Fort St John Tourism seeks separation to be own entity

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Recently the FSJ Tourism Board made a presentation to City Council regarding their role working with the City as well as their desire to change a bylaw to allow them to become a society.In 2010, Tourism Fort St. John board was developed with a bylaw that has prevented and limits potential growth opportunities for the tourism organization to operate efficiently in Fort St John.The Board made a request to Council to rescind the bylaw and allow the board to incorporate as registered Society in BC rather than a Board of Council as well as retaining ownership of the branding and name ‘Tourism Fort St. John’. The Tourism Board also requested a financial commitment in the amount of $52,000.00 annually for a three year period (2020 – 2022). The annual funding would continue to provide Fort St. John with tourism services and capacity development through the creation of a business plan, a Tap Know & Go development study, professional development, stakeholder engagement, marketing, administration costs and would take over the NE BCTourism Marketing Cooperative, currently undertaken by the Visitor Centre.Council approved the motion and a repeal bylaw will be drafted for Tourism Fort St.John Bylaw No. 2049, 2010 and a fee for service agreement developed.last_img read more

SC seeks reply from Vodafone Airtel on CBIs plea alleging noncooperation

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought reply form Vodafone and Airtel on a plea by the CBI alleging that they were not cooperating with the investigation in the Saradha chit fund case.A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi listed the agency’s plea on April 8 after the mobile service providers denied the allegations. A bench also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna was told by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the CBI that there was complete lawlessness and anarchy in West Bengal. He said recently police tried to arrest a custom officer for checking the baggage of wife of a TMC leader at the international airport in Kolkata. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’He said the complete incident was recorded in the CCTV. The agency had recently filed a status report relating to the interrogation of the then Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with the scam. The apex court had on March 26 termed as “very very serious” the revelations made by the CBI in its status report relating to interrogation of Kumar. The top court had said that it cannot “close its eyes” if some “very very serious facts” were disclosed to it and directed the agency to file an application seeking appropriate relief against Kumar, who had earlier headed the state SIT to probe the chit fund scam. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe top court had refused to drop the contempt proceedings against the West Bengal DGP, the chief secretary and Kumar. It was hearing CBI’s contempt application against various senior officials of the West Bengal government on the ground of non-cooperation in its probe and alleged tampering of evidence, including call data records (CDRs) of key accused and Sardha group CMD Sudipta Sen and Debjani Mukherjee. The court, which had earlier directed the CBI director to file an affidavit giving details about the alleged contempt committed by West Bengal cops and others in the case, had perused the reply of the CBI chief and the fresh status report, pertaining to quizzing of Kumar. The agency had earlier alleged non-cooperation on the West Bengal Police for providing incomplete information and tampering with details to the probe agency. The apex court had said that the allegations made by the CBI were serious enough and it was an “obligation” on part of the agency to disclose full details of the alleged contempt committed by the then police commissioner.last_img read more

Ganguly in spotlight as KKR host Delhi at Eden

Kolkata: Swashbuckling Andre Russell’s big-hitting prowess will be pitted against Kagiso Rabada’s inch-perfect yorkers for the second time when Kolkata Kight Riders face Delhi Capitals in a return-leg fixture of the IPL here on Friday. Away from the match, the spotlight will also fall on where former KKR and India captain Sourav Ganguly sits during the match. Ganguly will be a ‘visitor’ at his ‘home’ ground of Eden Gardens as he is currently donning the advisor’s hat in the Delhi franchise, which has drawn ‘conflict-of-interest’ charges against him. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhSecond in the IPL table with eight points from six matches, KKR’s season so far has been a Russell show with the Jamaican amassing 257 runs from five innings, out of which 150 have come in sixes alone. His average has been 128.50 while the strike rate is a mind-boggling 212.39, something that has left the opposition clueless on how to stop him. Mahendra Singh Dhoni did it with perfect execution by stranding Dre-Russ (as Russell is known to KKR fans) with his spin-heavy attack en route to handing KKR a crushing seven-wicket defeat in Chennai in their last match. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterKKR’s second defeat this season has been at the hands of Delhi Capitals in a dramatic Super Over finish at Kotla with Rabada winning the battle against Russell. Tasked to defend 11 runs in the Super Over, Rabada was smashed for a four by Russell in the first ball, but returned strongly to uproot the middle stump with an inch-perfect yorker, something Ganguly has termed as the “ball of the tournament”. While KKR will look to avenge their first leg defeat, Delhi, who have six points from as many matches, will be looking for their fourth win of the league to return to top-five. While the KKR fans may be anticipating a Russell-mania at the Eden, the nature of the wicket will also play an important role in Friday’s match. With Delhi Capitals boasting a world class pace attack spearheaded by the 23-year-old South African Rabada, a few insiders at Cricket Association of Bengal have claimed that its president Ganguly may have a ‘say’ in the pitch which could assist pacers. “You will know about the nature of the wicket on the day of the match. Whatever it is, whichever team plays well will win, it’s simple,” Ganguly has said, why replying on the allegations with a straight bat, even as Eden Gardens is set to be divided in loyalty. read more

