Momoas plane makes emergency landing

first_imgLos Angeles: Aquaman sta4r Jason Momoa was forced to make an emergency landing in Palm Springs, California, when the pilot of his private jet suspected an engine fire. Momoa shared the incident on his Instagram story, reported “We got ourselves a slight delay. Half-hour out, Palm Springs, and the plane wanted to start a fire. So, yeah, good old fire department, gotta love ’em. Looks like we’re driving,” he said in a video. Momoa showed off the crew from the Palm Springs Fire Department who came out to inspect the plane and address the incident. Also Read – Rihanna to release 500-page ‘visual’ autobiographyThe department also shared the encounter on its social media pages, posting a photo of an engineer alongside the ‘Game of Thrones’ actor. “Had an Aircraft emergency today,” the caption said. “Reported engine fire with @prideofgypsies (Momoa) on board. ARFF Engineer Andy Meza told his crew, ‘Not on my watch boys…not on my watch’. Turned out to be a false alarm but the ARFF Lads were on the ready. It’s always nice to meet cool people,” the actor posted. The Aquaman actor quickly found another jet, joking that a friend came to pick him up and they were headed out for “round 2.”last_img read more

JB Tamang gets police custody for a day

first_imgKolkata: JB Tamang, president, Himalayan Plantation Workers’ Union (HPWU), which is affiliated to the GNLF, was produced at the Additional Chief Judicial Court in Kurseong onThursday. Tamang has been remanded to police custody for a day in a case under the Mirik police station. Tamang had been implicated in a case under the Naxalbari Police Station and arrested on Sunday. He had been produced at the Siliguri ACJM court from where he was granted a bail. However, as soon as he stepped out he was re-arrested in a case under the Mirik police station. Tamang was produced at the ACJM Court in Kurseong on Monday where he had fallen ill and admitted to the hospital. He has been charged under Sections 143/ 341/186/353/506/120 (B) of the Indian Penal Code in a case under the Mirik Police Station. “The police had appealed for 7 days of remand. The ACJM allowed a single day of police remand. He will be produced again on Friday. Bail hearing will also take place then,” said Bharat Giri, defence lawyer of JB Tamang.last_img read more

Delhis Iyer Rabada hand RCB their sixth loss in IPL

first_imgBengaluru: There was no end to Royal Challengers Bangalore’s woeful run this IPL as the Virat Kohli-led side suffered its sixth straight defeat while Delhi Capitals played like a unit to win by four wickets, here Sunday. RCB batsmen found the going tough on a tough wicket after being invited to bat first and could only manage 149 for 8 in the stipulated 20 overs. With the ball not coming on to the bat, Kohli scored almost a-run-a-ball before hitting two sixes late in his innings, consuming 33 balls for his 41. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhHad it not been for Kohli and Moeen Ali’s contributions, RCB would have been in deep trouble. Ali hit a 18-ball 32. South Africa paceman Kagiso Rabada (4/21) accounted for four RCB batsmen to lead Delhi’s bowling attack, which also comprised Chris Morris (2/28), Axar Patel (1/22) and Sandeep Lamichhane (1/46). Shreyas Iyer then played a captain’s knock, making a 50-ball 67 to guide Delhi Capitals to a comfortable win, bringing their IPL campaign back on track. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterIyer anchored the chase with some crucial partnerships as Delhi overhauled the target with 10 balls to spare. Iyer smashed eight fours and two sixes in his 50-ball innings which helped Delhi grab the fifth place in the points table, snapping a two-match losing streak where they lost to Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the last two games. Chasing 150 to win, Iyer forged a 68-run partnership with opener Prithvi Shaw (28) after Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed by Tim Southee in the third ball of the innings. In the 9th over, Pawan Negi removed Shaw after the batsman top-edged a delivery and was caught at deep square leg by Akshdeep Nath. Iyer then shared 39 runs with Colin Ingram (22), who blasted two fours and a six in his 21-ball stay before being trapped by Moeen Ali in the 14th over while trying to play a shot over the leg side. Rishabh Pant came out with intent, blasting a couple of fours, while Iyer too smashed a six off Yuzvendra Chahal in the 17th over but the skipper miscued a pull off Navdeep Saini and was caught at short cover by Chahal. With just five runs needed, Delhi survived some anxious moment after losing Chris Morris (0) and Pant — both trying to clear the in-field and perishing in the process. Axar Patel then smashed a four to take Delhi home. Earlier, Kohli played an uncharacteristic sedate knock. Ishant Sharma was economical upfront, while Chris Morris was a bit expensive though he sent back Parthiv Patel (9), who slogged hard at a widish delivery and found Sandeep Lamichhane on the boundary ropes. Young Rabada was introduced to bowl the last over in Powerpay and he got his national teammate AB de Villiers (17). Kohli was still there but the runs came only in one and twos. In nine overs, RCB scored just 53. Marcus Stoinis hit only second six of the innings by lofting one from Lamichhane over long-on. Stoinis went after Axar Patel too but ended up giving a catch to Rahul Tewatiya. England all-rounder Ali came to the crease and suddenly batting looked easy. He pulled and drove with ease. Ali spoilt Ishant’s figures, hitting him for a six and a four and also dispatched one from Lamichhane to long-off.last_img read more

