Our main objective is to get 51 votes in Delhi says BJP

first_imgNew Delhi: The BJP office-bearers on Thursday held an organisational meeting for the preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections at their state unit office in Delhi. The leader of Opposition (LoP) Vijender Gupta said that the people of Delhi are waiting for 12th May when the Lok Sabha elections will be held and they may strengthen the hands of our Prime Minister by winning all the seven seats. “The claim of Aam Aadmi Party that they are not forming an alliance is not true, they will certainly form the alliance to contest elections. Our objective should be to get 51 per cent votes in Delhi,” said LoP. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsHe further said,” The Municipal Corporations opened 130 new schools in spite of lack of funds. The people of Delhi are ready to re-elect Shri Narender Modi as the Prime Minister.” Addressing the organizational meeting, Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari said that the MPs of Delhi have installed LED lights, CCTVs, developed parks and roads but they don’t take the credit for it. Prime Minister Shri Narender Modi has implemented 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker sections of the society with the objective of the total development of the society but Kejriwal has not implemented it. Tiwari further said that the role of the workers is very important in the 2019 Loksabha Elections. “We have to go amongst the people and tell them how the Kejriwal is protecting the anti-national elements by delaying the sanction for their prosecution. Kejriwal is also misleading the people on the issue of full statehood to Delhi,” said Delhi BJP President.last_img read more

Chargesheet against Shami for dowry sexual harassment

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Police on Thursday filed a chargesheet against Indian cricketer Mohammed Shami. The cricketer has been charged under IPC section 498A (Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 354A (outraging the modesty of a woman).The non-bailable charges have been levelled by Shami’s estranged wife Hasin Jahan. Shami’s brother – Hasib Ahmed – too has been named in the FIR. Last Friday, the Kolkata Police had lodged an FIR against Shami and four others under various non-bailable and bailable sections after the former’s wife lodged a complaint of domestic violence and infidelity against him. Shami, in posts on his Facebook page and Twitter handle, has claimed that the allegations were false and a conspiracy to defame him.last_img read more

Adani Ports SEZ arm buys InLogistics for Rs 3315 crore

first_imgMumbai: Adani Logistics, a wholly-owned arm of Adani Ports & SEZ, Thursday signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent in Innovative B2B Logistics Solutions (InLogistics), a rail-based logistic firm controlled by private equity firm True North for an enterprise value of Rs 331.5 crore.The Adanis will pay an upfront amount of Rs 43.2 crore in an all-cash deal while the rest will be paid over an unspecified period of time, the Adani Logistics said in a late evening filing to the exchanges. The company said the transaction implies an equity value of Rs 43.2 crore for 100 percent of InLogistics shares and 10 times multiple of its expected pre-tax earnings for FY19, which takes the enterprise valuation to Rs 33.5 crore. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”The transaction will be an all cash deal and is expected to be completed by the first quarter of FY20,” the company said in a statement adding post-transaction Adani Logistics will become the largest private sector rail and logistics operator in the country.”It enables us to expand its total addressable market, enhance network coverage and create a value chain to handle dry cargo segment,” the statement said. Founded in 2006, InLogistics provides integrated logistics services for domestic cargo movement and serves the Eastern and Northern hinterland markets and lists Tata Steel, Tata Sponge Iron, JSW Cement and retail marble traders as its key clients.InLogistics will add 14 container rakes, one logistics park spread across 38 acres and 3,566 containers to Adani Logistics which currently operates three logistics parks, two Exim yards and one container yard with a capacity to handle 5,00,000 TEU per year.last_img read more

Delhi Congress intensifies poll campaign

first_imgNEW DELHI: Delhi Congress has intensified its campaign for the Lok Sabha elections. “Haath ke Saath cycle Yatra” campaign has now passed through several assembly constituencies in Delhi. Addressing the people assembled at the Chaupal, Congress working President Devender Yadav said that people were enthusiastically taking part in the cycle yatra, which was a clear indication that they were now looking towards the Congress party to form a government at the Centre, under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe “Haath Ke Saath Cycle Yatra”, being held under the leadership of Sheila Dikshit covered the Assembly segments of Uttam Nagar, Vikaspuri and Najafgaarh. “The cycle on Friday started from Dichamu Kala, Najafgarh, Anaj Mandi, Dhansa, Khera Road, Paprawat, Deenpur, Bharatgarh Ayushman Chowk, Matiala Village, Sector-3 JJ Colony and finished at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Apartment, Sector -13 Dwarka. Yadav said that the Congress workers were emphasising the fact that the poorest people in the country will be given Rs 72,000 annually which will benefit 5 crore families and 25 crore people across the country.last_img read more

