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AP Explains A look at where the UK is in terms of

first_imgLONDON – The British government has published a series of documents laying out its plans for what it will do in the event it fails to secure a deal on its future relationship with the European Union following Brexit.On Thursday, it published the first 25 of more than 70 papers on a “no deal” Brexit. They cover everything from financial services to nuclear materials.Britain is due to leave the EU in a little more than seven months. In recent weeks, concerns have risen that the country could crash out of the bloc with no deal, which could seriously hobble trade and weaken security ties.WHERE WE AREBritain voted to leave the EU in a referendum on June 23, 2016, after 51.9 per cent of the people backed Brexit. On March 29, 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May formally notified the EU of Britain’s intention to leave. That kicked off a two-year negotiation period on the terms of the separation — a process so difficult some have compared to unscrambling an egg. Negotiators say they need to reach an agreement by October to ensure there is time for Parliament and the remaining 27 EU members to approve the final deal on the future relationship before Britain leaves the bloc.WHAT HAS BEEN AGREED (IN THEORY)In December, Britain and the EU agreed on the initial terms of the divorce, allowing negotiators to move on to talks about the future relationship between the two sides.The divorce agreement guarantees that the 3.7 million or so EU citizens living in Britain will have the right to stay after Brexit. The same applies for the estimated 1.2 million British citizens living in EU countries.Britain also agreed to pay the EU a divorce settlement that many estimate could touch 40 billion pounds ($52 billion) to cover the U.K.’s share of commitments made while Britain was a member.But the trickiest part of the deal was Britain’s pledge that it wouldn’t re-establish border posts and customs checks along the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the only land border between a post-Brexit Britain and the EU. While the commitment is designed to protect the peace process in Northern Ireland, it raises thorny questions about sovereignty and territorial integrity for Theresa May’s minority government, which relies on the support of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party to pass legislation.While these issues have been settled in principle, the document approved by both sides stipulated that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” meaning that implementation hinges on successful completion of an agreement on future relations.WHAT REMAINS TO BE AGREEDEverything involving future relations between Britain and the EU, including trade, security co-operation and immigration rules is up for discussion.The overarching question is what type of access British companies will have to the EU’s market of 500 million people. Britain wants “as frictionless trade as possible,” but the EU says the U.K. can only have tariff-free access if it abides by the bloc’s rules, including free movement of people. Britain is reluctant to accept this because concern about the scale of immigration was one of the driving issues in the Brexit vote, and the government has promised to take back control of the country’s borders, laws and economy.Britain has argued that the EU should compromise because of the deep links, and not just on economic matters. The government stresses that continued co-operation on issues such as security and scientific research will benefit both sides.WHAT ABOUT A TRANSITION TO EASE THE SHOCK?Britain has proposed a transition period in which current EU rules would remain in effect until the end of 2020 to give businesses and individuals time to adjust to the changes. But that is subject to negotiation, so there’s no certainty over a transition period. Commentators have raised concerns about shortages of food and medicines in the event of a no-deal Brexit.Britain’s Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said Thursday that Britain was determined to “manage the risks and embrace the opportunities” of Brexit, dismissing headlines that the U.K. could run out of sandwich supplies and other staples.WHAT IS HAPPENING THURSDAYThe government began releasing a series of contingency planning documents intended to help individuals, businesses and other organizations prepare for a no-deal Brexit. While the opposition says this is intended to scare people into supporting whatever deal the government negotiates, government officials say they are simply being prudent in planning for the worst-case scenario.last_img read more

