Conservative MP defends himself over Idle No More comments

first_imgAPTN National NewsLast week a modest group of demonstrators braved cold weather in front of Conservative Yukon MP Ryan Leef’s riding office as part of the Idle No More rallies.Leef didn’t address the people but was quoted in a Yukon paper saying: “They should be delivering their message and not needing an MP as a spokesperson on their behalf.”He was slammed by Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett who called the behaviour unacceptable.Leef is denying he made the comment.APTN National News reporter Shirley McLean has more on the story.last_img read more

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first_img(Inuit artist Annie Pootoogook, 46, was found in the Rideau River on Sept. 19. APTN/File Photo)Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsOttawa police’s Major Crime Unit is now treating the death of Inuit artist Annie Pootoogook as “suspicious.”Staff-Sgt. Bruce Pirt said Monday there were some aspects to Pootoogook’s death that demand closer inspection.“We are treating it as suspicious,” said Pirt, who is with the Major Crimes Unit. “There are elements that are suspicious, so we are going to have a closer look.”Pirt said investigators are analyzing footage seized from surveillance cameras at the Shepherds of Good Hope, where Pootoogook is said to have previously taken refuge, and other locations to map out her last movements before her death.Pirt said investigators are also trying to gather eye-witness accounts of Pootoogoook to pint-point exactly what happened before she ended up in the Rideau River where she was found submerged on Sept. 19 at about 8:50 a.m. near Bordeleau Park in Ottawa’s Lowertown neighbourhood.Pootoogook was “nomadic” in her last movements and it has proved difficult for investigators to piece together an accurate timeline.“It is difficult to pinpoint that,” said Pirt.Pirt said investigators have interviewed William Watt, Pootoogook’s partner, a number of times.“We want other people to talk to,” he said.Ottawa police initially stated foul play was not initially suspected in Pootoogook’s death.On Friday, when police identified Pootoogook as the woman found in the river, investigators issued a public plea for information on the Inuit artist.“We are getting a good public response,” said Pirt.Ottawa police will not release Pootoogook’s body “pending further investigation,” he said.Nancy Ainalik said she hung out with Annie Pootoogook on Ottawa’s streets. APTN/PhotoNancy Ainalik said she hung out with Pootoogook on Ottawa’s streets. They both came from the same Nunavut community. She said the last thing she knew about Pootoogook was that she was going to get country food and bring it home.“A couple of days later, I found out,” said Ainalik, who has been in Ottawa for about six months.Ainalik said Pootoogook was friends with her mother back when she lived in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, before her crayon and ink artwork made her an international star in contemporary art.Originally from Cape Dorset, Pootoogook moved to Ottawa as her fame in the art world grew. Once in the city she slid deep into alcohol and ended up at times homeless and eventually pregnant.Pootoogook is best known from her artwork, which is in collections held by the National Art Gallery and the Ontario Gallery of Art.Pootoogook’s cousin Inusiq Shoo said he cried “a little bit” when he heard the news of his cousin.Shoo said he was on the computer at the Rideau branch of the Ottawa public library last Friday when his friend came over to tell him about a story that just popped up on Facebook from Nunavut newspaper Nunatsiaq News saying Pootoogook was dead.“I was shocked,” said Shoo, during an interview at a men’s shelter in Ottawa Friday night. “I am going to miss her. I loved her as a cousin.”Shoo said he didn’t know what led to her death in the river. He said he knew she was trying to leave her partner.Shoo she shared a special connection with Pootoogook through their language.“We always talked in Inuktitut when we see each other,” he said. “We never spoke English. That is how we know each other.”“She was the best artist I ever saw,” said Shoo.Pootoogook was 46, police said.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

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Indigenous Affairs rejects Senates S3 amendment on status bill

first_imgTodd Lamirande APTN National NewsBill S-3 was rejected by Indigenous Affairs. The bill was supposed to eliminate sex-based discrimination when determining status in the Indian Act.It was a court ordered result of the Stéphane Descheneaux case.He wanted to pass status on to his three daughters.tlamirande@aptn.calast_img

