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CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

first_imgOTTAWA — The Canadian Union of Postal Workers issued a request Saturday for the federal government to appoint a mediator in its contract talks with Canada Post, as it rejected the Crown corporation’s latest offers.Canada Post issued new, time sensitive, proposals last week aimed at reaching agreements with its approximately 42,000 urban employees and 8,000 rural and suburban carriers.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides, just hours before the midnight deadline on the Crown corporation’s offers expired. In a Twitter post, Trudeau cited the arrival of the holiday shopping season and urged both sides “to resolve their differences quickly and reach a deal.”But as the deadline on the offers passed, CUPW issued a statement that said it had responded “by presenting the Corporation with our own global offers that address our needs and demands.”The union also said that it had asked the government to appoint a mediator to help the two sides reach an accord after nearly a year of talks, adding “We believe that our proposals can be the basis of collective agreements.”CUPW had said on Friday that the new proposals from Canada Post made positive steps, but not enough to end the rotating strikes that have shut down postal operations in more than 200 communities, creating a huge backlog of undelivered mail. It said it would not bring the offers to a vote of its members, although both sides remained at the bargaining table.On Saturday the Retail Council of Canada urged Ottawa to “bring an immediate end” to the rotating strikes through back-to-work legislation.“Just as retail merchants, our workforce of two million and our customers enter the busiest time of year, the postal system is grinding to a near-halt,” council president Diane Brisebois wrote in a letter to Trudeau.Earlier in the week, eBay called on the government to legislate an end to the dispute in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events tied to the American Thanksgiving.Trudeau said last week that “all options” would be on the table to end postal disruptions if there was no progress in bargaining.A government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said decisions on how to end the job action by postal workers could come as early as Sunday, adding that “‘all the options’ does include legislating.” The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Site C saw overall workforce increase and local contractor workforce decrease in

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — BC Hydro has released the employment statistics for the Site C dam during the month of April, which shows the dam’s workforce increased once again, though the number of local contractors decreased.In April, there were 2,242 workers directly employed on the Site C project in some capacity, an increase over the workforce size seen in March of 118. The number of contractors on site jumped by 126 to a total of 1,737, while the number of engineers and project team members fell by eight.Employment numbers are provided by Site C contractors and consultants. Numbers are subject to revision and corrections provided by contractors and consultants. Data not received by project deadline may not be included in the above numbers. Photo by BC Hydro There were 90 additional B.C. residents employed on Site C as contractors, making up 82 percent of contractors and bringing the total of B.C. contractors to 1,421. The number of Peace River Regional District resident contractors employed at Site C dropped from 598 to 513, which resulted in the percentage of PRRD residents working as contractors to fall from 37 percent to 31 percent compared to March.Employment numbers are provided by Site C contractors and consultants. Numbers are subject to revision and corrections provided by contractors and consultants. Data not received by project deadline may not be included in the above numbers. Photo by BC Hydrohttps://youtu.be/NeFbAZlYzfAThe three temporary foreign workers employed at Site C in April was the exact same as the number of TFW’s working on the project in March. The number of apprentices at Site C increased from 22 to 29, while the number of Indigenous workers fell from 213 to 163. The number of women employed on the project jumped from 256 to 285.last_img read more

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Social media should be restricted before voting in India

