APTN National NewsThe federal government has been accused of knowingly withholding key pieces of information from parties involved in an ongoing Canadian Human Rights Tribunal looking into whether Canada discriminates against First Nations children.In a ruling released Wednesday from the tribunal panel, Canada has until the end of August to provide tens of thousands of documents relevant to the case that they’ve been withholding.The documents were discovered after Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, one of the complainants in the case, submitted an access to information request to the department of Aboriginal Affairs.The tribunal is hearing a case brought on by the FNCFCS and the Assembly of First Nations. Both accuse Canada of spending less on First Nations child welfare than what provincial governments spend for non-First Nations children.What seemed to trouble the tribunal panel was that the government concealed the relevant documents from the parties involved and for how long.“The respondent (Canada), knew of the existence of a number of these documents, prejudicial to its case and highly relevant in the summer of 2012 and yet failed to disclose them,” the ruling states.Download (PDF, Unknown)According to the ruling, the parties involved, including the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the AFN and the Chiefs of Ontario, had three opportunities, Oct. 31, 2012, Dec. 28, 2012 and Feb. 25, 2013, to disclose information that could be used to examine witnesses who were called to testify.Canada submitted its first two sets of records by October and its third at the end of December. In a conference call with all parties in early February, Canada confirmed that, for its part, it would be able to abide by the Feb. 25, 2013 deadline.But all that came crashing down in May 2013 as the tribunal was underway. The hearings start again July 15.The discovery of the large amount of documents came after Blackstock became curious about the lack of information being disclosed by Justice Canada at the hearing. In the fall of 2012, Blackstock filed an access to information request to Aboriginal Affairs.In April 2013, she received a compact disc containing thousands of records dealing with First Nations child welfare agencies across the country and information regarding some of the witnesses who had already testified at the tribunal. When Blackstock cross-referenced the information to what the government had disclosed, she found that the information was no where to be found. The information included an audit of the Mi’kmaq Family Services in Nova Scotia and the Gixen Family services in British Columbia.When the hearings started again in May, Blackstock and her lawyer brought up the issue.“This is a surprise to us that there is a large volume of documents yet to be disclosed,” FNCFCS lawyer Paul Champ told the tribunal. “We always believed there would be ongoing disclosure because the case is ongoing and new audits come up then fine, but it appears from the letter from counsel (Justice Canada) that basically there’s a large number of documents dating back to 2010 that have not yet been disclosed.”It was then Canada acknowledged that there were approximately 50,000 documents that may be relevant to the tribunals work and that it would take considerable effort to get those documents ready for the parties involved.The feds said at the hearing that it was going beyond what its understanding of disclosure was for this case.“The Attorney General takes disclosure very seriously,” said Justice Canada lawyer Jonathan Tarlton at the hearing. “I understand that before this hearing was reconvened, it was anticipated that disclosure would go back to 2009 and as Mr. Champs’ letter states, we’ve gone to 2010.”None of the parties could recollect such an agreement.The federal government knew it had a mountain of paperwork to go through. Every regional office was being tapped for documents from coast to coast to coast.In 2008, it hired Public History Inc. to sift through the records and prepare a package for Aboriginal Affairs and Justice Canada to approve. But it was while one of PHI’s staff was testifying at the tribunal that the parties learned of the scope of the search and that Canada was not even close to meeting its deadline.According to Pia Newell Santiago, co-president of PHI, Canada was told in October of 2012 that because of the high number of records, it was at risk of missing its March 2013 deadline.The company suggested that Canada hire a second company to assist. Canadian Development Consultants Inc. was hired in March 2013, three days after Canada lost its last federal court ruling trying to kill the tribunal hearings. CDCI informed Canada that its projected completion date was the end of September 2013. According to the tribunal, Canada also hired a third company, but has yet to provide details, including the name or the nature of its work for the government.This testimony wasn’t lost on the tribunal panel. In its ruling it chastises Canada for failing to reveal this information.“The respondent attended the hearing dates in in April 2013 knowing full well that its disclosure requirement was incomplete. Furthermore, it had just entered into a contract with CDCI to assist in completing its disclosure requirement and had been informed by the company that it would take until the end of September 2013, at the earliest, to complete. The respondent withheld this information from the parties and the tribunal,” the tribunal said.No one from Aboriginal Affairs was available to comment.The tribunal sent the parties off together to try and work out an agreement of when the records would be disclosed. Canada stated that it could roll out the release between September and December 2013, or after the tribunal had wrapped up its work. A number of meetings followed and the parties could not agree so they asked the tribunal to rule.The tribunal panel was asked by the Caring Society to set a final date of mid-June where all the documents held by the government of Canada would be disclosed. Canada on the other hand, said that given the vast amount of records to be sorted and approved, asked for an adjournment until the fall.In Wednesday’s ruling, the panel met each party halfway.The panel ordered Canada to fully disclose the records by August 31, 2013.And added:“We note that the respondent’s conduct here is far from irreproachable…had the respondent communicated the challenges it faced in obtaining these large amount of disclosure, the tribunal, with the parties, could have worked together to find a solution. The respondent has denied this opportunity to everyone and forced the tribunal, to put it bluntly, into a mode of damage control.”The hearing will now go into firstname.lastname@example.org
APTN National NewsBefore the election, the Liberals said they would provide more funding for the Nutrition North program.On Tuesday, the government did and the leader of Nunavut’s food price fighters is optimistic and calling it a good start.APTN’s Kent Driscoll has this story from Iqaluit.