As PM Modi will be best remembered for moblynchings Owais

first_imgHyderabad: All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be best remembered for mob-lynching incidents during his tenure. Referring to reports of a man being thrashed by a mob for allegedly selling beef in Assam, Owaisi said …These incidents will haunt Modi in his entire life that being a Prime Minister he was unable to stop such incidents. He described the reported incident as ‘horrible’ and the 68-year old man was beaten because he was selling beef. “…he has been in the trade for the past 35 years. Then he is forced to eat pork. These ‘bafoons’…they are not fit to be called human beings…they are animals”, the Hyderabad Lok Sabha member charged during a ‘Meet The Press’ here. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”Mr Narendra Modi’s legacy…the top most thing he would be remembered for is during his tenure as Prime Minister of this great country and it is because of him being in power mob-lynching happened and such incidents increased”, he said. He claimed the people who indulged in mob-lynchings were all Modi’s supporters, and “they have got emboldened because they know that they have a Prime Minister who supports their ideology”. “Love jihad’, ‘ghar-wapsi’, mob-lynching and ‘cow’ happened after Modi became Prime Minister in 2014”, Owaisi, who is seeking re-elecction from Hyderabad in the April 11 first phase Lok Sabha elections, alleged.last_img read more

Why funds collected for construction workers not used to pay their wages

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court Thursday asked the Centre and the AAP government why the funds collected for welfare of construction workers are not used to pay daily wages to them every time construction activities are banned in the city. A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani said thousands of crores are collected as cess from builders and consumers for welfare of employees, but the governments are “not giving a penny” to the labourers. “You (governments) stop or ban construction activity and the labourers are left without work. You have collected thousands of crores as building cess, but you don’t give a penny out of it to the labourers who are starving,” it said. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”Why should the state and the central government be not fastened with the liability? What are you doing with all that money? Both the central government and the government of National Capital Territory of Delhi have to answer,” the bench said. Besides, the court also asked the Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Welfare Board why funds collected under the BOCW (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996, and the BOCW Welfare Cess Act, 1996, cannot be used to pay the labourers who are deprived of their daily wages when construction activity is stopped on government or court directions. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe Central Pollution Control Board and the Environment Protection (Prevention and Control) Authority for Delhi-NCR have also been asked to indicate their stand on the matter. With the direction, the court listed the matter for further hearing on August 6. The court’s order came after the BOCW Board told the bench it cannot provide any relief to unregistered workers from the funds collected as it is not provided under the statute. The board also said the statutes did not provide for paying daily wages to idle workers. The bench was hearing a PIL filed by labour welfare activist Saurabh Bhatnagar through advocates Chirayu Jain and Rudrakshi Deo. The petition sought framing of welfare schemes or policy to provide financial security in the form of daily wages, at minimum wage rates, to all the construction workers in Delhi when construction activities are banned/halted/limited by the authorities. It also sought that any such ban/halt/limitation on construction activities in Delhi be not permitted “till a policy to provide financial security to all the construction workers is not only adopted, but is also tested and is ready to be implemented”. The plea claimed that from November 1 to November 12 last year, when construction activities across NCR were banned due to increased air pollution, lakhs of workers were left without any alternate source of livelihood or financial security. read more

