IMD working at faster pace to issue blocklevel weather forecast by next

first_imgNew Delhi: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) Tuesday said it is working at a brisk pace to issue localised weather forecasting to all 6,500 blocks across 660 districts in the country by 2020 and help as many as 9.5 crore farmers deal with the vagaries of weather.However, the most challenging task would be to enhance the accuracy of weather forecasts and to make agromet advisory services (AAS) more useful and user friendliness, it added. At present, IMD issues district level advisories. In 2018, it tied up with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to extend weather forecast and AAS at the block level. “A lot of progress has been made since signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with ICAR. The work is at a faster pace…. We are recruiting and training people,” IMD Deputy Director General S D Attri said on the sidelines of a Ficci event. The pilot study is underway in 200 blocks. The target is to cover 6,500 blocks in 660 districts by 2020, he said, adding that this will help farmers minimise weather-related crop losses. Attri said that the IMD has a network of 130 agromet field units at district level for dissimilating the weather-based advisories. Efforts are being made to set such units in additional 530 districts in the country under the ‘Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa’ at Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs). As of now, 4 crore farmers are receiving the district level weather forecast through SMS and mKisan portals. “The target is to cover 9.5 crore farmers by 2020 by extending the services at a block level,” he added. Earlier, addressing the event on agriculture extension, the IMD official stressed on the need for dissemination of AAS to farmers on a “wider scale” and convincing them about its positive impacts on a sustainable basis. He also talked about the need to focus on awareness programmes to help farmers to become more self-reliant in dealing with weather and climate issues that affect agriculture production and also assist the farmers to further develop their adaptive capacity with improved planning and better management decisions. -Attri observed that IMD alone cannot reach all farmers and emphasised the need to take private sector and their innovative technologies in this area.last_img read more

Gemini Man most demanding film of my career Will Smith

first_imgLos Angeles: Will Smith, who will be fighting his younger self in Oscar-winner Ang Lee’s Gemini Man, recently said the “emotional and physical challenges” of making the film have been the most demanding of his career. It is for the first time that Smith, known for his action-comedy roles in Hollywood has teamed up with Lee, one of the most genre-bending directors in the modern era. Billed as an innovative action-thriller, the Paramount Pictures film will see Smith as Henry Brogan, an elite assassin, who is suddenly targeted and pursued by a mysterious young operative that seemingly can predict his every move. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: PriyankaThe trailer of the film, which dropped on Tuesday, shows jaw-dropping action scenes peppered with suspense and a de-aged Smith. The filmmaker and actor of Hollywood, Smith, who aged in reverse with the help of digital technology to play his 23-year-old version, called Lee’s direction “cinematic wizardry”. “Ang is pushing the limits to give people an experience in the movie theatre that you can’t get anywhere else. This is not only an action film, but an exploration of what one’s younger self can ultimately teach one’s older self. I’m 50-years-old now, and the irony of becoming 23-year-old Junior in this film is that 23-year-old me wouldn’t have been ready for this experience or to take on this role,” he said.last_img read more

Leopard forges friendship with mare at Guj farmhouse

first_imgVadodara: Hard as it may be to imagine, a young leopard has forged an unlikely bond with a mare at a farmhouse in Gujarat.The around one-and-a-half year old leopard has been visiting the farmhouse, located near a forest at Virod village on Vadodara’s outskirts, for last four-five days apparently after taking a liking for the mare kept tied there to a tree. The farmhouse and the mare belong to villager Jagdishbhai Patel, who said the leopard has been coming to his field everyday during the night time. “The leopard rolls on the grass and plays near the mare, who has not resisted the big cat’s move and keeps standing near the tree without any sign of panic,” he said on Wednesday. He said while his family members were worried about the unusual visitor at their field, the other villagers were flocking the place to catch a glimpse of the camaraderie between the two animals. “The leopard has been coming to the farmhouse, located just about 25 metres from my house, after sunset and sits near the mare for some hours before disappearing. The carnivore has not attacked any human being though it bit a dog a couple of days back,” Patel said. He said his farm labourers were scared of going near the mare to feed it and as a precaution, he has shifted his other cattle behind the house. He also requested the forest department to catch the spotted animal. Arvind Pawar of the city-based NGO Wildlife Rescue Trust said they have installed two night vision cameras to capture the leopard’s images. The district forest department’s rescue team member Nitin Patel said the young leopard’s mother was also seen near the farmhouse in a video footage. “While the young feline sits in a water pit dug up near the spot where the mare is tied, its mother was seen climbing a nearby tree,” he said. A cage along with a bait was placed nearby, but the leopard was yet to be caught, he added.last_img read more

