Fort St John receives over 90 cm of snow in March over

first_imgIf we don’t see any more snow this weekend, Fort St. John will have officials received 92.3 of snow in March.  Fort St. John typically receives 23.7 cm of snow in March.Since October, the Fort St. John Airport has received 319.5 cm of snow. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With just over 90 cm of snow in March, the weather may finally be changing to be a little more like spring.After a possible wind chill of minus 27 on Friday morning, things should start to warm up closer to zero for the rest of the long weekend.  The cooler temperatures will more than likely stick around for the first week of April before we see an increase above zero in the second week of April.The temperature should be between minus 3 and minus 6 for the Easter Weekend.  Environment Canada says we should be above zero by Thursday.last_img read more

Charges laid in Dawson Creek property related crimes

first_imgDAWSON CREEK, B.C. – RCMP received a report of a stolen UTV in the Toms Lake area on Sunday, September 22nd, 2019.According to the RCMP, frontline officers attended, located the stolen UTV, and arrested both occupants. Further investigation by police uncovered evidence connecting suspects to two other stolen vehicles and a stolen trailer which were located nearby.A subsequent investigation has since linked the suspects to several other vehicle thefts and property thefts in the Peace region. Ryan Bumstead, 25-years-old, Chelbi Hiebert, 28-years-old, Hayden Raposo, 28-years-old and Lyric Grey, 21-years-old have all been charged with multiple property and vehicle theft-related offences.All four remain in police custody awaiting a future court date.This investigation encompasses numerous reported thefts and break and enters across the Peace Region from Fort St John to Grande Prairie said S/Sgt Damon Werrell, NCO i/c Dawson Creek Detachment.The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information on this or any other crime is asked to call the Dawson Creek RCMP at 250 784-3700 or Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-8477last_img read more

Housing prices up 7 sales down 28 supply dips 64 in last

first_imgNew Delhi: Housing prices rose by a modest 7 per cent in seven major cities during the past five years, while sales and new supply have declined 28 per cent and 64 per cent, respectively, according to brokerage firm Anarock. In its analysis of the performance of the real estate sector in the past five years of the current central government, Anarock founder and Chairman Anuj Puri said many steps were taken to reform and improve the image of the Indian real estate sector. Measures such as demonetisation, new realty law RERA and GST did cause some pain for the sector in short term but would prove beneficial in the long run, he added. On operation performance of the housing segment, Puri said the prices in primary markets have seen more of a “time correction” rather than a price correction, with average prices across top-seven cities seeing a meagre 7 per cent increase in the past five years. “Considering inflation (assuming seven per cent a year), all cities will have seen negative price trends in the last five years,” he added. These seven cities are Delhi-NCR, Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune. The supply of new housing units reduced by 64 per cent in the past five years from 5.45 lakh units in 2014 to 1.95 lakh units in 2018. Housing sales were also slow, dropping by 28 per cent during the same period from 3.43 lakh units in 2014 to 2.48 units last year. “Like it or lump it, but (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi’s victory in 2014 ushered a new era in Indian real estate starkly marked by his vision to set the ‘house’ in order and alter the scarred face of an unorganised sector beset by unscrupulous activities,” Puri said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi “tightened the Centre’s grip on real estate previously the largest dump-yard for black money hoarders and introduced big-bang schemes to benefit consumers”, he said. Puri said the government set the stage for the real estate sector in the long term through major policy overhauls and initiatives like 100 smart cities and Housing For All by 2022. The chairman of Anarock said demonetisation, realty law RERA and the GST brought about a paradigm shift in the way the Indian real estate does business and laid the groundwork for improved transparency and efficiency in the sector. “The measures he took to achieve this did have short-term negative impacts, but nobody can argue that this is a case where short-term pain is necessary for the sake of long-term gain,” he added. However, Puri felt that the on-ground implementation for most of these initiatives could have been better to achieve more even in these five years.last_img read more