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Husky shares down after offshore oil vessel suspended due to iceberg incident

first_imgCALGARY – Shares in Calgary-based Husky Energy Inc. fell nearly seven per cent Thursday after operations aboard its SeaRose FPSO vessel off the Newfoundland and Labrador coast was ordered suspended by the federal-provincial regulator because of a close call with an iceberg last March.Husky’s stock (TSX:HSE) was down $1.29, or 6.77 per cent, to $17.77 at the closing of markets, after dropping as low as $17.58 earlier in the day from Wednesday’s close of $19.06.The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board said Wednesday after markets closed the vessel would be suspended from operating until the board is sure that “corrective and appropriate actions” have taken place.It said the floating production, storage and off-loading vessel with 84 people and 340,000 barrels of crude onboard failed to follow protocol and sail away when an iceberg entered its 0.25-nautical-mile ice exclusion area, adding personnel at one point were instructed to muster and ‘brace for impact.’Barclays analysts said in a note Thursday the suspension is “significant” because it cuts off about 27,000 barrels per day of some of the most profitable production in Husky’s oil and gas portfolio for an undetermined length of time.That’s about eight per cent of total oil and gas production from the company, which also operates in Western Canada and the Asia-Pacific region.last_img read more

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G7 leaders cant avoid Iran at summit with Trump say European diplomats

first_imgOTTAWA – Donald Trump’s decision Tuesday to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear agreement will be a topic of discussion at next month’s G7 summit in Quebec’s Charlevoix region, European diplomats say.It will join trade issues among the more potentially charged topics that could highlight divisions between the mercurial U.S. president and his G7 counterparts — an unenviable position for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when he hosts them for two days of talks.The European ambassadors, who were taking part in a panel discussion on the upcoming summit, played down the potential for divisions with the U.S. — including the potential for a new G6 configuration that would exclude America — saying the small exclusive club of the world’s richest countries could handle a round of frank discussion.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland expressed Canada’s regret over the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which she called “essential” to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons capability and ensuring global security.“Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons,” Freeland said in a written statement. “The JCPOA has subjected Iran’s nuclear program to a rigorous and unprecedented international verification regime by the International Atomic Energy Agency.”She acknowledged that the deal, agreed to by Iran in 2015 and endorsed by the United Nations, “is not perfect. It has, however, helped to curb a real threat to international peace and security.”Freeland noted that just two weeks ago, G7 foreign ministers unanimously committed to “permanently ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program remains exclusively peaceful, in line with its non-proliferation treaty obligations and its commitments under the (JCPOA).”“Canada regrets that the United States has decided to withdraw from the JCPOA, particularly given that, according to the IAEA, Iran continues to implement its JCPOA commitments,” she said.Many of Canada’s western allies similarly expressed their disappointment at Trump’s decision, which served as a harbinger of how fast-moving global events can upset the carefully scripted G7 agenda that Trudeau will be trying to advance.“It is evident that actually this will be one of the topics to be discussed at the summit,” Peteris Ustubs, the European Union ambassador to Canada, said of Trump’s decision.But Ustubs dismissed any suggestion that the U.S. position had potential to “diminish and change the formulation” of the club to a G6.“We should avoid thinking that (the) G7 is only the club of the convenient conversations,” said Ustubs. “If there are conversations which are inconvenient that’s the part of the G7 conversations.”The European Union is a full-fledged member of the G7, but it does not have so-called numbered status.Germany’s ambassador to Canada, Sabine Sparwasser, said the G7 has always been a forum where there is room for disagreement and discussion.But she said it is no secret that the U.S. decision on Iran is “a blow” to what was an important diplomatic victory. “We thought the deal as such made the world a little bit safer for the time being,” she said.Sparwasser said it was too early to comment on all the implications of Trump’s decision, but “we will try to salvage what we can.”French ambassador Kareen Rispal, whose country takes over the G7 presidency from Canada next year, said the group would overcome its obstacles.“We can’t exclude any state or any country that has a difference of view,” she said. “Yes, it’s a risk to have a communique with 6 plus 1, but I think everybody is trying to avoid this kind of situation because we would go nowhere.”Earlier Tuesday at the same symposium, Trudeau’s chief G7 organizer said that the world leaders simply cannot avoid a discussion of thorny trade issues.Peter Boehm, the Canadian sherpa, didn’t mention Trump by name, but he too was addressing the same day-long conference focused on how to shape Canadian foreign policy in the age of the disruptive, protectionist influence of the current U.S. president.“I’m afraid we can’t avoid a trade discussion in Charlevoix,” Boehm told the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.“We’re aware that this is a challenging issue within the G7, particularly with the backdrop of steel and aluminum tariffs and NAFTA negotiations.”Despite the challenges, Boehm said the G7 leaders may be able to reach an agreement on the need for a revitalized World Trade Organization.“Canada and its G7 partners need to remain committed to working together on strengthening the rules-based trading system, fighting protectionism and encouraging free trade so that all citizens can take advantage,” said Boehm.The day-long gathering of foreign policy experts, diplomats and academics took place under the banner, “Positioning Canada in the Shifting International Order.”That shift referred mainly to Trump and the wrecking ball that many say he has taken to the world’s multilateral institutions.Rona Ambrose, the former Conservative cabinet minister who is an adviser on the government’s non-partisan NAFTA panel, told the gathering that Canadians can no longer adhere to the “romantic notion” that Canada and the U.S. remain best friends and allies.That said, a deal on NAFTA that all three countries could live with is still possible, she insisted, crediting the Liberal government with doing everything it can do get a deal with the unpredictable Trump administration.Peter Donolo,who was communications chief to former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien, said Trump won’t be satisfied with any NAFTA outcome that does not allow him to declare all-out victory.“He will define a success as, ‘We’ve won, we’ve won big time; Canada and Mexico are eating dust; they’re eating dirt, they’re done; they’re humiliated.’”last_img read more

