Chamber of Commerce Luncheon on Immigration for BCs Future

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The upcoming Chamber Luncheon will host Katie Rosenberger, Executive Director of the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies (AMSSA) on the need to strengthen newcomer integration.The BC Provincial Association will share how they help to strengthen member agencies and stakeholders who serve newcomers and build culturally inclusive communities with the knowledge, resources and support.After an extensive consultation period in November 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada released its multi-year Immigration Levels Plan. This plan is to help be proactive in determining service and market integration needs by impact settlement and integration programming. Yet it was clear that BC lacked planning in regards to the integration of newcomers. Employment in BC increased at a faster pace than at the national level which enabled BC’s labour force to expand by 74,700 persons in 2016 and 68,400 persons in 2017, to reach a labour force of 2.6 million people.Shared in the promotion information from the Chamber, according to the Economic Insight no. 81, Recent Economic Developments in British Columbia, Immigration, particularly to Vancouver, accounted for 50% of the overall labour force increase in 2016.The promotion information goes on to share that the 2018 BC Labour Market Outlook forecasts 903,000 job openings between 2018 and 2028 with 68% of these openings occurring due to retirement and 32% due to the creation of new jobs.It is estimated that 27% of these vacancies will need to be filled by 24,300 immigrants each year. The 2018 BC Labour Market Outlook estimates that 77% of the 903,000 jobs that need to be filled by 2028 will require at least some form of post-secondary education or training.The need for a highly qualified workforce requires a commitment from BC to provide job-readiness training and industry-specific language training for newcomers. Their innovative ideas and diverse perspectives can contribute significantly to existing structures, according to the Conference Board of CanadaThe AMSSA released a report September 2018 calling for action from the Government of BC to increase support for the integration of newcomers. The report provides a series of significant recommendations for investments into BC’s immigration integration system.Immigration for BC’s FutureTuesday, January 22, 201911:45 am – 1:00 pmPomeroy Hotel & Conference Centre11308 Alaska RoadTo Register for the event CLICK HERElast_img read more

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Doig River First Nations presents Kih tsaaʔdze Tribal Park to Council

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – At a recent City Council meeting, Doig River First Nations made a presentation to Council and requested a letter to be sent to the Pathway to Canada, Target 1 Challenge, to receive funding to for a four year work plan and establish their Tribal Park, K’ih tsaaʔdze (“kih-tsah-tsay”).Council carried the motion to write the requested letter in order for the Doig River First Nation to move forward and prepare their proposal for funding from the Pathway to Canada, Target 1 Challenge, part of Canada’s Nature fund.  By establishing the K’ih Tsaa?dze Tribal Park as an Indigenous Protected and Conserved area, the park will maintain the following; “Doig has been really good at inclusivity. We are all land users, this is our backyard. There has to be a balance between industry and enviroment,”Chief Trevor Makadhay said at the end of the presentation, “It is up to all of us to bring initiatives like this to a happy ending. If we do it all together, its something we can all be proud of together.”Mayor Lori Ackerman shared, through openness, transparency and accountability to your community you have been able to achieve that and I see that same approach with this project. 1. Maintain Doig River traditional and contemporary cultural uses2. Restore ecological integrity and biological diversity3. Maintain natural ecological integrity and biological diversityThe land in which the K’ih Tsaa? dse is located is rich with cultural significance to the Doig River First Nations. The land holds deep spiritual meaning as it has been a place of stories that tell about many births and deaths that have taken place there.Application to the Nature Fund and the potential of receiving funds would bring provinces, territories, Indigenous people, the private and non-profit sectors together to collaborate towards meeting the terrestrial elements of Target 1 of Canada’s 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets shares the Doig River First Nations.Target 1 states: “By 2020, at least 17 percent of terrestrial areas and inland water, and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas, are conserved through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.”K’ih Tsaa?dze will be managed under an ecosystem-based conservation plan (EBCP), prepared by Doig River First Nation, and endorsed by the Provinces of BC and Alberta. The focus of the plan will be to protect, and/or where necessary, restore natural ecological and cultural integrity within K’ih Tsaa?dze.K’ih Tsaa?dze Tribal Park is made up of boreal forest, including wetlands, deciduous forests, mixed wood forests and coniferous forest which is home to a highly productive, biologically diverse boreal ecosystems, rare species and a natural habitat for boreal Caribou.The area which is located 40 kilometres northeast of Fort St. John, is 90,000-hectares of land straddling the B.C.-Alberta border.last_img read more

