On Our Way Home Animal Rescue is in need of foster homes

first_imgOnce applications are received, the board reviews prospective fosters to help make a good placement for the foster animal.The restriction for fostering cats is that the cat must remain inside the home and fosters for dogs must have a fenced yard. The rescue does do a home check before placement of a foster animal.On Our Way Home does try to provide pet essentials to foster homes such as litter box and food from donations given to the rescue.If you are unable to foster an animal yet would still like to contribute to the help and care of these rescued animals the rescue is currently in need of kitten food and cat litter.To view the FB page; CLICK HERE FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Local, On Our Way Home Animal Rescue is in need of foster homes to support the rescue with the many cats and kittens that are waiting for their forever homes.Lani Belcher, Board member of On our Way Home Animal Rescue shares they are seeking Foster’s to facilitate in-home care of cats and kittens, as well they are in need of a very special foster home that has no other pets to care for a dog that must be the only animal in the home.People that are wanting to help foster animals can fill out an application; CLICK HERE  last_img read more

Weekend incident at residence on Red Creek Road leads to arrest

first_imgA 47-year-old man was arrested without incident at 5 p.m. on Saturday and held in custody pending a court appearance.The people involved are known to each other and the police have no information to suggest the greater public is at further risk. The investigation is ongoing. CHARLIE LAKE, B.C. – An incident that took place on Saturday, September 14th at a residence on the Red Creek Road has lead to the arrest of a 47-year-old man.RCMP Corporal Madonna Saunderson shares, what can be confirmed is that on 7:21 AM, Fort St John RCMP responded to a report of an assault in progress at a residence on Red Creek Road in the Charlie Lake area.Two female victims reported that a man had assaulted them. The initial report alluded to the possibility of firearms being involved, although there were no shots fired. Therefore assistance from the Emergency Response Team was obtained.last_img read more

RBI board warned of notebans shortterm impact on economy no material effect

first_imgNew Delhi: The RBI board, which included the present Governor Shaktikanta Das as a director, had warned of short-term negative impact of demonetisation on the country’s economic growth and observed that the unprecedented move will not have any material impact on tackling the black money menace. The board, according to minutes of the meeting revealed by the central bank in an RTI reply, had met just two-and-a-half hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an address to the nation announced the demonetisation decision on November 8, 2016. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep Curbing black money was one of the prime objectives of the shock move to junk old Rs 500 and 1,000 notes, which saw 86 per cent of high value currency going out of circulation. The minutes of the crucial board meeting, which approved the government’s request for demonetisation, recorded the presence of the then RBI Governor Urjit Patel and the then economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das. Others at the board meeting included the then Financial Services Secretary Anjuli Chib Duggal, and RBI deputy governors R Gandhi and S S Mundra. Both Gandhi and Mundra are not part of the board now, while Das was appointed as the RBI governor in December 2018. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs “It is a commendable measure but will have short-term negative effect on GDP for the current year,” as per the minutes posted by RTI activist Venkatesh Nayak on the website of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. “Most of the black money is held not in the form of cash but in the form of real sector assets such as gold or real estate and that this move would not have a material impact on those assets,” the board observed in its 561st meeting held in Delhi. The prime minister had announced demonetisation of high-value currency notes with the aim to curb the black money, check counterfeit currency and stop terror finance among others. While any incidence of counterfeiting is a concern, the minutes said, Rs 400 crore as a percentage of the total quantum of currency in circulation in the country is not very significant. Of the Rs 15.41 lakh crore worth Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in circulation on November 8, 2016, notes worth Rs 15.31 lakh crore came back during the 50-day window for depositing junk notes given to resident Indians and till June 2017 for non-resident Indians. Only Rs 10,720 crore of the junked currency notes did not return to the banking system, rest 99.9 per cent was deposited raising question mark over the government’s effort of curbing black money through the demonetisation. The minutes pointed that “the growth rate of economy mentioned is the real rate while the growth in currency in circulation is nominal. Adjusted for inflation, the difference may not be so stark. Hence, this argument does not adequately support the recommendation (in favour of demonetisation)”. The government has always maintained that the decision did not have much impact on the GDP growth. The board was assured that the government would take mitigating measures to contain the use of cash, it said. In another reply, the RBI has said it has no data on the old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes used to pay for utility bills such as fuel at petrol pumps — payments that are anonymous and are believed to have formed a good part of the demonetised currency that returned to the banking system. The government had allowed the exchange of the junked notes as well as they being used for payment of utility bills for 23 services. Both old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes could be used at government hospitals, railway ticketing, public transport, airline ticketing at airports, milk booths, crematoria/burial grounds, petrol pumps, metro rail tickets, purchase of medicines on doctor prescription from the government and private pharmacies, LPG gas cylinders, railway catering, electricity and water bills, ASI monument entry tickets and highway toll. On November 25, 2016, the exchange of old notes was stopped and the government allowed the use of only old 500 rupee notes at these utilities till December 15, 2016. The government, however, stopped the use of even this currency at petrol pumps and for the purchase of air tickets at airports abruptly with effect from December 2, 2016, after reports that they were becoming fronts for laundering of old currency notes.last_img read more

