Bieber Grande Miley join hands for music video

first_imgLos Angeles: Rapper Lil Dicky has unveiled a star-studded music video featuring singers Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus. Lil Dicky has dropped his new music video for Earth. It’s not only a song but also a short film, a music-led initiative to raise awareness for climate change and an extravagant Earth Day celebration, reports people.com. The 31-year-old recruited over 30 artistes to appear in the six-minute animated masterpiece. The group of A-listers, which includes Bieber, Sia, Grande, Miley, Ed Sheeran and more, lend their voices to anything and everything climate change-related. To name a few: Halsey as a lion cub and Meghan Trainor as India. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: PriyankaHe gave fans a preview of the highly anticipated music video during an episode of ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’. The rapper and comedian turned to the live audience and passionately spoke about the “environmental crisis going on right now” before sneaking in a story about how cool actor Leonardo DiCaprio is. “I went to his house and we played pickle ball,” Lil Dicky said. “One thing I can tell you is that guy cares so much about the planet. He gets really worked up talking about it.” Lil Dicky has teamed up with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (established by the Oscar-winner in 1998) to raise cash for a good cause. Net profits earned from the song, the short film-esque music video and Earth-related merchandise will be distributed to select non-profits identified by LDF as being on the front lines of implementing solutions to climate change.last_img read more

Trafffic diverted due to IPL match and ShabeBarat

first_imgNEW DELHI: Traffic would be diverted near FerozShah Kotla ground during the IPL T-20 match between Delhi Capitals Vs Kings XI Punjab on Saturday.The religious function of Muslims Shab-e-Barat also falls on the same day hence necessary arrangements have been made on Delhi roads near the ground. The match starts from 8 pm to 11:30 pm on 20 April. Delhi Traffic Police has made elaborate traffic arrangements for parking of vehicles, traffic circulation, pedestrians’ movement and safety of the visitors in and around the Stadium. Spectators are advised to use metro facility to reach the Stadium; Delhi Gate Metro Station (Gate No. 4 & 5) is the nearest to reach the Stadium. ITO Metro Station (Gate No. 3, 4 & 5) can also be used to reach the Stadium. People are requested to avoid the following roads from 4 pm to 11.30 pm on the match day respectively when the spectators would be coming to the stadium and congestion is expected at Rajghat to J.L.N. Marg, J.L.N. Marg from R/A Kamla Market to Raj Ghat, Asaf Ali Road from Turkman Gate to Delhi Gate, B.S.Z. Marg from Ram Charan Agarwal Chowk to Delhi Gate. Display of car parking label on windscreen is mandatory. Vehicle number must be written on the parking label. Those who do not display parking label with vehicle number will not be allowed in the proximity of the stadium, police said. Spectators using app-based taxi and other taxis should use the service lane on Ring Road between I.P. flyover and Rajghat crossing for drop and pickup.last_img read more

A TREBLE

first_imgThe Premier League title race was down to the last day with a solitary point separating Guardiola’s Manchester City and Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool. Refusing to bow down, both sides went toe-to-toe, but no twist on Matchday 38 meant that Manchester City retained the title after defeating Brighton 4-1 at the Amex Stadium, last Sunday.Liverpool drew first blood on Sunday, with Sadio Mane striking in the 17th minute to put them mathematically atop the table and on course for their first English top-flight title since 1990, before the Premier League era even started. But those cheers were quickly muted, with Guardiola’s side level just 83 seconds later, Sergio Agüero staying onside and keeping his cool to finish after a brilliant ball from David Silva. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuSince Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United winning the title back-to-back in 2009, City becomes the first team to win consecutive Premier League titles in the last decade. Moreover, their tally of 98 points is the second best haul in the league’s history – 2 points shy of the 100 points Pep Guardiola’s men accrued last year. Their campaign concluded on a high with a 14 match undefeated streak – last losing points against Newcastle United on January 29. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersJürgen Klopp, Liverpool manager, was in all-praise of City. He stated, “In the last two years, they have put together 198 points. We helped you a little bit by pushing you there, but really, all my respects, you deserved it.” Speaking on the title run with Liverpool, Guardiola said, “We have to say congratulations to Liverpool and thank you so much – they pushed us to increase our standards. It’s incredible, 98 points, to go back to back. It’s the toughest title we have won in all my career, by far.” The Spanish manager has won eight top flight titles in the past decade with stints at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now City. Having been knocked out of the Champions League in a pulsating quarterfinal clash with the Spurs, the Citizens could become the first team to win the domestic treble in England if they emerge victorious against Watford in the FA Cup summit clash, having already won the Premier League and League Cup this season. (The analysis has been made ahead of the FA Cup final between City & Watford)last_img read more

