Sales tax not the answer to Albertas fiscal woes Finance minister

first_imgEDMONTON – Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci says he is not considering introducing a sales tax to help cure the province’s financial woes because Albertans don’t support it.Ceci says the idea of a sales tax came up today when he had a roundtable meeting with economists but says having no provincial sales tax reflects, in his words, “the mindset of Albertans.”Ceci says the province will continue to try to reduce spending and grow the economy with an eye to balancing the budget by 2023.Alberta is on track for a $10.3-billion deficit this year and more than $42 billion in debt by next spring.Economist Robert Kavcic with BMO Capital Markets says Alberta’s low tax regime gives it room to manoeuvre and, from an economic perspective, a consumption tax is the best way to ensure a stable base of revenue in tough times.Opposition Alberta Party interim leader Greg Clark says the province should have a conversation around a sales tax, adding people will accept such a levy if the government can demonstrate it will use the money prudently.last_img read more

3 Miss America officials resign 1 apologizes to exwinner

first_imgATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The top leadership of the Miss America Organization, implicated in an email scandal that targeted past pageant winners for abuse based on their appearance, intellect and sex lives, resigned on Saturday, with the outgoing president apologizing to a winner whose weight he ridiculed.The president, Josh Randle, told The Associated Press his comment responding to an email to his private account about the physical appearance of 2013 winner Mallory Hagan came months before he started working for the Miss America Organization in 2015. But he said it was wrong.“I apologize to Mallory for my lapse in judgment,” Randle said on Saturday. “It does not reflect my values or the values I worked to promote at the Miss America Organization. Although this terrible situation was not caused or driven by me, in light of recent events and new developments, I am no longer willing to continue in my capacity as president and earlier today offered my resignation to the MAO Board of Directors.”Randle said his resignation was voluntary and had not been requested by the board of Miss America, which is based in Atlantic City.Hagan did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the resignations of Randle, CEO Sam Haskell and Chairman Lynn Weidner. But on her Facebook page, she posted a message asking anyone who was warned away from her to come forward and send her a direct message, in what might be a precursor to legal action against the Miss America Organization or its former officers regarding her post-Miss America work as a pageant interview coach.“If you have ever been told to not work with me, communicate with me, hire me, etc. Will you send me a DM?” she wrote.The scandal began Thursday, when the Huffington Post published leaked emails showing pageant officials ridiculing past Miss Americas, including crass and sometimes vulgar comments about them.The emails included one that used a vulgar term for female genitalia to refer to past Miss America winners, one that wished that a particular former Miss America had died and others that speculated about how many sex partners Hagan has had.Randle noted that the worst communications were exchanged in 2013 and 2014, years before he joined the Miss America Organization, and said the article’s implication of “complicit participation on my part in a years long array of inappropriate email communication” is untrue.Haskell’s resignation is effective immediately, while Randle and Weidner will remain for a few weeks to help with a leadership transition. Dan Meyers, who had been vice chairman of the board, was named interim chairman.The organization announced the resignations a day after dozens of former Miss Americas, including Hagan, signed a petition calling on the group’s leadership to step down because of the emails.The emails already cost the pageant its television production partner and raised questions about the future of the nationally televised broadcast from Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall the week after Labor Day each year. Dick Clark Productions told the AP on Thursday that it cut ties with the Miss America Organization over the emails, calling them “appalling.”Also on Saturday, one of the main recipients of fundraising from the Miss America Organization said it was reviewing its association with Miss America. The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals said it was “conducting an immediate review of the situation and will take appropriate actions.”And New Jersey officials are reviewing their Miss America Organization contract, in which the state still owes $4 million toward the cost of next year’s pageant.___Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAClast_img read more

Government seeks increased public and Indigenous participation for resource projects

