Edmonton trying to deepen relationship with First Nations

first_imgAPTN National NewsEdmonton signed a “declaration on Aboriginal relations” in 2005 to improve relations with their Aboriginal residents.Since then a dozen cities have looked at emulating that model.APTN National News reporter Keith Laboucan takes a look at what impacts the strategy has had so far.last_img

Calgary police drag pond where Colton Crowshoes body found

first_imgAPTN National NewsCalgary police have returned to a retention pond in the city’s northeast end to search for clues in the death of 18 year old Colton Crowshoe.The family claims police should have put this kind of an effort into the case when the boy’s body was discovered a year ago.APTN’s Chris Stewart reports.last_img

Family reacts to arrest of man accused of killing Tina Fontaine

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe man accused of killing 15-year old Tina Fontaine will make his first court appearance in Winnipeg Tuesday.Raymond Cormier, 53, has been charged with 2nd degree murder in the teen’s death.APTN’s Dennis Ward has more on the impact Fontaine’s death is having in her home city.dward@aptn.calast_img

Iakwahwatsiratatie Language Nest in Kahnawàke hopes to spread language lessons after infusion

first_imgDanielle RochetteAPTN NewsAlex Tekonwahkwen:ni Cross always wanted to learn her Mohawk language but never really had the opportunity.Now that she’s the mother of a five-month old, she enjoys her time in the Language Nest – where every word is in Kanienke’Ha.“Everyone here is supporting each other and they are helping each other and right down to your child,” she said.“I am sitting there and trying to learn someone might come in and hold your baby for you while you are learning and give it back to you so it is very supportive here.”The Language Nest launched four years ago to address the loss of Mohawk as a first language.“It is a natural environment right, a home environment but there is also some structures implemented throughout the day to help the parents as second language learners,” said Tatum Leronhienhewi McComber.“So it is very important to have the natural environment for the children to learn the language as their first language because the parents are learning as a second language they get the grammatical structures.”The program just got a big financial boost from the federal government.The Department of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism is providing $275,558 over two years to “preserve and promote the Mohawk language.”Marc Miller, the parliamentary secretary to Crown-Indigenous Relations, and a Mohawk speakers, said this is a step toward a path for promoting Indigenous languages.“With great respect for the efforts that people have made to preserve the language to struggle and hopefully the struggle will be lessen the next few years as we engage in a path which a lot of people is quite difficult but very important but a path of mutual respect that includes promotion of indigenous languages,” he said.Grand Chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton said it is not the responsibility of the Canadian government to preserve the language – but they have to support it.‘’It is not their responsibility it is ours but it is the responsibility of the government of Canada as well as other institutions to ensure that they support these activities.“It is the oppression it is all of the things that were done to us historically to take away that language now we are bringing it back and it is time for the government to support what we are doing that is the way I look at it’’For Cross, the dream of having her daughter speak Mohawk as a first language is coming true.“Sometimes when you leave here I am thinking in Mohawk but I do not know what these words mean,” she said.“But I know that it is starting to sink in and it is starting to work you know.”The federal government announced $89.9 million over three years on Indigenous languages and culture across the country.It also promised to introduce legislation to protect languages in law.20 consultation sessions were held to hear from people across the country.According to Canadian Heritage, the legislation is scheduled to be tabled in the House of Commons by the end of the year.drochette@aptn.ca@danfromestlast_img read more

