Cannabis Corner is approved by Council

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – At Fort St. John City Council, Cannabis Corner was approved and the next step for the application is now proceeding to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch for final review.The proposed non-medical retail store is to be located at #2 – 10108 100 Street, in the location of the old Playtime Toys. The hours of operation will be 9:00 am to 11:00 pm, seven days per week.The three partners Aaron Lepine, Darwin Lepine (better known in the community as Danny) and Lori Bahm are all longtime Fort St John residents. “We look forward to not only providing a safe and legal cannabis source but also to providing much-needed employment opportunities to local residents,” said Danny Lepine. Lepine goes on to say, “We are pleased that we have finally received municipal approval for our license as we have been paying a lease on an empty building for several months already. We have actually been engaged in the process for over one year now, and it has been a very long and drawn out process”This is now the third application for a non-medical Cannabis retail store Council has approved. Which have proposed locations in the allowable area of the City’s C-2 (Downtown Core Commercial) zone for a cannabis retail store.  In total there are five applications for non-medical Cannabis stores in Fort St. John.last_img read more

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Heads of various depts asked to ensure compliance of poll code

first_imgNEW DELHI: The Chief Electoral Office (CEO)’s office in Delhi has asked heads of various departments under the Delhi government to ensure compliance of the poll code after it received a complaint that MLAs were allegedly “alluring” voters in the garb of undertaking field inspections during installation of CCTV cameras in the city.In a letter to all principal secretaries and secretaries of the Delhi government, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer in has said the matter appears to be “violation of instructions”. The CEO’s office said it is in receipt of a complaint that certain public representatives or MLAs were allegedly “alluring” the voters in the garb of field inspections during installation of CCTV cameras in residential colonies and market places in their respective constituencies. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe poll panel has also attached instructions containing point number 2 and 5 of Chapter 4 — special measures taken by the Election Commission to enforce model code. “It appears to be violation of instructions contained in point-2 and 5…All are requested to comply with the above instruction, in letter and spirit,” the CEO office stated. According to sources, Bharat Electronics (BEL), a state-owned company, had recently agreed to execute the project, under which 2,000 cameras will be installed in each of the 70 assembly constituencies and the work for installation of 2,000 CCTV cameras each in every assembly constituency has begun. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe motive behind huge installation of CCTV cameras are to curb cases of chain and mobile snatching. Thousands of people do not even file complaint with the police. Installation of CCTV cameras in every street will bring the situation under control and also help the police. The Arvind Kejriwal government has been installing CCTV cameras across the national capital, saying it will contribute towards the safety of women. Last month, the CEO office had also received several complaints about various departments of the AAP government and BJP-ruled MCDs which had started work on projects before the poll code came into force and had sought formal approvals later, an official said. The CEO office had shot off a letter to head of departments, saying the projects that actually started on the ground after obtaining all necessary permission, before the poll code came into force, can be continued.last_img read more

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Shameful PM seeking votes in name of soldiers

first_imgIslampur: Mocking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his failure to build Ram Temple at Ayodhya in the last five years, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticised him for seeking votes in the name of soldiers and martyrs.Armed forces belong to each and every Indian and Modi and BJP should not think the forces to be their fiefdom, she said at an election rally here in Uttar Dinajpur district. “For the last five years he could not build the Ram temple (at Ayodhya). But whenever election approaches, he rakes up the issue. The people are not fools. You cannot befool them every time,” she said and mentioned that she has respect for every religion in the country. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe Trinamool Congress supremo said Modi should be ashamed to seek votes in the name of soldiers and martyrs. Banerjee said, “He is now seeking votes in the name of martyrs and soldiers as if the army belongs to him, as if it their fiefdom. Armed forces belong to everybody. It is our pride. He should first answer why so many jawans were killed in Pulwama despite intelligence inputs of such an attack.” Comparing Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah with Duryodhana and Dushshasana of the Mahabharata, she claimed that they are trying to take away the independence of the country.last_img read more