A musical concert in Fez to help Syrian Refugees

first_imgFez- The Student Ambassadors for Peace club in Fez will organize a musical concert on Saturday, March 15, at 15h.30 in Alif Riad, Batha in Fez, to gather support for Syrian refugees residing in the city. The main objective of the event is to cooperate with Syrian refugees to aid them in affording their basic needs in Fez and coping with the difficult circumstances and trauma of their situation.Tickets are being sold for a symbolic MAD 20. Attendees will enjoy watching a musical group that is in the process of hitting the world stage while simultaneously helping their Syrian brothers and sisters to live and thrive in the city. The event anticipates generating a large audience base, promising to disseminate public awareness of the dire conditions Syrians face in Fez. “Because of the suffering and pain we feel in the eyes of Syrian families who, suddenly, found themselves homeless in Morocco, as result of the political crisis that crippled their home country, every day we see Syrians begging in order to survive,” reads a statement on the Student Ambassadors for Peace club’s Facebook Page. “This why our students at the club Ambassadors for Peace of the city of Fez, with the partnership of the American Language Centre, have decided to organize a party in solidarity with Syrian with the view to raising a sum of money that would allow us to put a smile in their face” it added. © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

Will Beheading of French Hostage by ISIS Affect Moroccos Tourism

Marrakech – The beheading of the French hostage Hervé Gourdel in Algeria in the notoriously dangerous terrorist area of Kabilye has caused a drop in tourist bookings according to the President of the French Travel Agents Union. Morocco, which is secure and does not have the long running terrorism problems that has afflicted Algeria since 1992, suffers by association because it is part of North Africa and it is an Islamic country.There is an irrational fear amongst Westerners when they come to an Islamic country like Morocco that they might be in danger. Morocco and its Malakite rite of Islam is the most welcoming Muslim country in the world and values its Western tourists. Algeria has a negligible tourism industry due entirely to its ongoing terrorism problem. Morocco’s internal security forces are highly effective, and although there are regular arrests of members of networks linked to ISIS and Al Qaeda attempting to send young Moroccans to fight in Syria and Iraq, they have never been able to develop to a dangerous level. There is a threat, as there is in every country, from Islamist terrorists but Morocco has a better surveillance system than most countries.In 1991 during the first Gulf War, western governments ordered their nationals to leave all Maghreb countries. In Morocco’s case, it was recognized afterwards that there was no need for this action, which severely affected Moroccan tourism at the time. The Europeans who remained in Morocco experienced no problem whatsoever.The situation in Morocco in 2014 is different. There is a serious terrorist threat and no country can be entirely sure that all terrorist threats, particularly “lone wolves” unattached to any terrorist network (like the 2011 Argana Café bombing in Marrakech) might strike. Such is the state of the 21st century world, characterized by global terrorism.However, unlike in 1991, tourist centers and towns now have expatriate populations, many of whom work in the tourist industry in riads or hotels. These individuals are committed supporters of tourism in Morocco. No other country in North Africa has this positive tourism environment, and it plays a considerable role in building solidarity and client loyalty with Morocco as the number of tourists coming to the country continues to grow.The Moroccan Tourism Office is holding events for tour operators and the press in France and in Britain this November during the World Travel Market to reassure tour operators of tourist safety in Morocco. This has been a recurring theme over the years, but Morocco’s tourism continues to grow because it is deservedly popular, offers many varied locations, and is embraced by the kingdom’s residents.In fact, Morocco’s tourism figures and rate of return may be said to be more threatened by an alarming increase in the amount of time tourists have to wait to get their passport stamped on entry at Marrakech airport, where 50% of Morocco’s tourists enter the country. Delays of one-and-a-half to two hours are now commonplace, almost as long as the flight time from Europe to Marrakech. Unresponsive immigration staff with only half the number of passport officers on duty at any one time, and the need to put details into computers by hand causes unnecessary delays, which often results in tourists hesitance to return to Morocco.This has been a problem of varying intensity for years. Tourists have asked if there is a way flights could be staggered so that they do not all land at once, or a more efficient entry system for passport details and stamps which do not fade on the passport. Practical details such as this are an important way of smoothing the way for tourist arrivals so that the number of tourists continues to increase.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