New senate study says Indigenous history must be taught before moving forward

first_imgAmber BernardAPTN NewsThe Senate committee on Aboriginal Peoples has released a report on the history between Indigenous people and Canada.The vision of the committee in releasing How did We Get Here?, was to implement parts of the study into the classroom.“So we imagined for instance an audience of high school kids, who may not know a whole lot of Indigenous people, who may be able to pick up this kind of report find it interesting,” said Senator Daniel Christmas.The study looks at an unvarnished account of the development of Canada, to treaties and polices that have affected Indigenous communities.Melissa Campbell Schwartz, department head of First Nations, Metis and Inuit studies at Hillcrest High School, picked up the report for her grade 11 Indigenous Literature course.“The senate report is exciting,” Schwartz told APTN News.“It gives us another piece to move the steps forward.”Schwartz believes educators play a big role in shifting the conversation to include Indigenous perspectives.“As a settler within a colonial structure, I play a really interesting role, trying to change the conversation and trying to get kids to understand their role as a settler.”She says Indigenous history needs to be taught in order to create a better future between Indigenous people and Canadians.The grade 11 Indigenous literature class often starts with a discussion circle, exploring various topics affecting Indigenous people in Canada.Schwartz says her students eagerly participate in the conversation and are passionate about creating a better relationship with Indigenous people.She says some of her students after taking the class begin to challenge negative stereotypes they hear at home and in school.“They see the injustice, they see a simple answer and they want that to happen,” she said.“They become agents for change.”Students enrolled in the Indigenous literature class would like for more Canadians to learn about Indigenous history in Canada.“I think if everyone had this knowledge at a young age, there wouldn’t be any adults like there were in first contact,” said Azan Mubasher, a grade 11 student at Hillcrest High School.Students are hopeful with the Indigenous history they’ve been learning about in Schwartz class.“Knowledge is key and right now we’re taught an in depth knowledge of Aboriginal history, that personally I never knew of,”  Bassant Mohamed said. “It’s definitely going to shift dynamics.”Schwartz hopes the Senate report can be used widely by educators in Canada and is confident her students will create positive change.“When I was reading it (the senate report,) I actually wrote a note to myself that Murray Sinclair had said a couple years ago about education getting us into this problem and education is what’s going to get us out,” she said.“Because I see the education getting us out.”abernard@aptn.calast_img read more