Actor James Woods bashes Twitter after getting locked out

first_imgMINNEAPOLIS – Actor James Woods has been locked out of his Twitter account over a tweet he sent out months ago that was found to be in violation of Twitter’s rules.The tweet was posted July 20 and includes a hoax meme that said it came from Democrats and encouraged men not to vote in the midterm elections. Woods got an email from Twitter on Thursday saying the tweet “has the potential to be misleading in a way that could impact an election.” The email says Woods can use his account again if he deletes the tweet.In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, Woods said this means he’ll be allowed back on Twitter only if he decides to do what Twitter says. He says he won’t do that, and he won’t delete the tweet.“Free speech is free speech — it’s not Jack Dorsey’s version of free speech,” Woods said, referring to Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey.Twitter said it doesn’t comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons. A spokesman for the social media platform said by email that he had nothing more to share when asked if Dorsey would respond directly to Wood’s comments.“The irony is, Twitter accused me of affecting the political process, when in fact, their banning of me is the truly egregious interference,” Woods said. “Because now, having your voice smothered is much more disturbing than having your vocal chords slit. If you want to kill my free speech, man up and slit my throat with a knife, don’t smother me with a pillow.”Woods said if he deletes the tweet, it would force him to watch his step with everything he says in the future, chilling free speech. The email Woods received from Twitter said Woods would be suspended from the social media platform permanently if there are repeated abuses.He noted that his original tweet was reposted by his girlfriend on Friday and had been retweeted thousands of times by Sunday. His girlfriend’s account wasn’t locked, which he said was proof that he’d been singled out because of his large Twitter following.Woods, who has more than 100 acting credits to his name and starred in several movies including “Salvador,” ”Ghosts of Mississippi” and “Casino,” has more than 1.7 million Twitter followers and is known for his conservative political views. His Twitter page is still online, though he can’t access it. Many of his recent tweets include his views of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accuses Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her decades ago.The meme that Woods posted in July said #LetWomenDecide and #NoMenMidterm. It claimed to be from a Democratic group, but it was determined to be a hoax campaign to encourage liberal men not to vote in November, according to the website called it a parody. In his tweet, he acknowledged the meme likely wasn’t real, saying: “Pretty scary that there is a distinct possibility this could be real. Not likely, but in this day and age of absolute liberal insanity, it is at least possible …”The tweet is considered to be material that would suppress votes or deliberately deceive, and was found to be in violation of Twitter rules.Social media companies like Twitter have come under pressure to get hate speech and posts that could influence elections offline, learning quickly that they can’t please everyone as they try to act as gatekeepers of discourse. Dorsey testified before the GOP-led House Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this month, as the committee examined whether Twitter has censored conservatives.The AP reached Woods on Sunday through his girlfriend’s Twitter account. After he shared information over messaging, he agreed to have a FaceTime conversation so the AP could verify his identity.Woods said he wants open discourse, and called the situation a dangerous one for free speech.“I wish this were about an unknown Twitter user so that I could be even more passionate about it,” Woods said. “This is not about a celebrity being muzzled. This is about an American being silenced — one tweet at a time.”__Follow Amy Forliti on Twitter: . More of her work at read more

Imperial reviews oilsands project approvals as heavy oil price discounts persist

first_imgCALGARY – Two new oilsands projects with the combined capacity to produce up to 200,000 barrels per day have been approved by the Alberta Energy Regulator but proponent Imperial Oil Ltd. isn’t saying when or if it will build them.Company experts are scouring the “guts and feathers” of the decisions on its 50,000-bpd Cold Lake expansion and 150,000-bpd Aspen projects, both of which would use solvent and steam to recover bitumen from wells, said CEO Rich Kruger on a conference call to discuss third-quarter results on Friday.The prospect of producing more heavy oil comes at a difficult time as discounts being paid for Western Canadian Select bitumen blend crude versus New York-traded West Texas Intermediate are hovering near US$40 per barrel, about three times typical differences.Light oil discounts have also widened recently as Canadian oil production exceeds export pipeline capacity — although lower-priced Alberta light oil actually weighs in Imperial’s favour because its Edmonton-area refinery consumes primarily light oil, Kruger pointed out.The Calgary-based company has grown its crude-by-rail exports from 80,000 barrels per day of diluted bitumen six months ago to about 100,000 bpd now and plans to increase that to as much as 130,000 bpd by year-end, he said.The rail-loading terminal Imperial co-owns near its Edmonton refinery has capacity to ship 210,000 bpd.“As we get into 2019, we’re going to continue to work to ramp it up … I’d like to use every bit of that capacity because that allows us to get into the highest value markets (on the U.S. Gulf Coast),” Kruger said.Imperial earned $749 million in the third quarter, more than double its profit of $371 million in the same period last year, thanks to strong upstream production and downstream profits.Analysts applauded the report that Imperial’s Kearl oilsands mining projects, which has previously been dogged by reliability problems, posted record gross production of 244,000 barrels per day, about 4,000 bpd higher than its nameplate capacity.The project is 30 per cent owned by Imperial’s U.S. parent company, Exxon Mobil Corp.Overall upstream production was 393,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up slightly from the third quarter of 2017, resulting in earnings of $222 million, the highest level in four years.Imperial’s refining and sales division, meanwhile, pulled in earnings of $502 million compared with $292 million for the third quarter last year.Downstream profits were up despite a $33-million impairment charge related to the Ontario government’s revocation of its cap and trade carbon emission regulations.Partners in the Syncrude oilsands mining consortium are working to finalize commercial agreements for a plan to improve reliability by integrating certain operations with the nearby Suncor Energy Inc. base processing plant, Kruger said on the call.On Thursday, Suncor CEO Steve Williams said the partners have agreed in principle on the main terms and he expects two pipelines between the two plants will be completed by late 2020.Suncor owns about 49 per cent and Imperial owns 25 per cent of Syncrude.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:IMO, TSX:SU)last_img read more

