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Human rights complaint over First Nations education set to move forward

first_imgAPTN National NewsFour First Nations in Ontario are involved in a human rights complaint against the federal government. They say that the current method of funding aboriginal education discriminates unfairly against larger First Nations, and are seeking a decision by the Canadian Human Rights Commission.Ottawa attempted to have the case thrown out, saying that it doesn’t fall within the jurisdiction of the CHRC, but a federal court decided that the CHRC can indeed handle the complaint.Michael Hutchinson sits down with Patrick Macklem, a law professor at the University of Toronto and spokesperson for the four First Nations, to talk about the complaint and its implications.UPDATED: The original version of this story incorrectly named the Ontario Human Rights Commission as the human rights body handling the complaint. The complaint is being handled by the Canadian Human Rights Commission.last_img read more

After nearly 4 years probe of residential schools ends

first_imgAPTN National NewsAfter nearly four years the commission charged with investigating abuse at Indian residential schools for Indigenous peoples ended Sunday.The Truth and Reconciliation Commission concluded public hearings in Edmonton after visiting over 300 communities.The TRC heard from thousands of victims who recounted stories of cruelty and abuse while forced to attend the church-run schools.APTN’s Keith Laboucan was there.last_img

Science fair fun could lead to serious future

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe 14th annual Manitoba First Nations science fair kicked-off in Winnipeg.It’s hoped the event will increase awareness and interest in science and get students thinking about science-related careers.APTN’s Matt Thordarson has this story.last_img

First Nation politician voted to council in Timmins hopes to bring fresh

first_imgAnnette FrancisAPTN NewsWhen Kristin Murray threw her hat in for the Timmins’ municipal election, she didn’t expect that she would win the campaign for a councillor position of ward 5.But last Monday that’s exactly what happened during election night.“As the polls were dropping, cuz you could see them there were thirteen polls total and initially I was always in the top two, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to stay there, so I was excited but didn’t wanna get my hopes up and then as the eighth poll dropped, I noticed I was in first place and then as the thirteenth one went in I was like ‘oh my gosh, I topped the polls,’” said Murray.Murray, who is originally from Chapleau Cree First Nation, said two separate incidents involving the Timmins police which resulted in the deaths of  Joey Knapaysweet and Agnes Sutherland made it clear that she had to run.She said she’ll remain true to her campaign promises.“I’m hoping to accomplish a more connected community, I think that there’s so much diversity within our city and that hasn’t been something we focus on really, an engaged community so that’s obviously my number one goal.”Cory Robin is a Cree contender in the same ward as Murray, he ran a close race, but fell two votes short.“We watched each poll come in and at first I was losing for a bit and then i was winning by about five votes as half of them came in and then that last poll came in and I was down by two points,” said Robin.Robin has asked for a recount, which will take place in the council chambers tomorrow., “we’re gonna be looking at the rejected ballots just to make sure they were properly rejected.”Murray will take over her new position in December.afrancis@aptn.ca@aptnafrancislast_img read more

Regulatory reforms of homesharing services may penalize casual users Airbnb says

first_imgVANCOUVER – As Canadian cities continue to wage a regulatory crack down on online home-rental platforms, Airbnb maintains it’s open to regulation provided new rules don’t penalize casual users and recognize not every host runs a full-fledged business.Vancouver and Toronto are both weighing imposing a number of restrictions on users, while Quebec, the first province to regulate the industry, may revamp its law in the near future.“There are still a lot of misperceptions about what homesharing is all about,” said Alex Dagg, Airbnb’s director of Canadian public policy, warning about unintended consequences from rushed regulations.“That’s the concern — that you come up with something that you think makes sense. And without understanding really what your community is looking like and how they’re using the platform and how they’re benefiting from it, you can really design something that isn’t helpful.”Many homeowners or tenants use the platform to rent out a portion of or their entire home to earn some extra cash. Airbnb’s critics include the hotel industry that says hosts face less stringent regulations and don’t have to pay the same taxes, as well as those saying it has created additional housing problems in cities with low vacancy rates and high home ownership costs.Dagg is in Vancouver to argue the American company’s case in front of a city council holding public hearings into a proposed home-sharing bylaw. If approved, it would take effect in April and require hosts to have a licence that costs $49 each year and to only rent out their primary residence.The city argues limiting short-term rentals to primary residences will protect existing long-term rental housing and potentially add new units to a heated rental market.In Oct. 2016, metro Vancouver’s vacancy rate was 0.7 per cent, according to the CMHC’s most recent figures. Meanwhile, the benchmark price for a property in the Vancouver area was $1,037,300 in September, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.Dagg wants the city to consider allowing Airbnb rentals in some circumstances where a person’s primary residence is outside Vancouver. For example, if someone has a primary residence on Vancouver Island where they live on weekends but owns an apartment in Vancouver for work during the week, she said they should be allowed to continue renting that space on Saturdays and Sundays.“It’s complicated,” she said, and the system requires carefully thought out regulations.In Quebec, the provincial government has imposed numerous restrictions and Dagg said the company understands the provincial tourism minister will make some amendments this fall.“It’s really designed in a way for much more professional operators,” said Dagg, while not reflecting a large, casual homesharing community. The law requires anyone renting a property via Airbnb and other online platforms for no more than 31 consecutive days to hold a permit and pay a hotel tax.Toronto, another market grappling with high rents and housing prices, recently wrapped public consultations on its proposed home-sharing regulations.The city wants to allow people to rent their principal residence for no more than 28 consecutive days. It will also require hosts to register with Toronto at a cost of $40 to $150 annually. In November, the city will hold committee meetings to vote on the regulations and, if passed, the regulations will head to council in early December.On Wednesday, Airbnb announced an arrangement with Neptune Waterpark Condos in Toronto that will allow residents to rent their primary residence in the building using Airbnb and receive a portion of the profit. It’s the first building in Canada to join the company’s so-called friendly buildings program, which had only operated in the States up to now.The system could help ease some condo boards’ concerns about security if units are rented to travellers as it gives management access to a guest registry. Dagg said there’s “no reason” a similar set-up couldn’t work in Vancouver.But she believes it’s too early to say whether Vancouver will side with the home-sharing industry and its proponents, or stick to its proposed bylaw. The public hearing is scheduled to continue Thursday.Regardless, she said, it’s important to keep monitoring regulations once they’re in place.“We’ll obviously continue to work with the city.”Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.last_img read more