first_imgNew Delhi: There are over 30 crore monthly active users on Facebook and more than 20 crore on WhatsApp in India. Even the Narendra Modi app alone can reach 1 crore people in a day. With such a wide reach, should social media platforms be made to censor political content 48 hours ahead of polling as part of the strategy to maintain the so called “campaign silence”? “Today, when social media is increasingly one of the most significant factors for impacting the electoral decisions of voters, it is important that the Election Commission take adequate steps to maintain campaign silence,” Pavan Duggal, one of the nation’s top cyber law experts, told IANS. Also Read – Spotify rolls out Siri support, new Apple TV app While the Election Commission of India recognises the impact social media can have on voters ahead of voting, the current legislation does not bar these platforms – many of which now allow live video streaming services — from blocking political ads or propaganda. These platforms can decide to do so voluntarily, but how effective such a measure would be remains doubtful. In fact, in response to a petition to restrain any political advertisements, videos or messages before elections, Facebook last month told the Bombay High Court that it would not self-censor any content on its site. Also Read – New Instagram tool to help users spot phishing emails It also raised practical difficulties of implementing such a rule as elections in different parts of India are held on different dates and often spread over a week. The Election Commission last year formed a committee to review this section so that maintaining campaign silence can be made effective in the changed circumstances where social media yields considerable influence. The committee submitted its recommendation earlier this year. A query to the poll panel on how it plans to stop social media platforms from broadcasting campaign material ahead of polling went unanswered. “The Election Commission does not need to be a silent spectator,” Duggal said. “The Election Commission should invoke the provisions of the specific liability of the service providers in their capacity as intermediaries under the Information Technology Act, 2000,” he said. A parliamentary panel earlier this month raised grave concerns regarding Facebook’s ability to prevent misuse of its platform during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and to proactively help the security agencies. The social media company admitted it doesn’t “always get it right” regarding content moderation on its platform. Last month, Colin Crowell, Global Vice President of Public Policy of Twitter, deposed before the BJP MP Anurag Thakur-led panel and discussed how it would address issues such as political bias and manipulation on its platform in real-time. With threats of foreign interference in Indian elections and spread of fake news on social media looming large, specific, detailed, deterrent legal and penal consequences need to be specifically elaborated in the Act so as to provide criminal, legal and penal liability of the various social media platforms, Duggal informed.last_img read more

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46 Indian kids die of communicable diseases

first_imgCommunicable diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis accounted for over 46 per cent of preventable deaths in children aged 5-14 years in 2016, finds a study. In 2016, India had about 74,000 preventable or treatable deaths from communicable diseases, representing nearly half of all the annual deaths and over a third of all deaths in the four developing countries – India, China, Brazil and Mexico – in children aged 5-14 years. In India, death rates from these communicable diseases as well as vaccine-preventable diseases were nearly 20 times higher than in China, and 10 times higher than in Brazil and Mexico, showed the findings published in The Lancet journal. “Most of these deaths are avoidable and for those caused by medical conditions, many of them are treatable,” said a Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Also Read – An income drop can harm brain”Death in children aged 5-14 should be rare around the world. With cost-effective, feasible and affordable interventions, substantial declines in deaths in this age group are possible,” he added. The study examined data on around 2.5 lakh deaths in children aged 5-14 years from 2005 to 2016 in India, China, Brazil and Mexico. These countries are home to about 40 per cent of the world’s children aged 5-14 years and experience more than two lakh deaths annually at these ages. Marked declines in the communicable disease mortality among girls narrowed the gap with boys in India and China. However, mortality rates for non-communicable diseases and injury were found to be still higher in India than in China, Mexico, and Brazil.last_img read more

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BJP insulting Ram by using his name for polls Abhishek

