TOKYO — Kyodo News agency says a Japanese court has approved extending the detention of former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn for 10 more days.The Japanese news agency said Friday that the Tokyo District Court has approved prosecutors’ request to keep Ghosn until Dec. 10.Ghosn was arrested on Nov. 19 by Tokyo prosecutors on suspicion he falsified his financial reports. His first 10 days in custody expires at the end of Friday.Kyodo said the court also approved a 10-day detention extension for another former Nissan executive, Greg Kelly, also arrested on suspicion of collaborating in the alleged underreporting of Ghosn’s renumerations.Brazilian-born Ghosn, sent in by alliance partner Renault SA of France, has led a dramatic turnaround at Nissan over the last two decades, rescuing Nissan from near-bankruptcy.The Associated Press
TOKYO — An attorney for an American executive arrested in Japan on suspicion of collaborating with former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn in financial misconduct says his client is innocent.Aubrey Harwell said Friday that his client, Greg Kelly, did nothing wrong and that Kelly acted “according to the law and according to company policy.”Kelly and Ghosn were arrested Nov. 19 in Tokyo on suspicion they collaborated to underreport Ghosn’s income by $44 million over five years.They have not been able to make any comments while detained in Japan.Harwell said Kelly had been advised by people both inside and outside Nissan that what he was doing was legal.Harwell spoke from his office in Nashville, Tennessee.The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A proposal that could pump more than $1 billion into helping the U.S. tech industry develop powerful “quantum computers” is now on the desk of President Donald Trump.Congress sent the bill to the White House this week after it passed easily in both chambers.Quantum computers don’t really exist yet in a useful form, but tech firms Google, IBM, Intel and a growing number of startups are working to build them.The National Quantum Initiative Act would create a 10-year federal program to accelerate research and development of the esoteric technology. Scientists hope government backing will attract more people to their field.The legislation was fueled in part by lawmakers’ fear of growing competition from China and concerns that quantum computers could one day break today’s best cryptography codes.The Associated Press
FRANKFURT — 2019 is set to be a year of major change for Europe, with big decisions that will affect the continent’s economy.Britain is due to leave the European Union but there is no clarity on how that will happen, or how painful it will be economically. The EU has long seen deepening ties among countries as the best way to create prosperity, but a rise in populist and nationalist politics is likely to further test that commitment. And threats loom from outside, including possible U.S. tariffs on cars.The economy is already slipping. Growth in the 19 EU countries that use the euro enjoyed slipped from a decade-high of 2.4 per cent in 2017 to an estimated 2.1 per cent this year. It is expected to ease further to 1.9 per cent next year, according to the EU’s executive Commission.Here’s a look at the major events and challenges that will shape the coming year in the European Union.___BREXIT CHAOSEurope confronts one risk early in the year, as the British parliament faces a possible vote in mid-January on Prime Minister Theresa May’s negotiated deal on terms of an exit from the EU. If the deal is rejected, and no other solution such as a second referendum is found, the risk will increase that Britain would leave the EU as scheduled March 29 without any clarity on new trading rules. That could cause widespread disruption to business and complex supply chains such as those involving auto factories. Some predict it could even ground flights and lead to shortages of produce and some medicines.___TRUMP AND TRADEEurope and the U.S. are discussing new terms of trade after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to put tariffs on European cars. The tariffs would hurt growth in Germany and in Europe more broadly and could be imposed in 2019 if the talks fail. Angel Talavera, lead eurozone economist at Oxford Economics, says that U.S. car tariffs would lower German GDP by 0.2 per cent in 2020. That’s in addition to the U.S.-China trade conflict, which could sideswipe Europe because it trades extensively with both.___POPULISMElections to the European Parliament slated for May 23-26 can serve as a chance for voters to express dislike of their government and as a platform for populist parties that don’t like the EU. A strong showing by groups like Marine Le Pen’s National Rally in France, the League in Italy and the Alternative for Germany could make it harder for the EU to agree on legislation.Italy’s populist government could further complicate things. It has smoothed over a disagreement with the EU on a budget that drastically increases spending. But the plan could leave Italy, which has a debt load of 133 per cent of GDP, more vulnerable to new financial trouble.