Kidambi Srikanth seals final spot Sindhu crashes out at India Open

first_imgNew Delhi: Former champion Kidambi Srikanth reached title round after a 17-month drought but P V Sindhu bowed out after losing a close semifinal contest at the USD 350,000 India Open here Saturday. Olympic silver medallist Sindhu, who had won the event in 2017, blew four game points in the opening game to go down fighting 21-23 18-21 to China’s He Bingjiao. The third seed will face two-time champion Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand in the finals Sunday. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”I think I need to be more patient, I should have taken the first set, it was crucial for me but after losing it, I became a bit nervous. I made crucial mistakes in the second game,” Sindhu said. “I did change strategies. She also got lucky with net cords in the first game. I came back and could have maintained the led but I couldn’t. She played well.” Srikanth had entered the finals of Commonwealth Games last year but he failed to reach the summit clash in any BWF Superseries or BWF World Tour tournament since his French Open win in October, 2017. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterThe 26-year-old from Guntur on Saturday eked out a 14-21 21-16 21-19 triumph over China’s Huang Yuxiang in an engrossing semi-final encounter. He will face second seed Viktor Axelsen, who beat India’s Parupalli Kashyap 21-11 21-17, in the final. “It’s been really long since I reached a final. I’m just happy to be here, playing the final again,” Srikanth said. “I was trailing in the decided and I am happy to pull it off. I’m happy to come back in the second. It was about keeping the shuttle in. The crowd kept me going in.” In the women’s semi-final, Sindhu managed to hold a 11-8 lead at the break. She kept the shuttle in play, mixing her strokes to push Bingjiao to commit errors to lead 20-16. But Indian committed a heap of unforced errors to allow the Chinese level score. At 21-21, a lucky net chord put Bingjiao on lead leaving Sindhu frustrated, who sent another one at the net to lose the opening game. The second game begun on an even keel as the duo rode on each other’s errors to move 8-8 before Sindhu grabbed a 11-9 advantage at the break. The Indian stayed a step ahead, despite Bingjiao constant threat. At 16-13, a few weak returns from Sindhu allowed the Chinese to level scores. Bingjiao quickly grabbed two points to take two match points. Sindhu then sent the next shuttler to the net to bow out. In the men’s singles semi-finals, Srikanth used his flat tosses and deep lifts to engage his rival into rallies but Huang was also up to the task before the Indian managed to held a 11-10 lead at the first break. The duel continued before the Chinese moved to a 18-14 lead after the Indian lost a few points at the net. Srikanth saved two game points with a cross court smash and a precise net shot before hitting wide to lose the first game.last_img read more

With government split British MPs now seek new Brexit plan

first_imgLondon: British MPs will try again to chart a new Brexit path on Monday after rejecting Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal for a third time, but the EU warned its patience was wearing thin. Less than two weeks before Britain risks crashing out of the European Union, MPs will hold a second round of votes on various options to try to break the political deadlock. But any attempt to force May to accept a closer relationship with the EU risks splitting the government, and there is widespread speculation she might try one last time to get her deal passed this week. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USEuropean Union leaders have called an emergency summit on April 10 and have warned that unless Britain sets out what it wants to do, it risks severing ties with its largest trading bloc two days later with no deal at all. “With our British friends we have had a lot of patience, but even patience is running out,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told Italian public TV channel Rai 1 on Sunday. Britain voted by 52 percent to leave the EU in a 2016 referendum, but the process has been mired in divisions over the terms of the divorce and what kind of future ties to seek. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsMay struck a divorce deal with the EU last November, but it has been repeatedly rejected by MPs, the last time on Friday — even after she promised to resign if her rebellious Conservative colleagues helped push the deal through. The impasse has forced May to postpone Britain’s original exit day from March 29, but she said it would be “unacceptable” for a further delay beyond European Parliament elections held from May 23 to May 26. Frustrated with her approach, MPs in the House of Commons last week voted to give themselves powers to find an alternative strategy, by holding a series of “indicative votes” on various options. No single plan won a majority in the first round but MPs hope to whittle down the proposals on Monday evening, with voting starting at 8.00 pm (1900 GMT), and another day of debate is scheduled for this Wednesday. The two most popular options last week were a new EU-UK customs union or a public vote on any agreed deal. There were a large number of abstentions on another widely discussed option, based on Norway’s membership of the single market. In an interview with the BBC released Monday, Chief Whip Julian Smith — the man responsible for enforcing discipline among May’s MPs and ministers — suggested that a closer relationship with the EU was “inevitable”. The 2017 election where May lost her parliamentary majority meant “this would be inevitably a kind of softer type of Brexit”, he said. He also denounced the behaviour of May’s own ministers, who he said were trying to undermine her. “This is I think the worst example of ill-discipline in cabinet in British political history,” he said. While some pro-European members of May’s cabinet might support a customs union, she herself is opposed and it threatens mass rebellion among the rest of her ministers. Brexit-supporting minister Andrea Leadsom has reportedly organised a letter signed by 170 Conservative MPs including 10 cabinet ministers, demanding a swift Brexit, with or without a deal. The votes by MPs are not legally binding but carry political weight, and the government fears they may lead to legislation that would force May’s hand. “I fear we are reaching the limits of this process in this House,” she said last week. Speculation is growing that the only way out may be a general election.last_img read more

