Saganash wants probe of money spent by Ottawa fighting Aboriginal rights

first_imgBy Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsCree NDP MP Romeo Saganash has asked Canada’s auditor general to probe the millions of dollars Ottawa spends fighting Aboriginal rights and title cases.Saganash sent a letter to Auditor General Michael Ferguson requesting an operational audit of the expenditures to determine whether Ottawa is using taxpayer money wisely and efficiently battling First Nations over rights.“I am asking that your office conduct an investigation into the government’s policies and practices to oppose the status and rights of Aboriginal peoples and defend itself in the courts,” wrote Saganash in the June 12 dated letter. “Such adversarial actions serve to unjustly deplete Aboriginal peoples’ financial resources and do not promote reconciliation.”The federal Aboriginal Affairs department spent over $100 million between 2012 and 2013 on legal fees, according to federal government records. The department’s own internal risk assessment found that a lot of the litigation money has been spent on losing causes.“As (First Nations) become impatient with outcomes, they often move disputes into the courts in order to increase the pace of resolution. Courts increasingly rule that the federal government is not living up to the ‘Honour of the Crown’ obligations,” according to the department’s risk profile for 2011.Ottawa has also recently twice challenged the rulings of the Specific Claims Tribunal, which was created to settle outstanding historical claims that had reached a stalemate at the negotiating table.The Federal Court of Appeal handed a loss to Ottawa earlier this month on one of those challenges, upholding the tribunal’s ruling in favour of the Kitselas First Nation.Ottawa is also challenging a tribunal ruling that sided with the Williams Lake Indian Band.In the letter, Saganash said he’s requesting the audit because federal departments have failed to adequately respond to his requests for clarity the amount of money specifically spent battling rights and title cases.“The answers to these requests…have been lacking,” wrote Saganash. “With many departments stating that this information was not ‘readily available.’”jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

Indigenous students call for more cultural spaces at Concordia University

first_imgTom Fennario APTN National NewsMontreal’s Concordia University is taking some heat for not doing enough to make Indigenous students feel welcomed.Indigenous faculty and students are calling on the university for more cultural spaces.Concordia says they’re looking into it.But for many, it’s not happening fast enough.last_img

BC totem pole being carved as symbol of reconciliation cant find funding

first_imgLaurie HamelinAPTN NewsFunding problems may keep the Language Revitalization Pole grounded.In June, APTN News told you about the 800 year old cedar that’s being carved in Port Alberni, B.C.The carving is well underway, but the project needs to find money fast.The goal is to raise the totem pole this year during the United Nations’ International Year of Indigenous Languages.Read More:Language Revitalization Pole being carved in B.C. as symbol of ‘real reconciliation’ lhamelin@aptn.ca@laurie_hamelinlast_img read more

TransCanada says it is engaging with landowners on new Keystone XL route

first_imgCALGARY – TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) said Tuesday it has started to engage with Nebraska landowners along the alternate route of its Keystone XL pipeline approved last week.Speaking at an investor day in Toronto, Dean Patry, senior vice-president of liquids, said the company continues to review the regulatory approval from the Nebraska Public Service Commission, but has already started speaking with new stakeholders.“The alternate route would involve a number of new landowners for us, and as always, we’re striving to understand their perspectives on the project, and we will continue to strive to reach agreement with them on mutually beneficial terms,” he said.The route approved by the commission cleared the last major regulatory hurdle for the controversial pipeline, but created new issues for TransCanada by not approving the company’s preferred route and instead giving the go-ahead on one that shifts the pipeline further east, away from sensitive ecological areas.The company filed a procedural motion on Nov. 24 that requests the commission reconsider its order that approved the alternate route, but Patry said the company was looking to address some questions raised by the order, and not to change the route itself.He said TransCanada continues to review the cost and schedule implications of the decision, but is looking to make a final investment decision on the project as soon as possible.Company CEO Russ Girling said earlier in the day that the company has been “very encouraged” by discussions with potential shippers in recent weeks on the proposed 830,000 barrel a day pipeline and that TransCanada expects to secure enough binding commitments from shippers to advance the project.The proposed pipeline, which would bring oil from Hardisty, Alta., to markets in the U.S. Gulf Coast and Midwest, has faced significant opposition from environmentalists for much of the nearly ten years TransCanada has been working to make it a reality.last_img read more