___YELLOW JACKETSWith Britain leaving and Germany’s Angela Merkel planning her political exit, French President Emmanuel Macron had hoped to seize the European spotlight in 2019 and push his agenda of economic change at home and strengthening EU unity. But weeks of protests by yellow-vested masses angry over high taxes and shrinking pocketbooks have hobbled his credibility.Riots forced him to offer billions of euros in tax relief and aid — which in turn is damaging his European credentials, because it risks pushing France over the EU deficit limit.Some yellow-vest groups are considering a bid for the European elections, though the movement has no single political bent.Macron and his parliamentary majority don’t face new elections until 2022 and he could yet rebound. Still, he is expected to scale back the pace of change to France’s long-stagnant economy, with repercussions for the whole region.___NEW TEAMAfter the elections, European governments will choose a replacement for European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, whose eight-year term expires Oct. 31, and for Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the EU Commission, who isn’t seeking a new term.Draghi has pushed the ECB into new territory by using bond purchases to push 2.6 trillion euros ($3 trillion) in newly created money into the economy as a way of supporting a weak-post-crisis recovery. His vow to do “whatever it takes” to rescue the euro from its debt crisis — followed by a program to quell trouble in bond markets — is credited with halting market turmoil in 2012.Stimulus skeptic Jens Weidmann, head of Germany’s national central bank, was an early front runner but has faded amid media speculation Merkel may push for a German to replace Juncker. That would make it tough for Germany to also claim the ECB job under typical EU horse-trading. Other possible successors are former Finnish central bank head Erkki Liikanen and Bank of France governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau.___INTEREST RATESThe ECB could raise interest rates for the first time since 2011.The bank, which has already closed out its bond-buying stimulus program, has signalled no increase in rates before the fall. That leaves it open whether it will be Draghi or his successor to lead the decision-making on the timing of a first rate move.Higher rates could increase consumer and business borrowing costs and improve returns for savers. The first rate increase could be postponed, however, if the economy looks weak.___Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this report.David McHugh, The Associated Press
The Canadian Press TORONTO — Businesses and investors are rushing to partner with the 25 winners of the Ontario cannabis retail licence lottery, with offers apparently worth millions of dollars, to be involved in the province’s first recreational weed stores set to open this spring.Olivia Brown, the founder of Hamilton, Ont.-based Professional Cannabis Consulting, says one of her clients was among the 25 entities selected by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario via lottery, and has fielded three offers today alone.Suitors of her client, whom Brown says does not want to be named, include large investors from the U.S., the Netherlands and a prominent family based in Hamilton.The provincial commission announced Friday the 25 entities who can now apply for a cannabis retail licence in Canada’s most populous province, out of the 17,320 expressions of interest the government agency received.Abi Roach, the owner of Toronto-based Hot Box Cafe, says her entry did not win, but she has been in touch with winners on potential partnerships, as allowed under the rules, and has been told other offers are north of $5 million. The 25 lottery winners have five business days to turn in their applications to the AGCO along with a $6,000 non-refundable fee and a $50,000 letter of credit.
Kolkata: The sweet-loving Bengalis in the state have reasons to rejoice. Two of their favourite and famous sweets — Sarpuria and Sarbhaja from Nadia’s Krishnanagar — now have a permanent address at New Town’s Misti Hub.”Misti Hub in New Town that had started its journey in July last year has been a favourite destination for sweet lovers and all the 12 shops in the hub have been doing brisk business since their inception. We had earlier introduced Mihidana, Sitabhog of East Burdwan and Lyangcha of Shaktigarh in the hub. Now, Sarpuria and Sarbhaja of Krishnanagar from a very noted brand in the district have found its place,” a senior official of West Bengal Housing & Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) said. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersThe Misti Hub is special as renowned sweetmakers of Kolkata are sharing the same roof with ethnic sweets from the districts of Bengal being sold there. There are 11 branded shops in the hub in the likes of KC Das, Bancharam, Gupta Brothers, Balaram Mullick and Radharaman Mullick, Ganguram, Nalin Chandra Das, Mithai, Hindusthan Sweets etc. The hub near Eco Park is the brainchild of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the airport-bound passengers hardly miss an opportunity to buy special delicacies from there before taking their flights. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThere are proper signs on Biswa Bangla Sarani to facilitate the airport-bound buyers as well. The shop-owners dish out a variety of sweets from time-to-time to cater to the demand of the customers. The sweets are manufactured and packaged maintaining healthy quality. The Rasogolla Divas that was celebrated with great enthusiasm at Misti Hub on November 14 last year to mark the first anniversary of International GI (Geographical Indication) tag of the sweet of Bengal was a huge draw.