BC grants environmental certificate for Kootenay gypsum mine

first_imgVICTORIA – The British Columbia government has granted an environmental assessment certificate for an open-pit gypsum mine in the West Kootenay.The government says it considered a report from the Environmental Assessment Office and it’s confident the 135-hectare project by CertainTeed Gypsum Canada Inc. will be built, operated and closed in a way that ensures no adverse effects are likely to occur.Environment Minister George Heyman and Mines Minister Michelle Mungall say the protection of water quality in the nearby Kootenay River is important and they have received assurances that the sedimentation ponds for the project are constructed to stringent standards.The mine’s annual production is estimated at 400,000 tonnes of gypsum, which is used to make drywall, cement and plaster of paris.The government says the company worked with two local First Nations to develop the certificate and ensure the concerns for their territories were met.Construction of the new mine in southeastern B.C. is expected to cost $23.7 million, with annual operating costs of $4.3 million.last_img read more

Vermilion Energy to acquire Spartan Energy in deal valued at 14B

first_imgCALGARY – International oil and gas producer Vermilion Energy Inc. is taking advantage of low valuations for “unloved” Canadian energy assets in a $1.4-billion deal to buy a Saskatchewan-focused rival, its CEO said Monday.The company will issue $1.23 billion worth of Vermilion shares and assume about $175 million in debt to buy fellow Calgary-based producer Spartan Energy Corp. in a transaction expected to close in June.CEO Tony Marino said Vermilion has been watching the Saskatchewan energy sector for about five years and first entered the field in 2014 because it of its light oil-producing wells and good pipeline access to markets in the United States.“The Canadian sector continued to be more and more unloved over time, especially in the past year in the capital markets, and with our evaluation methodology and criteria we had, we found it came to represent better and better value,” he said on a conference call.“Spartan is probably the best example of this out there in that you have a company that is quite capable of rapid production growth.”In January, Vermilion bought an unnamed private company with production of about 1,150 barrels of oil per day from wells near the southern Saskatchewan-Manitoba border for about $91 million in cash.The Spartan deal is expected to add about 23,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, taking Vermilion’s overall output to about 95,000 boe/d.The deal is an opportunistic one for Vermilion and allows Spartan to escape “an increasingly frustrating” market where investors haven’t rewarded its operational expertise with a fair stock price, said analyst Kristopher Zack of Desjardins Capital Markets in a report.He said he doesn’t think a superior bid will emerge, despite Spartan getting only a five per cent premium over Friday’s closing price, noting there is a $40-million break fee if the deal isn’t completed.Both company’s boards of directors have endorsed the deal but it must receive at least two-thirds approval from shareholders to be finalized.Marino said the deal will increase Vermilion’s percentage of production from North America to about 60 per cent from 46 per cent but it will continue its strategy to have geographically diverse holdings.The company has European production from operations in Ireland, France, Netherlands and Germany and also produces oil from an offshore project in Australia.Vermilion said it is increasing its overall 2018 production guidance to a midpoint of 88,000 boe/d from 76,000 boe/d previously — it reported about 72,800 boe/d in the fourth quarter.It said it will increase its 2018 capital budget to $430 million from $325 million to reflect spending planned for the acquired lands.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:VET, TSX:SPE)last_img read more

