Notley says province prepared to buy Trans Mountain pipeline outright

first_imgEDMONTON – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the province will buy the Trans Mountain pipeline project outright if that’s what it takes to get it built.In a statement, Notley says that’s one of many options being considered to get construction ramped up on the project, which would triple the amount of oil going from Alberta to the B.C. coast.Notley said on the weekend that the province was looking at taking an equity stake in the line, but didn’t talk about buying it completely.The future of the line is now in question.The pipeline builder, Kinder Morgan, announced it was scaling back on the federally approved $7.4-billion project because of opposition and delays from the B.C. government.Kinder Morgan has given the federal government until May 31 for concrete assurance the line will get built, and Notley is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take action.last_img read more

Another interprovincial beer battle is brewing in New Brunswick over craft beer

first_imgFREDERICTON – The “Free the Beer” slogan is being heard again when it comes to beer crossing provincial borders into New Brunswick — but this time it concerns craft beers.Picaroons Traditional Ales in Fredericton had been offering some Nova Scotia craft beers in their retail locations, but have been told by NB Liquor to stop because it breaks the rules.Picaroons owner, Sean Dunbar, said he asked NB Liquor three times if it was OK but didn’t get a reply until last week — four months after he started selling the Nova Scotia suds.“In order to expand the program with confidence I wanted to be sure it was OK. When I asked the final time it was a fairly definitive no. So, end of program,” he said.NB Liquor — a Crown corporation of the New Brunswick government — said the rules are intended to promote beers made in New Brunswick.It cites sections of the contracts it has with each craft brewery in the province.“The ability to sell craft beer made outside of N.B. in NB Brewer Agency Stores has never been permitted,” the contracts read.“It is important that NB Craft Brewers are given the ability to work, sell, in support of the great beers being made in N.B. for NB’ers.”But Dunbar said he thinks NB Liquor’s action is contrary to the 2007 Maritime Beer Accord, which says New Brunswick is to treat Nova Scotia microbreweries the same as if they were in New Brunswick.“New Brunswick brewers are allowed to sell their beer to me and then I can retail that to the public. So if you are treating Nova Scotia brewers as if they are New Brunswick brewers then Nova Scotia brewers can sell their beer to me and I can retail it to the public,” Dunbar said.Kirk Cox, executive directors of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia takes the same view as Dunbar.“We have a binding agreement between the two provinces,” he said.“The first section of that agreement deals with microbreweries and it says that on points of sale, one province is not to treat breweries from another province any differently than it treats its own.”Still, Dunbar said he’s not going to get into a fight with NB Liquor.“This is really a matter of a trade agreement between two provinces, and it’s between the two provinces to work out,” he said.The decision by NB Liquor comes just days after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in the case of Gerard Comeau who was fined in 2012 for bringing home cheaper beer and liquor he bought in neighbouring Quebec.The court ruled provinces have the power to enact laws that restrict commerce if there is another overriding purpose — in this case the desire to control the supply of alcohol in New Brunswick.last_img read more

Hospital Foundation opens registration for Bluey Day 2018

first_imgFor more information on participating, volunteering, sponsoring, or donating to this year’s Bluey Day, contact the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation at (250) 261-7563. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Fort St. John Hospital Foundation announced Tuesday that registration is officially open for shavers looking to participate in the 19th annual Bluey Day this spring.The annual event’s participants will spend the next three months growing their hair and collecting donations from family, friends, and businesses before having their heads shaved on May 26th at the BC Ambulance Building on 96th St. The goal this year is get 50 participants and raise $100,000 for equipment that will help diagnose, treat, and comfort patients with cancer at the Fort St. John Hospital.“Bluey Day is about celebrating,” said Hospital Foundation executive director Jennifer Moore. “Celebrating those with cancer, survivors of cancer, and the lives of those we’ve lost to cancer. It’s a day to remember and reflect while trying to make the journey better for future patients.”The Foundation’s first Bluey Day was held in 1998, and has since raised over $1.8 million for cancer diagnostic, treatment, care and equipment at the Fort St. John Hospital. With the funds raised at Bluey Day in recent years, the Foundation was able to purchase a $200,000 software upgrade to the hospital’s CT Scanner, which now gives the lowest radiation dose CT scan in Northern Health. Another $150,000 was also pledged for the hospital’s new MRI, which arrived last summer and has already conducted over 700 scans.last_img read more