With Sholay throwback Dharmendra campaigns for Hema Malini in Mathura

first_imgMATHURA: Actor and BJP lawmaker Hema Malini on Sunday campaigned in her parliamentary constituency, Mathura, in Uttar Pradesh with her husband and actor, Dharmendra, by her side. The popular Bollywood couple addressed a crowd for the Jat community where a massive crowd turned up. Addressing the rally, Dharmendra recalled how his humble beginnings helped him become a successful actor. “I am the son of a farmer and I have worked very hard in the fields when I was young,” he said. Dharmendra had a brief political stint about ten years ago when he contested the 2004 national elections from Rajasthan’s Bikaner on BJP ticket and won. Raising the poll pitch in the constituency, where the BJP has won four out of six Lok Sabha elections since 1991, Dharmendra told the crowd: “Gao walon, (Hema ji ke liye) vote karna. Nahi to kisi aas paas ki tanki pe chad jaunga aur wahan bahut mausi ko pukarunga. Bahut mausiyan aa jayengi. (Dear villagers, please vote for Hema Malini ji. Else, I will climb on one of the tanks and give a shout out to Mausi ji. I am sure a lot of them will come).” He reminded the crowd of the iconic scene from the movie, “Sholay”, where Hema Malini starred together with her husband and played the role of “Basanti”, a village girl. Hema Malini said she was excited to have her husband by her side. “With just two days remaining for the poll campaign to end in Mathura, people are excited to see me and him together. People have seen both of us together in so many movies. We are seeking votes for Mathura’s development,” she told reporters. Before the rally, she tweeted a picture of two of them together and said it was a “special day”. “Today is also a special day for me! Dharam ji is here in Mathura to campaign for a whole day on my behalf. The public is waiting eagerly to get a glimpse of him & listen to what he has to say! A photo taken in my house in Mathura just now before we leave for campaigning…(sic),” she wrote.last_img read more

Naidu meets Rahul Akhilesh Maya to forge Oppn alliance

first_imgNew Delhi/ Lucknow: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu held a flurry of meetings with Opposition leaders, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, BSP’s Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, in an apparent bid to rally support for a non-BJP government at the Centre. Naidu, who arrived in the national capital on Friday, also met Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav and leaders of the Communist Party of India. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkHe then flew to Lucknow and met the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party chiefs. “It is a pleasure to welcome Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri N Chandrababu Naidu Ji to Lucknow,” Akhilesh Yadav tweeted. Naidu did not speak to the media after any of his meetings. Sources, however, said that Naidu and Gandhi discussed the possibility of forming a joint alliance of all Opposition parties. He told Gandhi to have a strategy ready, in case the NDA falls short of a majority and still stakes claim to form the government, the sources said. Naidu told all the leaders that “we all should come together and put our act together” to form the next government by keeping the BJP out, a source said. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygenLater, Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and other Congress leaders met at UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s residence to evolve their party’s strategy. “The campaigning of this Lok Sabha Election 2019 has ended and as we await the last phase of polling, Andhra Pradesh CM Shri N Chandrababu Naidu paid me a visit to discuss the ongoing and future political scenario of our country,” Pawar said in a tweet after the meeting at his residence. Naidu met CPI leader G Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja over breakfast, asking them to “come together”. Reddy and Raja separately met Pawar at his residence. The Telugu Desam Party chief has held several rounds of discussion with various Opposition leaders, including TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal and CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury. Naidu’s TDP was a part of the NDA but quit the alliance a few months ago. On Friday Naidu said that not only the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) but any outfit which is against the BJP is welcome to join a grand alliance after the election results are declared on May 23. As Opposition leaders scramble to form a joint anti-BJP front, hectic deliberations among them are likely to continue in the days ahead.last_img read more

