Thousands of butterflies from around the world on display in Montreal

first_imgDanielle RochetteAPTN NewsThousands of multi-coloured butterflies from ten countries around the world are on display at the Botanical Gardens in Montreal.Of the more than 150,000 species that exist, 70 are represented in the exhibit.Biologist Sonya Charest says behind their many charms lies a complex evolutionary process to ensure the survival of the species.“Those beautiful butterflies, the colors and pattering… it is the result of that evolution and that is what we want people to understand when they come here that butterflies and nature are really linked together,” said Charest.“They have evolved together and it is an equilibrium that we have now and we should protect.”Monarch butterflies, with the orange and black striped wings fly from Quebec to Mexico for the winter.The Blue Morpho has developed striking colours on its wings to mate – but can easily hide from predators.But global changes are effecting these insects.“Global changes is like a carpet that is sliding under their feet and at some point at the rhythm that it is happening they may end up completely away from the carpet and in conditions where they can’t survive,” said Maxim Larrivée, a researcher at the Montreal Insectarium. “So we are focussed on measuring the rhythm which is changing and the treats that butterflies share that will allow them to adapt to global change.”Larrivée said he is developing tools to raise awareness among young people.A program was created four years ago with Inuit teenagers in Nunavik National parks.“It is amazing to see the interest that they have with the curiosity that they have with the butterflies that we collect,” he said. “They love doing it and they have an eye for identifying them in different shades that is exceptional.“It is a great thing to do and really to see how to share with them and learn from them also about the land, very special.”For many Indigenous peoples, butterflies mean transformation – but it also believed to be a messenger from the spirit world.drochette@aptn.ca@danfromestlast_img read more

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Indigenous advocates receive Order of Canada

first_imgabernard@aptn.ca@amberbernardnews Amber BernardAPTN NewsSome Indigenous leaders, known for criticizing the government, received the country’s highest honour Thursday.Matthew Coon Come, a residential school survivor, and Beverley Jacobs, an activist, were surprised they were recognized with an Order of Canada.Okanese First Nation Chief Marie-Anne Day Walker-Pelletier was also among the recipients.last_img

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Getting more oil to market in Canada requires more pipelines NEB says

first_imgPipeline stock sitting on rail cars. (APTN file)The Canadian PressThe National Energy Board says Canada’s existing export pipelines are running at maximum efficiency and the only way to realistically get more oil to market on pipelines is to build more of them.The board responded Friday to questions posed last fall by Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi, who wanted to know if there was any way to improve the efficiency of pipelines while Canada struggles to expand or get new ones built.Put simply, the board says, the amount of oil Canada is producing has increased while the number of pipelines to carry it has not.The report says moving more oil by rail is also not a “perfect substitute” because doing so is more expensive and complex.It also tells Sohi that while there is room to streamline the system used by oil producers to get access to pipeline space, doing so would only reallocate existing capacity, rather than create more.Sohi’s request to the board came last fall as Canadian oil prices plunged thanks to temporary refinery closures in the Midwest, creating a price differential with the U.S. of $50 per barrel.That price gap has since closed to less than $10 a barrel after refineries came back online and the Alberta government imposed a mandatory drop in production.last_img read more

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Exit polls show tight Sicily race for centreright 5Star