Anurag Thakur treads path cautiously father backsup

first_imgShimla: The old saying – “once bitten, twice shy” can’t have the best frame-fit slot other than Hamirpur parliamentary constituency.A BJP stronghold for over two-decades, Hamirpur has much at stake for young MP Anurag Thakur, who fights Congress’s five-time MLA Ram Lal Thakur to defend a political legacy that opponents of his father and two-time Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal are trying to covertly question. Dhumal, who led the BJP to the victory in 2017 poll, lost his assembly election by a slender margin of 1,919 votes and missed his third Chief Minister term at a moment when things looked all done for him. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghThat’s why neither Dhumal nor Anurag Thakur is publically boasting of impending win except that BJP’s national president Amit Shah reaching out them to declare to the voters –a predictable “bigger role” for Anurag Thakur after his victory. “We are happy that Amit Shah acknowledged the potential in Anurag Thakur. It has boosted our prospects. But we haven’t forgotten how the finest victory turned bitter for people of Hamirpur on December 19, 2017, when sahib (Dhumal) lost his Sujanpur seat,” says Sanjeev Katwal, BJP leader and staunch Dhumal loyalist. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadThus, Anurag is playing safe and focussing on the campaign. The poll narrative is just confined to development issues. The constituency having a large presence of ex-servicemen and serving soldiers and para-military personnel has an advantage factor for the BJP. “We want Modi to come back. He has raised the morale of forces and hit Pakistan hard,” says Subedar (Retd) Harish Patial of Bhota, near Hamirpur. For Anurag Thakur stakes it’s not alone his victory but also to prove that Dhumal still commands his influence in the constituency, where he had won the elections in 1989,1991 and 2007. Anurag Thakur, 44, had stepped into the shoes of his father in 2008 when Dhumal had become Chief Minister. He won the seat with a record margin of 1.74 lakh votes and never lost thereafter. Biggest criticism about Anurag Thakur is his high profile image when he headed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) but was removed later by the Supreme Court following a controversy for not implementing the reforms recommended by Lodha Committee. The young BJP politicians, however, is credited with building a world-class cricket stadium at Dharamshala, a landmark even his critics in the Congress appreciates. Challenging him is Congress’s former minister and five-time MLA Ram Lal Thakur, who had been his strong critics ever since Anurag Thakur became Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) president. Thakur alleges, “Anurag did nothing in the constituency. He is also jumblebaaz like Modi. Most of the time he had been travelling abroad or attending high profile parties. He (Anurag) has not replied to my single question as to why he was removed by the Supreme Court from the post of BCCI president?” Congress candidate told the Millennium Post. Ram Lal Thakur, 67, never wanted to contest the poll but the party pushed his name after former PCC president Sukhwinder Sukhu and Congress Legislature Party leader Mukesh Agnihotri declined. But Anurag says, “My work in the constituency and Modi ji’s five years are strong points. Hamirpur is the only constituency, which has got new projects worth hundreds of crores.” He counts on Railway expansion projects, AIIMS, PGI satellite centre, Central University, Medical college, IIIT and National Highways. My mobile ‘Sawsathya Sewa hospital’ has been a big draw, besides “cricket Mahakumbh” for youths and claims having fully utilised the MPLAD. His campaign is supplemented by social media war while Congress has a problem of resources and top campaign strategists due to factionalism in the party.last_img read more

