Bimal Gurung set to return to Hills after oneandhalf years

first_imgKolkata: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader Bimal Gurung, who has been on the run for the past one -and-half years, is likely to return to the Hills Thursday evening, a day after the Supreme Court asked him and his aide Roshan Giri to move the Calcutta High Court for anticipatory bail in connection with the cases lodged against them. Loksang Lama, the working president of GJM’s Gurung faction, said the Morcha leader, who is scheduled to arrive at Bagdogra airport at 1.30pm, will head straight to the Hills. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja “Our leader will leave for the Hills as soon as he lands at Bagdogra airport,” he said. According to poll analysts, Gurung’s return to the Hills is likely to change the course of election in Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency and swing votes in favour of BJP candidate Raju Singh Bista. Both Gurung and Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) have extended their support to Bista, while the Binay Tamang-led faction of the Morcha have decided to back Trinamool Congress candidate Amar Singh Rai. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway A 104-day-long strike in the Hills over a separate statehood demand had led to the spilt in the GJM last year, with Tamang, Gurung’s deputy, taking over the reins of the party. He expelled Gurung and his loyalists soon after and established himself as the defacto leader of the Hills with the help of the ruling TMC. When contacted, Gurung told PTI that the people in the Hills were eagerly waiting to have him back. “I can’t wait to return to Darjeeling. Once I am there, I will do everything to ensure the victory of BJP candidate Bista. The people of the Hills have rejected traitors like Tamang and Rai,” he said. Maintaining that he was still the supremo of the GJM and “commands respect and love” of the people of the Hills, Gurung said, “Tamang and his group are agents of the TMC”. Tamang, when contacted, claimed that the people of the Hills no longer favour Gurung and his “politics of violence”. The Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat, which is presently held by the BJP, is poised for a prestige fight between the TMC and the saffron party. For the first time in over three decades, the two parties are looking beyond the statehood demand as they stress on the need to restore democracy in the Hills.last_img read more

Pets lower stress in older adults

first_imgHaving a pet can help older adults cope with mental and physical health issues, according to a US poll which showed that owning an animal lowers stress and gives people a sense of purpose. While pets come with benefits, they can also bring concerns, and some people may even put their animals’ needs ahead of their own health, the poll found. In all, 55 per cent of adults ages 50 to 80 have a pet, according to the new findings – and more than half of those have multiple pets. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainMore than three-quarters of pet owners say their animals reduce their stress, and nearly as many say pets give them a sense of purpose. However, 18 per cent also said having a pet or pets puts a strain on their budget. Two-thirds of all pet owners, and 78 per cent of dog owners, said their pet helps them be physically active, according to the findings from University of Michigan in the US. For those who reported that their health was fair or poor, pet ownership appeared to offer even more benefits. More than 70 per cent of these older adults said their pet helps them cope with physical or emotional symptoms, and 46 per cent said their pets help take their mind off of pain. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma Award”We have long known that pets are a common and naturally occurring source of support,” said Cathleen Connell, a professor at University of Michigan. “Although the benefits of pets are significant, social connections and activities with friends and family are also key to quality of life across the lifespan,” Connell said. “Helping older adults find low cost ways to support pet ownership while not sacrificing other important relationships and priorities is an investment in overall mental and physical health,” she said. The poll results indicates a need for physicians and other health care providers to ask older adults about the role of pets in their lives. More than half of those who owned pets said they did so specifically to have a companion – and a slightly higher percentage said their pets sleep in bed with them. Sixty-five per cent of pet owners said having a pet helps connect them to other people, too. “Relationships with pets tend to be less complicated than those with humans, and pets are often a source of great enjoyment,” said Mary Janevic, an assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan. “They also provide older adults with a sense of being needed and loved,” Janevic said. One in six said that they put their pet’s needs ahead of their own health needs – a figure that was closer to one in four among those with health issues. “Later life is often a time when people have more freedom to travel, and a long list of things they want to do with their free time, and sometimes having a pet can get in the way,” said Janevic.last_img read more

