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Cops sentenced in sweatbox incident

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first_imgAPTN National NewsTwo Edmonton police officers have been sentenced for their involvement in the so-called ‘sweatbox incident’ five years ago.The officers drove nine homeless people around in an unventilated paddy wagon for three hours on a hot spring day.A supervising officer ruled last month that the officers had failed in their duties and embarrassed Edmonton’s police force.APTN National News reporter Noemi LoPinto has the details.last_img

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Idle No More Defenders of the Land form alliance call for Sovereignty

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first_imgBy Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsIdle No More has joined forces with Defenders of the Land and the new alliance plans to launch “escalating action” during what is being called the “Sovereignty Summer,” according to a draft joint declaration obtained by APTN National News.The alliance has been endorsed by Jessica Gordon, Sylvia McAdam, Sheelah McLean and Nina Wilson, the four founders of Idle No More, along with the movement’s lead organizers, provincial and territorial chapters.As a result of the alliance, Idle No More has now agreed to support non-violent direct action, including blockades, in the cause of Indigenous rights.The Defenders of the Land is an established network of Indigenous activists that was formally formed in 2008. The network has been involved in Indigenous land rights issues across the country, including in ongoing hotspots like Ontario’s Grassy Narrows First Nation, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation and Barriere Lake in Quebec.The joint declaration is calling for a “Sovereignty Summer” that would see “co-ordinated non-violent direct actions.” The statement also calls on “non-Indigenous peoples” to join Indigenous communities in the actions.“Alternatives will only come to life if we escalate our actions, taking bold non-violent direct action that challenges the illegitimate power of corporations who dictate government police,” says the draft declaration.The declaration also calls for a “Solidarity Spring” to precede the Sovereignty Summer with calls to action on March 21, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and April 22, Earth Day.“The Harper government’s agenda is clear: to weaken all collective rights and environmental protections, in order to turn Canada into an extraction state that gives corporations unchecked power to destroy our communities and environment for profit,” says the statement. “Idle No More and Defenders of the Land….have joined together to issue this common call for escalating action.”The declaration makes several demands, including a repeal of sections of the now passed Bill C-45 that impact the environment along with Aboriginal and Treaty rights; changing the electoral system to proportional representation; ensuring consultation happens before any legislation is introduced that impacts collective rights and the environment; the full implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; an end to the government’s policies of “extinguishment;” full implementation of the treaties and a national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women.“We know it will take a lot more to defeat (Prime Minister Stephen Harper) and the corporate agenda. But against the power of their money and weapons, we have the power of our bodies and spirits,” says the declaration. “There is nothing that can match the power of peaceful, collective action in defense of the people and Mother Earth.”jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

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Loretta Saunders family frustrated by lack of courtroom access

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first_imgAPTN National NewsLoretta Saunders was killed this past February and the preliminary hearing for the two accused of killing her has been unfolding in Halifax this week.Some family members are frustrated because they haven’t been allowed into the courtroom.APTN’s Trina Roache has this story.last_img

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Mikmaw woman who stood up to cyberbullies an inspiration to others

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first_imgTrina Roache APTN National NewsWhen a young Mi’kmaw woman stood up to cyberbullies her post went viral.Hannah Battiste fought back against cyberbullies with humour and confidence.It drew international attention and many people told Battiste she was an inspiration.last_img

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Indigenous offenders in federal prison highlight challenges for Trudeau government