APTN InFocus with Cheryl McKenzieThe Ontario Sixties Scoop Class Action court victory is so far the only one of its kind in the Western world.The Ontario Superior Court ruled on February 14th, 2017 that Canada is liable for loss of cultural identity by those Indigenous 60s scoop plaintiffs who were placed in non-Indigenous homes.Now other 60s Scoop Survivors, like our guests in this show, are looking at what it could mean for them.In this edition, Jeffery Wilson, the lawyer representing Ontario Class Action lead plaintiff, Chief Marcia Brown-Martel, explains his view of where we are in light of the cultural genocide endured by tens of thousands of children who were scooped from their families.
Larissa Burnouf APTN National NewsA father in Saskatchewan wants answers from the province’s ministry of Social Services after it refused to return his two youngest children, even though, he and his spouse have been approved by the department to provide foster care to other children.The man who cannot be named because his children are in care of the state, lost custody of his six children in 2011, while he was away at work in Fort McMurray, Alta., for three weeks.His late wife was having problems caring for all of them by herself.She passed away a short time later and since then, he has managed to regain custody of his four oldest children, but not without what he said was a long, expensive fight with Social Services.“In 2014 they started having trial dates, but from 2011 to now, I think they’ve adjourned it 50-60 times and each time they adjourn it,” he said. “It costs us $2500-3000 and that moneycould have went to the kids.”He said between the legal fees, and missed days at work to attend the court hearings, it has cost him and his family over $100,000.He said he and his new wife have gone above and beyond what has asked of them by social services to have his six children returned.He said they have been met with resistance from social services and the foster family of the two youngest daughters who remain in the care of the Province.The man said they have proven to have a stable and healthy home and have even been approved to care for two other children in their home, including a new born baby.“Ya we can look after other people’s kids but not my own!” he said.He said his spouse has given up her job to stay home and care for the children while he works.“I’ve been fighting for them and social services has been neglecting on everything that I have been doing right. Working and providing for my family,” he said.His new wife said instead of paying thousands of dollars to fight social services, they could have spent that money on family.“We don’t get to go to theme parks, we can’t take them to movies,” she said. “We cant do outings unless they’re free because any extra money that we do have or any extra money that we manage to save goes to pay off, or we give to the lawyer.”The Provincial Ministry of Social Services would not comment on the case or confirm or deny the man’s claims.He is now turning to the help of Northern Saskatchewan’s MLA to see if he can help in any email@example.com
Annette FrancisAPTN NewsWhile cannabis is now legal across Canada, the Whitefish River First Nation in Ontario says not so fast.A community meeting on the weekend decided that a moratorium on stores that sell pot will stay in place until further notice.The chief, and Elders says more research is needed before the community will open its arms to firstname.lastname@example.org@aptnafrancis