SC seeks Centres reply on plea seeking entry of Muslim women into

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday agreed to hear a plea seeking permission for Muslim women to enter mosques to offer prayers and asked the Centre to respond to it.A bench of justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer told the petitioners’ counsel that it would hear the matter only in view of the apex court’s judgement in the Sabrimala temple case. “The only reason we may hear you is because of our judgement in the Sabarimala case. Otherwise you are not giving us satisfactory answers,” the bench told the counsel appearing for petitioners Yasmeen Zuber Ahmad Peerzade and Zuber Ahmad Nazir Ahmad Peerzade. On September 28 last year, a five-judge constitution bench of the apex court, in its 4:1 verdict, had paved the way for entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, saying the ban amounted to gender discrimination. Besides the Centre, the apex court also issued notices to the Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Minority Affairs, National Commission for Women, Maharashtra State Board of Waqfs, Central Waqf Council and the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, seeking their replies on the plea filed by the Pune-based couple. During the hearing on Tuesday, the apex court asked the petitioners’ lawyer as to whether the right to equality could be invoked against private individuals. “Can you invoke Article 14 (equality before law) of the Constitution and claim equal treatment from another human being?” the bench said, adding, “Is a mosque a state? Is a temple a state? Is a church a state?” The bench also sought to know from the petitioners how the state was involved in this. “Persons in a mosque are individuals. Where is the state involved in this?” the bench said, adding that the fundamental right to equality can be invoked against the state and not against individuals.last_img read more

Trishakti Corps observes 59th Raising Day at Sukna

first_imgDarjeeling: The Trishakti Corps observed 59th Raising Day at Sukna, near Siliguri on Friday.Trishakti Corps was raised in 1942 and had participated in the Burma Campaign during World War II. The Corps was subsequently demobilised after successful completion of the task at Rangoon in May 1945. The Trishakti Corps was again reinstated at Shillong on May 10, 1960, by Lieutenant General Umrao Singh and moved to Sukna in 1962. Over the years, the Corps has successfully safeguarded the Indian borders and thwarted all threats, both external and internal in a steadfast manner. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAlways living up to its motto of “Aadi Anant Ajeya”, the Traishakti Corps has produced a large number of war heroes. Since 1960, the Trishakti Corps has played a significant geo-strategic role based in the strategically located Siliguri corridor also known as the “Chicken’s neck” the thin strip of land connecting the North Indian states to the Indian mainland. The troops of Trishakti Corps had played important roles in the 1961 war of Liberation of Goa and in the Nathula-Chola standoffs of 1967. During the 1971 War, the Corps played a pivotal role in the “Liberation of Bangladesh.” On the occasion of this historical day, Major General Rajeeva Kumar, YSM, SM, Chief of Staff, Trishakti Corps laid the wreath at the War Memorial, in the honour of the valiant soldiers, who have made the supreme sacrifice for the safety, integrity and honour of the Nation. A military band played military tunes at the war memorial to commemorate the occasion.last_img read more

Pandya Rahul back in form Warner warns World Cup rivals

first_imgNew Delhi: Hardik Pandya and K L Rahul’s stellar show drowning their off-field distractions, David Warner sounding a warning bell to his World Cup rivals and a 40-year-old Imran Tahir turning the clock back were some of the takeaways from the just-concluded IPL. While Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s ‘Dad’s Army’ nearly did an encore, Mumbai Indians’ consistency on the big day paid off again during a season where there were more than 30 last-over finishes. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuIn a World Cup year, it was imperative that the focus would be on international stars and the contenders for the silverware have had the form and fitness of their stars analysed threadbare over 50 days. For tournament favourites India, the foremost gain has to be Hardik and Rahul’s performance. The enormously gifted Hardik and the very stylish Rahul seemed to have channelised all their energies on the field during the past seven weeks to produce results that will augur well for India in the upcoming World Cup in England. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersBack after serving a temporary ban for their trash talk, IPL was a platform for the best friends to get their focus back in the game, and they did so in a glorious fashion. Kings XI Punjab couldn’t make it to the play-offs but Rahul did his bit opening the innings, scoring 593 runs and finishing second behind David Warner (692) in the run-scorer’s list. His approach was classical and the six fifties and one hundred will certainly keep him in high spirits if the team management expects him to bat at No. 3 or 4 in the mega event. For Hardik, the IPL triumph couldn’t have come at a better time as he, time and again, proved why he is called the ‘game-changer.’ 402 runs at a strike-rate of 191 plus, 29 sixes, 14 wickets and 11 catches is stuff of any all-rounder’s dreams, statistics that India captain Virat Kohli can find solace in despite his own franchise RCB’s disastrous show. MI skipper Rohit Sharma said: “Hardik is the best example. Before the IPL, he didn’t have a good time, was injured, and missed a few games as well. But he has been tremendous for us — both in batting and bowling.” Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah’s haul of 19 wickets each was an indicator of their wicket-taking ability. David Warner’s 692 runs is one of the best comeback stories of IPL and his form will certainly keep his World Cup opponents on guard. His former captain Steven Smith found a bit of touch towards the end of his IPL campaign, which translated into runs during the practice games against New Zealand.last_img read more