Ottawa analyzing Trans Mountain ruling going ahead with pipeline purchase

first_imgHe says the government is reviewing the Federal Appeal Court ruling carefully, but the judgment is long and he doesn’t have a response yet.The court ruled the National Energy Board’s review of the project was flawed because it failed to consider the impact on marine life.It also said the federal government failed in its duty to properly consult with First Nations before giving the project the go-ahead.Shortly after the ruling, Kinder Morgan Canada shareholders voted more than 99 percent in favour of a sale. VANCOUVER, B.C. – Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the federal government is pushing ahead with its purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion despite a court ruling overturning approval of the project.Morneau says an expanded pipeline to bring more Alberta oil to the B.C. coast for shipment overseas is critically important to Canada’s economy and is a good investment.He says Ottawa needs to make sure the project proceeds, but must also ensure it goes ahead in the right way.last_img read more

Space tech for mankind’s aid

first_imgDelay in the formulation of the Gaganyaan Mission is not due to a deficit in conceptualisation. It is a question of prioritisation. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was translating the vision of Vikram Sarabhai into reality and in that sense, the Indian space programme has been a very focused and relevant one for a developing nation, which, to begin with, one would have thought had no affair to be in this kind of business. But having gone there, the focus has been to leverage whatever gains we get through space technology for the common man which ISRO has done spectacularly well. Whether you look at connecting all of India — even the remotest parts; whether you look at satellite technology being leveraged for education, communication, television, and telemedicine. So, it has impacted the lives of common people. Remote sensing has helped the economy. ISRO’s focus has been towards these things. And now, when that vision has more or less translated successfully, ISRO is moving to the next level. Also Read – A special kind of bondI am in contact with ISRO regarding Gaganyaan and the next missions. Whenever they need my opinion or expertise, they do call upon me. And whenever there are meetings where go-ahead are given or policies are made, I am there. ISRO plans to use a humanoid robot to simulate human space travel in the Gaganyaan Mission. In my view, we will most certainly get enough information out of this simulation to do an actual mission with humans. If you recall, when space exploration first started, there was a monkey which was sent up. Technology has moved ahead. You now have much better instrumentation. So, a humanoid which is bristling with sensors will give you a whole heap of data regarding the environment within the capsule and how it has performed during the entire flight. It is a good method to de-risk your first human launch. Also Read – Insider threat managementDuring my time in space, I conducted three types of experiments. One was, of course, earth resources where we photographed the Indian landmass using a multispectral camera which was onboard the Soviet space station. Then, there was material sciences. We tried to grow a crystal of silver and germanium. Unfortunately, we had a problem with the furnace which was up there in orbit at that time and on board the Salyut that used to keep malfunctioning. Had that experiment been successful, we would have come back with a sample of a material which would have been as strong as a metal but as transparent as glass. The last experiment was on biomedicine. The doctors wanted to have a better idea of how human systems like the cardiovascular system and vestibular system perform when subjected to zero gravity. There have been changes in the way these experiments are conducted now. The database of the earth resources experiment became a template against which when our own IRS satellites could compare when they went up later. The other experiments were in the realm of pure research and would be used as and when required. Perhaps, we will continue with some unfinished or some newer experiments in these or associated domains. Gaganyaan can add more new knowledge to the experiments that I conducted. Its first focus should be anything which can help people back on Earth. And I guess because India has not brought out any doctrine or published a White Paper or made its long-term plans known, one doesn’t really know what the end game is going to be like, what we are aspiring for. Once that is clear, one can work backwards. And then draw the line on those dots as to what India should be doing and what kind of work we need to do first in near earth orbit. Because first, we have got to establish ourselves in the near earth orbit. Be able to get something fruitful out of that environment and perhaps later, but by then, we would have developed the expertise to be an equal partner in collaborative ventures while setting up habitations, initially on the Moon and later on Mars. (As told to Akshit Sangomla. Rakesh Sharma, (retd) Wing Commander, is the first Indian to have set foot in space. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Jilted lover, his mother held for murdering girl’s father