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Pride Society gearing up for third Pride Walk in Fort St John

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The North Peace Pride Society is gearing up to host the third annual Pride Walk in Fort St. John in early June, which organizers say should be the biggest edition of the event thus far.Society spokesperson Lyle Goldie said that the Society has seen some changes in the last year, after getting a new President and Vice-President last fall. Goldie said that this year’s iteration of the Pride Walk will be the longest since the inaugural Pride Walk began at City Hall in 2016.Goldie said that the Pride Walk, which is taking place on the afternoon of June 2nd, will start at WI Centennial Park across from CM Finch Elementary School. Participants were originally going to be walking to Ecole Central Elementary, since Centennial Park was due to be closed for renovations. Now however, the Pride Walk will actually be concluding at Centennial Park – the same location as in 2016 – since the renovations in the park aren’t set to begin until later in June. Goldie said that the Society is hopeful that this year’s Pride Walk will see even more participants than the past years, since word of the event is reaching more residents. He said that festivities are planned in Centennial Park after the walk, including dancers, singers, food, and refreshments. Acting Mayor Lilia Hansen and councillors Klassen, Evans, Bolin, Stewart, and Christiansen present members of the North Peace Pride Society with this year’s Pride Week proclamation. Photo by Chris NewtonThe City of Fort St. John will also be getting involved, after council voted in favour of proclaiming the week of May 28th – June 2nd as Pride Week in Fort St. John.The Pride Walk will be starting at WI Centennial Park at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 2nd. For more information, contact the North Peace Pride Society via their Facebook page.last_img read more