CM Sawant will boost Goas growth trajectory Modi

first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday gave his best wishes to Pramod Sawant, the newly appointed Chief Minister of Goa and expressed confidence that he will boost the state’s growth trajectory. “Best wishes to Pramod Sawant and his team as they begin their journey towards fulfilling the dreams of the people of Goa. “I am sure they will build on the work done in the last few years and boost Goa’s growth trajectory,” Modi tweeted Former Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly BJP MLA Sawant was sworn in as the 11th Chief Minister of Goa on Tuesday, following the death of Manohar Parrikar late on Sunday.last_img read more

Panic in Bhangar after abandoned car found with blood stains

first_imgKolkata: Tension sparked off at Kashipore area of Bhangar in South 24-Parganas after villagers spotted an abandoned vehicle with some blood stains inside it. Police said the vehicle was registered with an app-based cab service company in the city. The driver of the vehicle has been missing till Saturday evening. The locals on Saturday morning heard a mobile phone ringing several times inside the deserted car that remained parked near Krishnamati Bridge under Kashipore police station. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAfter hearing the phone ringing, the villagers went up to the vehicle and opened the door that was kept unlocked. They found blood spots inside the car and immediately informed the matter to the local police station. After reaching the area, police started a probe. A bottle of liquor was also recovered from the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle has been identified as Bablu Singh who is absconding since Friday evening. The victim’s elder brother, Suraj Singh, told the police that they received a telephone call from the police saying that the vehicle has been found in South 24-Parganas. The victim’s mobile phone was found inside the car which was later seized by the police for the sake of investigation. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayAccording to the preliminary investigation, it is suspected that a youth whose identity is not yet clear, boarded the vehicle from Sovabazar area and went to New Town. The driver then drove the vehicle to Bhangar. The investigating officers are yet to confirm if the youth who boarded the car from Sovabazar had been inside the vehicle when it reached Bhangar. The investigating officers suspect that the driver might have been boozing inside the vehicle along with some others. Police are conducting a probe to know why the cab driver went to a desolate place on Friday night. Search for the driver is on.last_img read more

District administration razes 14 houses in Kant enclave

first_imgGurugram: The district administration of Faridabad on Monday went ahead and razed 14 houses situated in Kant enclave, a 425-acre residential area nestled in the Aravallis. According to the officials, 14 structures were razed. Most of these units had recently come up in the area and were less than 14 years old.A recently built film studio was also among the structures that were demolished. Out of 14, eight structures that were taken down were built by the builder and six were private properties. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe stern action was undertaken after the Supreme Court in its order on September 11, 2018, had stated that all the residential and commercial structures that had come up after 1992 were illegal. The administration had earlier served notices to the homeowners citing categorically that after March 31 it held the right to destroy the structures. The entire process of razing the structures began early at around 7 am and was carried on till late afternoon. Seeing the challenges involved in undertaking the task, five teams of Faridabad police consisting of 300 law enforcement officials were formed to ensure security. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe task was led by Dharmender Singh who is the Assistant district commissioner of Faridabad. There were also other senior officials of Faridabad administration to make sure that there were no lapses in coordinating the tasks. Six big and four small earthmovers were used for razing the structures. On September 11, the bench comprising of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta gave an order that all the structures that had come up after August 18, 1992, in Kant enclave were illegal and had to be destroyed. There was some reprieve for the homeowners who had built their houses from the period 1984 to August 1992 as the top court stated that their houses will not be destroyed. According to the official, there were 45 structures in the area that was deemed to be illegal. A legal proceeding that included extending the dates for damaging the structures and increasing the compensation delayed the process of officials going ahead and razing the structures. The Supreme Court also came down on the Haryana government for amending Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) which made Kant enclave legal. The top court in various judgement has stated categorically that they will not allow the degradation of Aravallis.last_img read more