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Treatment meted out to Advani shameful

first_imgPatna: Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, the sitting BJP MP from Patna Sahib who has been denied a ticket by the party this time, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of treating party patriarch L K Advani in a “painful” and “shameful” manner.In a series of tweets on Saturday, Sinha claimed that the BJP’s decision to not give ticket to Advani, the sitting MP from Gandhinagar, and to field party president Amit Shah from the seat “has not gone down well” with many people. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”Sirji… it is worrisome, painful and according to some even shameful… that which your people have done was the most expected and awaited… orchestrating the departure of a most respected friend, philosopher, guide, father figure and ultimate leader of the party, Shri L K Advani from the political arena/election,” Sinha tweeted. Advani, 91, has served as Union home minister and deputy prime minister. He was also the national president of the BJP more than once. He is often credited with helping the party create a national footprint within a decade of its formation through active participation in the Ayodhya movement. In another tweet, Sinha deplored “the replacement of Mr Advani by none other than the man who is also the president of the party and whose image or personality is no match nor even a patch on him”. “This has been done intentionally and deliberately and not gone down well with the people of the country,” the rebel BJP leader claimed.last_img read more

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AAP kickstarts Jansampark Abhiyaan in South Delhi

first_imgNEW DELHI: Aam Aamdi Party’s South Delhi Lok Sabha Candidate Raghav Chadha along with Kalkaji MLA Avtar Singh kickstarted the Mega Jansampark Abhiyaan in Kalkaji legislative assembly. With this campaign, the AAP seeks to carry out a door to door campaign educating people about how Delhi can attain full statehood and how the people of Delhi would benefit from its full statehood. An individual and personalized appeal for votes and support is also made during the visits. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderRaghav Chadha said, “It gets very hot in the month of May and with summer vacations, many families plan outstation trips but I urge you to exercise your democratic right and duty and cast your vote in the upcoming elections on May 12, 2019. You can leave for your grandmother’s place right after elections.” He said, “With this, we are reaching out to each and every voter in our constituency and engaging with their families and talking about the work done by Delhi government under the leadership of CM Arvind Kejriwal in the past 4 years. We are urging people to to cast their vote for AAP in the upcoming elections.”last_img read more

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Alibaba heads remarks spark debate over China working hours

first_imgBeijing: Remarks by the head of Chinese online business giant Alibaba that young people should work 12-hour days, six days a week if they want financial success have prompted a public debate over work-life balance in the country. Jack Ma is one of China’s richest men and his comments last week brought both condemnation and support as China’s more mature economy enters a period of slower growth. Newspaper People’s Daily, the ruling Communist Party’s mouthpiece, issued an editorial, saying mandatory overtime reflects managerial arrogance and was also impractical and unfair to workers. Online complaints included blaming long work hours for a lower birth rate in the country. Ma has responded to the criticism by saying work should be a joy and also include time for study, reflection and self-improvement. (AP)last_img read more