Saffron brigade wont be coming back to Delhi

first_imgBalurghat/Gangarampur/Berhampur (South Dinajpur/Murshidabad): Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee alleged on Friday that BJP and RSS are backing the Congress candidate in Berhampur and in the same breath, said the saffron party will not be coming to power in Delhi.She was addressing a mammoth rally at Berhampur. Earlier in the day, Banerjee addressed two more rallies at Balurghat and Gangarampur in South Dinajpur. Without naming sitting Congress MP Adhir Chowdhury, she said: “He does not stay in Murshidabad and his only business is to criticise Trinamool Congress. On the last day of the Parliament, he gained support from BJP by calling Trinamool Congress a party of thieves. Who is honest? Saradha was set up in the 1980s and CPI(M) and Congress leaders were involved. But no action was taken against them. The Congress leaders have betrayed the voters as they follow Congress during the day, BJP in the afternoon and CPI(M) at night,” adding that “RSS is backing Congress in Berhampur.” Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe Trinamool supremo said BJP will not be able to make a comeback in the Lok Sabha polls. “From where will they get seats? In Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Bengal they will get zero seats. In Uttar Pradesh the number of seats will be reduced. In Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh BJP cannot do well. From where will they get seats to form the government?” she asked. In Murshidabad district, Congress got two seats in Berhampur and Jangipur while CPI(M) had bagged the Murshidabad seat in 2014. Banerjee said when she was in Congress, she had come to Murshidabad several times with Mannan Hossain. She had cordial relations with veteran leaders of the district like Abdus Sattar and Atish Chandra Sinha. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway”We had to take part in the general election within 22 days of setting up Trinamool Congress in 1998. I could not come to the district and reach out to the people,” she regretted. In Balurghat and Gangarampur, Banerjee urged the voters not to cast their votes in favour of BJP. “If BJP is voted back to power there will be no democracy in India. The society will be divided and the economic condition of the country will become worse. In the past five years, BJP has not done anything,” she said. Stating that all-round development has taken place in South Dinajpur, she said: “There is not a single family that has not been benefitted by the schemes of the state government. The farmers have been greatly benefitted as the state government is paying the premium of the crop insurance. The annual income of the farmers has gone up three times. Kanyashree has benefitted the girl students enormously. Under Khadya Sathi, people are getting rice at Rs 2/kilogram.” She said the time has come when people should think before casting their votes. “Rest assured that Trinamool will play a major role in the formation of the new government in Delhi. There will be a secular and pro-development government, where the interest of all sections of people will be protected,” she said. Banerjee also urged the first-time voters to cast their votes in favour of Trinamool Congress. “Don’t vote for CPI(M) and Congress as it will strengthen the hand of BJP. Vote for Trinamool Congress to set up a democratic government at the Centre,” she said.last_img read more

Engine of Air Indias Boeing aircraft shuts down at Delhi airport black

first_imgNew Delhi: An engine of an empty Boeing 777 aircraft of Air India shut down at the Delhi airport during a technical inspection on Wednesday night and “black fumes” were seen coming out of it, the airline said. “Yesterday night at Delhi when an engineer was doing a routine technical examination of the empty aircraft (777), auxiliary power unit (APU) auto shutdown took place,” the airline said in a statement on Thursday. The APU is the smallest engine on an aircraft and situated at the tail of it. It provides the necessary power to start the main engines. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal Airport personnel observed black fumes from the APU exhaust and sprayed foam spray on it and part of the fuselage, the national carrier said. After opening the cowlings (cover) of the APU, “there was no traces of any burn or external damage noticed except for the minor oil leaks traces, which was normal”, it said, adding that a detailed inspection was going on. The flight was supposed to depart for San Francisco at 3.30 am on Thursday, an airline official said on the condition of anonymity. According to sources, Air India has four Boeing 747s, 18 Boeing 777 aircraft and 27 Boeing 787s in its fleet and these are primarily used for medium and long-haul international operations.last_img read more

