‘Stay indoor,’ says CM … cancels all rallies

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cancelled all her political rallies scheduled on Friday and Saturday in the wake of cyclone ‘Fani’ and urged people to be safe and stay indoors.Banerjee will supervise the situation from Kharagpur in West Midnapore where she is currently staying. Expressing her concern, she advised people to stay indoors during the next 48 hours to prevent any untoward incidents. She also urged people to remain calm in the wake of this approaching natural calamity and not get swayed away by any rumours. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework”Don’t stay in the mud houses as they may collapse during the cyclone, putting human lives at risk. I would also request the common people to stay indoors as much as possible in the next 48 hours. I will request those staying in dilapidated houses to move to nearby rescue centres. If one is left with no other alternative and has to go out, he/she has to be extremely cautious. Keep an eye on the trees and electric poles,” Banerjee added. She has also made an appeal to the people to switch off electronic gadgets and put off gas cylinders during the storm as preventive measures. She also directed those living in the coastal districts to seek refuge in the rescue centres that have been opened by the state government in various districts. She also reminded that the state government is absolutely alert and closely monitoring the situation. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen”I am continuously monitoring the situation and necessary instructions to the administration will be issued. The Chief Secretary of the state is also keeping an eye on the situation. I have also asked Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim to put in place all the necessary arrangements including the mobilisation of the disaster management forces to combat any untoward situation. The Mayor himself is monitoring the situation from the KMC headquarter,” she maintained. “People’s lives are more precious. Do not take any risk. I have also cancelled the election rallies that were supposed to be held through the next 48 hours to avoid any untoward incidents. The state government has sounded an alert to cope with the severe cyclonic storm. We are monitoring the situation from time-to-time,” Banerjee added. The state government has taken all precautionary measures in the districts including East Midnapore, West Midnapore, North 24-Parganas and South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, Jhargram and Kolkata. “All arrangements have been made in the districts. Relief materials have been sent to the districts and we have opened one monitoring cell at the state secretariat 24X7 to keep a watch on the situation,” Banerjee stated.last_img read more

Class 10 result: Three Gurugram girls achieve 3rd rank in all India category

first_imgGurugram: In Gurugram, the girls again performed better than their male counterparts in the CBSE class 10 results.Among the students who obtained top position in Gurugram, three girls from the city achieved 497 out of 500 and obtained the third position in the All India category. The students who obtained pole positions from the city included Yatee Sukhani and Pia Gupta who are both studying in Amity school in Sector-46 and Mihika Parag Deshpande from the Suncity school. Overall in Haryana state, Divjot Kaur Jaggi of Convent of Jesus and Mary from Ambala Cantt was the topper with 499 marks. Priyanka who is from the same school came second overall with 498 marks. Yatee obtained cent per cent marks in Maths, Science and Sanskrit, 99 in social sciences and 98 n English Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesThose who achieved the same marks as Priyanka included Rohan Batra and Kashvi Jain from Ambala, Stutee Dixit from Faridabad, Sakshi Saxena from Palwal and Drishti Gupta from Panchkula. The high competition among the students can be gauged from the fact that there were 59 students in all who got 497 marks out 500. CBSE had conducted the class 10th examination from February 21 to March 29. A total of 18, 27, 472 candidates were registered for the exam. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarAccording to an official press release, a total of 40, 296 candidates appeared from 98 exam centres in outside India. Out of them, 20, 077 were male candidates and 20, 219 were female candidates while 197 were candidates with special needs. The highest number of candidates who registered for Class 10, Class 12 exams and overall were from Delhi. According to the statistics released by the board, 5,69,696 candidates had registered for CBSE Class 10 and Class 12 examinations from Delhi. This year maximum female candidates (2,72,271) appeared from Delhi and the maximum male candidates (3,38,613) appeared from Uttar Pradesh (UP).last_img read more