Mexico suspends charter company in Cuba airliner crash

first_imgMEXICO CITY – Mexican authorities temporarily suspended a charter company which owned a passenger jet that crashed in Cuba, while Cuban media said one of three survivors died Monday, increasing the death toll to 111.Mexico’s General Directorate of Civil Aviation said in a statement that the suspension was ordered to allow an “extraordinary” review to verify whether Aerolineas Damojh, which uses the commercial name Global Air, is complying with the law.Authorities also want to compile information to help with an investigation launched by the Cuban government into the cause of Friday’s crash.Cuban state radio and television stations said Gretell Landrove Font, 23, died Monday afternoon of extensive injuries she sustained in the crash.Landrove’s mother, Amparo Font, had told reporters that her daughter was a flamenco dancer and engineering student on the verge of graduation.The two remaining survivors — Mailen Diaz, 19, and Emiley Sanchez, 39 — were hospitalized in Havana in critical condition. Both are from the eastern Cuba city of Holguin.Mexico and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board have announced they would send experts to Cuba to help in the investigation, and Havana has said that Boeing, which made the airliner, is participating.The 39-year-old Boeing 737 was rented from Damojh and operated by Cuban state-run airline Cubana de Aviacion, with a Global Air flight crew.It crashed in a fireball just after takeoff Friday from Havana’s international airport bound for the eastern Cuban city of Holguin.Mexico’s aviation directorate said the company had been suspended twice before, in 2010 and 2013, but was allowed to resume operations after addressing security questions.last_img read more

Starbucks Canada closes stores for training on race bias and inclusion

first_imgTORONTO – Starbucks is closing about 1,100 Canadian locations for anti-bias training Monday afternoon in a bid to make its stores more inclusive after the April arrest of two black men at one of its Philadelphia locations.The four-hour training sessions that begin at 3 p.m. involve sharing experiences, listening to experts, reflecting on the realities of bias in society and talking about how employees can create public spaces where everyone feels like they belong.In a media sneak peek of the training, the Seattle-based company said the sessions will begin with a video message from Starbucks Canada president Michael Conway, where he notes that the exercises were triggered by a “very regretful event.” The April incident in Philadelphia — in which two men were arrested after a Starbucks employee called the police on them — prompted the company to close its 8,000 U.S. locations for training last month.“You may think this does not relate to us in Canada, but it does,” Conway said in the video. “The world is changing and we are not immune to the complexities or biases and neither are our customers or our communities.”Conway said Starbucks locations grapple with issues around homelessness, language barriers and “Canadians that simply appear very different from one of us,” but he believes the training will “only strengthen our resolve to make sure every customer feels welcome every time.”Following his introduction, employees will break into groups of between three and five people to go through a 68-page book of exercises.The materials ask employees to discuss the first time they noticed their “racial identity,” “had a friend of a different race who regularly visited your home,” “felt distracted at work because of external events related to race,” and “went to work with your natural hair without comments or questions from others.”The booklet references biases that negatively impact African American customers, but also asks broad questions around inclusion and diversity. It does not include direct references to issues faced by customers and employees of other races, of Indigenous backgrounds or those identifying as LGBTQ or having a disability.The workbook is supplemented with videos from Starbucks executives, including board members and founder Howard Schultz, rapper and diversity advocate Common and inclusion experts.Tomee Elizabeth Sojourner-Campbell, a Toronto-based consultant focusing on human rights compliance, diversity and inclusion, reviewed the materials Starbucks provides its stores with and said she thought it should be more tailored to Canada because the country has its own history of anti-black racism and challenges faced by stores are not uniform throughout the country.She also wanted to see more acknowledgment of not only race, but issues around appearance, perceptions around mobility and ability to pay for goods.“I would have expected them to actually address issues related to consumer racial profiling,” said Sojourner-Campbell, noting that the term is not even included in the glossary or list of themes the workbooks have, but was at the heart of the incident in Philadelphia.“That seems very odd to me… I think they could have directly responded to it with a series of scenarios about what to do if there is consumer racial profiling. Bias training only gets people to point A, understanding that they have some semblance of a bias.”She chalked Starbucks’ training up as a “public relations response,” but said it is a good way for the company to take stock of what it happening in its stores.“Do I think four hours and this commitment will prevent a future complaint about consumer racial profiling? It is unlikely,” she said. “The complaints are not driven by the intent of the business or the employee, but the experience of the individual.”She said she expected that the training would create “the Starbucks effect,” where other companies assess how they can be more inclusive and consider measures like Starbucks.In the wake of the Philadelphia incident, Starbucks said it is providing all locations with lists of ways they can access mental health, substance abuse and housing services and committing to ongoing education and development for staff.It also promised to tackle the circumstances that led to the training.“Whether a person makes a purchase or not, they are welcome in our spaces,” said chief operating officer Roz Brewer in training videos.“This includes the use of restrooms, cafes and patios — regardless of whether a person makes a purchase, they would be considered a customer.”Customers outside one of the coffee chain’s locations on Spring Garden Road, the largest downtown shopping street in Halifax, praised inclusion training, but said they were disappointed that it is necessary, given how progressive society has become.“Companies are seeing consequences because they’re losing customers, but it shouldn’t take that. Money shouldn’t be the motivator for people to have respect for one another,” said Matthew Williams, 26. “People just feel they can be racist and freely racist…There needs to be consequences to being racist.”Over in Victoria, B.C., Starbucks customer Pamela Manhas said she couldn’t help but feel an anti-bias session held over one afternoon will not accomplish much for employees and appears more of a company “PR stunt,” but said “if they are making an honest effort I can’t fault them for doing that.”With files from Michael Tutton in Halifax and Dirk Meissener in Victoria.last_img read more