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Oppn parties have no option but to accept defeat PM Modi

first_imgLohardaga: Lashing out at opposition parties that claimed EVMs were being manipulated, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the ‘mahamilawatis’ have realized they stand no chance after three phases of elections and are looking for excuses to defend their poor show.Addressing a rally here, Modi said the opposition parties have no option left but to accept defeat. At a press meet Tuesday, leaders of several major opposition parties raised doubt over the credibility of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs),renewing their demand that 50 per cent of the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips be matched with the EVM results before declaration of election results. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”Just like a child who makes excuses to justify his underperformance in exams, opposition parties have started directing their anger on the EVMs and the voting process for their shortcomings. “The response in first three phases of polls have left the opposition with no option but to accept defeat,” he said. Hitting out at the Congress, the prime minister said the “party that ended up shedding tears when Pakistan threatened India” is eyeing the seat of power in Delhi. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KIn a scathing attack on Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy for his alleged remark on the armed forces, Modi said those who believe that the poor join the army to make ends meet should drown to death. “Such comments are demoralising for the army. It takes a lot of courage to fight on the border. Those that say that only the poor join the army to make ends meet should drown to death,” he asserted. Insisting that Indians everywhere were the responsibility of the ‘chowkidaar’ (watchman), the PM said he never discriminated people on the lines of religion or caste. “When 46 nurses were held captive in Iraq, we did our best to get our daughters back. When Kolkata’s Judith D’Souza was kidnapped in Afghanistan, we rescued her. This chowkidaar is always concerned about the safety of the country’s daughters,” he claimed. Noting that Maoist menace in the country has reduced to a “large extent” under the BJP rule, he said youth are shunning violence to join the mainstream. “It is because of the efforts of the BJP government, naxalites have found their strongholds shrinking. The tribal youths in the Maoist-hit areas are now shunning violence and coming forward to work for the development of the country. “Under the District Mineral Development Act, we have allotted Rs 4,000 crore for the development of tribal areas in Jharkhand. I will not let the corrupt touch your land, forest and resources,” he stated. Referring to Sunday’s terrorist attack in neighbouring Sri Lanka, Modi said India too had faced similar tragedies before his government came to power. “What happened in Sri Lanka is very unfortunate. India, too, had gone through similar phases before 2014. But after we came to power, the situation changed. Terrorists are now aware that this chowkidaar will locate them, no matter where they hide,” he said. Expressing gratitude to the people of Jharkhand, who turned up in large numbers for Tuesday’s roadshow in the state capital, Modi said, “The response that I received in Ranchi was overwhelming. I was touched. It wasn’t a planned programme. The state unit of BJP requested me for the show only two days ago.”last_img read more

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Heavy tall kids at higher risk of kidney cancer

first_imgHeavier and taller children may be at an increased risk of developing kidney cancer as adults, a study has found. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common form of kidney cancer found in adults. Although it often occurs in men between the ages of 50 and 70, the cancer can be diagnosed throughout adulthood. “We know that overweight in adulthood is associated with an increased risk of RCC. We also know that cancers take many years to develop,” said Britt Wang Jensen, from the Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital in Denmark. Also Read – An income drop can harm brain”We therefore had a theory that already being overweight in childhood would increase the risk of RCC later in life,” Jensen said in a statement. To tease out the relationships between childhood body size and the risk of RCC in adulthood, researchers used data from 301,422 children born in Copenhagen in the years 1930 to 1985. The weights and heights were measured at annual school health examinations at the ages 7-13 years. During about 32 years of observation, 1,010 individuals (680 men) were diagnosed with RCC. Among men and women significant and positive associations were observed between childhood BMI and height, respectively, and RCC risk. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardWhen comparing two 13-year old children with one z-score difference in BMI –equivalent to 5.9 kg for boys and 6.8 kg for girls – but with similar height, the heaviest child had a 14 per cent higher risk of RCC than the leaner child. For height, a one z-score difference in two 13-year old children was associated with a 12 per cent increased risk of RCC later in life for the taller boy or girl. “We have found in other studies that childhood height is positively associated with several cancer forms. Therefore, we did expect to find that tall children have a higher risk of RCC than average-sized children.” Findings that heavier and taller children have increased risks of RCC opens new ways to explore the causes of kidney cancer.last_img read more