Live Video Platforms Give Brands a direct channel to reach consumers

first_imgDigital marketing has emerged as a formidable challenger to traditional mediums globally and India is at forefront of tapping the impact of this disruption. Indian companies are leveraging the potential of Digital tools and platforms to share their message across the target audience. The most common form of marketing is SEO and SMO on Google, Facebook and their allied platforms. Making a content viral has become the benchmark for success on these platforms and youtubers reviews of products or services have turned into a reference point for potential purchasers before settling on a choice. Though, various studies are indicating the trend that traditional digital platforms are facing incumbency as they deliver a non-interactive mode for audience to consume content; the contemporary generation is found to be seeking more dynamic mediums where they can also be involved in content creation and not just as a passive audience. Also Read – The Puja carnivalLive Video Streaming Platforms such as BIGO LIVE have thus emerged as a panacea for the both content creators and consumers as they empower them via a platform that makes digital interaction interactive and engrossing. Platforms such as BIGO LIVE have spawned a fresh talent pool of influencers who showcase their talents and have been able to amass their own fanbase. This presents an excellent opportunity for brands to collaborate with these emerging artistes via the platform to create exciting campaigns with out of the box ideas that enables them to reach out to their consumers in an innovative manner. Also Read – Wave City brings special offers this NavratraThe live video platform can be integrated within main marketing campaign and can be leveraged to stimulate interest of the masses on ground level. Some positive qualitative outcomes of these campaigns are: 1. Transparency: A live video stream allow a brand to gain trust of the audience as impromptu and unedited live videos are more realistic when compared a normal video upload on traditional platforms. A live video review of a product or service creates a sense of authenticity for the audience and allows brands to position themselves as transparent in approach and open to feedback. 2. Interaction with Brand Ambassadors – Live streaming is a perfect medium for celebrity and KOL brand ambassadors to interact with their fanbase. Live Streaming also removes resource limitations since only a smart phone and data is needed; they can come online and instantly connect with their audience at any time of day. This adaptability enables the brands to reach out directly to a global audience where they are able to ask questions relating to the product or service and receive an instant answer. This is a win-win situation for both target audience and brand with instant gratification. 3. Trust is a two way street – During live streaming, brands not only can interact with their intended interest group but can build trust among the user group. The genuine question and answer will help brands understand customers requirement and offer either immediate resolution or gather information for innovation purposes. Brands who wish to gain unfiltered reviews from their target group can utilise this channel. 4. Announcements/Launch : A top management personal can use this platform for both internal or external announcements thus sharing the new updates on real time basis. Similarly, a brand can use their designated live streamers to propagate the news about their new offerings via these platforms by choosing to share the announcement with few and creating a chain of event or video logs about the news, thus making it viral among the selective audience or masses. 5. Campaigns: Brands can create video campaigns and ask users to participate in the same in the form of talent hunt, best review, behind the scenes footage, webinars, quiz contest or anything else which may suffice the brands objective. The hashtags associated with these campaigns can become viral when they are simultaneously shared on various other platforms thus enabling a wider reach without relying on mass media platform for its content to be consumed by many. Brands can use video streaming platforms to measure the impact of their campaigns by using whole set of social media app bouquet, thus generating the numbers that they may need to call their campaign a success. The number of impressions, shares, likes etc can be mapped to see the impact it has had on the minds of target audience. They can groom their own set of influencers on this platform who can very well act as brand ambassadors and help take the brands to the next level. Platforms such as BIGO Live provide a never seen before opportunity for brands to engage with the masses. Their rapid rise combined with extensive user adoption will see video streaming platforms emerging as the mainstay of digital campaigns in the future. The evolution of these platform presents an infinite scope of creativity and is only limited to the imagination of the brands and streamers. The live video streaming platforms are thus the truly democratic and empowering mediums that have the power to revolutionize the entire marketing domain and alter the way we communicate over social and digital medium.last_img read more