TCS logs 177 Q4 profit rise

first_imgMumbai: The largest software exporter TCS Friday reported a 17.7 percent growth in March quarter net at Rs 8,162 crore, and guided towards continuing the momentum as the “laggard” segments have vanished, even though operating margins dipped a tad and continued to miss the target. The Tata group’s cash-cow delivered a net income of Rs 31,472 crore for fiscal 2019 under the Ind-AS accounting, up 21.9 percent over the previous year. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) said its annual revenue clipped past 9.6 percent in constant currency terms to $20.91 billion, which is the highest growth rate during the past 15 quarters. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalFor the first time,the two largest software exporters- TCS and Infosys–reported their earnings in the same day, in fact, within an hour of each other wherein the Bengaluru- headquartered rival reported a 10.5 percent rise in net income at Rs 4,078 crore and guided towards 7.5-9.5 percent growth in revenue for FY20. While overall revenue grew 18.5 percent to Rs 38,010 crore during the quarter, operating margins continued to get printed below its inspirational levels of 26-28 percent. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostOperating margins came in at 25.1 percent for the quarter, down 0.31 percent over the year-ago period, yet the management reiterated its aspiration of clocking 26-28 percent margins, stressing that the current numbers are a global best. Chief executive and managing director Rajesh Gopinathan said he will “call out” in case he feels the numbers are not achievable. Margins will be resilient and there are string levers to expand them, chief operating officer N Ganapathy Subramaniam said. Gopinathan said TCS has closed the quarter with a total contract value of $6.2 billion, and exuded confidence of being able to maintain the high number. “That’s sort of total contract value is one of the big things that gives us the confidence about the momentum that we see,” he said, adding unlike last year, where there were segments growing at a much slower pace of 2-3 percent, there are no “laggards” which is a booster for the company. The company is firing on all engines and will tread cautiously on the snow that it sees all around, Gopinathan said, when quizzed about the guidance. It can be noted that industry lobby Nasscom has discontinued its practice of giving a guidance for the industry because of the disruptions that it is undergoing. The new-age and upcoming digital business, one of the prime reasons of the uncertainty, is growing for the company, Gopinathan said, pointing out that it grew 50 percent and constituted nearly 31 percent of the overall revenue pie. From a sectoral perspective, its mainstay of banking, financial services and insurance grew at near double- digits during the quarter and Gopinathan said there is no sectoral weakness now. Revenue growth from North America, which contributes over half of the total income, surged to 9.9 percent during the quarter. Interestingly, despite the many macro worries over factors like Brexit, England was a standout geography with 21.3 percent growth. Subramaniam said rather than worrying about factors like Brexit, TCS looks at how to best align with a clients’ strategic requirements which helps overcome any difficulties. HR head Ajoy Mukherjee, who is retiring soon after spending 39 years with the company, said the company added 29,287 people taking the total strength to 4.24 lakh. He said employees will start getting their annual increments starting this evening and hinted that the country averages will range from 2-6 percent, and also announced a 100 percent variable pay.last_img read more

RelianceBPs 1st bid for oil block Vedanta bids for 30 ONGC 20

first_imgNew Delhi: The RIL-BP combine made its first bid for an oil and gas exploration block in more than a decade, vying for one of the 32 blocks up for auction in the OALP-II and III bid rounds, which saw mining major Vedanta put in as many as 30 bids and ONGC, for 20 areas. Bidding for 14 blocks on offer in the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) round-II and another 18 oil and gas blocks and 5 coal-bed methane (CBM) blocks on offer in OALP-III closed on Wednesday. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraOfficial sources said Vedanta, which had walked away with 41 out of the 55 blocks offered in OALP-I last year, bid for 30 areas. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) bid for 20 blocks while Oil India Ltd (OIL) bid for 15. Indian Oil Corp (IOC), GAIL (India) and SunPetro bid for two blocks each, they said. Reliance Industries-BP made an offer for one block off the east coast. The block they bid for possibly is the one which BP had demarcated during the expression of interest (EoI) stage. India had in July 2017 allowed companies to carve out blocks of their choice with a view to bringing about 2.8 million sq km of unexplored area in the country under exploration. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysUnder this policy, called open acreage licensing policy or OALP, companies are allowed to put in an EoI for prospecting of oil and gas in any area that is presently not under any production or exploration licence. The EoIs can be put in at any time of the year but they are accumulated twice annually. The blocks or areas that receive EoIs at the end of a cycle are put up for auction with the originator or the firm that originally selected the area getting a 5-mark advantage. The two window of accumulating EoIs end on May 15 and November 15 every year. EoIs accumulated till May 15 are supposed to be put on auction by June 30 and those in the second window by December 31. Sources said EoIs accumulated till May 15, 2018 were offered in OALP-II and those that came in by November 15, 2018 in OALP-III. The two rounds ran concurrently. The government had in January offered 14 blocks in OALP-II bid round and a month later offered another 23 oil and gas blocks and CBM blocks in third round. Bids for the 14 blocks offered in OALP-II bid round, covering an area of 29,333 square kilometers, were to close on March 12 but the deadline was extended to April 10 and then again to May 15, according to the Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH). April 10 was also the bid deadline for the 23 oil and gas and CBM blocks offered in the third round, which was launched on February 10. Its bid deadline too was extended to May 15. OALP-II bid round was delayed by six months and its launch came barely a month before the third round. Sources said OALP-II and OALP-III ran concurrently. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had at the time of launch of OALP-II bid round on January 7 stated that an investment of about Rs 40,000 crore is expected in the prospecting of oil and gas in blocks offered. In the first round of OALP last year, as much as Rs 60,000 crore was committed in the exploration of oil and gas in 55 blocks or areas. In the third round, the government is expecting up to USD 700 million (about Rs 49,000 crore) of investment that it hopes will help raise domestic output and cut imports. The first OALP round was launched in 2017 and bids came in by May 2018. EoIs for second round closed on May 15, 2018, and the blocks were supposed to be put for auction by June but the round was delayed for unknown reasons. OALP-II was finally launched on January 7. In the meanwhile, EoIs in the third window also closed on November 15, 2018 with as many as 18 blocks and five CBM blocks, measuring 31,722 sq km, being sought for. OALP-III bid round was launched on February 10 with April 10 as the last date for bidding. Officials said the 14 blocks in OALP-II are estimated to hold in-place resource of 12,609 million tonne oil and oil equivalent gas. In OALP-1, mining mogul Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta walked away with 41 out of 55 blocks bid out. State-owned Oil India won nine blocks while ONGC managed to win just two. The 55 blocks have a total area of 59,282 sq km. This compares to about 1,02,000 sq km being under exploration prior to OALP. Blocks are awarded to the company which offers the highest share of oil and gas to the government as well as commits to do maximum exploration work by way of shooting 2D and 3D seismic survey and drilling exploration wells. Increased exploration will lead to more oil and gas production, helping the world’s third largest oil importer to cut import dependence.last_img read more