Breaking up with Facebook is hard to do Heres how

first_imgNEW YORK — Every relationship has a breaking point. Even yours with Facebook. A growing number of people say they are deleting Facebook, or at least considering it.The past two years of privacy scandals, election manipulation by Russian trolls, executive apologies and even just the political disagreements with friends and relatives have become too much for some people.If you are one of them and want to take the plunge, remember to download your data first. Then, you can deactivate temporarily, or delete everything in a few steps.Barbara Ortutay, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Fort St Johns former top cop coming out of retirement on Vancouver

first_imgThe detachment’s current OIC announced that they were resigning several weeks ago.The news comes less than two months after Insp. Kurvers announced that he was retiring after 28 years with the RCMP.He most recently served as the Fort St. John RCMP’s officer in charge for the past four years.Cst. Terragni said that at this point, it’s not known when Insp. Kurvers will be taking over at the Comox Valley detachment, or what caused him to postpone his retirement plans.With files from 98.9 The Goat: COMOX, B.C. – The former officer in charge of the Fort St. John RCMP detachment has apparently decided that he isn’t quite yet ready to retire, and has taken a position at the helm of another RCMP detachment on the South Coast.As first reported by 98.9 The Goat in Courtenay, Inspector Mike Kurvers will be taking over as the Comox Valley RCMP detachment’s officer-in-charge.Comox Valley RCMP detachment spokesperson Cst. Monika Terragni said that the detachment first learned that Kurvers would be stepping into the role yesterday.last_img read more

District of Taylor hosting emergency response drill later this month

first_imgTAYLOR, B.C. – The District of Taylor will be hosting a mock emergency exercise with first responders and others at the end of the month.The exercise, which is being conducted to test the response, communications and teamwork capabilities of the Taylor Industrial Mutual Aid Group, or TIMAG, will be held in Taylor on Thursday, September 27th.Among the TIMAG members that will be participating in the exercise are the RCMP, BC Ambulance Service, Taylor Fire & Rescue, and the PRRD along with representatives of local industry. The exercise will feature a live product transfer at Cameron River Logistics, which is also a member of TIMAG.The District of Taylor says that the exercise will start with the setup at 8:00 a.m. and run from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.Residents are advised that a number of emergency vehicles with active lights and sirens may be visible in the community and that the exercise could result in traffic delays.Organizers say that traffic control personnel will be present to direct motorists around the exercise area.Anyone looking for more information about the exercise is asked to call Taylor Fire Chief Ed Albury at 250-789-3392, Enbridge representative Sadie Jones at 250-789-6606, or exercise controller Andy Ackerman at 250-793-7797.last_img read more