Morocco Spain keen to develop legal cooperation

Madrid – A delegation from the Court of Cassation held, on Tuesday in Madrid, a series of meetings with officials from the Spanish legal apparatus on means to foster bilateral cooperation in the legal field.The Moroccan delegation, led by public prosecutor at the Court of Cassation Mostafa Maddah, held a meeting with the Spanish state’s prosecutor Eduardo Torres-Dulce on ways to promote cooperation and share experiences related to laws and jurisprudence.On this occasion, Maddah gave a presentation of the large-scale reforms undertaken by Morocco in the different areas particularly in relation with the judiciary. Maddah told MAP, after the meeting, that the delegation’s visit is meant to further legal ties between the two countries and get informed about the functioning of the Spanish legal system. read more

Morocco Ranks 130th in 2015 World Press Freedom

Rabat – Morocco is ranked 130th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders (RWB) 2015 World Press Freedom index with a score of 39.19. The kingdom rose six positions in the 2015 index from 136th last year to 130th this year.In its 2015 Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders hailed the Moroccan government’s attempts to overhaul media legislation. The non-profit organization said that some of the provisions, especially the proposed abolition of prison sentences for media offence, included in the three bills on “press and publishing,” the “status of professional journalists” and the “National Press Council” unveiled last October are “positive”. However, RWB concluded that “improvements are needed to bring them into line with international standards on freedom of information.” It also added that although the kingdom rose slightly in the 2015 Index, “the freedom of information in Morocco is still constrained both in current practice and in the proposed legislation by the red lines forbidding coverage of the monarchy, Islam and territorial issues, and by the criminalization of blasphemy.”Globally, RWB’s 2015 Index highlights the worldwide deterioration in freedom of information in 2014. “Beset by wars, the growing threat from non-state operatives, violence during demonstrations and the economic crisis, media freedom is in retreat on all five continents,” it said.The Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index ranked the performance of 180 countries according to a range of criteria that include media pluralism and independence, respect for the safety and freedom of journalists, and the legislative, institutional ad infrastructural environment in which the media operate.The top three positions were held by three Scandinavian countries: Finland, which has been in first place for five consecutive years, followed by Norway and Denmark. Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea were the worst performers in this year’s index. read more

Moroccos Tourism Minister Calls for Decriminalizing Homosexuality

Taroudante -Lahcen Haddad, Morocco’s Minister of Tourism, has called for the de-criminalization of both homosexuality and consensual sex out of wedlock.In an exclusive interview with CNN Arabic at the headquarters of his ministry in Morocco in late October 2015, the minister said that his party, the Popular Movement, a traditionalist party, defends individual freedoms.The minister stated that his push to de-criminalize homosexuality and consensual sex out of wedlock falls within the framework of protecting individual freedoms. He stressed the need to find a solution in the new Penal Code that meet the demands of all stakeholders.The minister has no problem with same sex couples as long as they do not display their sexual orientation publicly to provoke a reaction. “We do not accept a display of one’s sexual tendencies for provocation, but if homosexuality is a personal orientation, practiced in private places, it falls within one’s personal freedom,” Haddad said.Minister Haddad, who referred to himself as a modern liberalist, said that the debate on the issue of homosexuality in Morocco “has not yet been opened.” He expressed his opposition to any leniency for perpetrators of crimes of honor, urging the judges to apply the law as it is.Currently, any sexual relations out of wedlock are punishable by law in Morocco. Article 489 of the Moroccan Penal Code punishes r sexual activities between people of the same by six months to three years imprisonment. read more