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first_imgThe Canadian PressThe number of Indigenous offenders in the federal correctional system has risen almost 40 per cent in the last decade, says a government report.It also says a lower percentage of Indigenous offenders benefit from gradual release from custody than non-Indigenous ones.In addition, the number of women admitted to federal correctional centres has increased in recent years.The statistics underscore the challenges the Liberal government faces as it tries to deal with the over-representation of Indigenous people, the mentally ill and other vulnerable Canadians in the prison system.At the same time, the overall crime rate has been dropping and relatively few crimes result in sentences to federal penitentiaries.A look at some key statistics and trends highlighted in the Corrections and Conditional Release Statistical Overview, 2016 Annual Report:_ The overall crime rate has decreased 34 per cent since 1998, to 5,888 per 100,000 population in 2015 from 8,915. Over the same period, there was a 43.5-per-cent decrease in the property-crime rate, to 3,220 per 100,000 from 5,696.-In contrast, the crime rate for drug offences has increased 12.6 per cent since 1998, to 269 per 100,000 from 235.– The rate of violent crime has fluctuated, peaking in 2000 at 1,494 per 100,000 population. Since 2000, the rate of violent crime has decreased 28.9 per cent to 1,062 in 2015.– The in-custody population in federal prisons has increased in seven of the last 10 years, though there was a slight decline in 2015-16.– From 2013-14 to 2014-15, the provincial-territorial sentenced offender population in custody increased 4.8 per cent to 10,364 from 9,888. The remand population increased 18.8 per cent to 13,650 from 11,494 during this period.– In 2015-16, Indigenous offenders represented 22.7 per cent of the total federal offender population. They accounted for 25.7 per cent of those in custody and 17.3 per cent of those on various forms of supervised release in the community in 2015-16.– From 2006-07 to 2015-16, the total Indigenous offender population increased 39.5 per cent.– In 2015-16, the federal day parole and full parole grant rates increased for both Indigenous offenders and non-Indigenous offenders.-However, a smaller percentage of Indigenous offenders benefit from supervised gradual releases than non-Indigenous ones: 82.4 per cent of Indigenous offenders were held until their statutory release dates compared to only 65.2 per cent of non-Indigenous ones.– The number of women admitted to the federal correctional system increased to 383 in 2015-16 from 316 in 2006-07.– In 2015-16, there was an 18.4-per-cent decrease in the total number of admissions to administrative segregation, where inmates are isolated from other prisoners in federal institutions.last_img read more

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Monica Jacks mom in tears as she tells BC jury about last

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first_imgThe Canadian PressThe mother Monica Jack, a 12-year-old girl who disappeared 40 years ago tearfully told a jury Tuesday about the last time she saw her daughter outside Merritt, B.C.Madeline Lanaro said she was driving her old Mustang home with her other children when she passed her daughter Monica on the highway as the girl waved at them on what was a sunny day on May 6, 1978.“I honked and the kids yelled out, ‘Do you want a ride?’ And she said ‘No.’ ”Jack’s skull and some bones were found 17 years later on a hill close to where she was last seen by witnesses.Garry Handlen was arrested in November 2014 following an undercover police operation and has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Jack’s death.Lanaro told B.C. Supreme Court that it was the first time Jack had asked permission to ride about 30 kilometres into Merritt.She said Jack left their home on the Quilchena Reserve and met up with her cousin so the two girls could shop in town together for a birthday present for Jack’s sister Lizzy.Lanaro said she saw her daughter riding home hours later as she was heading to the reserve after buying supplies for an overnight fishing trip and the birthday party, but Jack was never seen again.Jack, who had two older brothers and three sisters, joined her siblings to make breakfast and bake cookies for a school fundraiser on the Saturday she was last seen, her mother said.She said Jack, who’d received her bike as a gift from her father a couple of weeks before her 13th birthday, asked if she could ride into town with her cousin Debbie John.“She barely was used to her bike,” Lanaro said.“It was a bit of a distance,” she said, wiping away tears, adding children from the area sometimes walked to the town for fundraisers.Jack was in Grade 7 and a good student with lots of friends, she said.Lanaro said families in the area got together regularly to fish on weekends and share what they caught.She knew when she went into a grocery store in Merritt that her daughter had been there because of a charge she’d made on their account and later saw her near her sister’s home, Lanaro testified.“We talked a little bit and I told her to go home.”Lanaro said after seeing her daughter riding towards home on the highway, she went fishing overnight as planned and arrived back the next morning to discover she had not shown up.She called police and friends of the family started looking for the girl.An RCMP officer who later interviewed her made her uncomfortable, Lanaro told the court.“As I was being interviewed I realized I’m an Indian woman,” she said.“He was quite rude to me.”She said his attitude likely had something to do with the fact she was an Indian woman who was a single mother.Lanaro said the officer’s note taking was “quite sloppy” and the interview wasn’t recorded.“He took a few notes and he was off,” she said.Lanaro said her family had previously lived in Oroville, Wash., where her children were “friends with millionaires’ kids” and no one was prejudiced toward them.But that all changed when the family moved to the Merritt area, Lanaro said. Her sons found it challenging to fit in when playing football, she added.“Some parents were not pleased their sons were sharing trophies with Indian boys. That’s when it really hit my kids that we are different.”Debbie John, the cousin Jack rode into town with on the last day anyone saw her, told court the girls were close and spent many weekends together.She said the two had talked on the phone the night before and planned their trip into Merritt. They parted ways afterwards as each went to their own home.That evening, John said she called to see if Jack had arrived home and one of her cousins said the girl hadn’t made it there yet.“I don’t know why I didn’t call back,” she said.news@aptn.ca@aptnnewslast_img read more