TORONTO – The Bank of Nova Scotia is doubling down on Chile with a $2.9-billion offer to buy a majority stake in a Chilean bank, as the Canadian lender’s latest quarterly profits rose despite a drop in trading revenues, natural disasters and a flying loonie.Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) said Tuesday it has submitted a binding offer to acquire Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A.’s (BBVA) interests in its Chilean banking operation, BBVA Chile, and certain subsidiaries.If the deal goes through, it would double Scotiabank’s market share in Chile to roughly 14 per cent and make the Canadian lender the third-largest non-state owned bank in the country, it added.The bank said the transaction is in line with its strategy to increase its scale within the Chilean banking sector and the high-growth Pacific Alliance countries, which also includes Mexico, Peru and Colombia.“This is a high-quality asset bank,” Scotiabank’s president and chief executive Brian Porter told analysts on a conference call.“It’s very well run,” he said. “We think it’s a good fit of assets, and will be a good fit of people and technology.”BBVA owns about 68 per cent of BBVA Chile — which has $29 billion in assets and has 4,000 employees at 127 branches — and its minority partner, the Said family, owns about 32 per cent. Scotiabank added that BBVA is willing to accept the deal if the Said family does not exercise its right of first refusal under a shareholders agreement.The $2.9-billion offer came hours before Scotiabank posted fourth-quarter earnings of $2.07 billion in net income or $1.64 diluted earnings per share for the three months ended Oct. 31, up from $2.01 billion or $1.57 during the same time last year.Canada’s third-biggest lender was the first of the country’s biggest banks to report its fourth-quarter earnings. Scotiabank posted net interest income, or the profit generated from loans, of $3.83 billion, up five per cent from a year earlier. Adjusting for the negative impact of foreign currency translation, fourth-quarter net interest income grew seven per cent.Scotiabank’s latest quarter was helped by its Canadian banking division, with net income attributable to shareholders up by 12 per cent to $1.06 billion. Its international banking division saw an 11 per cent rise in net income to $605 million during the period, even amidst a string of natural disasters including hurricanes in the Caribbean and an earthquake in Mexico.Still, these profit bumps were offset by a 15 per cent drop in fourth-quarter net income in its global banking and markets division to $391 million.Scotiabank’s provision for credit losses, or money set aside for bad loans, was $536 million, down from $550 million in the same period a year earlier.“Overall, we had been anticipating a weak close to the capital markets year for the group and, at least so far, that is what we have gotten,” said CIBC analyst Robert Sedran in a note to clients. “Soft revenues held back the results this quarter.”Shares of Scotiabank were down as much as 2.45 per cent on Tuesday to $81.43 in early morning trading in Toronto.Even still, the bank reported a nearly 11 per cent increase in net income for the fiscal year to $8.24 billion up from $7.37 billion a year earlier. Scotiabank’s diluted earnings per share for the 2017 fiscal year rose eight per cent to $6.49, compared to $6 in 2016.Its key measure of financial health, the common equity tier 1 ratio (CET1), increased to 11.5 per cent, up from 11.3 per cent in its third quarter and 11.0 per cent in the fourth quarter last year.That strong ratio gives Scotiabank the “optionality” to deploy its capital in various ways, including acquisitions, Porter said.If the transaction to acquire all the shares of BBVA Chile is completed, Scotiabank’s CET1 would be reduced by approximately 135 basis points, it said. Scotiabank’s chief financial officer Sean McGuckin told analysts that he expects the CET1 ratio to stay above 10.5.If successful, Scotiabank expects to settle the transaction during its first quarter, which ends on Jan. 31, and close the deal in the summer of 2018, bank executives said.Scotiabank shares fell on news of the proprosed deal to $1.75, or 2.10 per cent, to $81.73 at the closing of markets.