Airtel tweaks postpaid sops to phase out offerings below Rs 499

first_imgNew Delhi: Telecom operator Bharti Airtel has tweaked its post-paid plans, a move that involves gradual phasing out of offerings that are less than Rs 499 and retaining limited number of plans above it. The move is aimed at simplification of plans and would also help the company chase better realisation from mobile subscribers, improving the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), according to a source. The source said the company is in the process of phasing out post-paid plans of less than Rs 499, as other plans pack in more value and digital content for subscribers willing to shell out a tad bit more. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraEssentially, it has scrapped the Rs 299 plan and is in the process of gradually phasing out Rs 349 and Rs 399 post-paid plans. Even the number of plans above Rs 499 will be reduced to just three – Rs 749, Rs 999 and Rs 1,599. When contacted, a company spokesperson declined to comment on the matter. As of December 31, 2018, Airtel’s mobile services customer base in India was about 284 million. The company, which is in the midst of raising Rs 25,000 crore through a rights issue – while announcing its fourth quarter results recently steered clear of the customary investor call and management commentary nor it provided ARPU – a key metrics tracked by analysts. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysA recent report by SBICap Securities, however, said Airtel had “done well” on ARPU as it seems to have improved about 20 per cent sequentially, while Jio’s ARPU declined about 3 per cent. On Monday, rival Vodafone Idea reported that its ARPU for the March quarter grew 16.3 per cent to Rs 104, from Rs 89 in the October-December 2018 period. “Subscriber traction is something that Bharti needs to pick up, as ARPU gains incrementally may be much lesser but may still continue, driven by upselling for low-end subscribers and 2G-to-4G upgrade,” SBICap Securities said in a the report.last_img read more

Dieudonnés Casablanca Performance Canceled By Demand of Jewish Organization

Taroudante – The performance of controversial French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala scheduled for April 29th in Casablanca has been canceled apparently by demand of a French Jewish organization.Although Moroccan officials offered no explanation for denying a permit for the performance, the Mohammed V complex, the event’s planned venue, said that the show had been cancelled due to “technical reasons.”The decision may have been due to political pressure, however. The President of the National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA), Sammy Ghozlan, claims to have sent a letter to the Ambassador of Morocco to France demanding that the Moroccan authorities prevent Dieudonné from performing his show in Casablanca, according to Telquel. “As soon as I learned that Dieudonné was going to perform in Casablanca, I immediately contacted Morocco’s ambassador in Paris,” said Ghozlan, adding that he is satisfied with the decision made by the Moroccan authorities to ban the show.According to Ghozlan, “Morocco has a large Jewish community. Allowing Dieudonné to perform his show is a real incitement to hatred against that community.”The Casablanca show was one stop on Dieudonné’s tour of a number of Arab cities, including Dubai and Beirut.The show entitled “La Bête immonde” (The Vile Beast), contains strong language directed against Jews. It portrays the life of Ilan Halimi, a young Parisian Jewish phone salesman who was tortured and murdered in 2006 by a gang of kidnappers because he was Jewish.Dieudonné has repeatedly faced prosecution in France on charges related to anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and incitement of racial hatred against Jews. He has also been the subject of multiple executive bans against his shows in France for their anti-Semitic content. The controversial artist invented a quasi-Nazi salute, which many, including French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, have dubbed as an anti-Semitic gesture of hate.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission. read more