Dimming constitutional spirit

first_imgTo get dragged into legalities of the LG-CM turf-war in Puducherry is pointless, as the conflicting views can be supported with contradictory legal judgements on the matter. Unfortunately for the LG, the recent clarification of the Madras High Court was both, unequivocal and embarrassing in observing that incessant interference in the administration of the state government, tantamount to ‘parallel government’. The unrelenting view from the Puducherry Raj Niwas, that the gubernatorial appointment in Puducherry afforded a more interventionist role was blunted, for now. The LG was quick to publically share a contradictory judgement on the social media, of a previous Chief Justice of the Madras High Court who had earlier adjudged that ‘Unlike the President of India or the Governor of a state, the Administrator of a Union Territory has powers to act independently, irrespective of the advice given by the Council of Minister headed by the Chief Minister’. Like Puducherry, Delhi, too, has been mired in the dissonance surrounding the LG-CM disaffections on the ‘limits’. The finality on the legalese of the matter notwithstanding, it is the diminishment of Constitutional spirit by the ostensible ‘conscience keeper’ of the Constitution in the Union Territory, that is the moot point in the prevailing discourse. Also Read – Hijacking Bapu’s legacyUnlike some other gubernatorial appointees who come from the fount of deeply ideological and partisan sensibilities – the incumbent LG of Puducherry is a distinguished member of the ‘Uniformed’ fraternity, who would be well versed with the governance imperatives of rectitude, restraint, and the uniquely service-related sensitivities of not ‘stepping-out-of-line’. However, such expectations militate against the reality of instances like the LG stopping two-wheelers on the roads of Puducherry, and asking them to wear helmets. As a former cop and one-time head of traffic police in Delhi, surely the LG would be expected to have a natural proclivity and gravitation towards road-safety matters, however the backdrop of such-like ‘interferences’ had led to an unprecedented protest by the Puducherry Chief Minister and his cabinet outside the Raj Niwas, which lasted nearly a week. The immense administrative experience, knowledge, and wisdom acquired over years of administrative service herself, is expected to be imparted in a more dignified, inclusive and far-impacting way, than perhaps by policing herself. In the short run, such actions of ‘public activism’ do impress the masses who have their own justifiable angst against the perceived ineptitude of the political classes and the administration. However, beyond the optics and symbolism of ‘rolling up the sleeves’, very little is achieved on the ground. On the contrary, the opportunity to make fundamental and systemic changes are lost in the petty battle of whataboutery one-upmanship, that can be avoided, whilst still achieving a lot more than pulling up a few irresponsible motorists. Also Read – The future is here!The Puducherry LG has contextualised her activism with her disdain for the ‘rubber-stamp’ appointees, and to that extent, she has a point as Raj Bhawans have increasingly acquired a notoriety as ‘old age home’s’ for pliant and loyal geriatrics, who are not adjustable in the Central Government. However, the full import of ‘rubber-stamp’ is not just in implied inaction or disinterest – it also manifests in the equally dangerous manner if not more, when the ostensible ‘rubber-stamp’ appointees toe a blatantly partisan line, ignoring his or her appointment to the constitutional chair on account of swearing by the Constitution, and not to a political party or obligation. A certain degree of apprehension owing to the difference in political parties of the state government and that of the LG-appointing Central government, is natural. As also, the tendency of the state political classes to get emotive and voluble given their partisan instincts in the State capitals – however, the onus of maintaining sobriety in public discourse is loaded onto the gubernatorial appointee, who is expected to be the ‘bigger person’ as the apolitical custodian of constitutionality. The current diatribe in Puducherry suggests a fight for supremacy, not amongst the constitutionally mandated unequal’s, but perhaps amongst the politically driven, equals. Mainstreaming issues on social media and picking up the cudgels oneself is also suggestive of the futility of the constitutionally mandated recourses available to the LG like reporting the concerns to the President of India, or even the Home Ministry for administrative issues. Such bypass assumes the incapacity or dereliction of these high chairs to get the requisite course-corrections suggested by the LG, other than by challenging the delicately posited federal structure and spirit of the constitution, that insists on the ‘voice’ of the masses through its elected representatives. The intrinsic spirit of democracy and the Indian Constitution bestows the responsibility of governance through the elected representatives (with the public empowerment to change dispensations, with the subsequent elections) – whilst bestowing the ‘moral’ supremacy onto the ‘conscience-keepers’ to exercise their powers with morality and sensitivity, in deference to the democratic traditions. Great constitutionalists and preservers of our democratic impulses like Presidents KR Narayanan and APJ Abdul Kalam were able to bear moral pressure on the governance and politics of the day by actions like ‘returning the files for reconsideration’. Away from media glare, these giants of constitutionalism worked silently behind the scenes and ensured that the dispensation of day, stayed the course of India’s constitutional obligations. Though these constitutionalists were appointed through a process of political majority – and sometimes these individuals erred in their decision-making, but no one could ever imply any partisanship or unwarranted ‘activism’ onto these two individuals, in their constitutional conduct. These men meaningfully reversed the notions of ‘rubber stamp’ ascribed on Rashtrapatis, without taking recourse to public-spats, accusations and lowering of decorum. Constitutional institutions, appointees and the overall spirit of the Indian constitution are coming under increasing strain – this leads to the frequent questioning of the essence, letter, and definition of ‘India’. Herein, the opportunity to exemplify the lofty spirit of our constitutionalism, federalism, and our civilisational truth of civility and wisdom, especially when you have an imminently qualified and well-versed LG like in Puducherry, is a lost opportunity for the Union Territory, and for others to emulate. Lt General Bhopinder Singh (Retd) is a former Lt Governor of Puducherry and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The views expressed are strictly personallast_img read more

Captain Kompany to leave Man City

first_imgLondon: Club captain Vincent Kompany announced Sunday that he is to leave Manchester City after 11 trophy-laden years. The 33-year-old Belgian defender joined the club in the summer of 2008 and has made 360 appearances, winning four Premier League titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups and two Community Shields. He signed off with victory in the FA Cup final on Saturday, where City thrashed Watford 6-0 to complete a domestic treble. “As overwhelming as it is, the time has come for me to go. And what a season to bow out,” said Kompany, who joined City from Hamburg. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: Rijiju”I feel nothing but gratefulness. I am grateful to all those who supported me on a special journey, at a very special club.” Kompany added: “I will never forget how all Man City supporters remained loyal to me in good times and especially bad times. Against the odds you have always backed me and inspired me to never give up. “(Club owner) Sheikh Mansour changed my life and that of all the City fans around the world, for that I am forever grateful. A blue nation has arisen and challenged the established order of things, I find that awesome.” Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersKompany also paid tribute to his team-mates and manager Pep Guardiola. “It’s cliche to say it but it’s also so true: without my team-mates, I would have never been here today,” he said. “We fought many battles together. Side by side. In good times and in bad. So to all of you, from the 2008-2009 squad to today’s domestic treble winners: I owe you guys! “A special word also to Pep and the backroom staff: you’ve been superb. You’ve followed me through so much hardship. You made me come back stronger every time. Thank you so much.”last_img read more