PP Wins by Large Margins in Enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla

By Bryn MillerRabat – Like in previous elections, the Spanish Popular Party won by large margins in the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, located in Morocco’s mainland.Spanish voters failed to break the six-month political deadlock in the congressional elections on Sunday, leaving the conservative Popular Party (PP) and Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in a caretaker role. Rajoy has been in power since 2011, when his party won 186 out of 350 seats in the congressional election. In the next round of congressional elections in December 2015, PP received only 29% of the vote, failing to achieve a majority. The conservative party was unable to form a coalition with one of the other three main parties. Since December, the PP and Rajoy have assumed a caretaker role and the government has remained in deadlock.Rajoy’s party received 33% of the vote on Sunday, beating out the center-left Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) by 10%, leftist United Podemos by 13%, and fourth-place Ciudadanos by 20%. However, the PP was unable to negotiate a coalition deal for the majority.Due to the PP’s repeated success in the elections, Rajoy has asserted this this result gives him the right to resume office even without attaining a majority. However, the PSOE has stated that it will not negotiate a coalition agreement with the PP nor accept Rajoy’s governance, indicating that Spain’s political deadlock will continue.The PP received the highest margins of victory in Ceuta and Melilla, Spain’s two autonomous cities within the borders of Morocco. 52 percent of voters in Ceuta and 50 percent in Melilla voted for Rajoy’s party in Ceuta. Popular Party representatives and Rajoy have visited the cities numerous times, especially before election cycles, to symbolically affirm their commitment to keeping the enclaves.Morocco has clashed with Spain over control of the two enclaves for decades. Although the current international stage appears favorable for Morocco’s attempts to claim the cities, Rajoy’s government would be unlikely to surrender them. Spain has always insisted that the two enclaves are Spanish cities, and denied the existence of a dispute with Morocco over their status. read more

Two Moroccan Girls Represent Morocco in Le Plumier dOr

By Aya SoulimaniMarrakech – Out of the 15,000 candidates that applied to Le Plumier d’Or, only 60 received awards. Two of these students, Yasmine Laarabi from collège Anatole France and Reda El Fahdi from lycée Lyautey in Casablanca, proudly represented Morocco.Founded in 1997, Le Plumier d’Or is an international examination of the French language organized for eighth graders by Défense de la Langue Française (DLF), whose main goal is to preserve and protect the French language. This examination is held in honor of La Semaine de la Francophonie and is sponsored by the Senate, the Navy, and many other patrons, such as Les Belles Lettres, Tours de France and Editions du Triomphe.In order for these Moroccan laureates to participate, they had to fulfil certain qualifications. First, they had to be in 8th grade, which is called the “4e année de college” in France. It was also mandatory for their class to participate as whole in order to take the examination. Throughout the exam, which was held in January, their French teachers had to supervise them and register each student in the class as candidates in the competition.Ms. Laarabi and Mr. El Fahdi were part of the selected 60 laureates, a grou[ which included brilliant students from countries such as the UAE, UK, India, France, India and Germany. In order to be considered excellent French speakers, they first had to take the exam, which had a grammar section (out of 70 points) and an essay section (out of 30 points). Their French professor was responsible for grading the grammar section. The tests with the three highest scores would then be sent to a committee in France, assigned by the DLF, that would be responsible for grading the writing/essay section.In the 11th of March 2016, Yasmine and Reda, along with the other 58 laureates, were sent letters congratulating them for being the winners of 2016 Plumier d’Or examinations and inviting them, along with their teachers, to the Senate’s ceremony in Paris in order to collect their prizes. The prizes consist of books, games, and watches. The ceremony was held May 25, and the laureates got their diplomas at the beginning of this passing June. read more