US slaps sanctions over Russia rights despite revived relations

first_imgWashington: The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on five Russians over abuses including the killing of a prominent opposition leader, days after top-level talks seemed to ease tensions between the powers. The State Department highlighted the actions against the five people, plus one entity, as it submitted an annual report required by Congress on actions taken under a law over human rights in Russia. The law, which blocks any US assets of blacklisted people and bars them from traveling to the United States, is named after Sergei Magnitsky, an anti-corruption accountant who died in custody in 2009. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportAmong the five newly blacklisted figures are Ruslan Geremeyev, an interior ministry official in the restive North Caucasus region of Chechnya who is close to its leader Ramzan Kadyrov. On his Telegram account, Kadyrov said the sanctions, were “clear proof that the United States is afraid of us.” Geremeyev has faced accusations of involvement in the 2015 killing in central Moscow of Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister turned leading critic of President Vladimir Putin. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsThe US Treasury Department said Russian investigators twice tried but were blocked from bringing charges against Geremeyev as the possible organizer of the killing of Nemtsov — the most high-profile death of a dissident since Putin rose to power two decades ago. The United States also slapped sanctions on two Russian investigators, Elena Anatolievna Trikulya and Gennady Vyacheslavovich Karlov, for allegedly concealing facts over the death and detention of Magnitsky, the accountant. “Nearly 10 years after his death, we remain concerned by the impunity for this and other violent crimes against activists, journalists, whistleblowers and political opposition,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement. She also voiced concern about “the intense atmosphere of intimidation for those who work to uncover corruption or human rights violations in the Russian Federation.” In response, the Russian embassy in Washington said: “These moves will be followed by reciprocal measures.” “Moreover these unconstructive decisions clearly run counter to a positive outlook of the recent Russia-US talks in Sochi,” it said in a statement. The sanctions came just two days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Putin in the Russian resort of Sochi, with both sides voicing optimism at finding areas on which to work together. Pompeo said he still had deep disagreements with Putin but believed the two powers could cooperate on issues including finding a political settlement in war-ravaged Syria and seeking a denuclearization deal with North Korea.last_img read more