Cause of Formula Powell Trucking fire likely accidental

first_imgDeputy Fire Chief and Public Safety Director Darrell Blades said that the fire was sparked inside of a storage shed on the property before spreading to several pallets containing bagged drilling mud mix.Blades said that the shed was completely burned out, making it difficult for fire investigators to pinpoint an exact ignition source, but that the shed did not have any electrical power nor did it have any other apparent ignition source inside.He added that at this point, the fire has not been deemed suspicious due to the relatively low value of the shed compared to other items on the property, and investigators are leaning towards labelling the fire as accidental.Blades explained that the fire was sustained by consuming the paper and plastic wrap of the pallets, which contained bags of barium sulphate used to make drilling mud for the oil and gas industry that is not flammable.At this point, damage to the business is estimated to be at least $10,000, while the value of the barium sulphate lost in the fire and response has not yet been determined.A fire at Formula Powell Trucking 10 years ago caused the City to enact a new bylaw to limit the proximity that hazardous materials could be stored from residential neighbourhoods, which have expanded towards the business ever since. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Officials with the Fort St. John Fire Department say that the cause of a fire that erupted at Formula Powell Trucking over the weekend has not yet been fully determined, but was likely accidental.Firefighters were called to the trucking company’s storage yard in the 10200-block of 116 Street at approximately 2:20 a.m. Saturday. Firefighters battling a blaze at Formula Powell Trucking on Saturday. Photo by Stephen Beard Firefighters battling a blaze at Formula Powell Trucking on Saturday. Photo by Stephen Beard Firefighters battling a blaze at Formula Powell Trucking on Saturday. Photo by Stephen Beard Firefighters battling a blaze at Formula Powell Trucking on Saturday. Photo by Stephen Beard Firefighters battling a blaze at Formula Powell Trucking on Saturday. Photo by Stephen Beard Firefighters battling a blaze at Formula Powell Trucking on Saturday. Photo by Stephen Beard Firefighters battling a blaze at Formula Powell Trucking on Saturday. Photo by Stephen Beard Firefighters battling a blaze at Formula Powell Trucking on Saturday. Photo by Stephen Beard Firefighters battling a blaze at Formula Powell Trucking on Saturday. Photo by Stephen Beard Firefighters battling a blaze at Formula Powell Trucking on Saturday. Photo by Stephen Beard Blades said that while fire officials are continuing their investigation today, at this point it appears the business is in compliance with all applicable bylaws.last_img read more

All 737 Max 8 planes in India grounded

first_imgNew Delhi: All Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft being operated by Indian airlines have been grounded, Civil Aviation Secretary P S Kharola said here on Wednesday. Thursday will be a “challenging” day, he told reporters. Lifting the ban on the aircraft will be based on inputs from various agencies and it will not happen soon, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief B S Bhullar said. The DGCA announced its decision to ground the aircraft on Tuesday night. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day SpiceJet has 12 such aircraft in its fleet and Jet Airways has five, which have already been grounded. Kharola said SpiceJet will adjust most passengers in its own flights. If the need arises, other operators will pitch in. Operators have also agreed not to indulge in “predatory pricing”, he said. The decision to ground the aircraft came days after a 737 MAX 8 aircraft operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed near Addis Ababa, killing 157 people, including four Indians.last_img read more

Pitrodas comments on IAF air strike unfortunate blessing for Pakistans narrative Jaitley

first_imgNew Delhi: Union Minister Arun Jaitley Friday slammed Indian Overseas Congress chief Sam Pitroda for his comments on IAF’s air strike on a terror camp in Balakot following the Pulwama attack, terming his statement as “unfortunate” and a “blessing for Pakistan’s narrative”. “There is no country that has criticised the surgical strikes or the air strikes conducted by India except for one nation, Pakistan. The fact that senior Congress leaders are speaking the same language is unfortunate and also hurts the sentiments of the country. To say that the Pulwama attack was self-engineered is a blessing for Pakistan’s narrative,” he said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Pitroda had reportedly said that post the Mumbai terror attacks, India could have responded with air strikes, but “according to me that’s not how you deal with world.” He had also said he wanted to “know more” about the Balakot air attack and number of terrorists killed in it. Saying that Pitroda’s statement was “erroneous”, Jaitley asserted that it was based on the assumption that Pakistan state actors and non-state actors were different. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday “Their (Pakistan’s) reaction to terror attacks has pointed out that non-state attackers are just an extended limb to the state actors of Pakistan,” Jaitley told reporters on the sidelines of a function where former cricketer Gautam Gambhir joined the BJP. He said, “The security doctrine of India has changed now. We attack at the point of origin of terror now. This is now an ideological battle between those who want to defend India using all possible measures or those who want to fight for India with their hands tied behind their back.” Days after the Pulwama terror attack that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF jawans, the Indian Air Force fighter jets bombed terror group JeM training camp near Balakot inside Pakistan on February 26.last_img read more

Lok Sabha polls EC appoints special observers for 8 states

first_imgNew Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday appointed four special observers, two retired IRS and two IPS officer, to spearhead its efforts to check the abuse of black money and illegal inducements to voters and monitor deployment of security forces in select sensitive states during the Lok Sabha polls.The poll-body appointed Gopal Mukherjee as special expenditure observer for the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and D D Goel for Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. Mukherjee, a 1980-batch officer of the Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax) retired as Member (Investigations) in the Central Board of Direct Taxes, while Goel, a 1982-batch officer of the same service, superannuated as Director General of I-T (Investigations). Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The Election Commission also appointed former BSF chief and retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer K K Sharma as the special central police observer for the states of West Bengal and Jharkhand. Mrinal Kanti Das, a 1977-batch IPS officer of Manipur-Tripura candre, has been assigned as police observer for the states of Tripura and Mizoram. The Election Commission, last week, had appointed the two special expenditure observers — IRS officers Shailendra Handa and Madhu Mahajan. While they were assigned the states of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu initially, the Election Commission Tuesday said Handa will also supervise the EC machinery to check illegal cash and inducements to voters in Gujarat and Mahajan has been additionally assigned Karnataka.last_img read more