Heavy Charges Against Rif Detainees Bad Omen Govt Should Act with

Rabat – Isaac Charia, a member of the detained Rif activists’ defense team, has strongly criticized the heavy charges against protests detainees, calling on the government to “act with rationality. Isaac Charia, a member of the detained Rif activists’ defense teamThe charges leveled against dozens of activists detained in Al Hoceima and Casablanca included “advocating for separatism,” “holding armed protests,” “receiving foreign money,” and “undermining state security.”“We believe that the list of charges pressed by the public prosecutor, as a representative of the government, proves that the latter has adopted a hard-line vis-à-vis the issue,” Charia told MWN. The lawyer explained that the defense is still waiting to receive the relevant police records. However, he expressed his concerns over the heavy charges, saying they are “a bad omen.”While the government has reiterated that social development projects are underway, the arrests and heavy charges against the detainees are likely to increase tension between the population in Rif and the government.Previous promises made by the government were met with mistrust by protesters, said the lawyer.“The government has caused this crisis by referring to the protests movement and population of Al Hoceima as ‘traitors,’ ” explained Charia. “Now, every government initiative is being rejected by protesters.”Charia warned against what he called the hard-line approach adopted by the government, deploring continuing arrests of activists.“The state should act with rationality. Opting for escalation is not going to work,” he stated.For months protests have been taking place in Al Hoceima and surrounding areas in Rif region calling for social and economic improvements.Protests started as a reaction to the death of Mouhcine Fikri, the local fish vendor who died in October 2016, crushed by a compactor while attempting to retrieve his confiscated merchandise from a garbage truck.Fikri’s death awakened latent tensions between the central government and the region, which suffered from decades of marginalization under the reign of King Hassan II.Since October, protesters have been calling for hospitals and higher education institutions to be built, as well as employment projects in a region known for its high cancer and unemployment rates.In October 2015 the King Mohammed VI, who had sought reconciliation with the region since ascended to the throne in 1999, launched  Al Hoceima Manarat Al Moutawasit, a mega-development project due to be completed by 2019.A ministerial delegation visited Al Hoceima in May in attempt to open dialogue with protesters and supervise the ongoing development projects.However, mistrust led the core of the protests movement to boycott meetings held by the delegation. Demonstrations continued and clashes erupted between protesters and security forces despite calls from leading activists for protests to remain peaceful.The situation in the region has grown tense following the arrests of dozens of activists, including the movement’s most prominent figure, Nasser Zefzafi.The detainee’s defense team currently consists of almost 70 self-appointed lawyers. Charia said requests to join are pouring from lawyers all over Morocco.“We will do our outmost to defend the innocence of the detainees,” he affirmed. read more

Sheikh Fizazi VS Brother Rachid on YouTube this October 10

By Hajar El KahlaouiRabat – After reportedly declining Brother Rachid’s call for a televised debate, Sheikh Mohamed Fizazi has accepted the Christian TV personality’s challenge.In a YouTube video posted on Friday, the two religious figures announced that they agreed to hold a video debate on October 10. The theme of the debate will be “the scientific miracles of the evolution of the fetuses in the Quran and the Sunnah.” “In response to the so-called Brother Rachid’s invitation to debate, I am pleased to announce that I have accepted his invitation,” said Fizazi. “Hopefully this debate will be the first in a series of other debates.”Fizazi’s response to Brother Rachid’s challenge comes after several years of tension between the two men.Their feud dates back to 2012, when Brother Rachid posted a series of videos responding to criticism by Fizazi. After he challenged Fizazi to a debate, he announced that the sheikh had declined, despite having agreed to debate other Arab personalities known for their criticism of Islam, according to Rachid.In July, Brother Rachid again called out Fizazi, accusing him of purposefully avoiding a debate.The son of a renowned imam, Brother Rachid is one of the most well-known Muslim-Christian converts. The former Muslim hosts a weekly live call-in show on Al-Hayat TV, a Egyptian Christian TV channel, where he criticizes Islam and its values.Fizazi was considered a radical preacher and a prominent member of the Salafi Jihadi movement in Morocco, After the attacks of May 16, 2003 in Casablanca, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his alleged ideological influence. read more