Real Madrid to Arrive in Morocco 2 Days Ahead of World

Rabat – Spanish giants Real Madrid are expected to come to Morocco on December 14th, two days ahead of their semi-final clash at the FIFA Club World Cup.Sources acquainted with the issue told MWN that the Los Blancos arrival date in Morocco to take part at the eleventh edition of FCWC is officially confirmed at December 14th.Real Madrid will arrive in Morocco as the club most likely to lift the title especially that the team is producing one of its best performances in years. The Champions League winners made history on Saturday as they recorded their 16th straight win cross all competitions with a 2-1 triumph over Malaga at la Rosaleda.Real Madrid will face in the Semi-final round in Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat the winner of the match that will bring together Cruz Azul from Mexico against Western Sydney from Australia. read more

President Obama Immigrants and Refugees Revitalize and Renew America

New York – American President Barack Obama gave a touching speech about the importance of immigrants in America during a naturalization ceremony on December 15, at the National Archives in Washington D.C.The U.S. President, who was speaking during the ceremony marking the 224th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, recalled how America is a country populated by immigrants and is the quality that makes it exceptional.“There’s something unique about America. We don’t simply welcome new immigrants, we don’t simply welcome new arrivals — we are born of immigrants. That is who we are. Immigration is our origin story,” Obama said. “For more than two centuries, it’s remained at the core of our national character; it’s our oldest tradition. It’s who we are. It’s part of what makes us exceptional,” he added.President Obama reminded Americans that the U.S. is a melting pot where people have come from every corner of the world seeking a better life.“After all, unless your family is native American, one of the first Americans, our families, all of our families, come from the someplace else,” he highlighted.“The first refugees were the pilgrims themselves, fleeing religious persecution, crossing the stormy Atlantic to reach a new world where they might live and pray freely,” he said.The American leader believes Americans must remember where they came from as a way to foster tolerance and understand that immigrants are a crucial part of the U.S.“How quickly we forget. One generation passes, two generation passes, and suddenly we don’t remember where we came from,” Obama said.“We can never say it often or loudly enough. Immigrants and refugees revitalize and renew America,” he concluded.President Obama’s compelling speech went viral on social media with thousands of people from different countries praising his reassuring message. read more

Moroccan School Supplies to Increase by 30

Rabat – Moroccan families are likely to face hard times at the beginning of this coming school year as the cost of school supplies’ will increase by 30 percent, according to Al Massae newspaper in its Saturday edition.The rise is reportedly due to the decision of Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Morocco’s Minister of Industry, Trade and New Technologies, to impose a 25 percent estimated increase on paper import tax fees.Book publishing industry professionals are wary about the increase which they believe is ‘’inevitable’’ given that  the Minister anticipates imports of printing and  raw materials and paper used in textbooks, notebooks and envelopes rising. The increase will affect families costs for their children’s school expenses at the beginning of the new school year which coincides with Eid al-Adha, a religious feast when Muslims must also buy sheep.The paper price increase is expected to weaken the purchasing power of Moroccans and further hinder poor families from sending their children to school. read more