Premonsoon rainfall deficit drops to 22 Met data shows

first_imgNew Delhi: Pre-monsoon rainfall from March to May, a phenomenon vital to agriculture in several parts of the country, has recorded a deficiency of 22 per cent, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data.The IMD recorded 75.9 millimetres of rainfall from March 1 to May 15 as against the normal rainfall of 96.8 millimetres, which comes to around minus 22 per cent. From March 1 to April 24, the IMD recorded a deficiency of 27 per cent. The deficiency this week seems to have fallen over the last fortnight due to rains over east and northeast India. Meanwhile, the southwest monsoon has advanced into South Andaman Sea and conditions are favourable for it to reach the North Andaman Sea and the Andaman Islands in the next 2-3 days, the IMD said. Of the four meteorological divisions of the IMD, the south peninsula, which comprises all the southern states, has recorded pre-monsoon deficiency of 46 per cent the highest in the country. This was followed by 36 per cent in the northwest subdivision that covers all the north Indian states it was 38 per cent from March 1 to April 24, but has dropped by 2 per cent due to rainfall across several parts. The deficiency in the east and northeast region that covers eastern states of Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and northeastern states was seven per cent. There was no deficiency in the central region which comprises states of Maharashtra, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. However, from March 1 to April 24 the pre-monsoon rainfall recorded in the central division was five per cent than normal. The region has also been witnessing intense heat waves and several dams in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra have reached zero storage level. Pre-monsoon rainfall is important for horticulture crops in some parts of the country. In states like Odisha, ploughing is done in the pre-monsoon season, while in parts of northeast India and the Western Ghats it is critical for plantation of crops. Laxman Singh Rathore, former director general of the IMD, said in parts of northeast India and the Western Ghats, pre-monsoon rainfall is critical for plantation crops. There will be “moisture stress” incase of a deficit, he said. Crops like sugarcane and cotton, planted in central India, survive on irrigation and also require supplement of pre-monsoon rains, Rathore added. “In the forested regions of Himalayas, pre-monsoon rainfall is necessary for plantations like apple. Due to moisture, pre-monsoon rainfall also helps in minimising the occurrence of forest fires,” he said.last_img read more

Egypt judges urged to free jailed female protesters

first_imgby Mona SALEMCairo- The lawyer for 21 Egyptian women and girls jailed over an Islamist protest told appeal courts Saturday there was no evidence of their guilt and urged judges to free them.Wearing handcuffs but holding red roses, the 21 appeared in Alexandria courts in white prison garb in a case that has sparked an outcry. Many bore the word “Freedom” written in Arabic and English on the palms of their hands, and smiled from the metal-caged dock.The women and girls were convicted last month of taking part in a violent protest demanding Islamist President Mohammed Morsi’s reinstatement following his overthrow by the army in July.Fourteen women previously sentenced to 11 years in jail were ushered into the cage in the courtroom as the appeal by the seven girls was heard in an adjacent juvenile court.Their harsh sentences had shocked even supporters of the military-installed government.Lawyer Ahmed al-Hamrawy told the court there was no evidence to convict his clients and asked the judges to release them.“Even in Mubarak’s era there were morals. Egypt’s women and girls were a red line and they weren’t placed on trial,” he said, referring to ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak, Morsi’s predecessor.“This is an oppressive sentence,” one defendant, Salma, told AFP during a court recess.She said her daughter was among the seven juveniles sentenced, and explained that they had both been near the October 31 protest by chance when arrested.“I have the right to express my opinion — this is a constitutional right, and we are currently political prisoners,” said another defendant, Aya Adel.The prosecutor general’s office charged that the women fought with knives and threw rocks during clashes that erupted during the protest in Egypt’s second city.Six men said to be Muslim Brotherhood leaders were tried in absentia in the same case and sentenced to 15 years.They were found guilty of inciting the women to cut key roads in the city during the clashes.There was a heavy police presence outside the court complex in the coastal city, where Morsi’s Islamist supporters have repeatedly clashed with opponents and security forces.During the recess, about 100 friends and relatives of the defendants stood outside the courtroom chanting “Down with military rule.”Hamrawy told AFP he expected the misdemeanor courts to either acquit them or release them on bail ahead of a final ruling.The jail terms, coming in the same week as a restrictive new protest law, re-energized Islamist opposition to the interim government and drew criticism even from its secular supporters.Hamdeen Sabbahi, a former presidential candidate and a leading dissident under Morsi, called on the interim president to pardon the girls and repeal the new law governing protests.The military-installed government has pressed a crackdown on Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement that has killed more than 1,000 people and imprisoned thousands.Much of the Brotherhood’s leadership, including Morsi, is on trial on various charges of inciting violence.Courts have also handed out harsh sentences to Islamist protesters, including 12 men imprisoned for 17 years after a violent protest in Cairo.Amnesty International severely criticized the verdicts against the female protesters.It “shows the Egyptian authorities’ determination to punish dissent,” the rights grolast_img read more