UN and World Bank team off to Africa for the new

first_imgAnalysis by Erol AvdovicNEW YORK —UN and WB have stated an ambitious agenda to strengthen social safety nets for people in Sahel region, lower the cost of energy and increase support for irrigation and pastoralism, as well transform the state of agriculture starting with Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and NigerUnderdevelopment, political and social insecurity with humanitarian crises in the Sahel region will be under the spotlight this week again as the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank (WB) President Jim Yong Kim travel to the five core countries of West Africa: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.UN’s Ban and WB’s Kim teamed up again for a new trip to Africa’s to try to draw attention to the most impoverished region including strong social pressures that the climate change is causing there. – The new approach for most fragile place on EarthThe Sahel spans stretch for about 5,400 km from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to Red Sea in the east. The territorial belt varies from several hundred to a thousand kilometers in width, covering an area of 3,053,200 square kilometers. UN said the Sahel is one of the most impoverished and fragile places on the planet. Countless victims, whether due to hunger or people fighting each other over the decades out of poverty, food insecurity or over the other issues has become a common and recognizable image of West Africa.The proclaimed goal of this joint mission trip, as World Bank chief said at the joint press conference last week is “to address the root causes of poverty, conflict and helplessness.”Mr. Kim said this would be a “new approach” in which the World Bank will mobilize substantial public and private sources in support.“We’ll help strengthen social safety nets for people, lower the cost of energy and increase support for irrigation, as well as transform the state of agriculture in the region,” Mr. Kim said. Though, he did not talk how much money will be needed for that rather ambitious agenda.Beside its colonial past, Sahel has mainly Muslim population that also speaks French.– Grandiose drought and geopoliticsFor hundreds of years this region has experienced regular droughts and mega-droughts. From 1914, and then from 1951 to 2004, the Sahel experienced some of the most consistent and severe droughts in Africa – that caused a famine and large-scale suffering.But, UN is now convinced the cycle of crises in the Sahel can be broken. “The region can move from fragility to sustainability,” Ban Ki-moon said just days before undertaking this new African trip.Talking about Sahel region Romano Prodi UN Secretary General’s special envoy to the region said recently that Sahel is a “geographically enormous and the poorest of Africa” with different countries with most porous borders.He reminded that the borders are “out in the desert,” saying “It is time to make a plan of cooperation of all the five entirely Sahel countries.” Otherwise, Prodi warned those countries “will never have the economical scale (and) the connection or the strength to develop.”Prodi also pointed that the media focus should not be only on Mali and the war there, since the refugees of conflicts are everywhere:  “The fear is everywhere and the movement of terrorists are everywhere, so we better understand that this is not just Mali, this effects the wider area,” Prodi said.Sahel is also known as a important geopolitical entity. While becoming independent states, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal in 1973 formed the Permanent Interstates Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).CILSS countries alone are now home to more than 60 million people. But the population is growing very quickly in the Sahel. CILSS estimates there will be 100 million people in the region by 2020 and 200 million by 2050.– Climate changes issuesWhen it comes to climate changes and global warming issues scientists have differing opinions on whether the Sahel is going to get wetter or drier because of those weather phenomena, but either way doesn’t look very bright.West African Sahel and Central Africa may experience some of the highest temperature increases anywhere in the world over the next few decades – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of over 2,000 climate scientists all over the world, concluded in 2008. This is the estimate that still holds.The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also reported over 80 percent of the land in the Sahel is degraded. It is caused by overgrazing, continuous cropping, desertification, use and preservation of existing water resources and deforestation.Many studies cited by UNEP said – changing rainfall patterns and degraded land, may cause Chad and Niger to potentially lose their entire rain-fed agriculture by 2100, while in Mali cereal harvests might decline by 30 percent.Annual rainfall is often now coming in short, as happened throughout the Sahel in 2007, and particularly in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Chad — destroyed crops and seeds, and even washed away whole villages at the time.The majority of people in Sahel region are farmers, sharing similar customs and cultures even while their religions and languages vary. Crops such as millet, sorghum and cowpea, groundnut and cotton are the predominant agricultural produce of this region.– Lagging behind all the otherAccording to UN – today more than 11 million people are at risk of hunger and 5 million children under five are at risk of acute malnutrition.  Political instability had significant impact with economic and social consequences. Terrorism and organized crime are also the major threats for Sahel region’s stability for a long period of time.“These challenges cannot be overcome by any government or organization alone,” Mr. Ban said before leaving New York.Of course, it remains to be seen whether the well-designed package of “different approach,” as it was announced by the President of the World Bank Dr. Kim – will find a proper reception with quite disparate African leaders.To have a vision of prosperity is not enough without the generous funds for it’s financing. This was a main conclusion at the last week panel at the UN Headquarters dedicated to help Africa out of extreme poverty by the year 2030.– UN has to act now“We are going together to listen and act,” UN chief said last week announcing his trip with the WB head. Earlier this year, Mr. Ban and Mr. Kim travelled together to Africa’s Great Lakes region in support of a new peace. UN said the new voyage to West Africa seeks to build on joint efforts and foster international support.Turkey can help get Africa out of that endemic poverty as well. Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and former Prime Minister of Niger, told Anadolu Agency – “Turkey is becoming a key factor in African development, with many cooperation links being developed, not only on the bilateral level, but also at the continental level and regional level.”Traveling this time to Africa together with Mr. Ban and Mr. Kim also are the UN Secretary General’s special envoy to the region, Romano Prodi, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, President of the African Development Bank Donald Kaberuka, and Commissioner for Development of the European Union Andris Piebalgs.last_img read more

Oil prices rise on Libya output doubts demand outlook

first_imgLONDON – Oil prices rose on Tuesday as doubts surrounding a resumption to full Libyan crude output and the prospect of firmer demand offset concerns over the strength of China’s economy.New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in February, climbed 26 cents to $94.63 a barrel.Brent North Sea crude for March jumped $1.41 to $107.86 a barrel in London deals. “The expectation of a rapid normalisation of oil production in Libya has given way to a more realistic appraisal of the situation,” said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.The oil-rich North African country has been shaken by political instability ever since long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi was unseated and killed in late 2011.The latest crisis erupted in July, when security guards at key oil terminals shut them down, accusing the authorities of corruption and demanding a more equitable distribution of oil revenues.The supply constraint comes as global oil demand is set to rise faster than expected this year, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday.The IEA, which consults countries on energy policy, noted that oil consumption accelerated at the end of 2013 as advanced economies led by the United States recovered.But growth of Chinese demand slowed in the second half of 2013, it added.“IEA’s expectation of global oil demand to rise … on global economic recovery has provided some support to oil prices,” said analyst Abhishek Deshpande at French investment bank Natixis.China’s economy registered flat growth of 7.7 percent last year, maintaining its slowest expansion in more than a decade as the government warned Monday of “deep-rooted problems” including a mountain of local authority debt.Offsetting Libyan supply concerns meanwhile is the prospect of higher crude exports from Iran after a landmark deal to curb the Islamic Republic’s disputed nuclear programme came into force.Iran on Monday halted production of 20 percent enriched uranium, in the wake of an interim deal between Tehran and world powers that had been reached in November.Under the agreement, Iran agreed to curb parts of its nuclear drive for six months in exchange for receiving modest relief from international sanctions and a promise by the so-called P5+1 — Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States plus Germany — not to impose new sanctions against its hard-hit economy.The deal helps reduce geopolitical risks in the oil-producing Middle East region, reducing threats of supply disruptions and putting downward pressure on prices.last_img read more