New Delhi: The AAP government on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking constitution of a larger bench to expeditiously decide the issue of control over administrative services in Delhi. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi told the Delhi government counsel that it will look into the matter. The apex court had on February 14 referred the issue of control of services to a larger bench after delivering a split verdict. The two-judge bench had said that the Centre should have the final word on posting and transfer of bureaucrats in the national capital administration, but their disagreement on finer details resulted in a split verdict and the matter got referred to a larger bench. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The bench, which was called upon to decide on six vexatious issues pertaining to a long-running feud between the central and the national capital governments, had given a unanimous verdict on the remaining five counts and had ruled that the Delhi government’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) cannot probe the Centre’s employees in corruption cases. Out of six contentions issues, the Delhi government had won in three and lost to the Centre on two critical aspects of investigating power to probe central government employees and for setting up of inquiry commissions. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday While it left for a larger bench to conclusively decide who will have control over administrative services in the national capital, the apex court had unanimously ruled that the power to appoint inquiry commissions would rest with the Centre as “there is no ‘State Government’ in the Union Territory and the State Government (for this purpose) shall mean the Central Government”. In its 202-page verdict, the court had however held that the elected Delhi government will have the right to appoint public prosecutors, to decide land revenue matters and also to appoint or deal with electricity commission or board. On the most contentious issue, Justice A K Sikri had said: “The transfers and postings of secretaries, heads of departments and other officers in the scale of Joint Secretary to the Government of India and above can be done by the Lieutenant Governor and the file submitted to him directly. “For other levels, including DANICS (Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service) officers, files can be routed through the chief minister to L-G. In case of difference of opinion between the L-G and the chief minister, the view of the L-G should prevail and the Ministry of Home Affairs can issue a suitable notification.” Justice Sikri noted that all transfers and postings for Grade III and IV DASS (Delhi Administration Subordinate Service) are done by the Secretary (Services), while those for Grades I and II are done by the Chief Secretary. For “greater transparency” in transfer and posting of officers of this cadre, he suggested a civil services board headed by the Secretary (Services) for the Grade III and IV officials and by the Chief Secretary for the Grade I and II. However, Justice Ashok Bhushan, in his dissenting view, was more blunt and had held that the power to regulate transfer and posting of officers working for the Delhi government was not available to its assembly in the first place under the Constitution. “With regard to ‘services’, the GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi) can exercise only those executive powers, which can be exercised by it under any law framed by Parliament or it may exercise those executive powers, which have been delegated to it.” he said. A five-judge bench had on July 4, 2018 laid down broad parameters for governance of the national capital, which has witnessed a power struggle between the Centre and the Delhi government ever since the AAP came to power in 2014. In the landmark verdict, it had unanimously held that Delhi cannot be accorded the status of a state but clipped the L-G’s powers, saying he has no “independent decision making power” and has to act on the aid and advice of the elected government.
Kolkata: A person convicted for rape and murder of a two-and half-year-old girl has been awarded with death sentence on Thursday by the Chief Judge of City Sessions Court. During the announcement of quantum of punishment, the judge said the case was ‘rarest of the rare’.On July 21, 2013, a two-and-a half-year-old girl, who was a footpath dweller, went missing from under the Kidderpore ramp of Vidyasagar Setu. The grandmother of the child lodged a missing complaint on the same night at the Hastings police station. On July 22 morning, her body was found from a drain near Victoria Memorial. During investigation police came up with the name of a horse keeper identified as Suresh Paswan, who worked at the Royal Calcutta Turf Club. Within a few days of investigation, police officers were sure that Paswan was the culprit. But, as he fled the city immediately after the crime was committed, police could not find him. But, shortly police nabbed him from his village at Vaishali district in Bihar. After the arrest was made, the homicide section completed the investigation and filed charge sheet. Though the convicted confessed to the crime, 32 witnesses were produced before the court during the trail. After five-and-a-half-years Paswan was pronounced guilty under IPC Sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 376A (rape), 302 (murder) and Section 6 of the POCSO Act (punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault). Though Paswan pleaded for less punishment, concerned judge narrated the incident as the ‘rarest of the rare’ and awarded him with death sentence. In another case of rape of a 15-year-old girl, the prime accused has been pronounced guilty and has been awarded 10 years of rigorous imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 15,000. On December 13, last year, the convicted person identified as Abhijit Paik abducted the girl and raped her. Later, he confined her at a house in South 24-Parganas. Abhijit was arrested from a place in Narkeldanga. Later, the girl was rescued from South 24-Parganas.