Let us rise with more energy Saganash responds to Senate death of

first_imgSome First Nations leaders have responded to the TMX announcement, saying consent means respecting their people’s right to say no to something that could harm them.Bennett said Thursday that while the UN Declaration hasn’t been legislated as a “totality,” the Liberals “have enshrined parts of UNDRIP” into Bills C-91 and C-92, the Indigenous Languages Act and child welfare legislation, which both received royal assent last week.“This is the new way of doing business,” she said.“How we take each of those very significant articles [of UNDRIP] and make sure that we as Canada are actually implementing this very important international document?”Last month on Nation to Nation, Saganash said the government’s failure to pass C-262 “probably will be the most disappointing fact in my life.”When he testified before the Aboriginal Peoples Senate committee in May, he recounted the two goals he set for himself after coming out of residential school in the 1970s.“One of them was to go back to the bush, live off the land, which I did for two years,” he told the committee.“But importantly, perhaps, was the promise to reconcile with the people who put me away for 10 years. And Bill C-262 represents that reconciliation for me.”In his statement on Monday, Saganash describes the nature of the fight for Indigenous peoples’ human rights.“The struggle for human rights is a long one; it takes us away from our families and loved ones; we work too many hours, we sacrifice our health and spirit. Yet our ancestors took a path before me, one that is for dignity, justice and a good life,” he writes.“Others have not only followed the path but imagined new possibilities. I am grateful for the sacrifices they also have made in the belief that Indigenous law, rights, and ways of being will…one day be restored to these territories. I am honoured to follow in their work, and I dedicate any accomplishments I have made to my family.”In 2015 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission compelled Canada to implement the U.N. Declaration “as the framework for reconciliation.”Saganash says in his letter he remains “strongly convinced of the potential” for this to happen, “as a set of standards created by Indigenous peoples for Indigenous peoples, and as a reminder to nation-states like Canada, that we are still here, and we not only deserve but we demand the rights that have been denied us for so long.“There are and always have been obvious flaws in a governing system that is designed to maintain a status quo and deny rights to people who power rejects,” Saganash writes.“The process of bringing C-262 along the legislative path has highlighted this for me and I believe there are many parts in this struggle and many people lead; it’s not enough to create legislation that holds the colonial governments accountable to International human rights standards and to Indigenous ways of being; it will take structural and institutional change in order to see justice on stolen lands.“Let us rise with more energy. Let us stand with a greater determination. On behalf of the millions who are building resistance and beauty in our communities: our spirit is not broken.”jbrake@aptn.ca@justinbrakenews MP Romeo Saganash says the fight for Indigenous rights will only grow stronger. APTN file photo.Justin BrakeAPTN NewsRomeo Saganash says he’s devastated that his private member’s bill C-262 has been left to die after making it to the final stage in Canada’s legislative process.But the Cree MP from Waswanipi says he believes the fight for Indigenous peoples’ human rights is strengthening and that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) has a future in Canada.“I am devastated and regret that my bill, that so many people have worked so hard to promote and educate on, will not become law,” Saganash, who, following two terms with the NDP is not running for re-election in this fall’s election, writes in a statement shared with APTN News Monday.“Nonetheless, I have been inspired and reassured by the broad representation from civil society in the support for this bill: churches, labour unions, human rights organizations, environmental organizations, Indigenous leadership and grassroots that have made it possible to get to the recognition and respect that we see today.”Saganash is speaking out just days after C-262, which represented his second attempt to have Canada align its laws with the global minimum human rights standards for Indigenous peoples, was left to die following weeks of intense opposition from Conservatives in the Senate.Senators and MPs of the Conservative Party of Canada have expressed fears of economic and legal consequences if Canada were to align its laws with UNDRIP.Last Wednesday, after it became apparent that Conservative efforts to prevent a third and final reading in the Senate for C-262 would be successful, the government’s representative in the Senate, Peter Harder, announced the Liberals would once again campaign on a promise to legislate UNDRIP if re-elected in the fall.In 2015 Justin Trudeau promised that, if elected prime minister, he would “enact the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, starting with the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”Harder’s statement came one day after the prime minister announced his government’s new approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (TMX), which, if built, would run through unceded First Nations’ territories without consent from rights and title holders.“The Government of Canada will thereby intend to bring forward legislation introducing UNDRIP and ensuring its expeditious consideration, review and passage,” Harder said in the Senate. “Introducing government legislation to implement UNDRIP will be a platform commitment that Canadians will be able to vote on in the election in October.”The Green Party and NDP have already made the same commitment. But it’s the fact that the Liberals campaigned on the very same promise four years ago that has some upset, considering a legislated UNDRIP could have preceded a number of controversial Liberal legislative and policy changes critics say ignore the very rights declared in the UN Declaration.Niki Ashton, the NDP’s Deputy Critic for Reconciliation, told APTN Thursday the Liberals could have adopted C-262 as a government bill, which would have given it priority in the Senate over private members’ bills.“This is not what reconciliation looks like, whether it’s support of [TMX] or whether it’s the delays and lack of political will to speed things up with respect to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” she said.On Thursday, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett told APTN it was due to the Conservatives’ “partisan games” that C-262 was at risk of being lost.“I think that everybody had huge respect for Romeo Saganash, the work that he put into his bill, and we had every understanding that this would pass,” Bennett said.“We supported it in the House and in committee, and I think that’s what’s so disappointing — that this bill would have been Romeo Saganash’s legacy, after all the work he did in New York at the UN for decades.” At the centre of the Conservatives’ opposition to the bill is a fear over the principle of “free, prior and informed consent” (FPIC).FPIC is a cornerstone of the UN Declaration, but one that has some prioritizing Canadians’ economic interests over Indigenous peoples’ basic human rights due to concerns consent could mean Indigenous peoples would have the right to say no to resource development projects that could negatively impact them.“No one seems to know” the implications of UNDRIP being legislated, Conservative Senator Don Plett said in the Senate last month, “because there is no agreement on whether consent means a veto.”It’s a false dichotomy though, Independent Senator Murray Sinclair, Saganash and others have repeatedly told C-262’s critics.“Free, prior and informed consent is a very simple concept,” Sinclair told APTN in May. “And that is, before you affect my land, you need to talk to me, and you need to have my permission.“That doesn’t mean that we’re vetoing it. It doesn’t mean that First Nations people, or Indigenous people outside of Indian reserves, are vetoing anything. Just because they say you can’t run a pipeline across my land doesn’t mean you can’t run it somewhere else.”Without having their free, prior and informed consent respected and observed, Indigenous peoples find themselves in positions like the Tsleil-Waututh and Secwepemc in British Columbia, who argue their people have not consented to the TMX running through their territories, nor to the associated risks.Last year a Federal Court of Appeal decision quashed the National Energy Board’s approval of the TMX due in part, the court ruled, to Canada’s failure to fulfill its duty to consult with First Nations who stand to be impacted by the pipeline, which would triple the current movement of diluted bitumen from the Alberta oil sands to the B.C. coast.Last Tuesday Trudeau announced the TMX would be built, with shovels in the ground as early as this summer.The prime minister said Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi had “personally met with over 65 Indigenous groups across 46 meetings” since the renewed consultation process was ordered, and that government “listened to community concerns” and is “acting on community ideas.”Trudeau and Sohi said they would continue dialogue with First Nations and work to accommodate their concerns and wishes.But some nations are firm in their rejection of the pipeline.Following Tuesday’s TMX announcement, Tsleil-Waututh Nation Chief Leah George-Wilson promised further legal action against Canada.Last year the feds, under the leadership of former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, announced their 10 “principles respecting the Government of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples.”One of those principles states Canada “recognizes that meaningful engagement with Indigenous peoples aims to secure their free, prior, and informed consent when Canada proposes to take actions which impact them and their rights, including their lands, territories and resources.”Asked by APTN on Tuesday for the definition of free, prior and informed consent that was applied to the TMX decision, Trudeau responded that it is “what we engaged in doing with Indigenous communities over the past number of months.“It is engaging, looking with them, listening to the issues they have, and responding meaningfully to the concerns they have wherever possible.”last_img read more