Three Indians join Manika in womens singles main draw of ITTF World

first_imgNew Delhi: Three Indian women paddlers on Monday qualified for the main draw of ITTF World Championships on the second day of the competition at Budapest. Suthirta Mukherjee, Madhurika Patkar and Archana Kamath have joined Manika Batra in the main draw of women’s singles, while Anthony Amalraj and Manav Thakkar are just a match away from making the cut in the men’s singles. Having won their first-round women’s singles group matches on the opening day on Sunday, Madhurika defeated Catherine Spicer of Trinidad and Tobago 11-3 11-8 11-3 11-6, while Suthirta beat Rachel Moret of Switzerland 14-12 12-10 11-8 11-9 and Archana overcame Slovak’s Eva Odorova 4-11 8-11 11-9 11-5 11-6 11-5 to top their respective groups. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhArchana, who had a tough opening match yesterday, where she struggled to beat Ivana Petric of Montenegro 11-8 8-11 11-7 11-5 11-5, on Monday also she was 0-2 down before she managed to get the better of her Slovak opponent to win the last four games. On the other hand, it was rather easy for Madhurika, who beat Latvia’s Sabina Musajeva 11-4 11-4 9-11 11-4 11-7 in the opening match. Suthirtha prevailed over Celia Baah Danso of Ghana 11-4 11-5 11-1 11-8 in her first group match. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterManika, because of her world rankings, was one of the top 64 women paddlers who had received direct entry into the second stage. In men’s singles qualification rounds, Amalraj and Manav had topped their respective groups but will have to play their preliminary round to make the main draw, where they could join G Sathiyan and A Sharath Kamal. After accounting for Poland’s Patryk Chojnowski 11-8 11-9 5-11 6-11 11-5 11-6 yesterday in the first group match, Manav defeated Nicholas Tio of the US 11-6 11-9 13-11 12-14 11-3 today to secure the top place in the group.last_img read more

Kejriwal selling false dreams BJP on AAP manifesto

first_imgNew Delhi: Responding to Aam Aadmi Party’s manifesto release, BJP National Vice-President Shyam Jaju held a press conference on Thursday with Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta, saying that the party chief Arvind Kejriwal is a merchant of dreams who sells new dreams every day.Slamming the AAP manifesto Jaju said that it was nothing but a bundle of false promises. “They seemed to have the full-statehood issue just to cover up for their mistakes in the last four years,” Also Read – Arms supplier arested from Rajasthanhe said. Moreover, Jaju said that Delhi does not need full statehood for basic services and amenities to be provided for its citizens. He said that Kejriwal has completely failed in running the system and hence he is misleading the voters by making false promises. LoP Gupta said that for full statehood to become a reality, it needs to pass through the lower house by a two-thirds majority, which is not possible for AAP to achieve. “Hence, it seems absurd for him to make such promises to the electorate,” he said. Further attacking the opposition, Gupta said that the manifesto is just an excuse for the party to hide its incapability in the last four years. He said that AAP failed to fulfill promises it made in 2015 and it will just keep repeating this throughout.last_img read more

Have no idea how Kim Jong Un got his limos Daimler

first_imgTokyo: German automaker Daimler, which makes armored limousines used by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, says it has no idea where he got them and has no business dealings with the North. Kim has raised eyebrows by using Daimler-branded stretch limousines at several very high-profile summits, including his meeting this week with Russian President Vladimir Putin and both of his earlier summits with President Donald Trump. The sale of luxury goods, including limousines, is banned under UN sanctions intended to put pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalKim nevertheless had two limos waiting for him at Vladivostok station a Mercedes Maybach S600 Pullman Guard and a Mercedes Maybach S62. He is believed to have also used the S600 Pullman Guard for his summits with Trump in Singapore in June last year and in Hanoi in February. “We have absolutely no idea how those vehicles were delivered to North Korea,” Daimler spokeswoman Silke Mockert said in a written response to an Associated Press report Wednesday on the limousines. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost”For Daimler, the correct export of products in conformance with the law is a fundamental principle of responsible entrepreneurial activity.” Daimler, based in Stuttgart, Germany, is one of the world’s biggest and more prestigious automobile companies. It is one of the biggest providers of high-end passenger cars and the world’s largest producer of trucks above 6 tons. On its home page, the multinational giant boasts of selling vehicles and services in nearly all the countries of the world and of having production facilities in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa. North Korea, however, isn’t one of its official customers. “Our company has had no business connections with North Korea for far more than 15 years now and strictly complies with EU and US embargoes,” she said. “To prevent deliveries to North Korea and to any of its embassies worldwide, Daimler has implemented a comprehensive export control process. Sales of vehicles by third parties, especially of used vehicles, are beyond our control and responsibility.” Kim’s ability to procure the limousines anyway is a good example of how porous the international sanctions tend to be. According to Daimler, the Mercedes-Benz Pullman limousines offer their passengers “a superbly appointed setting for discreet meetings.” The version used by Kim is believed to be equipped with all the key communications and entertainment systems so that, according to a company description of the car, its occupants can remain “fully in touch with the rest of the world while enjoying the luxury and comfort of their own very special place in it.”last_img read more