No dues pending: Javadekar

first_imgNew Delhi: Responding to the media reports about pending dues on his official bungalow till February, the office of Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar has stated that nothing is outstanding in the name of Javadekar for the accommodation of 6, Kushak Road.In a letter issued by Directorate of Estates, dated May 20, it has been stated that the Union HRD Minister has cleared all his due till February this year. There is no dues pending till February 2019 and the bill after February 2019 is not issued till date from the Directorate of Estates, the letter read. The Millennium Post on the basis of an RTI reply had reported that several union ministers, including Vijay Goel, Prakash Javadekar, Nirmala Sitaraman and Sushma Swaraj, have not cleared dues on their official bungalows till February. In an official statement, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has also stated that all the earlier dues have been cleared by the respective ministers. The demands for dues are raised on a quarterly basis and due are settled regularly, the ministry said.last_img read more

Muslim Brotherhood ‘stole’ Egypt’s revolution: Kerry

first_imgWASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday accused the Muslim Brotherhood of stealing Egypt’s revolution, in some of his toughest comments yet about the party that took power in the nation’s first democratic election.In a speech to a forum on enhancing links between private sector businesses and diplomatic security agencies, Kerry said “the best antidote to extremism is opportunity.”“Those kids in Tahrir Square, they were not motivated by any religion or ideology. “They were motivated by what they saw through this interconnected world, and they wanted a piece of the opportunity and a chance to get an education and have a job and have a future, and not have a corrupt government that deprived them of all of that and more,” the top US diplomat said.“They tweeted their ways and Facetimed their ways and talked to each other, and that’s what drove that revolution.“And then it got stolen by the one single-most organized entity in the state, which was the Brotherhood.”Since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military in July a year after coming to power, the United States has repeatedly said that he had failed to live up to calls for an inclusive, transparent government.And Kerry in August defended the army’s action to remove Morsi, saying it had moved as a bid at “restoring democracy.”But as the military-led interim government has moved only slowly towards new elections, the US in October suspended a part of its $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt.Kerry vowed earlier this month during a brief, surprise visit to Cairo that the United States would work with Egypt’s interim leaders and called on them to press ahead with reforms.last_img read more

Morocco-Germany: Industry Minister showcases Morocco’s economic assets

Marrakech  –  Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy minister Moulay Hafid El Alamy showcased, during a meeting with a German businessmen delegation on Thursday in Marrakech, Morocco’s business opportunities and its special location as a hub in Africa. Members of the delegation accompanying German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as part of a working visit to Morocco, closely followed the large array of Moroccan incentives for foreign investors, the guarantees concerning business climate, the quality of port and airport infrastructure, and the inflow of foreign enterprises gaining a foothold in Morocco. After surveying Morocco’s new sectoral approach for the emergence of industry over the past few years, El Alamy insisted on the platforms of car and aeronautics industries. With leading companies as “Bombardier”, nearly 117 aircraft parts manufacturers and 230 others in the car industry, these platforms are among the main exporters in the Kingdom, he said.  The minister highlighted opportunities offered by Morocco as accessing a one billion consumer-market thanks to free trade agreements (56 countries), and the position of a hub in Africa with Moroccan enterprises operating in several countries of the continent, recalling that over 40% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s loans are granted by Moroccan banks notably in western Africa. Morocco’s strategic location, and the performance of Moroccan businesses in Africa mainly in the sectors of finance, real estate, telecommunication and air transportation are all assets that make the Kingdom a hub for business development in Africa, he said. read more

Morocco: Officer Commits Suicide for Failing to Get Promoted

Rabat – A Gendarmerie officer committed suicide by shooting himself in the head using his official weapon in the capital Rabat, daily newspaper Asabah reported on Tuesday. The incident took place on Friday, Sept. 11. The officer was attached to a Gendarmerie barrack responsible for guarding royal residences.According to the same source, the officer was for years waiting for a promotion, but could not get through. Frustrated, he grabbed his weapon and shot himself dead. A state of emergency was declared immediately after the incident.An internal investigation has been launched into the matter. The body of the deceased was sent to his family.The Gendarmerie officer is survived by his wife and children.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

Morocco World News Wishes You Happy New Year 2016

New York – Morocco World News wishes its readers in every corner of the world a very Happy New Year.May each and every day be blessed with health, love, happiness, peace, and unity.As 2015 comes to an end and we welcome a new year, may you have a splendid 2016 filled with delightful surprises. From our team of writers, editors, staff, and contributors in Morocco, the United States, France, and all the other locations where we report, we wish you a year of prosperity, good cheer, positivity, and the realization of your dreams.We thank you for your support, readership, messages, and feedback, and especially your trust in what we do all year long to inform you with accurate and reliable news.May God pour his love and blessings on you and your loved ones.Happy New Year! read more