New Delhi: Global internet servers are expected to be ready by June to enable people register complete website name in nine Indian scripts, according to Universal Acceptance Steering Group. At present, website name can be booked in several non-English scripts including Mandarin, Arabic, Russian, Devanagari etc. However, top level domain (TLD) — which is the second part on the right side of the dot of a website address — can be booked only in limited set of characters identified by root server. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’As of now, people can book website name in Devanagari script and only .bharat in this script is available as extension. The nine Indian scripts that will be initially fed in root servers of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) are Bengali, Devanagari, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Tamil and Telugu. “Label Generation Rules (LGR) for nine language scripts that are used in India are expected to be finalised in a quarter and will be fed in root servers that are managed by ICANN by June. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”LGR in root servers will identify characters in Indian scripts. This will allow people to choose complete name of website as per their choice,” Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) Chairman Ajay Data told PTI. Data is the first Indian to hold the position in UASG that has been set up with the support of custodian of global internet ICANN. UASG is working to finalise standard characters of non-English scripts to be accepted by internet system globally. Under the new system, people will be able to use any name, word, combination of letters in the nine Indian scripts after ICANN accepts it and completes the process of allocating the system to various bodies across the globe that will facilitate registrations. “We are only waiting for a response from Bangladesh to complete recommendations for Bangla script,” Data said. He said the new scripts are required to connect over a billion people who can understand, read and write in their local language. “This will also solve data security and localisation issue to a large extent. We will engage with Indian government, large enterprises, software and application developers, internet companies to accept e-mails and make their system universally acceptable to enable next one billion non-English speaking people come online,” Data said. UASG has also been given task to finalise standards for full website name in Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Cyrillic, Greek, Latin, Sinhala, Thai and Georgian scripts. “UASG will focus heavily on India, Russia, China, the UAE and Thailand as billions of people follow scripts that are used in these countries,” Data said.
This time, Meenakshi Lekhi, the BJP candidate from New Delhi, is all set to sweep the Lok Sabha polls, at least according to what she said in an exclusive interview with Anup Verma & Abhinay Lakshman of the Millennium Post. Lekhi said some might think she is up against heavyweight candidates, but the only one formidable in New Delhi is none other than her. Excerpts: How has your campaign been so far? What are the issues you are focusing on? Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesIt’s just absolutely fantastic. You can see the affection of people, enthusiasm of our party workers and the response from the general public. The whole thing is worth a watch. Look, issues change with changing times. But, what we are talking about here is the five years of work that the Modi government has accomplished. In addition to this, I am addressing the work that I have achieved in the last five years in my constituency, including how I have dealt with a variety of issues inside and outside of parliament. These are the things we are talking about. Development is definitely the agenda we are setting here, because an urban constituency comprises of an aware electorate. But nationalism and national politics remain as important and we are also talking about policies that our government has framed in this regard. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarWhat are some local issues your campaign will zero in on? The worst issue we are dealing with happens to be the water crisis. And I believe if New Delhi has water crisis, every other constituency will also have water crisis. I cannot deal with this because it is a subject matter that comes under the Delhi government’s jurisdiction. Earlier, as a representative of this area I had got Rs 900 crore sanctioned from the Central budget for the Delhi government to put to use. But the execution and work strategy of how this money is used remains under the purview of Delhi government. Since they never involved me, I don’t know what strategy or what plan do they have for dealing with the water crisis here. They got this budgetary allocation on my demand from the Centre. Further on, how do you plan to work with NDMC and the Delhi government, given that you share jurisdiction with them? Look, conflicts in this regard come and go on a daily basis. But, irrespective of conflicting issues, a lot can be done if intentions are well placed. My point is that I don’t bring politics into developmental aspects or helping people. I don’t believe in that and repeatedly I have made this clear to the Delhi government. I have always maintained that we should work together on dealing with the issues at hand. We will play politics when it comes to elections, but I have not received a positive response from the other side on working towards resolving these issues together. My faith in not politicising developmental issues and bringing basic amenities like water to the people of Delhi does not seem to be reciprocated. What has your crowning achievement been as an MP in the last five years? You see, there have been so many national policies that our government has introduced, launched, and nurtured. But a lot of them haven’t been applied in Delhi. As a legislator, my role has been to try to get these policies applied in New Delhi 100 percent. I have tried my level best to make sure