first_imgGhaziabad: A youth and his mother have been arrested in connection with the murder case of a 45-year-old man in Sihani gate police station area of Ghaziabad. Cops said that the youth stabbed victim several times while his mother supported him in the crime.According to police, the incident occurred on May 2 when the accused identified as Honey alias Kaalu(19), stabbed Raju Kumar, a stone artist, in Gandhi village under Sihani gate police station area. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesRaju was a native of Meerut but lived in Gandhi village along with his family of three daughters and a wife. Police officials said that the accused wanted to marry Raju’s 18-year-old daughter but murdered him as he fixed her marriage with some other boy. “The incident was a fallout of jilted lover scene as he wanted to marry victim’s eldest daughter. However, her father had fixed her marriage to some other guy and the accused plotted conspiracy to murder him in order to take revenge,” Sanjay Kumar Pandey, Station House officer of Sihani Gate police station told Millennium Post. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarThe officer further said that Honey, a B.Com first year student at a college in Ghaziabad, had been stalking the girl from the past few months and developed feelings for her. “The girl’s family had fixed her marriage with some other which was scheduled to be held on May 17. The accused never wanted her to her married to some other guy and developed harsh feelings for her family. He purchased a knife, a few days before the incident, from an online portal for Rs 289 and started keeping it with him. For the past two months he was trying to take a revenge with her family and then wanted marry her,” said Pandey. “During sustained interrogations, the accused told police that on the day of incident, he had gone to the girl’s house for a conversation with her family but it turned ugly. Upon having an heated argument with girl’s father, the accused took out a knife and attacked her father. When he tried to run out of the house for help, the accused chased him and keep on stabbing him on road while the victim kept running and collapsed on road after a 500 meters of struggle. The victim succumbed to injuries in the hospital and the whole incident was captured in a CCTV camera,” added Pandey. Cops said that the accused went absconding after the incident and was arrested from outside the Ghaziabad court on Wednesday. “The accused wanted to surrender himself in the court but police arrested him on a tip off from an informer. We have also arrested his mother, who works as a maid, as she was found to have been involved in the crime,” said Pandey.last_img read more