Argentine lawyer to file a lawsuit accusing Israel of genocide

Rabat – A lawyer from Argentina is reportedly planning to file a lawsuit in federal court in the capital city of Buenos Aires accusing Israel of crimes against humanity and genocide, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). The lawyer, Carlos Slepoy told Argentine newspaper Pagina/12 on Tuesday that the lawsuit comes as a response to Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, a 50-day onslaught on the Gaza Strip this summer which claimed the lives of thousands and caused a total destruction to the besieged enclave.The Argentine lawyer is accusing Israeli officials by name for being responsible both directly and non-directly for the crimes. Among those accused are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, Benny Gantz, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Likud lawmaker Moshe Feiglin. Slepoy, who had previously opened a trial in Argentina about crimes committed in Spain during the government of Francisco Franco from 1939 to his death in 1975, was quoted by haaretz as saying: “the disproportionate number of forces and the large number of [Palestinian] victims reveals the huge crime; we will provide to the court a list with names and ages of the Palestinian kids murdered.”He also called upon Gaza victims and human rights groups representing Gazans to join the suit which will be in conjunction with the American Association of Jurists.In July, the association issued a statement saying that it is “strongly condemning the criminal aggression of Israel against Gaza and the occupation of Palestine territories including East Jerusalem.”Photo credit- AFP/Robert Schmidt read more

Morocco Has Third Largest Prison Population in the Arab World

By Zainab Calcuttawala,Rabat – Morocco has the third highest prison population rate in the Arab world, according to data published in The World Prison Brief by the London-based Institute for Criminal Policy Research last week.With 222 out of every 100,000 inhabitants in prison, the size of the Moroccan prison population is third only to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, both Gulf countries that incarcerate at a rate of 301 and 229 inhabitants per 100,000, respectively. The report stated that the world prison population rate puts 144 out of every 100,000 people in prison, with Seychelles and the United States topping the international list with 799 and 698 people per 100,000 locked up in the two countries. The Central African Republic and Liechtenstein had the lowest rates, with 16 and 21 out of every 100,000 in prison in the countries.The new data, collected in October 2015, comes at the heels of reports that prisons in Morocco are becoming increasingly crowded and violent.Last November, Delegate General of the Prison Service and Reinsertion, Mohamed Saleh Tamek stood before the Legalization and Justice Committee of the House of Representatives in Rabat to underscore increases in prison violence during 2015.According to the numbers he presented, assaults amongst prisoners and against prison staff doubled between 2014 and 2015. Populations in certain regional prisons have also risen as much as 300 percent. read more

Disway Reports Robust 2016 Annual Results

By Yousra AcherquiCasablanca – Disway’s consolidated revenue jumped by 10 percent to MAD 1.809 million amid a declining PC market in Morocco and Tunisia.Thanks to higher revenue and decent cost management, Disway’s earnings before taxes soared by 34 percent and stood at MAD 106 million while NIGS jumped by 8 percent to MAD 66 million. When the 2015 NIGS is restated to account for exceptional capital gains following the opening of the capital in Tunisia, the 2016 NIGS growth rate actually stands at 40 percent. Disway’s Board of Directors have proposed a dividend of MAD 23 per share versus MAD 20 per share one year ago.According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the PC market declined by 9 percent in Morocco in 2016 after a big plunge of 16 percent in 2015, due to a plummeting od demand from the public sector in the second half of 2016.Disway is the leading operator in the wholesale distribution of computers, servers, printing equipment, and software in Morocco. The company emerged as the indisputable market leader as a result of the merger of Distrisoft with MattelPC.Disway has a product portfolio comprised of all the major international hardware and software brands (HP, Apple, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, Cisco, Adobe) and their Blueway business is the leading distributor of IBM and Lenovo servers.Disway also operates in Tunisia, with revenue having grown by 38 percent in 2015 after soaring by 70 percent in 2014 thanks to a further post-Arab spring recovery of the Tunisian market.Going forward, Disway’s management stated that they will pursue their development efforts in North Africa and West Africa while enhancing their value offering and improving their logistical capability by increasing their platform’s capacity by twofold. read more