Walmart ends involvement in program for people with intellectual disabilities

first_imgMONTREAL – Walmart Canada has confirmed it is ending its involvement with a Quebec program that provides job training to people with intellectual disabilities and those on the autism spectrum.Company spokesperson Anika Malik confirmed in an email Friday that the program, which was in place in several stores, will be phased out in the coming weeks.“We are pleased to have been able to collaborate over the years with these organizations and to allow program participants to gain new knowledge and opportunities to grow,” she said.“However, after analysis, we had to make the difficult decision to terminate Walmart’s partnership in the professional training program.”She said the decision was made after a review that took into account legislative changes and Walmart’s own policies.Walmart has been facing criticism over the decision since a health agency in the Mauricie region alerted the media to the job losses.While some social media users and organizations representing people with disabilities have denounced the company, others have said it should be commended for having participated for so many years.Malik insisted the decision did not amount to firing the employees, even though they are losing their positions.“These people participated in a voluntary program coordinated by local agencies who partnered with our stores to provide an environment in which they could get involved,” she said.The company would not confirm how many people will be affected by the change.last_img read more

SpaceXs 1st traveller is moonstruck Japanese fashion tycoon

first_imgTOKYO – The Japanese billionaire who Tesla chief Elon Musk says plans to blast off on the first-ever private commercial space trip aboard the SpaceX Big Falcon Rocket often makes headlines in Japan. The SpaceX mission, set for takeoff in 2023, is just the latest exploit in tycoon Yusaku Maezawa’s colorful and ambitious career:___FASHION BRANDMaezawa, 42, is the chief executive of Start Today Co., which he founded in 1998 as a CD sales business when he was still in his 20s. The company pioneered e-commerce in Japan and now runs the popular fashion mall Zozotown, selling various, relatively affordable clothing brands. Annual sales totalled more than 98 billion yen ($890 million) in the fiscal year that ended in March.___THE MONEYForbes magazine estimates Maezawa’s wealth at $2.9 billion. In a nation where billionaires are relatively rare, he gets attention for his celebrity friends and for zipping around in a private jet and fleet of sports cars. Such flamboyance is uncommon in a country where even very rich men often keep a low profile.___MUSICAL BEGINNINGSMaezawa’s trademark defiant but disarming style may be rooted in his start as a musician, playing drums in indie rock bands. The punk band he was in, called Switch Style, signed with a major Japanese record label. He opted out of attending prestigious Waseda University in Tokyo to pursue music and then started his own business selling imported CDs. The name of his company was inspired by the title of an album by the American punk band Gorilla Biscuits.___ART COLLECTIONMaezawa has invested lavishly in art, collecting works by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, among others, and in designer-brand furniture from abroad. He paid $110.5 million for Basquiat’s 1982 painting of a graffiti-like black and blue rendition of a human skull, a record price for an American artist, at a Sotheby’s auction last year. “When I saw this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art,” Maezawa said at the time. He had set the previous auction record for a Basquiat, in 2016, when he paid $57.3 million.___PERSONAL LIFEMaezawa recently has been dating Japanese actress Ayame Goriki. He previously had a widely publicized relationship with model and actress Saeko, the ex-wife of major league baseball player Yu Darvish. In a recent tweet, when someone asked whether he was going to get married soon, Maezawa replied, “No.”___THE SUITMaezawa has recently shown off a wearable technology called the Zozosuit, the centerpiece of his Zozo fashion brand. Customers first order a black, body-hugging outfit covered with white dots. They then take a smartphone photo wearing the outfit which is used to do a full body scan, determining shapes and sizes with a special app. Choices are still limited to basic pants and shirts for now, but that could change.___SPACE TRIPMaezawa says the planned trip to space is a way “to inspire the dreamer in all of us.” He plans to take six or eight artists, architects and designers with him. He hasn’t said who they might be or how much he is paying for the trip. The idea is for those creative minds to see the moon up close and planet Earth from afar. Maezawa says he has often wondered what Basquiat might have drawn if he had travelled into space. “I choose to go to the moon, with artists,” Maezawa tweeted both in Japanese and English.___Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyamaHer work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/yuri%20kageyamalast_img read more