600,000 Moroccan Adults and Teenagers Addicted to Drugs

Rabat – Approximately 600,000 Moroccans are addicted to drugs, with 16,000 addicted to hard drugs like heroin and cocaine, reported Moroccan daily newspaper Assabah based on a study conducted by the Biochemistry and Nutrition and Cellular Biology group in affiliation with Casablanca’s Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy.300,000 Moroccans are addicted to cigarettes, according to the study, which revealed that the number of the addicted includes also teenagers under the age of 15. Most of them live in the slums and marginalized areas.Young people aged 18 to 28 are the most addicted to hard drugs, comprising 70 percent of total Moroccans addicted. The study is a part of the group’s research, which is about the consumption of drugs has become a commonplace.Scientist members of the group are striving to come up with a national strategy to fight against the effect of drugs in Morocco.According to the 2015 annual report of the National Observatory of Drugs and Addictions, around four to five fiver of Morocco’s adult population uses drugs, a minimum of 800,000 users.The report, which also found that one out of five high school students has already smoked tobacco and one out of ten has used cannabis, recommends a nationwide prevention program, laws to ban the selling of tobacco and drugs near schools, and counseling and psychological support units in schools and universities.The United Nations released a report in mid-2016, showing that the number of people suffering from drug addiction worldwide stands at 29 million. read more

Casablanca 13th Most Dangerous City in Africa: Numbeo

Rabat – Casablanca is the 13th most dangerous city in Africa, according to the 2017 Crime Index published recently by Numbeo, an online database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide.Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco, is the second most dangerous North African city, behind Cairo, Egypt.For the entire continent, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa ranks on top. According to the Numbeo ranking, safety while walking alone at night in Casablanca is “low,” and the city also has“ high level corruption and bribery.”Generally speaking, the crime index of the Moroccan city is 53.24 percent, while the safety index is 46.76 percent.To create Numbeo’s ranking for criminality, the internet users take also into account car theft, drug use, and corruption. The mid-2017 ranking is based on perceptions of visitors of the website overthe past three years, said Numbeo.Last September, the website ranked Casablanca the sixth city in terms on its 2016 Global Pollution Index , with a level of contamination that had reached 94.81 percent. read more

New Mexico to lead trade delegations to Germany, Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico is leading trade delegations to Germany and Mexico as the state’s Santa Teresa border region sees its exports rise.The New Mexico Economic Development Department and the New Mexico Trade Alliance are hosting trips to trade shows and offering grants to help businesses, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.The state in March will lead trade delegations to a trade fair for hunting, shooting sports and equipment for outdoor activities in Nuremburg, Germany. In addition, New Mexico will take a delegation for a solar power event in Mexico City.A delegation also will travel to Germany in April for a trade show on industrial technology.Officials said a Small Business Administration State Trade Expansion Program grant will cover the booth lease costs that can amount to $5,000 to $7,000.Companies must be export-ready and produce enough to cover international market demand for their products, said Edward Herrera, director of the Office of International Trade at the Economic Development Department.Santa Fe companies Santa Fe Stoneworks and Wicked Edge have attended the Nuremberg shows several times.“The state assisting us with a booth, that’s a whole different thing,” Santa Fe Stoneworks owner Bill Wirtel said. “With the help of New Mexico Economic Development, it was feasible to go back a second year (and more years).”Wirtel estimates government subsidies covered 30 per cent to 40 per cent of the cost of going to an international trade show.He said he met a Danish entrepreneur at the Nuremberg, Germany, show that led to the creation of a second Santa Fe business for Wirtel, Raffir USA. This company does U.S. distribution of fossils from the North Sea, hard woods from Bulgaria and Chinese composites supplied from Denmark.The trade delegations come as New Mexico’s Santa Teresa Port of Entry in Dona Ana County has seen a rise in traffic.In 2016, for example, Dona Ana County’s total exports grew to $1.6 billion, surpassing Albuquerque’s $1 billion.The Associated Press read more