Direction is next logical step for Tisca Chopra

first_imgMumbai: Actress Tisca Chopra, who is making her directorial debut with a yet untitled thriller film, says direction was the next logical step forward for her after acting in films over 26 years. Tisca was interacting with the media at a special screening of Oscar-winning film “Free Solo” here on Tuesday. The actress, who had earlier acted in and co-written the acclaimed short film “Chutney”, will now be helming a “twisted, dark and bitingly funny” movie. Revealing the genre of the film, Tisca said: “It’s a thriller film.” Asked if she feels under pressure as it is her first film as a director, she said: “I don’t know. I am just doing my work and I am not thinking about the pressure right now. I guess it is the next logical step forward for me after acting. So I am feeling really happy and excited about it.” “Free Solo” won the Best Documentary at both the Oscars and the BAFTAs. It will release across theatres on Friday across key metros such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh. Tisca said that as someone living in India, she gets to see such films usually when she travels abroad or courtesy film festivals and a platform like National Geographic, which has brought “Free Solo” here. “There are so many people who want to watch stuff. We can watch a lot of content on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, but it’s a different experience to watch it in a theatre with proper picture quality, sound and people. It’s a very collective experience and I love that.” “Free Solo” is a portrait of the free soloist climber Alex Honnold as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream — climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock. Would Tisca like to feature in an adventure-thriller film? She said: “I would love do an adventure film. There was one film which used to be my favourite was ‘Crocodile Dundee’, where they go all through these jungles and stuff. I am a very big white water rafting enthusiast and I am a motor sport enthusiast. I also took part in Himalayan car rally. So yeah, if anything comes up on these lines, I definitely want to be a part of it.” Tisca will also appear in the romantic comedy “Good News”, where she will co-star with Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani. She has finished shooting for the film.last_img read more

Tahir Raina ensure easy win for Super Kings vs KKR

first_imgKolkata: Imran Tahir spun a web before Suresh Raina found his mojo back with a half century as Chennai Super Kings inched closer towards another Play off qualification with a five-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in an IPL match on Sunday. After Tahir’s career-best 4 for 27 restricted KKR to 161 for 8, CSK coasted to the target in 19.4 overs as Raina anchored the chase with an unbeaten 58 off 42 balls with seven fours and a six. Ravindra Jadeja also played an important cameo hitting 31 off 17 balls to pave the way for the team’s seventh win in eight games. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhNeeding 24 runs off the last two overs, Jadeja smashed Harry Gurney for three successive fours to make it just a formality in the last over. This was the defending champions fourth win on the trot as they consolidated their position atop the table with 14 points and one more win will virtually seal their spot in play-offs whose cut-off over the ears has been 16 points. This was also their first win at the Eden Gardens since 2013 as they did a double on KKR who suffered a hat-trick of defeats for the first time since 2014 and set to slip out of their second place in the table. Incidentally, 161 is their lowest score at the Eden this season. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterKKR next face Royal Challengers Bangalore here on April 19. Sunil Narine was the pick of KKR bowling with figures 2/19 that included a wicket-maiden when he cleaned up Faf du Plessis (24) to end the powerplay. But Raina held on at the other end with significant partnerships including a 40-run stand with skipper MS Dhoni. It all seemed a walk in the park for CSK when Narine gave the biggest breakthrough dismissing Dhoni for 16 with team’s score of 121/5, needing 41 runs from 26 balls. But Raina held his nerves while Jadeja gave the finishing touches. On an Eden Gardens track where spinners had struggled so far, Tahir spun the match in favour of Chennai with his twin double blows in the 11th and 15th overs en route his career-best IPL figures that took him past Kagiso Rabada in the leading wicket-takers’ tally. Tahir removed an ominous-looking Chris Lynn (82 off 51 balls; 7×4, 6×6) and in a space of four balls removed the dangerous Andre Russell (10) for the first time under a score of 40 this season to put brakes on their scoring. Tahir’s bowling had such devastating effect that KKR managed just 28 runs from last five overs and went on to lose three more wickets to end up with a below-par total. But it was a different script for KKR early on with a fit-again Lynn giving them a flying start en route to his second fifty this season that came off just 36 balls. Having missed his team’s last match because of flu, Lynn went ballistic against Deepak Chahar who bled 22 runs from his first two overs with the Aussie smashing the seamer for 4-6-4 in the third over. Such was Lynn’s dominance that the otherwise explosive Sunil Narine looked like a spectator at the other end with the Aussie having a share of 31 off 33 runs in the first four overs. A 200-plus total looked imminent with Lynn looking dangerous and Russell starting to explode with a boundary and a six off Tahir. But Tahir, aided by some brilliant catching from Faf du Plessis and the substitute Dhruv Shorey, made inroads removing Nitish Rana (21) and Robin Uthappa (0) in space of two balls. CSK’s catching was exceptional with Du Plessis charging in from long-off to dismiss Uthappa off first ball, then Shradul Thakur at deep square leg clung onto a flat hit from Lynn. The big one was that of Shorey when he charged in for a swerving low catch to get rid off Russell, who looked in his usual explosive zone with 10 runs from 4 balls (1×4, 1×6).last_img read more