IOC to examine US sanctions’ impact on CPCL expansion

first_imgNew Delhi: India’s top refiner Indian Oil Corp (IOC) will evaluate the implications of US sanctions if Iran was to invest in its subsidiary Chennai refinery’s Rs 35,700 crore expansion, its Chairman Sanjiv Singh said. IOC plans to pull down the 1 million tonnes per year Nagapattinam refinery of its subsidiary Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd (CPCL) and build a brand new 9 million tonnes unit in the next five to six years. National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC), which holds 15.4 per cent stake in CPCL, is keen to participate in the expansion project, Singh said. Following US decision to reimpose economic sanctions on Iran, IOC will examine the impact of NIOC investing further in CPCL. “We are evaluating that,” he said when asked about the impact of US sanctions on NIOC investing further in CPCL. NIOC’s investment in CPCL had been made several years back and that as such will not draw any impact of US sanctions but fresh investments in the company need to be studied. “NIOC is keen to remain committed to investing in CPCL. Now we have to see (the impact of US sanctions on such a move),” he said. “The (expansion) project has not been approved (by the board) yet.” After the US reimposed full economic sanctions against Iran beginning November 5, 2018 and ended waivers six months later, India has stopped buying oil from its third-largest crude oil supplier. Prior to the waivers ending on May 2, India paid Iran for oil purchases in rupees. These rupee payments are made into a UCO Bank account of NIOC. The government had allowed NIOC to use the money it got in the UCO Bank account for paying for commodities Iran buys from India as well as for direct investments in Indian projects. Naftiran Intertrade, the Swiss subsidiary of NIOC, holds 15.4 per cent stake in CPCL. Whether the same money can now be invested by NIOC as its share of equity portion of the expansion project is being evaluated by IOC. IOC holds 51.89 per cent stake in CPCL. The expansion was to originally cost to Rs 27,460 crore but is now estimated to cost Rs 35,698 crore. Officials said CPCL plans to achieve financial closure of the refinery expansion in 2019. It also plans to build a petrochemicals plant of about 475,000 tonnes per annum capacity. Detailed feasibility report for the expansion project is expected to be completed by June. CPCL, formerly known as Madras Refineries Ltd, was formed as a joint venture in 1965 between the Government of India, AMOCO and NIOC having a shareholding in the ratio of 74 per cent, 13 per cent and 13 per cent. In 1985, AMOCO disinvested, following which the government held 84.62 per cent and NIOC 15.38 per cent. The government later disinvested 16.92 per cent of the paid-up capital. The company was listed in 1994. IOC acquired the government’s holding in 2000-01 and holds 51.89 per cent stake in CPCL while NIOC has 15.40 per cent. CPCL has two refineries with a combined refining capacity of 11.5 million tonnes per annum. The Manali refinery has a capacity of 10.5 million tonnes per annum and is one of the complex refineries in the country. Its second refinery is located in Nagapattinam at Cauvery Basin. This unit has a capacity of 1 million tonnes per annum. CPCL refineries produce LPG, petrol, kerosene, aviation turbine fuel (ATF), diesel, naphtha, bitumen, lube base stocks, paraffin wax, fuel oil, hexane, and petrochemical feedstocks.last_img read more

New Saudi Fatwa Prohibits Eating in Open Buffets

first_imgTaroudant, Morocco- According to Al Arabiya, Saleh al-Fawzan, a Saudi cleric, has recently issued a Fatwa (religious edict) prohibiting eating in open buffets.According to the same source, the Saudi cleric based his Fatwa on the way restaurants in the kingdom run buffets.“The value and quantity of what is sold should be pre-determined before it is purchased,” the cleric was quoted by Al Arabiya as saying. “Whoever enters the buffet and eats for 10 or 50 riyals without deciding the quantity they will eat is violating Sharia (Islamic) law,” said Fawzan on al-Atheer channel.The fatwa, which was issued on a Saudi Quranic TV station, has stirred a hot debate among Twitter users.Some tweets criticized the fatwa arguing that it has nothing to do with the Quran and that restaurants quantify the food they serve to their customers.“This is not Quran just a mere fatwa, if you want to follow it, you are a free man but you cannot impose it on others,” said one Twitter user according to the same source.“Restaurants will be ruined if they didn’t quantify the food they sold. This negates the sheikh’s premise that the quantity is unknown,” another user said.But other users defended the fatwa, and labelled those who criticized the cleric as “ignorant.”“The disaster is those who criticize the sheikh are ignorant, they do not know.”It is worth mentioning that the Saudi Council of Muftis is only religious council which has the authority to issue fatwas.last_img read more

President Obama Allows Quarantine of People with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndromes…