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BC chief says they didnt give up rights for pipeline to be

first_imgChiefs and elected council members from several B.C. First Nations including the Haida, Gitxsan and Babine Lake, stepped up to share their support and stories of resistance against industry.Wayne Christian of the Secwepemc nation told the crowd that “legislative genocide” had been waged against Indigenous peoples for generations.Harvey Humchitt, a hereditary chief with the Heiltsuk First Nation in Bella Bella, where a barge ran aground spilling oil into the waters, said it only takes one incident to cause devastation. SMITHERS, B.C. – A Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief told a crowd of First Nation leaders gathered in Smithers, B.C., that no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over the land.Chief Na’Moks says the rights of the hereditary chiefs to the land have never been extinguished.He says the agreements signed by pipeline builder Coastal GasLink are illegitimate and the support shown by those gathered, and by many people around the world, proves the Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders do not stand alone.last_img read more

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BC Liquor Distribution Branch to hold job fair in Fort St John

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A B.C. Cannabis Store is one step closer to opening in Fort St. John.On July 9, the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch will be holding a job fair in Fort St. John to recruit prospective employees for its B.C. Cannabis Store.According to LDB Senior Communications Officer, Kate Bilney, they are looking for one store manager, two assistant managers, six full-time cannabis consultants, and eight part-time/auxiliary cannabis consultants. Bilney says successful candidates will receive extensive training and will be required to undergo an Enhanced Security Screening check, in accordance with the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act.“Successful candidates will receive extensive training, concentrating on social responsibility practices related to safety and responsible adult use, comprehensive product knowledge and customer service skills. Product knowledge and an understanding of the essential elements related to cannabis products and the industry are appreciated, but not required. Retail experience is also appreciated. B.C. Cannabis Stores employees will be required to undergo an Enhanced Security Screening check, in accordance with the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act.”According to LDB, the Fort St. John store will be located at 10251 and 10215, 100 Street within the Northgate Mall complex, and is expected to open later this year.The job fair will be taking place July 9 from 12:00 pm to 6:00 p.m. at the Best Western Plus Chateau.While LDB recruiters will be collecting resumes at the event, all prospective candidates must submit their application via the LDB’s online portal.last_img read more

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Malinga likely to play next two matches for Mumbai Indians

first_imgNew Delhi: Lasith Malinga is likely to be available for the next two IPL matches for Mumbai Indians after Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) softened its stance on the participation of the veteran pacer in a domestic ODI tournament. SLC had earlier announced that only those players would be eligible for selection in the World Cup squad, who would compete in Super Provincial One-Day domestic tournament, slated from April 4 to 11. The diktat had forced Malinga to make himself unavailable for Mumbai Indians’ first six matches. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhHowever, according to a report in ESPNcricinfo, the SLC has changed its stance after a few calls by BCCI. SLC Chief selector Ashantha de Mel said that Malinga’s place in the World Cup bound squad is guaranteed, so he is free to participate in the IPL. “We have no issues if he goes to IPL – the board had given him a no-objection certificate already, so he’s free to go. Anyway he has been one of our best bowlers in one dayers, so there’s no question about his place in the team,” Mel said. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later”Anyway he has been one of our best bowlers in one dayers, so there’s no question about his place in the team,” Mel added. The news of Malinga’s participation will boost Mumbai Indians’ confidence as they aim to register their first win of the tournament after losing to Delhi Capitals on Sunday. The three-time winners will lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab in back-to-back away games on March 28 and 30 respectively.last_img read more

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New books to add in your shelf