BJP polling agent held for influencing voters

first_imgChandigarh: A polling agent was arrested for interfering with the voting process in a booth in Haryana’s Faridabad. “Prompt action taken. FIR (first information report) lodged. Person behind bars. Observer enquired the matter personally and is satisfied that polling was never vitiated,” said the District Election Office on its official Twitter account on Sunday. The action was taken after a video surfaced in which the polling agent was seemingly trying to interfere three women voters inside a booth at Asawati in Faridabad on Sunday. “The person in the video is the polling agent who has been arrested in the afternoon (Sunday) itself. FIR lodged. He was trying to effect at least 3 lady voters. Observer & RO with teams visited the booth at Asawati in Prithala constituency. He is satisfied that voting was never vitiated,” the District Election Office earlier tweeted. Ten seats in Haryana voted on Sunday in the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections.last_img read more

Coalition ahead

first_imgAhead of May 23, predictions are popping up about the potential successor to Raisina Hills. Prior to elections, the Modi-led NDA government had been strongly touted for a successive term. While the critics had their arguments clearly not in favour, BJP’s cry for national security gave them the boost they desperately needed, especially after losing three state assemblies in the Hindi belt and drawing abject criticism for their faulty governance plagued with demonetisation and hate crimes. Cornered over the controversial sub-judice Rafale deal and mishandling of government institutions, BJP’s run up to the Lok Sabha elections was certainly not desirable. Poking nationalism within masses through audacious oratory made the BJP supremo use the army and surgical strikes to extract electoral mileage but opposition parties did not sit out the campaigning extravaganza as Congress led the charge to expose Modi and BJP’s failed governance. Overall, BJP had to draw out exigency plans to accomplish a desirable campaign session which saw numerous MCC flouts in contentious speeches made to garner votes. As if Pragya Singh Thakur’s candidature was not controversial enough, BJP found itself in ugly conflict during campaigning for the final phase in Bengal. Even if MCC flouts are discounted, though they remain utterly serious in nature irrespective of EC’s clean chit to Modi-Shah, the ugly spat only makes the incumbent’s insecurities clearer. Despite the national security rhetoric, Congress and other regional parties have definitely forced BJP to break a sweat. And, then came the six phases of general elections which saw faulty EVMs, alleged rigging, influencers forcing re-election, defamation attempts, vote selling and ugly spats between politicos. All that in progress to decide who will form the next government. BJP brought in a change in governments when it garnered a majority in 2014 Lok Sabha polls and became the single largest party capable of forming the government. Their confidence exceeded expectations and in their attempt to write off opposition ploys to stitch alliances, it termed the grand coalition (mahagatbandhan) a “mahamilawat”. BJP pursued a strange narrative of apprising masses of how a coalition government would turn up to be a weak government against BJP’s majority government. To elucidate BJP’s anti-coalition stance, it is necessary to understand Modi’s tenure. Demonetisation single-handedly remains the biggest instance of a majority government undertaking a drastic step in the nation’s ‘interest’. Not only did demonetisation failed as an anti-graft exercise but impacted jobs and economy in general with small traders being extinguished. The decision of demonetisation was clearly an unobjectionable one since a single-party government need not consider others. Had it been a coalition government, such a decision would have faced avid criticism before being implemented, if at all. Presence of other parties in the fray, therefore, seems considerably impactful during such circumstances. But in their defence, the saffron party can argue that it is their single-party government which has the audacity to undertake such steps (irrespective of consequences). The instability that some previous coalition governments have portrayed strengthens their support. All this hostility against the idea of a coalition has been the general BJP mood but their straight faces do not recall the fact that they were part of the previous coalition governments, particularly V. P. Singh-led National Front in 1989 and the Morarji Desai-led Janata Party government in 1977. So the Modi-Shah criticism of opposition’s coalition steps reeks of hypocrisy. Also Read – A strong standpointMay 23 poses several outcomes for our country. A BJP majority, like in 2014, would mean that the country reflected BJP’s stance of single-party governance. Congress’s 150-160 seats would mean a potential Congress-led alliance government. However, should Parliament be hung due to equal stake between BJP and Congress, it is the regional parties that will be instrumental in forming the government, which would definitely be coalition-styled. The coalition government, in this scenario, is what the country needs since it brings to the table a degree of diversity and plurality. There are arguments that coalitions are associated with periods of greater economic growth, less economic volatility and more foreign investment; Manmohan Singh’s UPA-I is a case in point. Beyond diversity and plurality which is essentially good for democracy comes the concern of regional plurality. Parties such as DMK, TDP, TRS, NCP, SP-BSP, TMC, et al, coming from the corners of such a vast country in a coalition government will only increase the representation of Indian states. The country has not particularly faced a turbulent coalition government, at least not without other factors contributing to the chaos. In such a case, the coalition government might just augur well for the country since we saw what a single-party government can do in the five years.last_img read more