Moroccos LEconomiste Slams Moroccan Government Over Beer Festival Ban

Rabat – Following the ban of Morocco’s first beer festival in Casablanca last week, Morocco’s leading French-speaking newspaper, L’Economiste, criticized the decision, saying it does not hide the impact of liquor sales on the Moroccan economy.“Behind the passion around alcohol lies a true cash machine for the national budget,” reported l’Economiste in its weekend issue.The paper pointed out that the Moroccan government made at least 1 billion MAD from the tax revenues for alcohol sales in 2014. More specifically, the government’s revenues from taxes on beer sales reached more than 708 million MAD.Last year, Moroccans consumed over 85 million bottles of beer and at least 30 million liters of wine. Morocco produced 40 million bottles of wine a year, most of which is consumed within the country. Around 10 million tourists visit the country every year. According to L’Economiste, the Moroccan government earned over 802.6 million MAD from alcohol taxes during the first nine months of 2015.Last week, Casablanca’s first ever beer festival was axed just days before it was slated begin. Moroccan authorities have cited legal “non-compliance” by the organizers for the decision.“Following media announcements about a beer festival in Casablanca, the authorities have asked the organizers to stop their publicity campaign immediately and cancel the event,” said a statement by the Wilaya of Casablanca.Morocco’s number one beer producer, Brasserie du Maroc, organized the festival. The company, which accounts for 95 percent of beer sales by volume in the country, has several local beers, including La Speciale Flag, Flag Pils, and Stork.The sale of alcohol to Muslims is prohibited, with those convicted for drinking in public facing up to six months in jail under Moroccan criminal law.However, the consumption of alcohol by non-Muslims is allowed, and many young people in the country drink, as do millions of tourists who visit Morocco’s many bars, clubs, and hotels.According to the World Health Organization, in 2014 nine percent of Moroccan men and three percent of women admitted to drinking alcohol. read more

Moroccan Royal Navy Conduct Joint Operations With US Navy

New York – Military cooperation between Morocco and U.S. is in force. The Moroccan Royal Navy and the United States Navy are conducting a series of military exercises in a joint operation in the Atlantic Ocean.The guided-missile destroyer of the U.S. Navy USS Gravely (DDG 107) and the Moroccan navy ship Sultan Moulay Ismail (FFG 614) led a joint maritime maneuver named “PASSEX 2015” on November 28, according to the US Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet website.In the “PASSEX 2015”, naval forces of the Moroccan Royal Navy successfully boarded the American destroyer in a sequence of tactical exercises, the same source revealed, according to the same source . The two ships exchanged teams and visited each other to allow an opportunity for training and learning with their counterpart naval crew.“Participating in this PASSEX was a great chance to collaborate with a partner nation. When we take part in cooperative operations and exercises like this, it gives Sailors an opportunity to practice the duties they are trained to perform, which benefits everyone,” Commander Officer of the USS Gravely Alysa Ambrose said.“It is interesting to meet our counterparts from across the globe, and discuss the differences in our cultures. Ultimately, the best part was seeing and understanding our similarities as fellow Sailors and war fighters,” Ens. Dan Evans, electrical officer of the USS Gravely highlighted.The US Navy, which operates under the U.S. Department of Defense said that the maneuver tested the capacity of Moroccan navy ship Sultan Moulay Ismail.The “PASSEX 2015” proved that the war frigate built for Morocco by the Netherlands in cooperation with Indonesia was able to navigate the high seas.According to the same source, the Moroccan FFG 614 has a 76 mm Otobreda cannon, Mistral missiles, and an Exocet anti-ship.The Moroccan frigate, built by the Dutch naval manufacturer Schelde, has been also equipped with a helicopter landing pad and hangar, as well as more powerful weapons, such as surface air missiles MBDA VL-MICA.Passing exercises, the same source noted, build cooperation and communication between countries as well as ensure maritime safety in “multi-national environments”. read more