Top 20 Global Concert Tours from Pollstar

first_imgThe Top 20 Global Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows Worldwide. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers. Week of November 14, 2018:TOP 20 GLOBAL CONCERT TOURS1. Taylor Swift; $9,756,530; $124.26.2. Jay-Z / Beyoncé; $6,612,663; $122.51.3. Ed Sheeran; $6,023,219; $91.89.4. U2; $4,676,648; $133.07.5. Celine Dion; $4,641,885; $235.77.6. Drake; $4,236,951; $116.29.7. Eagles ; $4,080,199; $148.92.8. Bruno Mars; $3,557,078; $146.44.9. Billy Joel; $3,542,531; $119.54.10. Helene Fischer; $3,435,219; $82.36.11. Kenny Chesney; $3,432,546; $92.84.12. Roger Waters; $2,557,778; $69.51.13. Justin Timberlake; $2,095,071; $108.69.14. Phil Collins; $2,092,876; $150.65.15. “Springsteen On Broadway”; $2,027,717; $509.37.16. Journey / Def Leppard; $1,810,296; $97.89.17. Iron Maiden; $1,616,893; $78.93.18. Britney Spears; $1,466,402; $139.41.19. Luke Bryan; $1,460,535; $71.03.20. Paul Simon; $1,432,930; $112.08.For free upcoming tour information, go to www.pollstar.com___The Associated Presslast_img read more

Old central library location to be turned into research hub

first_imgCALGARY (660 NEWS) — It’s sat empty ever since the Calgary Public Library moved its central location to the East Village in November, but it won’t stay that way for much longer.First opened in 1963, the Castell Building will remain a place of knowledge and learning, thanks to a partnership between the University of Calgary and the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation.“We’re very excited for this partnership with CMLC, between the University of Calgary and specifically the Faculty of Environmental Design,” said U of C President Dr. Elizabeth Cannon. “This space in the old library will be activated through teaching, through research and really a community hub.”It will provide a satellite location for that faculty, as they explore what cities should be like in the future.“Really provides an opportunity to look at city buildings. And really, in that context, seeing how you can design cities to be more resilient, to be more innovative and to be more connected.”READ MORE: New Calgary Public Library opensIt’s a five-year partnership that begins in January, with $200,000 being spent renovating the main floor and basement of the old building, which sits along the CTrain line next to city hall.Michael Brown is President and CEO of the CMLC and is happy to see this project fit with their revitalization plans in the downtown.“The old central library is really a space that if we let it sit vacant for too long, it’s going to turn into something that we’re not really happy with. Over the last year, we’ve started having discussions with a number of city groups, and one of the groups that came forward was an environmental design group at the University of Calgary. They saw the vision of what this building could be and what it could turn into.”But that money does not mean it will transform the building into a luxurious space — because that is not required.“It’s not going to be necessarily a neat and tidy space, this is going to be a working space, this is going to be a studio space,” said Dr. Cannon. “And that’s what you want. A lot of creativity, a lot of innovation around the futures of cities.”“They’re used to working in spaces that aren’t quite perfect yet, they can keep designing as they work their way through it,” added Brown. “So $200,000 in this kind of space I think is peanuts to attract that great a tenant.”Breaking news announcement this morning – our faculty is activating the former central library…thank you @CalgaryMLC for making this possible! https://t.co/XYKuhtuX1C #urbanrevitalization #downtown #heritagereuse #yyc #architecture pic.twitter.com/j6Q9ari1lC— Environmental Design (@UCalgaryEVDS) December 10, 2018Dr. Cannon added this fits with the university’s ‘Eyes High’ strategy, which is also related to the recent opening of a research park in the northwest.It’s expected to draw in lots more traffic into the downtown, from students and faculty, to professionals and just general members of the public, as there will be numerous events inside the building as well.“Young people, old people, it’s definitely going to bring the uber-engaged in terms of their community. We’ve used the term for many, many years, urban explorers. They want to see things like this in their core,” said Brown.last_img read more