first_imgThe Province hopes the environmental assessment process will enhance the public’s and Indigenous participation if passed, by keeping the First Nations communities more engaged and involved.“Having Indigenous collaboration from the beginning means a more certain and efficient process where good projects can move forward more quickly, providing benefits to Indigenous peoples while respecting their rights, values and culture,” said Heyman. “We want to reduce the potential for the types of legal challenges we’ve too frequently seen in B.C. These have impacted our province’s economic development, eroded public trust, alienated Indigenous communities and left project proponents trying to navigate through a costly, time-consuming process.”With more open engagement from the public and First Nations groups the Government will be able to better understand the needs of all parties included before making formal decisions.Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs“I am relieved that the day has finally come when we are beginning to see the legislative and policy shifts that are necessary and essential to facilitate genuine reconciliation. Recognizing Indigenous governments, laws, jurisdictions and decision-making is an essential part of this, and the legislation today is a small step in the right direction. The Province of British Columbia has committed to fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including free, prior and informed consent, and we are looking forward to seeing this realized on the ground through environmental assessments under the new process. We are hopeful that the new legislation will ensure the sustainability of our precious lands and waters for our children and grandchildren and all British Columbians. While much more legislative and policy change is urgently needed, today is a good day.” VICTORIA B.C. – The B.C. government introduced legislation to modernize the environmental assessment process for resource projects.In 1995 B.C. was one of the first provinces to introduce environmental assessment legislation, a system for responsible resource projects, reconciliation with B.C.’s Indigenous peoples, environmental protection, increased transparency and increased public engagement.“By revitalizing our environmental assessment process, we’re striking a better balance for our province, where good projects that respect B.C.’s environment, Indigenous peoples and the public will be approved more quickly,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Our province was built upon the wealth of natural resources at our disposal. This legislation reaffirms the continued importance of these resources to British Columbians and enhances public trust by engaging people and communities early to ensure our resources are used sustainably. Growing a strong economy and protecting the environment we all cherish go hand in hand. That’s the legacy we want our kids and grandkids to inherit.”last_img read more

Fort St John continues to see increase in Real Estate despite Regional

first_imgBCNREB President, Leah Mayer, says the Northern Region continued to see a decrease of 7.64 percent in sales, but a 5.55 percent increase in active listings.“Many of the communities in our Board region saw a decrease in the number of sales and the number of listings. Overall the sales activity has decreased by 7.64 percent, and the number of active listings has increased by 5.55 percent.”Despite the decrease in most Northern markets for the first half of 2019, the Fort St. John market saw an increase of 258 property sales with an overall value of $85.4 million in comparison to the 2018 number of 243.As of June 30, there were 687 properties of all types available for purchase in Fort St. John.For more information, you visit the B.C. Northern Real Estate Board’s website. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The B.C. Northern Real Estate Board has released its listing statistics for the second quarter of 2019.Within the first six months of 2019, the Real Estate Board has reported 2,298 with a value of $716.5 million.This compares with 2,488 sales worth $680.2 million in the first half of 2018.last_img read more

Shahrukh meets CM at Nabanna

first_imgKolkata: Ahead of the their second IPL match at Eden Gardens, Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shahrukh Khan met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at state secretariat Nabanna on Tuesday. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her confidence that Shahrukh’s team will win this year, while SRK sported the victory sign while leaving Nabanna in the evening. SRK said “We will all win this year” and hugged Banerjee, who exulted saying “Brother and sister always winners.” Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaKKR, who had won their first match against Sunrisers Hyderabad at their home ground Eden Gardens, is set to play their second match, again at home, against Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday. KKR has won the IPL twice and Banerjee was a part of the celebrations during both. Khan has been attending the Kolkata International Film Festival on more than one occasion in the last few years and is also the brand ambassador of Bengal.last_img read more

