Paris Attacks Police Says Three Terrorists Killed Hostage Situation Over

Filed under: kvhvswot — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 8:39 am October 12, 2019

Rabat – While information regarding Friday’s ongoing attacks in Paris continues to flow, French police has announced that three terrorist were killed and the hostage taking at the Paris concert hall is over.Police officials told Aljazeera that security forces have ended their assault on the Bataclan, killing at least three terroristsAssociated Press quoted one official who described the “carnage” inside the building as saying that the attackers had tossed explosives at the hostages. Reuters, on the other hand, reported that its own reporter has been told that the operation at the Bataclan has now ended. Meanwhile, the details of what happened inside the venue are not known.Two explosions have been reported late on Friday near the Stade de France, a soccer stadium in Paris suburbs. At the time of the reported explosions, the German and French soccer teams were playing a friendly match.The attacks seemed to have planned to hit areas where many people would be gathered on a Friday night in Paris, officials said.French authorities said gunmen and bombers attacked busy restaurants, bars and a concert hall at locations around Paris on Friday, killing dozens of people.At least 43 people are confirmed dead and 60 wounded in multiple attacks across Paris, firefighters said. But French police said the toll of victims is expected to rise. read more

Benkirane Morocco Does Not Need Early Legislative Elections

Filed under: onxywidw — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 8:29 am

Rabat – Morocco’s appointed Head of Government, Abdelilah Benkirane, has once again asserted that the new government will be composed only of the parties of the former majority and that he will not allow the country to conduct an early election.During the National Council of the Justice and Development Party (PJD), held Saturday in Bouznika, Benkirane said that negotiations with party leaders to form a government coalition have not evolved in the  right direction.Benkirane said he will negotiate only with both Aziz Akhannouch, Secretary General of the National Rally of Independents Party (RNI) and Mohand Laenser, Secretary-General of the Popular Movement (MP). He stressed that the government coalition will consist solely of the former majority parties, including the PJD, the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS), the RNI and the MP.Benkirane noted that King Mohammed VI could have appointed another person as the head of government, but that the King democratically appointed the leader of the party that won the legislative elections, which were held on October 7, 2016.Benkirane went on to lambaste a political party without mentioning its name, saying, “The political opinion wonders. Is it acceptable that a party served by the legislative elections’ result blocks the formation of the government – [it] threatens that the government cannot be formed only with its participation and boasts that it has skills that the government cannot do anything without them, especially in terms of Morocco’s strategy to the African orientation?”After his appointment as Head of Government on October 10, Benkirane’s negotiations with party leaders to form the new government have come to a standstill. Benkirane has sought for the RNI and MP to relinquish their decision to also include the Social Union of Popular Forces Party (USFP) and the Constitutional Union (UC) in the coalition. read more

Royal Air Maroc US Laptop Ban to Be Lifted by July

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Rabat – Royal Air Maroc (RAM) has announced that the cabin ban on laptops and large electronics on flights to the US will be lifted by July 19.“Negotiations with the U.S. authorities are underway and we expect the ban to end by July 19 at the latest,” a RAM official said Thursday.There is no word yet regarding the possible lifting of a similar ban put in place in the UK. The ban was instituted by the US aviation industry in March, responding to concerns raised over bombs being placed in large electronic devices. It was targeted at primarily Muslim-majority countries, including Morocco.Airlines from the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Qatar have also announced the lifting of the ban on their flights, with passengers en route to the US may now permitted their devices with them into the cabin. read more