Strain relations Cannabis companies tread carefully at music festivals

first_imgTORONTO – Beyond the beer tents and poutine trucks at last weekend’s Field Trip music festival in Toronto, concertgoers got a taste of what many cannabis brands hope is a step towards the future of live music sponsorship.A fair distance from the event’s two stages, representatives for licensed producer Tweed Inc. were prepared to talk everything pot and pending legalization in Canada. They handed out free swag and plugged a contest for tickets to see Imagine Dragons in concert. Behind them, a social media photo opportunity drew adults and children alike to pose with a giant sign carrying an ambiguously suitable greeting: “Hi.”It wasn’t exactly the loudest way for Tweed to declare its ambitions of becoming one of the country’s biggest weed players, but as legalization nears, most cannabis companies don’t want to rock the boat with the government. Only a few have signed major sponsorship deals that could throw their name in lights and draw the ireof regulators who could impose stricter enforcement.Federal marketing laws are still hazy under Bill C-45, the proposed Cannabis Act, and that has many weed companies playing it safe during this year’s festival season, to the disappointment of event organizers.“Music festivals are anxious to tap into that money,” said Neill Dixon, founder of the O’Cannabiz Conference and Expo, and head of Canadian Music Week in Toronto.“Everybody is just being super cautious right now. They’re putting their toe in the water and edging their way in. There’s a lot of confusion in the marketplace and no clear delineation about what these companies can or can’t do.”And getting clear answers from the government could take months.The bill to legalize pot goes to the Senate for a third reading on Thursday, before returning to the House of Commons for another round of scrutiny. If the law is passed, recreational weed isn’t expected to hit shelves until the late summer.Before that happens, there are questions around what’s permissible for cannabis “sponsorships,” as outlined in the drafted bill.“I think all of us in the cannabis industry have our lawyers on speed dial, because it’s very confusing times,” said Kerri-Lynn McAllister, marketing officer at Lift and Co., which hosts industry events and offers cannabis education.“A lot of companies are trying to maximize their opportunities…. They’re trying to create brand awareness now because in the future it’s going to be much harder.”With summertime considered a key window for generating publicity, some are willing to experiment.One of the more audacious campaigns comes from Aurora Cannabis, the marijuana company that is “presenting” this year’s North By Northeast music festival. The partnership has the company’s name splashed across festival promotional material and linked to a key venue that serves as both an industry hub and concert space.The sponsorship is designed to introduce Aurora to audiences through “memorable experiences,” said Shaka Licorish, managing director of Toronto culture at the company.“(There’s) nothing to do with the actual sale or production of cannabis, but it’s more to inform the audience of who we are, what our values are, so they can get familiar with us,” said Licorish.Other cannabis producers have chosen more subtle ways to build awareness for their brands.Earlier this year, Amsterdam Brewery signed an agreement with cannabis maker MedReleaf to create a “cannabis-inspired” pale ale called San Rafael ’71. It’s the same name that MedReleaf will use on a cannabis product it plans to launch this year.The pairing grabbed attention last month when Canadian Music Week signed what its head organizer called a “roundabout sponsorship” agreement that made the brewery and the future cannabis label co-sponsors of the festival. San Rafael beers were on the menu at the concerts.“I don’t know if that’s going to be the name of a cannabis strain but as far as we’re concerned it was a beer sponsorship,” Dixon said of the arrangement.Once legalization happens, some expect companies may dare to experiment with what’s permissible under the law to differentiate their brands.With guidelines already strict under Bill C-45 in its current form, making it illegal to advertise on TV or radio, cannabis companies were relying on branded swag — like T-shirts and fannypacks — to differentiate themselves. Last week, an amendment was added that would prohibit the use of cannabis brand elements on promotional items that are not marijuana or marijuana accessories.That could push companies to think even further outside the box to capture attention in subtle ways. For instance, a brand could evoke a recognizable pop culture moment — like a song title or movie — without drawing a direct connection to a celebrity they’re working with.Some companies have already taken another route to the music industry.Up Cannabis chief executive Jay Wilgar helped strike a deal with members of the Tragically Hip last year, making the rockers stakeholders in its parent company Newstrike.The move was later mimicked by Vancouver-based Invictus MD who signed up Kiss frontman Gene Simmons as an ambassador willing to speak about the company and his $10-million investment. Since they’re investors, both deals fall within the rules expected to prohibit celebrity endorsements.Newstrike has brandished the Tragically Hip’s name on its stock exchange ticker symbol, “HIP,” and recently held an event at the Hip’s legendary studio in Bath, Ont., that was heavily promoted on social media.The burgeoning Up brand also intends to regularly tap into the Hip’s fanbase.The Hip’s band members are legally allowed to post about Up-related events to their hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They can also send out emails to people who have willingly signed up to their mailing lists.Up Cannabis also secured a long-term agreement with the Hip’s talent agency, the Feldman Group, that promises future arrangements with some of its vast roster of clients.“The music side of this thing, to us, is a critical way to get the message out,” Wilgar said.“We intend to do as much as we can within the regulations.”Follow @dfriend on Twitter.last_img read more