that people of Delhi can reap the benefits of schemes that have been passed by our government. I have tried to bring these benefits to the people and help them, whether it is Mudra, Jandhan, or Ujjwala. As an MP, I’ve spent Rs 32 crore to develop my constituency, whereas the MPLAD fund only allows for Rs 25 crore. I utilised every bit of resource, including the leftover of Rs 7 crore of MPLAD fund from my predecessor. New Delhi is one of the top smart cities in India. What more you are planning for this smart city? There are many things which are possible. We have achieved a target of about 40 per cent smartness, so to speak. I wish I could achieve 100 percent and we’ve done quite a bit towards that end. The whole 100 percent is very much doable if all of the authorities invested in the issue work together and cooperate. But what I want to work on is garbage management and waste disposal. There are various possible ways that I’m looking at for garbage disposable solutions close to the area, in the vicinity of the constituency. This is because it is imperative that we find a solution that considerably reduces the number of garbage trucks we send to the landfills. Other than this, I intervened and got around 10 Sewage Treatment Plants put up. What’s the first thing you promise to do, if you are re-elected? There are still one or two places in New Delhi where open defecation is still a problem. So, I have decided that I’m going to build toilets there immediately. There is a place called Timbre Market in Moti Nagar, where a park is used as a place for open defecation and that particular cluster needs a bit of redoing. In fact, I went to Bhanwar Singh Camp on Monday and there was a place, a part of the ridge that was used for open defecation. I had got that area enclosed and converted into a park and built toilets in the area. Some would say you are going up against formidable opponents in New Delhi. How do you feel about that, given that things are different from what they were in 2014? Yes, I agree that things are different this time around. So, as compared to 2014, I believe our margins will increase. Mr Maken, whom I defeated by a margin of more than two and a half lakh votes, will lose this year by a larger margin. If somebody is formidable in this seat, it happens to be Meenakshi Lekhi and no one else. What are some other challenges you might face in the run-up to the polls? There is no challenge whatsoever that I feel I must be aware of. There is resounding confidence that I have nothing to worry about in these polls. The only thing that worries me is that the campaign is exhausting and as a result of speaking continuously, my throat has taken a toll. So, other than that there is nothing else that worries me.
Fez – Three people were killed in accident on Friday at Ain Kansara, 20 km away from Fez, local authorities said, according to MAP. The victims, all teachers from the province of Taounat, perished when their car collided with a truck. The fourth passenger, also a teacher, was badly wounded and rushed to the Fez Hassan II hospital center, the same source added.The latest provisional statistics released by the Ministry of Equipment, Transportation and Logistics last February, show that 3,705 people were killed in road accidents in 2013. The number of road accidents increased by 1.4% in 2013 compared to 2012. With MAP
Marrakeh- Hundreds of Algerian police officers staged a protest, on Monday October 13, 2014, in the city of Ghardaia (600 km south of Algiers) to show solidarity with their colleagues in the adjacent village of Bryan, according to several media sources, including Algerian Agency Press (AAP).The protest poses a serious problem for Algerian National Security. AAP stated that the police marched towards the Security Directorate of the state of Ghardaia, in solidarity with their colleagues in Bryan, who had previously withdrawn from public spaces, and refused to follow the orders of their commanding officers.A number of police officers were injured on Sunday when clashes erupted between security forces and protesters in Bryan, which is located just 45 kilometers north of the town of Ghardaia. Masked people deliberately pelted the security forces with stones. The situation deteriorated with more clashes wounding dozens on both sides.Frequent clashes, driven by sectarian motives, have occurred in Ghardaia between Mizabeyen (Amazigh Aabadion) and Arabs Alhaambh (Malikion) since the beginning of the year, leaving at least 15 dead and dozens wounded.Edited by Elisabeth Myers
Taroudant – Morocco’s House of Representatives issued on Tuesday a final approval to the project of Islamic finance law, which authorizes the establishment of Islamic banks and allows private companies to issue Islamic bonds.After months of delays, the Moroccan parliament finally approved the Islamic financial bill that will regulate Islamic banks and sukuk issues in the kingdom.This new bill will pave the way to financial institute to establish full-fledged Islamic banks in Morocco. Said Khayroune, the head of parliament’s economics and finance committee, told Reuters that “The bill has been voted by 161 votes and no one was against it.” “The bill will be effective once it is published in Morocco’s official bulletin in coming days,” he added.Since the coming of the Islamist-led government in 2011, the government has been attempting to develop Islamic finance in order to attract wealthy Gulf stakeholders and to meet the needs of a growing clientele looking for “halal” transactions.Last month, Brahim Benjelloun Touimi, the CEO of “Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur” (BMCE), said that the bank was preparing to launch an alternative subsidiary as a joint venture with a major Islamic financial institution from the Middle East, without revealing the identity of that financial institution.Islamic banks, like other banks, carry out all banking and financial transactions, including trade and investment and craft projects that contribute to the economic and social development in conformity with Islamic law and sophisticated modern techniques.