first_imgKundan Lal Saigal once strode like a collosus over the Hindi and Bangla music worlds, jovial and good-humoured but never sharing his personal tribulations – here’s why; next, explore a new world where changes in technology make one wonder what the next generation will turn into; and finally, learn how gravitas not only inspires you but also inspires greatness in others. Here are a few new releases, which you can add in your collection:’Kundan – Saigal’s Life and Music’ by Sharad Dutt (translated by Jyoti SabharwalHis unique voice and singing style, coupled with an acting prowess, has not possibly been emulated – and for good reason. “The litmus test of any artistic endeavour lies in the fact that even with a classical base, it invades the realm of popularity and enchants the masses. That was the warp and weft of Saigal’s craft that immortalised his songs,” writes National Award-winning author Sharad Dutt, a former DDG of public broadcaster Doordarshn. In a film career that spanned 15 years – 1932-46 – Saigal performed in some 36 films in varied genres of songs, ghazals and bhajans each of which tug at the heart even when heard to this day. “It is often stated that a musical rendition makes a mark when it emanates from a wounded heart…At what point Saigal was grievously hurt could not be established but the anguish in his voice remained unextricable, be it in his acting prowess or his skilled singing,” Dutt writes. ‘Where Will Man Take Us?’ by Atul JalanWill the perfect partner need to be charged before bed? Will we soon be taking happiness pills before breakfast? Will the screen that we peer into soon be within us? Has the first person who will live to be 150, been already born? It’s a new world we are walking into and the man who began this journey is not the man who will end it. In this debut novel, Atul Jalan, a science storyteller and futurist, the founder-CEO of pioneering AI venture Manthan, explores how the technology man has built is transforming him and the institutions he has created. “I like to call ours a Gutenburg moment. As Johannes Gutenburg looked at his first proofs, did he for a moment think that he was flagging off one of the golden ages of mankind?…We are witness to a similar moment in history when mankind takes another giant leap. One that will elevate man again – as a species infintely more sapient,” Jalan writes. ‘Authentic Gravitas – Who Stands Out and Why’ by Dr Rebecca Newton Authentic gravitas means you are respected and trusted, your words carry weight, your ideas are taken seriously and your contributions valued. This also requires you to bring out these qualities in others. Thus, you are not only inspiring but also inspire greatness in others. “Throughout this book, you will meet some truly inspiring leaders and professionals who built true gravitas and you will learn how they did it. We’ll look at what gravitas is, what it isn’t, and debunk gravitas myths to discover the surprising truth about who stands out and why,” writes Newton, an Organisational Psychologist and Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the Department of Management.last_img read more

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Vivek Oberoi says sorry; deletes the crass tweet

first_imgMumbai: Vivek Oberoi on Tuesday apologised for sharing a meme on actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s personal life and deleted the controversial tweet after being severely criticised on social media. Oberoi, who reportedly dated the former Miss World in early 2000s, on Monday posted a meme on Twitter with three panels, one featuring him, another with Salman Khan and a third with Aishwarya’s husband Abhishek and daughter Aaradhya. The meme, a take on the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the results of which will be declared on Thursday, was called “crass” and “distasteful”. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework “Sometimes what appears to be funny and harmless at first glance to one, may not be so to others. I have spent the last 10 years empowering more than 2000 underprivileged girls. I cant even think of being disrespectful to any woman ever,” he tweeted. “Even if one woman is offended by my reply to the meme, it calls for remedial action. Apologies.. tweet deleted,” the actor added. On Monday night, responding to the controversy Oberoi told reporters that he had shared the meme because he found it funny and did not understand “why people are making a big deal about this.” Also Read – Afghan Taliban frees 3 Indian hostages in exchange for 11 top militant leaders: Reports “Someone sent me a creative meme where I was being made fun of. I just wrote, ‘Ha ha,’ and appreciated the other person. When someone makes fun of you, you should laugh and not take it so seriously. “I even wrote there that there’s nothing political about it. It’s life and such things happen in life that you are with someone and then you move on in life,” he said. Social media was quick to blast the actor, who is currently promoting his upcoming film “PM Narendra Modi”, over his “distasteful” tweet. Bollywood actor Sonam Kapoor called the meme “disgusting and classless”‘ in a tweet while Urmila Matondkar, who is the Congress candidate from Mumbai North, called out Oberoi for not having the courtesy of pulling down the tweet despite criticism. The National Commission for Women sent a notice to Oberoi, asking him to give an explanation for sharing the “insulting” and “misogynist” tweet.last_img read more