Shell Canada to release exploratory permits off BC coast

first_img“Releasing these exploration permits can help protect spectacular and environmentally rich areas off Canada’s West Coast where we have no plans to explore for oil and gas,” said Shell Canada President and Country Chair, Michael Crothers. “We saw an opportunity to support marine protection as part of our ongoing efforts to find pragmatic ways to contribute to conservation in Canada while maintaining our robust global exploration portfolio.”The company said that drilling activities it completed in the two basins before the 1972 moratorium had resulted in many oil and gas shows, indicating the potential for hydrocarbon resources in both basins.Given the ongoing moratorium, Shell said that it plans to formally release the permits and work with the federal government on potential investments to support marine conservation efforts in consultation with Indigenous Peoples and environmental groups.The company also announced that it will seek advice from the Nature Conservancy of Canada to determine how releasing these permits might achieve the most effective conservation outcomes.“Effective protection of our coasts, oceans and wildlife requires strong partnerships and collaborative efforts on all sides,” said Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. “Our government is pleased to be working with First Nations partners, the Government of British Columbia and Shell to ensure the Scott Islands remain a thriving hub of biodiversity and marine life for generations to come.” CALGARY, A.B. – Shell Canada announced today that it will be voluntarily releasing 50,000 square kilometres of exploratory permits off the B.C. coast in order to support marine conservation efforts.The acreage covers an area more than one and a half times the size of Vancouver Island and is located in three separate locations in the Queen Charlotte and Tofino basins.Shell’s permit area, which has been under a Federal moratorium since 1972, overlaps with about one-third of the newly-designated Scott Islands National Wildlife Area off the northern tip of Vancouver Island.last_img read more

British Columbia Utilities Commission issued final report onGasoline and Diesel Prices in

first_imgThe BCUC also received more than 70 letters of comment from members of the public and interested parties as well as three reports prepared by two independent consultants, shares the BCUC.The process also included four days of Oral Workshops for the Panel to ask Interveners questions, and for Interveners to ask questions on the independent reports.The Panel has recommended a one-month comment period on the Report to provide the Inquiry’s participants with an opportunity to submit additional evidence relevant to questions posed by the BC Government.To review the Panel’s detailed findings, refer to the Executive Summary or Final Report; CLICK HEREThe BCUC shares a final copy of the report has been provided to the Honourable Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. VANCOUVER, B.C. – The British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) issued its Final Report with responses to questions posed by the Provincial Government and its key findings from its Inquiry into Gasoline and Diesel Prices in BC.Following the inquiry process, some of the Panel’s key findings include;There is a significant unexplained difference of approximately 13 cents per litre in wholesale gasoline prices between Southern BC and its Pacific Northwest cost comparator;The wholesale market for gasoline in BC is not truly competitive with high market concentration levels, high barriers to entry, and their ability to influence prices. Retail market prices can also be controlled by five refiner-marketers;There is no evidence to suggest that there is collusion among the retail operators nor is there evidence of cartel behaviour; andRegulation could potentially reduce the wholesale and/or retail margins to what is earned in comparable jurisdictions and reduce price volatility. However, further investigation should be done to determine if such an approach would be of benefit to British Columbian consumers.According to the BCUC, they established an independent, transparent and public inquiry process. The Panel considered evidence filed by 11 registered interveners including all major companies that have refining and retail business in BC.last_img read more