Ethnic Cleansing Under Way in South Sudan UN

Rabat – UN human rights experts on Thursday said “ethnic cleansing” was under way in South Sudan.“There is already a steady process of ethnic cleansing underway in several areas of South Sudan using starvation, gang rape and the burning of villages; everywhere we went across this country we heard villagers saying they are ready to shed blood to get their land back,” said Yasmin Sooka of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan.“Many told us it’s already reached a point of no return.” Sooka was part of a three-member team which travelled to battleground towns including Bentiu, Malakal and Wau to gather facts about the situation in the world’s youngest country.Jarring testimony gathered by the team during their 10-day visit shows a nation on the brink of “catastrophe”, said a statement issued by the commission.“The stage is being set for a repeat of what happened in Rwanda and the international community is under an obligation to prevent it,” said Sooka.South Sudan’s current conflict began nearly three years ago when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy and political rival, Riek Machar, of plotting a coup.Hopes that an August 2015 peace deal would bring peace to the young nation were dashed when fighting erupted in Juba in July, leading to a surge of violence around the country characterised by divisions between the country’s 64 tribes.“The scale of rape of women and girls perpetrated by all armed groups in South Sudan is utterly unacceptable and is frankly mind boggling,” said Sooka. Sooka said that many of the warning signals of impending genocide are already there.“An existing conflict, resort to polarised ethnic identities, dehumanisation, a culture of denial, displacement based on ethnicity and in some places indications of systematic violations and planning — but the important thing is there is still time to prevent it,” she said. read more

Video Moroccan Ottman Azaitar Wins Epic Fight

By Saad Eddine LamzouwaqRabat – When it comes to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and combat sports in general, Azaitar brothers (Abu Bakr and Ottman) are certainly among the best Moroccan athletes.The Cologne, Germany natives proudly represent their country of origin. They are famous for their aggressive style and fighting with a heart inside the cage.Last Saturday, the younger Azaitar, Ottman, was involved in an epic battle against the British fighter Charlie Leary in Abu Dhabi.In a back-and-fourth fight, Azaitar won with an incredible knockout in an insane first round, described by many professionals as one of the best in the history of the game. read more

King Mohammed VI Macron Inaugurate Africas First LGV in Tangier

Rabat – The 200-kilometer-long high speed train will link Casablanca and Tangier in two hours and 10 minutes instead of the normal five-hour train ride.The LGV departed from Tangier on its way to Rabat with King Mohammed VI and Macron taking the first ride.The flagship train, which represents strong bilateral ties between Morocco and France, is being driven by a Moroccan rail engineer, who was trained among others in France, according to Jeune Afrique. During testing, the train reached a speed record of 357 kilometers per hour in May.Morocco’s “Al Boraq” high speed service will average 320 kilometers per hour between Tangier and Kenitra, a city north of Rabat, and will drop its speed to 160 kilometers per hour from Kenitra to Casablanca, the pan-African magazine added.Read Also: Macron Arrives in Morocco to Inaugurate LGV with King Mohammed VIThe Moroccan government allocated MAD 5.8 billion to the rail’s construction. The Hassan II Fund for Economic and Social Development contributed MAD 1 billion.The French government offered loans of 51 percent of the €2 billion overall cost.The French government financed the project via several loans, including an initial investment by the French Development Agency (AFD) of €220 million.Morocco later received a loan of €80 million from AFD to fund the last segment of the Tangier-Casablanca high -speed train project in October 2017.According to Jeune Afrique, Morocco’s railway operator (ONCF) also received funds from several Gulf countries, including a €144 million loan from the Saudi Fund for Development and a €100 million loan from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development has also loaned the project €86 million, and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development loaned €70 million.A number of French companies also contributed in the construction of the project, including SNCF, which managed the project, and the Egis Group which took over the civil engineering.Systra, a subsidiary of SNCF, built the rails while Alstom built 12 trains.ONCF will announce the LGV ticket prices on Friday, November 16.The train was originally scheduled to be finished in 2015 but was later postponed to 2017. After a series of delays, however, the project was completed and launched today from Tangier.The project will increase its passenger capacity from 3 million per year to more than 60 million starting in the third year. In the operational phase, Morocco’s LGV is expected to generate 1,500 direct and 800 indirect jobs.According to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), the partnership led to the creation of the Railway Training Institute (IFF) in Rabat for railway workers from Morocco, France, and other countries in the region, as well as a joint venture  between ONCF and France’s SNCF to maintain high-speed trains, while allowing ONCF to gradually gain skills in this area. read more