first_imgMILAN – The last important vote before Italy’s national election took place Sunday in Sicily, where 4.6 million citizens were eligible to cast ballots for a new regional governor.Exit polls released after polling stations closed indicated a tight race between centre-right candidate Nello Musumeci and the populist 5-Star Movement’s Giancarlo Cancelleri. Both parties hope a victory in Sicily will give them momentum heading into the national race early next year.Ballots were not set to be counted until Monday morning.A victory by Musumeci would restore the island’s traditional political order after four years of a centre-left administration. On the other hand, a victory by the 5-Star movement would hand the populist party control of its first region, a complicated one with lagging economic growth, high youth unemployment and an embedded Mafia culture.The Sicily vote has turned into a proxy of sorts for national politics. All the major national party leaders, including former Premier Silvio Berlusconi for the centre-right, 5-Star Movement founder Beppe Grillo and Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi, converged on the island in recent weeks to stump for their candidates.Musumeci, a former Catania provincial president, has been backed by Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, the anti-EU Northern League and the right-wing Fratelli d’Italia, as the centre-right seeks to regain control over the island it governed for most of the last two decades.It remains unclear, however, to what extent a centre-right victory in Sicily would consolidate the alliance on a national level, where Berlusconi and Northern League leader Matteo Salvini are locked in a battle for dominance.“Although the centre-right is running united, the party leaders haven’t campaigned together and the key question of the leadership of the alliance remain unresolved,” said political analyst Wolfango Piccoli of Teneo Intelligence consultancy.The 5-Star Movement has made clear it won’t enter a coalition with any other party, weakening its chances of running a majority government even if it is the largest vote-getter.“That would make things even more complicated,” said Giovanni Orsina of Rome’s LUISS University, noting that 5-Star mayors in both Rome and Turin were facing political difficulties. “Imagine adding to that another complicated situation. I think they would be very happy not to win — to get a very good result, but to lose.”Renzi, who stepped down as Italy’s premier after a constitutional referendum he staked his political future on failed last December, has been the least visible on the Sicily campaign circuit. Analysts say the risk is that the Democratic Party candidate falls behind that of the far-left.The Democratic Party is becoming increasingly splintered and Renzi has been broadly criticized for such political missteps as his recent opposition to the confirmation of the Bank of Italy governor.“The left is a nightmare,” Orsina said. “Renzi is starting to become a tragic figure, showing how to lose everything in just a few months, from being the centre of the electoral system to becoming an electoral liability.”last_img read more

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Transcontinental closing Metropolitain printing plant in Montreal

first_imgMONTREAL – Transcontinental Inc. is closing its Metropolitain printing plant in Montreal in January.The company says it hopes to be able to offer the majority of the close to 60 workers at the plant positions at its other operations, but says there will be some job losses.Transcontinental says the decision to close the plant was due to the upcoming end of the printing of La Presse.The newspaper announced earlier this year that its last Saturday print edition will be published Dec. 30. La Presse stopped publishing a daily print edition on Jan. 1, 2016.Transcontinental (TSX:TCL.A, TSX:TCL.B) says most of the work done at the Metropolitain plant will be transferred to the Transcontinental Transmag plant in Montreal.Regional plants in Quebec City and Gatineau, Que., will also increase work.last_img read more

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Sexual assault reports against Wynn filed with Vegas police

first_imgLAS VEGAS, Nev. – Two more sexual misconduct allegations were levelled against embattled casino mogul Steve Wynn on Tuesday, when police in Las Vegas revealed they recently received two reports from women saying the billionaire sexually assaulted them in the 1970s.This was the first admission from police in Las Vegas about reports filed against Wynn since sexual misconduct allegations against him were revealed last month.One woman reported Wynn assaulted her in Las Vegas and the other said she was assaulted in Chicago, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement. The Las Vegas case will not be investigated because the statute of limitations in Nevada is 20 years.The victim of that alleged assault contacted the department from St. Louis on Jan. 29, three days after the Wall Street Journal reported that a number of women said Wynn harassed or assaulted them and that one case led to a $7.5 million settlement.The other, filed in Las Vegas on Feb. 5, is being forwarded to the Chicago Police Department.Details of exactly what transpired during the alleged assaults was not disclosed.The billionaire has vehemently denied the allegations, which he attributes to a campaign led by his ex-wife.“In the last couple of weeks, I have found myself the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity,” Wynn said in the written statement that announced his resignation last week as chairman and CEO at Wynn Resorts. “As I have reflected upon the environment this has created — one in which a rush to judgment takes precedence over everything else, including the facts — I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles.”Wynn Resorts spokesman Michael Weaver on Tuesday said the company does not have a comment on the reports filed by the women “because this involved a company before the establishment of Wynn Resorts.”Wynn is facing scrutiny by gambling regulators in Nevada and Massachusetts, where the company is building a roughly $2.4 billion casino just outside Boston. Regulators in Macau, the Chinese enclave where the company operates two casinos, are also inquiring about the allegations.The Nevada Gaming Control Board on Monday set up an online form that allows people to report information on any of its active investigations. The reporting system was set up after the agency received numerous calls regarding the investigation against Wynn.Wynn Resorts has also created a committee to investigate the allegations. On Monday, the group announced it was expanded its scope to review the company’s internal policies and procedures to ensure a “safe and respectful workplace for all employees.”last_img read more

