B.C. Parks’ smoking policy is also in effect year-round, which permits smoking and vaping of tobacco, cannabis or other substances only in designated front-country or group campsites by registered campers and their guests.B.C. Park says this policy is designed to allow people and families to enjoy their stay in a park or campground by minimizing the exposure of second-hand smoke.Park Rangers and Conservation Officers will be on-site to ensure park policies and rules are being followed and enforced.For more information, you can visit the B.C. Parks website. VICTORIA, B.C. – With the Victoria Day Long Weekend coming up, the Province would like to remind British Columbians of the safety tips when visiting Provincial Parks and Campgrounds.According to B.C. Parks, when having a campfire you should have a one-metre fireguard around campfires where all flammable materials have been removed. You should also maintain a fire to 0.5 metres in height and 0.5 metres in diameter.Park visitors are also reminded to never leave a campfire unattended and to extinguish it before leaving.
New Delhi: India’s life insurance industry witnessed a rise of 32.7 per cent in its collective new premium income at Rs 18,209.50 crore during February 2019, data from Irdai showed. The life insurers had collected first-time premium worth Rs 13,724.96 crore in same month a year ago. Insurance behemoth LIC, which has the largest market share of 66.26 per cent, registered a growth of 42.2 per cent in its new year premium at Rs 12,055.81 crore during the month, according to Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) data. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepThe rest of the 23 market players in life insurance business (market share 33.74 per cent) collected premium of Rs 6,153.70 crore from new customers, witnessing a rise of 17.25 per cent from a year ago. Among the private sector insurers, SBI Life’s new business premium grew 49 per cent to Rs 1,055.32 crore during the month, ICICI Prudential Life 33.1 per cent to Rs 1,039.14 crore and Aditya Birla Sun Life 21.6 per cent to Rs 222.26 crore. Aegon Life new business premium jumped 59.3 per cent to Rs 48.26 crore, Max Life 23.7 per cent to Rs 529.77 crore, and Kotak Mahindra Life collected new premium of Rs 403.01 crore, witnessing 15.25 per cent growth from a year ago. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsOf the players that registered dip in their new premium income were HDFC Life at Rs 1184.46 crore, down by 0.54 per cent from a year ago; DHFL Pramerica Life at Rs 65.01 crore, down 51.7 per cent; Bharti AXA Life at Rs 78.62 crore, down 98 per cent; and Bajaj Allianz Life at Rs 328.48 crore, down 11 per cent. The cumulative new business premium of all the 24 life insurance firms during April-February 2018-19 rose by 7.60 per cent to Rs 1,77,213.57 crore. read more
Shimla: Three persons of a family, including a minor, died as their house collapsed in Himachal Pradesh’s Chamba district, police said on Saturday. The house located at Kherna village in Aayal gram panchayat collapsed on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday, they said. Haashim (27), his wife Taslima (26) and their two-year-old daughter were buried under the debris, Chamba Superintendent of Police Monica Bhutunguru said. A police team has been sent to the village to ascertain the reasons for the collapse, she said. The SP said the next course of action would be taken accordingly after knowing the exact facts.