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Among mounting distresses

first_imgModi is not tired of claiming that the country is in safe hands. But the fact is just otherwise. India is in the hands of a person who has a very narrow and skewed vision of future India. Modi has been claiming to strengthen the financial condition of the farmers and for their growth, he has even planned for a gift of Rs 6000 every year. His economic advisors have been busy projecting it as a real economic booster instead of being a mere populist move merely aimed at gaining votes. Also Read – A special kind of bondNotwithstanding Modi’s claim to care for farmers and peasants, his action unravels the truth that he has ignored them to lurch. This fact is simply endorsed by the sharp rise in the demand for work under the NREGA which was highest in the 2018-19 fiscal. Obviously, the question arises; why was it highest? NREGA is certainly not the index of prosperity. It is a known fact demand for unskilled work under NREGA is a symptom of agricultural distress in rural India. The rising demand logically points to the fact the situation of the rural poor is systematically deteriorating. It also underlines that there is already agricultural distress which is forcing the people to depend on NREGA. This also points to the fact that job crisis has deepened tremendously. Also Read – Insider threat managementModi’s hatred and contempt towards rural poor could be understood from the simple fact that in 2015, instead of taking NREGA as an effective instrument to fight poverty, he described it as a “testimony to the failure of previous Congress government”. At one stage he had contemplated abandoning it. “The last five years have witnessed deliberate undermining of the Act, by allocating insufficient funds, not meeting the fund demand on time, delays in wage payments and thereby suppressing work demand”. The NREGA Sangharsh Morcha said at least 88,000 crore should have been allotted towards the programme in the last five years. In February this year, former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said the country’s “jobless growth was fast slipping into job-loss growth”. Workers from 50 districts in nine states – Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat – protested and tried to lodge FIRs at nearly 150 police stations. It is ironical that a government which has huge money to fund bullet trains and to compensate banks after being looted by big business has no money to pay workers who have done their fair share of work and are now awaiting their wages. The most shameful act of the government was the reply of Modi to the Motion of Thanks to the president’s address in Lok Sabha in March 2015 that he would keep the pet scheme of the Congress NREGA alive as a “living monument” of poverty. Budgets for the scheme were decreased; the gram sabhas were not being allowed to decide the asset creation work and wages much lower than minimum wages were being paid. All this is being done so that no one remains interested in the scheme. Lower allocation has also meant lower amounts in the hands of the states and as such five states now have negative balances and therefore unable to allocate work under NREGA. Telangana had sought 18 crore person-days but got only 8 crore person-days from the Centre.” Obviously for Modi NREGA has no relevance as it failed to serve the interest of the rich and corporate people. But this small amount is of much value for the poor. Chosen for the IAS, small girl Sreedhanya proudly narrates how the rural job scheme made it possible. Sreedhanya’s achievement in Wayanad is the proud gift of NREGA. It falsifies the claim of Modi that NREGA has failed. It is, in fact, evidence that the job scheme was working. The first tribal woman from Kerala to qualify for the IAS told that her parents were beneficiaries of the NREGA. She also said her parents had educated their two children with the money they earned from the rural job guarantee scheme. Modi is anti-rural poor is primarily confirmed by his action of reducing the manpower base of the NREGA. BJP and Sangh parivar are not tired of accusing the previous governments of not doing anything for eradicating poverty. But the fact remains he has not done anything precious to eradicate poverty. It was envisaged that NREGA would be broad-based to fight poverty. Ironically, instead of broadening the beneficiary base, Modi’s obsession has forced his government to chop it that too in the election year. (The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

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Cinema not about wonderful perfect people

first_imgMumbai: Actor Shahid Kapoor Monday said his film Kabir Singh portrays a flawed man with all honesty and if the audience only wants to watch nice characters, cinema won’t go far. Kabir Singh is the remake of the Telugu hit Arjun Reddy, directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga, who has also helmed the Hindi version. While the film became a rage quickly after its release in 2017, it was criticised for glorifying toxic masculinity and for using anger as a tool to justify the titular character’s abuse of women and people around him. Also Read – ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ has James Cameron’s fingerprints all over it: Arnold SchwarzeneggerWhen asked if the criticism played on his mind before he started with the Hindi film, the director told reporters, “Anger is a very special quality. There is nothing wrong in using anger as a tool. It can be used in anyway an individual wants. I don’t think the opinion of critics, what they mentioned during the Telugu film (was) playing in the back of my mind.” Responding to the criticism, Shahid said sometimes “we are very hypocritical about how we tend to look at cinema made in India.” “We then watch things made internationally and praise them for the fact that they are so honest, straight and not trying to be politically correct all the time. Cinema is meant to showcase different people. It’s not about wonderful, perfect people. I think we all are imperfect in our own ways. We all have grey areas within ourselves, we go through good and bad phases,” he said.last_img read more