Sensex tanks 354 pts HDFC twins succumb to selloff

first_imgMumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex cracked about 354 points Wednesday, pressured by a sudden sell-off in HDFC and HDFC Bank amid grim global cues. The 30-share Sensex lost 353.87 points, or 0.91 per cent, to close at 38,585.35, while the broader NSE Nifty dropped 87.65 points, or 0.75 per cent, to 11,584.30. HDFC Bank slumped 2.07 per cent, while HDFC lost 1.96 per cent. The HDFC duo collectively accounted for almost half of the Sensex’s 354-point loss. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalTraders said the HDFC duo succumbed to a late-session sell-off following reports of PE giant KKR offloading some stake in the two companies. Market sentiment was also hit by the IMF downgrading the global growth forecast to 3.3 per cent for 2019, they added. Globally, stocks wobbled after US President Donald Trump threatened to slap tariffs on goods imported from the EU, ratcheting up global trade tensions. Other top losers in the Sensex pack included Bharti Airtel, Asian Paints, TCS, HCL Tech, Tata Steel, SBI, IndusInd Bank and Hero MotoCorp, declining up to 3.28 per cent. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostWhile Tata Motors, HUL, Kotak Bank, Coal India, Sun Pharma, M&M, Bajaj Auto and ONGC were the gainers, spurting up to 4.68 per cent. “Sentiments were affected on the news that IMF had lowered global economic growth outlook and fresh trade tensions have erupted between US and EU. Investors also seemed to be cautious awaiting Q4 March 2019 earnings beginning later this week,” said Deepak Jasani, Head- Retail Research, HDFC Securities. The IMF’s World Economic Outlook (WEO) “projects a slowdown in growth in 2019 for 70 per cent of the world economy,” IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath said in a statement. India is projected to grow at 7.3 per cent in 2019 and 7.5 per cent in 2020, reflecting the recent revision to the national account statistics that indicated somewhat softer underlying momentum, the report said. Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) net purchased equity worth Rs 1,212.35 crore Tuesday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares to the tune of Rs 688.65 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei dropped 0.53 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.13 per cent. Korea’s Kospi rose 0.49 per cent, while Shanghai Composite Index inched up 0.16 per cent. In Europe, Frankfurt’s DAX was up 0.41 per cent, Paris CAC 40 rose 0.38 per cent, and London’s FTSE gained 0.02 per cent in early deals. The benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.67 per cent to USD 71.08 per barrel. Meanwhile, the rupee appreciated 12 paise to 69.18 against the US dollar intra-day.last_img read more

Trinamool candidates exchange greetings with voters across city

first_imgKolkata: On the eve of the Bengali New Year, Trinamool Congress candidates across the state got themselves engaged in exchanging greetings with the voters and organised intense campaigns to renew contacts with the people.Sudip Bandyopadhyay, who is contesting from the North Kolkata seat, campaigned at ward 52 in Janbazar area of Central Kolkata. “BJP will not get a single seat in Bengal as they have no organisation in the state. The first phase of elections in Alipurduar and Cooch Behar has already been held. Our internal party inputs have indicated that we are winning these two seats,” Bandyopadhyay said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaHe said that he is contesting in the elections for the 9th time and has won eight times. “I have been campaigning regularly and the support that I am getting from people is overwhelming. I am confident of winning this time too,” he added. Bandyopadhyay was accompanied by Swarnakamal Saha, who is an MLA from Entally and Nayna Bandyopadhyay, MLA of Chowringhee. TMC candidate from the Kolkata South seat Mala Roy campaigned at areas like Manoharpukur Road, Sarat Bose Road and Deshapriya Park. She was accompanied by MMiC Debasish Kumar. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayTMC candidate from Purulia Mriganko Mahato gave the slogan of Mamata Di Arekbar (Mamata Banerjee again) as a counter to BJP’s slogan ‘Ei Trinamool Ar Na’ (Trinamool not again). Mahato, who is a doctor by profession, started his campaign from Indkuri Junction at Manbazar and after travelling through various areas, reached Manbazar bus stand. The TMC supporters chanted poems that they have come up with, highlighting the various people-friendly schemes of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, like Sabuj Sathi, Khadya Sathi, Rupashree etc. Local MLA Sandhya Rani Tudu and senior leaders of the district accompanied them. Meanwhile, state Cooperation minister and MLA from Central Howrah Arup Roy took out a rally on the occasion of Ram Navami. The rally also campaigned for Trinamool Congress candidate Prasun Banerjee, who has been fielded from the Howrah seat. Roy hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and claimed that this Lok Sabha election will witness the ouster of BJP from the Centre. Slogans like ‘Gali Gali Me Shor Hain, Chowkidar Chor Hai’ were raised against the Prime Minister at the rally. It started from Agra Sen Street in Belur and traversed several areas under the Shibpur police station. Roy walked and exchanged pleasantries with the voters. Hitting out at BJP’s Ram Navami processions with arms that were taken out in various parts of the state, he said: “Ram is an embodiment of sacrifice. He has never said that children would take up arms for his worship. BJP will not get a single seat in Bengal.” TMC candidate from Basirhat Nusrat Jahan also campaigned and interacted with the people of the constituency. “Voting for me means voting for Mamata Banerjee. You should vote for her for a good future. Don’t waste your vote,” she asserted.last_img read more