King Mohammed VI Invites Moroccan Pilgrims to Honor Morocco

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Rabat – King Mohammed VI has urged Moroccan citizens set to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage in 2018 to represent their country properly and to “avoid all forms of selfishness and provocation.”The King’s message was read by Minister of Islamic Affairs Ahmed Taoufik in conjunction with the departure of the first group of Moroccan pilgrims at the Rabat-Salé airport on Thursday.“As you, the first group of pilgrims, are about to leave for the Holy Land, it gives me great pleasure, in my capacity as Commander of the Faithful and protector of the faith, who is entrusted with guaranteeing the performance of the rites of Islam in this country safely, to send this message to you and all those will be performing the Hajj rituals this year,” said the King. The King also expressed how the preservation of religious tenets is important to him and called on his citizens to represent their country well.“I urge you to avoid all forms of selfishness and provocation, and to embody the ideals of tolerance, solidarity, and cooperation through your endeavours to uphold righteousness and piety.”As the King congratulated Moroccans performing Hajj, he also called on them to comply with the instructions introduced by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.According to the King, the instruction were provided to make citizens comfortable throughout their stay “and to enable you to perform Hajj in the best conditions possible.”The King added that the ministry has mobilized staff to accompany citizens on the entire pilgrimage.“They include male and female experts in Islamic affairs, doctors, nurses, healthcare providers, and administrators working around the clock to offer  whatever services our pilgrims may need.”The monarch then urged pilgrims to comply with the ministry’s arrangements “in an orderly fashion.”He also called on citizens to comply with orders issued by Saudi Arabia’s authorities.“I therefore want you to serve as ambassadors for your country, conveying a fine image of its cultural heritage,” added the King.Thousands of Moroccan pilgrims perform Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, every year.In 2017, more than 2 million Muslims landed in Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj rituals. read more

Ecuador denies decision made to expel Wikileaks founder

Filed under: gfgijwgs — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 7:58 am

QUITO, Ecuador — A senior Ecuadorian official said no decision has been made to expel Julian Assange from the country’s London embassy despite tweets from Wikileaks that sources had told it he could be kicked out within “hours to days.”A small group of protesters and supporters of Wikileaks’ founder gathered Thursday outside the embassy in London where Assange has been holed up since August 2012. He has feared extradition to the U.S. since WikiLeaks published thousands of classified military and diplomatic cables.Earlier, Wikileaks tweeted: “BREAKING: A high level source within the Ecuadorian state has told @WikiLeaks that Julian Assange will be expelled within “hours to days” using the #INAPapers offshore scandal as a pretext–and that it already has an agreement with the UK for his arrest.”Another tweet said it had received a secondary confirmation from another high-level source.Ecuador’s foreign ministry released a statement saying it “doesn’t comment on rumours, theories or conjectures that don’t have any documented backing.”Later, a top official said while Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno was angered by the apparent hacking of his personal communications, he denied WikiLeaks’ claim and said no decision had been taken to expel Assange from the Embassy. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter.On Tuesday, Moreno blamed WikiLeaks for recent allegations of offshore corruption that in appeared in local media outlets and the publication of family photos to social media.Moreno accused WikiLeaks of intercepting phone calls and private conversations as well as “photos of my bedroom, what I eat, and how my wife and daughters and friends dance.”Moreno provided no evidence, but the speech reflected ongoing tension between Assange and his hosts at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.WikiLeaks in a statement called Moreno’s charges “completely bogus,” saying it reported on the accusations of corruption against the president only after Ecuador’s legislature investigated the issue.Assange’s defence team suggested on Twitter that Moreno was trying to use the scandal to pressure the WikiLeaks founder.___Goodman reported from Bogota, Colombia.Gonzalo Solano And Joshua Goodman, The Associated Press read more

Suncor still opposed to Alberta oil cuts despite slightly positive Q1 impact

Filed under: wztsorsa — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 7:53 am