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Celebrating UKBengal livingbridge

first_imgIn order to celebrate the living bridge of cricket between Bengal and Britain, British Deputy High Commission Kolkata hosted a UK-Kolkata Cricket Carnival at Spring Club, EM Bypass on May 18.The cricket carnival was in association with Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), SKAL International Kolkata, VFS Global and British Council. A team of 8 players (including men and women) from British Deputy High Commission Kolkata and all of these 5 different organisations went on to the pitch to play against each other to create some unforgettable and memorable cricket moments for the ‘City of Joy’. Also Read – The Puja carnivalBruce Bucknell, British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata said: “I am delighted to join hands with the travel and tourism trade in Kolkata to celebrate the living bridge of cricket between Bengal and Britain. The World Cup in the UK will be the biggest cricket tournament to date. It is a chance to showcase the best of England and Wales on the global stage, and is a once in a generation chance for cricket fans in England and Wales to see the world’s greatest players in action.” Also Read – Wave City brings special offers this NavratraAnil Punjabi, Director, ARES Travels and Chairman East, Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) said: “History of Indian cricket has its major link to Britain. We have come close to each other to enhance our business and overall growth. As it’s often said – Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. I wish UK-Kolkata Cricket Carnival a huge success. Such events will boost travel to Great Britain.” The player of the match in the finals won a return trip ticket (Kolkata to London) courtesy Sri Lankan Airlines. The Woman of the Tournament (highest score) won a return trip (domestic ticket in India) from Spice Jet. The cricket carnival was interspersed with cricket trivia and quizzes which included prizes and giveaways from the tourism and hospitality sector of Kolkata such as Novotel, Thai Airways, Country Road Resort, Vivada cruise, Pride Hotel, HHI hotel among others. Sanjeev Mehra, President, SKAL International Kolkata said: “The game of cricket is a great unifier in India and the British High Commission in Kolkata has chosen the right medium to connect with the tourism and travel trade. SKAL International Kolkata 127 welcomes this wonderfully inclusive initiative that brings together all our colleagues from the travel agencies, hotels, airlines, cruises and other spheres of this buzzing industry. We participated with gusto, played the game with the friendly spirit that underlines all SKAL activities, and see this as a precursor to a very exciting and successful ICC World Cup later this summer.” Indians travel to attend all sorts of sporting events. It is not just cricket, but other sports like football – the English Premier League, tennis at Wimbledon as well as cricket at Lords and the other main grounds in England and Wales. Estimates for the numbers planning to travel to the UK from India for CWC 2019 range from 50,000-80,000.last_img read more

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Paranoid Algerian Officials Order a Ban on Moroccan Music

Washington D.C – In a bizarre decree, the director of Algeria’s National Radio ordered all local and national channels to stop airing Moroccan songs, reported the pro-government website Algerie Patriotique. This decision is the latest chapter in Algeria’s “media war” to portray Morocco as the source of its political woes .It is indeed a sign of anxiety and anguish that has engulfed the Algerian government facing uncertainty and economic difficulties. Observes would expect to encounter such diktat in North Korea or a Taliban Republic but not in a “progressive” republic like Algeria. Citing a source within the National Radio, the Algerian website reported that a note distributed to all local stations reminds “producers and technicians that it is totally prohibited to disseminate Moroccan songs.” Algerie Patriotique talks of an on-going covert Moroccan music” invasion” of the Algerian national waves to further the Kingdom’s interest.  This “artistic assault” has promoted the Monarchy’s agenda and has hampered the success of national artists, claims the website. What the Algerian censorship gurus fail to understand is that most of music listeners nowadays are using the Internet as a venue to satisfy their taste.The same website maintains that pro-Moroccan elements have infiltrated the National Radio in an attempt to broadcast Moroccan songs during prime times, suggesting a “pro-Moroccan” campaign to influence Algerians.Is Moroccan music deemed such a threat to the point of banning its broadcast? An attempt to prohibit music based on national origin is a desperate move by a panicking leadership looking for scapegoats to cover its political and economic failures.This pronouncement is reminiscent of Iran’s’ Ayatollah Khomeini condemnation of Western music, because it is “manipulated by foreign cultures.” The difference, however, is that Moroccan and Algerian music have so much in comment that it is hard sometimes to differentiate between the two types.Several Algerian singers and artists are tremendously popular in Morocco and are constantly invited to the major international concerts that the Kingdom hosts every year. In fact, the local public always gives Algerian musicians warm and special welcome when they perform.Algerian Rai music is appreciated and embraced by Moroccan youth without prejudice or complex. Algerian singers such as Cheb Khaled, Cheb Mami and the late Warda hold a special place in the Moroccan public’ heart.These ridiculous decisions will likely back fires as most of the Algerian listeners start asking the logic and lucidity of their leaders. For now, Moroccan would keep enjoying Algerian Rai as Algerian listeners will take to the Internet to find their Moroccan favorite artists. Music does not have a nationality.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permissionThe views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy read more