CM Kejriwal questions PM Modis patriotism

first_imgNEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s patriotism pointing out that the Centre has obstructed the works of Delhi government. “What kind of patriotic PM is he? He obstructed the works of Delhi government and ruined lives of Delhiites. He cannot be a patriot,” said CM Arvind Kejriwal. The Chief Minister said this from the Janak Puri rally for AAP’s West Delhi candidate Balbir Singh Jakhar. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”In the last four years, I have worked relentlessly for the development of Delhi. PM Narendra Modi says his chest is of 56 inches. Through the work done by the AAP government, I have made sure all Delhiites have 59 inch – chests,” he further added. The Chief Minister on Sunday said that Andhra Pradesh CM and West Bengal CM also supported the issue of full statehood to Delhi, “We will approach all the political parties to support the demand of full statehood,” he said. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsFrom healthcare, housing, electricity, education, the safety of women to stopping sealing, CM Kejriwal made a host of promises if Delhi becomes a full state, which will be possible, he claimed, if Delhi chooses AAP candidates from all seven Lok Sabha seats. Meanwhile, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia held a rally on Monday at South Delhi LS constituency in support of AAP candidate Raghav Chadha. “If someone who has studied from Modern and then LSE becomes an MP then they will think about the careers of your brothers, sisters and children. However, if someone who is an intimidating bully becomes your MP then the only question you will be asked is have you given the money, have you paid up? If Raghav Chadha becomes the MP then your kids will be asked how their studies are going and will be told when a job opportunity opens up for them. If Ramesh Biduri becomes the MP he will ask if the weekly payment for your shop has been paid up or not,” said the Deputy CM. He also said that This election is being fought by the BJP to make Modiji Prime Minister again, the Congress party has a similar intention, however, AAP’s dream and your dream is simply to give Delhi the status of full Statehood. Explaining the need for full statehood for Delhi he said: there are only 30,000 seats in Delhi and every year there are 1.5 lakh children who graduate from school. In this case how will over a lakh students get to study? Even those with 80 percent and 85 percent do not get admission. It doesn’t worry Modiji if the kids of Sangam Vihar who get 60 percent will get admission or not. However, I as your education minister worry and care. Once Delhi gets full statehood I will open enough colleges so that not even one kid is left out from higher education.last_img read more

No chance of Congress getting majority in LS polls BJP to be

first_imgNew Delhi: There is “no chance” of the Congress getting a majority on its own in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, senior party leader Kapil Sibal has said but asserted that the UPA led by the party is intact and the coalition could be in a position to form the next government. Had the Congress been sure about getting the majority number of 272 in the Lok Sabha, it would have definitely declared Rahul Gandhi as its Prime Ministerial candidate as he is the “undisputed leader” in the party, he told IANS in an interview here. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework He, however, remained evasive on who could be the Prime Minister if the UPA were to get the majority, saying it will be decided by the alliance after the results are declared. Sibal, a prominent lawyer and former Union Minister, was asked why the Congress is reluctant to declare Gandhi as its Prime Ministerial candidate. “If the Congress were to get 272 (seats), there would be no hesitation,” he replied. When insisted that the Congress could still project Gandhi as its Prime Ministerial candidate and say that he would be the Prime Minister if the party gets the majority, he shot back: “Without any doubt… If we get the majority, is there any doubt?… (But) there is no question of saying it. We know we won’t get the majority. We know we won’t get 272 (seats), just as we know that the BJP will not get more than 160 seats.” Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen When pointed out to him that he was making a big statement, he responded: “Why not? Of course, we will not get (the majority). There is no chance.” Sibal was asked again whether he wanted to say that Congress will not get the majority, to which he replied: “We will not get 272 on our own. It will be foolish for me to say that. And BJP will get less than 160.” At the same time, he said the Congress-led UPA will be ahead in the elections and could form the government even as it has to fight out with ‘mahagathbandan’, an alliance of some Opposition parties, in states like Uttar Pradesh. Asked who could be the Prime Minister if the Congress-led UPA gets the majority, Sibal said it will be decided by the alliance. “…All that will happen after May 23 (when results are declared).” Queried if there could be anybody else than Gandhi, he said: “I don’t know. The alliance will decide… It is something that alliance partners will have to decide. As far as Congress party is concerned, he (Rahul) is the undisputed leader in the Congress party. Let’s be clear on that.” On questions regarding the efficacy of the ‘mahagathbandan’, Sibal said it was “never floated by the Congress”. “Our ‘gathbandans’ are intact. Ours is a party which is gathbandan (alliance) plus. All our gathbandans existing prior to 2014 are intact, whether it is NCP or DMK… We have added two more – JDS in Karnataka and CPI-M in West Bengal.” When pointed out that the Samajwadi Party (SP), which was earlier with the Congress, has drifted away and joined hands with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Sibal said: “That is not our fault. Our alliance partners are intact. We have not let down any of them but we have added our alliance partners.” He said alliance with the Samajwadi Party could have happened if that party had “recognised our importance as a national party”. “But (BSP chief) Mayawati consistently opposed it. They distributed seats among themselves and said we have left two seats for the Congress. How can then there be an alliance?”last_img read more