How Moroccan Health System Killed My Father

Rabat – My recent experience with the tragic death of my father has enlightened me on the subject of the many Moroccan health issues that I had formerly only heard of, but with which I had no personal experience. These highly problematic issues range from ambulance delays to unsterilized emergency rooms (within even the most urban areas in Morocco), the lack of competent doctors to disorganized medical staff as well as emotionally inept security agents. Overall, the Moroccan health system is unwell and is in need of care just as urgent as my father before he died.When my father was at death’s door, we had to wait a very painful hour for an ambulance even though my house is a mere fifteen minutes by bike to the hospital. In East England an ambulance held up for fifteen minutes is considered late, but in Rabat waiting an hour is standard, particularly if there is no serious injury. This inefficiency may be to blame in terms of many patients; untimely death. To make matters worse, once my relatives and I arrived at Ibn Sina Hospital in Rabat, there was another two hour wait for my father’s basic medical examination and the necessary tests specific to his case, a brain scan and CAT scan. Why were my father’s critical three hours wasted while his brain hemorrhage diagnosis could have been announced in just twenty minutes according to specialists? When I asked the reason, a doctor in training, not even a certified doctor, replied “we have to wait for a doctor to show up, an available hospital bed, and an oxygen tank. Please take a seat and if you see an empty hospital bed inform us.”In addition to my father’s untimely death, a recent video of a pregnant woman delivering on the floor of a Moroccan hospital in Casablanca further unveils the inferiority of health care in Morocco. Despite many attempts from Mr. ELhoussaine Louardi, Minister of Health in Morocco, to reform the health system it still suffers from serious logistical problems.  Specifically, emergency rooms appear to be packed, and medical staff stockpile patients in hospital beds in the waiting room near outpatients.A Moroccan man of 55 years waiting outside the hospital for a sick relative said, “security agents treat us as if we are some kind of sheep that must be gathered outside with no respect or consideration for our feelings.” In fact, security agents in Ibn Sina Hospital push patients’ family members outside of the building instead of allowing them to sit in the waiting rooms. Psychologically speaking, the Moroccan Health Ministry must collaborate with the security companies to train agents to recognize the psychological crisis that patients’ family members endure in hospitals and handle it appropriately.Although the Moroccan government spends an estimated figure of $5 billion a year on health care, recent studies conducted by World Health Organization ranked Morocco  an embarrassing 103rd on healthy life expectancy while Tunisia ranked 59th. According to the New York Times, World Bank data published last year showed that Moroccan public health spending accounted for 6.5 percent of all public spending compared with 6.2 percent in Tunisia.  Breaking this down into annual spending per person, in Morocco it is $147, higher in Algeria at $186 and even higher in Tunisia at $246. Critics of health care systems explain that the lack of management skills represent a major obstacle for the improvement of the health care system.The bottom line is that health care itself is sick in Morocco. We do not have courageous and honest ministers who pledge to heal it or resign their posts because of embarrassingly poor performances during their office. It seems clear that those who are responsible for our safety in the Ministry of Health can be said to have blood on their hands.The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

James Bond Marrakech Villa On Sale for £32 million

Rabat – A Marrakech villa used for the shooting of some scenes from Spectre, the latest James Bond film to be released on November, is on sale for a whopping £3.2 million, according to the Telegraph. Dar Bianca is a metal and glass villa built nine years ago by its French owners with the assistance of Algerian architect Imad Rhamouni, a protégé of French designer Philippe Starck.The villa appears in Spectre, a new James Bond film featuring Daniel Craig in his fourth performance as agent 007, and Christoph Waltz as Franz Oberhauser, the film’s antagonist. Following a trail from Mexico to Italy, Austria and Morocco, the story features James Bond’s first encounter with the global criminal agency known as SPECTRE.A cryptic message from the past will lead agent 007 to Mexico and Italy, where he meets the beautiful widow (Monica Bellucci) of an infamous criminal. Directed by Sam Mendes, the film is due to make its worldwide release on November 6, 2015.According to the Telegraph, another Marrakech villa was used this time by the crew of Mission Impossible 5 for some scenes in the summer blockbuster. The minimalist villa is on sale for €3.5 million through Kensington Morocco, a Real Estate agent.“It’s a very modern property with a stunning location overlooking the mountains. Despite its modern, cubic look, it also adheres to Berber traditions of architecture as it’s built from pisé or rammed earth,” says Kensington’s managing director Marc Leon.International figures with deep pockets are being attracted to Marrakech as they regard it as a safe haven, says the British newspaper. According to Alex Peto, head of Aylesford Morocco, which specializes in prime residential property throughout the world, last year’s highest ticket sale in Marrakech was a €100m palace reportedly bought by the Emir of Qatar.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