first_imgKushmandi (South Dinajpur): Trinamool Youth Congress president Abhishek Banerjee said BJP is insulting Ram, as his name is being used by the party in a bid to win elections.Addressing a meeting here on Thursday afternoon, Banerjee said: “BJP is insulting Ram by using his name to win elections. Before the election BJP promises to construct Ram temple and forgets it after the election gets over,” he said, adding: “BJP shouts Jai Sri Ram before conducting riots. There are blood stains on their hands.” Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaBanerjee said as BJP does not do any work, the party has no other alternative but to use religion to win polls. “Religion is private and in social life, work is the only religion. BJP uses religion to divide people and incite people belonging to one religion against the other,” he added. Banerjee said at a time when the entire country is suffering from acute economic crisis, Narendra Modi is spending Rs 3,000 crore to construct the statue of unity and crores more on his foreign trips. He alleged that Modi’s “Make in India” is a big hoax. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway”Modi is encouraging the sale of Chinese products. The bullet train has been brought from Japan and he himself uses a German vehicle,” he said, adding: “Earlier, Modi used to sell tea by holding a kettle and now he is selling the country with Jaitley besides him.” Addressing first-time voters, Banerjee said: “Before casting your vote you should think about the consequences of note ban and GST. The poor people are yet to come out of the shock of note ban. Thousands of people have lost their jobs. Twelve thousand farmers have committed suicide. The hasty implementation of GST has affected traders and small businessmen badly. Modi has not said a single word on the issue and is instead making false promises before the elections.” The Trinamool Youth Congress president said BJP workers and leaders can only be seen before the elections, whereas Trinamool workers and leaders stay beside people throughout the year. “People know that Trinamool leaders and workers will always stand beside them during distress. BJP leaders are like seasonal birds, they go when the season is over,” he said. Banerjee said Trinamool candidate Arpita Ghosh, who is the sitting MP from Balurghat, will win the election by 2 lakh votes. “I can feel the pulse of the people and can assure you that Ghosh will win by 2 lakh votes,” he said, requesting voters to go to the polling stations early in the day to exercise their franchise. Balurghat will go to polls on April 23.last_img read more

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NMDC warns of fake recruitment notice

first_imgNew Delhi: State-owned miner NMDC Ltd Wednesday cautioned against a fake recruitment notice for the post of executive trainees. NMDC has observed that some websites have hosted recruitment notice about ‘NMDC Executive Trainees Recruitment 2019’, the PSU said in a statement.”This is to inform that it is a fake news that is being spread through websites and social media with malicious intent. All concerned are requested to beware of such mischievous act aiming to deceive the innocent by fraudulent means and hence do not pay any attention or act upon it,” the company said. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraNMDC said that it has not issued any such notification pertaining to the recruitment of executive trainees on any website or newspaper. “NMDC does not take any responsibility for public responding to/applying against such fake posts,” the company added. According to its website, NMDC, under the Ministry of Steel, is India’s largest iron ore producer, presently producing about 30 million tonnes of iron ore from 3 fully mechanized mines.last_img read more

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CM writes poem condemning vandalisation of legends statue

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Friday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party (without taking name) for their alleged involvement in ransacking the bust of Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar through a poem titled Lajja that she shared on her Facebook page.In an indirect reference to the act of vandalisation at Vidyasagar College on Tuesday evening by BJP supporters who had joined their president Amit Shah’s rally, Banerjee wrote that the saffron party has learnt to break and not to build. They have been instrumental in so many such acts of vandalism that they do not know where to stop and are shamelessly continuing with this tradition of breaking things (Bhangte sikecho, Gorte sekhoni, Bhangai tomader kaj, Bhangte gele thamte hobe, Chi chi naiko laj). Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaShe had blamed the party for toying with the heritage of Bengal by committing such an act and warned them against neglecting the state which had experienced the cultural Renaissance of the country. Banerjee, who had been vocal against the Prime Minister’s claims of rebuilding the statue and had said that Bengal has enough funds to do so, wrote that they (BJP) may have the money power which is no match to the heart-filled respect that Bengal has for its icons. At the end, she concluded by writing that Bengalis are ashamed and do not have the courage to seek pardon. (Bidyar sar, amra lajjito, Khama Chawar Ney Spardha). Condemning the incident, the Chief Minister had said: “We don’t need your alms. Can you restore the 200-year-old heritage?”last_img read more