Egypts prodemocracy bloc calls for 18day revolutionary wave starting Jan 24

first_imgCAIRO – In a statement, the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy said the upcoming “wave,” set to start Friday, would have eight objectives.A major pro-democracy alliance has called on Egyptians to launch an 18-day “revolutionary wave,” starting on the eve of the third anniversary of the January 25 2011 uprising that ended longstanding autocrat Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.In a statement, the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy said the upcoming “wave,” set to start Friday, would have eight objectives.Among these objectives, the statement read, are an end to Egypt’s current state of military rule; retribution for protesters killed since the 2011 uprising; the release of all political prisoners; the purge of state institutions of corrupt officials; and a definitive end to what the group describes as a reconstituted Mubarak regime.Millions of Egyptians took to the streets for 18 days in January and February of 2011 to demand that Mubarak step down, which he eventually did on February 11.Earlier Wednesday, the alliance said that the uprising anniversary, which will fall on Saturday, should be accompanied by “general mobilization.”The alliance also urged supporters to join mass protests starting Friday and converge on public squares in Cairo and Alexandria, including Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square – the epicenter of the 18-day uprising against Mubarak.Imam Youssef, a senior member of the Salafist Asala Party (an affiliate of the pro-democracy alliance), said the planned protests were aimed at “overturning the military coup,” a reference to the army’s July 3 ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi.This year’s uprising anniversary comes almost six months after the Egyptian military overthrew Morsi, the country’s first freely elected leader, following mass protests against his one-year rule.Pro-army activists, meanwhile, are also planning to mark the occasion with mass rallies.The pro-army National Movement Party, founded by former presidential contender and last Mubarak-era MP Ahmed Shafiq, has likewise called for Friday demonstrations to mark the anniversary.Activists opposed to both the Muslim Brotherhood and the military, for their part, also plan to stage protests on the occasion.last_img read more

American Republican Party Member Calls for Execution of People Infected With

Rabat- A member of the Republican Party known for his inflammatory opinions on a number of social issues has posted troubling statement on the way Ebola should be treated, as well as Sub-Saharan Africans.In a number of Tweets posted on Saturday, Todd Kincannon, the former general counsel and executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party, said that every person who has been in contact patient should be simply executed.People with Ebola in the US need to be humanely put down immediately. RT @AP: Dallas hospital: U.S. Ebola patient in critical condition— Todd Kincannon (@Todd__Kincannon) October 4, 2014“People with Ebola in the US need to be humanely put down immediately,” he said.  The protocol for a positive Ebola test should be immediate humane execution and sanitization of the whole area. That will save lives.— Todd Kincannon (@Todd__Kincannon) October 4, 2014“The protocol for a positive Ebola test should be immediate humane execution and sanitization of the whole area. That will save lives.”But the insanity of this controversial Republican Party did not stop there. He lashed out at Africans and labelled as cannibals..@SapiensUnited The people of Africa are to blame for why it’s so shitty. They could stop eating each other and learn calculus at any time.— Todd Kincannon (@Todd__Kincannon) October 4, 2014“The people of Africa are to blame for why it’s so shitty. They could stop eating each other and learn calculus at any time,” he said. read more