CBS Moonves the latest powerful exec felled in MeToo era

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – The #MeToo movement fighting sexual misconduct had already claimed one of Hollywood’s top movie moguls in Harvey Weinstein. Now it has done the same for Leslie Moonves, one of the television industry’s most powerful executives.The CBS Corp. announced its chairman’s exit late Sunday, hours after The New Yorker magazine posted a story with a second round of ugly accusations against Moonves. A total of 12 women have alleged mistreatment, including forced oral sex, groping and retaliation if they resisted him. Moonves denied the charges in a pair of statements, although he said he had consensual relations with three of the women.CBS said $20 million will be donated to one or more organizations that support #MeToo and workplace equality for women. That sum will be deducted from any severance due Moonves, a figure that won’t be determined until an outside investigation led by a pair of law firms is finished.The network’s chief operating officer, Joseph Ianniello, will take over Moonves’ duties as president and CEO until its board of directors can find a permanent replacement, CBS said.With about an hour before Monday’s opening bell, shares of CBS rose more than 3 per cent, but they are down sharply for the year. Shares tumbled 6 per cent in late July, the worst one-day sell off in nearly seven years, after details of the accusations surfaced.It has been nearly a year since Pulitzer Prize-winning articles by The New York Times and the New Yorker exposed a pattern of misconduct by Weinstein, who now faces sex crime charges in New York. Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and Kevin Spacey are among other figures that lost jobs after men and women came forward with their own stories, often on social media with the hashtag MeToo, about sexually inappropriate behaviour by powerful men.Moonves ruled first the programming, then the full network and other corporate entities such as Showtime for two decades. CBS has consistently been the most-watched network on television, even as changes transformed the industry, first with cable networks investing in shows and then streaming services like Netflix. He’s been paid handsomely for his success, earning just under $70 million in both 2017 and 2016.Those paychecks made Moonves the second-highest paid executive in the S&P 500 among those holding the top job at their company for at least two consecutive years, according to an analysis by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive data firm.Yet accusations emerged against the affable, raspy-voiced former actor last month, when six women accused him of misconduct similar to what came out Sunday. CBS announced an internal probe yet Moonves, who was also involved in a separate power struggle that threatened his future control of the company, remained in charge. In recent days, however, reports leaked that the CBS board and Moonves, 68, were discussing an exit plan. Reports that it could include a multi-million dollar payout provoked some online anger.The latest allegations were not addressed in CBS’ announcement of Moonves’ exit.One of the accusers who came forth in the New Yorker’s article on Sunday, Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, also filed a complaint with the Los Angeles police last year, but no charges were filed because the statute of limitations had expired. She said Moonves, while an executive at the Lorimar production studio in the late 1980s, pushed her head into his lap and forced her to perform oral sex.At another time, she said an angry Moonves pushed her hard against a wall. When she resisted later advances, she began to be frozen out at the company, she said.“He absolutely ruined my career,” she told The New Yorker.Another woman, Jessica Pallingston, said Moonves forced her to perform oral sex on her first day working as his assistant at Warner Bros. productions. Other women told the magazine of unwanted touching or advances.In a statement to the magazine, Moonves said the “appalling accusations” are untrue, but he acknowledged consensual relations with three of the women before he started working at CBS. Moonves was married at the time; he divorced his first wife and married CBS on-air personality Julie Chen in 2004.“I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women,” he said. “In my 40 years of work, I have never before heard of such disturbing accusations. I can only surmise they are surfacing now for the first time, decades later, as part of a concerted effort by others to destroy my name, my reputation and my career. Anyone who knows me knows that the person described in this article is not me.”In a second statement after his departure, Moonves said he was “deeply saddened” to be leaving the company and its employees. “Together, we built CBS into a destination where the best in the business come to work and succeed,” he said.With Moonves’ exit, CBS viewers will wonder what the future holds for Chen, who is a panelist on the daytime show “The Talk” and host of the summer series “Big Brother.” She stood in support of her husband when the first allegations hit last month.Organizations that have supported women coming forward with stories of abuse, including Time’s Up and Press Forward, said Sunday that CBS should be transparent about the findings of its internal investigation despite Moonves’ ouster.It’s difficult to imagine CBS without Moonves. The network was struggling when he took over as entertainment chief in 1995, hot from a job at the Warner Brothers studio, which developed hits such as “ER” and “Friends.”He quickly turned things around and churned out programming appealing to the older, more tradition-bound CBS audience — broad appeal sitcoms such as “Everybody Loves Raymond,” ”Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory” and procedural dramas such as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “NCIS.” ”Survivor” was an early reality show hit, and continues to this day.Many CBS viewers knew Moonves from the relentless ribbing he took from former late-night host David Letterman. Moonves said there were legitimate hard feelings between the two in his early years, but the relationship warmed before Letterman’s retirement.Moonves was an advocate for the traditional broadcast network model when others worried it was becoming obsolete, but he also launched streaming services for CBS entertainment and news. He took over the broader CBS Corp. in 2006 but kept his hand in entertainment duties, down to casting decisions for new shows.His status as an industry king was never more evident than each year in May when CBS introduced the next year’s schedule before an audience of advertisers and media executives crammed into Carnegie Hall. He starred in each year’s presentation, often in elaborate filmed skits.Yet this spring there were already signs the end was near. Locked in a battle for corporate control with Shari Redstone of National Amusements, Moonves received a standing ovation from an audience that sensed it could be his last year. He even skipped an event he created and relished, an annual breakfast meeting with reporters dubbed “Lox with Les.”CBS’ board also announced Sunday that Redstone’s National Amusements will not propose a merger between CBS and Viacom, which Redstone had been urging, for two years. Six new CBS board members were also appointed.last_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (16,159.50, down 47.82 points).RNC Minerals. (TSX:RNX). Metals. Down 41 cents, or 35.65 per cent, to 74 cents on 64.1 million shares.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Healthcare. Up 50 cents, or 4.07 per cent, to $12.77 on 53 million shares.Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Energy. Down two cents, or 0.52 per cent, to $3.81 on 8.7 million shares.Wallbridge Mining Co. Ltd. (TSX:WM). Metals. Up two cents, or 6.67 per cent, to 32 cents on 8.1 million shares.Aphria Inc. (TSX:APH). Healthcare. Down 38 cents, or 1.91 per cent, to $19.54 on 7.3 million shares.First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (TSX:FM). Base metals. Down 24 cents, or 1.5 per cent, to $15.72 on 7.3 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Transat A.T. (TSX:TRZ). Down 10 cents or 1.27 per cent to $7.77. The travel company has taken its first concrete step toward getting shovels in the sand on its $750-million plan develop a hotel chain in the Riviera Maya and the Caribbean, announcing a deal Tuesday to buy land on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Transat said it aims to build a beach resort on a newly purchased lot in the village of Puerto Morelos — less than 40 kilometres from Cancun — and on an adjacent property, for which it has signed a promissory agreement. The combined deal would cost between US$54 million and US$57 million, Transat said.Shopify Inc. (TSX:SHOP). Down $1.19 or 0.57 per cent to $208.45. The founder of Shopify says Canada shouldn’t be too quick to celebrate when U.S. technology giants head north of the border. Tobi Lutke outlined his frustration at how Canadian talent and intellectual property seeps out of the country in a Tuesday interview with The Canadian Press, where he touched on the dangers of U.S. technology brands starting up branch offices in Canada.Aurora Cannabis. Inc. (TSX:ACB). Up 50 cents or 4.1 per cent to $12.77. The licensed marijuana producer says it is “more than ready” for the legalization of recreational pot next month, with enough supply to meet all its commitments to provinces and territories. Aurora’s chief corporate officer Cam Battley also says the cannabis firm doesn’t expect to need supply agreements with other licensed producers to bridge inventory gaps. Canada officially legalizes recreational cannabis for adult use on Oct. 17.last_img read more