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I am aam aadmi working in a team of motivated people to

first_imgNaveen Jaihind, a social activist, became a part of India Against Corruption in 2011 and later became a member of Aam Aadmi Party which was formed in 2012. In 2014, he fought his first Lok Sabha elections from his home town Rohtak. He may have lost the elections but that did not deter him from playing a more active political role. In 2015, his political stature further grew in the party when he was appointed as the AAP state president of Haryana. As he prepares to fight from the bellwether seat of Faridabad Lok Sabha constituency in 2019, he spoke to Piyush Ohrie of Millennium Post on various issues. He talked about Haryana model of governance, issue of nationalism being raised in the elections, campaigning amid limited resources, issues plaguing Faridabad Lok Sabha constituency and the bitter truth of political parties ultimately resorting to caste politics for seeking votes from the electorate. Excerpts Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesIn 2014 you fought your first Lok Sabha elections from your hometown Rohtak. You are now fighting 2019 general elections from Faridabad. In these five years how have you evolved as a politician and how is it reflected in your campaigning? I do not consider myself as a politician. I am an aam aadmi working in a team of motivated and driven volunteers to bring positive change in the lives of people. It is these volunteers that campaign for the party. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarAmid limited resources, how during your campaign trail are you trying to make sure that you reach out to the maximum number of people? We have a motivated team of party workers who are determined to spread the message of our developmental works in Delhi despite lack of resources. We are making sure that our workers are present and visible in all the public place and market gatherings. They speak to the people who are there on the ground directly and make them aware of the works that have been done by the AAP government in the development of Delhi. Taking a cue from the Delhi model of governance, what is your vision towards the creation of the Haryana model of governance? The issues that used to plague the common citizens of Delhi are more or less the same that trouble the citizens of Haryana. Even in Haryana, the citizens demand 24 hours supply of power in reasonable rates, regular supply of clean drinking water and better sanitation systems. Rather than being dependent on private schools and hospitals, the citizens want excellent government schools and hospitals. AAP in Delhi has worked successfully on these aspects. Unlike Delhi law and order is a state subject and we would like to reform this system in the state. We will work on the problem of unemployment. We also want to work for the betterment of farmers who are definitely more in Haryana than in Delhi. 90 per cent of the Delhi model of governance can be successfully implemented in Haryana. Haryana is a land of soldiers as well as farmers, what are your plans to take care of these major classes of citizens. The issue of nationalism has become a major point in these elections, what are your views about it? In Delhi, we have a system wherein we provide Rs one crore to martyr’s family. We wish to do in Haryana as well. As far as the farmers are concerned, the government has ensured that farming today is a loss-making venture. To begin with, the government has to be honest in trying to solve the agrarian crisis. A farmer today is debt-ridden and he is being forced to take more debts. The Kisaan fasal bima yojna brought by the government has further worsened the situation of the farmer. There is a need to incorporate newer forms of technology in farming which has not been done by the government. The Central government did not do any development works so it has been a ploy to seek votes in the name of caste and religion. They are now doing in the name of soldiers and martyrs which is shameful. Citizens are now also asking questions that why the Pakistani Prime Minister is openly endorsing the re-election of Narendra Modi as a Prime Minister despite strike on their terror camps and killing many people in their country. What are the problems of Faridabad Lok Sabha constituency? If elected as an MP, how do you wish to solve these problems? Law & Order is a big problem in Faridabad. Pollution is also a major problem that needs to be tackled. Today because of pollution, a large number of children is facing respiratory problems. We will also prevent the destruction of Aravallis that forms the lungs of the city. Like Somnath Temple, Faridabad has been looted many times. I would like to prevent this loot. Today in the governance of self-proclaimed chowkidaars, the public agencies are not performing their job well and are just making money. Once we free these agencies from the so-called Chowkidars, we will work with the people and ensure that Faridabad is free of pollution and garbage. Your decision to put Jaihind as your surname was done because you did not believe in playing caste politics. In this campaign trail, you have now begun to use pandit before your name, is caste, therefore, a necessity that has to be ultimately raised by the politicians? Yeh ek kadva sach hai ki jaatiwaad hai (this a bitter truth that caste is a reality). Not only has the Chief Minister of Haryana but even the Prime Minister uses it during his election campaigns.last_img read more