VANCOUVER – Shares of Arizona Mining Inc. soared in early trading after the company announced a deal to be acquired by Australian company South32 Ltd. that valued the company at about $2.1 billion.Under the deal, South32, which already holds a 17 per cent stake in the company, has agreed to pay $6.20 per share for the shares it does not already hold.Shares in Arizona Mining were up $2.00 or about 48 per cent at $6.13 in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.The deal requires approval by a two-thirds majority vote by shareholders including South32 and a simple majority of shareholders excluding South32.The company says directors and officers of Arizona Mining, who own a 34 per cent stake in the company, entered into voting support agreements.Arizona Mining owns the Hermosa base-metals project in southern Arizona.Companies in this story: (TSX:AZ)
The Co-operators Group Ltd. has expanded its storm surge insurance coverage in Atlantic Canada after several high-profile weather events in the region.The insurer is making the coverage available for the first time to homeowners in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island.The company said Monday that the comprehensive water insurance provides coverage for storm surges, overflowing lakes, rivers and creeks and sewer or septic backup.“Overland flooding has been identified as the most pervasive and costliest cause of damage to Canadian homes, yet most are inadequately protected against this growing risk,” said Co-operators CEO Rob Wesseling in a statement.The Co-operator’s coverage was recently released in Nova Scotia.Atlantic Canada was hit by major flooding this past April and May that saw water levels reach and sometimes exceed levels last seen in the 2008 flood.Insurer Aviva introduced its overland water protection flood insurance across Canada in 2015 in recognition of changing weather patterns.Many insurance companies started flood insurance programs after the Alberta flood of 2013 caused more than $4 billion in uninsured losses.About three-quarters of Canada’s major insurance companies now offer overland flood coverage, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.The Co-operators first offered overland flood insurance in Alberta in 2015 and expanded the coverage to Ontario in 2016.
GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – Grande Prairie RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in locating 16-year-old Dawn Rogerson.Dawn was last seen in Sexsmith on January 13, 2019. There is a concern for Rogerson’s well-being. The RCMP would like to locate and speak with her as soon as possible.Rogerson is described as: Brown HairBrown eyes5″3′160lbsWearing black pants and black hoodie.If you have any information about her whereabouts, please contact Grande Prairie RCMP Detachment at 780-830-5700. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1.800.222.8477 (TIPS) or by Internet at www.tipsubmit.com
Mumbai: A day after a foot overbridge connected to CSMT railway station collapsed, killing six persons and injuring 31, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has decided to dismantle the structure. In a meeting chaired by BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta Friday morning, it was also decided that the civic body’s Chief Engineer (Vigilance) would conduct an inquiry into the causes that led to the deck of the FOB collapsing on Thursday evening. Ward Officer Kiran Dighawkar said work on dismantling the FOB had begun and cranes and gas-cutters had been assembled for the work. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! “We aim to open DN Road for vehicular traffic by 7pm Friday,” he said. Another official said the Chief Engineer (Vigilance) has been asked to submit his preliminary report within 24 hours identifying staff responsible and the role of those who carried out its structural audit. The scope of the probe would include the history of the bridge, the time when the structural audit was carried out, and whether the methodology used was appropriate and staff deployed had adequate technical expertise, the official informed. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed Earlier in the day, a BMC official had said the FOB was was found to be structurally safe when it was audited in August 2016, soon after a British-era bridge over Savitri River got washed away in monsoon downpour in Mahad in Raigad district. “During that audit, 354 bridges were checked for their structural soundness. The FOB that collapsed on Thursday was marked C2B. This means it needed minor repairs only. Tenders were floated for the repair but it got held up,” the official had said Friday morning. After a visit to the site Friday morning, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had asked Mehta to fix “primary responsibility” for Thursday’s foot overbridge collapse by evening.
New Delhi: Conveying the hopes and aspirations of the physically-challenged people in the country, president of Bharatiya Divyang Sansthan Amit Kumar handed over the ‘Divyang Manifesto’ to Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot.The ‘Divyang Manifesto’ is a vision document suggesting the ways to the Union Government for the upliftment of the physically-challenged class.Minister Gehlot stated that incumbent Modi government has done some unprecedented work in its tenure of five years for the welfare of Divyangs. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainThe centre is now providing direct support and scholarships to physically challenged people. The government has created provision of subsided loans for Divyangs. Minister said that after BJP came to power. New categories have been created for Physically challenged people and the government is providing extra grants to the organisations employing Divyangs. Physically challenged athletes are getting special cash packages to ensure they reach new heights in the field of sports and become independent. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardShowing their trust in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the manifesto pledged complete support from Diyangs to the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2019. The document also urged the BJP to bring the Divyangs in mainstream politics by giving some reservation to them in the party. The Cabinet Minister, however, expressed inability to provide political reservation to the Divyangs at the moment. After discussing with the Central Minister, Amit Kumar called for all Divyangs and other Divyang organisations to unite and press for the demand of getting political reservation and quota in the Parliaments. Amit Kumar stressed the Divyangs will have to create the atmosphere and achieve what is rightfully theirs by virtue of their power of votes. The condition of the Divyangs will not improve until they get political representation. Gehlot said that all other demands of the organisation will be taken up sympathetically for the upliftment of Divyangs. Amit Kumar thanked the Union Minister for lending support to their manifesto. He said that the country has a lot of expectations from PM Modi because leaders like him can ensure the upliftment of every section of society. The minister gifted Amit Kumar books published underlining the achievements and plans of the Ministry.