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Saskatchewan says no summit necessary with Alberta over licence plate dispute

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first_imgREGINA – Saskatchewan’s minister of trade says there is no need to meet with Alberta officials to discuss a short-lived ban on Alberta licence plates on government construction projects.Jeremy Harrison says the issue has been dealt with.“A meeting as far as a get together in Lloydminster or Medicine Hat or wherever, it’s not necessary at this point,” Harrison said on Tuesday.“We’ll work together directly through the phone or mechanisms or where we see each other bilaterally since we go to a lot of events that we are at the same place at.”The Saskatchewan government announced the ban in December which it said was in response to similar restrictions facing Saskatchewan workers on Alberta job sites.Alberta filed a legal challenge and the policy was reversed in January before the two provinces were due to meet to discuss the issue.Harrison said getting the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, which would increase the flow of Alberta crude from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., is the shared priority between the two provinces.“We’ve indicated our support for potential measures that would be taken by the government of Alberta on that front,” Harrison said.In Edmonton, Alberta Economic Development Minister Deron Bilous said the two provinces will continue working to reduce trade barriers and focus on the expansion of the pipeline.“Alberta has a history of working very well with Saskatchewan,” Bilous said.“There is an acknowledgment that the No. 1 priority right now is the Trans Mountain pipeline, which Premier Moe has come out in support of Premier Notley and our government’s position — and so that is our No. 1 focus.”Despite the trade meeting being called off, Harrison said the two provinces still share “pretty strong difference of view” on the Alberta beer incentive, a program that includes grants to small brewers in the province.When Saskatchewan imposed the ban Dec. 6, it was not about beer but workplace fairness.Saskatchewan officials at that time said the licence plate ban was in response to similar restrictions facing Saskatchewan workers on Alberta job sites.Alberta said that was not true and that former Saskatchewan trade minister Steven Bonk never provided evidence to back up the claim.As the war of words escalated, former premier Brad Wall stepped in and said the plate ban was in response to anti-free-trade initiatives by Alberta, including the beer dispute.Alberta then filed a legal challenge under the New West deal.— With files from Dean Bennett in Edmonton. Follow @RyanBMcKenna on Twitter.last_img read more

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Facebook launches Messenger Kids in Canada despite controversy in US

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first_imgFacebook says it has launched its messenger app for kids in Canada.Messenger Kids is an app that allows kids to video call and message friends and family using a smartphone or tablet.Parents can control their child’s contact list and kids can’t hide messages.The app allows them to call or message adults on their Facebook Messenger, so those 13 years or older and with a Facebook account don’t have to download the separate app.Facebook launched the kids app in the United States last year where dozens of organizations, doctors, academics and others called on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to discontinue the app.They said in an open letter dated January 30 that the app is very likely to undermine children’s health development as research shows excessive use of digital devices and social media is harmful to young people.last_img read more

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BC halts northeast fracking operations while it investigates earthquakes

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first_imgCompanies mentioned in this article: (TSX:CNQ)The Canadian Press FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The BC Oil and Gas Commission is shutting down oilfield fracking operations in an area in the northeast part of the province for at least 30 days while it investigates earthquakes that occurred there on Nov. 29.The regulator says the seismic events measuring between 3.4 and 4.5 magnitude took place near hydraulic fracturing operations being conducted about 20 kilometres southeast of Fort St. John by Calgary-based Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.It says the company immediately suspended that work and it won’t be allowed to resume without the written consent of the commission.According to Natural Resources Canada, the 4.5 magnitude earthquake was felt in Fort St. John, Taylor, Chetwynd and Dawson Creek but did no damage. It was followed by two smaller aftershocks.Hydraulic fracturing involves injecting large amounts of water, sand and chemicals into a well to break up tight rock underground and allow trapped oil and gas to flow.The technology, along with injecting oilfield liquids into disposal wells, have been linked by the B.C. commission to previous incidents of “induced seismicity,” although it notes on its website none of the events in B.C. have resulted in hazards to safety or the environment or property damage.last_img read more