Casablanca – Due to the ongoing outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, President Barack Obama has decided to sign an amendment to an executive order that aims to authorize the control of medical authorities over American citizens in cases of communicable diseases, such as respiratory illnesses. The President’s new executive order, entitled “Revised List of Quarantinable Communicable Diseases,” is an upgraded version of the “executive order 13295,” which was issued by former president George W.Bush in 2003.In 2014, Obama has concluded that the earlier order needed fine-tuning. The new order stresses the importance of“apprehension, detention, or conditional release of individuals to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of suspected communicable diseases.” Obama’s amendment immediately allows detention of any American citizen who shows“ severe acute respiratory syndromes, which are diseases that are associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness, are capable of being transmitted from person to person, and that either are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic, or, upon infection, are highly likely to cause mortality or serious morbidity if not properly controlled.”Although, the original order by Bush is quite similar to the recent version approved by Obama, Obama’s upgraded version makes clear that anyone infected with a contagious disease can be forcibly arrested by the medical authorities in order to prevent the spread of disease in the U.S.The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons raised a red flag, suggesting that new executive order could “turn governors into dictators.” read more

Moroccan-born Myriam El Khomri appointed Minister in Newly Formed French Government

Rabat – Moroccan-born Myriam El Khomri has been appointed State Secretary to the Minister for Urban Affairs, Youth and Sports, responsible for urban policy, in the newly formed French government that was appointed on Tuesday by President Francois Holland.El Khomir was born in Rabat in 1978. She was elected twice as councilor in Paris’ city council.The appointment of El Khomri adds to the other Moroccan-born Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, who has been appointed Minister of National Education, Higher Education and Research. Born in on October 4th 1977 in Beni Chiker, in northern morocco, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem was appointed Minister of Women’s Rights, the Government Spokesperson on May 2012 before being appointed to the position of Minister of Women’s Rights, the City, Youth and Sports last April. read more

Rabbi Israël Goldberg Makes a Tribute to King Mohammed VI

Rabat – After posting a photo on his Facebook with King Mohammed VI, Israel Goldberg has returned in a live video to narrate his discussion with the Monarch.The Rabbi starts his live video saying, “Long live the king!”.Then he proceeds to debrief viewers about their discussion. “I had the honor this afternoon to transmit the seven universal principles–the seven laws of Noah–to the King of Morocco who had symbolically come to buy a pair of glasses at Jonathan, at 17 rue des Rosiers, the building where is located the Lubavitch synagogue which is at the same time the oldest of Paris.”The seven laws of Noah: do not worship idols, do not curse God, establish courts of justice, do not commit murder, do not commit adultery or sexual immorality, do not steal, and do not eat flesh torn from a living animal.Goldberg also mentioned the Rabbi Lubavitch’s message advising that every school, every single house, including the royal palace, ought to have a sadaka (charity) box. Then he replied gently, “you also know the sadaka.” Adding that “every human being must take a minute of silence to reflect, each with his own ideas, to become a better being.” read more

Twitter posts bigger 4Q profit, monthly user base slips

NEW YORK — Twitter is reporting that revenue and profit and its user base all grew in the final three months of 2018.The San Francisco company disclosed its daily user base count for the first time, putting the figure at 126 million, up 9 per cent from a year earlier. These are users who see ads on the platform and log in at least once a day.Twitter on Thursday posted earnings of $255 million, or 33 cents per share, in the October-December quarter. That is up from $91 million, or 12 cents per share, a year earlier.Revenue grew 24 per cent to $909 million.Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting earnings of 25 cents per share and revenue of $867 million.Its monthly user base fell to 321 million, from 326 million.Barbara Otutay, The Associated Press

Ivanka Trump, on Capitol Hill, discusses paid family leave

WASHINGTON — Ivanka Trump has met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss paid family leave.The White House says the president’s daughter and senior adviser met Wednesday with Republican senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah.In a news release from Cassidy’s office, Ivanka Trump called it a “productive” session.Ivanka Trump has said paid leave is an administration priority. The Republican president mentioned it in his State of the Union address. But advancing a bipartisan policy will be a challenge in the divided Congress.The Family and Medical Leave Act gives employees at larger businesses up to 12 weeks of unpaid time after the birth or adoption of a child or for caregiving. Four states currently offer paid leave.The Associated Press read more