A team of US scientists claim that no specific set of genes can predict the risk of depression, and efforts to treat the mental disorder by targeting a few ‘genetic culprits’ is bound to fail. The researchers, who assessed genetic and survey data from 620,000 individuals, found that the 18 most highly-studied candidate genes for depression are actually no more associated with it than randomly chosen genes. Over the past quarter-century, researchers have published hundreds of studies suggesting a small set of particular genes or gene-variants plays a substantial role in boosting susceptibility to depression. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainSuch research fuelled hopes that clinicians could soon use genetic testing to simply identify those at risk, and drug companies could develop medications to counteract a few genetically-driven culprits, researchers said in a statement. According to the team from the University of Colorado Boulder in the US, previous studies were incorrect – or “false positives” – and the scientific community should abandon what are known as “candidate gene hypotheses”. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma Award”This study confirms that efforts to find a single gene or handful of genes which determine depression are doomed to fail,” said Richard Border, a graduate student at University of Colorado Boulder. “We are not saying that depression is not heritable at all. It is. What we are saying is that depression is influenced by many variants, and individually each of those has a miniscule effect,” said Matthew Keller, an associate professor at University of Colorado Boulder. For the study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers looked at 18 genes which have appeared at least 10 times in depression-focused studies. Among them was a gene called SLC6A4, involved in the transport of the neurochemical serotonin. Research dating back 20 years suggests that people with a certain “short” version of the gene are at significantly greater risk of depression, particularly when exposed to early life trauma. The researchers also looked at genes involved in the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) a protein involved in nerve formation, and the neurotransmitter dopamine. Using genetic and survey data gathered from individuals via the UK Biobank, 23andMe, and the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, they set out to see if any of the genes, or gene variants, were associated with depression either alone or when combined with an environmental factor like childhood trauma or socioeconomic diversity. “We found that, as a set, these candidate genes are no more related to depression than any random gene out there,” said Keller. Keller said that in the field of genetics, scientists have known for years that candidate-gene hypotheses were flawed. However, hopeful researchers in other fields, including psychology, have continued to publish studies — often based on smaller sample sizes — which have kept the idea of a small set of “depression genes” alive. “It’s like in ‘The Emporer Wears No Clothes.’ There’s just nothing there. I hope this is the final nail in the coffin for those kind of studies,” said Keller. read more
Chennai: The hectic schedule of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was on full display when Mahendra Singh Dhoni posted a picture of him sleeping on the floor of an airport after Chennai Super Kings’ win over Kolkata Knight Riders. Considered to be one of the fitter players going around, the decorated former India captain led CSK to the top of the table after registering a facile seven-wicket win over KKR at home. The defending champions are scheduled to play their next game against Rajasthan Royals on Thursday in Jaipur which is almost half the length of India. And with the travel accommodated in just one day, with CSK going to Jaipur on an early morning flight on Wednesday, the skipper was clearly drained out. “After getting used to IPL timing this is what happens if you have a morning flight,” Dhoni’s post read. Dhoni was seen wearing the team’s travel kit and a black cap with wife Sakshi also in the frame taking a power nap. CSK have so far won five of the six games they have played. read more
Darjeeling: A summer holiday ended in a fatal car accident leaving 5 tourists dead and two seriously injured. The tourists were from Hooghly district.On Sunday, the accident took place while returning to Gangtok after visiting Baba Mandir in a tempo. “Around 6:40pm, on Sunday, the vehicle lost control and plunged 400 feet down in the 7th Mile area, around 10 km from Gangtok. Five person died and 2 are seriously injured,” said Thendup Bhutia, Officer-in-Charge, Sherathang, Sikkim. Local residents and police launched a rescue operation. Four persons died on the spot and one person succumbed to injuries at the hospital. The deceased were Kakali Bose (42) Shnehasish Bose (58) Soma Kar (32) Sandeep Kar (44) and Subhajit Bose (26). The injured are Mahua Patra (21) and her nephew Surjyas Kar (5). They have been admitted at the STNM Hospital in Sokethang. The tourists