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SAIL supplies first consignment of LHB wheels to Indian Railways

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first_imgNew Delhi: State-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) Tuesday said it has shipped the first consignment of Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) wheels to Indian Railways. The Durgapur Steel Plant (DSP) of SAIL supplied the first consignment of LHB wheels to the national transporter on Monday, SAIL said in a statement. “SAIL was initially given an order to supply 1,000 LHB wheels whose first consignment has been dispatched. The wheels having unique web profile with metallurgical properties are especially designed to befit the high-speed movement on broad gauge as per the requirements of LHB coaches,” it said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThese LHB wheels are developed with the help of the Research Design and Standard Organisation (RDSO), under the railways, and wheel and axle plant of DSP. The wheels have pneumatic disc brake system for efficient braking at higher speeds, reducing the impact during accidents or emergency situations, SAIL said. “Our entire focus is to begin the supply of this advanced LHB wheels so that the requirement of the Indian Railways can be fulfilled domestically. I believe that meeting the entire requirements of LHB wheels domestically will reduce the imports and also help in saving foreign exchange,” SAIL Chairman Anil Kumar Chaudhary said. SAIL-DSP is supplying wheels and axles to the Indian Railways for the past five decades and is the only producer of forged wheels in the country.last_img read more

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Sanction unlikely for Ravi Nandan as only 11 Indian umpires for IPL

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first_imgNew Delhi: Umpire Sundaram Ravi, whose no ball howler cost Royal Challengers Bangalore heavily in an IPL match and led to an angry outburst by RCB skipper Virat Kohli, is unlikely to be sanctioned due to lack of officials with international experience on the BCCI roster. Currently there are only 11 Indian Umpires allotted for on-field and TV duty for 56 IPL games, which means Ravi might get negative marking from the match referee but BCCI can hardly take any corrective measures beyond that. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh “Currently we have only 17 umpires assigned on-field and for third umpires’ duty. Out of them 11 are Indian and six foreigners from the Elite Panel. Apart from them, we have six more Indians as fourth umpires,” a member of the now defunct Umpiring sub-committee, who is privy to allocation of assignments, told PTI on Friday. Ravi, the only Indian in the ICC’s Elite Panel, failed to spot an obvious no ball from Mumbai Indians’ Lasith Malinga as RCB lost by six runs under controversial circumstances. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later A livid RCB captain Virat Kohli said that “umpires should have kept their eyes open” while his India team deputy Rohit Sharma was also critical of the other on-field umpire C Nandan. Ironically, Nandan was adjudged best Indian umpire in the BCCI awards two years ago. There is speculation in the BCCI that Ravi and Nandan may not be used in the play-off games of IPL but it’s a very preliminary thought since overseas umpires like Marais Erasmus, Chris Gaffaney are around. The BCCI brass, along with the Committee of Administrators (COA), has long been worried about the declining standard of Indian Umpires but has not been able to come up with a feasible solution. “Even in those 11, we have only five who are assigned international matches. Apart from Ravi, we have Nandan, Shamshuddin, Anil Chaudhary and Nitin Menon, who are in ICC’s international panel. The other six are currently officiating in domestic games,” he said. “Match referee Manu Nayar has no option but to mention the errors by Ravi and Nandan in his report but you can’t just off-load Ravi. Let’s accept, the replacements will be worse. So penalising him is out of question,” he added. One of the core issues that BCCI has been unable to address is the qualifying structure through which umpires are coming up the ranks. As per data accessed by PTI, there were about 114 umpires who had officiated in around 2000 BCCI games of all age groups (Men and Women). This year’s Ranji Trophy had been marred by umpiring howlers and fatigue was a reason cited by many for the bloopers. The most notable was Cheteshwar Pujara being ruled not out during the Ranji Trophy semi-final between Saurashtra and Karanataka. R Vinay Kumar had induced a big nick that the umpire couldn’t hear and the India international scored a hundred which proved decisive. The number is very less and more so because those appearing for BCCI’s Level 1, 2 or 3 umpiring Test have been found to be well below par. “We have the National Academy of Umpires (NAU) in Nagpur. To procure a form and get enrolled there, you need a recommendation from local state association. The system itself is flawed,” a retired former first-class umpire, who didn’t wish to come on record, said. It has been learnt that BCCI also intends to clamp down on some umpiring academies, where candidates are allegedly prepared for the BCCI level tests, which gives them direct advantage over other meritorious candidates.last_img read more