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Cost to twin Trans Mountain pipeline could be 19B higher Kinder Morgan

first_imgOTTAWA – Kinder Morgan Canada says expanding the Trans Mountain pipeline could cost the federal government as much as $1.9 billion beyond the company’s original construction estimate and take 12 months longer to finish.The figures are included in documents the company filed Tuesday with the United States Security and Exchange Commission related to its plan to sell the pipeline to the Canadian government for $4.5 billion.The sale price does not include how much more Canadians will pay to finish twinning the pipeline between Alberta and British Columbia. Finance Minister Bill Morneau won’t say how much Ottawa expects to spend on construction because he fears that would affect negotiations with construction contractors which are now underway.The $7.4 billion construction cost Kinder Morgan reported in February 2017 hasn’t been updated since the project hit political snags, construction delays and opposition in B.C.The first update of any kind came Tuesday when Kinder Morgan filed required documents as the company gears up for a shareholder vote on the sale in Calgary on August 30.In those pages, the company looks at a few different construction cost scenarios as part of a fairness evaluation of the sale offer to the Canadian government. The most expensive scenario pegs construction costs at $9.3 billion, taking until December 2021 to complete — a full year after the current timetable of December 2020.The government was quick to point out the figure is not an official cost forecast. An official in Morneau’s department, speaking on background because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said the numbers do not specifically reflect the government’s expectation of what the final project cost will be.However Robyn Allan, an independent economist and former CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, said Kinder Morgan wouldn’t evaluate the fairness of the sale based on numbers that have no bearing on reality.Allan, who said she has expertise on a number of multibillion infrastructure projects, believes in the end $9.3 billion will seem like a steal compared to the final price tag.“This is the least it’s going to cost,” said Allan.She said the biggest frustration is the lack of information coming from the federal government about the planned sale.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has staked the legacy of his government in part on being able to protect the environment without impeding Canada’s resource-based economy, and building this particular pipeline has become the symbol of whether that’s possible. The government stepped in to buy the pipeline in May after the company’s investors grew jittery that political opposition in B.C. would mean it never gets built.Although Canada approved construction in 2016, B.C. Premier John Horgan is trying to get judicial authority to restrict what can flow in the pipeline, and that uncertainty led Kinder Morgan to want to bail on the whole thing.Allan said the only detailed information Canadians have about the particulars of the sale is due to investor laws in the United States and Canada that require Kinder Morgan to file documents outlining the specifics of the deal. Since taxpayers are the shareholders of the project now, she said Canadians deserve the same level of disclosure from Ottawa and they aren’t getting it.B.C. New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen is equally frustrated, going so far as to call the government dishonest about the deal.“It’s frustrating, it’s really, really frustrating that at their core has been a murky and dishonest transaction with so much money involved,” he said. “I worry about what we’re going to get stuck with.”Morneau’s official said as soon as construction contracts are in place the government will freely release an official cost update, which he said should happen no later than next winter.The initial goal to finalize the sale in August has been delayed until September or October pending the Aug. 30 shareholder vote results.last_img read more

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Federal government accelerates phaseout of ruptureprone rail tankers

first_imgOTTAWA – The federal government is speeding up the timelines for the removal of rupture-prone tank cars from Canadian railroads.Ottawa has taken steps to phase out certain types of tank cars following the deadly train derailment and explosions in Lac-Megantic, Que., that killed 47 people in 2013.Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced new timelines today that will now see CPC-1232 tank cars that carry crude oil phased out by Nov. 1 — which is 17 months earlier than the previous deadline.He says remaining DOT-111 tankers and CPC-1232 tank cars that transport highly volatile flammable liquids will be removed by Jan. 1 — more than six years sooner than an earlier target date.Federation of Canadian Municipalities president Vicki-May Hamm and Railway Association of Canada CEO Marc Brazeau welcomed the accelerated timelines, saying in separate statements that the cars’ removal will lower the safety risks for many communities.DOT-111s carrying volatile crude oil exploded in the Lac-Megantic disaster and the tanker models were completely removed from crude service two years ago.last_img read more