Stomach issues signal future mental problems

first_imgChildren who face adversities – such as parental separation – are more likely to suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms which may lead to mental health issues in later life, a study has found. The study, published in the journal Development and Psychopathology, found that gastrointestinal symptoms in children may have an impact on the brain and behaviour as they grow to maturity. “One common reason children show up at doctors’ offices is intestinal complaints,” said Nim Tottenham, a professor at Columbia University in the US. “Our findings indicate that gastrointestinal symptoms in young children could be a red flag to primary care physicians for future emotional health problems,” said Tottenham. Scientists have long noted the strong connection between the gut and brain. Previous research has demonstrated that a history of trauma or abuse has been reported in up to half of adults with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), at a prevalence twice that of patients without IBS. “The role of trauma in increasing vulnerability to both gastrointestinal and mental health symptoms is well established in adults but rarely studied in childhood,” said Bridget Callaghan, a post-doctoral research fellow at Columbia. Animal studies have demonstrated that adversity-induced changes in the gut microbiome influence neurological development, but no human studies have done so. “Our study is among the first to link disruption of a child’s gastrointestinal microbiome triggered by early-life adversity with brain activity in regions associated with emotional health.” The researchers focused on development in children who experienced extreme psychosocial deprivation due to institutional care before international adoption. Separation of a child from a parent is known to be a powerful predictor of mental health issues in humans. That experience, when modelled in rodents, induces fear and anxiety, hinders neurodevelopment and alters microbial communities across the lifespan. The researchers drew upon data from 115 children adopted from orphanages or foster care on or before approximately they were two years old, and from 229 children raised by a biological caregiver. The children with past caregiving disruptions showed higher levels of symptoms that included stomach aches, constipation, vomiting and nausea. From that sample of adoptees, the researchers then selected eight participants, ages seven to 13, from the adversity exposed group and another eight who’d been in the group raised by their biological parents. The children with a history of early caregiving disruptions had distinctly different gut microbiomes from those raised with biological caregivers from birth. Brain scans of all the children also showed that brain activity patterns were correlated with certain bacteria. “It is too early to say anything conclusive, but our study indicates that adversity-associated changes in the gut microbiome are related to brain function, including differences in the regions of the brain associated with emotional processing,” said Tottenham.last_img read more

Pleasant morning in Delhi 34 degrees likely

first_imgNew Delhi: It was a bright and cool morning in the national capital on Tuesday with the minimum temperature recorded two notches below the season’s average at 16.2 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature was expected to hover around 34 degrees Celsius. “The sky will remain clear throughout the day,” an Indian Meteorological Department official said. At 8.30 a.m. the humidity was recorded at 65 per cent. On Monday, the maximum temperature was recorded at 33.7 degrees Celsius, while the minimum was recorded a notch below the season’s average at 17.6 degrees Celsius, both season’s average.last_img read more

Open to flexibility Rahul Gandhi on AAP alliance

first_imgNEW DELH: Just as possibilities of a Congress-AAP alliance looked more and more unlikely, Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the first time on Tuesday shed clarity on whether a tie-up was possible in the next few days. “There is no confusion on this, the situation is clear. We have constructed alliances and are constructing alliances, and are open to flexibility”. Interestingly, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had told reporters just on Monday that Rahul Gandhi said ‘no’ to an alliance with AAP. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderDespite Gandhi saying that the situation is clear, the two sides remain as far apart as ever when it comes to joining hands. Gandhi had a meeting with the two warring sides in Congress — the pro-alliance lobby led by PC Chacko and the anti-alliance lobby led by Sheila Dixit. While Dixit remained silent after the meeting, Chacko simply indicated that options were open. Earlier, Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit met party president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday triggering fresh speculations on the party’s possible alliance with the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe meeting, which last for around 20 minutes was also attended by All India Congress Committee (AICC) in charge of Delhi PC Chacko. Dikshit, who has been opposing an alliance with the AAP, had said on Sunday that the decision on tie-up for Lok Sabha polls will be declared in a few days. The decision from Rahul Gandhi on an alliance is expected “anytime” now, sources said. The Congress is learnt to have discussed a 3:3:1 (three seats for both Congress and AAP and one mutually accepted candidate) or a 4:3 (four seats for AAP and three for Congress) formula in Delhi. This, though, remains unacceptable to AAP. The AAP, sources said, is slowly veering to the position that an alliance with the Congress just in Delhi is not worth the price. AAP is clearly indicating that it wants space beyond Delhi. AAP sources indicate that the party is willing to give 2 seats in Delhi, if Congress is also willing to give 2 in Haryana, and may consider giving 3 seats in Delhi, if Congress adds 3 seats in Punjab.last_img read more