RBI asked to disclose info on bank inspection reports

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday directed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to disclose information on its annual inspection report of banks under the Right to Information (RTI) Act unless they are exempted under law.A bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao also directed the federal bank to review its policy to disclose information relating to banks under RTI, saying “it is duty bound under the law”. The bench, which did not go ahead with contempt proceedings against the RBI, made it clear that it was giving a last opportunity to it to comply with provisions of the transparency law. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkThe bench said it would have taken a serious view to the refusal of the RBI to part with information under RTI. “Any further violation shall be viewed seriously,” the bench said. In January this year, the top court had issued contempt notice to RBI for not disclosing annual inspection report of banks under RTI. Earlier, the apex court and the Central Information Commission, both had held that the RBI could not deny information to an information seeker under the transparency law unless the material is exempted from disclosure under the law. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygenThe RBI, in its defence, had said that it could not disclose information as the annual inspection report of the bank contained “fiduciary” information as defined under the transparency law. The bench was hearing a contempt petition filed by RTI activist S C Agrawal against the RBI. Agrawal had sought complete information including related documents from RBI on the imposition of fines on some banks for violating rules. He had also sought the list of banks and the default for which show cause notices were issued to them before the fine was imposed. Despite the apex court’s judgement for disclosure of such information, the RBI had issued a “Disclosure Policy” under which it has listed certain information as being exempted from being disclosed of the RTI Act. “It is to be noted that this specific information is similar to what was held not to be exempted by the Supreme Court,” claimed the plea. The RBI had refused to disclose such information on the grounds of economic interest and holding such information in a fiduciary relationship with these individual banks. “Such reason is in direct contempt with this court’s judgment. The information titles which are in contempt belong to the Department of Banking Regulation, Banking Supervision, Cooperative Banking Regulation/Department of Cooperative Banking Supervision and Consumer Education and Protection Department. “This exempted information under the policy was held to be not exempted by the Supreme Court. Thus, this exemption leads to contempt of this court’s order,” the plea has said. The Supreme Court had in 2015 held that RBI should take rigid action against those banks and financial institutions which have been indulging in “disreputable business practices” and said it could not withhold information on defaulters and other issues covered under the RTI Act. It had further clarified that RBI cannot withhold information under the “guise” of confidence or trust with financial institutions and is accountable to provide the information sought by the general public.last_img read more

Tata JLR drives locally made Range Rover Velar trim in India

first_imgNew Delhi: Jaguar Land Rover India Tuesday said it has initiated sales of locally manufactured Range Rover Velar in the country with prices starting from Rs 72.47 Lakh (ex-showroom). The locally manufactured model is offered in a single trim, R Dynamic-S variant, and is available with both petrol and diesel powertrains. The cost of the trim has come down in the range of about 15-20 per cent as compared with the completely built units (CBU) variants of the model. The start of Velar’s local manufacturing would enable the company gain a competitive edge within the Indian luxury SUV segment, JLR India said in a statement. “Since its launch in 2018, the Range Rover Velar has received an overwhelming response from customers across the country,” JLR India President and Managing Director Rohit Suri said. He further said, “Now, with the introduction of the locally manufactured Range Rover Velar, we are able to offer this iconic, award winning product at a very attractive and compelling price than before.”last_img read more

Mamata snubs Modis offer to install new bust of Vidyasagar

first_imgDiamond Harbour: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday rejected Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s offer to install a new bust of Bengal Renaissance icon and social reformer Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar at the same spot where it was vandalised saying that Bengal has the money for it and does not need his help.She added that it was BJP hooligans who desecrated a heritage by breaking the bust in the violence that erupted during BJP national president Amit Shah’s roadshow. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaShe was addressing a mammoth rally here on Thursday afternoon after which she also attended two rallies at Mathurapur and Mandirbazar respectively. Thursday was the last day of campaigning in Mathurapur and Diamond Harbour where elections will be held on May 19. The time of campaign has been curtailed following an Election Commission of India order late on Wednesday evening. Challenging Modi, she said: “If you can prove that Trinamool Congress supporters had demolished the statue of Vidyasagar at the college, I will quit politics. And if you fail to prove it, you will have to do sit-ups holding your ears. Some goons from Rajasthan and Bihar had destroyed the statue and the Prime Minister is so shameless that he is talking about rebuilding the statue,” she said and added: “A black statue will be installed in India which will be the symbol of fascism and lies that have been circulated by Modi. By installing a statue, you can’t bring back the 200-year-old heritage.” Banerjee also alleged that the BJP leaders are coming to Bengal to malign the state. Without naming Amit Shah, she said: “That person alleged that I have made Bengal a state of beggars (kangal). Are we beggars? What audacity has he got to call us beggars.” Continued on P7last_img read more