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State KMC gear up to tackle impact of Fani

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first_imgKolkata: The state government, along with Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), is taking all possible preparation in the wake of severe cyclonic storm Fani, which is expected to hit the coastal belt of the state between Friday night and Saturday morning.Chief Secretary Malay De held a high-level meeting at Nabanna with all concerned departments and senior officials of Navy, Coast Guard, NDRF, State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and Kolkata Police. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while addressing an election rally at Bhatpara, said the state is making all possible arrangements and said that a control room will remain functional at Nabanna from May 2 to 5. The number of the control room is 1070 (toll free) and 22535185. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaNDRF will deploy one company of force each in places like Jhargram, Kharagpur, Digha, Kakdwip, Hasnabad and Dhamakhali as precautionary measure. Four SDRF teams have moved to Basanti in South 24-Parganas, Contai and Haldia in East Midnapore and Arambagh in Hooghly, with a standby team of SDRF at Nabanna. Ferry service and plying of all boats will be closed from May 3 to May 4 in East and West Midnapore, Jhargram, North & South 24-Parganas, Jhargram, Howrah, Hooghly and Kolkata. There will be quick response teams from civil defence deployed in North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas, Purba Medinipur, Paschim Medinipur, Jhargram, Howrah and Hooghly. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayMayor Firhad Hakim held a meeting at the KMC headquarters along with some concerned government agencies and issued instructions to dismantle all hoardings by early Friday morning to rule out any chances of damage caused due to their collapse. “The leaves of all concerned departments of the civic body have been cancelled. We will do announcements along with Kolkata Police in front of all dilapidated buildings and will ask them to vacate them immediately to avert any mishap. Our main aim is to ensure that there isn’t loss of a single life,” Hakim said. The Mayor did not rule out the chances of waterlogging in the city, but assured that the civic body is making arrangements for quick drainage of water by alerting all pumping stations. There will be arrangements of relief material, food and water in all boroughs. The Kolkata Port Trust has issued a general alert for all ships in the docks both at Kolkata Dock System and Haldia Dock Complex, which have been specifically advised to take all precautionary measures. 5 Coast Guard vessels and all operational crafts of the port are being provided safe berthing inside docks. Ships from riverine jetties at Haldia and Budge Budge and Sagar and Diamond Harbour anchorages have either been put out to sea or shifted to docks.last_img read more

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Marrakech International Marathon Scheduled for January 2015

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Rabat – The 26th Marrakech International Marathon is scheduled to take place on January 25, 2015, with over 7,000 runners from around the world expected to compete.Under the patronage of King Mohammed VI, the Marrakech International Marathon has become an important event in the world  Marrakech, renowned as one of the world’s best tourist destinations, offers exceptional conditions for such an event.With its temperate climate in the month of January and a beautiful circuit, considered “among the fastest international marathons,” along the palm tree alleyways, orange and olive trees, in addition to its marvellous ochre walls, Marrakech offers an ideal environment for running. The Marrakech International Marathon also boasts an exceptional tourist attraction that will draw thousands of Moroccan and foreign visitors.Athletes can register for the marathon through the Marrakech International Marathon website. read more

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King Mohammed VI to Pay for Burial Medical Expenses of Victims

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Taroudant – King Mohammed VI sent a condolence message to the families of the dead and injured of the tragic accident that took place on Tuesday morning near the city of Ouarzazate, southern Morocco, and decided to pay for the burial of the dead and the medical expenses of those injured, according to statement issued by the Royal Household.In the message, the Sovereign said he “was deeply saddened and moved” to learn about the tragic accident.The King expressed heartfelt condolences and sympathy following the accident that left many Moroccans dead, said the statement. The communique of the Royal House said that the King “to personally pay for the transfer of the bodies, burial and funerals of the victims as well as for the medical expenses of those injured.”The King also issued his instructions to the authorities, to provide all the necessary support and assistance to the families of the victims. read more

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Airbnb names Fred Reid head of transportation