Experts weigh in on the federal investment into Alberta oil and gas

first_imgCALGARY (660 NEWS) – The federal government’s move to put a $1.6-billion action plan in place for the Alberta oil and gas industry has drawn the ire of a few critics, yet other experts believe the move will yield positive results. The energy sector doesn’t need handouts to help to “explore new markets”.It knows where the markets are. It has the product. It can’t get the product TO THE MARKETS.The Trudeau government’s solution? Here’s some corporate welfare for green energy!#facepalm https://t.co/j7qesnmIB1— Aaron Wudrick (@awudrick) December 18, 2018 Take Our Poll Albertans have been clear.I have been clear. We need to get our resources to market.And we need Ottawa to take the handcuffs off.Ottawa’s announcement today is a step, but there must be many, many more steps.#KeepCanadaWorking #FightingForYou pic.twitter.com/9rl7paAoNh— Rachel Notley (@RachelNotley) December 18, 2018“Even if Justin Trudeau had announced that he was going to buy locomotives and tanker cars, I am not sure that would have satisfied people. The problem is big and the solutions are much longer term,” said Political Scientist at Mount Royal University Lori Williams.She added the federal government has waited for so long to make this move that anti-Trudeau sentiments began to fester. “They waited quite a long time for something that probably could have been put in place earlier. They could have forestalled this growing momentum of anti-federalist sentiment had they been a bit more decisive earlier on.”But Williams does predict at least some benefits. “I think it will probably move things in a positive rather than a negative direction.” Williams argues the federal government is acting like a bank, offering investment with the expectation of return.READ MORE: Ottawa confirms over $1.6-billion to help the struggling oil and gas sector She looks at some of the moves already being made to help the price of oil, such as the Alberta government’s curtailment of production as a sign that this type of action could work.“There’s absolutely no question that it can have significant impacts, certainly in the short-run. A lot of the solutions that both the federal and provincial governments are looking at are a bit longer term.” Williams believes we won’t know the full effects of this move for a few months. — With files from CityNews What do you think of the Trudeau government’s $1.6-billion support package for oil and gas companies?It’s greatIt could have been betterIt’s terrible and won’t helpVoteView Resultslast_img read more