Delegation of women leaders from South America coming to Fort St John

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The City of Fort St. John will be welcoming a group of women leaders from Peru and Columbia as part of an international study tour on gender equality and women’s empowerment this weekend. The delegation, which will be visiting the Energetic City from May 6th – 13th, will tour local resource facilities, educational institutions, and visit non-profit organizations. The women, who are sponsored through a program with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, will also meet with local First Nations, business and community leaders to discuss inclusivity and gender diversity. “We are delighted to welcome these women to the City of Fort St. John and share our community’s expertise,” said Mayor Lori Ackerman. “As a resource-based city, we have worked hard to create a sustainable and inclusive community through collaborative partnerships, and hope to share this knowledge with these remarkable community leaders who are making a difference in Peru and Columbia.” In 2017, City Council passed a resolution to sign an agreement with the mayors of Chumbivilcas province in the Cusco region of Peru to work on strengthening the planning of local economic development and the inclusion of women in municipal development.  The program had a delegation including Mayor Ackerman visit the Cusco region last year to help local governments with sustainable economic development planning, government transparency and accountability in mining areas, and share best practices in effective local government operation.  The goal of the program is to help build more sustainable and inclusive communities in resource-based regions of Columbia and Peru through learning opportunities from their Canadian counterparts. The Sustainable and Inclusive Communities in Latin America is a five-year program and funded through grants from Global Affairs Canada. A number of other municipalities from B.C. and across Canada that have successfully diversified their local communities from single-employer and/or resource-based economies have also participated in the program.last_img read more

IndianAmerican Neomi Rao sworn in as judge of powerful DC court

first_imgWashington: Neomi Jehangir Rao, a prominent Indian-American lawyer, has been sworn in as US Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, becoming the second from the community to be a part of the powerful court considered next only to the US Supreme Court.Rao, 45, was sworn in by US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Tuesday. She will replace US Supreme Court Judge Justice Brett Kavanaugh who was nominated by President Donald Trump for the top post. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsBefore being sworn in as the US Supreme Court Judge, Kavanaugh, whose confirmation process was marred by sexual misconduct allegations, was a judge at the United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.Joined by her husband Alan Lefkowitz, Rao took the oath on the Bible.According to a White House schedule, Trump participated in the swearing-in ceremony.Born in Detroit to Parsi physicians from India Zerin Rao and Jehangir Narioshang Rao is the second Indian-American after Sri Srinivasan to be part of the powerful court said to be next only to the US Supreme Court. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdaySrinivasan was appointed during the previous Obama regime.Nominated by President Trump during Diwali celebrations last November, Rao was confirmed by the Senate last week by 53-46 votes.”She is going to be fantastic. Great person,” Trump had said about his nominee.In her previous role as the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget, she played a key role in regulatory reform.Rao’s confirmation and her swearing-in for the prestigious court has been a low key affair for the Indian-American community. This is in stark contrast to the nationwide celebration by Indian-Americans when Srinivasan was confirmed and sworn in as US Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit. Prior to her service as OIRA Administrator, Rao was a professor of structural constitutional law, administrative law, and legislation and statutory interpretation at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.She founded the Law School’s Center for the Study of the Administrative State and focused her scholarship on the political and constitutional accountability of administrative agencies and the role of Congress.She has served in all three branches of government, including Associate Counsel and Special Assistant to President George W Bush.Rao also served as counsel to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, where she was responsible for judicial nominations and constitutional law issues.In between government service, Rao practised in the London office of Clifford Chance LLP, specialising in international law and commercial arbitration.last_img read more