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Moroccos English Proficiency Very Low English Proficiency Index

Rabat – Morocco English proficiency has dropped drastically. Falling from the 35th position to the 60th, the 2017 English Proficiency Index said that the mastery of the English in Morocco is “very low.”At the continental level, the country performed mediocrely, ranking below South Africa, Nigeria, and Tunisia respectively but ahead of Egypt, Angola, Cameroon, Algeria and Libya.“Despite the tremendous progress made over the last 20 years to increase equal access to education throughout Africa, access to preschool and secondary education remains scarce in many parts of the continent,” said the index. The findings of the index seem to contend with a study by the World Economic Forum (WEF), which revealed that Morocco has the best proficiency in English as a second language in the MENA region.The region, however, scored very poorly compared to other regions. The study, which was published on November 15, showed that the “poorest performing region is the Middle East and North Africa where all but two nations – Morocco and the United Arab Emirates are rated very low.”The Proficiency Index found that Moroccan women outscored men by 1.82 points, mimicking the trend in Africa.“Girls are more likely to finish lower secondary education in these two countries. Indeed, the gender gap in English proficiency is more pronounced in Africa than in any other region, and women far outnumber men,” found the index.The previous Minister of Education and Vocational Training in Morocco, Rachid Belmokhtar, said in 2016 that the ministry had taken serious measures to expand and improve the use of the English language among students in the kingdom.The aim of this initiative was “to improve the level of pupils in the country’s newly adopted second foreign language of English.”The minister also proudly pointed out the “good” level of English exhibited by students who participated in COP22 in Marrakech. read more

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Energy sector weighs on Toronto stock market as oil moves down US

Index and currency in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) The Canadian Press TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index fell in late-morning trading as the energy sector was weighed down amid lower prices for oil and natural gas.The S&P/TSX composite index was down 23.35 points at 15,342.70.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 307.69 points at 24,429.51. The S&P 500 index was down 28.33 points at 2,636.43, while the Nasdaq composite was down 88.64 points at 7,076.22.The Canadian dollar traded for 75.39 cents US compared with an average of 75.44 US on Friday.The March crude contract was down US$1.82 at US$51.87 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was down 16.8 cents at US$2.90 per mmBTU.The February gold contract was up US$3.40 at US$1,301.50 an ounce and the March copper contract was down 3.30 cents at US$2.70 a pound. read more

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Temperature To Increase in Morocco Today

Rabat – The National Meteorological Directorate forecasts that the weather today will be relatively warm and stable compared to the cold conditions experienced recently.Wind speeds from will range from moderate to fairly strong (moving west to southwest) over the North Atlantic coasts, and weak to moderate (moving west to north) in the southern provinces.The Rif, High and Middle Atlas Mountains, northern and central plains, Souss, Oriental region, and coasts north of Guelmim will all be overcast by dense clouds, and experience some moderate rain showers. Everywhere else, the sky will remain slightly cloudy. The directorate says that weak snowfall is expected over the summits of the High Atlas.Minimum temperatures will be around 2— 7 ° C on the reliefs and high plateau, and 7—11 ° C in the Oriental region, Mediterranean, Saiss, and the phosphates and Oulmes plateaus. Temperatures will range from 9—15 ° C in Tangier, Souss, in the plains, and along the north and center coasts. 14 to 20 ° C in the southern provinces.Maximum temperatures will be 8—13 ° C on the reliefs, 13—18 ° C on  the high plateau, Saiss, phosphates and Oulmes. 16—22 ° C expected on the northern and central plains, Oriental region, and Souss, and  22 — 29 ° C in the southeastern and northern areas of the southern provinces. Temperatures may reach 30 — 34 ° C in far extreme south. read more

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Morocco Welcomes Worlds Largest Private Equity Gathering