Klopp wary of Allianz Arena return with Liverpool

first_imgMunich: Jurgen Klopp brings Liverpool to Germany to resume their battle against Bayern Munich with the hosts billing Wednesday’s Champions League last 16 return leg as an all or nothing showdown. After a goalless draw at Anfield in the first leg three weeks ago, everything is to play for at Munich’s Allianz Arena. Klopp knows what awaits his Reds in the highly-charged arena where Bayern tend to raise their game and away teams face a barricade of whistles whenever they touch the ball. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football together “The four goals are all well and good,” said Klopp after Liverpool’s 4-2 win on Sunday at Burnley, with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane both scoring twice. “But what does that have to do with Munich? It will not be so easy to score four goals there as well.” The 51-year-old has a modest record of nine wins, five draws and 16 defeats in 30 games against the Bavarians — as coach of either Liverpool or former clubs Mainz and Dortmund — dating back to 2004. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian Open However, in his seven seasons with Dortmund, between 2008 and 2015, Klopp managed an impressive four wins, plus a draw and four defeats, from nine games in Munich. He tasted victory on his last visit to the Allianz Arena in April 2015 when Dortmund beat Bayern on penalties in the semi-final of the German Cup. Klopp knows that his team must walk tall at Bayern’s home. “It’s a much more positive moment for Bayern. They are top of the table and winning games comfortably again,” Klopp told Liverpool’s website. Bayern have hit form, winning their last three games with a goal ratio of 12-1 since the first-leg draw. “But if we are at our best, we can be exceptional.” Liverpool fans hope Reds’ striker Mo Salah has a red-letter day in Munich after just one goal in his last eight games. His lack of goals has not stopped Liverpool staying in contention for the Premier League title as Mane and Firmino have filled the breach. The Liverpool match is seen as a season-defining tie for the German champions. The five-time winners last failed to get through the last 16 stage in 2011 and confidence is high after they moved into top spot in the Bundesliga at the weekend for the first time since September. “It’s a very important game – everything is riding on this,” said sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic. “The boys have put some more self-confidence in the tank,” he added after Saturday’s 6-0 mauling of Wolfsburg. Bayern will be without the suspended Thomas Mueller, but James Rodriguez will slot seamlessly into the attacking midfield role. Like Klopp, the Colombian expects a red-hot atmosphere having proved his form with a stunning goal at the weekend. “The fans will get right behind us and drive us on, so that we feel good and give our all,” Rodriguez told Bayern’s website. “We will have to put in the perfect match in order to go through. “Liverpool have quick players, who feel good when they get a lot of room, but I think we have every chance to go through.” German bookmakers agree and have made Bayern the slight favourites. The tie needs no added spice, but Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels are still smarting after Germany coach Joachim Loew told them, along with Mueller, that their international careers are over. The centre-backs will have a point to prove against Liverpool. At the other end, the Reds’ Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk will have to subdue Rodriguez and Bayern’s record-breaking striker Robert Lewandowski. The Poland hot-shot became the Bundesliga’s top-scoring foreigner on Saturday when he extended his tally to 197 goals. So eager is Bayern head coach Niko Kovac to protect his forward that Lewandowski trained on his own on Monday as heavy snow fell in Munich. “You need to be smart and more than 100 percent ready for anything,” Van Dijk told UEFA.com on countering the threat of Lewandowski, who scored eight goals in the group stages. “If he’s trying to run at you, trying to get past you, you need to be ready for that as well. “You don’t need to give any opportunities to those strikers because they will punish you and they will score.”last_img read more

Arab Spring Legacy in Tatters Hopes Pinned on Tunisia

first_imgTunis- With chaos in Libya, military takeover in Egypt and Syria’s brutal conflict threatening to extinguish hopes fueled by the Arab Spring, only Tunisia stands out even as its stability hangs in the balance.By the end of 2013, the political forces that emerged from the tumultuous changes in the region nearly three years ago have yet to build the new democratic order or bring about the social transformations demanded by the millions who took to the streets.Some argue that the Egyptian army’s decision in July to depose democratically-elected Islamist president Mohammed Morsi was the death knell for any remaining hope of real change that accompanied the mass uprisings in 2011. “The July 3 coup confirmed the end of the Arab Spring given Egypt’s importance in the region,” said Shadi Hamid, research director at the Brookings Doha Center.“No one can argue that Egypt is moving towards democracy. It is actually going in the opposite direction … There is now an effort to eradicate the Muslim Brotherhood as a political force,” he added.The military takeover in Egypt has certainly cast a shadow over the democratic transition in Tunisia, birthplace of the Arab Spring, where the ruling Islamist party Ennahda has accused its secular opponents of seeking to replicate events in Cairo.“(Tunisia’s) Islamists experienced the military coup as if it happened in Tunisia. Various politicians continue to talk about the putschist threat even though there is nothing to prove it,” said Selim Kharrat, an analyst with the NGO Al-Bawsala.Such fears have only aggravated the mistrust between the country’s rival factions that has dogged negotiations to appoint a caretaker government of technocrats and resolve the political crisis sparked by the murder of opposition MP Mohamed Brahmi in July.Suspicion has also been stoked by the rise in attacks this year by armed Islamists, who are blamed for the killing of Brahmi and another secular politician in February, and whom the security forces have been battling in the Mount Chaambi region near Algeria.Tunisia’s militants have benefited from the chronic instability in neighboring Libya and the surge in arms trafficking since former dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s ouster.More than two years after the NATO-backed rebellion toppled Gadhafi’s regime, Libya lacks a stable government, with jihadist groups mushrooming and the authorities struggling in vain to integrate former rebels into the army.Starkly illustrating the growing lawlessness plaguing the country, gunmen briefly abducted Prime Minister Ali Zeidan from his Tripoli hotel in October, and the following month seized the deputy intelligence chief as clashes in the capital left nearly 50 people dead.“In Libya they have to build a state from scratch. That is going to take time and prolong the transition period which has been marked by armed violence in a country largely controlled by militias,” said Libyan political analyst Khaled Bouchoucha.Distant hopeBy contrast, Tunisia’s revolution has a much better chance of succeeding, Bouchoucha argued, essentially because it has managed to “preserve a strong state” and because the army remains neutral.But as the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think-tank, warned last month, the “alarming rise” in jihadist attacks in Tunisia, while still low in intensity, threatens to weaken the state and further polarize the political scene.In its report, entitled “Tunisia’s Borders: Jihadism and Contraband”, ICG said the worrying increase in cross-border arms trafficking was enhancing the jihadists’ disruptive potential and intensifying corruption.“In the long term, only minimal consensus among political forces on the country’s future can enable a truly effective approach to the border question,” it said, adding that an end to the country’s political crisis “seems distant at the time of writing.”As in countries across the region, concern is also growing in Tunisia about the likely blowback from the fighting in Syria, when the thousands of foreign jihadists thought to have joined the rebel ranks there return home.The conflict, which erupted when a brutal government crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protests in March 2011 inspired by the Arab Spring escalated into full-scale civil war against President Bashar Assad’s regime, has now killed an estimated 126,000 people and left millions displaced.last_img read more