Will Herve Renard Coach Moroccos National Team

first_imgRabat- After the Moroccan media published many articles about the failure of Moroccan officials to convince French coach Herve Renard to lead the Moroccan national team, the manager of French FC Sochaux has confirmed that he is in talks with the Moroccan football federation to head Morocco’s Atlas Lions.News website Super Sport recently reported that Herve Renard has confirmed that he is currently in talks with the Royal Moroccan Federation to coach the Atlas Lions national team.According to the same source, Renard said that his agent Youssef Haijoub “has been carrying out negotiations on my behalf with Moroccan officials but there have been many things to clear up there and Morocco is not the only destination on my list at the moment.” Herve, who formerly coached Zambia’s national team, added: “Let’s see what happens from here. In football, you can never say what will happen next. Nothing is certain.”Hassan Benabicha is the interim coach of the national team, but the Moroccan Football Federation is searching for an experienced coach to replace him in preparation for the upcoming African Cup of Nations scheduled to take place in Morocco next year.Edited by Jessica Rohan© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

New York Moroccos judge Mohamed Bennouna reelected to International Court

New York  – The Moroccan judge Mohamed Bennouna was re-elected Thursday in New York to a nine-year term on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) starting on 6 February 2015, after simultaneous rounds of voting in the UN General Assembly and Security Council.In the General Assembly, Bennouna had 159 votes (the highest score) exceeding the 97 votes required, while in the Security Council, he won 14 out of 15 votes of the Council’s member states.Former Moroccan diplomat and jurist, Bennouna worked as a professor at the Mohammed V University and as a permanent representative of Morocco at the United Nations (2001-2006). An International Law PhD and a professor of International Law, Bennouna is a Hague Academy of International Law graduate and a member of the International Law Institute.The Moroccan jurist notably served as a judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Since 2006, Bennouna has been a judge of the International Court of Justice. read more

Morocco Sets Up National Observatory of Violence in School

Rabat  –  The National Education and Vocational Training ministry has set up a National Observatory of Violence in School to track cases of violence in educational institutions.The observatory, set up in collaboration with various public and private stakeholders, aims to collect and analyze data and reports from regions and provinces to establish a national database on violence in schools, the ministry said in a statement.It also aims to share national and international experiences in the field, contribute to devising appropriate responses to the different cases of violence in schools and strengthen coordination between governmental and non-governmental sectors concerned. The Ministry also announced the official launch of a computer system dedicated to monitoring the cases of violence in schools and their surroundings.MWN with MAP read more