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SAN FRANCISCO — Home-sharing company Airbnb has hired veteran aviation executive Fred Reid to explore future partnerships with airlines and other providers.Reid has served as the founding CEO of Virgin America, president of Delta Airlines and president and chief operating officer of Lufthansa. Most recently he was president of Kitty Hawk’s Cora program, which is developing autonomous, electric “air taxis.”Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky says the company doesn’t want to start its own airline or sell tickets. It wants to partner with providers who make travel easier and more fun.The hire is part of Airbnb’s goal of becoming an end-to-end platform that gets people to its properties and helps them plan what to do when they arrive.Airbnb is preparing for an initial public offering as early as this year.The Associated Press read more

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Centrale Danone Announces Special Offers to Reconcile Consumers

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Rabat – Centrale Danone has responded to the boycott of its dairy products for the third time, calling all Moroccans to turn the page and to reconcile with the company during the holy month of Ramadan.In a communiqué on the eve of Ramadan, the spokesperson of Centrale Danone, Abdeljalil El Kaimi, seized the opportunity to invite boycotters to consider the company’s two special offers during Ramadan to support Moroccan families.‘’The message of Moroccans has been received, so today, we bring you special offers to show support for families,” he said. El Kaimi explained that Centrale Danone maintains a 70-year-old relationship with Moroccans, and expressed fears that the current tension could end the company’s long-standing service to customers.The dairy company is offering a 20-percent discount on its yogurt throughout the holy month of Ramadan, in addition to offering customers a cup while purchasing four yogurts.Another offer provides customers with a 14.28-percent discount when they purchase two half-liter boxes of fresh pasteurized milk.Boycotters did not respond positively to the conciliatory offer, arguing that one liter of milk should be sold at MAD 5. Furthermore, they asserted that the milk price will return to its previous price at the conclusion of Ramadan.Danone’s statement coincides with a recent apology message from the Moroccan Head of Government, Saad Eddine El Othmani. In his message, El Othmani emphasizes the government concern and solidarity with its people. It also urged boycotters to end the campaign.Read Also: Centrale Danone Apology Tour Continues, Consumers Not SatisfiedHowever, many boycotters doubt the sincerity of the head of government’s request. The timing of his statement conveniently coincides with the Ramadan, which also represents the company’s highest period for production and sales.With Centrale Danone products lining grocery shelves, untouched, across the country, many see the discount marketing strategy as a means of minimizing company losses that have accumulated since the launch of the boycott.Centrale Danone has claimed that the company has not increased prices since 2013. Regardless, Danone’s products remain above the purchasing power of the majority of Moroccans, who have recently witnessed notable increases in all commodity products, such as oil, sugar, tea, and flour.The boycott, which has caused great concerns for Centrale Danone, also targets Sidi Ali mineral water company and Afriquia gasoline. Boycotters have accused all three companies of monopolizing the market and raising prices. The Competition Council, founded in 2008 to regulate market prices, has remained inactive for three years as it waits for its members to be appointed. read more

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AS Romas Justin Kluivert Dedicates Goal to Abdelhak Nouri

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Rabat – Justin Kluivert has not forgotten his friend, Abdelhak Nouri, who is still recovering from a coma. AS Roma’s new recruit Justin Kluivert made a beautiful gesture for his former Ajax Amsterdam teammate, Moroccan-Dutch footballer Abdelhak Nouri.During AS Roma’s game against Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday (5-0) in the Champions League, 20-year-old midfielder Kluivert waved Nouri’s number 34 jersey after scoring the fourth goal of the match. Kluivert has been wearing the number 34 jersey for AS Roma in tribute to the Ajax player who has spent one year in a coma. Kluivert’s dedication to Nouri was applauded on social media. Nouri, who is suffering from irremediable brain damage, collapsed on July 8, 2017, during a friendly match between his club Ajax Amsterdam and Werder Bremen in Austria. “Appie,” as he is also called, was suffering from a heart disease.Since his accident, Nouri has received a lot of support from fans, football stars, teammates, and his club. The 21-year-old promising talent can now communicate with his family, but his condition remains serious. read more

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Politician Omar Balafrej Says LGV Train is Not a Priority for