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EVMs already in strong room under three tier security CEO

first_imgNEW DELHI: Delhi CEO office claimed the polled EVMs and VVPATs are already in a the strong room under three tier tight security– Outer layer from police and Middle layer from Armed Police and inner layer from CAPF. The form 17C which contains number of polled votes in each EVM/CU and copy of 17 C has already been given to all the polling agents who were present in that polling station. Hence, there is no chance for any manipulation. The Election Commission of India has ordered re-polling at a polling booth in Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency. The poll body declared re-poll at polling station no. 32 of Chandni Chowk Assembly Segment after the presiding officer forgot to delete the test votes before the actual polling on May 12. The Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha seat recorded 62.69 percent turnout while the Chandni Chowk Assembly segment saw 59.36 percent polling.There are about 300 houses that fall under the polling station, they added. Officials had reported the non-deletion of test votes at two polling stations but the report found repoll was needed only in one polling station. The re-poll will be conducted on Sunday. In Chandni Chowk, sitting BJP MP Dr Harsh Vardhan is contesting against Congress leader Jai Prakash Agarwal and Aam Aadmi Party’s Pankaj Gupta.last_img read more

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Can Mimi Chakraborty do a Mamata of 1984 in Jadavpur

first_imgJadavpur: The prestigious Jadavpur Parliamentary constituency in Bengal has never blessed a political party for a third consecutive term. Can the Trinamool Congress buck the trend?As this question was posed to an elderly TMC worker, his mind flashed back to 1984 — when a young woman leader defeated an erudite lawyer and Communist leader. The script is somewhat similar in 2019, with addition of a new actor. The TMC is banking on 30-year-old Bengali film-star Mimi Chakraborty for a third consecutive win in Jadavpur, where party chief Mamata Banerjee, then a feisty young Congress leader, had trounced CPI(M) veteran and noted lawyer Somnath Chatterjee in 1984. And this time, TMC’s Chakraborty faces a stiff challenge from another lawyer — former Kolkata Mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya of the CPI(M). The BJP, in a bid to win the seat riding on its growing popularity, has fielded Anupam Hazra, a TMC Parliamentarian in the outgoing Lok Sabha who switched sides before the election. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaTMC this time fielded Chakraborty in place of Sugata Bose, a Harvard professor who won the seat for the party in 2014. Banerjee said he has not been allowed to contest the elections this time by his university. Roadshows and meetings by the young actor-turned-politician in the constituency have drawn large crowds and the TMC leadership is claiming that the popularity of the candidate will be reflected in the results. They are asserting that she will win by a bigger margin than her renowned predecessor from the family of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, who won by a little over 1.25 lakh votes. TMC had won the seat in 2009 too, when singer and poet Kabir Suman was its candidate. The TMC leadership is confident that the formidable election machinery of the party will work cohesively to ensure a resounding win for their candidate. Jadavpur spreads across south-eastern parts of Kolkata as also semi-urban areas in the vicinity and rural areas of Bhangar and Baruipur. With agency inputslast_img read more

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The Quran is not a divine but a human language Moroccan

first_imgRabat – Mustapha Buhindi, a Moroccan researcher in theology, has questioned the divinity of the Quran and the pillars of the Muslim faith.In an interview with the daily Moroccan newspaper  Annas, published on Wednesday, Buhindi said that “the language of the Quran is not a miracle language, but rather an ordinary human language.”He went on to point out that the “linguistic miracle of the Quran is a concept created by Arabs as a result of their frenetic defense of their language.” The professor of comparative religion at the University of Hassan II in Casablanca, did not stop at questioning the pillars of Islam. He went as far as to say that even the names of Allah “are of no value without  humans.”He further called for deconstructing a number of beliefs that, according to him, are marred by confusion between revelation and human interpretation.”Buhindi statements are likely to stir controversy in Morocco and throughout the Muslim world.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

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Largest Moroccan Mosque Opens in the Netherlands