are from Haripal, Hooghly. A few days ago they had arrived in Sikkim for summer vacations. On Sunday they had gone for local sightseeing to Changu Lake. “There was dense fog and visibility was very low. Suddenly, there was a bend. I had applied the brakes but the vehicle slid down the gorge,” said Suresh Tamang, the driver who is at present in hospital. He said there were nine persons in the vehicle, including him. There were 7 tourists and a local resident. Relatives of the deceased have reached Sikkim. The bodies have been handed over to them. The bodies will be taken back to Hooghly on Tuesday. “We are in constant touch with the Sikkim Government. All possible help and cooperation will be extended to the family members of the deceased so that the dead bodies can be brought back” said Goutam Deb, Tourism Minister. read more
New Delhi: A voter turnout of 64 per cent was recorded in the fourth phase of Lok Sabha polls on Monday, the Election Commission said.Voting was held in 72 parliamentary constituencies spread across nine states in this phase. Stray incidents of violence in West Bengal and EVM glitches in some areas were reported. In the heartland states, where the BJP had won 30 out of 32 seats in 2014, 62 per cent turnout was witnessed in Rajasthan (13 seats), 53.12 per cent in Uttar Pradesh (13 seats) and 65.86 per cent Madhya Pradesh (6 seats). Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkWest Bengal recorded a high turnout at 76.47 in the eight seats that went to polls on Monday. In Dubrajpur area central security forces personnel reportedly opened fire in the air to disperse angry people who attacked them when they were barred from entering the booths with mobile phones. An FIR was registered against BJP minister Babul Supriyo for allegedly getting into an argument with polling officials, an election official said. CEO of Madhya Pradesh V L Kantha Rao said that during a mock-poll, EVMs were replaced at 207 polling booths as some glitches were found. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygenPolling was peaceful in Rajasthan, with tribal dominated seat of Banswara recording the highest voting percentage at 72.34, followed by Barmer which recorded 72.21 per cent voting, according to state election officials. Nearly 52 per cent voting was recorded in Maharashtra (17 seats), 64.05 per cent Odisha (6 places), 53.67 per cent Bihar (five seats) and 63.42 per cent Jharkhand (3 seats), according to data provided by the Election Commission till 6 pm. In Kulgam district of Anantnag constituency in Jammu and Kashmir, 10.3 per cent polling was recorded, amid isolated incidents of stone pelting. This was the second of the three-phased voting in the sensitive seat. Billionaires and Bollywood A-listers lined up outside polling stations along with the ordinary folks in Mumbai, where polling was held in six constituencies. Complaints of technical glitches in EVMs and VVPAT machines in some polling booths were addressed in Maharashtra, an election official said. According to a report from Hardoi, an elderly woman voter complained that the presiding officer at Jamkara booth under Sandila area forcibly pressed the EVM button. The sector magistrate has removed the officer and handed him over to the police who is investigating the matter. Prominent candidates whose electoral fate will be decided in this phase are Dimple Yadav, former Union ministers Salman Khurshid (Farrukhabd) and Sriprakash Jaiswal (Kanpur) of Congress, UP Cabinet minister Satyadev Pachauri (Kanpur) and Sakshi Maharaj of BJP (Unnao) In Bihar, voting was held-up due to EVM malfunctioning at three polling stations in Munger, two polling stations in Darbhanga and three polling stations in Begusarai, from where CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar and Union Minister Giriraj Singh (BJP) are contesting, due to technical glitches, official sources said. In Odisha, technical glitches in EVMs delayed polling in 60 booths, but it resumed after the snags were rectified, the official said. Election to 542 Lok Sabha seats is being conducted in seven phases between April 11 and May 19. read more
Rabat- Marjane Holding’s administration decided to stop selling alcoholic beverages in all of its supermarkets across Morocco. This unprecedented decision has taken aback many Marjane clients as soon as they noticed that alcoholic beverages booths were closed.The decision to stop selling alcohol beverages has been gradual. Over a year ago, Marjane’s administration announced its decision to stop selling alcohol beverages in many of its supermarkets across the country. Marjane administration had faced sharp criticism for selling alcohol in high-crime areas. There have been series of protests by local residents against these stores especially in Temara where 17 people were arrested during a demonstration in the summer of 2012.So far, Marjane hasn’t justified the decision, and clients and providers alike wonder about the reasons that prompted the holding to stop selling alcoholic beverages.Marjane has currently 32 supermarkets spread in the main cities of Morocco. Marjane is a subsidiary of the Royal holding SNI.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more