Casablanca Police Arrest African with 2 Kilograms of Cocaine in Stomach

Rabat – Security services at the Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca have arrested a sub-Saharan passenger with nearly 2 kilograms of cocaine inside her stomach.The passenger was arrested on December 17 when she arrived on board a flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil.The passenger had 131 capsules of cocaine concealed inside her stomach, according to a statement from the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN). Police transported the passenger to a hospital to remove the cocaine from her stomach. She is now in custody for further investigation under the supervision of the prosecutor’s office.Read Also: Morocco’s BCIJ Seizes Colombian Cocaine Network’s Drug-Trafficking BoatEarlier this week, Morocco’s BCIJ seized a boat loaded with cocaine in El Jadida, near Casablanca.On December 15, the BCIJ also found a farm in Boujdour, a city in the Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra region, used by a drug network for cocaine trafficking and storage.The operation followed the arrest of seven individuals in possession of one ton of cocaine earlier this month.The criminal network attempted to smuggle cocaine between Morocco, the US, Latin America, and Europe. read more

Imlil Murders: A Timeline of the Scandinavian Tourists’ Murders

Rabat – Here is a recap of all the events in the murders of Louisa Vesterager Jespersen and Maren Ueland, two Scandinavians tourists, near Mount Toubkal, from the day their bodies were found to the arrest of thirteen suspects.Monday: A shocking discoveryOn Monday morning, authorities found the bodies of two tourists from Denmark and Norway 10 kilometers from Imlil, a village in the High Atlas Mountains known for hiking and other outdoor activities among local and international tourists. The news was widely shared on social media, but no further details were released about the identities of the victims or any possible suspects or motives.Read Also: Norway Police Say Video of Scandinavian Murders in Morocco is RealAfter the murder, Moroccan police swarmed to the region to investigate and find evidence.A statement from authorities revealed after the bodies were found that the Scandinavians were murdered because their bodies had evidence of violence with knife wounds.Shockwaves and fear spread across the country and speculations ran wild, leaving people anxious to know more about the suspects and the victims.Tuesday: The first suspect is caughtUntil Tuesday morning, Morocco’s security services had not issued any updates since the initial news about the murder.On Tuesday morning, Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) arrested one suspect in the case.The statement from the BCIJ released the first findings of the preliminary investigation, stating that the suspect was put in custody for further investigation into other possible suspects. While some people speculated that robbery or rape was the motive, others predicted the murderer would turn out to be a mentally ill person.Read Also: BCIJ Arrests 9 More Suspects in Scandinavian Tourist MurdersInternational journalists started questioning whether the murder could be related to terrorism because BCIJ is known in the international community for being specifically tasked to handle terror-related crimes.Still on Tuesday, a local from the village of Imlil revealed to Morocco World News that robbery was not the motive because none of the victims’ belongings were missing. The source, however, did not exclude sexual assault as a possible motive.After the arrest of the first suspect, the identities of the murdered Scandinavians were revealed. Louisa Veterager Jespersen was a 24-year-old tourist who came from Denmark to hike the highest mountain in North Africa, Mount Toubkal.Her mother said in an interview that she pleaded with her daughter to avoid Morocco “because of the chaotic situation.”Louisa was studying to become a travel guide in Norway.The other victim, Maren Ueland, was a 28-year-old from Norway. She came to Morocco from Norway with Louisa.Maren’s mother announced in an interview that both girls were studying together at the University of South-Eastern Norway. They left Norway on December 9 to spend their holiday backpacking in Morocco.Wednesday: Potential link to terrorismAuthorities discovered more information on Wednesday. The public prosecutor at Rabat’s Court of Appeals announced in a statement that the suspect in custody was part of a “radicalized” group.  The statement hinted that the crime might be a potential terror crimeOn Wednesday evening, Moroccan Facebook users began talking about a horrific a video allegedly of the murder. In the video, a man beheads a blonde woman as she screams and cries for help. While the first man was committing the crime, another man filmed the terrible deed.The men spoke to each other in Darija (Moroccan Arabic) as well as in standard Arabic, saying they were acting to avenge Hajin, a city in eastern Syria recently retaken from ISIS.The nightmarish video left some hoping that it was not related to the crime due to its graphic content.The public prosecutor, however, said that security services were investigating whether the video truly belonged to the incident. Wednesday ended after a source told Morocco World News that three more suspects were involved in the murder.Thursday: Escape attempt and more arrestsAfter the graphic video was widely shared among internet users, BCIJ arrested three more suspects involved in the crime Thursday morning. They were arrested while on a bus leaving Marrakech for Agadir.Another video of the arrested suspects shook Morocco on Thursday. The four arrested suspects appeared in the new video pledging allegiance to the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.In the video, posted on Twitter by an anonymous user, one of the men quotes part of a Qur’annic verse (9:29), “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger.”After Morocco’s weekly cabinet meeting on Thursday, Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi denounced the murder, describing it as a terror act.El Khalfi, however, did not comment on the veracity of the video circulating on social media. He said that investigations were still underway to determine whether the video was related to the crime.Friday: 9 more suspects arrestedAfter the arrest of four suspects, BCIJ arrested nine more suspects for alleged involvement in the murders of the Scandinavian tourists. The arrest took place on Thursday and Friday across the country, including Tangier, Marrakech, and Casablanca. Commenting on the alleged video of the murder, police in Norway said that there is no evidence that the graphic footage was unreal.Moroccans also launched a petition on Change.org to call the Moroccan government to give the death penalty to the suspects.Some Moroccans agreed to gather in front of the embassies of Norway and Denmark in Rabat to honor the victims at 5 p.m. on Saturday. read more