King Mohamed VI and Cote dIvoire President Alassane Ouattara Hail a

Rabat – King Mohamed VI and Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara concluded the King’s visit to the country with a joint statement, praising their countries’ deepening relationship and affirming their commitment to seeing an Africa.Both leaders called for a comprehensive, cooperative political approach to combatting the rise of new forms of global crime. They discussed the fight against terrorism, cybercrimes, sea piracy and drug trafficking and urged the international community to combine forces to eradicate the criminal organizations perpetrating these offenses.In the statement, King Mohamed VI lauded the part Ouattara has played in settling conflicts in the manner laid out by the late President Felix Houphouet-Boigny.  For his part, the Ivorian President lauded Morocco’s role as a peaceful and calming influence on the entire continent. Morocco’s Return to the African UnionOuattara complimented the decisive role Morocco continues to play in securing peace and security in Africa as a whole and, in particular, in Sub-regions of North and West Africa.“This return clearly shows the will and determination of the King of Morocco to engage in South-South cooperation and fully participate in the development of the continent, as evidenced by the Morocco-Nigeria pipeline project, which will cross West African countries, especially Cote d’Ivoire, whose benefits will not only concern all of those countries, but especially all of their populations,” Ouattara said.In response, King Mohamed VI expressed his country’s appreciation for the Ivorian support of Morocco’s return to the organization and pledged Morocco’s support for Cote d’Ivoire’s candidacy for a non-permanent member’s seat at the Security Council for 2018-2019.143 Agreements SignedIn their joint statement, both leaders celebrated the signing of 143 economic agreements and called for regular meetings of the Committee for the Formal Mechanism of the Follow-up and Implementation of the Agreements.Both leaders celebrated the 2nd Session for the Morocco-Cote d’Ivoire economic Impetus Group. The group promotes both public and private sector partnerships between the two nations as part of the Strategic and Economic Partnership Agreement, signed in Morocco January 21.“The governments of the two countries will endeavour to implement the recommendations of this second session, which are in line with the common vision of the two heads of state to establish bilateral cooperation between the two countries as a genuine model of South-South Cooperation for Africa as a whole.”By the time the 2nd Session was concluded, 14 agreements had been signed involving a wide variety of sectors including construction and social housing, infrastructure, transport and logistics, banking and financial, social economy, solidarity and crafts, health, digital economy and industry.Progress Checks, an Invitation ExtendedThe working/friendship trip afforded King Mohamed VI an opportunity to check on the progress of some of the projects Morocco has invested in recently. Both leaders expressed their mutual pleasure at the progress made regarding the safeguarding and upgrade to the Bay of Cocody.King Mohammed VI extended the President an invitation to visit Morocco for a similar visit, which Ouattara enthusiastically accepted. Details of the visit will be set through the usual channels and protocols. read more

Moussa Faki It Is Time for Africans To Manage Migratory Issues

Rabat – On Monday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita and the chairman of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki, signed a headquarters agreement on the African Migration Observatory.Proposed by King Mohammed VI, the African Migration Observatory will be in Rabat. It will have the task of collecting data and developing exchanges as a well as facilitating coordination between African countries on migration issues.Faki told the press that the observatory will be an important tool for analyzing migration and obtaining reliable statistics that are specifically African. Read Also: Guterres Welcomes Marrakech’s ‘Fantastic Miracle’ Conference CenterHe added, “It is time for Africans to manage this (migratory) issue on their own,” according to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP). Faki also expressed Africa’s “strong” commitment to the Global Compact on Migration adopted yesterday. He said that the document includes “important provisions to protect migrants.”Faki also confirmed that migration is now at the heart of the global and African agenda, saying the adoption of the document in Marrakech is the best illustration.Bourita said that the King had proposed the observatory and that  African leaders supported it in July in Nouakchott at the 31st AU summit.The observatory, according to Bourita, is the beginning of the implementation of the Global Compact on Migration, which emphasizes that better knowledge of migration will lead to better management.At the opening of the conference, Bourita recalled King Mohammed VI’s message to the participants.In his message, King Mohammed VI said, “Africa will not be the subject of the Global Compact, but the African continent will be an actor – a key one.”Bourita said the King’s message carries “strong signals in terms of dealing with the migration issue.”He added that migration requires shared responsibility from all affected countries. read more

Morocco Finds Solution to Potable Water Problem in Al Hoceima

Rabat- The head of Morocco’s National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE) in the Fez region, Mohammed Berkia, has announced that the office is adopting projects to improve potable water supply in Al Hoceima until 2035.Berkia said in a statement to the state-owned press, Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), that the ONEE’s projects aim to solve the problem of potable water in the Rif region and provide supplementary water for laundry and other uses.Berkia revealed that the projects will cost an estimated MAD 714 million. The government has budgeted MAD 900 million for the project, which will launch by the end of the year. The muddy waters of the Ben Abdelkrim El Khattabi reservoir dam in Al Hoceima have contributed to a shortage of clean water in the region, making it insufficient for the population’s daily needs.With respect to potable water supply in urban areas, the office will invest MAD 300 million to carry out the project until 2035. The water flow speed in the region will reach 200 liters per second.The projects also include the treatment of seawater to be preserved in a tank with a capacity of 2,000 cubic meters. To increase water supply in the rural areas of the Rif region, Berkia announced that 13 new dam reservoirs will be built at a cost of MAD 330 million.The project is within the framework of King Mohammed VI’s  Manarat Al Moutawsit development program.The implementation of the program has suffered a slow start and did not meet a strategic vision integrated and shared by all stakeholders, according to the Court of Auditors. The court noted that most stakeholders at both central and local levels were significantly delayed in carrying out their duties for the program.In October 2017, the King sacked several ministers and high officials who operated in the previous government lead by Abdelilah Benkirane. read more