Fez- The court of appeal of the city of Casablanca sentenced the murderer and rapist of an 8-year old child to death penalty, Moroccan TV channel 2M reported on Thursday. The incident happened in April 2012 in the city of Mohammedia (30 Km from Casablanca) when the rapist enticed his victim, Meriem, an 8-year old girl to his shop, raped her then killed her and cut her corpse into pieces.This is the second time in over a month that a Moroccan court hands death sentence to a rapist. Last October, the court of Agadir, handed a death sentence to the rapist and murderer of a 3-year old. Moroccan courts rarely rule in favor of death penalty, therefore, the decision seems to be the result of the civil society’s growing indignation regarding child sexual abuse in the country.The last time a death sentence was handed in Morocco was in 1994.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more
Washington – Morocco’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Rachad Bouhlal, was honored yesterday as Ambassador of the Year by the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC).At a luncheon amidst a gathering of dignitaries, friends, colleagues, and supporters at the Willard Hotel in Washington D.C., Ambassador Bouhlal received the Ambassador of the Year award for his outstanding advocacy and service as Morocco’s Ambassador to the United States.Before presentation of the award, the celebration featured the testimonials of a long list of friends and fans of the Ambassador. Former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco, Ed Gabriel, a close personal friend, said, “The decision made by His Majesty King Mohamed VI to select Rachad Bouhlal as the new Ambassador was a deliberate one to put someone in place who would accomplish His Majesty’s mission to make Morocco a hub for Africa,” said Ambassador Gabriel. “It is truly remarkable what [Ambassador Bouhlal] has done to carry out the King’s vision.” Ambassador Gabriel said that Ambassador Bouhlal is a “great interlocutor,” a pilot, and a world class golfer, whose success, he jokingly quipped, “is due in large part to his wife, Fatiha.” Remarking that Ambassador Bouhlal cares not only about business but about his country’s culture, he concluded, “You truly are a real Renaissance man, Rachad.” With Governor Markell of Delaware and David Hamod of NUSACC – Photo Credit NUSACCThe current US Ambassador to Morocco, Dwight Bush, who was unable to attend, sent his congratulations, saying that Ambassador Bouhlal “represents the best of the diplomatic craft,” and “the diplomatic corps needs more people like Ambassador Bouhlal.”Others also remarked upon Ambassador Bouhlal’s ability to persuade and advocate to the host government on behalf of his country, and to explain the host country to leaders back home, the two key jobs of an ambassador. Governor Jack Markell of Delaware, Deputy Secretary Ken Hyatt, Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade of the Department of Commerce, all praised Ambassador Bouhlal’s contributions to diplomacy and US-Morocco relations.Bouhlal interview – Photo Credit Elisabeth MyersThe Ambassador “knows how to get round the dysfunction in Washington by getting out of Washington and visiting the states,” said Governor Markell. Hyatt highlighted the atmosphere of “opportunity, optimism, and openness” characterizing US-Morocco business relations fostered by the Ambassador’s “skill as a persuader, advocate, and ambassador.”Three of the nine state Honorary Consuls for Morocco — Jim Falk (Texas), Marilyn Diamond (Illinois), and Nana Lampton (Kentucky) — offered their congratulations.The most important remarks came from Ambassador Bouhlal himself. Noting that the US-Morocco relationship started with trade, he said that with his economic background he understands how trade can influence politics. He said he has tried to strengthen relations “by putting trade on top.” Referencing the oft-cited fact that Morocco was the first country to recognize the independence of the US, he said, “We recognized your country ten years before you did yourself!”Bouhlal acceptance -Photo Credit Elisabeth MyersFocussing on what he has tried to accomplish, he said, “If you want to do something, you need to go elsewhere than Washington in the US. I’ve been to 25 states in three years: states are so important.” He said he is working on the next state governor trip to Morocco. Highlighting the successes with the State of Delaware, he said this is an “opportunity to show that exports to the US create jobs.” He noted the plethora of US companies that have invested in and opened offices in Morocco — Boeing, Coca Cola, GE, Ford, Chevron, and Moneygram — not because “I have persuaded them to do it, but because they can make money.”