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EU leaders support Merkel over NSA spying

first_imgBRUSSELS –  28 EU leaders discuss the scandal of the US NSA’s monitoring of Merkel’s phone at the EU summit.Twenty-eight European Union (EU) leaders made a joint statement at a two-day EU summit noting the intentions of France and Germany in seeking bilateral talks with the United States (US).The EU leaders announced that other EU countries were welcome to join the initiative which underlined close relations between Europe and the US and the value of that partnership.German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the summit aimed to arrive at a common understanding of the services between the United States, Germany and France for the establishment of a framework for cooperation.Regarding the recent scandal over reports claiming the US National Security Agency (NSA) tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone, French President Francois Hollande said, “A special European cell is already set up to deal with the wave of snooping disclosures.”A recent examination by the German secret service BND and the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) following Spiegel magazine’s report on files revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has supported suspicions that secret surveillance targeted Merkel’s private mobile phone.According to press reports, German authorities believe the possible surveillance operation had been controlled by a team at the US embassy in Berlin.Stressing that experts must accelerate efforts on the matter with their US allies, Hollande added, “This issue is not going away and there will be more revelations in the future.”Call for talks come “with the aim of finding, before the end of the year, an understanding on mutual relations in that field,” EU President Herman Van Rompuy said.“Any new understanding applies to relations between European countries, as well as to relations with the US,” emphasized Van Rompuy.last_img read more

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Did Asmaa Boujbar really join NASA as a fullfledged employee

first_imgCasablanca- News that Moroccan Asmaa Boujibar was hired by NASA went viral in recent days, with countless news outlets reporting on it and thousands of people sharing it on social media. MWN also reported it, though we noted that Asmaa Boujibar’s name does not appear on NASA’s website as an official employee.  In our quest for accuracy, we were curious to know for sure if Asmaa Boujibar had joined NASA.After a thorough search, we can confirm that the news reported by Moroccan media was not accurate.A source from Washington D.C told MWN that Boujibar is not an employee at the American space agency, but is rather a “potential” post-doctorate intern. According to the same source, she is expected to start an internship with NASA this September, but “she is not formally accepted yet.”The same source noted that Asmaa would be an intern and not a full employee, one of the more than 300 post docs that NASA receives from around the world every year.However, in an interview with news website Medias24, Boujibar said that she was “the first Moroccan woman to join NASA.”Boujibar also told Medias24 that she only needed to obtain her doctorate to be fully qualified to join NASA.“I haven’t signed my employment contract yet, because I still have to finish my doctorate research,” said Boujibar.“At NASA, I will work on the chemical evolution of planets,” she added.The 27-year-old Moroccan researcher, who is from northern Morocco, is the daughter of a Moroccan architect, and a Tunisian mother. Asmaa Boujibar studied at Université Blaise Pascal – Clermont-Ferrand II in France.She obtained her master’s degree in 2010, after working on a thesis entitled “Study of chemical equilibrium between mantle and core in the context of the formation of terrestrial planets.”Edited by Jessica Rohan© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

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EasyJet to Launch GlasgowMarrakech Route in October

Marrakech- The low-cost airline EasyJet will launch in October a new route connecting Glasgow (Scotland) to Marrakech-Menara Airport.The new route, to be inaugurated on October 29, will be flying three times a week, airport sources said.This is the first route between Marrakech and a Scottish city, and the 14th route operated by EasyJet departing and arriving to Marrakech-Menara International Airport. EasyJet operates regular flights to Marrakech from Bristol, Stansted, Manchester, Basel-Mulhouse, Berlin-Schonefeld, Bordeaux, Geneva, Lyon, Milan-Malpensa, Nice, Paris-CDG and Toulouse. read more

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UNCTAD Ranks Morocco 16th in Liner Shipping Connectivity Index

Tangier – Morocco came first in Africa taking the 16th position in the global 2014 Liner Shipping Connectivity Index conducted by the UN trade and investment body (UNCTAD).Morocco’s liner shipping connectivity improved significantly from the 84th rank before the opening of Tanger-Med port to the 16th position in 2014, Tanger Med port authority (TMSA) said.With the latest Liner Shipping Connectivity Index, Morocco leads the ranking of African and Latin American countries. The United Arab Emirates came 15th preceded by Italy 14th, Spain 13th and France 12th.Tanger Med port is now connected to 161 ports in 63 countries, TMSA said.The Liner Shipping connectivity Index captures how well countries are connected to global shipping networks.The index is based on five components of the maritime transport sector: number of ships, their container-carrying capacity, maximum vessel size, number of services, and number of companies that deploy container ships in a country’s ports. read more