Morocco Provides Emergency Aid to SubSaharans Expelled From Algeria to Niger

Rabat – Morocco will provide emergency assistance to Sub-Saharan immigrants who were expelled to from Algeria to Niger, Moroccan authorities said on Thursday.In conformity with the instructions of King Mohammed VI and following the migration and humanitarian crisis due to the massive expulsion of Sub-Saharans to Niger, Morocco will send an emergency aid to those expelled who are in a situation of extreme precariousness at a center located in the north of Niger.The aid will be provided by the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity, the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation (AMCI) and the Interior Ministry. The aid, which is part of Morocco’s active solidarity with the countries and peoples of the continent, will include basic foodstuff, blankets and tents.It also aims to help the brotherly country of Niger to face an exceptional situation that could have dramatic implications.Morocco will provide a total of 116 tons of aid. read more

Long lines to buy meat illustrate Irans economic woes

TEHRAN, Iran — In the frigid air of a Tehran winter, a mother of two stands in a long line of shoppers waiting for the chance to buy discounted meat at a store supported by Iran’s government.“Yesterday, after nearly two hours in the line, the shopkeeper said: ‘It is finished, try another day,’” Zahra Akrami said recently. “And now I am here again.”Her struggle represents the economic paradox that faces Iran as it marks the 40th anniversary of its Islamic Revolution.Despite holding some of the world’s largest proven deposits of oil and natural gas, Iran has seen a return to long lines for food — a sight once seen during the 1980s, when it was at war with Iraq. Inflation continues to rise as its currency, the rial, depreciates. University graduates are unable to find jobs.Part of the economic challenges stem from the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions that had been lifted under the nuclear deal Iran struck with world powers. Those sanctions have returned after President Donald Trump decided to pull America out of the accord.But other problems persist, some dating back to policies instituted after the Islamic Revolution in 1979.That revolt wouldn’t have been possible without impoverished Iranians rising up against Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. His land reforms saw poorer rural residents move to the cities and become fresh recruits for the revolution. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s calls for supporting the poor struck a populist tone among the struggling masses, as well as with the leftists who helped overthrow a regime that spent billions on U.S. weapons.Immediately after the revolution, Iran nationalized its oil industry, its main source of hard currency. Its new leaders also seized industries tied to the shah or companies of those who fled the country. Shiite charitable trusts, known as bonyads, also amassed vast holdings, as has Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.Today, economists consider Iran’s a “transition” economy, meaning it is shifting from state control to being driven by a free market. However, some firms that moved into private ownership have seen the businesses collapse, leaving workers without pensions and fueling some sporadic protests.“No week comes to an end without the closure of 10 to 50 companies,” said Masoud Khansari, the head of Tehran’s Chamber of Commerce. “Last year, 800 out of 1,500 contractor companies in the oil sector collapsed.”Iran’s oil industry never fully recovered from a strike that paralyzed it before the shah’s departure. Prior to the revolution, Iran pumped about 6 million barrels of oil a day. In January, it pumped 2.7 million.There are bright spots. Iran’s per capita income has more than doubled since the revolution to $4,838 in 2018. Iran has more than 100,000 locally trained doctors and 18,000 medical centres, and it produces 95 per cent of its own medicine, according to government statistics. Life expectancy is around 75, as opposed to about 57 before the revolution. Nearly every Iranian can read.But for the average person, the only numbers they really care about are those at the cash register at neighbourhood grocery stores.“Unfortunately, high prices have become crippling for people,” lawmaker Mohammad Reza Sabaghian said. “Some goods have seen up to a 200 per cent increase in prices.”Staples like meat have grown more expensive. Lamb has reached to nearly $5 a pound, up from $3. Chicken is 70 cents a pound, up from 40 cents.Analysts suspect part of the problem may be the U.S. sanctions. As the rial falls, livestock breeders likely want the hard currency they can get selling the meat in neighbouring countries. Iran produces nearly 90 per cent of its domestic demand for meat, but it imports related items like medicine and corn.The meat crisis has become a cudgel for government hard-liners who are eager to weaken the administration of President Hassan Rouhani, a relatively moderate cleric within the theocracy. State television repeatedly broadcasts stories about long lines at government-subsidized grocery stores, with those waiting criticizing Rouhani’s administration.“The bones of the people are shattering under pressure of poverty,” said Kazem Sedighi, an adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.In a dig at Rouhani, Sedighi added: “Economic problems exist, but some officials are careless about the problems.”Part of Rouhani’s problem is Washington and the sanctions it restored in November. Germany, France and Britain, which have worked to preserve the nuclear deal, announced earlier this month that they have established a new system so their companies can continue trading with Iran without incurring U.S. penalties for doing so.However, that system has yet to come into effect, and the strains on Iran are clear. Efforts to import government-subsidized meat from abroad through the military saw a cargo plane crash in January, killing 15 people.Yet the lines at stores continue daily.“Every day, the radio and TV are reporting about the trial of those officials who took public funds for themselves, but there’s no change in our life,” said Assad Azari, a 63-year-old retired teacher and father of three waiting in line. “We poor people shouldn’t have to wait hours for two kilos (4.4 pounds) of budget meat.”Nasser Karimi, The Associated Press read more