“Why do they come?,” he asked. “They come because of the political stability. Morocco has free trade agreements not just with the US, but the EU, Turkey, and Jordan. These open up more and bigger markets,” he said. “They come because of good public infrastructure. They come because they find education and training and good schools. They come to Morocco because of something very special: the public-private partnerships. Public and private stakeholders get together to define a strategy for a sector. This provides for economic stability. And finally, there is no risk of expropriation [of capital].”As to the future, the Ambassador said he would keep making his visits to the individual states. Plans for the next US-Morocco business conference are already underway, with Atlanta and Seattle in the running, or “maybe both,” he said.Bouhlal award room-Photo Credit Elisabeth MyersHe concluded his remarks with a “special word for our Moroccan-Americans living and working in the US.” Although they may be small in numbers, he said, “wherever I go, I always find one.”David Hamod, President and CEO of NUSACC, said, “For each of the past ten years, NUSACC has identified an outstanding ambassador who has contributed significantly to U.S. – Arab commercial relations. This is the first time that we have selected an ambassador from the Kingdom of Morocco, which speaks volumes about the excellent work that Ambassador Bouhlal has done. NUSACC is exceptionally pleased to honor him with this award.”NUSACC, widely regarded as the voice of American business in the Arab world, is a trade association whose core mission is to strengthen U.S.-Arab relationships through mutually beneficial trade and investment. NUSACC serves as the US point of contact for 22 Arab nations, creating strong relationships between Arab and American Embassies as a critical element of the Chamber’s efforts to promote business and investment opportunities between the United States and the Arab world. read more
Istanbul – King Mohammed VI, accompanied by Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan, Princess Lalla Khadija and Princess Lalla Salma, was invited to take a cup of tea with the family of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.The Turkish president was accompanied, on this occasion, by his spouse Emine Erdogan and daughter Sumeyye Erdogan.This family meeting was held on the sidelines of the King’s private visit to Turkey.
Skhirate – The resumption of inter-Libyan political talks was postponed until next Thursday, March 19 in the Moroccan city of Skhirate, announced on Friday UNSG special representative for Libya Bernardino Leon.The decision was taken to help the different parties prepare themselves for this decisive phase of the dialogue, said Leon at a press conference following his consultations with Libyan delegations.With MAP
Paris – Moroccan Abdelkebir Ouaddar won on Sunday Grand Prix Hermès in Paris (CSI5*).It was a fast 16-horse jump-off that saw Abdelkebir Ouaddar and the 12-year-old stallion Quickly de Kreisker (Diamant de Semilly x Laudanum XX) going to the top.Former world number one, Scott Brash, followed as runner-up. German Christian Ahlmann finished third.
Rabat – Moroccan officials from several departments are in a race against the clock to finish a report about the causes of the delay of the “Al Hoceima Manarat Al Moutawasit” development projects.The report was ordered by King Mohammed VI during a meeting of the Council of Ministers on June 25.Jeune Afrique’s online edition said that the two inspection bodies of the Ministries of Interior and Finance, in addition to high commissioners from other departments, are in a frantic race to submit the report ordered by the monarch before the Throne Day on July 30. During the Council of Ministers meeting, King Mohammed VI expressed his disappointment at the delay of projects in the region of Al Hoceima, where protests continue for the ninth consecutive months.The King’s disappointment was highlighted by his decision to cancel vacations of several ministers until “further notice to ensure follow-up of the projects concerned.”The situation in Al Hoceima remained tense as protests continue to demand the release of detained activists and meet the social and economic demands of local residents, which include expanding job opportunities, improving infrastructures, and building hospitals and higher education facilities.Launched in October 2015, a year before protests began in Al Hoceima following the death of local fish vender Mouhcine Fikri, the five-year development mega-project “Al Hoceima Manarat Al Motawasit” promised to build infrastructure, promote tourism, and provide the region with health, sports, and cultural facilities.The protests put the government under pressure to speed up the projects’ realization. The King’s disappointment at their delay might expose several officials to sanctions, said Jeune Afrique. read more