Marrakech- The largest Moroccan mosque in the North Brabant (southern Netherlands) opened its doors at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Roosendaal in the Netherlands on Friday, according to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).Morocco’s Ambassador to The Hague, Abd Al Wahhab Al Balqui, and the Mayor of Roosendaal, Jack Nidiri, attended the ceremony.The mosque, named the “Islamic Moroccan Center for Roosendaal,” has over 2,200 square meters of space in its prayer hall, which is large enough to accommodate hundreds of worshipers, and is adjacent to other facilities. Over the mosque soars a beautiful minaret tower 22 meters high. The Indonesian architect in charge of the project reportedly was inspired by the tower of the historic Koutoubia mosque in Marrakech, Morocco.According to the same source the construction of mosque, designed according to ancient Moroccan architecture, took more than three years and required three million Euros. The funds were collected as donations from faithful believers.The mosque not only serves Muslim worshipers, but is a center that calls for coexistence in a world full of conflicts.Mohammed Amzian, the chairman of the Grand Mosque Berabant of the north, said in a published statement, “At this time which is characterized by polarization and extremism, we seek to create links with the rest of society.”The Grand Mosque opens its doors to the public on Saturdays and Sundays to enable the inhabitants of the city to visit it, and enjoy the beauty of its significant architecture, whether outside or inside the mosque.Edited by Elisabeth Myers read more

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Prince Moulay Rachid Marrakech Festival Celebrates Peace

Marrakech – The 16th annual Marrakech International Film Festival, which kicked off on Friday, is an event that will be packed with emotion and wonderful moments, “to once again celebrate peace and the hope of a world full of promise for generations to come,” said Prince Moulay Rachid, President of the Foundation’s Festival. In its traditional editorial to present this year’s edition (Dec. 2-10), to be held under the patronage of King Mohammed VI, Prince Moulay Rachid said that “in the space of a month, Marrakech will have been the symbol of the convergence of ideas, of the will and desire to make our world a better one.”“We cannot gather here for the 16th edition of the Marrakesh International Film Festival without mentioning and saluting the holding of the COP22 conference on climate change in this magnificent Ochre City,” he added. “The intentions are there to support and promote a vision of the world in which responsibilities are shared, in which origins and differences are set aside to give way to a common wish to contribute to a better future. That is the spirit of the Marrakesh International Film Festival,” Prince Moulay Rachid noted.Concerning the program of the 16th edition, HRH Prince Moulay Rachid said that “as our honored guest, Russian cinema will guide us through a rich civilization.Masterclasses will be given by some great masters who have left their stamp and continue to do so on the history of filmmaking. The eclecticism of the Jury under the presidency of the great cineaste Béla Tarr is the reflection of the official selection in which borders do not exist.”“All this combines to strengthen my firm belief: Cinema is in the service of humanity, as a vector to bring us together and help us discover others,” concluded Prince Moulay Rachid. read more

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Morocco to Launch Second Campaign of Illegal Immigrants Regularization

Rabat – Morocco is set to launch a second campaign to regularize the situations of illegal immigrants living in the kingdom.In accordance with the high instructions of HM King Mohammed VI, the second phase of the campaign for the regularization of the situation of illegal immigrants in Morocco will be launched immediately, as already planned for the end of 2016, the National Commission in charge of Illegal Immigrants’ Regularization said on Monday.“During HM the King’s visits to sub-Saharan African countries, several Heads of State congratulated the Sovereign and the Kingdom of Morocco for its migration policy, which aims at promoting the economic and social integration of illegal immigrants mainly those from Sub-Saharan African countries,” the commission added in a statement. “Given the success of the first phase of the regularization campaign that took place in 2014, HM the King gave his high instructions for the launching of the second phase of the process, as already planned by the end of 2016,” the source pointed out.This second phase, which will be launched immediately, will take place under the same conditions as the first phase, which involved about twenty-five thousand people. In a speech to the nation on the anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People, the King said that “Morocco was one of the first countries of the South to adopt a genuine solidarity-based policy regarding sub-Saharan migrants.”“This integrated policy, which is rooted in humanitarian values, is designed to make sure migrants’ rights and dignity are safeguarded,” the Sovereign added.“As part of the implementation of this policy, my country has, without any arrogance, pomposity or discrimination, regularized the situation of migrants using fair and reasonable standards. It has provided the conditions needed for migrants to reside, work and lead a dignified life within our community,” the King pointed out.“This is hardly surprising on the part of Moroccans, considering the way they always treat their guests. Generosity, hospitality and the warmth of their welcome have long been deep-rooted features of our identity and culture.”“I am deeply satisfied to note that migrants are hardworking people, who are known for their good behavior, their commitment to the rule of law and their respect for Moroccan values and sanctities.” “Let me add, in this regard, that we are only fulfilling our duty towards these people, whose circumstances have led them to risk their lives and leave their families and homeland.”“Morocco, which has long rejected the methods adopted by some to address migration issues and which have turned out to be a failure, is proud of what it is doing in terms of receiving and integrating migrants. It will keep up this practical, humanitarian approach.” read more