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BankAlMaghrib Predicts 5 Percent Growth in 2015

Rabat – Bank Al-Maghrib, Morocco’s central Bank, has announced that the country’s economy is expected to grow by 5 per cent in 2015, up from a previously announced 4.4 per cent, and up from 2.5 per cent in 2014 because of improved economic activity and an expansion of agricultural output.The quarterly report by the Bank-Al-Maghreb released on Tuesday has revealed that the country’s current account deficit is expected to drop to about 4 per cent of GDP in 2015, from 5.9 per cent a year earlier boosted by lower energy bills. The bank’s estimates are based on $60 a barrel in the international market.Morocco’s Central Bank has also said that Bank credits expanded by 4.3 per cent in the first two months of 2015, up from 2.2 per cent in December. They are expected to continue growing to eventually reach 5 per cent by the end of the year 2015, the Bank said. Bank-Al-Maghrib said it is holding its benchmark interest rate at 2.5 per cent because inflation would remain under control and economy is improving thanks to a 45 per cent drop in energy spending.Foreign reserves are expected to cover six months of imports at the end of 2015. read more

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Scantily Clad on Stage Jennifer Lopez Stirs Controversy in Morocco

Rabat – The 14th edition of the Mawazine Festival kicked off on Friday night in Morocco’s capital Rabat with the much anticipated performance of American singer Jennifer Lopez.The performance, which was broadcast live on Moroccan channel 2M stirred controversy on social media. Jennifer and her dancers appeared on underpants on stage.Thousands of Moroccans expressed their displeasure at the scantily way in which Jennifer Lopez and her dance crew were dressed throughout the show. The American’s dress was reminiscent of the way British singer Jessy J was dressed during her performance at the 12 edition of the festival in 2013.Comments of denunciation ranged from blaming the TV channel for broadcasting such a show live on public television to denouncing the “hypocrisy” of the government for not speaking up against the organization of such events in the country.“The government banned a movie from screening in Moroccan movie theaters under the pretext that it contains obscene language, but at the same it allowed what is worse, a singer performing almost naked in front of millions of viewers,” one Facebook user said. read more

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Morocco World News Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

By Morocco World News Editorial BoardNew York – Morocco World News has never before endorsed a candidate for president of the United States, but then again, the stakes in a presidential election have never been so high. It is with that in mind, and because the choice is so clear in the U.S. presidential election, that we are proud to endorse Hillary Clinton for President.This is an easy choice for us. We have never before seen anyone so ready to assume the office of President of the United Sates. The chasm between former Secretary Clinton and her Democratic rival Senator, Bernie Sanders, is vast. Sanders’ approaches to solving serious problems, seemingly without regard for whether they are either politically feasible or even practical, can barely be taken seriously. Secretary Clinton, on the other hand, is proposing a vast range of thoughtful solutions to the major domestic and international challenges facing the United States, and she does so in a way that holds real hope that she can accomplish them.Some say that the Democratic race is a choice between the heart (Sanders) and the head (Clinton). We disagree. In our opinion, Hillary Clinton is the candidate of both the heart and the head. She is the candidate of the heart, because she has had a lifetime of standing up for those in need, passing up opportunities that her stellar academic record gave her to work for the most prestigious law firms in the country. Instead, she devoted herself to the welfare of children with the Children’s Defense Fund. She became the first woman to chair the board of the Legal Services Corporation, which was created to increase access to legal services for the poor.As first lady of Arkansas, she took responsibility for modernizing the school systems of Arkansas. As first lady of the United States, she pushed for healthcare reform that paved the way for the Affordable Care Act. Hillarycare, as it was called, led to Obamacare. And let’s not forget that as First Lady, she inspired women around the world by proclaiming in Beijing at the Fourth World Conference on Women, that “human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.” This proclamation remains as powerful today as it was in 1995.She is also the candidate of the head, the clear choice if Democrats are serious about retaining the White House. Her proposals on economic and foreign policy issues are well thought out: rational, egalitarian, and doable.Moreover, Hillary Clinton has a close affinity with and longstanding ties to Morocco, the first country that recognized the independence of the United States. She has visited Morocco numerous times over several decades and clearly has a good rapport with Morocco’s present monarch, King Mohammed VI.For the sake of the country, the bigoted, xenophobic rhetoric of the Republican presidential candidates must be rejected. Hillary Clinton is the only Democratic candidate who gives us confidence this will happen. Forget what the polls say now. If Bernie Sanders, a Socialist, were the Democratic nominee, the Republican attack machine would make him look entirely unpalatable to the majority of the American electorate. If electability matters, as we believe it does, Hillary Clinton deserves the vote of every Democrat in the nomination process.Whether the Republicans nominate Donald Trump or Ted Cruz or any of the other Republican candidates, the Republican Party has embraced the hateful rhetoric that each one has purveyed on the campaign trail. It is shocking that one of the two major political parties of the United States has stooped so low.It is vital that Hillary Clinton be the Democratic nominee. For the sake of the United States’ standing around the world, and for the sake of the world community that looks to the United States for leadership, rejecting the Republican message is essential. More importantly, putting someone of Hillary Clinton’s international stature in the Oval Office is critical. From day one, she will command respect from leaders the world over, having come to know so many of them during her travels as Secretary of State, and having demonstrated to them her impeccable judgment, and command of world affairs.Rather than rejecting Muslims as Donald Trump and virtually all of his fellow Republican candidates seem prepared to do, Hillary Clinton has made it clear that she embraces the Muslim community, both in the United States, and internationally. She has made it clear that nurturing relationships in the Muslim world is critical to succeeding in the fight against jihadists. Her experience as first lady and Secretary of State during a watershed period in the history of the Arab World (the Arab Spring) makes her the best candidate to work toward fostering stability and promoting democracy in this vital region for the world economy.Our support for Hillary Clinton is unqualified. We urge readers of Morocco World News to draw the same conclusions about her that we have, and if they agree, to register to vote if they are not already registered, and to make sure to vote in the primaries or caucuses of their states. And to our readers abroad, please tell your friend and relatives in the United States that support for Hillary Clinton matters to you as well. read more