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Israel demolishes Palestinian community in Jordan Valley

first_imgJERUSALEM– Israeli military forces leave three families without shelter and destroy the only available water pipe to the community in the Jordan Valley.Israeli military forces demolished on Wednesday buildings belonging to the Palestinian community of Khirbet ‘Ein Karzaliyah in the northern Jordan Valley, rendering homeless the entire population consisting of three families, comprised of 10 adults and 15 minors. The residents have been left without shelter for themselves and their livestock in the harsh winter weather conditions, Israeli Human Rights Network B’Tselem Director Jessica Montell said in a report.   The Israeli military also destroy the only water pipe available to the residents. Stressing that it is unlawful to displace people from their homes and lands under the excuse of Israeli army military training in occupied territories, the report reads: “The Civil Administration determined that the buildings must be demolished, citing the argument that the community is located in a closed military zone used as a firing zone. The expulsion of residents of an occupied territory from their homes for the purpose of military training by the occupying power is unlawful. International Humanitarian Law stipulates that such expulsion is permissible only in the case of imperative military needs or to safeguard the local population.” “The domestic Israeli debates as well as the diplomatic debates are being conducted in complete detachment from the reality on the ground in the Jordan Valley, which is home to thousands of Palestinians. These Palestinian residents live in difficult conditions, subject to harassment and continuous threats from Israeli authorities,” the report added.The demolition of the residential compound in Khirbet ‘Ein Karzaliyah without offering the residents any viable alternative runs contrary to Israel’s obligations and is in blatant violation of the International Humanitarian Law rules which Israel has undertaken to uphold, Montell stated.last_img read more

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Casablanca: Princess Lalla Salma Inaugurates Unit For Treatment of Blood Cancers

first_imgCasablanca  –  Princess Lalla Salma, Chairwoman of the Lalla Salma Foundation of Cancer Prevention and Treatment, inaugurated on Tuesday the adult hematology and oncology unit for the treatment of blood cancers, at “20 August 1953” hospital of Ibn Rushd university hospital center in Casablanca.Princess Lalla Salma visited the protected unit which includes offices of the head nurse and the doctor, a patient care room, a pharmacy, protected area I (12 rooms), a visitors area, and protected area II (6 rooms).This service is responsible for the specialized care for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) as well as the training of specialists and researchers in this field. It is part of a partnership agreement between the Lalla Salma Foundation, the Regional Council of Casablanca, the Prefectural Council, the city council, the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH), the Ministry of Health, and Ibn Rushd University Hospital Center.  AML is rare in children. It constitutes 80–85% of acute leukemia in adults, and its incidence increases with age. There are about 1,500 new cases in Morocco. Due to its specificity, treating AML should take place in specialized hematology units by skilled clinical hematologists and qualified nurses. The treatment of these patients should be in special facilities with “clean” rooms, endowed by a technical platform of biological hematology, microbiology and mycology. The first of its kind in Morocco, the protected 18-bed unit provides “clean” beds which lower the risk of infections thanks to air treatment designed to protect fragile senior patients.The 10-million dirham unit will accommodate up to 400 new cases per year, improve treatment outcomes to reduce early infection-related mortality.last_img read more

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Tunisia constitution to be put to vote Saturday: assembly

first_imgTUNIS – Tunisian lawmakers will vote Saturday on adopting a long-delayed new constitution, more than three years after the revolution, constituent assembly officials said.“The vote will be held tomorrow, Saturday,” Mofdi Mssedi, spokesman for the speaker’s office, told AFP on Friday, a day after parliament completed its review of each article in the draft charter.The time of the vote has yet to be determined. “If the constitution is adopted on the first reading by a two-thirds majority, the signing ceremony will take place on Monday,” said Karima Souid, an MP and information officer at the assembly.The text must be approved by at least 145 of the 217 members of the assembly to be adopted, and would then be formally promulgated by the president, prime minister and parliamentary speaker.If it fails to achieve the necessary majority on either its first or second reading, the charter must be put to a referendum.The political parties have sought to avoid that outcome, to be able to hold legislative and presidential elections in 2014 and end the political crisis plaguing Tunisia since the assassination of two opposition MPs last year by suspected jihadist.The national assembly was elected in October 2011, nine months after the popular uprising that toppled strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and touched off the Arab Spring.But its mission to adopt a new constitution within one year was repeatedly disrupted by bitter political divisions between the ruling Islamist party Ennahda and the secular opposition, together with persistent social unrest and a wave of jihadist violence.A new government of independents headed by premier designate Mehdi Jomaa should be appointed by Saturday, after Ennahda agreed, under an accord to end months of political deadlock, to hand power to a technocrat administration tasked with leading the country to fresh elections.last_img read more