Saudi Arabia Expels Canadian Ambassador Recalls Ambassador to Canada

Rabat – Saudi Arabia has expelled the Canadian ambassador over criticism from Canada’s foreign minister on the kingdom’s arrest of human rights activists.Saudi Arabia considered Canada’s criticism as interference in the kingdom’s internal affairs.Saudi Arabia also recalled its ambassador in Canada and announced Canada’s ambassador in Saudi Arabia to be “Persona-Non-Grata who must leave the Kingdom within the next 24 hours,” the Saudi press agency (SPA) reported today, August 6. The kingdom made the decision after Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland had denounced the arrest of two Saudi activists Samar Badawi and Raif Badawi by Saudi authorities.Canada is “very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi’s sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this difficult time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi,” wrote Freeland on her Twitter account on August 2.Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah, both Saudi women’s rights activists, were arrested on July 30.“This unprecedented level of persecution of human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia is a disturbing sign that the crackdown is far from over,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East research director.“These brave women represented the last vestiges of the human rights community in the country, and now they too have been detained,” he added.According to SPA, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs found Freeland’s statement surprising. The Canadian ministry’s statement “is a negative unfounded comment, which was not based in any accurate or true information,” said the Saudi foreign ministry.“The persons referred to were lawfully detained by the Public Prosecution for committing crimes punishable by applicable law,” the foreign ministry added.The ministry also deemed the Canadian statement “a blatant interference” in domestic affairs.Just one day after Freeland’s tweet, Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it “was gravely concerned” about arrested women’s rights activists, including Samar Badawi.Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in #SaudiArabia, including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists.— Foreign Policy CAN (@CanadaFP) August 3, 2018Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry responded to the statement and asserted that “Canada and all other nations need to know that they can’t claim to be more concerned than the Kingdom over its own citizens.”“The Kingdom will put on hold all new business and investment transactions with Canada while retaining its right to take further action,” it added.Canada’s official responseMarie-Pier Baril, a spokeswoman for the Canadian foreign ministry, said Canada was “seriously concerned” by Saudi Arabia’s recent actions on suspending trade between the two countries, according to CTV News.Despite the kingdom’s action, Canada’s position towards detained Saudi activists is constant. “Canada will always stand up for the protection of human rights, very much including women’s rights, and freedom of expression around the world,” Baril said in a statement.“Our government will never hesitate to promote these values and believes that this dialogue is critical to international diplomacy,” she added.Saudi crackdown on women’s right activistsAccording to Human Rights Watch (HRW), Saudi authorities arrested many activists and intellectuals in September 2017 in a “coordinated crackdown on dissent.”Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “has overseen a widespread crackdown on prominent activists, lawyers, and human rights defenders,” HRW said.According to HRW, many detained activists were campaigning against “the ban on women driving and publicly advocating abolishing the male guardianship system.”The Canadian foreign minister expressed her disappointment over the arrest of Saudi women activists.“We are extremely disappointed by the arrest of civil society and women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia,” said Freeland in May.“The entire Canadian government is prepared to speak up for Saudi women.” She also called on Saudi authorities to release the activists.Canada is extremely concerned by the arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in #SaudiArabia. We call on Saudi authorities to release peaceful activists. pic.twitter.com/jz8Q7rvjes— Chrystia Freeland (@cafreeland) May 24, 2018Raif Badawi’s family and detentionRaif Badawi is a Saudi blogger who was arrested in 2012 in Jeddah. He was sentenced to 7 years in prison and 600 lashes for allegedly insulting Islam through his liberal blog.The court also ordered that Badawi’s website be shut down since it criticized Saudi Arabia’s religious police. In 2014, Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court upheld the verdict against the Saudi blogger on appeal and increased the sentence to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes, and a $266,000 fine.Badawi’s arrest caused uproar worldwide. His case was raised by many international human rights activists and organizations, which called for his release.Since 2013, Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, has been living in Canada with their three children. They four obtained Canadian nationality earlier this summer, according to Radio Canada International. read more

Founder of Moroccan Company SGTM Mohamed Kabbaj Dies at 76

Rabat – Mohamed Kabbaj, the founder of Morocco’s leading construction company Society General of Public Works (SGTM), died of a heart attack on Friday, January 4, at the age of 76.Mohamed Kabbaj, who had battled an illness before his death, died  at the Cheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital in Casablanca.Read Also: Elalamy Sells Saham Group Healthcare Division to Mohamed KabbajKabbaj’s funeral will take place this afternoon at Chouhada cemetery in Casablanca. Kabbaj owned the top construction and public works corporation that constructed many institutions and landmarks in Morocco, SGTM.Mohamed Kabbaj and his brother M’hamed Kabbaj founded the company in 1971. read more

Yogurt company offers to pay school districts lunch debt

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Yogurt company Chobani has offered to pay off $85,000 in student lunch debt at an Idaho school district.The Twin Falls School District announced Tuesday that the donation would cover the debt acquired by more than 900 students during the last school year.The New York-based company operates a plant in Twin Falls.District spokeswoman Eva Craner says the school system still has about $115,000 in lunch debt from previous years.Craner says the schools make sure students are fed even if they don’t have money in their lunch accounts.The company says in a statement that it reached out to the district in May at around the time it paid off lunch debt for schools in Warwick, Rhode Island.The Associated Press read more