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ISIS Bombing Kills 72 at Sindh Sufi Shrine in Pakistan

New Delhi –  72 people were killed and 250 critically injured in the town of Sehwan Sharif, Pakistan on Thursday when a ISIS suicide bomber struck at the shrine Sufi saint Lal Shabaz Qalandar.The bombing is eighth terrorist attack in Pakistan in just five days.According to the police statement, the attacker entered the shrine through its golden gate and exploded explosives wrapped under his clothes after hurling a grenade that failed to explode. The blast targeted the area where the Sufi ritual ‘dhamaal’ was being performed after evening prayers. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack on their Aamaq news agency, saying that a suicide bomber had targeted a “Shia gathering” at the shrine.The injured and dead were moved to a hospital in Sehwan Sharif, following which many were taken to hospitals in Jamshoro and Hyderabad. The death toll is expected to go up as many of the injured are in critical state.“We have 53 bodies at the hospital and 47 among more than 250 injured are critical,” said Dr Moin, Head of Sehwan hospital.Pakistan’s army chief, General Qamar Bajwa, said in statement, “Your security forces shall not allow hostile powers to succeed.”In past few days suicide bombers from the TTP (Tehreek Taliban Pakistan)  have targeted various locations of government forces and institutions, killing 13 people in Lahore and at least 2 in Peshawar, Pakistan. read more

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Germany Bans Full Face Coverage in Veiled AntiMuslim Ruling

Rabat – Continuing the spread of anti-Islamic rhetoric and policy across Europe, the German parliament passed a law partially ban “covering the face” on Thursday, April 27.The draft law of the ban, which applies to public servants, military personnel, and juridical staff, does not make any mention of the Muslim burqa or niqab but  clearly references religious veiling practices.“The state has a duty to present itself in an ideologically and religiously neutral manner,” says the legislation, according to the French Press Agency. The ban would also give authorities access to examine veiled women’s identities during the elections and perform ID check-ups.The ban does make exceptions for military personnel and public servants wearing a full-face veil for safety purposes. Health workers can cover their faces for protection from infections, and police officers are also allowed to cover their faces in order to conceal their identity.Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that in order for Germany to socially integrate immigrants, “we must make clear and communicate our values and the limits of our tolerance to other cultures.”Apart from the “full-face coverage” ban, the German parliament has introduced a set of  other procedures.To date, authorities are allowed to put electronic bracelets on people considered by the court to represent security threats, and Germany has said it will soon implement European Union rules requiring information of passengers flying into Germany. Legislation prohibiting “full-face coverage” have been spreading across Europe since 2011, when France first implemented such a ban. Countries including Belgium and Bulgaria followed, and others, including Austria, Italy and Switzerland and some parts of Spain, have now imposed partial bans on face coverage. read more

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El Ferdaous Calls for Investment Charter Reform Ideas