UN Moroccan American Woman Honored Among Top Young Entrepreneurs

New York – Moroccan American Nadine Hanafi was honored last week at the United Nations headquarters in New York among the most successful young entrepreneurs in the United States.The event was organized by Empact Showcase, an organization that celebrates the impact and diversity of young entrepreneurs.Nadine was chosen for being the founder and CEO of We Are Visual, a creative agency dedicated to eradicating mediocre presentations and empowering people to turn PowerPoint into a powerful communication tool that enhances their message rather than a design liability that puts their audience to sleep. We Are Visual specializes in creating highly visual and engaging presentations that help their clients tell a compelling story. Based in Miami, FL., We Are Visual serves an international clientele (5 languages spoken) and works with professional speakers, entrepreneurs and Fortune 100 companies.Empact Showcase recognized Nadine Hanafi’s company as being among the United States’ “Best Companies Started & Run by Young Entrepreneurs.”“Being honored at the United Nations and having my logo featured on the Nasdaq billboard in Times Square were major highlights in my entrepreneurial career. I am proud to be part of such an energetic group of young entrepreneurs who are each changing the world in their own way,” Nadine told Morocco World News.“I hope this will inspire fellow Moroccans to start their businesses and make a name for themselves and honor Morocco,” she added.Originally from Morocco, Nadine Hanafi started her presentation design agency out of her living room in August 2013. Using only her personal savings, she embarked on a risky entrepreneurial journey with no business plan: she had a dream of building a successful business, a vision for the company and a gut feeling that people could use her PowerPoint skills to improve their presentation content. Within 14 months, Nadine single-handedly grew the business to six-figure revenue with no external capital.Nadine first made a name for herself in the presentation design niche market by publishing SlideShare presentations that became viral and landed her a spot in the top 1% most viewed content on SlideShare in 2013. After designing visuals for several speakers at TEDxMiami and TEDxCoconutGrove, Nadine was interviewed by Fast Company in a feature article called The Startup That Wants to Change the Way We Do Presentations.Within a few months, Nadine’s client list grew more than tenfold as she got to work with entrepreneurs and speakers in 12 countries as well as several Fortune 100 companies. Today, Nadine is expanding her team in Miami and developing more strategic and global partnerships. Her new goal for the company is to design 1500 presentations, in 15 languages, in 2015.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed. read more

Morocco set to increase industrys share in GDP Minister

Rabat – Morocco endeavor to increase the share of industry in its GDP through the Industrial Acceleration Plan, Minister Delegate in charge of Small Enterprises and the Integration of the Informal Sector Mamoune Bouhdoud said, on Monday in Paris.The Plan aims to bolster Morocco’s emerging economy by rising the share of industry in the GDP from 14% to 23%, said the Minister at a meeting on the challenges facing enterprises in the Kingdom held by the Association for Moroccan Entrepreneurs.In this respect, Bouhdoud stressed the need for restructuring the economic fabric through establishing ecosystems which, he said, will help enable the absorption of the informal sector.He said his department is working on the implementation of the auto-entrepreneur status to promote youth entrepreneurship. The meeting was also an occasion to highlight the investment opportunities offered by Morocco given its political stability, macroeconomic environment, strategic location and quality infrastructure.MWN with MAP read more

Princess Lalla Salma Holds Annual Conference on Cancer Treatment

By Cindy BashaRabat – Chairwoman of the Lalla Salma Foundation for Cancer Prevention and Treatment, Moroccan Princess Lalla Salma, hosted the opening ceremonies for the 10th Conference of the African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) in Marrakesh on Thursday.The forum held discussions regarding the role of government in cancer treatment, international advancements in this field, and possible solutions for containing of the disease.The conference focuses mainly on Africa and hopes to encourage solidarity in the continent’s fight against the disease. Many attendees believe a lack of medical resources across the continent is the biggest challenge facing Africa’s fight against cancer.Former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu mentioned this obstacle in a pre-taped video presentation at the conference. He also mentioned the need to slow the growth of the disease, as it could become a crisis.The organization projects that 1.3 million Africans will have cancer by 2030.The conference also awarded certain members for their contributions to cancer treatment. Dr. Ka Sidy from Dakar’s main hospital, cancer expert and founder of the “Maison de Soins Pallitif” in Singapore Dr. Anne Merriman, and oncologist Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade and President of the University Hospital in Chicago were all recognized.The foundation also has a website to highlight its work and assist the public. It includes educational material on the importance of early cancer detection, research on the carcinogenic effects of smoking and information for those fighting the disease.The organization also has many treatment centers called the “Houses of Life in Morocco”. They also provide support for the families of cancer patients, including group meetings and psychological support. read more