Rabat – For the start of the holy month of Ramadan, several heads of government, such as King Mohammed VI, Justin Trudeau, and even Donald Trump, have released statements wishing a happy and blessed Ramadan to Muslims all over the world.King Mohammed VIKing Mohammed VI sent congratulatory messages to leaders of Islamic countries, expressing his best wishes for good health and happiness, and wishing their brotherly peoples further progress and prosperity.“This holy month of Ramadan, with its spirit of faith, human solidarity and compassion, is an opportunity for us to reminisce about the unity of Muslim peoples and the brotherly bonds uniting them. It is also a time to step up efforts to strengthen cooperation and mutual assistance between our countries and to enhance their commitment to the lofty values of our pristine faith – values which reject discord, extremism, hatred and reclusiveness, and advocate, instead, moderation and tolerance,” the King said. “The aim is for our Ummah [Islamic community] to hold its rightful place and continue to enrich human civilization,” the Sovereign added.“I pray that Almighty God grant us success in our untiring quest to fulfil the aspirations of the Muslim Ummah and instil confidence and hope in our younger generations so they may rise to current challenges and build a prosperous future in which peace, security and stability prevail,” the King said.Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al NahyanUAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan sent congratulatory messages to the kings, emirs and presidents of Arab and Islamic nations on the occasion of Ramadan.In his messages, Sheikh Khalifa wished the leaders and their people continued good health and well-being, as well as further progress and prosperity for Arab and Islamic nations.Prime Minister Justin TrudeauCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated Muslims in Canada and around the world on Tuesday, reflecting “on values such as compassion, gratitude and generosity.”“Over the coming month, people will gather in mosques and homes to pray, fast during the day time, and in the evening break their fast and enjoy iftars together,” said Trudeau.President Donald Trump The White House issued its annual US presidential message on Ramadan, wishing Muslims worldwide a blessed Ramadan.Diverging from his typical fear-mongering messages about “radical Islamic terror,” US President Donald Trump sent his “best wishes” to Muslims around the world.In contrast to his past messages of Muslim vilification, Trump highlighted the “richness Muslims add to the religious tapestry of American life” in his 2018 presidential message on Ramadan.Pope FrancisAt his general audience on Wednesday morning, May 16, Vatican City Sovereign Pope Francis sent greetings to Muslims for the month of Ramadan.“May this special time of prayer and fasting help everyone to walk the path of God, which is the path of peace,” he said.President Muhammadu Buhari“It is meant to inculcate righteousness and discipline,” said Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari of Ramadan, as he sent his greetings and best wishes to Muslims in Nigeria and across the world. read more
Rabat – King Mohammed VI had a telephone conversation tonight with Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, said a statement from the Royal Cabinet.Qatar was among the countries that voted today in favor of the Moroccan candidacy in the vote of designation of the organizing country of the World 2026 held today in Moscow, the statement said.During this telephone conversation Shaykh Tamim informed the Sovereign of the full support of Qatar in Morocco in the event that the Kingdom presents its candidacy for the organization of the World 2030, notes the same source. Betrayal of the SaudisMillions of Moroccans were taken aback by Saudi Arabia’s decision to vote for the United 2026 bid of the United States, Canada and Mexico.While Moroccans were hoping all Arab countries would vote for the Moroccan bid, seven Arab countries voted in favor of the United 2026 bid. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq all voted against the Moroccan bid.Upon the announcement of the final results of the vote, Moroccans took massively to social media to lash out at Saudi Arabia for their “betraying” Morocco and “stabbing it” in the back. Saudi Araba did not only vote for the United 2026, but it also embarked on last minute campaign to pressure many Muslim and Asian countries to vote for the American-led vid.According to several media reports, Saudi officials hosted on Tuesday night an Iftar in honor of the 204 delegations present in Moscow to participate in the vote.Many analysts view the Saudi decision to turn its back to Morocco as retaliation against the latter’s decision to take a position of neutrality in the Gulf crisis that broke out on June 5, 2017.While the Saudis, Emiratis and Bahrainis were expecting Morocco to back them in their feud with Qatar, King Mohammed decided to remain neutral and offered his good offices to help iron the differences between Qatar and a self-styled quartet composed of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt. read more