Rabat – Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro will not attend the game against Man City after she was told by manager Jose Mourinho that she will no longer be sitting on the bench on matchdays and trainings.The Chelsea manager criticized Carneiro after she rushed in to the field to treat Eden Hazard during Chelsea’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League over the weekend.As a result, the Belgian player was forced off the pitch and left Chelsea down to only nine men for a short time after goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was already shown a red card. The Gibraltar-born Carneiro will continue in her role as first-team doctor, but she will no longer attend games and trainings.A furious Mourinho told Sky Sports after the game that he was “not happy” with his medical staff.“Even if you are a kit man, doctor or secretary on the bench, you have to understand the game.“You have to know you have one player less and when you go to the pitch to assist a player, you have to make sure your player has a serious injury.“I was sure he hadn’t a serious problem. He had a knock, he was very tired. But my medical department left me with eight outfield players in a counter-attack after a set piece and we were worried we didn’t have enough players left.”Born to a Spanish father and an English mother, Carneiro joined Chelsea in 2009 as a reserve-team doctor before being promoted by Andre Villas-Boas to take the first-team role in 2011.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission
Rabat – Among the promised reforms of higher education for 2017-2018 academic year, Minister of National Education Mohamed Hassad revealed that three higher institutions will open to accommodate increased numbers of students.Hassad announced that the three institutions expected to open their doors this year are the Faculty of Law, Economic, and Social Sciences in Tetouan, the School of Technology (EST) in Kenitra, and the School of Technology in Sidi Bennour.Speaking last week to the members of the Committee on Education, Culture, and Communication of the House of Representatives, Hassad also assured that the initiation of the school year will be completed during the first nine days of September at all academic institutions. Part of the higher education reform includes the reinforcement of bed capacities in university campus.The former interior minister and current Minister of Education promised that his ministry will put up 6,140 additional beds by this September, while four new university campuses will open their doors to students in the cities of Nador, Safi, Agadir, and Meknes.Four academic restaurants will also open in the cities of El Jadida, Settat, Safi, and Nador, with a capacity of 4,000 meals served daily, said the official, adding that 15 medical centers and three newly-rehabilitated centers will see the light of day starting in the 2017-2018 school year.The sector of vocational training will also see reforms, said Hassad. 29 new establishments, of which 22 are part of the Office for Professional Training and Promotion (OFPPT) will be inaugurated for the 2017-2018 school year.796 new trainers will be assigned to work in the various vocational training institutions around Morocco, said the minister.Vocational training institutions will also increase their capacity with the establishment of three new boarding schools, particularly for trainees from rural or disadvantaged areas.
COPENHAGEN — Workers in Denmark have begun erecting a 70-kilometre (43.4-mile) fence along the German border to keep out wild boars in the hope of preventing the spread of African swine fever, which could jeopardize Denmark’s valuable pork industry.The steel fence, which will be up to 1.5 metres (5 feet) tall, was approved by Danish lawmakers in June.The Danish government has warned that Denmark’s pork exports to non-European Union countries — worth 11 billion kroner ($ 1.6 billion) annually — could be affected by the disease. In 2016, total Danish pork exports were worth about 30 billion kroner ($4.55 billion).Denmark is the only EU country where pigs outnumber people, with 215 pigs to every 100 residents.The Associated Press
Rabat – The number of people who were killed on roads in Morocco decreased by 2.62 percent in 2017, State Secretary for Transport Mohammed Najib Boulif said on Monday in Rabat.During a Road Security Standing Committee meeting, appropriately marking National Road Safety Day, Boulif shared initial statistics, which reveal that 3,499 fatalities were recorded in 2017 against 3,593 in 2016. According to Boulif, the number of fatalities due to road accidents recorded in urban areas last year reached 943 accidents, representing a 4.17 percent year-on-year decrease. More than 2,550 other people were killed in rural areas, recording a 2.03 percent decrease. In 2017, 89,998 traffic accidents were reported, representing 9.99 percent rise compared to 2016. However, the number of fatal road accidents totaled 3,085 in 2017, representing 2.47 percent.Boulif added that 9,175 people were critically injured due to road accidents in 2017, representing a 1.51 percent year-on-year increase. The number of light injuries recorded during the same year reached 119,138.Despite great efforts and measures which have been taken to minimize road accidents, road mortality is still a huge problem in Morocco. Eighteen people were killed and 1,309 were injured in 1,309 road accidents in urban areas in May 2017 alone.These accidents were mainly ascribed to pedestrian and driver errors, driving under the influence of alcohol, excessive speeding, and not respecting rules of right-of-way, according to the General Directorate for National Security (DGSN).A statement issued in February 2018 by DGSN says that 1,469 people have already been injured, including 83 seriously, in 1,108 traffic accidents that occurred in urban areas on January 29 to February 4, 2018.