British Woman Quits Her Job To Run Moroccan Animal Sanctuary

Rabat – British Moroccan mother Sally Kadaoui moves to Tangier to open an animal sanctuary.No animal is turned away from the refuge, and this means that Sanctuary for the Animals of Tangier (SFT) is home to 225 dogs, 130 cats, 27 donkeys and two wild boars. The farm is also populated by chickens, goats, rabbits, mules and owls.Kadaoui returned to Morocco to look after her animal-loving father, Abdel Kader, who died of Alzheimer’s in 2012 at the age of 72. Saddened by the treatment of street animals, Kadaoui sold her home in Cambridge, UK for £240,000 (MAD 3 million) to fund the refuge, which she opened in 2013 partly as a way to pay homage to her late father.From ear cropping and tail docking to the purposeful poisoning of stray cats and dogs, Moroccan attitude to animals leaves a lot to be desired. In 2016, a video published by Hespress.com, which showed authorities shooting stray dogs dead, caused widespread outrage on social media.Kadaoui believes that a change in attitude is essential. “The key for me is educating young people to make them see that animals have feelings too – they’re not rabid creatures who should be tormented.” Consequently the sanctuary welcomes visits and Kadaoui herself visits schools to teach children about the treatment of animals.The charity does not euthanize its animals. Instead it vaccinates and sterilises them, as well as encouraging their adoption. Kadoui has encouraged the local community to feed the strays for both protection and to combat thinking towards animals.Other animal sanctuaries in Morocco include Four Legged Orphan Sanctuary in Essaouira and Jarjeer Mule and Donkey Refuge just outside Marrakech. read more

Baraka and Chabat Face Off Online Ahead of Decisive Istiqlal Party

Rabat – On the eve of the election of the Istiqlal Party’s (PI) secretary-general, scheduled for this Saturday, October 7 in Rabat, Nizar Baraka and Hamid Chabat, the two contenders running for the post, each published a video defending their visions and laying out their solutions to get the party out of its crisis.The evening of Friday, October 6, Baraka addressed a short video to the 1,283 voting members of the National Council of the Istiqlal Party.In simple words, matching his campaign thus far, Baraka stated that “the future of PI is in our hands, and we can straighten out the party.” For the politician, there are two options: “you maintain the current secretary general [Chabat] and in this case you know what awaits you, or you can opt for change.”In a sober tone, Baraka stood in front of an austere background, calling for the triumph of internal democracy within the party.“Today, the unity and cohesion of the party are more than ever at stake. If you want to get the Istiqlal Party out of this crisis and regain credibility with citizens, make the right choice.”“Saturday will be a decisive day for the PI, considering that it is going through a deep political and organizational crisis,” Baraka continued. “This crisis is very dangerous for the party, because it threatens its existence and cohesion.”Baraka said that the PI will experience a test in its history on Saturday.“Either it will emerge from its crisis or leave it without a compass,” he said. Referring to what the party reached under the leadership of Chabat and his followers, Baraka added, “Today, we’ll either continue on Chabat’s steps, which you know where they led us, or say enough and open a new page.”Meanwhile, Chabat also broadcasted a 7-minute video on October 4, in which he attacked Baraka, calling him “a former head of department in the Ministry of Finance who was parachuted minister and then president of the EESC.”He then compared Baraka’s journey to that of Hamid Chabat (referring to himself as usual in the third person), “who has been a militant since his youngest age and is a activist of proximity, as His Majesty the King said.” read more

Morocco has Proof of Polisarios Presence in Western Sahara Buffer Zones

Rabat – Morocco’s Head of Government, Saad Eddine El Othmani, has responded to statements made by United Nations Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric on Polisario’s presence in Western Sahara buffer zone, stressing that Morocco has evidence of the separatists’ repeated illegal actions in the region.On April 2, Dujarric said in a briefing in New York that the UN mission in Western Sahara has not observed any military presence in the buffer zones, in contrast to what Morocco’s appeals.In response, El Othmani told the press that the government has evidence of Polisario’s actions. “We have evidence that Moroccan localities beyond the defense resources been taken over by the separatists to install pseudo-administrations,” said the head of government.El Othmani said that Morocco will provide the UN with evidence in “a timely manner,” adding that “nobody has the right to touch a single inch of the Moroccan Sahara.”El Othmani also mentioned the ongoing US visit of Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita, to hold talks with senior officials in Washington and New York.Bourita will also meet with the UNSG Antonio Guterres at about 1 p.m. in New York to discuss Morocco’s concerns over the presence of Polisario and its intention to relocate its facilities, including its “defense headquarters,” to the restricted zone of Bir Lahlou. read more