Rabat- In response to terrorist threats, Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) dismantled today a terrorist cell consisting of seven pro-ISIS extremists acting between Zaouiat Cheikh, Oulad Teïma, and Marrakech.The Ministry of Interior issued a statement this morning announcing the arrest by BCIJ of seven pro-ISIS extremists aged between 22 and 32. BCIJ acts under the General Directorate for Territorial Surveillance. The first investigations revealed that the suspects were actively promoting propaganda for ISIS through campaigns praising the barbaric acts of the terrorist group. According to the ministry’s statement, the suspected individuals were involved in “gathering and recruiting young people to plan terrorist attacks which undermine the security and stability of the Kingdom, at the instigation of an ISIS leader.” The arrest enabled the seizure of various electronic devices, knives, and electrical wires, in addition to written material released by ISIS and some of its branches, the statement said.The statements noted that some members of the cell were linked to the pro-ISIS terrorist cell dismantled on October 14, 2017 in Fes. This operation enabled the seizure of firearms, live ammunition, and chemicals used to manufacture explosives.The suspects apprehended this morning will be brought to justice at the conclusion of an investigation conducted by the public prosecutor is concluded, according to the statement.Since the beginning of this year, BCIJ has carried out several operations dismantling terrorist cells and arresting suspects with alleged links to ISIS. Just last Monday, BCIJ arrested four suspects with alleged ties to ISIS in Casablanca, Nador, Tangier, and Tiznit. read more
Rabat – King Mohammed VI has called out the minister of industry’s failure to perform satisfactorily, asking Moulay Hafid Elalamy to put the nation’s interests before his own.The King made the eyebrow-raising comments during a high-profile “work meeting” on Thursday at the Royal Palace of Rabat.The King had summoned Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani and a number of ministers in charge of strategic departments to discuss “a strategic reorientation” for employment and vocational training.Investing in youth employment and establishing a match between school curricula and the labor market’s needs prominently feature in the King’s successive push for a well-performing and inclusive labor market. The King has steadily called in the majority of his recent speeches for a new economic model that ensures accountability and inclusiveness, bridging the country’s socio-economic gap.He has especially called for more improvement and more efforts in areas such as energy and industry, as well as education and professional training, where satisfactory output is thought to vastly improve the country’s employment prospects.The King felt, however, that the ministers in charge of the strategic departments have not been doing enough for the success of his inclusiveness and efficiency roadmap, “one of the participants” told Moroccan outlet Medias 24.“You have been incapable of even producing a viable report on professional training,” King Mohammed VI reportedly fumed at the vocational training and employment minister. The King showed his frustration at the ministry’s inability to carry out reforms.Of all the ministers who attended the restricted meeting, Elalamy incurred the bulk of the royal fury, the participant noted to Medias 24.In addition to pointing out Elalamy’s department’s failure to meet royal expectations, King Mohammed VI called out the minister’s “arrogant behavior” and his dual nationality. Elalamy also holds Canadian citizenship, having graduated from Sherbrooke University in Quebec and served as a senior advisor in Quebec’s finance ministry.Earlier this year, in January, the King launched the Souss-Massa section of Morocco’s Industrial Acceleration Plan. The goal was to rekindle industry and create 22,000 jobs for the Souss-Massa region. The King complained, however, that very little has been done in one year to meet the goals.Angered by the slow pace and the unsatisfactory realization witnessed since he personally initiated the industrial plan, the King personalized the failure of Elalamy’s department. He fulminated at the minister’s “arrogant behavior unbefitting of public responsibility.”The King concluded by reminding Elalamy that the nation’s interests should always come before his own. read more
For more than six decades, the Federal Aviation Administration has relied on employees of airplane manufacturers to do government-required safety inspections as planes are being designed or assembled.But critics say the system, dubbed the “designee program,” is too cozy as company employees do work for an agency charged with keeping the skies safe while being paid by an industry that the FAA is regulating.