Asian shares higher following strong gains on Wall Street

BANGKOK — Shares have advanced in Asia following a rally on Wall Street led by technology companies. There was little if any immediate reaction to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gained 0.1 per cent to 20,874.06 early Wednesday. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 rose 0.3 per cent, helped by buying of banks’ shares, to 6,026.10, while the Sensex in India jumped 0.6 per cent to 36,836.43. Markets in Hong Kong, mainland China and most of Southeast Asia were closed for lunar new year holidays.The overnight rally in U.S. markets, supported by strong corporate earnings, extended the benchmark S&P 500 index’s winning streak to five days.More than 68 per cent of companies reporting earnings in the S&P 500 beat analyst forecasts during the most recent quarter. Those results, in part, helped drive the market’s best January in 32 years.CHINA-US TRADE: Positive sentiment has been supported by reports from Washington, citing unnamed sources, that say U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin plan to travel to Beijing next week for the next round of talks aimed at resolving trade and technology-related disputes that have led to both sides imposing tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of each other’s products.WALL STREET: The S&P 500 index added 0.5 per cent to 2,737.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.7 per cent to 25,411.52. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite added 0.7 per cent to 7,402.08 and the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 0.2 per cent, to 1,520.23.ENERGY: U.S. crude oil added 8 cents to $53.74 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 1.6 per cent to settle at $53.66 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, picked up 6 cents to $62.04 per barrel. It slid 0.8 per cent to close at $61.98 per barrel in London.CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 109.76 yen from 109.96 yen on Tuesday. The euro weakened versus the dollar to $1.1397 from $1.1405.Elaine Kurtenbach, The Associated Press read more

Canada Wants to Call Off CAD 15 Billion Arms Deal with…

Rabat – Canada is looking for a way to avoid fulfilling a major arms deal with Saudi Arabia, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Sunday, after he received criticism from the opposition and human rights activists.Trudeau said it was “extremely difficult” to cancel the contract “without having to pay exorbitant penalties.” Financial penalties would exceed CAD 1 billion (MAD 7 billion), Trudeau said in October. The previous conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed the CAD 15 billion (MAD 107 billion) arms deal. “The murder of a journalist is absolutely unacceptable and that’s why Canada from the very beginning had been demanding answers and solutions on that,” Trudeau told CTV on Sunday. “We are engaged with the export permits to try and see if there is a way of no longer exporting these vehicles to Saudi Arabia,” he added. Read Also: Algeria Cancels Arms Deal with Russia, Angers PolisarioThe order, concluded in 2014, originally covered 928 light armored vehicles, but was reduced to 742 at the beginning of the year. The order is the largest sale of Canadian weapons in history and was to be conducted by General Dynamics Land Systems, a US-based manufacturer of military vehicles.Canada had already expressed concerns in 2017 about the possible use of the light armored vehicles in law enforcement operations in eastern Saudi Arabia and Yemen.Relations between Canada and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have been in crisis in recent months. Saudi Arabia announced in August the expulsion of the Canadian ambassador and froze new trade and investment with Canada which had condemned the arrest of Saudi human rights activists. read more

Moroccan Ambassador: Algeria Hampers Maghreb Integration Project

Rabat – A Moroccan ambassador has addressed Algeria’s reluctance to open the Moroccan-Algerian border and the Maghreb integration project.The Moroccan ambassador to Italy, Hassan Abou Ayoub, discussed the circumstances of Algeria’s refusal to open its borders with Morocco on Thursday with Italian journalists.“Algeria closes its borders with Morocco because it is not prepared for integration,  contrary to the propaganda it tries to convey,” said the ambassador. The meeting, under the theme “The Mediterranean and the European Union: Challenges and political and economic stability,” was part of a festival of Mediterranean journalists.Commenting on the state of the Algerian economy, the ambassador said that Algeria “does not have the means to compete with Morocco and Tunisia in areas such as industry and agriculture.“Algeria has an inferiority complex and has no desire or ambition to work for Maghreb integration.”Algeria closed its borders with Morocco in 1994 when Morocco imposed visa regulations on Algerian visitors in the wake of a terrorist attack on the Atlas Asni hostel in Marrakech.Morocco lifted the visa requirement in 2004. But the border has remained closed.The diplomat also compared the process of European integration with the Maghreb, saying that the lack of political dialogue and the freezing bilateral cooperation are the main factors in the failure of Maghreb integration.Reiterating Morocco’s position on the Western Sahara conflict, the Moroccan representative said that the conflict is an obstacle to Maghreb integration as it is a “problem between Morocco and Algeria.”The official said the solution to the conflict relies on the involvement of Algeria in the UN-led political process.Algerian officials, however, have claimed that the conflict should be solved between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front only.Moroccan and Algerian activists marched on July 22 to the border “to call on the authorities of both countries to open the border.”Moroccan newspaper Al Ahdath Al Maghribia reported that the initiative received thousands of nods from citizens who supported the idea.In March, Algerian politician Mohcine Belabbas said that the border opening depends largely on the Algerian government.He added that the idea also requires “talks between the leaders of the two countries in order to establish cooperation on their security against the banditry and trafficking that have increased due to the closure.” read more