Cong slams Modi govt over election commissioner Lavasa recusing himself from meetings

first_imgNew Delhi: The Congress Saturday hit out at the Modi government over Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa recusing himself from EC meetings to discuss poll code violations, saying erosion of institutional integrity is the hallmark of the present dispensation. Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala cited a media report which claimed Lavasa, who disagreed with the poll panel’s decisions to clear Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah of charges of violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), has since May 4 recused himself from all meetings to discuss MCC issues. Lavasa has reportedly insisted that he will do so only after dissent notes and minority decisions are included in the orders of the commission. “The Election Commission or Election Omission! Another Dark Day for Democracy!” Surjewala tweeted, tagging the media report. “Sh Ashok Lavasa, Member CEC, who dissented on multiple occasions when EC was busy giving clean chits to Modi-Shah duo, opts out of EC as the ECI even refuse to record dissent notes,” he said. Erosion of institutional integrity is the hallmark of the Modi government, Surjewala alleged. “SC Judges going public, RBI Governor’s resigning, CBI Director getting removed, CVC giving vacuous reports, Now dividing Election Commission!” the Congress leader said in another tweet. Will EC save the embarrassment by recording Lavasa’s dissent notes, he asked.last_img read more

EUs new support To Morocco new sign if Its commitment towards

first_imgBrussels  –   The new 176.9 million Euro extended to Morocco by the European Union reflects anew the EU commitment for Morocco and its social development, said the European commission.These funds come to support the new government which will need to apply a series of reforms, the release says, pointing out that it is part of the 2013 work program meant to back Morocco’s gradual anchoring to the EU and support the Moroccan education strategy launched in 2008.A part of these funds, worth 87 million Euros, will go to the “succeeding the advanced status” program meant to support the Kingdom’s efforts to adapt its legislation to the EU’s for gradual integration with the European market. The 89.9 million Euro-worth backing to the education strategy seeks to secure fair access to basic education nationwide in order to improve the quality and governance of education.last_img read more

Four dead in Kenyan bus blast

first_imgNAIROBI- At least four people were killed Saturday evening and 36 injured in an explosion on a minibus in Kenyan capital Nairobi.“A group of assailants threw a grenade into a bus with 32 seats,” the interior ministry said on its Twitter account.Police said the 36 injured were admitted to nearby hospitals with multiple injuries following the incident. The death toll is expected to rise due to the nature of injuries.No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.last_img

A Brazilian auctions her virginity receives 15 Million offer from

first_imgCasablanca- Today, you can find anything exposed for sale on the internet—even a girl’s virginity! Catarina Migliorini, the Brazilian college girl who stirred a polemic by auctioning off her virginity online 15 months ago, is now doing it again after the initial deal proved to be a total failure. Surprisingly, someone has even proposed to her!We all remember the 21-year-old Migliorini who had sold her virginity online for $ 780,000. Well, the Japanese billionaire who won the online bid against three other bidders seemingly changed his mind, and Migliorini said she was the victim of a well-sewed dupery, especially after she shot the Justin-Sisely-made documentary “Virgins Wanted” on that very auction.The controversial Brazilian college student re-launched the online auction again, and this time on her own website, VirginsWanted2.com. Since then, one of the most tempting offers she has received for her virginity is $440,000. However, Migliorini is now raising the bar higher after she has recently received a $1.5 million marriage proposal from an undisclosed Arab billionaire. Hence, she has disregarded the $440, 000 offer, extended the deadline for bids until February 14 and started probing the very tempting marriage offer.“”I decided to continue because I received a proposal from an Arab millionaire and I’m thinking about it, [because] this proposal involves a possible marriage,” she was quoted as saying by The Huffington Post.” I decided to extend the time so I could analyze everything well in advance.”Migliorini seemed very optimistic about the Arab billionaire’s recent offer, describing the Arab proposer as a “romantic,” “handsome” and “very intelligent” man, who “lives in a beautiful mansion [and] speaks 11 languages.”Migliorini claims that she plans to donate 90% of the auction money for charity, mainly to enable certain associations in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, where she’s from, to build homes for people in need.However, according to Huffington Post, Australian filmmaker Sisely said he was surprised to hear Migliorini speak about the 90% charity donation part, since she had affirmed to him that offering her virginity for sale was “a business decision for her.”© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