“There is a potential conflict of interest,” said Todd Curtis, a former Boeing Co. safety engineer and creator of airsafe.com, a website that focuses on airline safety. “They (the FAA) don’t have the money to do all of the oversight. It’s a question of being practical.”The FAA’s oversight duties are coming under greater scrutiny after deadly crashes involving Boeing 737 Max jets operated by airlines in Ethiopia and Indonesia, killing a total of 346 people. The U.S. was nearly alone in allowing the planes to keep flying until it relented on Wednesday after getting satellite evidence showing the crashes may be linked.The FAA concedes that it doesn’t have resources to keep up with a growing aviation industry, and experts say it lacks the personnel to inspect every component, especially those made in other countries. But the agency says the program’s results speak for themselves. The U.S. has the safest skies in the world. Until April of last year, U.S. passenger airlines had not had a fatality since 2009, while carrying several billion passengers.But safety experts say it’s time to look into the agency’s relationship with Boeing. The FAA’s ties to the company were revealed when Boeing and the agency released similar messages shortly after the Indonesian airliner crashed in October and again this week, when the FAA announced that Boeing would upgrade the Max’s flight-control software, said Mary Schiavo, a former Transportation Department inspector general.With the messages, the FAA “revealed that they were just parroting what Boeing told them,” she said.The agency needs more people with technical skills to adequately monitor a company that makes machines as sophisticated as today’s jets, she said, contending that it didn’t understand the Max’s flight-control computer program.“The FAA readily states they don’t understand the 4 million lines of code and the 150 computers,” Schiavo said. “What they do is see that Boeing followed the process, they checked the FAA boxes. The public thinks the FAA has more involvement.”Indeed, the agency’s own website says that employees of manufacturers can approve design changes and aircraft repairs. “Using designees for routine certification tasks allows the FAA to focus its limited resources on safety critical certification issues,” it says.Congress will examine the relationship between Boeing and the FAA. Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said he would hold hearings on the FAA’s process for approving the planes.The agency’s practice of delegating certification processes has come under scrutiny before. In a 1993 report, the Government Accountability Office warned that the FAA was falling behind the industry in technical competence because of lack of training and delegation of tasks to the manufacturers. The report said 95 per cent of certification work for the Boeing 747-400 jetliner was delegated to the manufacturer in 1989. By comparison, 70 to 75 per cent of that work was done by the FAA in the early 1980s, the report said.In a separate report in 2005, the GAO said the FAA had no requirements for evaluating its designated certification workers within the industry. It also had incomplete records about safety violations that occurred during the inspection process.FAA designees have also run afoul of the law. Last February, Edward Carl Fernandez, an FAA-designated representative in Florida, pleaded guilty to falsely certifying the airworthiness of aviation parts. Between 2010 and 2013, prosecutors said, Fernandez would sign off on parts from an aviation repair company in exchange for bribes.Checks by the employees, who are paid by the airplane makers, are reviewed by government inspectors. In a 2017 video, FAA Assistant Administrator Peggy Gilligan said the agency had 6,000 engineers and aircraft inspectors overseeing 7,500 designees in aircraft certification and flight standards. Another 4,000 designees are working at FAA-approved companies, like parts suppliers.Curtis, who worked for Boeing from 1991 to 2000, said the system is designed so that company employees defer to the FAA if they find something wrong.Peter Goelz, a former NTSB managing director who now is an aviation safety consultant, said the system has worked well for years. “But at times like this, people start to question it,” he said.He’s not one of them, though, saying that the proof is in the outcome. “We have had the safest aviation system in the world for a long time,” Goelz said. “The size of the bureaucracy you would need to move to a completely ‘gotcha environment’ simply would be unsustainable.”James Hall, a former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said he thinks the agency may have gotten complacent.“We have a good system,” said Hall, the former NTSB chairman, “and sometimes people go to sleep when things are going well. It’s time to wake up.”____Koenig reported from Dallas. Krisher and Durbin reported from Detroit.Tom Krisher, David Koenig And Dee-Ann Durbin, The Associated Press read more
SAN FRANCISCO — The suspected New Zealand shooter carefully modeled his attack for the internet age. He live-streamed the massacre and published a manifesto with inside jokes for those fluent in underground internet culture.The gunman who streamed the attack posted the long, rambling manifesto online using the name Brenton Tarrant. It makes him the latest alleged killer to carry out an attack alongside an appeal to online communities that breed extremism.During Tarrant’s live-stream he called out a popular internet meme that has become a rallying cry among some internet circles. His manifesto spread quickly on social media site 8chan, a site where people often post violent and hate-filled comments.His manifesto was full of comments made to appeal to internet trolls.By Rachel Lerman, The Associated Press read more