UN Denies Compensation to Former MINURSO Volunteers

Rabat – A former U.N. volunteer for U.N.-affiliated MINURSO said the mission treated its volunteers in “a very cheap way” after Morocco expelled them from mission headquarters in Laayoune last week.The anonymous volunteer made the allegations in a letter to Inner City Press, which the New York based U.N. news source published on its site.The author of the letter says he is one of the 73 volunteers ordered to leave Laayoune earlier this month as part of Morocco’s political reaction to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks calling the Western Sahara “occupied.” The formerly paid volunteer said the mission’s leadership deliberately dodged the term “evacuation” in order to avoid paying the appropriate staff the financial compensation due to them per the U.N.’s Conditions of Service (COS) agreement.In 1991, the U.N. set up MINURSO as a peacekeeping mission in the Western Sahara after the intergovernmental organization negotiated a ceasefire agreement between the separatist Polisario Front and the Moroccan government. The parties had been fighting for 16 years.In response to Ban Ki-moon’s remarks – which sparked protests in Morocco and the Moroccan diaspora – Morocco sent the MINURSO headquarters’ staff a letter on March 17th stating they had until March 20th to leave the country.According to the letter writer, the mission’s senior officials contacted the headquarters of the U.N. Volunteers program in Bonn, Germany on March 19th. The same day, the rest of the staff received an email saying volunteers would return to their home country with a terminated job contract.A provision in a 2015 version of the COS says that a volunteer’s employment agreement could be validly discontinued “due to the early termination of the project or operation to which the international UN Volunteer is assigned,” as is the case with Morocco’s “irreversible” decision regarding the mission.The COS also states that if a mission needs to be evacuated for a security reason authorized by the U.N., appropriate officials “will make arrangements for the UN Volunteer to travel to the designated safe haven with the other UN international personnel” and provide financial support for the volunteer’s stay at the safe haven.“I believe that I was facing a security threat and this is what we call a security situation,” the volunteer, who maintains he should have been authorized to retreat to the mission’s Las Palmas haven, said in the letter. “MINURSO tried to manipulate the situation and not to call it a “Security Evacuation” just to avoid paying money to their own staff.”Each volunteer would have been entitled $200 a day for the first 30 days and $150 per day for next 30 days if the group had been relocated to the safe haven, the COS reads. The U.N. has two months after the date of evacuation to determine the future of each volunteer’s contract, according to the protocol for a security evacuation. read more

UNHCR Praises Morocco for Accepting 5126 Refugees

Rabat – Jean Paul Cavaliéri, a representative of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has praised Morocco for its humanitarian policy on immigration and asylum.Cavaliéri told MAP on June 20 that out of the 7,048 people under the mandate of the UNHCR in Morocco, there are 5,126 refugees and 1,922 asylum seekers.3,478 refugees are Syrian, making up over half the number of refugees. Yemen is the second most common country of origin, with 519 refugees. 293 refugees come from Côte D’Ivoire, 210 from Central African Republic (CAR), 169 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and 146 from Iraq. Of the 1,922 asylum seekers, 386 are from Cameroon, 299 from Guinea, 277 from Côte D’Ivoire, 197 from DRC, 119 from Mali, and 43 from CAR. As of June 20, over 3,500 applications had been filed by the UNHCR.UNHCR’s Morocco Representative said that the country’s strategy for accepting refugees by developing a legal framework to organise asylum was in line with the 1951 Geneva Convention on Refugees. This document highlights the rights of displaced people and the legal requirement of their protection by states. On the UNHCR website, the organization states that “the core principle is non-refoulement, which asserts that a refugee should not be returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or freedom.”Cavaliéri added that the countries who had such a legal framework best guaranteed basic protection for refugees and awarded refugee status.The representative concluded that the UNHCR was working with Moroccan authorities to register the claims and process them in order to determine who should be granted refugee status and receive support.Over 65 million people across the world have been forced to flee their homes because of persecution and violence. read more