Itahar/Buniyadpur (WB): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday asked the people to keep vigil about transportation of boxes of various colours, in an oblique reference to allegations of a black trunk having been offloaded from the prime minister’s helicopter in Karnataka. Speaking at two rallies in Balurghat constituency, Banerjee attacked the RSS saying that it has imbibed the “shopping mall culture”. “I urge the public to keep their eyes and ears open as during elections boxes of various colours – red, blue and other colours – are coming,” Banerjee said without naming anyone. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja The Congress had on Sunday demanded a probe into the alleged transportation of a “suspicious black trunk” in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter during his visit to Chitradurga in Karnataka for poll campaign. Modi had addressed an election rally in Chitradurga on April 9. The party also played a video clip purportedly showing that the trunk, after being unloaded from the PM’s helicopter, was carried to a private car that, it alleged, was not a part of the SPG carcade and was taken away. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway Taking on the RSS, the Trinamool Congress supremo said, “Those who used to wear khaki shorts have now imbibed the shopping mall culture.” The RSS have shed its 90-year-old dress code and knee-length khaki shorts were replaced by brown trousers. She reiterated her allegation that the Congress is taking assistance of the RSS to help its Jangipur and Baharampur candidates win. While Abhijit Mukherjee, the son of former President Pranab Mukherjee, is the Congress candidate at Jangipur, former West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Adhir Chowdhury is the the party’s candidate from Baharampur. Claiming that the BJP was indulging in politics of dividing people on religious lines, Banerjee said she was ready to risk her life but would not allow politics of division. “It (BJP) claims to be champion of Hinduism. Are we not Hindus?” she asked, saying that her parents had taught her to respect all religions and to treat them equally. The firebrand TMC supremo, who is a Brahmin, said she chants Chandi mantra every morning. “The BJP is imposing on us a religion which has no relation to Hinduism or our country. We believe in togetherness of different faiths and languages,” she said. Claiming that the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre has worked against the interest of the general public of the country, she alleged that prices of petroleum products were increased everyday when crude oil rates were low in the international market. “The LPG price has touched Rs 800 per cylinder. If a poor person has to buy gas at such a high price, he will be left with no money to buy food,” she said. Claiming that the NRC in Assam has left lakhs of Hindu and Muslim Bengalis stateless, she asserted that she will not allow it in West Bengal. BJP president Amit Shah has said in various rallies in West Bengal that the saffron party would implement the NRC in the state if voted to power again.
Kolkata: A 58-year-old patient disappeared from the NRS Medical College and Hospital on Monday. The family members of the victim have brought the charges of medical negligence against the hospital authorities.The incident triggered tension among some patients who have been undergoing treatment at the hospital. The victim, Amal Mali, a resident of Balurghat in South Dinajpur, was brought to the hospital after he suffered a brain stroke. Mali, a daily wage labourer, suffered the brain stroke on April 20 at his work place. He was immediately rushed to the Balurghat hospital. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe patient was transferred to Malda Medical College and Hospital on April 21 as his condition deteriorated. As the patient showed no sign of improvements, the doctors at the Malda Medical College and Hospital shifted the patient to the NRS Medical College and Hospital on April 22. The patient was undergoing treatment and his condition improved at the NRS Medical College. The family members are not getting any trace of the patient from Monday. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe family members of the victim informed the matter to the hospital officials and demanded a probe into the incident. They raised questions on how the disappearance of a patient from the hospital went unnoticed by the staff members. Victim’s family members alleged that the police refused to lodge a complaint. A senior hospital official said if a patient disappears from the hospital, it is automatically reported. They are still clueless on how a patient had gone missing.