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Moroccan film Adios Carmen wins first prize Yaounde festival

Tinjdad, Morocco – The film “Adios Carmen”, made by young Moroccan director Mohamed Amine Benamraoui won 1st Prize in the 18th edition of the Festival of Black Screens, which concluded Saturday in Yaounde, Cameroon.Shot in Amazigh (Rif variant), the movie “Adios Carmen” takes the audience to to the complicated life of Amar, a young boy in the Northern region of Morocco, Rif.The 104-minute film tells the story of Amar, a child of ten years who lives alone with his violent uncle since his widowed mother left him to remarry another man in Belgium.  Waiting for the unlikely return of his mother, Amar met Carmen, a Spanish refugee fleeing the Franco regime, who works as “an usher at the village cinema.” She introduces him to cinema and gives him the motherly love that he was missing.“This work sheds light on the ancient and complicated story that connects Spaniards and Moroccans, and highlights the need to tackle our common memory,” Mohamed Amine Benamraoui told the MAP.Winner of the “Muhr Arab Special Mention” and the best feature in the Dubai International Film Festival 2013, the Moroccan film, which falls under the category of Drama, social, and family, reflects upon an important period in the history of Morocco and highlights cultural diversity in the Kingdom.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

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Mark Zuckerberg Reading Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah

Rabat – Mark Zuckerberg has revealed his next pick for his A Year of Books project. Thirty-one year old Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, made a New Year’s Resolution to read an important book every two weeks this year and then discuss it online with the Facebook community. His eleventh book is “Muqaddimah” (translated The Introduction) by the Arab historian Ibn Khaldun.Ibn Khaldun is considered one of the founding fathers of modern society and historiography. He was well-educated and studied a range of topics including Arab linguistics, law, mathematics, economics, logic, and philosophy. He also memorized the Qur’an by heart. “Muqaddimah” is Ibn Khaldun’s most famous work. Written in 1377, it focuses on classic Islamic history and elements of the early progression of humanity. Zuckerberg says that although most of the book has been disproven since its writing, “Muqaddimah” is still an interesting read.“It’s a history of the world written by an intellectual who lived in the 1300s. It focuses on how society and culture flow, including the creation of cities, politics, commerce and science” he wrote.The book gives a different prospective on worldview and was used by later historians to examine the growth and decline of modern empires. read more

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Morocco Ranks North Africa’s Largest Insurance Market

Rabat – Moody’s International Cabinet’s latest report on insurance ranked Morocco as North Africa’s largest insurance market.In 2013, Morocco’s insurance sector was Africa’s second largest market after South Africa, with regard to issued premiums.Morocco also ranked the Arab World’s top market concerning penetration rate in 2013, according to Le Matin newspaper. Between 2012 and 2013, the insurance sector recorded an average growth of 2.7 percent according to La Fédération Marocaine des Sociétés d’Assurance et de Réassurance (FMSAR). The sector’s growth was mainly driven by increases in real estate loans.In 2014, issued premiums in the insurance sector stood at MAD 28.4 billion, having recorded an increase of 6.4 percent in one year, according to la Direction des Assurances et de la Prévoyance Sociale.Penetration rate also increased from 3.09 percent in 2013 to 3.14 percent in 2014. Life insurance registered a growth of MAD 9.4 billion, with an increase of 9.3 percent in one year.Non-life insurance annual growth stood at 4.9 percent with total revenues reaching MAD 19 billion. read more