Saudi ambassador to Morocco denies granting scholarships to Polisario students

Rabat  – Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Morocco Abderrahmane Mohamed El-Jadii denied allegations reported by certain electronic media outlets suggesting the embassy granted scholarships to students from the Polisario front.KSA ambassador “has denied reports suggesting granting scholarships to students from the Polisario front”, a statement of the embassy said.  Some electronic media outlets reported last Friday that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia expressed to the United Nations its readiness to host students from the Polisario.  The Saudi diplomat said that his country’s position with regard to the Sahara issue is “immutable”, stressing “the deep, solid and distinguished bonds” between Morocco and KSA.

Manchester Citys Sergio Agüero to Be Away For a Month Due

New York – Argentina national team’s forward Sergio Agüero will be away for a month due to a tear in his left hamstring, an injury he suffered on the pitch on Thursday.The Manchester City star hurt himself during the first half of the Argentina vs Ecuador match in Buenos Aires on Thursday, where the ‘Albiceleste’ was defeated (0-2).A video playback by Marca TV, shows the Argentine star running while trying to beat an Ecuador player to the ball, when he tore his hamstring. Agüero immediately felt the pain, stopped moving and started rubbing his leg. The pain overcame him and he was forced to sit on the ground where he was later assisted. The 27-year-old will undergo his one-month recovery in England. The injury might cause him to miss the Argentina vs Brazil match on November 12 in Buenos Aires.The ‘Sky Blues’ striker was wearing Argentine superstar Lionel Messi’s No. 10 jersey during Friday match. Earlier this week, Agüero said that Messi, who is also away due to injury, sent him a message telling him to wear it in his absence from the South American World Cup qualifiers.This incident comes at an unfortunate moment for the Man City forward who was quoted as saying: “This is the best moment of my sports career….Since a year and a half ago, I’ve been constant.”The ‘Citizens’ player was instrumental in the British club absolute win (6-1) against Newcastle last weekend, as he scored 5 out of the 6 goals that consolidated Manchester City its leading standing at the Premier Leauge.Argentina’s national team can add Agüero to its long list of injured players which include, Biglia, Messi, Marcos Rojo, Ever Banega, Fernando Gago and Roberto Pereyra. read more

Minister Officially Announces That Morocco Will Host COP22 in Nov 2016

Paris – Morocco’s delegate-minister for environment, Hakima El Haite, officially announced on Wednesday in Paris that the Moroccan city of Marrakech will host in November 2016 to the upcoming UN conference of parties to the Convention on climate changes (COP 22).Marrakech COP 22 will be an edition of innovation in adaptation to and mitigation of climate change effects, said El Haite at a plenary session of COP 21 held in Le Bourget, Paris suburbs, from Nov.30 through Dec.11.She explained that COP22 will be an opportunity to develop operational tools for the Paris-Lima and the Paris-Marrakech plans.“It’s Africa that will be welcoming you in Marrakech”, she told 40,000 delegates, from 195 signatory countries of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, insisting that Morocco is ambitiously engaged in policies to alleviate and adapt to climate change. She also recalled that King Mohammed VI announced Monday at the opening of COP21 that “the objective of securing 42% of the country’s energy mix from renewable sources by 2020 has recently been increased to 52% by 2030”.With MAP read more

Morocco to Provide 100 Scholarships Annually to Jamaican Students

Kingston – Jamaican students will benefit from approximately 100 scholarships to be provided annually under a co-operation agreement between Jamaica and Morocco, said, on Saturday, Jamaican paper Jamaica Observer.Morocco and Jamaica signed last year a cooperation agreement enabling Jamaican students to follow their studies in numerous Moroccan academic institutions, recalled the paper, quoting Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Kamina Johnson Smith.Additionally, Government of Jamaica employees will be afforded opportunities to pursue short-term vocational and professional courses in Morocco, said Johnson Smith, who noted that her ministry was collaborating with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to determine the areas of study that will be focused on. The agreement with Morocco is “giving us the opportunity to align with national development goals (by allowing us to select) where we want the scholarships to (target),” she indicated.Johnson Smith added that Morocco will also be providing equipment and support for Jamaica’s soil analyses facilities and development of irrigation systems as well as guidance in determining the quantity, location and utilisation of the requisite agricultural equipment and systems. read more

World Bank Organization Launches Moroccos EmpowerHer Hackathon

By Safaa KasraouiRabat  -The World Bank Organization (WBO) launched its EmpowerHer Hackathon initiative for Morocco on March 18, at Technopark in Casablanca.The EmpowerHer Hackathon, already established in other countries, is intended to address the restrictions that prevent women from playing a larger role in the labor force. The event brought together young developers, rural women’s associations, and private sector sponsors to discuss innovative solutions and share suggestions to ensure the continuation of creativity.Those who attended, especially women, had the opportunity to gain insight on investment, saving, spending, and other aspects of personal finance.30 competitions were held during the event, in which young entrepreneurs presented their projects on marketing, transportation, logistics, and skills development in front of a jury.Competitors for the Best Hack Solutions Award suggested their ideas on how to improve and overcome some of the difficulties faced by women in the economy field.The Minister of Handicrafts, Social Economy, and Solidarity, Fatema Marouane, remarked on the importance of this initiative, in line with other initiatives which aim to empower women through various programs, including the National Human Development Initiative(INDH) projects.“Moroccan Women are playing a major role in several areas to ensure their economic independence,” the minister said.In response to this, the Ministry has implemented a set of training programs, in English and French, financial education workshops for women workers in the artisanal field.This event was organized in collaboration with the Moroccan government and Moroccan organizations. read more