Perth: Young striker Sumit Kumar Jr struck a brace after comeback-man Rupinder Pal Singh opened the scoring as India’s men’s hockey thumped Australia ‘A’ 3-0, here Friday. Drag-flicker Rupinder, competing after nearly eight-month injury layoff , scored in the the sixth minute to give the visitors the lead. Sumit found the back of the net in the 12th and 13th minutes, helping India win their second game in a row. The aggressive Indians dominated the first quarter, constantly looked to break into the striking circle. The tactic worked as all three goals were scored in the first quarter putting the home team on the back-foot. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: Rijiju India’s first goal came when the team won their first short corner of the match. Rupinder showed good nick, as he timed the flick well with good power and speed to send it past the opposition goalkeeper. Defender Harmanpreet Singh’s skillful tackling saw Australia ‘A’ lose ball possession which led to India’s second goal. A fine assist by skipper Manpreet Singh to Sumit saw the youngster score a superb field goal in the 12th minute. The home team were left stunned when India converted their third goal in the very next minute when striker Akashdeep Singh set-up the goal scored by 21-year-old Sumit. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai Masters With a formidable 3-0 lead in the first quarter, India did well in terms of stitching together good defence to hold off the Australian attack. Harmanpreet remained a vital cog of Indian defence as he won possession from Australian ball-carrier on several occasions that broke the home team’s rhythm. Australia’s lone goal-scoring opportunity came in the second quarter when they created a PC but India goalkeeper Krishan Pathak was up to the task. “It was a very good first quarter with the basics right. After a 3-0 lead, it was important we stayed focused on the process. The second and third quarter was tight. I was happy with the things we have been working on, we created a lot of opportunities and I believe we can still do better in our finishing,” Indian chief coach, Graham Reid said. India will play their next game on Monday where the team will look to continue their fine run in the tour. “The next game will be harder and we are looking forward to it. The team will be stronger from today’s which had about seven national players from Australian senior team. But it’s a good progression,” Reid added.
CAIRO (AA) – The son of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday denied reports that his jailed father had collapsed in prison.“The president remains steadfast,” Osama Morsi told Anadolu Agency, adding “He remains in good physical and psychological condition.”Osama slammed the “false news” circulating about his father’s health by what he described as “hostile media.” Morsi was flown to Alexandria’s Borg al-Arab Prison Hospital on Monday after appearing in court with seven other defendants to answer charges that he had incited the murder of demonstrators last year.Osama described his father’s admission to the prison hospital as a “routine measure.”Monday’s court session was Morsi’s first public appearance since his ouster more than four months ago. Since then, he has been held at an undisclosed location by Egypt’s military-backed authorities.Trial proceedings were postponed by almost two months – they are now slated to recommence on January 8 – after defense lawyers requested more time to examine documentation related to the case.Morsi, for his part, has refused to recognize the trial’s legitimacy and has refused formal legal representation.The ousted leader told the presiding judge that he still represented “Egypt’s legitimate president.”Morsi, Egypt’s first freely-elected civilian leader, was ousted by the country’s military establishment on July 3 following protests against his presidency.
PARIS- French judges have opened a corruption probe into oil group Total’s activities in Libya when it was still under the dictatorship of Moamer Kadhafi, judicial sources revealed on Thursday.Investigators suspect that a September 2009 payment of $9.8 million (6.9 million euros) Total made to the Liechtenstein-based North Global Oil and Gas Company (NGOC) was a first downpayment on what was planned as a much bigger kickback to an official or officials in the Kadhafi regime.They believe that NGOC was controlled by Ziad Takieddine, a controversial Franco-Lebanese businessman who had close links to the regime. At the time of the payment, Total was attempting to secure the rights to a major gasfield. The negotiations were never concluded and finally abandoned when Libya descended into civil war in 2011.The Liechtenstein firm allegedly wanted to eventually transfer $70 million to Ormerod, a company set up in the British Virgin Islands in 2008 and controlled by a Libyan with Belize and Canadian passports. That man has been identified by the investigators as a former senior official in ODAC, a Libyan public body whose assets were briefly frozen by the European Union after Kadhafi’s fall from power.Takieddine is implicated in several political scandals France and has been charged with corruption in the so-called Karachi scandal in which he allegedlyreceived kickbacks on a 1994 arms deal with Pakistan.He is also suspected of acting as an intermediary between French former president Nicolas Sarkozy and Khadafi and has accused Sarkozy of accepting funding for his successful 2007 election campaign from the late Libyan dictator.