12 Killed in Terrorist Attack on Military Parade in Irans Ahvaz

Rabat – Twelve people, including a child, have been killed in a terrorist attack on a military parade in Ahvaz, in southwestern Iran.Twelve people were killed and around sixty others were injured when unknown gunmen opened fire on an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) parade in Ahvaz, southwest Iran, Saturday, September 22, Iranian news agencies reported.At least 8 members of the IRGC were killed in the attack, as well as “women and children” who came to watch the parade, Iranian state-run news agency IRNA reported. The attackers opened fire from behind the stand during the parade.Iranian forces killed two of the terrorists in a clash after the attack and captured two others, according to Iran Press. The Khuzestan province deputy governor, Ali-Hossein Hosseinzadeh, said in an interview with Tasnim News Agency that 10 people had been killed and 21 other people had been injured in the attack that disrupted the military parade in Ahvaz.Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif pointed the finger at a “foreign regime” through his Twitter account.“Terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime have attacked Ahvaz. Children and journos among casualties. Iran holds regional terror sponsors and their US masters accountable for such attacks. Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives,” Zarif wrote.Terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime have attacked Ahvaz. Children and journos among casualties. Iran holds regional terror sponsors and their US masters accountable for such attacks. Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives.— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) September 22, 2018According to Iran Press, the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz claimed responsibility for the attack.The group receives support from Saudi Arabia and the UK, Iran Press asserted.IRGC spokesman Ramezan Sharif said the attackers belong to a terrorist group supported by Saudi Arabia, Press TV reported.“The individuals who fired at the people and the armed forces during the parade are connected to the al-Ahvaziya group which is fed by Saudi Arabia,” Sharif said. read more

Video Escalator Speeds out of Control Injures Russian Football Fans

Rabat- A Rome metro station escalator went haywire on Tuesday, injuring 20—mostly CSKA Moscow football fans. The football fans were chanting and cheering before the escalator suddenly was out of control, sending people into shock.A video of the accident shows the escalator, crammed with dozens of people, crumpling and crushing 20 people at the bottom. The incident took place at Repubblica metro station near Rome’s central train station in Italy on the same day that CSKA Moscow was to play AS Roma in the Champions League.One of the wounded people underwent surgery for a serious injury.Rescuers told the Telegraph that “only the last two meters of the escalator were damaged, but the rest of it looked fine. The escalator likely blocked after people started crushing at the bottom of it.” read more

No Time Change Morocco to Stay on Daylight Saving Time YearRound

Rabat – The government council adopted Draft Decree 2.18.855 today, adding 60 minutes to the standard time in Morocco, moving Morocco to GMT+1 year-round.The government adopted the change overnight, only two days before Morocco was set to turn back the clocks one hour with the end of Daylight Saving Time (DST) October 28.Only yesterday, Secretary General to the Government Mohamed Hajoui called the government council for an exceptional meeting Friday morning to approve a draft decree relating to DST. Decree 2.18.855 adds 60 minutes to Standard Time in Morocco, which used to be GMT, under Chapter I of the Royal Decree of June 2, 1967 on Standard Time.The decree will enter into force on the date of its publication in the official gazette. It is expected to be published before Sunday.The decree aims to maintain DST permanently “to avoid many changes that occur many times during the year and repercussions at many levels.” Morocco typically changes the clocks four times per year, twice for DST and twice for the weeks of Ramadan.However, the draft decree did not mention any example of the repercussions.It also indicated that the permanent DST will be adopted as “an experiment.”According to Article 2 of the decree, the head of government can, for a defined period, suspend the new standard time, when necessary. read more