Athlete of Moroccan Origins Poses Topless In the Cover of a

Taroudant, Morocco – The Ibiza athlete, Jadilla Rahmouni, of Moroccan origins appeared topless in “Interviu” magazine cover, with her gold medal, a silver and a yellow swimsuit.According to the Spanish Diario de Ibiza, the the 800 meters champion, who said in the interview that she wanted to be a model, is already thinking about the 2015 World Games in Rio.The Arabic script on the waist of the athlete caused an uproar among social media users. Jadilla Rahmouni, an unfamiliar name for most, reveals to the magazine “Interviu” the difficulties to make a living in her domain.“The situation is delicate, the amounts of scholarships, prizes, fixed, have significantly dropped compared to other sports,” the athlete said in the web edition of the famous magazine, as quoted by Spanish Diario.“I have to pay my trips to go to international’ meetings’ though I am lucky to have my club scholarship and two sponsors that help me with materials and products,” she says.Through her controversial move the athlete aims both to make ends meet and raise people’s awareness about the hardships faced by athletes in Spain. read more

Moroccos Latifa Loukhmas Wins Arabs prize for blood transfusion services

Rabat – Morocco’s Latifa Loukhmas, Director of the Regional Blood Transfusion Centre in Marrakech has won 2015’s title of the Arabs’ prize for blood transfusion services.The Council of Arab Health Ministers which grants the Arab’s prize for blood transfusion every two years, awarded Latifa Loukhmas this year’s title, in appreciation of her effort to develop blood transfusion in the region of Marrakesh.The award is set to be given to Dr Latifa Loukhmas during the next congress of the Arab forum for blood transportation. This prize is awarded every two years by the Council of Arab Health Ministers to Arab individuals and government agencies that achieve distinction in blood transfusion services across the Arab world.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

900 kg of Cannabis and Tobacco Leaves Seized near Meknès

Meknès – 900 kg of cannabis and tobacco leaves were seized on Wednesday near Meknès on the national road number 13, a customs source said.During this operation, the customs services of Fez and Meknès seized, on board two vehicles, 780 kg of cannabis and 120 kg of tobacco leaves worth 900,000 dirhams, said the Fez-Meknès regional customs department.The drivers succeeded in escaping despite the combing operation led by customs services. With MAP

British Court BP to Pay Bank of Abu Dhabi 68 Million

Rabat – A British court has ordered the oil and gas major British Petroleum to pay the National Bank of Abu Dhabi more than $68 million to resolve an issue related to the sudden closure of SAMIR, Morocco’s sole refinery, in August 2015.BP had reportedly sold a cargo of Russian Ural crude to SAMIR in August 2014, but the shipment’s price has yet to be paid. The bank based in the United Arab Emirates bore responsibility for 95 percent of the cost of the cargo.The London-based court said BP did not have the right to pass off paying the debt payment without the consent of the Moroccan company, according to the contract that dictated the terms of the purchase of the shipment. BP has been ordered to pay the Abu Dhabi bank $68.9 million plus interest to compensate the financial institution for payments dodged by SAMIR due to its ongoing bankruptcy proceedings.SAMIR – a Moroccan company two-thirds owned by Saudi billionaire Mohammed Al-Amoudi’s Corral Holdings – owes foreign companies such as Glencore and Vitol approximately $1 billion for delivered crude shipments.The Moroccan authorities claim the refinery owes approximately $1.3 billion in unpaid taxes.The refiner’s new court-appointed trustees hope to restart the facility’s production by the December 21st court deadline, however SAMIR’s shaky financial standing has caused suppliers to steer away from providing the refinery with needed crude supplies.Resuming refinery activities would allow creditors to get a better return from SAMIR’s asset liquidation, which is set to occur at the beginning of next year. read more