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Asian shares fall as Huawei arrest risks ChinaUS fallout

first_imgSINGAPORE — Asian markets were broadly lower Monday after China protested the arrest of a senior executive of Chinese electronics giant Huawei, who is suspected of trying to evade U.S. trade curbs on Iran.KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slid 2.3 per cent in early trading to 21,191.23, after revised data showed that its economy shrank by 2.5 per cent in the third quarter, more than expected. South Korea’s Kospi fell 1.2 per cent to 2,051.82. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 1.6 per cent to 25,660.76 and the Shanghai Composite was 0.8 per cent lower at 2,585.94. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 2 per cent at 5,569.90. Shares fell in Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.WALL STREET: Stocks tumbled on Friday on weaker-than-expected jobs growth and worries that the U.S.-China trade dispute will not be resolved within a 90-day timeframe. The S&P 500 index slipped 2.3 per cent to 2,633.08 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up 2.2 per cent to 24,388.95. The Nasdaq composite tumbled 3 per cent to 6,969.25. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks dropped 2 per cent to 1,448.09.HUAWEI ARREST: China has slammed the “extremely egregious” detention of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou and demanded that the U.S. cancel an order for her arrest, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday. Meng, who is accused of attempting to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran, was arrested in Canada on Dec. 1. In a meeting with Terry Branstad, the U.S. ambassador to Beijing, Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng urged Washington to “immediately correct its wrong actions” and vowed to take further steps based on its response, Xinhua said. The two countries recently agreed to hold off on further tariffs for 90 days while they attempt to resolve a range of issues from trade to technology development.ANALYST’S TAKE: Although the Huawei arrest “falls under the purview of independent courts, the timing of it is unfortunate and could jeopardize the truce that was just agreed,” Chang Wei Liang of Mizuho Bank said in a commentary. “Markets have correspondingly responded by reducing risk on the table, waiting to assess the extent of any political fallout.”SLOWING CHINESE EXPORTS: On Saturday, Chinese customs data showed that exports rose 5.4 per cent to $227.4 billion in November over a year earlier. This is a broad decline from the 12.6 per cent surge in the previous month. Imports gained 3 per cent to $182.7 billion, as compared to a 20.3 per cent jump in October. The numbers paint a picture of a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy, which could weigh on global growth.ENERGY: Oil futures settled after the OPEC cartel and other major oil producers agreed to reduce production by 1.2 million barrels a day starting from January. The cuts will last for six months. U.S. benchmark crude fell 3 cents to $52.58 a barrel. It gained $1.12 to $52.61 a barrel in New York on Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 45 cents to $62.12. The contract added $1.61 to $61.67 a barrel in London.CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 112.32 yen from 112.72 yen late Friday. The euro rose to $1.1435 from $1.1379.Annabelle Liang, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Lawsuit Gas company knew rig was unsafe before explosion

first_imgQUINTON, Okla. — The family of one of five workers who were killed in an Oklahoma gas well explosion in January says the drilling company didn’t act upon multiple warnings that its safety equipment was in disrepair.Parker Waldridge’s family alleges in a Dec. 4 amendment to their wrongful death lawsuit that a “cascade of errors and multiple departures from safe drilling practices” by drilling company Patterson-UTI Drilling led to the blowout near Quinton in January .The lawsuit alleges that at least two days before the explosion, the rig superintendent, manager and several other Patterson employees received email results of a laboratory test warning of problems with the rig’s accumulator. It says the warnings even came with a “skull and crossbones graphic (literally).”The Tulsa World reports that the families of each dead worker and a worker who was badly injured have filed lawsuits over the explosion.Patterson and Red Mountain Energy, the well’s owner that hired it, issued statements blaming each other.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Pembina to expand Peace pipeline system