Companies in this story: (TSX:SU, TSX:IMO, TSX:CVE)The Canadian Press CALGARY — Suncor Energy Inc. remains a foe of the Alberta government-ordered oil production curtailments, but new CEO Mark Little says the program was actually “slightly positive” for the company’s financial results in the first quarter.The Calgary-based oilsands producer and refining giant says net income for the first three months of the year beat analyst expectations thanks to higher oil prices, record downstream results, growing oilsands production and a $264-million after-tax insurance gain on its assets in Libya.Little, who takes over as chief executive from Steve Williams at the company’s annual meeting today, says the results show the value of Suncor’s integrated business model and extensive pipeline contracts at a time of turmoil in the industry.Alberta’s decision to impose quotas on its biggest oil producers was designed to free up pipeline space and draw down crude storage after price discounts on western Canadian oil spiked last autumn.The move was welcomed by oilsands producers like Cenovus Energy Inc., but opposed by rivals such as Imperial Oil Ltd., which noted that crude-by-rail exports plunged in February — which means export capacity was actually reduced.Suncor says its average realized price rose to $62.92 per barrel for bitumen from its Fort Hills oilsands mine in the first quarter, up from $30.57 in the fourth quarter of 2018, as oil price discounts eased.The company reported net earnings of $1.47 billion or 93 cents per share in the three months ended March 31, up from $789 million or 48 cents in the same period of 2018. read more

UN appeals for funds to help Burundian refugees return home from Tanzania

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“Unless new contributions arrive now, we will have to cut rations across the board to everyone we assist or face a complete break in supplies in December,” UN World Food Programme (WFP) Burundi Country Director Gerard van Dijk said. Burundi, recovering from decades of devastating ethnic war, is one of the first nations referred to the new UN Peacebuilding Commission that seeks to prevent countries emerging from conflict from slipping back into bloodshed. “While security has improved significantly in Burundi, refugees say that with improved food security, there would be better prospects for return,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) country representative Bo Schack said, echoing WFP’s appeal. “The increased food package is an important step in our joint effort to help returnees reintegrate in their home communities. We are appealing for strong donor support for this initiative.” Without new funds, both the returnee rations and food aid for 815,000 other hungry Burundians are in jeopardy. WFP urgently needs $20 million to continue its work in the small Central African country, one of the poorest and least developed in the world. Since April, WFP has provided a four-month food ration to returnees from Tanzania. The agency and its partner Caritas, a non-governmental organization, will now provide a six-month ration, helping families through their first difficult months before their first harvest in their homeland. “We hope that this larger ration will speed up the pace of returns to Burundi this year,” Mr. van Dijk said. It is “particularly worrying that we are in a funding crunch at the same time as the Government of Tanzania is pushing for more refugees to return home,” he added. “We need to be able to tell families considering a return that they can count on food and other aid to help them.” Returning refugees receive a two-month ration as they start their journey in Tanzania, and can then use vouchers to collect the remaining four-month entitlement close to their homes. Forty-five permanent distribution centres and 72 mobile distribution facilities have been set up in the provinces. In a similar bid to boost repatriation, UNHCR introduced a cash grant in July. Each returnee receives the equivalent of almost $50 upon arrival to buy essential goods. Some 6,000 refugees have returned since the launch of the cash initiative, more than half of the over 10,000 returnees since the beginning of the year. Since 2002, more than 340,000 refugees have returned voluntarily. Overall, Tanzania hosts nearly half a million refugees, making it one of the largest asylum countries in Africa. In addition to the 149,000 Burundians, there are also 110,000 Congolese living in camps in northwestern Tanzania, where they receive UNHCR and WFP aid. According to Government estimates, another 200,000 Burundians live outside the camps. 14 August 2007United Nations agencies appealed to donors today for at least $20 million for increased food aid to help many of the 149,000 Burundian refugees in camps in Tanzania to return home, warning that without more funding the initiative may collapse. read more

Arab countries agree to UNbacked electronic money transfer services

Filed under: hcmzgcmt — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 3:24 am