New Ferry Route Between Nador and Almeria

Rabat – Spanish company Balearia will open a new ferry route between Nador and Almeria on June 20.The four-hour journey will be made on the Nissos Chios ferry, which has the capacity for 1,200 passengers and 350 vehicles and can travel at 28 knots.There will be two services a day from each port, except on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when there will be only one round trip. The route between Nador and Almeria is the company’s fourth international line, and the company’s third in North Africa.Balearia’s president, Adolofo Utor, said that the opening of this new line aids the company’s “internalisation process,” which started in 2003 with the opening of links between Algeciras and Tangier. Utor added that the aim of the new Nador-Almeria route is to “serve the citizens of Morocco and its visitors, and contribute to the economic and social development of the region.” read more

France Loans Morocco EUR 80 Million for Last Tranche of HighSpeed

Rabat – Morocco received a loan of EUR 80 million from the French Development Agency (AFD) to fund the last segment of the Tangier-Casablanca high-speed train (TGV) project, reported Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).The loan was signed in Rabat between the National Railway Board (ONCF) and AFD at a ceremony chaired by Mohammed Boussaid, Minister of Economy and Finance, and Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.The new loan will make it possible to complete the financing of the project, which has “generated a slight additional cost,” reported MAP. Le Drian said that “the loan is the fruit of a partnership based on trust between the two countries and their companies.” The foreign minister added that this contribution is “the sign of collaboration and a joint acting will on equipment, which is a determining factor for the future of Morocco.”Boussaid said that “the implementation of this financing brings AFD’s contribution to more than EUR 300 and that of France to more than EUR 1 billion, which is more than 50 percent of the financing of this project.”He added that the TGV project is supported by King Mohammed VI, explaining that “it is one of the flagship achievements of our bilateral relationship.” Mohammed Rabie Khlie, ONCF’s Director General, said that the TGV project is “on the right track.” He added that works on the infrastructure, rails and electrical cables were completed.“We are testing 110 kilometers to reach the speed of 320 kilometers per hour by the end of this week.Khlie continued that the overall work will be completed before the end of 2017, and that the first four months of 2018 will be devoted to testing the TGV.In 2011, the AFD granted an initial sum of EUR 220 million to the ONCF for the establishment of the TGV project. The TGV was originally scheduled to be finished in 2015, but it was recently postponed to late 2017. read more

Over Security Concerns Belgian Football Team Refuses to Play Friendly Against

Rabat – It appeared that Morocco’s Royal Football Federation’s (FRMF) ambition to make the Belgian national football team a sparring partner for the Atlas Lions will not pan out. Youssef Hijoub, a Moroccan FIFA agent, has said that the Belgian team declined FRMF’s invitation due to security concerns.The Moroccan national football squad is set to play a set of friendlies in preparation for the upcoming 2018 World Cup matches. On December 5, Moroccan news outlets reported that the Moroccan federation was seeking to arrange a friendly game between the Moroccan and the Belgian team, which is set to be played in March.Speaking in a TV program featured by French news channel France24, Hijoub said that the Belgian authorities refused friendlies against countries of North Africa, including Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria in order to avoid all security threats. The Moroccan team was placed in Group B along with two European countries, including Portugal and Spain. The team will also face Iran. In order to evaluate the team’s weaknesses and strengths, the federation is planning multiple friendlies with European teams as the team will confront two European champions.The two teams met previously at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels on March 26, 2008. The game finished with 4-1 in favor of the Moroccan team. Some Moroccan fans invaded the stadium before the end of the match, which was suspended for 10 minutes before the police were able to achieve order.Hijoub told France24 that Portugal will play two friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia before their World Cup clash against the Moroccan team, which is scheduled to take place on June 20.The Moroccan team will also play against Iran on June 15 and against Spain on June 25. read more

Wheres my robot lawn mower Roombamaker now has an answer

BEDFORD, Mass. — Building a robot lawn mower seemed the logical next step for iRobot, the company behind the Roomba vacuum robot.But the Massachusetts company’s secret lawn mower project was a lot harder than anyone expected.Now, iRobot finally has something to show after more than a decade of development. Its first robot lawn mower is called Terra and is being unveiled Wednesday.IRobot CEO and co-founder Colin Angle says the struggle to build Terra has been an obsessive journey of “despair and frustration.”The mower navigates using technology better known by radio astronomers.Angle says it was a struggle to build a robot that meets U.S. cultural standards for cutting a perfect lawn. But the robot will first launch in Germany, where there’s already a growing market for robotic mowers.Matt O’Brien, The Associated Press read more