first_imgThe Phase VI expansion includes upgrades at Gordondale; a 16-inch pipeline from LaGlace to Wapiti and associated pump station upgrades; and a 20-inch pipeline from Kakwa to Lator, Alberta. The approximately $280 million Phase VI expansion is anticipated to be in service in early 2020, subject to environmental and regulatory approval.“It is exciting to announce another expansion of our Peace Pipeline,” said Mick Dilger, Pembina’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “As producers continue to develop the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, our assets are strategically located and readily expandable to provide a fully integrated service offering to support our customers’ future needs.”Pembina is continuing to secure long-term contracts on its Peace and Northern Pipeline systems and currently expects peak firm volume commitments will reach approximately 830,000 barrels per day in 2019. CALGARY, A.B. — Pembina Pipeline Corp. says it will be launching the Phase VI expansion of its Peace Pipeline system to support growth in the Montney and Deep Basin resource plays. The Company said its Pipeline Division has continued to receive strong demand for its services. Pembina’s Phase III expansion in July 2017 expanded capacity in the corridor that transports crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids into the Edmonton area market. The Company is also currently progressing construction of its Phase IV and Phase V expansions, which are adding capacity between Fox Creek and Namao, and reducing pipeline bottlenecks upstream of Fox Creek. Pembina said it expects both projects to be placed into service in late 2018.Following the completion of Phase IV, the Company will have approximately 1.1 million barrels per day of total capacity for delivery into the Edmonton area market. Pembina has the ability to further expand capacity to at least 1.3 million barrels per day through the addition of pump stations and other upgrades between Fox Creek and Namao.last_img read more

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Several cannabis retail applications clear first hurdles in Northeast BC ahead of

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A number of applications to set up cannabis retail operations have passed their first test and are now in front of several Peace Region municipal governments ahead of the legalization of recreational cannabis across Canada on Wednesday.As of midnight tonight, all Canadians will officially be allowed to possess and consume cannabis, making this country the second country after Uruguay to legalize sales of cannabis. Citizens of Georgia and South Africa are allowed to cultivate and consume cannabis for personal use after several court rulings, though sales are not allowed.B.C. residents will be able to purchase cannabis online through the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch at www.bccannabisstores.com, which also operates B.C. Liquor Stores. However, the only legal cannabis retail store that will be operating on Wednesday is the B.C. Cannabis Store location in Kamloops. In Fort St. John, City Council passed a bylaw this summer approving private cannabis retail operations inside the City’s downtown core area, while other similar bylaws have been or are in the process of being enacted in other Peace Region municipalities.Other communities in Northeast B.C. have also already received applications from aspiring entrepreneurs looking to set up a private cannabis retail operation.Anyone looking to set up a cannabis retail location must first submit the application with the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch, which checks to ensure the applicant has no ties to organized crime and meets other criteria. After clearing that first hurdle, applications are forwarded to local governments, who then decide whether they approve of the application.The B.C. Government said that 173 applications for cannabis retail operations have been received, with 62 having been forwarded to local governments.Of those, the City of Dawson Creek has received two applications from the LCRB, while Tumbler Ridge has one application. Chetwynd and the Northern Rockies have both not yet received any applications, while officials with the municipalities of Fort St. John, Hudson’s Hope, and Pouce Coupe were not able to comment.The District of Taylor is not currently allowing cannabis retail operations.last_img read more

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Province releases questionnaire on workplace support for people facing domestic violence

first_imgDean also says they want to hear from a diverse range of voices on how to provide workplace support when needed.“Domestic and sexual violence disproportionately impacts women and girls, often with devastating and long-lasting effects. Our government is prioritizing the safety and economic security for women and families, and that means looking at opportunities to strengthen protections for everyone in the workplace. We want to hear from a diverse range of voices, be it businesses, communities, advocacy groups and individual British Columbians, on what government can do to ensure workplace support is there for people when they need it most. I’m looking forward to exploring options on helping rebuild people’s lives after violence.”The consultation, launched by Dean and Harry Bains, Minister of Labour, will help inform further improvements to the Employment Standards Act.To participate in the online engagement process, and for more information, you can visit the Province’s website. VICTORIA, B.C. – The Province is giving British Columbians an opportunity to voice their views on strengthening support for working people who have been subjected to domestic or sexual violence.According to the Government, an online questionnaire about possible paid leave is open for public feedback until October 8, 2019.Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, says domestic and sexual violence can devastating and long-lasting effects on women and girls, and that they may need support from the workplace.last_img read more

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Deb alleges Rainbow Alliance in Siliguri

first_imgDarjeeling: TMC Darjeeling district president Goutam Deb on Friday alleged a tacit political understanding between the BJP, Congress and CPI(M) in Siliguri. “There exists a Rainbow Alliance in Siliguri, comprising CPI(M), BJP and Congress. The Siliguri leader of the CPI(M) calls it the Siliguri Model. They have a tacit understanding. It is TMC on one side and the trio on the other,” alleged Deb. He stated that according to the understanding, for the Parliamentary election it will be BJP, for the Assembly it will be CPI(M) in the urban area and the Congress in the rural areas, with CPI(M) for the Pourasabha and Panchayat. “At the micro level we have seen that they are giving space to BJP. Where has the ideology gone?” he questioned.last_img read more