Hyderabad spinners restrict Delhi Capitals to 1298

first_imgNew Delhi: It was a new day, but the Delhi Capitals batsmen put up another disappointing show at the Feroz Shah Kotla here against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their Indian Premier League game on Thursday. Put in to bat, DC put on 129/8 in their 20 overs. Sunrisers skipper Bhuvneshwar Kumar won the toss and put DC in and the SRH bowlers started well, stifling the home team batsman on a wicket which wore a typical low and slow look. Mohammad Nabi (2/21) and Rashid Khan (1/18) made full use of the conditions as the DC batsmen failed to read the two Afghanistan spinners. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhPrithvi Shaw looked to start aggressively as he hit Bhuvneshwar for a boundary off the first ball of the match. But the SRH skipper had the last laugh as he sent Shaw’s (11) stumps for a walk in the park in the third over of the DC innings. After that it was all about spinning a web over the DC batsmen as Nabi (opening the bowling with Bhuvneshwar) sent back Shikhar Dhawan (12). The struggle of the Delhi batsmen were to be seen on the scoreboard as they managed to score just 36 runs for the loss of two wickets in the powerplay. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterStar batsman Rishabh Pant (5) fell trying to up the ante as Deepak Hooda picked a smart catch at long-off off Nabi as the score read 52/3. Skipper Shreyas Iyer did try to wage a battle, but he didn’t find much support from the other end. Iyer (43 off 41 balls) was finally cleaned up by Rashid as the leg-spinner was finally rewarded with a wicket for his quality effort. All-rounder Chris Morries tried to wield the long handle, but could only manage 17 off 15 balls as DC picked 24 runs off the last two overs with Axar Patel finishing with a six off the last ball. Brief scores: Delhi Capitals: 129/8 in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 43, Axar Patel 23 not out; Mohammad Nabi 2/21, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/27) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad.last_img read more

USA is the leader of world terrorism Iran

first_imgTehran: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday accused the US of being the real “leader of world terrorism”, hitting back after Washington blacklisted Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation. Tehran was quick to retaliate on Monday by declaring US troops “terrorists” following Washington’s move, which was welcomed by Iran’s regional arch-rivals Israel and Saudi Arabia. It was the first time that Washington has branded part of a foreign government a terrorist group, meaning that anyone who deals with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps could face prison in the United States. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”Who are you to label revolutionary institutions as terrorists?” an angry Rouhani demanded in a speech broadcast live by state television. Rouhani hailed the Guards for fighting terrorism since their creation in 1979, and accused US forces of having always been involved with terrorist groups or acts of terrorism. “You want to use terrorist groups as tools against the nations of the region… you are the leader of world terrorism. “Who is propagating and encouraging terrorism in today’s world? Who wanted to use ISIS (the Islamic State group) as a tool?” Rouhani asked, saying that the US is “hiding” the leaders of the jihadist organisation. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe Revolutionary Guards are the ideological arm of the country’s military and deeply embedded in Iranian political and economic life. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised the Guards on their National Day, saying they were at the “forefront’ of defending the country and its interests, according to his official website. He lashed out at US officials, saying: “Their vice and deceit will return boomerang on them, leading the enemies of the Islamic Republic such as (US President Donald) Trump and those around him at the US ruling apparatus to go down the drain.” To support his accusations, Rouhani cited the downing of Iran Air Flight 655 in July 1988 by missiles fired from the US naval ship the USS Vincennes. “You have done everything imaginable. Which force was it that shot down our civil airliner in the waters of the Persian Gulf?” he said, adding that it was aimed at intimidating Iran. “You wanted to tell the Iranian nation that we do not have any red lines, you wanted to say that we also kill children, you wanted to say that we also kill women,” Rouhani said, concluding that the US was transmitting “a message of terrorism in the whole world.” The US move comes on top of Trump’s decision last year to pull the United States out of an international deal with Iran that was meant to lift crippling economic sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme. Washington had been encouraged to blacklist the Guards by Trump’s allies Saudi Arabia and Israel, which both cheered the declaration. “The US decision (follows) the kingdom’s repeated demands to the international community to address the issue of Iranian-backed terrorism,” the official Saudi Press Agency quoted a foreign ministry source as saying on Tuesday. The source welcomed the US move as a “practical and serious step” in curbing what the kingdom describes as Iranian meddling in the region. The US decision came hours before an Israeli election in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a close race for re-election. In a statement, Netanyahu thanked his “dear friend” Trump who he said had responded to a “request of mine”. In a statement carried by the Iranian official news agency IRNA, the Supreme National Security Council declared the United States a “state sponsor of terrorism” and its forces in the region “terror groups”. Quickly adapting to the decision, the semi-official Fars News Agency, close to ultra-conservatives, described the US casualties in the latest suicide bombing on a military convoy in Afghanistan as “terrorists.” In a report on the attack, Fars said Tuesday: “American army terrorists killed in Afghanistan.”last_img read more