AC Milan Willing to Sell Moroccos Hachim Mastour This Summer

Rabat- Although Moroccan star Hachim Mastour had some brilliant moments in the friendly match against Legnano, scoring a stunning goal, AC Milan is said to be willing to sell him this summer.Multiple Italian media reports suggest that the 17-year-old attacking midfielder is on top of the list of players who will leave Italian giant this summer.Hachim Mastour, who made his Morocco debut with the national team on June 12 and became the nation’s youngest ever player, is regarded as one of the most promising stars in the in world of football. Although media reports say that Rossoneri’s new coach Sinisa Mihajlovic is fascinated with Mastour’s talent and skills, AC Milan expressed its intention to let him go for around €5 million.Earlier this month, a report by the Italian Sports Website Corriere dello Sport said the French giant Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) is interested in signing the Moroccan prodigy, adding that AC Milan is waiting for a serious offer from PSG.Real Madrid is reportedly interested in Mastour, who is under contract with the Italian side until 2017. read more

Minister Says He Will Intervene in Case of Moroccan Journalist Banned

Rabat – Justice Minister Mustapha Ramid has allegedly promised to intervene in the case of Moroccan historian and journalist Maati Monjib, who is on hunger strike to protest a travel ban.Mustapha Ramid reportedly told the Solidarity Committee for Maati Monjib during a meeting on Wednesday that he has no authority over the case, which concerns the Interior Ministry.Meanwhile, he promised to amicably intervene in solving the journalist’s situation, reported daily Al-Ayam news website. This promise comes at a time after which Maati Monjib, who runs an institute for investigative journalism and was a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, collapsed last Tuesday night while on hunger strike.The Moroccan historian and journalist, who has been on hunger strike since October 6, was hospitalized in Rabat’s Ibn Sina Hospital after his blood pressure dropped sharply.Monjib was notified of the travel ban in late August when he landed in Casablanca on his return from France, over an ongoing investigation into “financial irregularities.”On September 14, 2015, the journalist was interrogated and accused of “tarnishing Morocco’s image abroad, using foreign funds to promote a foreign agenda and destabilizing citizens’ allegiance to their institutions.” His associates have also been questioned.Two days later, he began a hunger strike for the first time, in protest of being barred from leaving Morocco for a conference in Barcelona.On October 6, he went on hunger strike for the second time, condemning the restrictions against his freedom of movement and his academic freedom. read more