Video Women Protest Sexual Assault of Moroccan Farmers in Spain

Rabat- Moroccan and Spanish women rallied on Sunday, June 17, in Spain’s Huelva province in a march of solidarity with Moroccan seasonal workers who have been sexually assaulted.The Andalusian Workers’ Syndicate (SAT) organized Sunday’s march in Huelva to denounce the sexual abuse of Moroccan agricultural workers.The syndicate called on the Spanish government to intervene and restore the rights of these seasonal workers. A video of the demonstration captured women as they held banners saying “Work Without Sexual Slavery” and chanted in protest. Some women also ululated in Moroccan style.After a meeting between 18 representatives of agricultural firms and officials from the General Directorate for Migration in January, Spain agreed to hire 10,400 Moroccan agricultural workers to pick strawberries and other berries for the April to June harvest season.In May, the US-based online media company Buzzfeed recounted the stories of several Moroccan women farmers who complained of sexual assault by their employers.Later, four farmers working in Huelva filed complaints against the same supervisor for alleged sexual assault. Shortly after Spanish authorities arrested and questioned the suspect, he was released on bail. Morocco’s Ministry of Employment carried out an investigation to inquire about the conditions of women farmers on Spanish farms.After a Moroccan-Spanish delegation visited the Spanish farms, the ministry maintained that “no specific case of abuse or violation against Moroccan workers was found.” Several news outlets, including Buzzfeed News, Spain’s El Mundo, and El Pais have reported on the conditions of the Moroccan farmers in Heluva.The news outlets recently reported that a mother, seven months pregnant, who traveled to Spain to earn money for her sick son was sexually assaulted by her supervisor.“I will only return to Morocco when the truth breaks out, I want to go home with my head up,” she told El Pais.The workers were scheduled to return to their home country once the agricultural season ends. With the current controversy, it might take longer for them to go back to their families as they wait for justice to take its course. read more

FAO Morocco 13th in Global Fish Production

Rabat – The latest report from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations shows that the global capture of fish is in decline. The world caught 90.9 million tons of fish in 2016, down from 92.7 million tons in 2015. Total global fisheries and aquaculture production reached 170.9 million tonnes in 2016, with aquaculture representing 47 percent of that total.The total incomes of fisheries and aquaculture production in 2016 was estimated at USD 362 billion, of which USD 232 billion was from aquaculture production. In 2016, human consumption from fish jumped to 20.3kg per capita in comparison to 10kg in the 1960s. This development is mainly due to the aquaculture growth.The report ranked China as the leader of major fish producing countries, with 15.2 million tonnes of fish in 2016. Indonesia follows, with 6.1 million tonnes. The United States of America and Russian Federation are ranked 3rd and 4th, with a production amount estimated at 4.9 million tonnes and 4.5 million tonnes, respectively.Morocco is 13th globally and first in Africa, with 1.4 million tonnes of fish production, showing an industry growth of 6 percent over the past two years.Over the past two years, China and Morocco were the largest exporters of octopus. Japan, the United States and Mediterranean European countries like Spain and Italy are the most important consumer markets. In aquaculture, China is the top produce. In 2016, China farmed 49.2 million tons of fish. India comes in second, with 5.7 million tons.  Morocco’s fish production depends almost entirely on fisheries; it produced only 1000 tons of aquaculture fish in 2016. Egypt’s aquaculture production is the top in Africa, with 1.4 million tons in 2016. Both Morocco and Egypt are expected to double aquaculture production by 2030.Risks and ChallengesHowever, the fisheries and aquaculture sector is facing some challenges, including the need to reduce the amount of fish stocks fished beyond biological sustainability.Moreover, with the emergence of new technologies in fisheries sector, the opportunities for improved fishing practices have multiplied. They can be used to select and target species, as well as reduce the loss of fishing gear. They make it possible to collect more information and use it more efficiently and effectively, increasing the predicted capacity.For some fishers and aquaculture farmers, new technologies have also created obstacles for them, due to their high price point.However, if abused, new technologies can also facilitate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing or can increase fishing power in general, and thus, the overexploitation of resources.To ensure the appropriate use of these new technologies, an effective management is in place to enhance the sector and improve the sustainability of fisheries.Climate change and marine pollution is another challenge that is negatively impacting the fishery sector. Many marine species are moving towards the poles, away from the rising heat at the equator, and into deeper water. An increase of fish density at higher latitudes causes a decrease in fish richness in tropical regions and lack of fish in inland waters. read more