Rabat – The National Control Commission for the protection of personal data (CNDP) has given its okay to Inwi, for its own account and that of its subsidiaries to ensure the protection, confidentiality and security of personal data of its customers and service users.To ensure the confidence of its clients, Inwi has set up a charter for the protection of personal data and respect for privacy that will soon be put online and could be checked on the website www.inwi.ma, said a statement from the operator.Inwi led, since the entry into force of the Law No. 09-08 relating to the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data, a large-scale project to upgrade its standards and procedures to comply with the provisions of this law and ensure greater protection, confidentiality and security in the processing of personal data.
Rabat – It is estimated that around 1,200 Moroccans have joined extremist groups in the Middle East, according to figures reported by British newspaper the Telegraph. Morocco is ranked in the top ten countries by foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria. The countries with the most fighters in the conflict are Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Russia, and France.According to the figures gathered by the UN, the Soufan group and the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization, around 5,000 Tunisians are reported to be fighting in the ranks of terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria, mainly the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. The Soufan group, which provides strategic security intelligence services to governments and multinational organizations, said the figures may also include women and children.The report has revealed that an estimated 20,000 foreign fighters have travelled to Iraq and Syria since violence broke out in 2011. 11,000 of them are from the Asian continent.5,000 people from Europe are reported to have joined the conflict zone. Most fighters are coming from France, Germany and the United Kingdom.The top ten countries by foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria are as follow: Tunisia (5000), Saudi Arabia (2275), Jordan (2000), Russia (1700), France (1550), Turkey (1400), Morocco (1200), Lebanon (900), Germany (700) and the United Kingdom (700).© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission
Rabat – After being nominated for 2017’s “Most Handsome Faces,” Moroccan pop singer Saad Lamjarred again appears to be “using his head” to entertain his audience.The singer has just published a new photo on Snapchat. With puffy cheeks and absent chin, the picture caught the eyes of many Snapchat users.After having made a name for himself on Facebook and Instagram, Lamjarred set his sights on Snapchat, using its filters to interact with fans and friends
Rabat – Sunil Gulati, President of US Soccer Federation has expressed concerns over the US 2026 World Cup bid. For Gulati, international political issues surrounding US President Donald Trump may affect the three-nation North American bid.Gulati described the bid as a “tough battle” for the three countries, according to to the US-based sports TV channel, ESPN .The United States is involved in a joint bid with Mexico and Canada to claim eligibility to host the 2026 World Cup. The three-nation North American bid has one rival: Morocco. The federation president is certain that the US-Canada-Mexico bid has all that it needs to make the voters support their bid.“We have to go out and convince what eventually will be 104 voters to vote for us,” Gulati said. He added that the North American three-nation bid seeks a “few extra votes to break the one-vote swing. But this won’t be easy.”Speaking about his concerns, Gulati mentioned recent US political controversies, such as the American embassy relocation to Jerusalem and Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.as potential roadblocks to the bid.“This is not only about our stadiums and our hotels and all that. It’s about perceptions of America and it’s a difficult time in the world,” Gulati said.He added that there are few things that is beyond his control. “We can’t control what happens at the 38th parallel in Korea, we can’t control what happens with embassies in Tel Aviv and we can’t control what happens with climate change accords. We do the best we can. We have the support of Washington.”Gulati will retire his presidency of the US Soccer Federation next month, after having served as its chairman for 12 years. Howeve, Gulati will remain the chairman of the committee board of directors for the three-nation bid.In December, Gulati said that the North American bidders are expecting Morocco to “campaign hard” in order to host the 2026 World Cup.“We expect Morocco to put forward a very good bid […], we expect them to campaign hard,” he said.Earlier this month, President of Morocco’s Football Federation Fouzi Lekjaa said that Morocco is ready to face the North American bid to host the 2026 World Cup.The bid will be based on a vote by all members of the FIFA. Lekjaa added that this could be in Morocco’s favor, “unlike previous times when only the Executive Committee had the last word on the matter.”Lekjaa said that 104 votes for Morocco would be enough for the country to host the 2026 world tournament. In June 2018, 221 national federations will gather at a congress in Moscow to finalize eligibility decisions for the 23rd FIFA World Cup host site. The candidates’ files should meet FIFA’s technical terms, including infrastructural and commercial criteria.Candidates will have to submit their complete candidacy files and proposals by March 16.Morocco submitted its candidacy to host the tournament on August 11, 2017. Ahmad Ahmad, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) president, highly endorsed his nation’s bid