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Rabat- Balafrej, a member of the United Socialist Party (PSU), told Moroccan news outlet L’economiste in an interview published Wednesday that he has maintained his disapproval of the LGV since the launch of the project.Balafrej, an MP known for his critical views on several issues in Morocco, stated that Morocco is already facing economic challenges. Balafrej addressed Morocco’s “new development model,” arguing that LGV signifies an old model, and Morocco should learn from similar “major projects that did not succeed elsewhere.”Balafrej said that the National Railway Office (ONCF), Morocco’s state-owned sole rail company, has two options for LGV ticket prices: Either set high prices or low prices that would put ONCF in debt. Balafrej explains that ONCF’s deficit then would be balanced by the state budget and taxpayer money.King Mohammed VI’s “new development model” represents his aspirations for a more developed and confident Morocco.Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani cited a study on the current development model in October, showing that it cannot achieve a high growth rate in the national economy and does not provide sufficient employment opportunities.Read Also: Photos: A Sneak Peak into Tangier’s New LGV Train StationEl Othmani emphasized that the government needs to give a strong push for economic activities.For his part, King Mohammed VI said in a speech during the opening session of the new legislative year on October 13  that although Morocco has made tangible progress, “We have to admit that our national development model no longer responds to citizens’ growing demands and pressing needs.”King Mohammed VI arrived in Tangier on Wednesday for the inauguration of the LGV on Thursday with French President Emmanuel Macron at the new Tangier LGV station.The LGV, named “Buraq” after the Qur’anic creature that carried Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on his night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, connects Tangier to Casablanca in two hours and 15 minutes instead of the usual 5-hour train ride.The 200-kilometer long LGV is the first high-speed train in Africa.Read Also: Morocco to Postpone Thursday’s Weekly Government Council for LGV InaugurationSeveral French companies collaborated in the construction and furnishing of the LGV, including SNCF, Alstom, Cegelec, and Ansaldo-Ineo. The cooperation has led international media to describe the LGV as a “flagship project of the bilateral relationship.”King Mohammed VI and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy launched the project in 2007, and construction began four years later in 2011.The project cost €2 billion, and according to BFMTV, the French government financed 51 percent of the project through various loans.In October 2017, the French Development Agency (AFD) granted a loan of €80 million to fund the last segment of the Tangier-Casablanca high-speed train project.This followed the French agency’s initial grant of €220 million in 2011 to establish the project. read more

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Western Sahara Kohler Hopes 2nd Roundtable to Take Same Course As

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Rabat – The Deputy Spokesman of the UN Secretary-General Farhan Haq read out a brief statement to the press on Thursday, March 21, about the UN’s second roundtable on Western Sahara without giving specific details on the closed-door discussions.Haq said that all the delegations participated in the meeting on Western Sahara hosted by the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara Horst Kohler.The UN official added that during the March 21-22 meeting, which is convening Morocco, Mauritania, Polisario, and Algeria, the delegations are expected to “discuss elements of a solution in accordance with Security Council resolution 2440 (2018), to revisit regional issues and to explore trust-building measures.” Kohler is also hoping for the meeting to be built on the “positive dynamic achieved during the first round table, held last December in Geneva.”The statement concluded that Kohler and the delegations of Morocco and the Polisario Front will speak to the press at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on Friday afternoon.Kohler’s statement will be webcast, Haq added.Read Also: Western Sahara: Morocco’s FM Bourita Meets Kohler Before 2nd RoundtableNone of the parties involved in the conflict provide official statements on the first working session of the meeting, which kicked off Thursday in Le Rosey Chateau near Geneva.Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita is leading a delegation of four members: Permanent Representative to the UN Omar Hilale; the president of the Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra region, Sidi Hamdi Ould Errachid; the president of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region, Ynja Khattat; and a member of the Smara municipal council, Fatima Adli.The Moroccan delegation strategically includes elected representatives from Morocco’s southern provinces, highlighting their status as spokespeople for the Sahrawi population. read more

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ExUS Congressmans Russian bank stripped of license

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MOSCOW — A small Russian bank owned by former U.S. congressman Charles Taylor has been stripped of its license after allegedly breaking anti-money laundering rules.Russia’s central bank says that Commercial Bank of Ivanovo committed “numerous” breaches of anti-money laundering legislation and inflated the value of its assets.The central bank has appointed administrators and says more than 70 per cent of CBI’s lending was “low-quality loans.”Taylor, a Republican widely considered a hard-line conservative, was a congressman from North Carolina between 1991 and 2007.Central bank records show Taylor owns more than 80 per cent of CBI, a regional lender based in the textile-manufacturing city of Ivanovo, just over 150 miles (245 kilometres) north-east of Moscow.The Associated Press

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