Erdogan Opens Istanbul Airport Set to be Worlds Biggest

By Mohammed HikalAlthough it was launched Monday, until it becomes fully operational in January, “Istanbul Airport,” as it is called, will only serve a limited number of domestic flights and international flights to Azerbaijan and Cyprus, according to Turkish Airlines.The airport is expected to eventually handle 90 million passengers each year. The former transport minister, Ahmet Arslan, had previously claimed that the new airport would receive all flights coming into and out of Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport within 48 hours of its opening on Monday.In 10 years, Turkey plans to expand Istanbul Airport to approximately 19,000 acres with six runways, serving 200 million travelers by 2029, which would make it the world’s busiest airport.“With the operation of Istanbul Airport, European airspace will have to be restructured,” Erdogan said at the opening ceremony.Until a metro starts operating in two years’ time, a network of buses and other public transport will help passengers move to and from the city.“With this airport we aim to bring the world closer together with a major hub at the intersection of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East,” Kadri Samsunlu, head of the 5-company consortium Istanbul Grand Airport, told the Independent newspaper. “Our challenge is to be the biggest and the best.”The airport has received a lot of criticism over poor working conditions and the rush to meet Erdogan’s deadlines. According to the Ministry of Labor, 27 construction workers have died since the launch of the project in 2015. Turkey has also detained hundreds of protesting workers.“The airport has become a cemetery,” Nihat Demir, the head of a construction workers’ union, told the Associated Press. The Dev-Yapi-Is union calculated at least 37 construction deaths and “claimed more than 100 dead remain unidentified,” according to the Independent.However, the minister of labor denied the allegations and said the deaths were due to health problems and traffic accidents. read more

Noem offers bills aimed at possible Keystone XL protests

PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Monday that she’s proposing legislation before construction begins on the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would create a way to go after out-of-state money that funds pipeline protests.The legislation would let the state follow such money and “cut it off at the source,” the Republican governor said in a statement. Noem would also set up a fund to cover extraordinary law enforcement costs that could come with intense pipeline opposition.“I’m a supporter of property rights, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. We should celebrate differences of opinion, but here in South Dakota, we will have the rule of law, because rioters do not control economic development in our state,” Noem said.Noem’s bills come after opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline staged large protests that resulted in 761 arrests in southern North Dakota over a six-month span beginning in late 2016. The state spent tens of millions of dollars policing the protests.Noem’s office didn’t immediately provide the text of the legislation.Officials have already made changes to state law in anticipation of possible Keystone XL protests, passing a measure in 2017 that made it a Class 1 misdemeanour for someone to stand in the highway to stop traffic or to trespass in a posted emergency area. The measure was a scaled-back version of a bill championed by then-Gov. Dennis Daugaard amid concerns about large demonstrations similar to the Dakota Access protests.Noem’s office said her bills arose from discussions with lawmakers, authorities, stakeholders and pipeline developer TransCanada. The 1,184-mile (1,900 kilometre) pipeline is intended to ship up to 830,000 barrels a day of Canadian crude through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with lines to carry oil to Gulf Coast refineries.A federal judge in Montana in February largely kept in place an injunction that blocks TransCanada from performing preliminary work on the stalled pipeline.TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha said in an email that the company appreciates Noem’s efforts to help advance the construction of Keystone XL and other pipelines in a way that ensures the safety of workers and state residents.“Any legislation that deters unlawful activities and encourages the advancement of critical infrastructure projects is a positive step in the right direction,” Cunha said.The Associated Press read more

As Brexit stalls supporters protest betrayal of their dream

SUNDERLAND, England — With Britain’s departure from the European Union likely to be put on hold, some Brexit supporters fear their dream is dying.Hard-core Brexiteers led by former U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage are setting out on a two-week “Leave Means Leave” march between northern England and London, accusing politicians of “betraying the will of the people.”It’s due to end at Parliament on March 29, the day the U.K. was supposed to leave.Protesters plan to set out Saturday from Sunderland, which is 270 miles (434 kilometres) north of London that voted by 61-39 per cent in 2016 to leave the EU.Almost three years later, U.K. lawmakers remain deadlocked over the government’s Brexit deal. Parliament voted this week to seek to delay Britain’s departure until at least June 30.Jill Lawless, The Associated Press read more