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JK Over 40 security personnel 7 civilians injured in clashes during protests

first_imgSrinagar: Over 40 security personnel, including an officer, and seven civilians were injured on Monday as clashes broke out in Jammu and Kashmir during protest against the alleged rape of a three-year-old girl in Bandipora district, police said. Youths held protests and pelted stones at security forces at several locations in Baramulla district in north Kashmir, a police official said. Forty-seven personnel of the security forces were injured in the clashes at Mirgund, Chainabal, Harnath, Singhpora, Jheel Bridge, Kripalpora Payeen and Hanjiwera areas of the district. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh An assistant commandant of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) received injury on his head, the official said. Seven civilians were also injured in the clashes, he said, adding all of them were stable. A shutdown was also observed in Kargil town as locals took out a rally over the incident. The protesters raised slogans in support of their demand for exemplary punishment to the accused who is in police custody, the officials said. They said the shops and business establishments remained closed in the entire town as local residents assembled under the banner of Imam Khomeni Memorial Trust and took out a massive rally. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad Students joined the rally which went round various parts in the town and concluded peacefully at Kalon Rahim Khan Chowk. The vice chairman of the trust, Sheikh Bair Shakir, urged the government to deal with such heinous cases on fast track basis and ensure exemplary punishment to the culprits in a time bound manner. Congress rebel leader and former MLA Asgar Ali Karbali expressed solidarity with the family of the victim and said the people of Kargil would not remain mute spectator to such gruesome incidents. “We want our society a better place for every one especially the girls and the women. The government should ensure investigation of rape cases on fast track basis and deliver speedy justice to the victim by setting up special courts,” he said. The three-year-old girl was allegedly raped in Sumbal area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, prompting the Jammu and Kashmir Police to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the incident.last_img read more

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Arrest of Two people involved in recruitment of Moroccan fighters for

Rabat- As part of anticipation operations to counter terrorist threats, the national squad of the judiciary police (BNPJ) arrested, in collaboration with the General Department for National Territory Surveillance, two people who were active, in the city of Fez, in recruiting Moroccan fighters for Syria to join Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist organizations in coordination with active members in the region adjacent to the Turkish-Syrian borders, said on Monday the Interior Ministry.The ongoing actions by extremist members, involved in recruiting and sending fighters in the different hotbeds of tension, show the will of Al Qaeda organization and its allies to undermine Morocco’s stability and security, all the more so since these fighters benefit from military training before returning to the homeland to carry out terrorist plans, said the statement. The same investigations enabled to arrest an activist, within jihadist forums, living in the city of Mrirt and involved in operations of credit cards hacking to embezzle money and give it to armed groups in Syria, it added. The alleged culprits will be brought to justice after the completion of the probe under the supervision of the public prosecutor’s department. read more

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King Mohammed VI Visits Moroccos Consulate General in Paris Suburb

Paris – King Mohammed VI visited on Tuesday Morocco’s Consulate General in Orly to witness the efforts made by consular services following the royal directives set out in the Throne speech of July 30, 2015.Upon his arrival, the King was welcomed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister in charge of Moroccans Living Abroad, Anis Birou, Morocco’s Ambassador to France, Chakib Benmoussa, and the kingdom’s Consul General in Orly, Malika Alaoui.After being greeted by the sixteen Consuls General of the Kingdom in France and other Moroccan officials, the Moroccan monarch enquired about the measures taken to improve consular services. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation thanked the Sovereign, on behalf of the Moroccan community living abroad and the consular staff, for “the interest that His Majesty grants to improve the quality of services offered to Moroccans abroad and the working conditions of the staff.”The Minister also highlighted the ongoing action plan and projects at the central administrations and in the consular network. These actions include notably the improvement of the conditions of reception and information, the simplification and modernization of consular services, cultural and social actions, and upgrading human resources.The King visited the different services of the Consulate before holding a meeting with representatives of the Moroccan community in Orly, who expressed “their gratitude to HM the King, emphasize their unalterable attachment to the Kingdom and renew their expression of loyalty to the glorious Alawite Throne.”King Mohammed VI then posed for a souvenir photo with members of the consulate before waving to the large crowd gathered around the building. read more