Amazon fails to take on Alibaba to shut China biz

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO: Amazon.com Inc said it will shut its China online store by July 18, as the U.S. e-commerce giant focuses on the lucrative businesses of selling overseas goods and cloud services in the world’s most populous nation. The move underscores how entrenched, home-grown e-commerce rivals have made it difficult for Amazon’s marketplace to gain traction in China. Consumer research firm iResearch Global said Alibaba Group Holding’s Tmall marketplace and JD.com controlled 82 percent of the Chinese e-commerce market last year. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalAn Amazon spokeswoman told Reuters on Thursday that it is notifying sellers that it will no longer operate a marketplace, nor provide seller services on Amazon.cn. Sources familiar with its plans had told Reuters a day before that the company had planned to make such a move. “We are working closely with our sellers to ensure a smooth transition and to continue to deliver the best customer experience possible,” the spokeswoman said in a statement. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost”Sellers interested in continuing to sell on Amazon outside of China are able to do so through Amazon Global Selling.” The sources said that Amazon shoppers in China will no longer be able to buy goods from third-party merchants in the country, but they still will be able to order from the United States, Britain, Germany and Japan via the firm’s global store. Amazon will wind down support for domestic-selling merchants in China in the next 90 days and review the impact on its fulfilment centers in the country, some of which it may close, one of the people said. “They’re pulling out because it’s not profitable and not growing,” said analyst Michael Pachter at Wedbush Securities. Ker Zheng, marketing specialist at Shenzhen-based e-commerce consultancy Azoya, said Amazon had no major competitive advantage in China over its domestic rivals. Unless someone is searching for a very specific imported good that can’t be found elsewhere, “there’s no reason for a consumer to pick Amazon because they’re not going to be able to ship things as fast as Tmall or JD,” he said. The Amazon spokeswoman said that the company would continue to invest and grow in China through its Amazon Global Store, Global Selling, Kindle e-readers and online content. Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud computing unit that sells data storage and computing power to enterprises, will also remain. U.S.-listed shares of Alibaba and JD.com rose 1 percent on Wednesday after Reuters first reported the move, before paring gains later in the day. Amazon’s shares closed flat. The withdrawal of the world’s largest online retailer – founded by Jeff Bezos, who later became the world’s richest person – comes amid a broader e-commerce slowdown in China. Alibaba in January reported its slowest quarterly earnings growth since 2016, while JD.com is responding to the changing business environment with staff cuts. It also follows the Chinese e-commerce retreat of other big-name Western retailers. Walmart Inc sold its Chinese online shopping platform to JD.com in 2016 in return for a stake in JD.com to focus on its bricks-and-mortar stores. Similarly, the country appears to factor less in the global aspirations of fellow U.S. tech majors Netflix Inc, Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google, Wedbush Securities’ Pachter said. Amazon bought Chinese online shopping website Joyo.com in 2004 for $75 million, rebranding the business in 2011 as Amazon China. But in a sign of Tmall’s dominance, Amazon opened an online store on the Alibaba site in 2015. Amazon is still expanding aggressively in other countries, notably India, where it is contending with local rival Flipkart.last_img read more

Gold imports dip 3 to 328 billion in FY19

first_imgNew Delhi: The country’s gold imports dipped about 3 per cent in value terms to $32.8 billion during 2018-19, which is expected to keep a lid on the current account deficit. Total imports of the precious metal in 2017-18 had stood at $33.7 billion, according to data from the commerce ministry. Trade experts said softening prices of the yellow metal in the global markets could be the reason for the contraction in the value of imports. After recording negative growth in February, the imports grew 31.22 per cent to $3.27 per cent in March. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalIndia is one of the largest gold importers in the world, and the imports mainly take care of demand from the jewellery industry. Jump in imports during March helped gems and jewellery exporters push their exports. The outbound shipments dipped only marginally by 0.37 per cent to $3.42 billion in March. The country’s current account deficit (CAD), or the difference between outflow and inflow of foreign exchange in the current account, widened to 2.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter of the fiscal, against 2.1 per cent in the year-ago period, mainly due to a large trade deficit. The government had introduced several measures to restrict the import of gold. Import of the yellow metal attracts 10 per cent duty. The domestic jewellery industry always demands a cut in the duty and relaxation of other import norms for increasing availability of the yellow metal to boost jewellery exports.last_img read more