King Mohammed VI Saudi Prince Discuss MoroccoSaudi Bilateral Bonds

Rabat – King Mohammed VI received Saudi prince and Minister of the Interior Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz on Wednesday in Rabat. According to Saudi state news agency SPA, the Saudi prince conveyed to the Moroccan monarch the greetings of King Salman and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.During the meeting at the Royal Palace of Rabat, the King and Saudi prince discussed Saudi-Moroccan relations. The Saudi prince also met Morocco’s Minister of Interior Abdelouafi Laftit when he arrived in Rabat Tuesday.The prince’s visit follows a message by King Mohammed VI congratulating Saudi Arabia on its 88th National Day in September.In August, the monarch invited Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to visit Morocco. The invitation was conveyed through the Moroccan Hajj delegation in Mecca.King Salman also sent his greetings and esteem to the King and the Moroccan people, emphasizing the ties of “fraternity linking the two royal families and the solidity of historical relations between the two peoples.”??? ?????? ?????? ??? #????_????????.— ??? (@spagov) October 10, 2018 read more

Moroccos Letitcluck Hashtag Calls for Boycott of Chicken

Rabat- In Morocco, whole unplucked chickens usually cost no more than MAD 16 per kilo in souks or from chicken vendors. Sometimes prices will drop to MAD 11 or MAD 10 per kilogram. Cleaned whole chickens usually cost MAD 28 to MAD 30 per kilogram in both souks and supermarkets.Lately, chicken prices at regular souks and chicken vendors reached MAD 25 per kilogram, prompting Moroccans to launch the “Let_it_cluck” hashtag to express discontent with the new prices which many considered “over the top.” Moroccans have been wondering why chicken prices have risen.According to a communique by Morocco’s Interprofessional Poultry Federation (FISA), the truck drivers’ strike that started across the country in October crippled transportation, affecting the poultry sector. Many trucks transporting poultry to souks throughout Morocco were unable to operate because of strikers stopping the trucks and threatening to use violence if necessary. Often, the poultry transports were forced to return to villages and poultry farms without transporting the goods.Read Also: Morocco, Canada to Improve Bilateral Cooperation on AeronauticsFISA had already foreseen and warned of “a significant rise in prices” in October following the transportation problems. The strike also led to an increase in vegetables, fruits, and fish prices.The truck drivers led strikes against the Ministry of Equipment, Transport, Logistics, and Water’s decision to require drivers take training costing MAD 4,000- 8,000, which they considered too expensive.Social media activism and boycott campaignsFollowing the major boycott against high prices which sprouted online on April 20 targeting three leading companies in Morocco—Sidi Ali (mineral water), Centrale Danone (dairy products), and Afriquia (gasoline)—Moroccans entered a new era of activism.The boycott caused major economic losses for the targeted companies in its early days. Other less resonant calls for boycott came in summer against the high prices of fish. read more