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Minister says UK faces political tsunami if Brexit halted

LONDON — Britain’s trade minister says the country will face a “political tsunami” if the government does not deliver on voters’ decision to leave the European Union.International Trade Secretary Liam Fox wrote in the Sunday Telegraph that “failure to deliver Brexit would produce a yawning gap between Parliament and the people, a schism in our political system with unknowable consequences.”The Brexit process has been deadlocked since Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU divorce deal was rejected by Parliament last week. Some lawmakers are pushing for the U.K. to delay its departure, scheduled for March 29, until politicians can agree on a way forward.May is due to report to Parliament Monday on how she plans to alter the rejected deal. There are few signs she plans to make radical changes.The Associated Press read more

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King Mohammed VI Pays Courtesy Visit to Saudi King at his

Tangier – King Mohammed VI paid on Saturday a courtesy and friendship visit to Custodian of the Holy Places of Islam, King Salman Ibn Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, at his residence in Tangier.Upon his arrival at the residence of King Salman Ibn Abdulaziz Al-Saud,  King Mohammed VI was greeted by Prince Mohammed Ibn Salman Ibn Abdulaziz Al-Saud, deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia, second deputy prime minister and minister of defense, the Princes and members of the delegation accompanying the King of Saudi Arabia, who is on a private visit to the Kingdom of Morocco.The Custodian of the Holy Places of Islam was greeted by the king’s advisor, Fouad Ali El Himma, Interior Minister, Mohamed Hassad, Lieutenant-General Hosni Benslimane, commander of the Royal Gendarmerie and Director General of the National Security and Director General of the territory surveillance, Abdellatif Hammouchi.With MAP read more

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The African Union Peace and Security Council Attacks Morocco

Rabat – The former headquarters of the African Union in the Ethiopian capital hosted a meeting Monday, March 20 of the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) devoted to Sahara. On the question of the Sahara, the PSC was far from neutral.The meeting, presided by the Algerian Ismail Chergui, turned out to be an opportunity to lash out against Morocco, which it accused of being a “colonizing country.” The PSC published a 12-page document criticizing the Kingdom and called for the AU to control the human rights situation in the Sahara by establishing an office in Laayoune.In the communiqué, the PSC expressed its decision to “strengthen” the mandate of Former President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, and appoint him as AU High Representative for Sahara. Morocco does not recognize the authority of Chissano and has encouraged, in a letter addressed to the PSC to explain its absence at March 20’s meeting, the organs of the African Union to “support the UN resolution process regarding the Sahara.”Chergui, who refused to shake hands with King Mohammed VI during His speech in Addis Ababa last February, presided the meeting in which he, Chisano, and representatives from Algeria, South Africa gave free course to the claims of the Polisario Front. After failing to convince the Secretary General of the United Nations in New York of the illegal attitude of the separatist force in the buffer zone of Guergarate, Algiers is mobilizing its efforts within the African Union in the hopes of destabilizing Morocco, which has just regained its place in the pan-African body.Chergui thought it smart to convene a meeting of the PSC on the Sahara and to “invite” Morocco after setting the AU Constitutive Act.Morocco had naturally rejected the invitation to Monday’s meeting, seeing the PSC as being far from an example of neutrality on the Sahara issue. Morocco was not the only party to boycott the meeting. The room was largely empty, with the exception of representatives of Kenya and Niger, in addition to two separatist leaders and the “envoy of the AU In the Sahara”, and Chissano.The attitude of Morocco and its many African allies, making up the majority of the countries of the AU, is explained by objective considerations and by the clear will to rid Africa of toxic and fruitful conflicts at a time when the continent aspires for an integrated and sustainable development.It should first be noted that the return of Morocco to the African Union does not imply recognition by the Kingdom of any role of the AU in the solution of the Sahara conflict, the case being in the hands of the UN for a peaceful settlement of this issue. As Chergui appears to lack the neutrality required to properly examine this file, agreeing to take part in the meeting would have put Morocco in a defensive situation where it would have been subjected to the accusations of the anti-Moroccan group led by Algeria and South Africa. read more

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