EU MP Europe Would Gain from Further Integration with Morocco

Rabat –  European MP, addressing the European commission in a written note, has said that Europe would benefit more from increased economic integration with Morocco than from only negotiating on select topics.Winning Morocco’s heartInmaculada Rodriguez-Piniero Fernandez of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party said in her remarks to the EU commission that a number of Europe’s policy successes will need Morocco’s full cooperation. To ensure that the North African country is fully committed to its engagements with Europe, the EU should make bolder political moves in favor of Rabat. Fernandez suggested that Europe would gain stronger support and political will from its non-European neighbors should it succeed in demonstrating how sincerely committed it is to its own “good neighborhood” agenda.Noting the Euro-Mediterranean integration process launched in 2000, the Spanish MP urged Europe to create resources and opportunities through “sincere cooperation.” As far as Morocco is concerned, Fernandez proposed that Brussels pushes for further integration into the EU Single Market. Managing migration through opportunitiesIn addition to bolstering Brussels-Rabat ties on a host of issues—mainly security, migration, agriculture, and food—accepting Rabat in the European common market would create more opportunities and development impetus in Morocco, Fernandez argued. Fernandez hopes that increased integration, including “legislative convergence,” economic integration, and strategic security cooperation, will be more effective in curbing irregular migration than tough policies operating solely on securing borders. Opportunities in migrants’ home countries or continent, not heavy-handed border policies, will convince more migrants to stay, Fernandez suggested.Read Also: Why The World Needs the Global Compact for Orderly MigrationA strong EU and Spanish ally, Morocco has been an important partner for the European political club on migration and security issues. To seal their partnership and bring it to a higher dimension, Brussels and Rabat launched negotiations in March 2013 to “accelerate” economic integration. The goal was for Morocco to join the EU’s Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. “The overall goal of the negotiations is to create new trade and investment opportunities and ensure a better integration of Morocco’s economy into the EU single market. The DCFTA also aims at supporting ongoing economic reforms in Morocco and at bringing the Moroccan legislation closer to that of the EU in trade-related areas,” according to the EU commission. Negotiations are still ongoing.Fernandez’s call comes as Morocco pushes to get more benefits from its cooperation with Europe.Last week, Spanish media reported that, in addition to the financial and logistic support the EU promised Morocco on migration, the North African country is demanding cooperation on education. El Pais reported that Rabat sent Madrid “a list of demands in exchange for intensifying border control.”“In addition to the 140 million Euros the EU has promised Morocco, the Maghreb country is demanding aid to train workers in key sectors such as tourism and health,” the report explained. read more

El Khalfi Defense of Territorial Integrity is the Cause of all

Rabat – Moroccan Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi spoke out about the alleged unbearable living conditions in Tindouf camps under which thousands of Sahrawis live in Algeria.El Khalfi made his remarks at the screening of “Life Rubbing Shoulders with Death” or “Vie Cotoyant la Mort” in French, a Moroccan documentary depicting the situation of Sahrawis in the Tindouf camps.El Khalfi told reporters at the movie screening that what Sahrawis are exposed to “requires us to work on and to sensitize [people about it] as an integral part of our memory.” He added that the work and research of Moroccan youth is “evidence of the cultural attachment to defend the issue of territorial integrity.”Read Also: Number of Most Vulnerable Refuges in Tindouf Camps is 90,000: UNHCREl Khalfi added that Western Sahara, referred to in Morocco as the national cause, “does not need permission to defend it, it is an issue of cultural depth for all Moroccans.”The documentary was screened for the first time on Saturday in Rabat.The documentary won a prize on December 23, 2018, at the closing ceremony of Laayoune’s fourth Festival of Sahrawi-Hassani Culture, History, and Environment.The 90-minute film was directed by Moroccan Lahcen Majid. It tells the story of six Moroccans, five men and one woman, who recount the suffering they experienced at the hands of the Polisario Front in the Tindouf camps in the Algerian desert and how they managed to escape.The documentary is based on testimonies from former detainees who say they were constantly tortured. read more