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Hillary Clinton Accepts Democratic Presidential Nomination

Philadelphia  – Hillary Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for president Thursday night.Hillary Clinton, drawing a contrast with her Republican rival, promised to be strategic in foreign policy and inclusive with respect to social and economic affairs in her nomination speech.“It is with humility, determination and boundless confidence in America’s promise that I accept your nomination for president of the United States,” she said at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. She is the first female presidential nominee for a major party in the U.S.With MAP read more

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Sudanese President Invites King Mohammed VI to Sudan

Rabat – The President of Sudan, Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir, has invited the Moroccan Monarch, King Mohammed VI, to make an official visit to Sudan. Special Envoy of the Republic of Sudan to King Mohammed VI, Lieutenant General Ali Osman Taha, made the announcement on Friday that Sudanese President, Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir, has invited the Moroccan Monarch to make an official visit to Sudan.Ali Osman Taha made the announcement in a press conference following a royal reception on Friday at the Royal Palace in Fez. The official also revealed that King Mohammed VI accepted the invitation. “I handed over a letter to His Majesty the King an invitation from President Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir to visit the Republic of Sudan. His Majesty accept the invitation,” he said.The Sudanese Special Envoy added that King Mohammed VI praised the deep-rooted Moroccan-Sudanese relationship and confirmed Morocco’s intention to develop existing relations by giving greater dynamism to joint ministerial committees. read more

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French Senator Accused of Polisario Support Affirms Friendship with Morocco

Rabat – In a meeting with Moroccan member of Parliament Abdelatif Ouahbi, French senator Leila Aichi stated that Morocco is “a friend of France,” adding that “nobody can undermine the historical, political and economic ties between the two countries.”While running as La Republic en Marche!’s 9th district candidate, representing French nationals in North and West Africa, Aichi had been subject of controversy in Morocco and France over her alleged support for the Polisario Front. While En Marche chapters in Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal suspended their endorsement of her campaign, she still managed to win the seat.During the meeting, Aichi claimed that the outrage against her position on the Western Sahara issue was a smear campaign, explaining that her position on the subject is the same as that of the French government. A statement issued by Ouahbi’s communication team said the two MPs discussed Moroccan-French relationships and the developments seen by the Kingdom“on different levels.”The two politicians also talked about the issue of Western Sahara and the “fair trial conditions Morocco is providing for the accused in the Gdim Izik case.”Her nomination caused uproar among Moroccans in France and Morocco because of her alleged support for Polisario. En Marche France later on pulled its endorsement for Aichi. Still, she maintained her candidacy, winning in the first round of the general elections with 20.29 percent of the votes. French-Moroccan Mjid El Guerrab, endorsed by En Marche, came second with 18.93 percent of the votes. read more