Ukraines prezelect offers passports to Russians

first_imgKiev: President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed an offer by Vladimir Putin to provide passports to Ukrainians, and pledged instead to grant citizenship to Russians who “suffer” under the Kremlin’s rule. The Russian president on Saturday said Moscow was considering plans to make it easier for all Ukrainians to obtain Russian citizenship, after it earlier moved to grant passports in the country’s separatist east. Kiev has been fighting Moscow-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine since 2014 in a war that has killed 13,000. Zelensky, a comedian who won Ukraine’s presidential election last week, responded to Putin’s offer by releasing a statement on Facebook late on Saturday. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: Report”We know perfectly well what a Russian passport provides,” he said, listing “the right to be arrested for a peaceful protest” and “the right not to have free and competitive elections.” He pledged instead to “give citizenship to representatives of all nations that suffer from authoritarian and corrupt regimes. “But first and foremost to the Russian people who suffer most of all”. He said that one of the differences between Ukraine and Russia is that “we Ukrainians have freedom of speech, freedom of the media and the internet in our country.” Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsA political novice, Zelensky has pledged to “reboot” peace talks with the separatists that also involve Russia and the West. Putin has not congratulated Zelensky on his election, but said he is ready to talk with a new Ukrainian leadership and wants to “understand” the actor’s position on the conflict. In his Facebook post, Zelensky warned Russia not to talk with Ukraine “in the language of threats or military or economic pressure.” He previously called for more international sanctions against Moscow in response to Russia providing citizenship to residents of Ukraine’s separatist east. The EU also condemned Moscow’s passport scheme, calling it a fresh assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and saying Russia sought to “destabilise” Ukraine after its presidential election. Putin’s decree last week allows people living in Ukraine’s unrecognised Donetsk and Lugansk breakaway republics to receive a Russian passport within three months of applying for one.last_img read more

Finance Bill 2014 draft the main focus of Moroccan editorials

first_imgRabat – The editorialists of the daily newspapers, published on Wednesday, focused on the Finance Bill 2014 draft, which outlines will be presented today by the Minister of Economy and Finance before the Chamber of Representatives.Under the title a “project with no perspective,” the columnist of Rissalat Al Oumma says that the Finance Bill 2014 contains numerous indications announcing more austerity at the expense of the purchasing power of citizens under the pretext of the need to cope with the impact of the financial crisis, lethargy of economy and lack of investment.For its part Annahar Al Maghribia writes that it is possible to understand the regional and international situation surrounding the drafting of the Finance bill 2014 without, for all, conceiving the way in which the government has interacted with the environment. L’Economiste says that, despite affronts and neglects, considering the Finance bill 2014 can take place in the standards. “This return to the standards of governance should be highlighted and praised,” said the editorialist.last_img read more