French PM Meets Yellow Vest Protesters Officials After Weekend of Chaos

Rabat – French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe met with French political officials on Monday to discuss the continuing Yellow Vest protests.Philippe gathered members of the French administration to develop a solution to the current unrest in France. Philippe even cancelled a planned appearance at the COP24 climate change summit in Poland to call the meeting, according to France 24. After returning from the G20 summit in Argentina, President Macron also held a talk with the prime minister, along with the interior minister and security officials. Both branches of the legislative body of France will also address the issue. The National Assembly plans to discuss the protests during its session on Wednesday, and the Senate will do the same on Thursday.Various government officials addressed the public over the weekend, and Macron spoke at the Arc de Triomphe calling for calm. The finance minister also made promises to decrease government spending to end the unrest.Read also: French Officials Respond to Second Weekend Of ‘Yellow Vest’ ProtestsSeveral people were injured during the violent protests over the weekend. Officials reported 263 people were injured due to the rioting, 133 of those injuries happening in Paris. The French police also reported that they took 412 people into custody during the weekend, with 378 still in jail as of today. Three people have died in the protests since they started, , mostly due to traffic accidents as a result of the protests. Protestors burned cars along streets and vandalized buildings, scrawling graffiti on buildings and monuments throughout the capital.At the height of protests on November 17, protest numbers reached 282,000 people, but  have since decreased. However, the government claims protesters continue to damage property and use violence due to people purposely inciting violence.Macron faces a dilemma with the Yellow Vest protests. Originally campaigning as a “Man of the People,” he is being forced to quell a grassroots movement. His approval ratings fell after he introduced several tax cuts for the wealthy and businesses and increased taxes on fuel. The middle and lower class in France interpreted the policies as a betrayal of them for the benefit of the rich.As a result, Macron now faces the largest French civil unrest in 50 years with no clear way out. read more

Morocco Produces 66 Billion Eggs Annually Consumes 185 Per Person

Rabat – Morocco produced 6.6 billion eggs in 2018, 5.8 billion of which were produced in the formal sector, the National Association of Egg Producers (ANPO) has announced in Casablanca.The average egg consumption per person per year, according to ANPO Vice President Abdellatif Ezzaim, significantly increased between 2010 and 2018, from 138 to 185 eggs. However, the consumption level remains very low compared to global figures.Morocco produced sufficient eggs for the Moroccan market’s demand, creating a surplus to be exported to other African countries, Ezzaim said Tuesday at a press briefing on National Egg Day. In April last year, Ukraine’s state food service announced that the Moroccan government gave the green light to open the Moroccan market to Ukrainian chicken and meat.Read Also: Morocco to Import Eggs From UkraineAlthough local production met Morocco’s demand for eggs, in December, the two countries agreed on a veterinary certificate to  allow Morocco to import egg products from Ukraine.Morocco observed the 11th National Egg Day under the theme “the Importance of the Egg in the Diet” this year. The objective, explained Ezzaim, is to encourage people to consume eggs by increasing consumers’ awareness of the benefits of eggs as a nutritious and balanced daily food. Egg Day also sought to counter misconceptions about egg consumption.Ezzaim added that the egg production sector has received an estimated cumulative investment of MAD 3.4 billion, and annual revenue in the sector is MAD 8.6 billion.Read Also: Morocco Produces 5.5 Billion Eggs, Consumes 180 Per CapitaThe vice president of ANPO pointed out that the egg sector employs 23,000 people directly and nearly 34,000 people indirectly in marketing and distribution channels.Morocco has 3 approved hatcheries producing 15 million chicks, 252 farms authorized to rear laying hens, 5 approved packaging centers, and 3 egg processing units, according to 2016 statistics.ANPO is a professional non-profit organization founded in 1995. It is a founding member of Morocco’s Interprofessional Federation of the Poultry Sector (FISA). ANPO’s purpose is to show the economic benefits of the egg sector and to study measures to improve the sector’s organization, its distribution, marketing methods, and adaptations to the market’s demands. read more