Muslims and Jews Are Fasting Together Worldwide This Year

By Rabbi Allen S. MallerRabat – This coming year may be a very good year in the Near East because this year both Jews and Muslims worldwide are fasting together on the same day.The Muslim new year, 1440 H, began with the new moon arriving on Tuesday evening, September 11, 2018, making it the first day of the Islamic month of Muharram. The Jewish new year 5779 CE, began with the new moon arriving on Sunday evening, September 9, 2018, making it the first day of the Jewish month of Tishri. The Day of Ashura will follow on Thursday, September 20, the 10th of Muharram. Muslims intending to fast on both the 9th and 10th of Muharram fast Wednesday, the 19th, and Thursday, the 20th of September 2018. Jews fast on Yom Kippur, the 10th of Tishri, from the evening of September 18 until sunset September 19. Thus, both Jews and Muslims this year will fast on the same day, September 19. Since the Islamic calendar is totally lunar, and the Jewish calendar is lunar adjusted by solar requirements, the months of Muharram and Tishri only over-lap a few times each generation.“When the Prophet arrived in Madina in 622 CE, he found the Jews (yahûd) there fasted on (what we Muslims count as) the 10th of Muharram, and so he asked them the reason for their fasting on this day. They said: ‘This is a blessed day. On this day Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy (in Egypt) and so Prophet Musa fasted on this day giving thanks to Allah.’“The Prophet said (comparing his exodus from years of persecution in Makka to the Jewish exodus from oppression in Egypt): ‘We are closer to Musa than you are.’ Thus, he fasted on that day and commanded Muslims to fast on this day.” The explanation comes from a hadith, traditional story of the prophet, told by Bukhari.Some Christian missionary Islamophobes often claim that since Jews do not fast on Passover, the Jewish holy day that celebrates the exodus from Egypt, this hadith proves that Prophet Muhammad cannot be a true prophet. This claim is absurd.The Torah states very clearly that in celebrating this blessed day when God saved the Children of Israel from their enemy, the whole Jewish nation should for seven days refrain from eating any yeast-filled baked grain.The only permitted grains must be unleavened: “For seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day (of Passover) you are to remove the yeast from your houses. Whoever eats anything leavened from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from (the People of) Israel” (Exodus 12:15).Since the fast of Yom Kippur is a total fast like Ramadan, Jews do not usually call this seven day anti-leavened restriction a fast, but Catholic and Orthodox Churches still refer to any religious dietary restriction such as meatless Good Friday as a fast. Medina’s Jews seem to have done so also.Just as the rules of Ramadan and Yom Kippur fasting in Islam and Judaism are very similar, the theme of Yom Kippur and Ashura are very similar. The prophet said: “For fasting the day of ‘Ashura, I hope that Allah will accept it as expiation for (sins committed in) the past year” (Muslim, 1976).The Torah tells Jews in Leviticus 23:27 that on the 10th day of the month of Tishri: “You should do no work throughout that day. For it is a Day of Atonement on which expiation is made on your behalf before the Lord your God. Indeed, any person who does not practice self-denial (fasting) throughout that day shall be cut off from his people.” In addition to the self-denial alluded to above, we are also told in Leviticus that on this day the high priest would perform sacred rites in the Holy Temple in order to achieve expiation of the people’s sins.In rabbinic literature, Yom Kippur is the culmination of the Ten Days of Repentance following Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. To the rabbis, this period marked the beginning of a spiritual trial for the souls of all the People of Israel. The 10 days of repentance could then be seen as a time for self-examination, and Yom Kippur marked the climax when God, the true judge, would decide the fate of all of Israel as individuals and as a community, and hopefully inscribe them into the Book of Life.The rabbis follow through on the biblical theme of self-denial in their discussions of the daily pleasures from which one must abstain on Yom Kippur. Among them are (just like Muslims during Ramadan) eating, drinking, bathing, and anointing oneself, wearing leather-soled shoes (at the time the most comfortable option), and sexual relations.It has been said “Prophets are paternal brothers (sons of one father by co-wives). Their mothers [mother tongue, motherland, and religious community—Umma comes from um, mother] are different; but their religion (from the one and only God) is one.” In light of that, we should always try to harmonize scriptural statements; rather than try to make them contradictory.As the Qur’an states: “Say, ’We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and their Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the [other] prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [submitting] to Him’” (Qur’an 2:136).Rabbi Maller writes at www.rabbimaller.com. His new book “Judaism and Islam as Synergistic Monotheisms: A Reform Rabbi’s Reflections on the Profound Connectedness of Islam and Judaism” is a collection of 31 of his articles previously published by Islamic web sites. read more