Lagarde Call on Her Blog For Freeing up the Moroccan Economy

Marrakech- In her IMF blog, Managing Director of the IMF Christine Lagarde recorded her impressions of her recent visit to Morocco, noting how well the economy has performed in the face of global recession and the aftermath of the Arab Spring.Morocco has remained stable whilst its neighbors have been in turmoil, and further economic reforms in Morocco are on the way.The head of the IMF noted that the problem of youth unemployment- which in MENA countries stands at 15 million people- in Morocco is at 19%, twice the region’s average rate of 9.2%. She pointed to the need for solid macroeconomic performance and increased cooperation between the public and private sectors to create jobs and called for an inclusive economy to support growth. In her speech in Rabat, she called for growing the middle class and increasing the number of small and medium enterprises, and for the government to encourage balanced economic growth and entrepreneurship.She said that the private sector can only succeed if there is an improved business environment, less red tape and freer economy for young entrepreneurs through better financing provisions. As noted by Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, the public sector cannot cater to all graduates at a time when government budgets are being cut.The Moroccan government is working hard to meet these conditions and remains the best positioned in North Africa for developing the private sector.Christine Lagarde called for easier entry for young people into the job market, skills-based education, (a requirement also noted in King Mohammed VI’s speech on education) and better functioning labor markets. It is not easy to reform an education system, but this is what has to be done to reduce the number of unemployed graduates.She said that women account for 66% of college graduates and only 26% were actively employed in the labor market, a ratio which, she pointed out, needed to be improved and could increase considerably Morocco’s GDP.In addition, she called for a more inclusive economy, as there is a pronounced wealth distribution gap, and said more transparency would reduce corruption, which undermines social cohesion. She called on the Moroccan government to implement structural reforms to improve competitiveness and economic growth and increase the number of jobs. This, as she acknowledges, is not an easy task.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

King of Morocco Islam does not object to profit

Marrakesh – King Mohammed VI  highlighted the importance of Islam as a religion that encourages the “entrepreneurial spirit, personal fulfillment and promotion based on merit.”In his letter read by AbdelIlah Benkirane, Head of government,  to the official opening session of the 5th Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Marrakech, King Mohammed VI stressed on the positive role of Islam regarding fair competitiveness in the world of entrepreneurship.“Our religion does not object to profit. On the contrary, it encourages the entrepreneurial spirit, personal fulfillment and promotion based on merit,” the letter said. The royal message highlighted the example of the institution of the waqf (endowment) as  “an original form of entrepreneurship, which is rooted in our tradition of inter-generational solidarity.”King Mohammed VI called on the governments to instill self-confidence in young people  in order to “overcome the pessimism that has plagued our continent.”The king emphasized the urgent  “need to nurture positive examples and turn success stories into models to emulate” to enable young generations to “believe in their ability to learn and to become entrepreneurs.” read more

Morocco to Promote Rights of Disabled Students

Rabat – The Ministry of Solidarity, Women, Family and Social Development and the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Executives’ Training signed, on Thursday in Rabat, a partnership agreement to promote the rights of people with disabilities.The agreement aims at establishing a general cooperation and partnership framework to promote the rights of disabled students, in accordance with the government orientations in this field, mainly through the elaboration and the implementation of an action plan of common interest.The agreement will provide statistical data on the situation of the disabled, identify training needs in this field, give disabled students the opportunity to benefit from technical tools and alternative devices, and involve higher education representatives and professors in activities benefiting people with disabilities. With MAP read more

Tzipi Livni Cancels Visit to Belgium For Facing Possible Arrest

Casablanca – Former Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, cancelled a flight on Monday 23 to Belgium over threat of arrest upon her arrival as she is named in a lawsuit for committing war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza.Tzipi Livni, the former Foreign Minister and current member of the Zionist Union Party cancelled a flight on January 23 to Belgium as Brussels’s prosecutor’s office said that Livni is at the heart of a complaint to the federal prosecutor, filed in 2010.The prosecutor’s office stated that she could be detained or questioned upon her arrival to “advance the investigation,” and unveiled that an arrest could take place. According to Belgian law, the authorities could arrest Livni on Belgian territory in connection with crimes pertaining to the violation of international law, especially as one of the victims holds Belgian citizenship. Additionally, the former Israeli official no longer has diplomatic immunity.Following the massive military operation against the Palestinians of Gaza between December 2008 and January 2009, known as Cast Lead Operation, a Belgian pro-Palestinian organization filed a lawsuit in regards to war crimes against several Israeli Military officials, including Livni, involved in the killing of 1,400 Palestinians, most of them children. The United Nations fact-finding mission found out that during the massacre, Israel attempted to target the people of Gaza entirely “as a collective punishment.”Livni was supposed to travel to the Belgian capital to take part in a conference about anti-Semitism in Europe. After being asked about the reasons she canceled the trip, Livni told an Israeli radio that she called off the flight for “personal reasons.”Later, the current Israeli Minister’s spokesperson, Emmanuel Nahshon, attacked Belgium for its engagement in what he called “cynical abuse of the Belgian legal system.”Livni was forced to call off another flight to London in 2009 after a British court issued an arrest warrant against her for crimes in the same massacre. read more