CAN 2019: Morocco Secures Historic 2-0 Win Against Cameroon

Rabat – Morocco’s key forward Hakim Ziyech scored two goals for the Atlas Lions during the second half of the match. This is the first time that the Moroccan team has beaten Cameroon in an official match.  Renard and his boys can finally breathe a fresh sigh of relief, especially following the heavy criticism the team received after two successive disappointing displays against the Comoros.Morocco’s key forward Hakim Ziyech has scored two goals for the Atlas Lions during the second half of the match. This is the first time that the Moroccan team has beaten Cameroon in an official match. Prior to the Morocco vs. Cameroon game, there was apprehension and doubt. But there was also fear and perhaps panic among Atlas Lions’ fans. True, Cameroon’s lads are no longer the indomitable lions they were when they had the likes of Patrick Mboma and Samuel Eto’o. But they are the reigning champions of the continent, having won the latest Africa Cup of Nations (CAN). They were also Group B leaders prior to taking on Morocco’s Lions tonight at the Mohammed V Complex in Casablanca. So the apprehension and doubts were legitimate.But Hervé Renard had no time for doubt and half-hearted conviction. Speaking with usual vigor of a true believer on the eve of the game, the Moroccan coach said, ‘I am not afraid of Cameroon.’If anyone still doubted that, tonight was their answer. Perhaps Renard knew that his team is defiant and utterly different when it has Hakim Ziyech and Mehdi Benatia, two of the many high-caliber names Morocco so unmistakably missed in their latest games.Morocco’s superstar Nordine Amrabat trying to dribble the ball during tonight’s game against CameroonHarnessing the defensive solidity and the tactical prowess they showcased in Russia, Morocco was present when Cameroon looked frightening in the first 30 minutes of the game. After that, it was almost a one-man show for Morocco, except for some intermittent bursts of energy on the Cameroonian left flanks.Read Also: Herve Renard Confident, Ready to Face CameroonMorocco parked the bus when it was needed, played fearless offensive football when it was required—which is why, despite Cameroonian players bout the penalty (first goal) and the late-minute red card, it is hard to argue that, this time too, Morocco was lucky.Perhaps there was luck; there always is when one wins. But what we mostly saw tonight is what this Renard-coached team is capable of when there is focus, harmony, and public support: it delivers. Mission accomplished, then! read more

Kraft and Stamps.com post big losses while Zillow jumps

Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily on Friday:The Kraft Heinz Co., down $13.23 to $34.95The maker of Oscar Mayer and Kraft products reported a dismal fourth-quarter and disclosed a federal investigation.Stamps.com Inc., down $114.43 to $83.65The online shipping and postage company is ending its exclusive partnership with the U.S. Postal Service and gave a weak forecast.Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc., down $1.34 to $10.60The electronic health records company’s fourth-quarter results fell short of forecasts and it gave a weak outlook for the year.BJ’s Restaurants Inc., down $3.22 to $48.75The restaurant chain reported mixed fourth-quarter results and its comparable sales results fell short of forecasts.Cardtronics PLC, up $5.26 to $31.25The ATM operator beat Wall Street forecasts for the fourth quarter and issued a strong outlook.Universal Display Corp., up $27.29 to $145.77The LED technology company’s profit beat Wall Street forecasts and its guidance surpassed investor expectations.AutoNation Inc., down $1.15 to $37.23The country’s largest auto dealership chain named Carl Liebert as its new CEO after Mike Jackson retires on March 11.Zillow Group Inc., up $8.65 to $43.71Co-founder Rich Barton is returning as CEO of the real-estate listings company, which beat Wall Street’s fourth-quarter profit forecast.The Associated Press read more

US stock indexes waver as banks fall

NEW YORK — U.S. stock indexes wavered in Monday morning trading, weighed down by losses for bank stocks.Goldman Sachs dropped to one of the largest losses in the S&P 500 index after saying it’s off to a “muted start to the year,” though its earnings for the first quarter still beat analysts’ expectations. Citigroup also fell following its report, as banks lead off this quarter’s earnings season.Expectations are low for the market in general, and analysts are expecting S&P 500 companies in upcoming weeks to report the first drop in earnings in nearly three years.Still, stocks have enjoyed a hot start to the year as pessimism about the U.S. economy’s chances of avoiding recession has eased, and the Federal Reserve’s decision to hold steady on interest rates. The S&P 500 remains just 1% off its record high set in September.Optimism has grown that the U.S. and China can resolve their trade dispute. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Saturday that the world’s two largest economies were moving closer to an agreement.Treasury yields, which tend to move in sync with expectations for the economy, have generally risen in recent weeks.KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 was down 0.1%, as of 10:05 a.m. Eastern time. It flipped from a small gain of 0.1% at the open to modest losses of as much as 0.2%.The Dow Jones industrial average fell 35 points, or 0.1%, to 26,377, and the Nasdaq composite slipped 0.1%.BANKING ON MORE: Goldman Sachs reported stronger profit for the first quarter than Wall Street expected, but lighter trading activity during the first three months of the year meant that its revenue fell short of analysts’ estimates. Its shares sank 2.1%.Citigroup also reported stronger profit for the first three months than analysts expected, but its stock slipped 0.6%.HAULING: Waste Management jumped to one the biggest gains in the S&P 500 after it said it would buy its smaller rival, Advanced Disposal, for $3 billion. It will also assume $1.9 billion of debt in the deal.Waste Management rose 2.1%, and Advanced Disposal surged 20.7%.TRADE WATCH: Speaking on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings, Mnuchin said the U.S. and China held phone discussions last week. He wasn’t sure if more face-to-face meetings would be needed. Mnuchin didn’t give a timeframe for when negotiations might be wrapped up.Mnuchin added that the proposed agreement has seven chapters and will allow both countries to set up enforcement offices to make sure the deal is followed.Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Thursday that the discussions were “moving forward” and “new substantial progress” was made.MARKETS ABROAD: Asian markets were mixed, with the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo jumping 1.4%, South Korea’s Kospi gaining 0.4% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong losing 0.3%.European markets were listless. The French CAC 40 was virtually flat, the FTSE 100 in London was down 0.1% and Germany’s DAX was up 0.1%.STRONG BONDS: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.55%. It has been climbing since late last month, when it fell to 2.37%.SLICKED: Oil prices gave up some of this year’s big gains. Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 50 cents to $63.39 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 42 cents to $71.13.They both have shot up by more than 30% this year.Stan Choe, The Associated Press read more