Police Confiscate 160 Kgs of Cannabis at Tangier Med Port

Rabat – Police have seized 160 kilograms of cannabis in Tangier from a Moroccan drug trafficker attempting to embark to Europe.On Wednesday evening, police and customs officers stopped a Moroccan national at Tangier Med Port who was trying to smuggle cannabis in the form of cannabis resin (chira) to Europe. The drug, which was concealed in a Belgium-registered car, was discovered during a vehicle scan. Police dogs were also involved in the operation. The 39-year-old culprit was arrested and placed in custody for an investigation by Tangier’s judicial police. The investigation will be carried out under the supervision of the competent public prosecutor’s office.Cannabis resin is one of the most exported drugs in Morocco and has continuously been the subject of seizures in past years. The demand for the drug in Europe is very high due to its powerful and high-yield hybrid varieties.In fact, Morocco is the largest supplier of cannabis resin for Europe, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). In 2014, 302 tons and 85 percent of all cannabis resin seizures in Spain were linked to Morocco. Spain has played an important role for Morocco’s drug trafficking, as it is the closest European country and therefore used as gateway to all the others. Other popular points of entry are Portugal, France, and Italy. According to the UNODC World Drug Report of 2017, Morocco has the third highest cannabis resin seizures among countries worldwide. The kingdom comes behind Spain and Pakistan. Other drugs that Spain and Europe have increasingly imported are heroin and cocaine. The latter has also been the subject of numerous seizures lately. A UNODC report from 2011 suggested that the traditional trafficking route from Morocco to Spain, used to import cannabis resin to Europe, has also been used for cocaine. read more

King Mohammed VI Africa Will Be Key Factor to Migration Compact

Rabat – King Mohammed VI addressed a message to the leaders and representatives of the countries taking place in the intergovernmental conference on migration in Marrakech on Monday.Read by Morocco’s Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani, the King’s message emphasized Morocco’s commitment toward migration and the need for shared responsibility as a principle to tackle migration challenges.He dedicated the first lines of his message to thanking and welcoming  leaders to Marrakech and Africa. “What more symbolic venue could there be for this landmark event that has brought us together today than Africa – the cradle of the first human movement – than Morocco, an origin, transit, and destination country, and, finally, than Marrakech – its timeless melting pot?” he said.Read Also: Guterres Welcomes Marrakech’s ‘Fantastic Miracle’ Conference CenterKing Mohammed VI also expressed pride in Morocco being chosen to host the event: “I say ‘pride’ because the international community has chosen to convene this global even in the kingdom of Morocco and humility, given the magnitude the issue, of what has already been achieved and of what is still to be done.”The monarch also said that Morocco’s efforts throughout the years to tackle migration are “neither recent nor incidental.”The King emphasized Morocco’s “longstanding, voluntary commitment expressed through a policy which is humane in its philosophy, global in its substance, pragmatic in its methodology and responsible in its approach.”The King then recalled his African Agenda on Migration, which was unanimously adopted by the African Union Conference in January 2018.When introduced to the AU through a message read by El Othmani at the 30th AU Summit, the King described the agenda as a “flexible, scalable, and legally non-binding document.”In his message to the AU, the King said that migration should be seen as a “natural phenomenon” and should be celebrated.“We should adopt a positive stance on the issue of migration by highlighting the humanistic rationale of shared responsibility and solidarity.”Today in Marrakech, the sovereign reiterated his message, emphasizing that Africa should not be the subject of the Global Compact, but the African continent “will be an actor—a key one.”He said that the African agenda has been playing a “pioneering role, anticipating the importance of being aware of migratory dynamics, something which has been acknowledged by the global compact.”The King concluded his message by calling for solidarity-based sovereignty, multilateralism, and a shared responsibility to face migration challenges. read more