Rabat – Othman El Ferdaous, the Secretary of State for Investment, has announced a call for ideas for reforming the investment charter of 1995.In a Facebook post written in Darija assessing his first 100 days in office, the secretary invited the public to send ideas to renew the 22-year-old charter. He said he had already received proposals from the CGEM, CCIS, GPBM, Casablanca Stock Exchange, and the Associated of Chartered Accountants. “After taking the proposals of other ministerial sectors, institutions, and representatives of economic actors, today we open the door for citizens to show us their proposals for reforms of the investment incentive system,” wrote El Ferdaous “To catalyze private initiative, we wish to clarify and innovate with new common core (framework law), sectorial, and territorial (decrees) offers.”On his LinkedIn page, El Ferdaous elaborated on the “five key principles” that had already been presented to the governing council in early May: the installation of at least one free zone per region, sustained support to the least favored regions with additional benefits to operators allowing for economic catching-up between regions, granting “free zone” advantages to major exporting industries, indirect exporter status, IS to 0 percent for five years for new industrial enterprises.The secretary invited citizens to share their ideas on LinkedIn until August 14, using the hashtag #fikrainvest.“We will develop a new version of the bill on the basis of the best proposals, the most accurate / realistic and the most likely to improve the return on private investment,” he wrote. read more

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Moroccan Young Woman Speaks Openly About her Bisexuality

By Sana ElouaziRabat – Jawjab Studio’s innovative project “Marokkiates,” continues to break one stereotype after another, by shedding light on controversial subjects like adoption, hijab, sexual harassment and love in a series of videos. This time, the media platform has released its new video in which, Rihab, a Moroccan young woman was given the chance to speak up about her bisexuality in Morocco.“The first time I fell in love, I loved a girl. To make myself clear, I am a bisexual person,” Rihab said. For the young lady, it is quite difficult to describe her sexual orientation to Moroccans as it has no equivalent in Moroccan Darija.Rihab recounts her life of bisexual in Morocco, with its disadvantages, but also its relative advantages, saying that female homosexuality is treated with more tolerance compared with the masculine one.“Homosexuality or bisexuality for girls in Morocco is more socially acceptable than it is for boys. If people see two gay men holding hands or kissing each other on the cheek, everyone will stop. Morocco will just flip up. I know that I have a privilege, for once, for being a girl,” she said.However, Rihab confessed that at the beginning, she hesitated to take part in this video project. But by doing so, she hopes to inspire others to accept and reconcile with their sexual identity and orientation.“When I first contacted you [the director], I was asking myself if I was ready enough to appear before the camera and speak openly about my sexual orientation, knowing all the terrible consequences I might face in the society. But at the end, I think that soon or later, someone has to do it,” Rihab concluded.The video published online, went viral on social media and garnered hundreds of thousands of views.“Marokkiates,” or Moroccan women in Moroccan dialect, is a new project launched by media content platform Jawjab, created and direct by Sonia Terrab last November, who wants to answer the age-old question, who are Moroccan women?In addition to Rihab, several women also appeared in other videos to break the traditional mold by which Moroccan women are perceived. Their raw and touching videos are shedding light on the daily life of Moroccan women from all walks of life. read more

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Banned From Formula 1 Grid Girls Blame Feminists