Shopify reports first-quarter loss, revenue up 50 per cent from year ago

Companies in this story: (TSX:SHOP)The Canadian Press OTTAWA — Shopify Inc. reported a loss of US$24.2 million in its latest quarter as its revenue grew 50 per cent compared with a year ago.The online shopping software company, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, says the loss amounted to 22 cents per share for the quarter ended March 31 compared with a loss of $15.9 million or 16 cents per share a year ago.Revenue totalled $320.5 million, up from $214.3 million.The increase came as subscription solutions revenue grew to $140.5 million compared with $100.3 million a year ago, while merchant solutions revenue climbed to $180 million from $114.1 million.On an adjusted basis, Shopify says it earned $10.3 million or nine cents per share for the quarter, compared with an adjusted profit of $4.2 million or four cents per share in the first quarter of 2018.Analysts on average had expected a loss of five cents per share and $310 million in revenue for the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon. read more

Ceuta Authorities Suspend Tarajal II Border Crossings

Rabat – The authorities the city of Ceuta have decided to extend the suspension of crossings at Tarajal II in order to carry out the rehabilitation and expansion of the Spanish side of the border.Although it was expected that the contraband crossings, suspended since July 25, will be resumed starting September 3, the Spanish government confirmed that this activity will be interrupted until further notice.El Faro de Ceuta reported earlier today that the suspension of these crossings will not affect the crossing of people, tourists, and cars. The government noted in a press release that the contraband activity will be resumed once technicians determine that the border’s infrastructure is safe enough for these activities.The suspension decision aims to enhance the fluidity of the border for the entry and exit of neighboring tourists, according to Ceutaactualidad. Moroccan authorities agreed on the decision in order to facilitate the Moroccan diaspora’s return to their countries of residence, especially as it coincides with Eid al-Adha.Possible end of contraband crossings?The decision brings back to public attention the longstanding controversy surrounding the Ceuta-Morocco merchandise smuggling.In February 2019, the director-general of the Moroccan Administration of Customs and Indirect Taxation, Nabil Lajdar, said that he supports a “radical” solution to “definitively” put an end to contraband border crossings with Melilla and Ceuta.Speaking at the Moroccan House of Representatives, Lajdar said that the prohibition of the entry of smuggled products into Morocco could be done gradually over the next five or ten years.Lajdar estimated the value of the products entering through the Ceuta border between MAD 6,000 and 8,000 million per year (between 550 and 730 million euros).In terms of taxes, this is the equivalent of a loss of MAD 2,000 and 3,000 million (between 180 and 270 million euros). “These are amounts that the State treasury loses, and if we add Melilla’s case, the figure is doubled,” he said.Lajdar also stated that this “acceptable” activity is now attracting people from central and northern Morocco. El Faro de Ceuta suspects that this “temporary” suspension of contraband activity may be the start of the actual end of this Moroccan-Spanish commercial activity. read more