Rabat – More than 600 private equity leaders will convene on April 23-24, in Marrakech to discuss key trends shaping the investment landscape in Africa, at the 15th annual conference of the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA).“On the back of successful industry gatherings in Abidjan, Accra, Addis Ababa, Cairo, Cape Town and Lagos, the Pan-African Industry Association continues to showcase the fastest growing economies in the world, by convening the industry in Morocco this April,” reads AVCA’s press release. After 15 consecutive years, AVCA has established itself as a crucial event for promoting, developing, and stimulating private investment in Africa. The event will attract investors who collectively manage over USD 1.5 trillion in assets. According to AVCA, choosing Marrakech as the summit location “reflects the tremendous growth that has taken place in North Africa over the past few years, and highlights the country’s favourable business environment and powerful economy.”Referencing Morocco’s recent return to the African Union, the AVCA dubs Marrakech the “ideal location to celebrate the 15th anniversary of AVCA’s conference.” This event will incorporate experienced industry perspectives from the likes of CDC Group, a development finance institution owned by the United Kingdom government; Coronation Capital, Nigeria based private equity investment management and advisory firm; DLA Piper, global law firm with lawyers in more than 40 countries; and Verod Capital, investment firm focusing on investing equity and equity-linked capital. The conference will include keynote speeches, panel discussions, investor and portfolio company spotlights, and roundtables. Participation is expected from notable names, such as Lamia Boutaleb, Moroccan Secretary of State to the Minister of Tourism, Air Transport, Crafts, and Social Economy; Hicham Zanati Serghini, Chief Executive of the Central Office of the Guarantees; Brahim Benjelloun Touimi, Group Executive Managing Director at the Moroccan Bank of Exterior Commerce; Boutheina Ben Yaghlane, Chief Executive Officer at the Deposit and Consignment Fund in Tunisia; and Zouhair Bennani, Chief Executive Officer of Labelvie. read more

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Official Scandinavian Tourists Murder Wasnt a Coordinated ISIS Attack

By Mohammed HikalRabat – The four suspects involved in the murder of the Scandinavian tourists, Louisa Vesterager Jespersen and Maren Ueland, near Mount Toubkal acted as lone wolves. They had not coordinated with ISIS but were searching for potential targets, as Boubker Sabik, spokesperson of the General Directorate of National Security and Territorial Surveillance (DGSN) told a 2M channel journalist during the “Confidences de Presse” program.One of the suspects, who has a criminal record and has been known to police for his extremist views since 2013, instilled violent jihadist beliefs into the three other suspects, Sabik said. According to the DGSN spokesperson, the suspects had allegedly agreed to commit the crime on December 12. They then went to Imlil in the Atlas Mountains, where they killed Louisa Vesterager Jespersen from Denmark and Maren Ueland from Norway on December 17. They had never met the two victims before.The suspects shot the video where they pledged allegiance to ISIS where they were staying, with no prior coordination with any foreign party. Their terror attack could be described as a “lone wolves” job, Sabik indicated.An analysis of the video showing the brutal killing of one of the tourists is underway to determine the authenticity of its content, he said.Boubker Sabik dismissed the news reported earlier this week that two street vendors helped the police locate the suspects and arrest them. He said that the arrest was the result of coordination between the police and intelligence services.Moroccan police found the bodies of Louisa Maren in an isolated area near Imlil, in the Atlas Mountains, on Monday.On Wednesday, Moroccan authorities hinted that the murder of the two Scandinavian women was potentially linked to terrorism. Police arrested the first four suspects in the murder on Tuesday and Thursday. Police later arrested another nine suspects with possible connections to the case.Millions of Moroccans expressed their condemnation of the barbaric act in a country known for its tolerance, hospitality, and openness. read more

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UNSC Votes on Resolution 2468 Extends MINURSO Mandate 6 Months