Edmonton Oilers confirm owner Daryl Katz dealing with lifethreatening illness

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers are confirming that team owner Daryl Katz has been dealing with a life-threatening illness.Speculation arose Tuesday when Katz appeared at a news conference announcing the hiring of new general manager Ken Holland.Katz rarely appears at media events and onlookers, and those on social media, noted his facial features had changed appreciably.Afterward, Sportsnet hockey analyst John Shannon tweeted: “There’s been a lot made publicly today about how Daryl Katz looks. After asking a few questions, I can tell you he has been struggling with life threatening bacteria-resistant sinus infection over the past few years.”Shannon said it goes back years, including last time the Oilers were in the playoffs, in the spring of 2017.“(Katz) carried an IV bag 24/7 during the playoff run, 2 seasons ago. The infection has a 50-50 survival rate. He’s had 3 surgeries over the past 10 months with 1 more surgery to go. It is the primary reason why he hasn’t been around Edmonton and the team,” wrote Shannon.Later Tuesday, Shannon tweeted that while Katz has one more operation, “he is through the worst of it and the long term prognosis is positive.”Katz spoke to reporters at the news conference but did not speak about his health.The Oilers administration did not issue an independent statement but confirmed that Shannon’s information was correct.Katz, 57, is a billionaire pharmacy magnate known to shun the spotlight.He bought the Oilers in the summer of 2008 and later, in a bruising and protracted round of negotiations with the City of Edmonton, struck a deal to jointly build the new Rogers Place along with surrounding office towers and businesses as part of a larger downtown revitalization.Rogers Place opened in the fall of 2016.Under Katz, the Oilers have fared poorly on the ice. They have missed the playoffs every year but one, when they advanced to second round in 2017.Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press read more

NY mayor orders probe into taxi medallion brokers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered a joint investigation into predatory practices by taxi medallion brokers.The mayor says the 45-day review by the Taxi and Limousine Commission, Department of Finance and Department of Consumer Affairs “will identify and penalize brokers who have taken advantage of buyers and misled city authorities.”The Democratic presidential hopeful says “it’s unacceptable to prey on hardworking New Yorkers trying to support their families.”Monday’s announcement comes after The New York Times published a report on the financial struggles of medallion owners who were enticed into reckless loans just before the market collapsed.The report found that “a handful of powerful industry leaders artificially drove up the prices of taxi medallions, creating a bubble that eventually burst.”The Associated Press read more

Quicken Loans to pay 325M to settle lawsuit over bad loans

DETROIT — Quicken Loans has agreed to pay $32.5 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the company of fraudulently sticking the government with bad mortgages.Crain’s Detroit Business says the agreement, with no admission of wrongdoing, was disclosed Friday by Gerald Rosen, a former judge who served as mediator.The government had accused Quicken of cutting corners when verifying the income of certain borrowers. Quicken also was accused of seeking improper appraisals so it could make a larger mortgage. The loans were insured by the Federal Housing Administration, which paid Quicken if a borrower defaulted.The Detroit-based company denied the allegations and had described the lawsuit as “abusive.” Quicken will remain in the FHA program after the agreement.Quicken’s founder is Detroit businessman Dan Gilbert, who owns the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. He is recovering from a stroke.___Information from: Crain’s Detroit Business , http://www.crainsdetroit.comThe Associated Press read more