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Morocco Arrests Member of ISIS-Related Terror Cell

Rabat – Morocco’s security services on Tuesday arrested a member of a terrorist cell in the northern city of Nador recruiting volunteers to fight for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.This operation was conducted in coordination with the Spanish security services, which arrested three other accomplices in Sebta, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.One of the three accomplices is a former Guantanamo detainee who had fought for “Al Qaeda” in Afghanistan, the statement said, adding that another accomplice is the brother of a fighter who perpetrated in 2013 a suicide attack against a military barrack in Syria. This operation is part of cooperation between Moroccan and Spanish security services to fight terrorism in the light of the rising threat that represents ISIS for the stability of Morocco and its allies.The suspects will stand trial after completion of investigations, supervised by the competent attorney’s office.This operation comes less than a week after Moroccan intelligence services dismantled a 10-member terrorist cell affiliated with ISIS. According to a statement made by Director of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ), Abdelhak Khiame, the commando planned to carry out terrorist in Morocco last Friday.The terror cell, whose members pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), was planning attacks against public institutions and civil and military figures, Khiame said at a press briefing at the BCIJ headquarters in Salé (Rabat twin city), last Friday.The Moroccan official added that the terrorist group planned to use biological and chemical weapons. read more

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Sand from Merzouga at the Heart of Exhibition in Sao Paulo

By Chaimaa ZahaarRabat – Sand from Merzouga, a small village in southeastern Morocco, and that of other regions of the world are the subject of a scientific exhibition which has just opened at the Science and Technology Park (CIENTEC) of The University of São Paulo (USP). The São Paulo University Science Exhibition, entitled “Sands of the World”, offers visitors the opportunity to observe sand specimens from around the world.Visitors can discover the specificities of these small rock particles whose size Is between 0.063 and 2 mm, as well as the different elements that contributed to shaping them across regions, reports the agency ANBA, organ of the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce. In addition to the ultra-fine sand and siliceous taken from the famous Merzouga dunes, the exhibition highlights the sand near the pyramids in Egypt and in places as exotic as Disappointment Island in Antarctica, Iceland, Okinawa Japan and the island of Kauai in Hawaii.Sand samples from Reunion Island, Greece, Australia, Bolivia, Canada, New Zealand, Chile, Mexico, Barbados, Colombia and Thailand, as well as local sand from The States of Maranhao and Sao Paulo, are also presented in this exhibition which will continue until July 29th.The exhibit also showcases the sand formation process through a section showing rocks and minerals at different stages of disintegration.The exhibition is the culmination of a project funded by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and coordinated with the USP’s geoscience department.According to the organizers, some of the sand samples presented were collected by students from the geophysical department of São Paulo. Others have been offered by researchers and scientific institutions from several countries. read more

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Morocco Reveals Winter-Weather Aid Plan

By Neaman LerhmariRabat – In a government meeting Thursday, Saad Eddine El Othmani, the head of the Moroccan government, promised food aid to 26,000 families living in remote and enclosed areas currently suffering a severe cold wave.El Othmani also stated that homeless people, who numbered at 7,226 in 2014 according to the High Commission for Planning, will be provided with shelters. The head of government did not provide further information about the solution. The areas concerned by the food aid are those who  suffer from adverse weather and poor road infrastructure. Twenty-six commissions will be deployed to supervise the support operation, which involves snow removal, among other actions.As remote areas often have weak network coverage due to a lack of telecommunication infrastructure, El Othmani promised that the National Agency For Telecommunication Regulation will engage further efforts, specifically satellites, to help the rural population stay connected with the rest of Morocco and the world.Such efforts stem out of the Ministry of Interior’s large scale anti-cold mobilization, in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport, Equipment and Logistics, the Water Ministry, the Health Ministry, and the Royal Gendarmerie, as per the Ministry of Interior’s press release. read more

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