Sahrawi Speaker at UN Denounces Common Practice of Slavery in Tindouf

Rabat – Benabdalayachi Yahfudu Heiba, a Sahrawi member of the South Atlantic Chamber of Maritime Fisheries has denounced at the United Nations “the slavery practices of another age” still common in the refugee camps of Tindouf.Speaking on October 10 at the 4th Committee during the 72nd UN General Assembly, Heiba explained to the Commission that “these abject practices, banned by international law and the laws of all civilized nations, unfortunately remain a common practice in Polisario camps.”  The Sahrawi citizen said that “children inherited the slavery situation from their parents, in accordance with an official law signed by Polisario.”“In Tindouf, people of white skin do not even deign to greet dark-skinned people, and [they] refuse to sit with them under the same roof,” he explained. Heiba recalled the tragic story of a 90-year-old slave in a family in the Tindouf camps, who died recently in atrocious conditions, in complete oblivion and solitude.  “No one had been able to help except the journalist who had broken the silence.” “This man spent his whole life serving this family, but when he had no strength to serve them anymore, they did not hesitate to get rid of him like an ‘obsolete object,’ letting him rot in a disused room used as a debarra where he recently passed away,” the petitioner continued.“Therefore, I would like to say to the Polisario and to all those who support it that they should be ashamed when they talk about the slogans of human rights and equality within international fora,” Heiba concluded. In a report published in 2014 entitled “Off the Radar,” Human Rights Watch revealed that “forms of slavery persist in the camps in a few isolated cases, […] despite the Polisario’s long-standing call for its eradication and enactment of a law criminalizing the practice.”“The victims tend to be dark-skinned Sahrawis and the slavery takes the form mainly of non-voluntary housework, according to the Freedom and Progress association, an anti-slavery group formed by a group of camp residents,” the report added.The report went on further to say that the organization “documented a case in which a brother and sister said another family, claiming that the children’s mother had been their slave, abducted and forced them to work in their household for up to 18 years. The Polisario secured their release in 2013.” read more

Moroccos Security Forces Work Toward Better PoliceCitizen Communication

Rabat- DGSN’s open days, themed “National Security, Citizen Police,” have opened the door for better communication between the Moroccan police and public.The General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) event at Bab Jdid square in Marrakech started on September 26 and is continuing until Sunday, September 30. The event has welcomed both tourists and citizens in the ocher city. So far, the open days have succeeded in bringing the public and police together for DGSN to become open to its social circle, inform the public of the missions of the various security units and corps, and show their advanced equipment.From how the police detect fake passports to how they deduce causes of death in crime scenes, DGSN members have explained their work to the public in live action.DGSN has conducted 56 simulation exercises, involving the cavalry, police dogs, biker brigades, a musical troop, the infantry brigade, and rapid reaction forces, in addition to parades and educational tours around the region for the benefit of school children.Entertainment programs and 29 stands have also been set up during the open days to teach the public about the police force and scientific support.At the opening of the event, the DGSN police commissioner in the Marrakech-Safi region said that the event mirrors a progressive change in the directorate’s strategy, moving from its first open days in Casablanca in 2017 to a culture of open doors to more communication on security action.The event has set its sights on completing 10 conferences to answer the public’s questions  on various security-related issues and the national strategy to combat terrorism and cybercrime, including more informative sessions, such as how DGSN conducts DNA analysis.Many attendees have given positive feedback about the event, both online and in interviews with Moroccan television channels. They expressed excitement and eagerness to learn about DGSN’s next displays.“I came to this event to discover the missions of the directorate, so that I and all youth can become active citizens in terms of security. The citizen should also collaborate with [DGSN] for the sake of national security,” one bystander commented in an interview with Moroccan channel 2M. Attendees can get information about the event’s programs from brochures and posters on site or the mobile application “JPO Police.”DGSN organized its first open days on September 14-16, 2017, in Casablanca’s International Fair under the theme, “National Security: Commitment and Loyalty.”Around 80,000 visitors, Moroccans and foreigners alike attended the first event.Hamid Bdri, police chief of Anfa district in Casablanca, said the first event in 2017 said came as a response to “those claiming that there is a gap between citizens and police.”“What is published in the media or what is said on social media gives the impression that there is a gap … We should lift all the hurdles that prevents citizens getting access to security services because those services are now a constitutional right,” he stated. read more