Sudan UN official blocked from Darfur camp

The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator arrived today in the strife-torn Darfur region of Sudan but was blocked at a military checkpoint and denied permission to continue to a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs). But six hours after arriving on the ground in Darfur, his convoy was stopped at a military checkpoint in Kutum town and denied permission to continue to Kassab IDP camp. Mr. Holmes had planned to tour this camp in order to meet with community leaders and speak with women about the consequences of the ongoing Darfur crisis, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which he heads. The 22,700 inhabitants at Kassab camp depend on humanitarian aid for survival. “The United Nations and its NGO partners are keeping these people alive, and we are not allowed in. We should be allowed to move freely,” said Mr. Holmes from the Kutum airfield this afternoon. “I fear this is typical of what aid workers trying to make a difference in Darfur deal with on a daily basis.” There are half a dozen international NGOs and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) working in Kutum, some of whom have only recently returned after temporarily or partially suspending their programmes due to the deteriorating security situation. Clashes between rebel factions, Sudanese Government forces, and proxy militia have been going on in the area since late 2006, with the civilian population caught in the crossfire. Over the past four years in Darfur as a whole, the fighting has killed at least 200,000 people.Government officials who later contacted the Under-Secretary-General apologized for the incident and offered him their assurances that his visit to Jebel Marra and to Abu Shouk IDP camp tomorrow would go smoothly, OCHA said. “Tomorrow I look forward to conducting scheduled visits to these locales,” Mr. Holmes said, after accepting the apology. Mr. Holmes will spend the night in El Fasher and plans to visit Jebel Marra and the Abu Shouk IDP camp on Sunday, 25 March, before returning to Khartoum. In another development, the UN Special Envoy for Darfur, Jan Eliasson, and his African Union counterpart, Salim Ahmed Salim, are conducting a second joint visit to Sudan this week in a bid to re-energize the peace process in Darfur.They met on Saturday 24 March with Foreign Minister Lam Akol, Presidential Adviser Majzoub Al Khalifa, and Senior Assistant to the President Minni Minnawi, according to the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS). Today, the officials met in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, with local government officials, tribal leaders, IDPs and civil society representatives as well as UN and NGOs staff.Prior to his arrival in Khartoum, Mr. Eliasson was in Asmara where he met with the Eritrean President and other government officials on the coordination of Eritrean mediation efforts in Darfur with those of the UN and the AU. Meanwhile, the fighting continues, according to UNMIS, which cited reports that on Saturday, armed Arab tribesmen attacked Sirba village, where three people were killed, 15 others injured and 35 houses destroyed. 25 March 2007The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator arrived today in the strife-torn Darfur region of Sudan but was blocked at a military checkpoint and denied permission to continue to a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs). read more

UN Foundation sends 40000 antimalaria nets to refugee camps in Chad

28 August 2007Tens of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in eastern Chad fleeing the ongoing crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region will be saved from potentially fatal bouts of malaria thanks to 40,000 long-lasting insecticide-treated nets being sent by the United Nations Foundation. Tens of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in eastern Chad fleeing the ongoing crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region will be saved from potentially fatal bouts of malaria thanks to 40,000 long-lasting insecticide-treated nets being sent by the United Nations Foundation. Without the nets dispatched by the Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign (www.NothingButNets.net), it has been estimated that 25 per cent of he 200,000 refugees and IDPs living in the camps along the Chad-Sudan and Chad-Central African Republic borders could die from malaria. “We asked the tens of thousands of Nothing But Nets supporters to help us purchase and deliver nets to Chad – and they responded overwhelmingly in just three weeks,” Foundation Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Kathy Bushkin Calvin said. Last month, the UN High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the MENTOR Initiative, a non-governmental organization (NGO) working on the ground in the region recognized an emergency need and sought assistance from the Foundation to purchase and deliver nets before the height of the rainy season. “Many lives will be saved through this emergency campaign,” said Richard Allan, CEO of the MENTOR Initiative. “With so many Chadians forced into temporary camps and living under poor conditions, the delivery of these nets is vital to protecting Chadian families from the spread of malaria.” Through a growing network of more than 60,000 people, Nothing But Nets, a grassroots effort to prevent malaria by delivering long-lasting insecticide-treated nets, raised more than $400,000 for the initiative. The National Basketball Association’s Chicago Bulls, a local partner in the campaign, provided the first $10,000 for the emergency appeal. “I want to thank my team and all those who answered this urgent appeal,” said Chicago Bulls forward and Sudan native Luol Deng, a spokesperson for Nothing But Nets. “With your donations, you have prevented the unnecessary suffering of thousands.” A $10 donation to Nothing But Nets covers the cost to purchase and distribute a net and educate a community health worker on its proper use. Malaria kills more than 1 million people each year, most of them children. Bed nets are one of the most cost-effective and simple methods of preventing its spread. The UN Foundation was created in 1998 with the aim of promoting a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the UN. Through grant-making and building new and innovative public-private partnerships, it acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socio-economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century. read more