Rabat – The UN Security Council has voted on and adopted Resolution 2468, extending the mandate of the UN peacekeeping operation in Western Sahara, also known as MINURSO, for six months.Russia and South Africa abstained from the vote. The resolution calls on the parties in the conflict to achieve a realistic and durable solution to the conflict. The vote followed another strong debate between the US and France over the length of MINURSO’s mandate. While France asked for one year, the US supported only a six month extension.Like previous resolutions on Western Sahara , the new text reaffirmed commitment to “assist” the parties involved in the conflict  to achieve a “realistic, practicable and enduring political solution to the question of Western Sahara based on compromise.” The resolution also keeps the same language contained in previous resolutions in which the Security Council gives prominence to the Moroccan autonomy plan. The resolution takes note of “of the Moroccan proposal presented on 11 April 2007 to the Secretary-General and [welcomes] serious and credible Moroccan efforts to move the process forward towards resolution.” Preambular paragraph seven reiterates the council’s call upon Morocco, the Frente Polisario, Algeria and Mauritania to cooperate more fully with each other, including through building additional trust, and with the United Nations, as well as to strengthen their involvement in the political process and to achieve progress towards a political solution. The language of this paragraph brings a new and significant change in comparison to the previous resolution. While in resolution 2440 the Council makes a distinction between the parties and neighboring states, the new resolution removes this distinction and names the four parties on equal footing. The resolution also called upon the parties—Morocco, Algeria, Polisario, and Mauritania—to “cooperate more fully with each other, including through building additional trust, and with the United Nations.”The resolution echoed a statement from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his Personal Envoy Horst Kohler, who recalled that trust is necessary to end the 44-year-old conflict.The conflict, according to Resolution 2468, requires all parties’ strong commitment and involvement in the political process “to achieve progress towards a political solution.”The resolution also stresses that a political solution to the conflict would contribute to stability and security “in turn leading to jobs, growth and opportunities for all the peoples in the Sahel region.”Contrary to the anti-MINURSO sentiment shared of US National Security Adviser John Bolton, the Security Council expressed its full support for MINURSO and its “important role played” on the ground. The resolution also insisted on the importance of the mission’s mandate, including “its role in supporting the Personal Envoy to achieve a mutually acceptable political solution.”The text also includes a paragraph in which the Security Council expressed concerns about the “violations of existing agreements.”The UN annual report on the Western Sahara situation mentioned several violations committed out by the front, with Guterres urging Polisario’s militias to meet MINURSO’s staff in Rabouni, Algeria, and not in the area Polisario claims is “liberated zones.” read more

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Liberals merge youth employment programs in revamped jobs strategy

OTTAWA — Myriad federal programs aimed at helping young people get footholds in the job market are being merged as part of a revamped youth employment strategy.The changes unveiled today are meant to make applying for money simpler and to broaden the number of groups receiving government funding. Labour Minister Patty Hajdu says the one-window application system will have department officials link groups with funding, instead of making organizations wade through various programs with multiple funding streams.She says there will also be “additional rigour” required of groups to show they are providing appropriate mentoring and supports to young workers, particularly vulnerable groups like Indigenous youth and recent immigrants.That could mean some groups that have regularly received funding will find themselves on the outs, while those that never received funding before suddenly find themselves with up to $5 million annually for a national project, or up to $3 million for a regional project.Left untouched in the changes is the Canada Summer Jobs program, which an expert panel recommended become a year-round program. The Canadian Press read more

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US trade deficit shrinks to 508 billion in April

WASHINGTON — The U.S. trade deficit shrank in April, but the politically sensitive deficit with China moved higher.The Commerce Department says the gap between the goods and services the U.S. buys and what it sells abroad fell 2.1% to $50.8 billion in April from March. Exports fell 2.2% to $206.8 billion. Imports dropped 2.2% to $257.6 billion.The deficit in the trade of goods with China rose 29.7% to $26.9 billion.President Donald Trump has sought to reduce America’s persistent trade deficit, which he sees as a sign of economic weakness. He has slapped tariffs on foreign steel, aluminum, dishwashers, solar panels and on thousands of Chinese goods.The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services is running at $205.4 billion this year, up 2% from $201.3 billion in January-April 2018.Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press read more

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General Assembly President holds talks with Republic of Koreas Prime Minister