Weekly Summary Corporate dividends name changes new listings

NEW YORK — Changes announced in corporate dividends Apr. 15-Apr. 19.INCREASED DIVIDENDSAmerican Water Works Co .50 from .455Celanese Corp .62 from .54Civista Bancshares .11 from .09East West Bancorp .275 from .23First Republic Bank .19 from .18Goldman Sachs .85 from .80Hospitality Properties Tr .54 from .53Intl Speedway Cl A .49 from .47Las Vegas Sands Corp .77 from .75Plumas Bancorp .23 from .18Star Group .125 from .1175Tallgrass Energy .53 from .52Travellers Companies (The) .82 from .77Two River Bancorp .07 from .055Whirlpool Corp 1.20 fromg- Canadian fundsOTHER CORPORATE NEWS AND LISTINGS:STOCK SPLITS THIS WEEKRexahn Pharmaceuticals Inc 1 for 12 reverse splitACQUISITIONS AND MERGERSMINIMUM VALUE $350 MILLIONOsiris Therapeutics Inc – Smith & Nephew Consolidaated (660M)NEW STOCK LISTINGSNASDAQ GLOBAL AND GLOBAL SELECT MARKETSBrainsway Ltd ADSGreenlane Holdings Inc Cl AHOOKIPA Pharma IncPalomar Holdings IncTurningPoint Therapeutics IncZoom Video Communications Cl ASTOCKS REMOVED FROM TRADINGNASDAQ GLOBAL AND GLOBAL SELECT MARKETSOsiris Therapeutics IncCORPORATE NAME CHANGESBridgepoint Education Inc to Zovio IncOphthotech Corp to IVERIC bio IncVital Therapies Inc to Immunic IncThe Associated Press read more

Poll More Than Half of US Voters Think Trump is Racist

Rabat – According to the poll, 51% of voters think Trump is racist, compared to 45% who do not.  USA Today detailed the results, which are divided according to political affiliation, sex, race, and religion. CNN compared these findings to a September 1968 poll regarding former Alabama Governor George Wallace, who ran for president that year.  Wallace was a proud segregationist and opposed to the Civil Rights movement, which sought to grant black Americans equal rights. According to a Harris poll, 41% of voters believed he was racist, while 40% did not.  While they may not be representative of the entire population, these results demonstrate that “more voters believe Trump is racist than believed a segregationist running for president in 1968 was,” writes CNN analyst Harry Enten. Quinnipiac held similar polls in 2018, with 49% of respondents believing Trump is racist. The new poll comes on the heels of yet another racist scandal involving President Trump. In early July, he tweeted that four Democratic congresswomen of color should “go back” to their countries. The attack was directed at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar. All four are US citizens.Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx, New York to a Puerto Rican family. Pressley, a black woman, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Tlaib, of Palestinian descent, was born in Detroit, Michigan.Omar was born in Somalia in 1982. After fleeing the ongoing civil war, Omar’s family spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya. The family was granted asylum in the US in 1995, and Omar later became a US citizen at 17 years old. Amid Trump’s tweeting scandal, the president held a rally in North Carolina during which he doubled down on his comments. While criticizing Omar, his attendees and supporters began chanting “send her back.”A history of racist rhetoricTrump has been accused of spewing racist rhetoric since he launched his presidential bid in 2015. He also has a questionable past–records of his racist remarks date back to 1973.In June 2017, he reportedly remarked that once Nigerian immigrants saw America, they would “never go back to their huts.” At the same time, he also allegedly said Haitians “all have AIDS.” In January 2018, the President referred to El Salvador, Haiti, and various African nations as “s—hole countries,” and demanded to know why the US accepts immigrants from these places. Most recently, he referred to a majority-black district in Baltimore, Maryland as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” in a July 27 Twitter attack on black congressman Elijah Cummings.This attack came in response to Cummings’ criticism of the treatment of migrants at border facilities between the US and Mexico.  USA Today reported that Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld “warned the Republican Party that if it does not denounce Trump in 2020, the GOP will be known as the ‘party of racism in America.’” read more