Police Seize More Than 13 Tons of Hashish in Moroccos TangierMed

Rabat – On Saturday, police in Tangier Med Port thwarted a drug trafficking operation, seizing 13 tonnes and 750 kilograms of hashish, according to a statement from the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN).The statement added that police seized the drugs on board of an international transport truck registered in Morocco.The police department in Tangier opened an investigation under the supervision of the prosecutor’s office to arrest the driver as well as possible accomplices involved in drug trafficking. Morocco’s security services are cracking down drug trafficking attempts in several cities across the country. On December 19, 2018, Morocco’s  Central Bureau of Judicial Intelligence (BCIJ) seized a boat loaded with cocaine in El Jadida, near Casablanca.On the same month, the BCIJ found a farm in Boujdour in the Laayoune Sakia El Hamra region used by a drug network for cocaine trafficking and storage.Authorities revealed that Morocco’s security services  seized 1.65 tons of cocaine, over 1.3 million psychotropic and ecstasy pills (up 43 percent over 2017), 52 tons of cannabis resin, and 693 kilograms of cannabis in 2018.Morocco’s proximity to Europe has attracted several international drug trafficking networks, including those from South America.Recently, El Pais reported that  Latin cartels have been using Africa, and Morocco in particular, as a transit point for trafficking drugs to Europe.Back in December 2018,the BCIJ arrested members of an international drug trafficking ring specialized in smuggling cocaine between Morocco, the US, Latin America, and Europe.Authorities also seized a tonne of cocaine during the operation. read more

US Withdraws from Biased UN Human Rights Council

By Dana LegerRabat – Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, announced on Tuesday that the US withdrew from the United Nations’ top human rights body, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).“We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organisation that makes a mockery of human rights,” she said alongside US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, D.C. Pompeo accused the council of being “a protector of human rights abusers.”Both Haley and Pompeo said the decision had been made after a long year of efforts to shame the council into reform.Haley added that the decision “is not a retreat from human rights commitments,” and accused the council of being “a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias.”“Look at the council membership, and you see an appalling disrespect for the most basic rights,” said Haley, naming Venezuela, China, Cuba, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.The decision to withdraw comes after the council accused Israel of using excessive force last month and voted to investigate Israeli killings of Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip. Since March 30, more than 120 Palestinian protesters have been killed and over 13,000 have been injured by Israeli forces.Reactions to the withdrawalZeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, called the announcement by US President Donald Trump’s administration “disappointing, if not really surprising,” adding, “Given the state of human rights in today’s world, the US should be stepping up, not stepping back.”“Disappointing, if not really surprising, news. Given the state of #HumanRights in today’s world, the US should be stepping up, not stepping back” — UN Human Rights Chief #Zeid following USA decision to withdraw from U.N. Human Rights Council.#StandUp4HumanRights— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) June 19, 2018The European Union said that the move “risks undermining the role of the US as a champion and supporter of democracy on the world stage.”Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan, reporting from Washington, D.C., said the US exit “did not come as a shock” as it was something that Haley had talked about soon after becoming the US ambassador to the UN in early 2017.Israel, a major ally of the US, praised Washington’s “courageous” move.“The primary reason why the US is pulling out of the council now is because of its efforts to reduce or eliminate of the unfair criticism, in the US’ view, of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians,” Jordan said.The UNHRC and its rocky relationship with the USThe UN created the Human Rights Council in 2006 to replace the UN Commission on Human Rights, which at the time faced widespread criticism for allowing countries with poor human rights records to become members.A group of 47 elected countries from regions across the globe serve for three-year terms on the Geneva-based council.The UNHRC meets three times a year and reviews the human rights records of all UN members in a strategic process, known as the Universal Periodic Review. The council claims this gives countries a chance to explain what they have done to improve human rights.The council has set up commissions of inquiry to report on human rights violations in countries including Syria, North Korea, Burundi, Myanmar, and South Sudan.The US has a long history of conflicting relationships with the UN Human Rights Council. The Bush Administration boycotted the council when it was created in 2006 for similar reasons as those cited by the Trump administration.At the time, the US ambassador to the UN was John Bolton, who is currently President Trump’s national security adviser and a strong critic of the UN.In 2009, the US re-joined the UNHRC under the Obama administration. read more

Trustee Ocean Resort Casino improving finances performance

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The man overseeing Atlantic City’s Ocean Resort Casino until new owners take over says the property is restocked with cash and is already starting to turn around its performance.In his first interview since being appointed as the divestiture trustee for the struggling property, Eric Matejevich (MAT’-eh-vich) told The Associated Press in an interview this week that the property once again meets state-imposed requirements to have at least $36 million on hand at all times.He also says the casino is already starting to show significant improvement in business levels, even during the slowest period of the year.Matejevich is overseeing Ocean Resort until New York hedge fund Luxor Capital takes over from former owner Bruce Deifik (DY’-fik).It began to run low on money in September, prompting Deifik to relinquish ownership after just six months.Wayne Parry, The Associated Press read more