Marrakech Increases its Market Share From Germany

Marrakch- The number of German tourists arrivals in Marrakech over the first eight months of the year rose by 36.5% compared to last year. Nights spent in Marrakech by tourists rose by 34%.The Moroccan Tourist Office is designating Germany as a strategic market, noting that German tourists take 82 million trips per year, making it the largest market for tourism package flights. Germans are high-spending tourists who travel an average of 5 days. In Morocco, the total expenditure of German tourists increased by 13% between 2010 and 2011, from 1.46 to 1.65 billion dirhams, according to a survey conducted on behalf of the Observatory of Tourism, according to L’Economiste.Marrakech’s Menara airport recently added an airline route to Frankfurt, operated by Lufthansa. The Frankfurt link comes after the airport recently established a link to the German capital, Berlin. Marrakech now has 34 flights to six German cities: Berlin, Munich, Dusseldorf, Hahn, Cologne/Bonn, and Memmingen. Three additional routes are scheduled to open in 2014-15, including Düsseldorf (operated by Air Berlin) and Hamburg (operated by Germania) and Vienna (operated by Niki Air).Lahcen Haddad, the Minister of Tourism, reassured local authorities and tourism professionals in Marrakech that the tourism market was stable, after reported cancellations due to a French government tourist warning for 28 Muslim countries, including. Morocco.Abdessalam Bikrat, the Wali of Marrakech, stressed that there had been no evidence of tourist cancellations and no cancellation of any events in Marrakech’s busy calendar of conferences and shows.Hamid Bentahar, the Chairman of CRT Marrakech, also confirmed that the activities in the city remained unaffected and the general trend remained extremely positive. read more

WTO Chief Praises Moroccos Southsouth Cooperation Approach

Geneva- Morocco’s role in promoting south-south cooperation reflects the openness of the Moroccan economy as well as its dynamism and attachment to cultural roots, said Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Roberto Azevêdo.In an interview with MAP prior to his visit to attending an African conference in Morocco on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the WTO, Azevêdo said that Morocco’s status as the second African investor in Africa reflects the growing trend of its economy.“Morocco recognizes the importance of the African market as a driver for future growth,” said Azevêdo.  The WTO is closely following the development of the Moroccan economy which showed remarkable resilience in the wake of the economic crisis and the fluctuations it engendered in European markets, the WTO chief said, noting that growth prospects in Morocco for 2015 are estimated at 4.5%.While recognizing the work that remains ahead in terms of reducing unemployment, the WTO Director General highlighted the sound foundations of political stability in Morocco that enable the implementation of efficient economic and trade policies with promising results.“Since it joined the international multilateral trade system, the Moroccan economy successfully managed to transform and to diversify exports,” he said.Azevêdo recalled that Morocco remains the world largest phosphate exporter and a leading producer of citrus fruits, agri-food products and textile.In the same vein, he noted the growing exports of high added value goods such as cars, electronic devices and airplane parts.He also pointed out to the important infrastructure investments in Morocco, notably the Tanger-Med ports and its role in promoting large-scale investments in car making and aviation.Azevêdo will be visiting Morocco to attend the ministerial conference on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the WTO.The conference is held under the high patronage of King Mohammed VI with the participation of several African trade ministers. read more

Monitoring Cameras to be Installed at RabatCasablanca Highway

Rabat – Interior Minister Mohamed Hassad said that monitoring cameras will be placed on the Casablanca-Rabat-Mohammed VI Airport highway to improve safety.Speaking on Tuesday at the House of Representatives on highways security, Hassad said that attacks on motorists using highways decreased by 35 per cent in comparison to the previous year.He added that bridges will also be equipped with safety nets to deter individuals who pelt passing cars with stones in an attempt to force them to stop before robbing them. read more