Rabat – Tunisian media have hit back at Abdelilah Benkirane’s “insulting comments,” telling the former Moroccan prime minister to “shut up” and mind his own business.Yesterday, a number of Tunisian radio stations ran programs that reacted to Benkirane’s recent comments about Tunisia, responding to what they called “an insult to the country’s pride and image.”Benkirane made his remarks on Sunday, January 13, while speaking to members of Morocco’s ruling Justice and Development Party (PJD). “Tunisia is an undisciplined country, even if its democracy is better [than Morocco’s],” Benkirane told fellow PJD members at his Rabat home. “When I visit the country, I find general strikes, dirt, and disorder. I have the feeling that some parties want to go back to dictatorship…. Tunisia is socially unstable,” Benkirane said. The former PJD boss, apparently comparing the Moroccan and Tunisian political experience, added: “Morocco is probably the best Arab country.”Read Also: Tunisia’s Essebsi Invites King Mohammed VI to Arab SummitThe Tunisian media’s response came on Tuesday, after waiting for two days for an official response from the government.Wondering what could have motivated the PJD official’s jibe at a neighboring country, Nessma TV called his remarks “a violation of all international and diplomatic norms.”Mosaique Radio followed suit, although uninterested in the reasons. The comments were sufficient proof that Benkirane has no “regard for Tunisia.” The radio noted on its website that Benkirane “did not mince his words about Tunisia. His remarks breach all diplomatic rules and are insulting to our country’s image.”However, in addition to rebuking Benkirane, the Tunisian radio wondered why government officials have said nothing so far. “The remarks were made days ago, and there has so far been no reaction from the Tunisian authorities.”Tunisia is widely considered one of the MENA region’s best democracies. “Democracy Index 2018,” a recent report by Britain’s the Economist on the state of democracy in the world, ranked Tunisia first in the Arab world in terms of democratic experience. Morocco, said to be oscillating between “authoritarianism” and “flawed democracy,” came second in the Arab world.
Rabat – Although the Moroccan Ministry of Education had said it would not take legal measures against striking contractual teachers if they returned to work on Monday, April 15, the teachers are continuing their strike until April 25.The contractual teachers’ five most representative unions held a first round of negotiations with the Ministry of Education on April 13. The unions stated that the government failed to meet contractual teachers’ primary demand, which is to be integrated into the public sector and for the government to end employment under fixed-term contracts. On March 9, the government proposed ending contracts, and permanently employing the teachers within regional academies, and guaranteeing them all the rights and labor protection permanent teachers have. Teachers refused the proposal.Read also: Education Ministry Reaches Agreement with Contractual Teachers to End ProtestsThe next round of negotiations is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23. But the dialogue will likely not result in any agreement between the government and the representatives of “the forcibly contracted teachers,” as they call themselves. In a statement, the National Coordination of the Forcibly Contracted Teachers (CNPCC) said it believes that the government will not act in favor of the contractual teachers to integrate them into the public sector. The coordination stated that the strike, in this case, will continue beyond April 25. On Sunday, Morocco’s Ministry of Education announced it had reached an agreement with the contractual teachers following a meeting with the five most representative education unions and human rights representatives.All parties agreed that contractual teachers would resume work starting Monday. However, some teachers are still protesting, but others resumed work.The protests started February 18-20, when hundreds of contractors took to the streets to denounce the government’s “disregard” for their needs, “poor” social dialogue negotiations, problems in education and healthcare, and the deterioration of their situation.