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Polisario Claims to Have Arrested 19 Moroccan Drug Dealers

Rabat – The Polisario Front announced Wednesday that it has arrested 19 Moroccan hashish traffickers and accused Rabat of organizing the network, according to the pro-Polisario news outlet Futuro Sahara. No official Moroccan communication has confirmed or refuted the claims so far.In a statement issued by the separatist movement’s media wing, Polisario’s Ministry of Defense said on Monday it had arrested a group of 19 Moroccan citizens in Gueltat Zemmour (east of the Sable wall) southwest of Tindouf.“On Sunday, around 7:30 p.m. in the Aghchan Lbyad area near Gueltat Zemmour, a unit of the Saharawi People’s Liberation Army managed to arrest a group of drug traffickers consisting of 19 Moroccan citizens carrying drugs to the eastern Wall of the Moroccan occupation,” wrote Futuro Sahara, which relayed the information Monday. “These traffickers are part of a larger network that is dedicated to transporting hashish from the Rif to Egypt,” Polisario Front sources said. The Saharawi forces seized a 4×4 vehicle, model Toyota Hilux, where they reportedly planned to transport the cargo. The statement said that another vehicle managed to escape from the Saharawi borders.“The Saharawi government condemns these serious and repeated acts of Moroccan occupation as part of its malicious policy involving the use and trafficking of poisons and drugs and its close connection with criminal organizations and terrorist groups,” added the statement.In a second article relayed by the same source, a Sahrawi official stated that the Moroccan citizens “were held in a secret place and are awaiting trial,” and that “MINURSO visited the smugglers who were stopped by the Sahrawi army.”The Polisario Front added in its statement that the operation was undertaken “within the framework of the efforts of the SADR to face the policies of Morocco aiming to flood the region with drugs.”The Polisario Front claimed to have had seized last July 12 in the area of ??Guerguerat 2,100 kilos of hashish and a Toyota Land Cruiser with a Moroccan registration plate. “The traffickers fled in another support vehicle and we seized the merchandise and the vehicle,” said sources of the Saharawi organization.A New York-based political analyst and UN expert who asked to speak on the condition of anonymity believes that “while all sorts of trafficking should be condemned and traffickers should be brought to justice, their detention by the Polisario and the claim that they would be persecuted by the separatist movement is illegal and against international law.” Morocco World News source states that “persecution of and conviction of any drug traffickers can only be carried out by a sovereign state and within the boundaries of its sovereignty.” Yet this is not the case for the Polisario, who has no sovereignty over the territory in which it arrested and detained the 19 suspects. The area east of the berm, which the Polisario considers as a “liberated territory” is a buffer zone over which the Polisario has no sovereignty. “Therefore, the detention is against international law,” our source stated, adding that “the 19 suspects should be handed over to MINURSO, which is entrusted of monitoring the ceasefire agreement and ensuring that both the Polisario and Morocco abide by its provisions- which should hand them to Moroccan authorities and make sure they are prosecuted and given a fair trial.” For many years, the Polisario has been accused of engaging in drug trafficking and terrorist activities. Our expert believes that “the action taken by the Polisario is a new attempt to deflect the accusations that Morocco has levelled against it in recent years with regards to drug trafficking and terrorism.” In September 2016, Moroccan authorities arrested a large network of drug trafficking between the Tindouf camps and Northern Mali and indicated that the son of a Polisario “Minister” was involved in this international drug trafficking network.   In February 2016, a Mauritanian official told France 24 channel that the Polisario elements were heavily involved in the trafficking of cocaine from Latin America to Europe.“The announcement made by the Polisario is an attempt to lure the international community into believing that it hands are clean and that, in fact, drug trafficking in the region is led by Moroccan traffickers,” concludes our source. read more

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Ministry Tourism Allowance to be Linked to Income Tax