Spain Fears Migration of Moroccos Pardoned ExTerrorists Extremists

Rabat – Spanish authorities are allegedly worried that pardoned individuals previously convicted of terrorism and extremism in Morocco will migrate to Spain.On the eve of the anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People, celebrated in Morocco on August 20, the Ministry of Justice announced that King Mohammed VI offered a royal pardon to 22 individuals convicted of extremism and terrorism.The ministry added that the pardon included the individuals who participated in the“moussalaha” (reconciliation) program, which aims to reintegrate prisoners into society. The royal decision, however, seems to have worried Spanish authorities.Spanish news outlet Okdiario reported that the lack of civil guards in the Morocco-Spanish borders led to the massive entries of undocumented migrants on July 26 and August 22.Quoting security officials, the news outlet added that Morocco’s release of individuals convicted of terrorism-related crimes poses a “threat,” as it is impossible for civil guards to review the backgrounds of migrants who forcibly cross the borders.Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska, according to Okdiario, underscored on Wednesday,  “Humanity is not equal to permissiveness.” He warned that the new cabinet will not “allow violent immigration” to threaten his country and the civil guards.He also recalled that both Morocco and Spain reactivated the 1992 agreement on the deportation of migrants.Okdiario criticized the agreement, saying it would not be able to prevent the “continued entry of immigrants” and the “lack of personnel that causes the lack of control of immigration.”Morocco’s reconciliation program not enough?Morocco appears to trust its reconciliation program since the royal pardon includes defendants convicted of terrorism-related crimes and extremism.Moroccan authorities in charge of terrorism-related crimes have dismantled several terror cells across the country, while other suspects affiliated to terrorism were also arrested throughout 2018.Morocco also deals with returning Moroccan ISIS fighters and has introduced a criminal code to address the challenges relating to foreign fighters.The program involves human rights experts and radicalism experts who provide psychological support and rehabilitation to convicts with links to extremism or terrorist organizations. The program, which was launched in 2016, aims to help them reintegrate into society.The initiative depends on three fundamental points: reconciliation with the self, with religious principal texts, and with society.Morocco’s General Commission for the Management of Prisons and Reintegration (DGAPR), which developed and implements the program, reassured citizens that moussalaha intends to offer the best conditions for participatory reintegration of persons serving sentences for extremism and terrorism.Morocco, however, is still concerned about the threat posed by people who were involved in terror-related crimes in Middle Eastern countries affected by civil wars.In June, the head of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ), Abdelhak Khiame, expressed concerns about rehabilitating ISIS returnees and managing Moroccan combatants stranded in combat zones who plan to return to Morocco as soon as circumstances allow them.Khiame, however, is eminently confident in his staff and Morocco’s security system that has been “essentially effective,” especially in its ability to identify security threats.Khiame also estimated the number of Moroccan fighters affiliated with terror organizations at “only 1,660 fighters.” The country has also launched several programs in mosques to fight extremist ideology, which might result in breeding terrorists. read more

Nexstar Media selling 19 TV stations for 132 billion

IRVING, Texas — Nexstar is selling 19 television stations for $1.32 billion as part of its buyout deal with Tribune Media.Nexstar agreed in December to buy Chicago’s Tribune Media for about $4 billion. Part of that agreement requires Nexstar to sell certain television stations in order to comply with the FCC local and national television ownership rules and to get FCC and Justice Department approval of the Tribune Media transaction.Nexstar Media Group Inc. is selling 11 stations to Tegna Inc. for $740 million and eight stations to E.W. Scripps Co. for $580 million.Nexstar said Wednesday that it’s still in active talks to sell two stations in Indianapolis. The company said it’ll use proceeds from the sale of the television stations to fund its Tribune deal and to lower debt.The Associated Press read more