Rabat – After the motorsport giant Formula 1 announced that it would abandon its longtime tradition of featuring female promotional models, or “grid girls,” at its races, the models are slamming feminists for being the cause of their recent unemployment.Claiming non-compliance with “brand values,” Formula 1 Managing Director of Commercial Operations said last week, “Over the last year we have looked at a number of areas which we felt needed updating so as to be more in tune with our vision for this great sport.”“While the practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 Grands Prix for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern-day societal norms.” “We don’t believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world,” Bratches added.The grid girls, cheerleaders, and podium girls have long been central to America’s sports traditions. In Formula One races, grid girls are essentially models paraded around races, accompanying drivers to their cars, and sometimes holding umbrellas, while wearing clothing that bears the name of a sponsor,However, these tasks have come under criticism as being “outdated” and rooted in a tradition that turns women into sexualised objects intended for “the male gaze.”The ban sparked a backlash from now-former grid girls who slammed the decision, which is, according to them, an “overreach of political correctness.”Many expressed their passion for the Motorsport, lambasting feminists who dictate what they should or should not do. Others have expressed concerns of single-income financial difficulties as a result of the ban.“Ridiculous that women who say they are ‘fighting for women’s rights’ are saying what others should and shouldn’t do, stopping us from doing a job we love and are proud to do. PC gone mad,” now-former grid girl Rebecca Cooper wrote on Twitter.So the inevitable has happened, F1 gridgirls have been banned. Ridiculous that women who say they are “fighting for women’s rights” are saying what others should and shouldn’t do, stopping us from doing a job we love and are proud to do. PC gone mad ? #Gridgirls— Rebecca Cooper (@rebeccageldard) January 31, 2018Get me on @thismorning so I can defend us #gridgirlsBecause of these feminists, they’ve have cost us our jobs! I have been a grid girl for 8 years and I have Never felt uncomfortable! I love my job, if I didn’t I wouldn’t do it! Noone forces us to do this! This is our choice! pic.twitter.com/PUWcyB5BeG— Lauren-Jade (@laurenjadepope) January 31, 2018 #gridgirls women doing what they love for a job!other roles would require consultation before redundancy,why not us? pic.twitter.com/mGNRhrlbjs— Samantha Young (@Sammie_jay25) February 2, 2018Formula One’s ban came only a few days after the Professional Darts Corporation announced the end of the long-established practice of women escorting male players to the stage, claiming that the tradition is “at odds with modern-day societal norms.” read more

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Primary School Dropout Rate in Rural Morocco Is 57

Rabat – While the primary school drop-out rate in urban areas is 1.1 percent, it is 5.7 percent in rural areas.In response to allegations that the drop-out rate of 5.7 percent in the 2017-2018 school year had doubled compared to the previous year, the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training explained in a press release that the rate only concerns rural areas. The urban drop-out rate of 1.1 percent represented 38,740 students.For the secondary school, the drop-out rate reached 12 percent nationally—183,218 students. The supervising ministry claimed that the drop-out rate in 2017-2018 did not double from the previous school year. However, the ministry did not clarify what the drop-out rate was the previous year.The ministry called for citizens and the media to check “the veracity and accuracy of data related to the education system before publishing.”Read also: Amzazi Proposes a Full Menu of Programs to Support EducationTo combat the school drop-out rate, the minister of national education, vocational training, higher education, and scientific research, Said Amzazi, presented his strategy to King Mohammed VI on Monday, September 17.The strategy aims to increase the number of children accessing schools by consolidating the “Tayssir program” (Facilitation program) that gives financial support to parents to formally enroll children aged 6 to 15 in schools.Amzazi also promised a new generation of a vocational training centers that should meet economic needs. He urged all stakeholders and concerned parties to contribute to the projects to address the challenges that education is experiencing. By 2024-2025, the minister aims to reduce the drop-out rate in primary schools from 5.7 percent to 1 percent in rural areas, and in secondary schools from 12 percent to 3 percent nationally. read more

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Budget watchdog says federal deficit this year to be 161 billion

OTTAWA — The parliamentary budget watchdog is projecting the federal deficit this fiscal year will come in $2.1 billion lower than the Liberals have predicted.Yves Giroux’s office chalks up the change to higher-than-anticipated income-tax revenues that the government has collected this fiscal year, which closes in March.A report out this morning from the parliamentary budget office predicts that this year’s budget deficit will be $16 billion, less than the $18.1 billion the Liberals anticipate.Had the economy been weaker or tax revenues lower, the report says, the federal deficit for the 2018-2019 fiscal year could have hit $23.2 billion when taking into account extra spending in Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s fall economic update.More than half the $7.2-billion swing in the projection is due to stronger tax revenues than Giroux predicted in the fall.The report says corporate income-tax revenues are $3 billion higher than the watchdog forecast in October.The Canadian Press read more

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