25 August 2008United Nations reform, climate change and food security have topped the agenda during official talks today in Seoul between General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim and Han Seung-soo, the Republic of Korea’s Prime Minister. In his talks with Mr. Han, Mr. Kerim stressed the “need for more of the UN, and not less” in dealing with major global challenges such as climate change and the current crisis over soaring food prices in many parts of the world.Mr. Kerim also emphasized the importance of bringing in all stakeholders, including non-State actors, in devising ways to tackle global problems, according to the Assembly President’s spokesperson.During their discussions, Mr. Kerim and Mr. Han also conferred on the most recent developments concerning possible reform of the size and structure of the Security Council, and the Assembly President thanked the Republic of Korea for its supportive approach to the UN’s work.Later, Mr. Kerim delivered a lecture to the Graduate School of International Studies of the Korea University on the relevance of the UN in a globalized world, saying a new culture of international relations was needed to reflect the increasing interdependence in the world.“We need to capture the dynamism and fluidity of our changing world, where adaptability and sustainability are becoming the attributes of power and success,” he said.The Assembly President, who arrived in Seoul yesterday for a three-day visit, also held a working lunch with members of the UN Association of the Republic of Korea. Tomorrow he is expected to visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and hold official meetings with President Lee Myung-bak and Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan. read more

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Ban concerned after troops from neighbouring countries enter Bahrain

14 March 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today noted with concern that troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) under the auspices of the Gulf Cooperation Council have reportedly entered Bahrain, where public protests against the king have led to growing violence. In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said he was troubled that the violence had left many people injured over the past few days, adding that the United Nations is in touch with all the Bahraini parties, including the Government and key opposition parties who have conveyed their concerns to the Secretary-General on the latest developments. “The Secretary-General strongly believes that peaceful means should be adopted to ensure national unity and stability,” the statement stressed. “He appeals to all concerned to exercise maximum restraint and to do everything possible to prevent the use of force and further violence. He also underscores the responsibility of all parties to act in strict accordance with international human rights and humanitarian law.”Mr. Ban reiterated his call on all national stakeholders to reach common ground without delay on a meaningful and broad-based national dialogue, and on Bahrain’s regional neighbours and the wider international community to support a dialogue process and an environment conducive for credible reform.“The United Nations continues to stand ready to provide support to nationally-led efforts, if requested to do so,” the statement concluded.Last month, Mr. Ban called for an immediate end to violence against peaceful protesters in Bahrain and said he would be contacting leaders in the Middle East and North Africa to urge them to institute bold reforms and not repression in the face of the popular demonstrations that have swept the region. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has also voiced alarm at what she called the excessive use of force by Bahraini authorities, including the killing of peaceful protesters, and urged respect for the right to demonstrate. read more

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Madagascar UN appeals for funds to battle locusts threatening millions

21 June 2011A build-up of locust populations in south-western Madagascar could turn into a plague and seriously endanger the livelihoods of 13 million people unless a new campaign is launched to contain the crop-devouring insects, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned today. The agency called for a $7.3 million fund to treat 300,000 hectares of locust-infested territory from this November to May next year.“We must break the locust population dynamics in order to prevent further developments that could affect the island for years and seriously impact on the livelihoods of two thirds of the population, or 13 million people,” said FAO’s Annie Monard, who is coordinating anti-locust operations in Madagascar. “We must respond quickly to this locust upsurge,” said Ms. Monard. “Preventive control is the best and most cost-effective way of dealing with locusts in a sustainable manner.”FAO, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have been helping the Malagasy Locust Control Centre (CNA) contain populations of Malagasy migratory locusts following an upsurge in March last year.In parallel with the emergency campaign, FAO is planning a two-year project funded by the French Development Agency to help Madagascar prepare a longer-term locust contingency plan.Locusts do not always stay in swarms. In south-western Madagascar they typically live on their own as individuals. But if their population density passes the tipping point, their body chemistry changes and they undergo a behavioural, ecological and physiological transformation. After these changes, individual locusts begin to concentrate and act as a synchronized group of hopper bands, or wingless locusts, or as adult swarms, moving out en masse to find new food sources. Changes in their bodies allow them to fly over greater distances, up to 100 kilometres a day, as well as making them able to digest a wider range of vegetation and crops. An adult locust can consume its own weight – roughly two grams – in fresh food daily. A very small part of an average swarm eats the same amount of food in one day as about 2,500 people, FAO said. read more

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