Lawsuit Bus driver was sick tired before fatal Utah crash

SALT LAKE CITY — A Greyhound driver who authorities say fell asleep before the bus careened off a road in the Utah desert two years ago was tired, sick and should never have been behind the wheel, according to a new lawsuit over the crash that killed one person and injured 12 others.Bus driver Charles E. Saunders fell asleep after taking cold medicine and never hit the brakes as the bus flew off a highway and crashed into a canyon wall about 300 miles (483 kilometres) south of Salt Lake City, the lawsuit says. Michael Edwards of Georgia filed the claim Monday in a court in Nevada, where Saunders lives.Edwards said he suffered a traumatic brain injury and fractures to his face, elbow, ribs and tibia and has racked up more than $500,000 in medical expenses. He is seeking damages to cover those costs as well as other economic losses from his injuries.He asserts that Saunders requested a replacement driver for the route from Green River, Utah, to Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve 2017 because he was feeling sick but that Greyhound didn’t send one.Greyhound spokeswoman Crystal Booker declined to comment, citing company policy during lawsuits. It’s unknown if Saunders has an attorney, and no listed phone number could be found for him.The lawsuit says Saunders had fallen asleep about 45 minutes before the crash and a passenger woke him up. Shortly before the crash, a passenger yelled at Saunders: “Driver! You’re sleeping!”The bus flew off Interstate 70 and over a small ravine, hit a canyon wall and spun 180 degrees, the lawsuit says. While some passengers crawled out and tried to get help, others were pinned in the bus and couldn’t move, Edwards’ lawyers said.Summer Pinzon, 13, of Azusa, California, was killed in the late-night crash.Utah police said after the crash that they were investigating it as a possible negligent homicide case after finding cold medicine at the scene and getting reports that the driver was slumped over the wheel. Online Utah court records indicate Saunders was not charged with a crime.A phone message left with Emery County Attorney Mike Olsen wasn’t immediately returned.Brady McCombs, The Associated Press read more

Postmedia invests in The Logics subscriptionbased digital news service

TORONTO — Postmedia Network Inc. plans to buy a minority stake in The Logic Inc. — a digital-only Canadian media outlet with a mandate to break tech-focused news through investigative journalism, the two companies announced Wednesday.Andrew MacLeod, chief executive of Postmedia — owner the National Post and other publications — said that discussions began after he and Logic founder David Skok were introduced to each other a few months ago by a mutual acquaintance.“And then we just realized there might be an opportunity to make something interesting happen. So it evolved,” MacLeod said Wednesday in a phone interview.Some of the details are still being worked out by the two companies, such as the size of Postmedia’s investment, but MacLeod said there will likely be some revenue sharing.“We see it as an opportunity to utilize some of the content that The Logic produces and disseminate it across our network.”“And then, as an investor in The Logic, we’re incentivized to help them grow their digital subscription business and we would participate in that growth as a potential investor.”But MacLeod said there will be “zero impact” or reduction of Postmedia’s own editorial coverage “because we’re very comfortable — in fact, we’re very proud — of our existing editorial footprint.”Postmedia’s six-month series on innovation last year won one of the gold medals issued at SABEW Canada’s Best in Business awards in April. The Logic’s coverage also won golds in two categories at the same awards. Skok, The Logic’s chief executive and editor-in-chief, wrote in a separate blog posting that the partnership will allow the startup operation to hire more reporters. Its current staff of nine, includes four reporters.“We hope this will expand the debate on how Canada can continue to be a better place to live and work, and that we can develop our subscriber community as a result,” Skok wrote. Companies in this story: (TSX:PNC.A, TSX:PNC.B)David Paddon, The Canadian Press read more

Darfur UN envoy continues holding meetings in Sudan

18 July 2007Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Envoy for Darfur, Jan Eliasson, today left Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, where he met with senior Government official, and travelled Nyala for further talks with other groups. The Special Envoy will be meeting with representatives of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and civil society groups, as well as with UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local authorities, Mr. Ban’s spokesperson Michele Montas said at a press briefing in New York today.Prior to arriving in Sudan, Mr. Eliasson and his African Union (AU) counterpart, Salim Ahmed Salim, chaired a two-day meeting in Tripoli, Libya, on fostering a peace settlement in strife-torn Darfur.The UN Mission in Sudan, known as UNMIS, reported that harassment by the military continues to displace many people in Darfur. IDPs now number over 35,000 in Al Salam camp in South Darfur, and they are also flowing into Zam Zam camp from the Dobo area.Meanwhile, this week, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) assisted the return of 150 refugees from Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, bringing to the total number of those repatriated to Southern Sudan and Blue Nile State to 150,000.IDPs are also being repatriated by air, and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that approximately 300 people have been flown back to Yambio and Tambura in Western Equatoria from Khartoum, with 1,300 additional IDPs expected to benefit from air operations. read more