Moroccan Women at Top of Francophone African Businesswomen

Rabat – Moroccan businesswomen dominate Francophone Africa, according to a ranking made by the weekly Jeune Afrique. In their ranking of the 50 most influential businesswomen in the region, Moroccan company executives occupy the top of the pavement, headed by Miriem Bensalah-Chaqroun, president of the General Confederation of Enterprises of Morocco (CGEM).1. Miriem Bensalah-ChaqrounCEO of Les Eaux Minérales d’Oulmès S.A., a leading company listed on the Stock Exchange of Casablanca, specialised in water and bottling, Miriem Bensalah-Chaqroun holds an MBA in International and Finance Graduate of the University of Dallas and is an alumna of the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris and University Paris IX – Dauphine, France.She is also the CEO of the Holmarcom Group, owned by her family and one of the five largest industrial, commercial and financial groups of Morocco, a board member of Bank Al Maghrib, the National Central and Reserve Bank of Morocco, and Chairperson of the Euro-Mediterranean Center of Mediation and Arbitration.According to the Jeune Afrique, Miriem Bensalah-Chaqroun was destined to become the first president of the CGEM, because “the business world has long recognized her leadership qualities.” “She is a member of the boards of many prestigious companies such as Eutelsat, Suez and the central bank of Morocco, to name a few. In April, she will also be added to those of Renault-Nissan,” notes the publication, stating that many leaders who meet her praise her talents as a negotiator. 2. Mama Tajmouati Mama Tajmouati is Chairwoman & Chief Executive Officer at Société Nationale d’Electrolyse & de Pétrochimie (SNEP). She has been a member of Ynna Holding’s board of directors since its inception and has also been the wife of the late Hajj Miloud Chaabi and his adviser since the founding of the group.Mama Tajmouati is now in charge of the family group. In April 2016 she was unanimously appointed the group’s Chief Executive Officer by the group’s directors after a general meeting. 3. Rita ZniberZniber came third in Jeune Afrique’s ranking as the CEO of Diana Holding, a $3 billion (annual sales) agro-industrial conglomerate. Founded in 1956, the group has diversified businesses working in agriculture, wine-making, bottling of water and soft drinks, trading and distribution.She also established in 1992 the Rita Zniber Foundation, a non-profit organization in Morocco helping orphans find a home. She began in 1982 by helping children abandoned at birth in maternity hospitals. Today, the foundation has two centers that provide a home to 350 children until their adoption.4. Salwa Idrissi AkhannouchOne of Morocco’s most powerful businesswomen and one of North Africa’s wealthiest female entrepreneurs, Salwa Idriss Akhannouch is the founder and chief executive officer of the Aksal Group, a Moroccan leader in luxury goods, department stores and shopping malls.The Aksal Group, which attracts 15 million visitors every year and generates an estimated turnover of 5 billion Moroccan dirhams ($514 million), owns a 50 percent stake in the Morocco Mall, one of Africa’s largest shopping centres, built at a cost of over $240 million in 2007.5. Nadia FettahAfter graduating from the Parisian business school, HEC, Nadia Fettah made her debut at the consulting firm Arthur Andersen. She founded Maroc Invest in 2000, before joining CNIA in 2005. Since then, she has become CEO of Saham Assurances.Ghislane Guedira, Executive Director of Finance and Management Control at the OCP; Ghita Lahlou COB of Saham Santé and Phone group; Ghita Lahlou Executive Director of the Moroccan Equipment, Supply & Import company; Nadia Fassi-Fehri CEO of Inwi; Sarah Kerroumi Ynna Holding’s General Secretary; Lamia Tazi CEO of Sothema; Laila Mamou Wafa Salaf’s Executive Director; and Intelcia’s Deputy Director-General Najat El Jebari occupy the 7th, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 20th, 28th and 29th places of this ranking.This ranking was based on a pre-selection of more than 100 leaders from the largest companies in Francophone Africa, prepared by the editorial staff of Jeune Afrique on the basis of three criteria: the company’s workforce, highlighting its social status, its turnover, highlighting its economic strength; and the supposed influence of the company executive, which reflects both the position it occupies within the organization and its ability to influence economic and political decisions at the national and international levels. read more