened by the President of the CGEM, Miriem Bensalah Chaqroun and the President of the MEDEF Pierre Gattaz with the attendance of representatives from 300 leading Moroccan and French enterprises. The event will offer a venue to discuss issues of mutual interest notably Morocco’s 2020 strategy to boost industry, Moroccan-French partnerships in Africa and bilateral French-Moroccan cooperation. read more

FIFA secretary Jerome Valcke Suspended Amid Corruption Investigation

Rabat – FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has been put on immediate leave and relieved from his duties until further notice. The top FIFA official will be investigated for allegations of corruption involving a scheme to sell World Cup tickets above face value.FIFA, football’s world governing body, said Thursday in a statement that it had been “made aware of a series of allegations involving the secretary general and has requested a formal investigation by the FIFA Ethics Committee.” Valcke, 54, who has served as FIFA secretary general since 2007, has denied the “fabricated, outrageous” allegations.FIFA has been plagued by claims of corruption since May, when Swiss police arrested seven of its top executives at a hotel in Zurich. President Sepp Blatter also announced that he would step down days after winning re-election in June.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

Stabbing at Japanese Care Facility Leaves 19 Dead

By Lauren MorganRabat – “It is better that disabled people disappear” claims man armed with knives after attacking care center outside Tokyo.The man who carried out the knife attack at a care facility in Sagamihara, south Tokyo, claimed he that he wanted to kill disabled people, leaving 19 dead and 26 others injured at the latest. Terror-stricken staff at the care facility rang police after the suspect launched his attack, reported to be Satoshi Uematsu. Nine women and ten men were murdered between the ages of 18 to 70, the fire department stated.Police said that after the attack Uematsu drove to the Tsukui police station nearby and turned himself in. He was said to have stated “I did it” and “It is better that disabled people disappear”. Whilst handing himself in he was said to have been carrying a bag full of bloodstained knives and other sharp weapons.NTV stated that Uetmatsu managed to force his was into the care facility by using a hammer to smash one of the windows. Police are yet to establish the background motive for the attack however the suspect was reportedly “involuntarily admitted” to hospital earlier on in the year for under two weeks after claiming that he would kill disabled people. He was released from hospital on 2nd March.A police spokesman states that they are “still confirming details of the case.Mass murders are a comparatively rare occurrence in Japan as it is considered as one of the safest countries in the world with very few deadly attacks. read more

France, Morocco, Monaco Launch International Conference on Oceans

Marrakech – France will launch with Morocco and Monaco an international conference on the oceans in January 2017 to reflect on ways to enhance and protect the Mediterranean, announced Thursday in Marrakech French Environment Minister, Segolene Royal.“We are launching with Morocco and Monaco an international conference on the ocean at the beginning of next year”, an initiative that meets the expectations of the Mediterranean countries in this matter, said Royal at a press conference as part of her participation in the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22).To prepare for this high-level meeting, the three countries will bring together researchers from around the Mediterranean to look at the future of the Mediterranean, one of the most important areas of urban concentration on the planet and the most affected by climate disturbances. Royal also praised the progress made on the issue of the ocean during the COP22.With MAP read more

Mark Zuckerberg Reveals Plan to Combat Fake News

By Beryl KessioRabat – At an Asia-Pacific trade summit in Peru this Saturday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg encouraged world leaders to use technology to improve global living standards. He also announced his company’s plans to curb the proliferation of fake news stories on the social network after some critics suggested the stories could have influenced the U.S. presidential election results.The seven-point plan laid out by Zuckerberg maps out Facebook’s goals to combat false stories. These measures include developing new tools to detect “misinformation”, making it easier for the social network’s users to report phony journalism and even alerting readers to potentially fake stories. Zuckerberg made sure to stress that Facebook employees were not trying to be “arbiters of truth,” but instead they would mostly rely on outside moderators to screen content.“We believe in giving people a voice, which means erring on the side of letting people share what they want whenever possible,” Zuckerberg said in a post published on the site on Friday night. “We need to be careful not to discourage sharing of opinions or to mistakenly restrict accurate content.”The company said on Monday that it would amend its advertising policy to say they no longer will display ads for sites that publish information that is “illegal, misleading or deceptive, which includes fake news.” This comes after a similar decision by Google, which acknowledged that it had allowed a false story to be on its list of recommended news articles.“The bottom line is: we take misinformation seriously,” the Facebook CEO said in his post. “Our goal is to connect people with the stories they find most meaningful, and we know people want accurate information.”The seven-point plan Zuckerberg presented didn’t get into specifics, but are, as follows:Stronger detection: including implementing new technology to sniff out false infoEasy reporting: for users who spot fake newsThird party verification: from recognized fact-checking organizationsWarnings: which would alert readers to articles that have been flagged as potentially fakeRelated articles quality: setting a higher bar for related links that appear below articlesDisrupting fake news economics: including better “ad farm detection”Listening: working with journalists for input and fact-checking systems. read more

Chabat Suspends Baddou, Ghellab and Hjira from Istiqlal Party

Rabat – Taoufik Hjira, Karim Ghellab and Yasmina Baddou have been suspended for 18 months by the Disciplinary Committee of the Istiqlal Party (IP) on February 9.Taoufik Hjira, president of the National Council of Istiqlal, and two members of the party’s executive committee, Karim Ghellab and Yasmina Baddou, were suspended for 18 months.Charges against the three included “violation of party regulations, nuisance to its interests and a lack of discipline,” explained a communiqué released by the IP. The three members of the executive committee were criticized for having spoken against the Secretary General of the party, Hamid Chabat, following his controversial statement on Mauritania, claiming that it is part of Moroccan territory.The three members were given a mandatory opportunity by the disciplinary committee to defend themselves before any decision to sanction them could be made. The hearing was held on January 24 and 25.Ghellab and Hejira did not attend the hearing. Only Baddou responded and was heard by members of the committee last Wednesday. read more