1 August 2008Eight Arab countries have signed an agreement to start electronic money transfer services using technology that has been developed by the United Nations postal agency with the aim of helping rural populations and migrant workers have access to better services. Postal operators in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen will now be able to exchange money orders on a multilateral basis, according to a press statement released today by the Universal Postal Union (UPU). Other Arab countries have indicated they hope to join the arrangement by the end of the year.The agreement was reached this week in Geneva, where the Swiss-based UPU has been holding the 24th Universal Postal Congress, and follows a similar deal between Chile, Spain and Uruguay that was struck at the meeting on Monday.UPU said a parallel project is expected to be set up among the countries of North-Eastern Africa next week, drawing on the UPU’s so-called IFS application and the international financial network.The postal agency has been trying to improve access for rural populations, and especially migrant workers, to secure and reliable money transfer services through formal channels – rather than the traditional informal methods.This is particularly valuable in countries such as the UAE, where more than 80 per cent of the population are foreigners, and millions of dollars are sent to home countries through remittances.The project has been launched by the Arab League, supported by French Post and implemented by a regional steering committee chaired by Emirates Post. read more

UN to train African Union peacekeeping support staff

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This is the third in a series of training courses designed specifically for senior AU civilian, military and police leaders who might be appointed to positions at the level of head or deputy head of mission, force or deputy force commander or police commissioner in missions.Some 25 AU officials from 14 countries will participate in the 12-day training programme in Botswana, planned in partnership between the UN, the AU and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).Participants of the programme will be given a solid overview of issues involved in the peacekeeping missions, especially in relation to the African context. The topics of study include the overall political, economic and social situation in which peacekeeping takes place using case studies such as peacekeeping in Darfur, delivered by the Force Commander of the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), General Martin Luther Agwai.The Government of Denmark is providing funding for the programme, run by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), with support also coming from the Government of Botswana. The previous courses in this series were held in Kenya, in eastern Africa, and Nigeria in the west, while upcoming training organised by DPKO’s AU Peacekeeping Support Team will take place in central and northern Africa. 5 September 2008The United Nations peacekeeping arm launched a training programme this week for senior officials of the African Union (AU), aimed at improving the planning, deployment and management of its peacekeeping support missions. read more

Belarus making strides in combating human trafficking UN expert finds

Filed under: onxywidw — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 3:09 am

“I am very impressed by the political commitment demonstrated at the highest level to combat all forms of trafficking in Belarus,” Joy Ngozi, the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, said as she wrapped up a week-long visit to the country on 24 May.“Trafficking in persons is a huge global problem that has turned into one of the fastest-growing criminal activities in the world today, affecting virtually every country either as source, transit and/or destination country for women, children and men trafficked for the purposes of sexual labour or labour exploitation,” she stated.During the visit, which was carried out at the invitation of the Government, Ms. Ngozi met with senior officials and representatives of state institutions and non-governmental organizations working to combat trafficking. She also visited a shelter run by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the Territorial Center in the capital, Minsk, which provides a range of social assistance.Belarus has ratified the Protocol on Trafficking in Persons to the 2000 UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Protocol), under which States are required to take action to ensure the protection of trafficking victims, prevent trafficking and bring traffickers to justice.The country “is on the verge of occupying the unenviable status of being a source, transit and destination country, which undoubtedly is a growing concern to the Government and hence the good leadership it has shown in this field,” the Rapporteur said.Belarus has introduced legislation and amended its criminal code to effectively combat the scourge, while an action plan has been developed and is being implemented, she added.A high number of cases, also resulting in a high number of convictions, are being prosecuted. “The evidence of this huge success in prosecution indicates that the trafficking problem is not only real and serious in Belarus, but also that measures are being undertaken to deal with the menace,” Ms. Ngozi noted.She pointed out some areas in which the country could improve on this issue, such as boosting assistance to victims, ensuring that victims are not stigmatized, and addressing domestic violence which can perpetuate gender inequalities that can increase people’s vulnerability to trafficking.The Rapporteur, who was appointed to her position last June, reports to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council in an independent and unpaid capacity. 26 May 2009The United Nations independent expert on human trafficking today commended Belarus – which is creeping towards becoming a source, transit and destination country for victims – for its efforts to combat the scourge. read more

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