Polisario Ambassador Thanks Saudi Arabia for Western Sahara Position

Rabat – Polisario appears to be satisfied with the recent development in Morocco-Saudi Arabia diplomatic ties.In a recent interview with Algerian news agency APS, Polisario’s “Ambassador” to Algiers Abdelkader Taleb Omar thanked Saudi Arabia for reconsidering its position on the Western Sahara conflict.He also commended the grand reforms made by King Salman of Saudi Arabia, including Western Sahara, because the conflict has enjoyed “reconsideration” from Saudi Arabia. The separatist also condemned the EU-Morocco fisheries and agriculture agreements, claiming that Western Sahara is “separate” from Morocco.Read Also: In Unprecedented Move, Morocco Recalls its Ambassador to Saudi ArabiaWhile Morocco and the international community consider Morocco’s autonomy plan a realistic solution to the conflict, Omar implied that Polisario will not accept it.“Morocco’s representative said that there is no negotiations outside autonomy. We reject this statement,” said the separatist. Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the UN Omar Hilale made the remarks about the autonomy plan in January.On January 29, the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General Horst Kohler briefed the Security Council on the conflict and announced his plan to invite the parties involved in the conflict to a second roundtable.After the meeting of the Security Council, Hilale qualified how much Morocco is willing to negotiate while speaking to the press.“We are ready to negotiate it and give it the largest operative power for the autonomy. Outside autonomy, nothing. We are not ready to negotiate anything.”The Moroccan government participated in the first roundtable in years in December to evaluate the parties’ readiness to discuss negotiations to end the conflict.Morocco also went to the roundtable to remind the international community of its principles, that it will accept no solution if it is against its territorial integrity and sovereignty over the region.Kohler is set to meet with the parties involved in the conflict again to discuss the date and place for the second roundtable. The meeting is expected in March. read more

Paris Yellow vest anger mixes with Notre Dame mourning

PARIS — French yellow vest protesters are marching anew to remind the government that rebuilding the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral isn’t the only problem the nation needs to solve.Multiple protest events are planned around Paris and other cities Saturday for the 23rd weekend of the yellow vest movement against wealth inequality and President Emmanuel Macron’s leadership.One group wants to march on the presidential palace despite bigger-than-usual police presence. Another is aimed at showing yellow vest mourning over the Notre Dame blaze while also keeping up pressure on Macron.Many protesters were deeply saddened by the fire at a national monument. But many are angry at the $1 billion in Notre Dame donations that poured in from tycoons while their own demands remain largely unmet and they struggle to make ends meet.The Associated Press read more

Cyprus New bond issues help repay Russian loan faster

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus’ finance minister says new bond issues will save the country money by helping to pay off the remainder of a 2.5 billion-euro ($2.8 billion) Russian loan more quickly.Harris Georgiades told state radio Thursday the combined interest rate from the five-year bond issue and Cyprus’ first-ever 30-year issue is under 2%, meaning the country will pay less and have more time to repay.Cyprus still owes Russia 1.56 billion euros ($1.75 billion). It got the loan with a 2.5% interest rate amid a 2012 financial crisis.Cyprus on Wednesday secured 500 million euros from its five-year bond issued at a 0.625% rate. The 30-year issue raised 750 million euros at 2.75%.Georgiades said Cyprus wants to take advantage of an early repayment clause in its loan deal with Russia.The Associated Press read more

On anniversary of chemical weapons pact Ban Kimoon urges destruction of stockpiles

Marking the tenth anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on countries that still possess these arms to abolish them.“I call upon all possessor States to destroy their chemical weapons stockpiles according to the agreed deadlines,” Mr. Ban said in a message on the occasion. “I also urge all governments that have not yet done so to ratify or accede to the Convention without delay.”The Secretary-General noted the progress that has been achieved of the past decade, pointing out that more than 25 per cent of declared chemical weapons stockpiles have been destroyed while the Convention now has 182 States Parties, covering 98 percent of the world’s population.The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which helps carry out the ban, “has made important gains in eliminating from the world an entire category of weapons of mass destruction,” the Secretary-General said.The anniversary is also observed as Remembrance Day for Victims of Chemical Warfare, and in his message, Mr. Ban called for action on their behalf. “Let us honour the victims of chemical warfare, and redouble our efforts to ensuring that no life on earth will be lost ever again due to the use of chemical weapons.”Formally known as the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, the treaty aims to eliminate an entire category of weapons of mass destruction by prohibiting the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use of these arms by States Parties. The Convention is considered unique for its incorporation of the “challenge inspection,” which allows any State Party in doubt about another State Party’s compliance to request the OPCW Director-General to send an inspection team. Under the Convention’s “challenge inspection” procedure, States Parties have committed themselves to the principle of “any time, anywhere” inspections with no right of refusal. 29 April 2007Marking the tenth anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on countries that still possess these arms to abolish them. read more