King Mohammed VI Inaugurates Aquaculture Farm in Oued Eddahab

Dakhla, Morocco – King Mohammed VI inaugurated, Tuesday in the El Argoub municipality (southern province of Oued Ed-dahab), the “Azura Aquaculture” farm.This aquaculture project, which required an overall budget of MAD 81 million, is part of the national Halieutis strategy, developed in accordance with the guidelines of King Mohammed VI and aimed at upgrading the different stages of the value chain of the fisheries sector and improving its competitiveness and performance.Besides the socio-economic development of the local region, the project will contribute to improve the sustainability of resources, promote farming, processing and marketing of nearly 970 tons of oysters, clams and abalone, and to decrease animal health risks related to the import of these species. Featuring state-of-the-art equipment, “Azura aquaculture” houses notably a two-hectare farm boasting facilities for water filtration, phytoplankton production, spawning and fertilization, a laboratory, a micro-nursery area and a nursery.This project is part of the aquaculture development plan in the Dakhla-Oued Ed-dahab region (2015-2020), one of the flagship projects of the new development model of the southern provinces, launched by King Mohammed VI on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Green March.This regional aquaculture development plan provides for the establishment, for a total investment of MAD 2.8 billion, of 878 production units over three identified geographical areas, namely the Bay of Dakhla (520 units), the Bay of Cintra (243) and the area between these two bays (115).Expected to generate some 3,350 direct jobs, these projects suprevised by the National Agency for Aquaculture Development (ANDA) will be carried out over an area of 6,556 hectares and will eventually reach a total annual production of 115,450 tons.These various aquaculture projects reinforce the Halieutis plan that aims to make the fisheries sector a real engine for the sustainable growth of the national economy and increase its contribution to GDP to MAD 21.9 billion by 2020 and generate some 115,000 direct jobs.MWN with MAP read more

Modelled Lesson Teaching Public Speaking

By Mourad EL HanafiAzilal, Morocco – It is a major point of pride for a teacher to see one of his or her students standing before a big audience. Likewise, it is a great accomplishment for a student to showcase his or her talent as a fantastic orator.Public speaking instruction is one of the activities English teachers focus on, particularly those involved in supervising English clubs. Teaching public speaking to students always provides amazing results in both the short and long run. Once they begin to practice regularly, public speaking helps students learn more about themselves as well as the power and energy they harbor within. Once a public speaking contest is announced, some students find themselves in uncharted waters, unsure of whether to take part or not. Their pulse quickens as soon as they hear the phrase “public speaking,” and they feel anxious at the mental image of many people watching them speak. This is normal.If you manage to convince them to participate, they will certainly seeking you after the contest to thank you. This is not necessarily because their speeches went off without a hitch nor because they did well or earned a prize, but rather because they took the bull by the horns and realized that they could do it. That is exactly the kind of achievement that contributes to positive development in adolescent personalities.Holding public speaking training sessions for students below the university level should not revolve around splashing slide after slide on the wall and lecturing them on the do’s and don’ts they should follow to become skilled public speakers. Rather, teachers must focus on getting students to engage in public speaking in front of their peers.You can begin by encouraging students to recognize how public speaking can help them in their personal and professional lives, as well as their educational careers. Remind students that the upcoming years will bring lots of projects and presentations that require speaking before both small and large audiences at school, university and the workplace.In their first contact with the audience, students need useful ice-breakers. Accordingly, train students to get a good start to their speeches by encouraging them to try one of the following tactics: introducing oneself (here the speaker can include false and outlandish information – having PhD in English literature, for example – just to let the audience laugh or at least smile), greeting the audience in a funny way or telling a joke at the expense of oneself (even if it isn’t true since the purpose here is just to break the ice). In fact, there are numerous ways students can start their speeches well. However, try not to push them too far – keep things as simple as you can.After they know the importance of having an interesting opening (I am referring here to the start of the main speech and not merely ice-breaking), students may take five minutes to prepare a blueprint, either mentally or in writing, for an opening to a speech about a specific topic. Students will then present their work to the class. The other students should listen attentively and their eyes should be focused on the speaker so that they may provide useful comments after the presentation.When I first assigned my students this activity, I was taken aback by the careful ways they dealt with their openings. Some used smooth transitions, while others kicked off their speeches by asking the audience a question or adopted a guessing technique.For more practice, it’s highly recommended that students role-play as specific characters, such as a king, a queen or a preacher. You can also randomly call on students to stand in front of their peers and deliver statements that you prepared before class. Here, they will realize how to use one’s voice and body effectively to add credibility and seriousness to one’s speech.Students can be taught what to do if they forget what to say or abruptly break down in the middle of a speech. You can refer them to some typical gap fillers and techniques to use in this scenario.Although it goes without saying that there isn’t only one way to teach public speaking, it is important that we teach it through practice and not merely through theoretical lessons. The students must get involved and know how it actually feels to go on stage and speak.Edited by Kelsey Fish© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission. read more