PJD Representative Defends MPs Right to Comment on Belgian Volunteers

Rabat – Deputy secretary-general of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) Soulaimane El Amrani has commented on his colleague’s statement against a group of Belgian volunteers. The Belgian group was spending the summer paving a road in a village in the province of Taroudant, southeastern Morocco.El Amrani said that his colleague Ali El Asri’s statement does not represent the party. He argued that the party is only responsible for its official statements and positions from authorized officials. El Asri shared a post on his Facebook account, criticizing the tourists’ dress code, arguing that the Belgian girls were not appropriately dressed for building work.Read Also: Moroccans Sign a Petition in Support of Belgian Volunteers “Everybody knows how Europeans insist on preserving security measures in construction-related work sites, as a tourist is not allowed to access a worksite without wearing a suit, helmet, and gloves,” El Asri wrote.The parliamentarian explained that in the village near Taroudant, the residents would not be used to the choices of summer clothing as it is a conservative area.While Al Amrani said that El Asri’s views do not reflect those of the party, he said that the PJD respect “freedom of expression.”“Freedom of expression in the Justice and Development Party is preserved and respected to the extent of reverence,” he said.El Amrani added that  El Asri’s post does not carry any terrorist connotations. The girl’s attire quickly received criticism on social media.On Tuesday, August 5,  the National Judicial Police, in coordination with the Directorate General of Territorial Surveillance (DGST) arrested a primary school teacher from Ksar El Kebir for inciting terrorism in a comment.The teacher said that the girls should be beheaded for not respecting the dress code in the region.The controversy urged the Belgian organization Bouworde to cancel its volunteering projects in Morocco, based on the advice of the Belgian Embassy in Rabat.The organization has been working in Taroudant for more than 15 years..Bouworde sent groups of young volunteers to work on infrastructure projects in the area in collaboration with a local association. read more

Canaccord to buy Australian securities business Patersons for 23 million

TORONTO — Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. has struck a deal to acquire Australian financial services firm Patersons Securities Ltd. for roughly $23 million in cash.The Melbourne-based securities business has operations in wealth management and capital markets.Canaccord chief executive Dan Daviau says the addition of Patersons is part of its strategy to increase the scale of its wealth management operations and improve its business mix in Australia.The Canadian financial services firm said the transaction was conducted through its Australian operation, Canaccord Genuity Australia.The deal is subject to various conditions, including shareholder and court approval and is expected to be completed during the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2019.Cash consideration of $25 million Australian dollars or 23.55 Australian cents per share, amounting to roughly C$23 million, will be paid upon closing. The Canadian Press Companies in this story: (TSX:CF) read more

Afghanistan UNassisted mine clearance enables 1000 families to return home

During a handover ceremony today, MAPA released 70,000 square meters of cleared residential area to 1,000 families on Kabul’s “TV Hill” – where a total of 103 anti-personnel mines and nearly 2,600 unexploded ordnance have been destroyed since December 2006. Following the ouster of the Taliban in 2001, some 500,000 square meters of land were found contaminated by landmines and unexploded ordnance on the TV Hill area. According to media reports, almost 1,000 people were killed or injured by such weapons in that area in 1998. Today more than 440,000 square meters have been cleared and nearly 2,000 anti-personnel mines and almost 7,400 unexploded ordnance destroyed. “Thanks to the work of manual clearance teams almost 7,000 families have already retuned to the Hill and rebuilt their houses. TV Hill is now one of the most populated areas in the centre of the city,” the UN Mine Action Centre for Afghanistan (UNMACA), which coordinates MAPA’s activities in areas such as minefield clearance, mine risk education and support for mine victims, said in a press release. Afghanistan became a State party to the Ottawa Mine Ban Convention in March 2003 and is working towards clearing all minefields by 2013. Also in Kabul today, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) inaugurated the AliceGhan project, which will provide housing and support for livelihoods to 1,400 Afghan returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Qarabagh District. Those selected to participate in the project, which enjoys $7.3 million in funding from the Australian Government, will receive housing construction materials to build their own earthquake-resistant houses, as well as vocational training. The name “AliceGhan” is derived from the combination of Alice Springs – a town in Australia which has strong links with Afghan migrants to Australia – and Afghanistan, symbolising the partnership and commitment between the two countries. The project is implemented by UNDP in close partnership with several Afghan ministries, and with the support of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Human Settlements Programme (UNHABITAT). 21 June 2007Some 1,000 Afghan families can now return to their homes on a hilltop in downtown Kabul and live in a more secure environment thanks to the efforts of the United Nations-supported Mine Action Programme for Afghanistan (MAPA). read more