MSD says tennisball cricket behind his glovework

first_imgChennai: Mahendra Singh Dhoni is lightning quick behind the stumps and the veteran wicket-keeper batsman said it is a skill which he has developed from tennis ball cricket. Talking about his super quick stumpings, Dhoni said: “I think it’s something that’s come from tennis ball cricket. But you still have to do the basics and graduate to that level. If you want to keep like that you can make mistakes; so I still think basics are most important.” Skipper Dhoni has been in super form in the ongoing IPL and after sitting out for a couple of matches due to fever and a stiff back, he smashed an unbeaten 44 off 22 balls to power Chennai Super Kings to 179 against Delhi Capitals on Wednesday night. CSK were struggling in the beginning but thanks to Dhoni, CSK scored 20 runs from the last over bowled by Trent Boult with the stumper finishing off with two sixes off the final two balls. Asked about his power-packed knock, Dhoni said he had spent enough time on the wicket to understand the bowling variations and unleash his game towards the end to lead Chennai Super Kings to a match-winning total. “Watch the ball, hit the ball. You’ve spent time, you know the variations. By the 20th over you’re almost ready and you swing at everything,” Dhoni said when asked about his last-over exploits. “It’s easier for somebody who has played 10-15 deliveries than someone who has just come in.” Dhoni said the conditions actually favoured them though they lost the toss. “We knew there wouldn’t be much dew. What we’ve seen is if there’s no dew, there’s assistance for spinners. But when we started, Bhajju pa (Harbhajan Singh) didn’t get any turn. But as they started losing wickets, it started spinning, it started turning. Cricket is such a game,” he said after the 80-run win over Delhi Capitals. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who took three wickets, said the wicket helped spinners. “Obviously I enjoyed bowling, the way the wicket was turning. I was bowling in good areas and the wicket was doing the rest for me,” he said. Asked how it helps having someone like Imran Tahir bowling in tandem with him, Jadeja said the South African has been “fantastic.” “He has been taking wickets whenever we needed. Me, Immy bhai and Bhajju pa (Harbhajan) as a unit, we are bowling the way we want to bowl. Still one more game to go. We need to continue our momentum. Everyone is in good form so we just need to keep the winning momentum going.” Jadeja said Dhoni can be described by one word and that is ‘genius’. Losing skipper Shreyas Iyer said the defeat was a “reality check” for Delhi. “It’s really going to affect us. The way we played was not expected. Everybody will be on their toes in the next game. Wouldn’t blame the abilities of our team but we didn’t play smart cricket. We should have curtailed them,” he said.last_img read more

Pending for over 2 yrs rlys instructs zones to expedite handover of

first_imgNew Delhi: Railways has instructed its zones to expedite the process of handing over retiring rooms and dormitories at railway stations to IRCTC, which have been pending for over two years, so that they can not only be developed and upgraded but also facilitate online booking.In a letter issued by the railway board on May 2, railways has instructed all zones to expedite the process of signing agreements with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to hand over such facilities. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh”We intend to upgrade the retiring rooms to international standards in hospitality offerings with facilities like quality mattresses and linen, almirah/locker for luggage, LED TV, telephone and intercom, firefighting equipment, potable water and room heaters. The services will be linked with local sightseeing and tours and travel services that the IRCTC has been successfully managing,” a senior IRCTC official said. Railways currently manages around 2,000 retiring rooms or dormitories at more than 600 stations. The facility is meant to provide reasonable safe transit accommodation to bona fide passengers, who can book a retiring room for a maximum of 72 hours. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadIRCTC will allow bookings in slots – – ranging from three hours, 6 hours, 12 hours and 24 hours – -, an official said while stating the prices for the same will vary from station to station. The then Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had in his 2016-17 budget speech announced that “retiring rooms will be handed over to IRCTC to ensure that these can be managed in a professional manner.” It was then that railways had issued policy guidelines to all its zonal divisions to put the process into action and the IRCTC was asked to prepare a phase-wise road map for the takeover.last_img read more