UK central bank to assess economic impact of Brexit delay

LONDON — The Bank of England is set to provide its first forecasts of what Britain’s Brexit delay will mean for the British economy.The central bank is due Thursday to keep its main interest rate on hold at 0.75 per cent following the latest meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee.The focus will be what Governor Mark Carney says about the Brexit extension granted by the other 27 members of the European Union.Britain was due to leave the EU on March 29 but Parliament twice rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, pushing back the Brexit date to Oct. 31.The central bank has consistently warned about the economic impact of Brexit uncertainty and of a deep recession if Britain were to leave the EU without a deal.The Associated Press

France Returns 20 Prehistoric Archaeological Objects to Morocco

Rabat – The University of Bordeaux (France) has returned 20 archaeological objects to Morocco’s National Institute of Archaeological Sciences and Heritage (INSAP). The objects are human bones dating back to prehistory. The remains were discovered in the archaeological site of Rouazi cemetery, in Skhirat (26 km south of Rabat), according to a press release from the Ministry of Culture and Communication.The human bones were transferred to PACEA laboratory, at the University of Bordeaux for an in-depth study to determine their age and restore them.The ministry also announced a partnership to be signed between France and Morocco in the domain of prehistoric archaeology. The signature is set to be on Thursday, September 26, at the INSAP. The returned objects will help create a reference base at the INSAP for students and researchers who are interested in studying prehistoric Morocco.As part of these efforts to make archaeology more accessible, the ministry also announced the opening of a prehistoric park in Casablanca in the coming weeks.The archaeological site of Rouazi, where the returned bones were found, was discovered in 1979. It contains the most consistent collection of objects from the Neolithic era in Morocco. read more

Sri Lanka Ban Kimoon says parties must end escalating cycle of violence

A spokesperson for Mr. Ban said he is “disturbed” by the intensifying violence, which include an air attack by the LTTE. “He deeply regrets that air raids, military confrontations on the ground, and suicide bombings have become a daily occurrence, prompting massive displacement and suffering for civilians,” the spokesperson said in a statement.Mr. Ban “appeals to the parties to the conflict to break this vicious cycle of attack and retaliation, which only leads to more bloodshed and victims.”He also urged the two sides, which have been engaged in a two-decade-long conflict, to “return to the negotiating table as soon as possible, without preconditions.”Last week, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) appealed for funds to provide basic supplies to over 155,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Batticaloa District in eastern Sri Lanka uprooted by intensified fighting between the Government and the LTTE.In a related development, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched a new media campaign yesterday to raise awareness about how to acquire Sri Lankan citizenship.Over the next five days, Tamil-language radio spots and newspaper advertisements will alert the public on the country’s citizenship laws. The campaign targets ethnic Tamils because most of Sri Lanka’s Stateless people are descendants of Indian Tamils brought to work in tea estates between 1820 and 1840 when the country was a British colony.The 1988 and 2003 Citizenship Acts were passed to resolve the problem of stateless people in the country, but some of the so-called “Hill Tamils” have not been able to the documents necessary to become Sri Lankan citizens.This latest campaign is UNHCR’s second large-scale effort, the first having occurred in 2003 and 2004, to reduce statelessness in Sri Lanka. 27 March 2007United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today spoke out against escalating violations of the 2002 ceasefire between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and called for them to return to the negotiating table. read more