Rabat – As Ireland announces its plan to establish an embassy in Morocco in the coming months, Rabat and Dublin prepare to put years of lukewarm, and sometimes nonexistent genuine diplomatic connection behind them.But the countries’ overt disagreement on the Western Sahara question remains the elephant in the room, the thorn in the side of the new relationship.In a series of social media posts in recent weeks, the Moroccan embassy in Dublin announced a flurry of moves being prepared to move the Rabat-Dublin relations in more friendly waters. In the embassy’s posts, education was one area that stood out in the new impulse towards which the Morocco-Ireland relationship is said to be heading. On July 5, the embassy took to its Facebook page to announce the reception by Al Akhawayn University in Irfan of an important delegation from Trinity College Dublin. Authorities from the two universities discussed “strategic collaboration issues,” the post noted.Later that day, the embassy subsequently announced “promising productive relations between University College Dublin (UCD) and Moroccan universities.” The announcement explained this time, “The visit was an interesting occasion to explore options to develop further students and professors mobility and to share mutual experiences in education programs and in research areas.”Mohammed V University in Rabat and Cadi Ayyad of Marrakech are the two other Moroccan universities that have so far been associated with the new winds of Morocco-Irish cooperation. It is expected that the partnership will include Irish institutions other than UCD and be extended to other Moroccan institutions as well.Read also: Moroccan FM Renews Calls on Algeria to Shoulder Responsibility in Western SaharaNew Moroccan strategyWith Ireland now set to open its embassy in Morocco in 2020, there are mild hopes that perhaps this time the two countries will work out a more effective bilateral cooperation. But the relationship is still alive mainly because, as has been the case with other countries where it has recently increased its appeal—mainly in Africa and Latin America most recently—Morocco is playing a proactive rather than reactive diplomatic card.In late 2012, Morocco recalled its ambassador to Dublin after Eamon Gilmore, who was then the deputy head of the Irish government, met with a Polisario delegation. “Mr Gilmore made it clear at the meeting with Saharawi Republic President Mohamed Abdelaziz that he supported the right of the Saharan people to self-determination,” the Irish Independent reported at the time.Asked why Morocco had withdrawn its ambassador, a spokesman for the Irish government was blunt: “The Moroccan government does not like our position on Western Sahara. It’s just one of these things.”The Moroccan ambassador subsequently returned to his post. There then followed a semblance of normalization, although the Irish position on Western Sahara never really changed in the intervening years.In December 2018, the Irish Senate passed a bill to “ban sale of goods from occupied territories,” as reported by the Irish Times.As the move came in the heat of debates over the legitimacy of the EU-Morocco fisheries and agriculture agreements, it caused some hard feelings in Rabat. Only this time Morocco did not withdraw its ambassador. Consistent with its newly adopted proactive approach, Rabat last month sent a delegation of Sahrawi representatives to meet with Irish officials. The message was clear: Not all Sahrawis identify with the Polisario’s agenda.Days later, Habib El Malki, the speaker of the Moroccan parliament, traveled to Dublin to meet a number of high-ranking Irish officials. He reiterated the message of the earlier delegation while dwelling on the merits of Morocco’s Autonomy Plan.Read also : Ireland to Open Embassy in Morocco in 2020In response, an Irish delegation led by Sean O Fearghail, the chairperson of the lower house of the Irish parliament, visited Rabat, where the agenda included Irish-Morocco relations, EU-Africa issues, and sustainable development. The recent developments in the Western Sahara dossier and prospects of stronger Morocco-Ireland bilateral relations were inevitably the major talking points of these series of visits. The two countries expressed their wish to move their friendship to the next level, beyond the important but not sufficient learning and exchange agreements between Irish and Moroccan universities.“Your embassy in Dublin has been fighting for us to open an embassy here,” O Fearghail said at a press conference during his visit. He went on to announce that Dublin has been considering opening an embassy in Rabat and has finally decided to take the plunge in the early months of 2020.Meanwhile, on Western Sahara, the Irish position cannot be said to have evolved much. During their Moroccan stay, the Irish delegation simply noted that their country was ready to support and submit to whatever settlement deal that comes out of the ongoing UN-led process.With the latest UN resolutions taking a direction that Morocco has welcomed, Ireland’s insistence on respecting the terms of the UN-led agenda came across as the least Morocco-hostile position Dublin has taken in recent years. In this, and with the prospective Irish embassy in Rabat, Morocco sees the possibility of dialogue, of changing Dublin’s mind—as it has done with other countries in recent years and months—if only the European country would (really) listen to Rabat’s side of the story, or history, of the Sahrawi question.Like it has done with other diplomats, Morocco has invited Irish officials to visit the cities of Laayoune and Dakhla. The two cities have witnessed gigantic development projects in recent years, and Rabat hopes to show Dublin the efforts it has put into realizing those projects. The realizations have largely been interpreted by other visitors as the ultimate proof of the “sincerity” of Morocco’s Autonomy Plan for Western Sahara. But whether Dublin will follow suit, and decide to reconsider its support for the Polisario narrative, or come to the conclusion—as Rabat ardently hopes—that Morocco’s plan for the region is sincere and credible, remains to be seen.