32 hurt as Tunisia strike turns violent source

first_imgSILIANA, Tunisia: Thirty-two people were injured, nearly all of them Tunisian police, when a strike degenerated into violence in the town of Siliana, southwest of the capital, a hospital source said Thursday.The violence erupted on Wednesday when protesters clashed with police in Siliana and Gafsa, another marginalised town where they torched an office of the ruling Islamist party Ennahda.Of those injured in Siliana, 30 were members of the police force who suffered mainly slight injuries to their heads and faces, said the hospital source, adding the two others were youths with leg wounds. All of them had since been discharged from hospital.Wednesday’s clashes erupted when dozens of demonstrators marked the first anniversary of violence that left more than 300 people injured during anti-government demonstrations.The clashes lasted late into the night, with the protesters hurling rocks at police and placing burning tyres in the town centre as the police tried to disperse them by driving into the crowd and firing tear gas.Calm had returned to Siliana on Thursday morning, when the extent of the violence became apparent with trees charred, signs torn down and debris littering its streets.The regions of Siliana, Gafsa and Gabes ground to a halt on Wednesday as strikes were observed to protest against poverty and lack of development.Those were driving factors behind the popular uprising that toppled veteran strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali nearly three years ago and sparked revolutions across the region.last_img read more

Ridley Scotts Films Was Banned Because It Depicts God as A

Rabat – Sarim Fassi Fihri, director of the Moroccan Cinematographic Centre (CCM) said that the decision to ban Ridely Scott’s movie “Exodus: Gods and Kings” was in accordance with the applicable laws.Speaking at a press conference at the Center’s headquarters in Casablanca, Fassi Fihri said that a film approval commission, which consists of representatives from the Ministry of Communication, the Ministry of Culture, the owners of cinemas and film distributors and the Cinematographic Center, had seen the film, adding that the representative of the Ministry of Communication had reservations about a scene which depicts god as a child during the period of revelation to the prophet Moses.The new director of the CCM also said that the decision was not made to satisfy certain parties, but in order to avoid problems as it was the case in many other countries where films depicting god were screened, adding that anything can be open to debate but the security of Moroccans. Fassi Fihri went on to say that during the seventies, very bold and controversial films used to be screened in Morocco without any problems. However, things now are very different.He added that if the producer of the film has proposed to delete the controversial scene in which god was embodied, he would ask for a new meeting with the commission in order to consider the matter. read more

UN Called Upon to Investigate Embezzlement of Humanitarian Aid in Tindouf

Barcelona  – The Association of the friends of the Moroccan Sahara in Spain called for the setting up by the UN of a commission to investigate the embezzlement of the aid sent to the population held against their will in Tindouf camps and to bring before justice those responsible for such a diversion.The Association also urged the UN General Assembly and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) to put pressure on Algerian authorities with a view to conducting a census of the population held in Tindouf camps.In this regards, the President of the Association, Rachid Fares, said in a statement to MAP that the EU needs to reconsider its humanitarian aid assistance to the camps on the backdrop of the disclosure of a report by the European Anti-Fraud office which points out to the responsibility of the polisario and the Algerian authorities in the diversion of humanitarian aid to the detriment of the population in Tindouf camps. The report, he said, shows the involvement of Algerian and polisario officials in the embezzlement of large quantities of aid for decades.Fares deplored that his association has alerted Spanish authorities to these fraudulent practices affecting the delivery of humanitarian aid to the suffering population in Tindouf.The Sahrawis who could flee the polisario-administered camps recount stories of the trafficking of aid by the polisario leadership in connivance with Algerian authorities.The OLAF report details embezzlement practices of humanitarian aid sent to Tindouf camps which starts from the port of Oran with the involvement of Algerian and Polisario mafias. read more

Algerian Police Assault Moroccos Raja of Casablanca Players

Rabat- The Algerian police has reportedly assaulted the players of Morocco’s Raja of Casablanca following the second leg of the African Champions’ League match that pitted them against Wifak Stef.Like the first leg of the competition, the second leg ended in a 2-2 draw. The fate of the match was decided in a session of penalty shootouts which titled in favor of the Algerian side.But as the Moroccan team was exiting the pitch, it was assaulted by the Algerian police, as well as by the President Wifak Stef. According to Mohammed Boudrika, President of Raja of Casablanca, who was speaking on Radio Mars following the match, his team was beaten up by the Algerian police, which left 10 people injured.Boudrika went on to add that the President of the Algerian side entered the pitch, beat Raja players and abused them verbally. read more

Man Seriously Injured Following Landmine Explosion in Southern Morocco

Laayoune – A young man was seriously wounded and four of his companions were slightly injured after kicking a landmine on Tuesday evening in the southern city of Laayoune, local authorities said.  The young man was wounded in his face and legs and was carried along with his companions to the provincial hospital, the same source added.Security forces, local authorities as well as explosive specialists immediately arrived at the place of the incident to determine its exact circumstances, the same source said, noting that an investigation was opened on this matter under the supervision of the competent prosecutor office. With MAP read more