Fez Celebrates its 15th International Festival of Amazigh Culture

1- Equip the Moroccan diaspora with a real global, coherent, and integrated national strategy. 2– Restructure, democratize, and boost the institutions directly in charge of migrants. Rabat – The fifteenth  international festival of Amazigh culture, which took place in Fez from 12 to 14 July 2019 with the theme “The new challenges of migration in the Euro-Mediterranean region: Amazigh, woman, cultural exchange and development,” came to a close last Sunday..The festival, which was organized by the Fes-Sais Association and the South North Center with the support of the Moroccan National Tourist Office and BMCE Foundation, was a resounding success at the academic, artistic, and organizational levels. It emphasized the positive impact of intercultural dialogue and the consolidation of cultural diversity, social cohesion, and peace in the Mediterranean region.The participants in the international forum discussed relevant and varied topics, in particular; the new challenges of migration in the Euro-Mediterranean region, the situation of migrant women, the Mediterranean context and the plurality of cultures, the role of cultural exchange in communication and development, and writers in the diaspora, the role of migration in sustainable development, brain drain, migration and artistic creation in the Mediterranean, and the problem of refugees in the region.This forum highlighted the contribution of Amazigh culture to the consolidation of peace, democracy, development, and modernity. It argued for cultural diversity a vehicle for integration and for economic, social, and cultural development.Read Also:Fez Hosts Annual International Festival of Amazigh Culture July 12 to 14More than a hundred artists and musicians representing different regions of Morocco, and ten friendly countries participated in this festival which also included books, carpet and arts exhibitions, in addition to round tables,workshops on painting, storytelling, and the Tifinagh alphabet.The opening ceremony of the festival took place on Friday, July 12 in tribute to the great Moroccan writer Mohamed Nedali and the Moroccan academician Mina El Mghari. The dedication was in recognition of their contribution to writing, research, and cultural development. In the evening, concerts were presented by artist Khadija Atlas and Ahidous group of the late Moha Oulhoussain Achibane.The second day of the festival was attended by the group Ahidous Kalaat Mgouna, the Rif singer Najat Tazi and the participation of the remarkable group Nass El Ghiwan.The third musical evening of the festival ended last Sunday in a festive atmosphere. Thousands of festival-goers filled the beautiful historical Bab Makina place, vibrating on the Mediterranean rhythms. To satisfy all tastes, Ahwach de Tata, Lhoussain Ait Baamran of Souss, and, the star of the Moroccan traditional couture, Khadija Lamaizi closed this unforgettable evening.Among the most important names who took part in this cultural event were Jean-Marie Simon and Maati Kabbal (France), Sandro Catccin and Filippo Bignami (Switzerland), Jan Yap of Reuter (Netherlands), Roberto Tonini (Italy), Abdelkrim Belguendouz , Mohamed Khachani, Mohamed Taifi, Mohamed Nedali (Morocco), among other authors, poets, and journalists participating in this cultural event.The fifteenth edition of the International Festival of Amazigh Culture in Fez was rich and varied and was a great opportunity for the inhabitants of the Fez-Meknes region who enjoyed an exciting weekend during which music and culture mingled in the heart of the historic city of Fez.The participants in the World Forum made the following recommendations: 3 – Achieve participatory democracy with regard to Maghreb citizens residing abroad. 4– Deepen the National Strategy of Immigration and Asylum (SNIA) by protecting the cultural identity of immigrants in Morocco, while opening them to Moroccan culture.5– Lead a vast educational and explanatory campaign to reinforce the values ​​of acceptance of the Other and living together.6– Encourage research in the field of migration studies.7– Include the history of North Africa in school programs for Maghreb communities abroad.8 – Preserve the material and immaterial heritage of the Amazigh component in North Africa. read more