Moroccos Ambassador Aims to Promote Kingdom among US Opinion Shapers

Rabat – Morocco’s ambassador to the United States, Lalla Joumala Alaoui seeks to promote Morocco’s position among US opinion makers during talks she held on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. with President of the National Press Club (NPC) Andrea Snyder Edney.The two officials met at the National Press Building, which houses NPC headquarters and dozens of US and foreign media offices, including Morocco’s news agency MAP.The meeting was aimed at discussing the means of strengthening relations between the National Press Club, one of the world’s most influential media organizations, and Morocco. Alaoui affirmed that she will strive to boost cooperation between the two sides, expressing the embassy’s willingness to be an interlocutor with members of the National Press Club.The Moroccan representative went on to list recent reforms implemented in Morocco, particularly those that touch institutional sectors, socio-economic issues, women’s empowerment and the religious field as part of a forward-looking and proactive approach that makes Morocco a haven of peace and stability in the region.The president of the National Press Club said she was delighted to receive Morocco’s ambassador to the US, and she expressed her willingness to push for the consolidation of relations between the NPC and Morocco through training, organizing conferences about Morocco, and future exchange visits.The meeting was also attended by former NPC President Thomas Burr and NPC Executive Director William McCarren.After the talks finished, Alaoui visited MAP’s offices at the National Press Building, where she met with journalists who report on news related to Morocco-US relations, international institutions based in the US and the United Nations, and issues affecting the Moroccan community in the US. read more

High Tide signs letter of intent with Ontario pot store lottery winner

CALGARY — High Tide Inc. has signed a letter of intent to acquire a minority interest in one of the lottery winners selected to apply for one of the first 25 cannabis retail licences in Ontario.Financial terms of the agreement between the unidentified winner and High Tide weren’t disclosed by the company, which has seven Canna Cabana cannabis stores in Alberta.High Tide says the letter of intent includes the acquisition of a minority interest in the Ontario lottery winner and the option to acquire a greater interest in the future.Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario held a lottery last month to choose the 25 entities that would be eligible to apply for the first 25 retail licences to open cannabis stores in the province in April.High Tide is an Alberta-based company focused on the manufacturing and wholesale distribution of smoking accessories and cannabis lifestyle products.“The winner was looking for a strong partner and we are grateful that High Tide was selected to help them achieve their goals,” High Tide chief executive Raj Grover said in a statement. The Canadian Press read more

Casablanca Police Officers Withdraw Complaints Against Detained Street Musicians

Rabat- The trial of street artists Badr Mouataz, 25, and Mehdi Achataoui, 28, began today. The young men’s lawyer, Youssef Chehbi, announced that the officers all withdrew their complaints and the court is set to issue its judgement later in the day.Several activists and people on social media called on authorities in Casablanca to release the young musicians, considering their arrest a “violations of their rights as artists.” On November 13, the Casablanca police arrested Mouataz and Atachatoui, who were performing at the United Nations. Both  artists are known for various street performances, andthey face charges for “practising violence against civil security forces on duty.”The two musicians reportedly lost their cool after the police officers tried to seize their musical instruments.Read Also: Moroccans Denounce Casablanca Ban on Street Performance at UN SquareThe musicians were caught off guard when the wali (governor) of Casablanca, Abdelkebir Zahoud, decided to ban street art performances in the area. The decision came after residents complained about loud music causing a disturbance.A number of musicians  organized a sit-in last week at the square, where they held  banners that read, “The ban is not a solution” and “Street art in silence?”Hashtags, namely “#FreeMusiciens” and “#Free_Lfen” (Free art), have emerged online to denounce both the ban on street performances and the arrest of the musicians. Many Moroccans also opposed how the authorities and complaining residents described music as “noise,” noting that street performances bring fun and many streets around the world are stages for young, talented performers.Read Also: Video of Bus Driver in Casablanca Holding Umbrella Goes Viral read more

Canfor Corp announces production cuts as supply and price issues continue

VANCOUVER — Canfor Corp. has announced another temporary cutback in production due to low lumber prices and the high cost of wood supplies.The company says that starting April 29 it will reduce production output by approximately 100 million board feet spread across its B.C. mills.In January, Canfor announced temporary cutbacks at three sawmills because of similar concerns, cutting out about 40 million board feet.The company announced further curtailments last fall as lumber prices declined while wood fibre costs rose.The B.C. forestry industry has struggled with a loss of supply because of forest fires and insect infestations, while U.S. lumber prices have fallen back from record highs reached last summer.Canfor has 13 sawmills in Canada, with total annual capacity of approximately 3.8 billion board feet. Companies in this story: (TSX:CFP)The Canadian Press read more