Protest Turns Violent After Southern California Trump Rally

Rabat – Hundreds of angry protesters took to the streets late Thursday in California as Donald Trump brought his Republican presidential campaign to conservative Orange County.After Trump gave his speech inside the Pacific Amphitheater, the demonstration became rowdy and spilled into the streets, blocking a main intersection and impeding traffic.The protestors blocked Trump supporters’ cars, waving Mexican flags and posing for selfies. The demonstration grew violent as police tried to disperse the demonstrators.Orange County Sheriff’s Department PIO Lt. Mark Stichter said in a tweet that about 20 people were arrested. According to Stichter, there were no major injuries and the large crowds dispersed by 11 p.m.#OCSDPIO Post Trump Rally Protest over. Approx 20 arrests by Costa Mesa PD. No major injuries. Crowd dispersed by 11pm. No further updates— OC Sheriff, CA (@OCSD) April 29, 2016However, CNN reported that a Trump supporter had his face bloodied in a scuffle as he tried to drive out of the area.A @realDonaldTrump supporter just got punched in the face as a scuffle broke out in the street: pic.twitter.com/3h3Fllm3V3— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) April 29, 2016Another video tweeted by CNN’s reporter Jeremy Diamond shows some demonstrators shouting insults and slurs at police officers, raising slogans of protest against the Republican front-runner’s rhetoric.People jumping on police car outside @realDonaldTrump rally. Window smashed few minutes earlier pic.twitter.com/SOsFarQEVr— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) April 29, 2016 read more

Video Moroccan Security Officers Drag Man off Plane at Marrakech Airport

By Safaa KasraouiRabat – A video posted on social media shows Moroccan security officers forcibly removing a Moroccan passenger from an Italy-bound Ryanair flight before departure on Wednesday morning from Marrakech’s Menara airport.Filmed by one of the passengers aboard the FR8847 flight that was due to leave at 9:40 a.m., the video went viral, causing outrage among social media users. The footage shows a policeman, gendarme and  another man using force to make the passenger leave the flight. In the recording,  they grab him violently and push him down the stairs. When they start  to slap his face, the flight’s passengers bang on the windows in attempt to stop the violence.YouTube channel Dadi TV on Thursday published a video responding to the incident at the El Menara airport.  The video’s presenter spoke to passengers aboard the plane, who  said that the person who was forced to leave the plane had not done anything wrong. He revealed that the removed passenger had successfully completed the boarding process.  The video presenter added that the passenger “did not comply with the officers’ orders because he did not want to miss his flight.” The speaker continued that while he is not against Moroccan authorities or their checking process, it is necessary they conduct their actions in an appropriate manner without causing harm. He concluded that the incident could affect tourism in Morocco, because both national and international passengers were on the flight and  reacting to the incident. read more

Video Despacito Singer Daddy Yankee Explores Marrakech

Rabat – A video showing Puerto Rican mega-star Daddy Yankee having fun at a traditional clothing shop in a souk in Marrakech has gone viral.After taking pictures at a juice stand in famous Jamaa El Fanaa square, the famous rapper who sings “Despacito” has been caught on video exploring traditional clothing shops in a souk the city’s old medina.Travelling with RedOne and free-fight champion Abou Azaitar, Daddy Yankee has been sharing his adventures in Marrakech on social media. Yankee is expected to sign a collaboration deal with RedOne, the renowned Moroccan producer. The singer also visited the cities of Tetouan and Chefchaoun before landing in Marrakech. read more

Abu Dhabis ADNOC inks 58B deals with Eni and OMV

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. says it has signed agreements worth $5.8 billion with Italy’s Eni and Austria’s OMV for a share in the firm’s refining unit and for the creation of a new trading venture.Eni was awarded a 20 per cent share and OMV a 15 per cent share in the new trading venture and in ADNOC Refining, with ADNOC owning the remaining 65 per cent. ADNOC Refining has a refining capacity of 922,000 barrels per day and is valued at $19.3 billion.OMV and Eni have previously signed deals with ADNOC for stakes in Abu Dhabi’s oil fields.Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Italy’s prime minister and Austria’s finance minister witnessed the signing of the new agreements in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.The Associated Press read more