Rabat – The tourism allowance will be linked to paid income tax, and the measure will be included in the Foreign Exchange Instruction, which is expected to be published and implemented in January 2019. This means that the tourism allowance (capped at 40,000 dirhams per year) would increase as a function of the paid income tax.The minimum level would remain at MAD 40,000 and the surplus would equal the percentage of the paid income tax and capped at MAD 100,000 or MAD 150,000 per person per year, depending on the threshold of the currency reserves.Impact studies on Morocco’s foreign exchange reserves are being conducted to establish the linking percentage (e.g. 50 percent of the paid tax, with a cap and a minimum).Authorized intermediaries, bureaux de change, and money transfer companies duly authorized to carry out manual exchange can issue a foreign exchange allocation of a maximum amount of MAD 40,000 each year to Moroccans residing abroad, Moroccan and foreign individuals residing in Morocco, dual nationals, and minor children holding foreign passports. read more

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EXPO New Mexico eyes new arena for state fairgrounds

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — EXPO New Mexico officials are finishing a feasibility study on the construction of a new arena on the state fairgrounds.KRQE-TV in Albuquerque reports EXPO New Mexico General Manager Dan Mourning said this week the idea for a new arena is something officials have been eying for years and comes as officials have noticed top tier acts passing up New Mexico for cities with larger venues.The fairgrounds’ aging Tingley Coliseum has been around since 1957 and holds only around 11,570. Officials want an arena that can hold at least 15,000 people.Mourning says it will then be presented to the city of Albuquerque, but say in the end, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will have the final say.The Associated Press read more

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Sheriff seeks dismissal from lawsuit over antiprotest laws

A western South Dakota sheriff is seeking to be dismissed from a lawsuit challenging new state laws that target disruptive demonstrations by anti-oil pipeline activists.Attorney Rebeca L. Mann said Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom must enforce state laws but isn’t responsible for defending them.“Pennington County is not a proper party to defend the constitutionality of state statues nor should it be burdened with the expense of defending statutes it has no power to change,” Mann argued in court documents filed last week.Pennington County is one of eight South Dakota counties along the route of TransCanada Corp.’s planned Keystone XL pipeline to move Canadian crude through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with lines to Gulf Coast refineries. The $8 billion project has the backing of President Donald Trump but is being fought in the courts by opponents.Activists and American Indian tribes also plan on-the-ground protests against construction. Such protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota in 2016 and 2017 resulted in 761 arrests and cost the state and Morton County $38 million. Texas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners also is seeking to recover millions of dollars in protest-related damages from Greenpeace, an effort the environmental group is fighting.In March, South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem and GOP leaders passed legislation allowing officials to pursue criminal or civil penalties from demonstrators who engage in “riot boosting,” which is defined in part as encouraging violence during a riot. Noem has said the law is meant to address problems caused by “out-of-state rioters funded by out-of-state interests.”The American Civil Liberties Union and tribes contend the law stifles free speech, and the ACLU is suing Noem, Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg and Thom in federal court on behalf of activists.Thom is named as a defendant because he’s sheriff in the county in which the activists are working, according to Courtney Bowie, legal director for the ACLU of South Dakota, North Dakota and Wyoming. Plaintiffs include the Rapid City-based NDN Collective non-profit, which advocates for indigenous peoples and climate change awareness.Mann argued “there is no jurisdictional basis for suing Sheriff Thom to challenge the constitutionality of state statues.” She also argued more broadly that since activists have pledged peaceful protests against Keystone XL, there is no “realistic fear of prosecution.” Attorneys for Noem and Ravnsborg made a similar argument earlier this month.Plaintiffs’ attorneys have not yet responded to Thom’s argument, but Bowie in a statement to The Associated Press said “our complaint alleges a chilling of free speech, which is itself an injury that our clients have suffered and continue to suffer.”“They do not have to wait for prosecution to bring a claim and, with the way the laws are written, they are subject to later civil or criminal liability for their organizing work,” Bowie said.The law states that people who solicit or pay someone to break the law or be arrested would be subject to paying three times the amount that would compensate for the detriment caused. The ACLU maintains it fails to adequately describe the speech or conduct that could subject protesters and organizations to penalties.___Follow Blake Nicholson on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/NicholsonBlakeBlake Nicholson, The Associated Press read more

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