Thousands of Moroccans Protest Against Femen in Rabat

Rabat – Thousands of people from different Moroccan cities protested outside France’s embassy in Rabat on Thursday against members of feminist group Femen.The protestors shouted slogans and carried placards that read “Down with Femen,” “None of that here,” “No to attacks on sacred Moroccan values” and “Freedom equals respect of the other.”They were protesting against two French activists from feminist movement Femen who kissed topless in front of the Tour Hassan religious landmark in the Moroccan capital on Tuesday. The women were later expelled from the country and banned from returning.This also comes amid reports that two Moroccan men had been arrested for publicly kissing on the esplanade of Mosque Hassan in Rabat, the same place where the two bare-chested Femen activists appeared kissing each other earlier this week.  A Spanish feminist was also deported after a pro-gay protest.The Interior Ministry denounced “a series of provocations and harassment carried out by foreign organizations who deliberately violate Moroccan laws… to undermine morality.”Last week three men from Taourirt, eastern Morocco, were sentenced to three years imprisonment after being accused of homosexuality.Homosexuality is not tolerated in Morocco and is considered a crime. “Anyone found guilty of carrying out “a deviant act with a person of the same sex can be jailed for up to three years,” according to article 489 of the Moroccan penal code.Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

Canadian Prime Ministers Warm Christmas Message to Syrian Refugees

Rabat – Justin Trudeau’s first Christmas message as prime minister encourages Canadians to show a warm welcome to Syrian refugees arriving in the country for their first Canadian winter.Following is the full text of a Christmas statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday:“Around the world and across Canada, Christians gather on Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. This is a time when families, friends, and colleagues come together to celebrate the spirit of the season. “Christmas is an opportunity for giving as well as receiving. Whether it is volunteering time at a local food bank, buying gifts for children in need, or opening doors to someone who may be celebrating alone, the true spirit of Christmas is about connecting with our neighbors and our community.“This year, Canadians are welcoming thousands of Syrian refugees to our country — people who have been forced to flee their homeland due to war and conflict. I encourage all Canadians to show them a warm holiday welcome in keeping with our values of compassion, kindness, and generosity.“From our family to yours, Sophie and I wish you all a most joyous holiday season and a merry Christmas.” read more

European Investment Bank Official to Visit Morocco Sept 79

Brussels – Vice-president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), in charge of EIB activities in the Maghreb, Román Escolano, will visit Morocco on September 7-9 to participate in the EIB-MED International Conference: Climate Action in the Mediterranean.Organized by the EIB in cooperation with the Union for the Mediterranean, this Conference will bring together key national and international actors involved in climate-change issues, said a statement by the EIB.On the sidelines of the Conference, Escolano will hold talks with several Moroccan officials. “A few weeks prior to the COP 22 Conference in Marrakech, this official visit to Morocco is important and highly symbolic,” said EIB Vice-President, quoted by the statement, noting that his institution is the first international funder of climate action with over 90 billion Euros, invested since 2011 in this priority area.Morocco’s key partner for over 35 years, “the EIB will mobilize resources, expertise and competence to support the country’s ambitious program to fight climate change,” Escolano said.The EIB has spent more than 6.8 billion Euros to support projects in key sectors of the Moroccan economy such as energy, transport, water and sanitation, education, health, social housing, industry, SMEs, and innovation.Organized under the theme “The action of the EIB in favour of climate in the Mediterranean,” the MED-EIB International Conference will focus on climate change adaptation, mitigation and climate finance. read more

Angela Merkel Accepts King Mohammed VIs Invitation to Visit Morocco

Rabat – German Chancellor, Angela Merkel has accepted the invitation that King Mohammed VI has extended to her to visit Morocco. The German leader expressed her willingness to visit the North African Kingdom during a phone conversation she held with the Moroccan monarch on Wednesday.“King Mohammed VI held, on Wednesday, a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel,” said a statement by the Royal Office. During this phone call, the King and the German Chancellor discussed the migration policy, the same source said. In this regard, the Kingdom of Morocco committed itself to optimizing and rationalizing the management of migration inflows, it added.“HM the King gave, on this occasion, his orders to the Interior Minister to travel to Germany, along with a team of experts from the same ministry, in order to speed up the process of identifying and bringing home Moroccan nationals involved in this operation, the statement underlined. Merkel accepted the sovereign’s invitation to pay an official visit to Morocco early 2017,” it said read more

King Mohammed VI Morocco Needs Responsible Government Away from Electoral Calculations

Dakar – In a speech delivered Sunday, King Mohammed VI affirmed his belief that Morocco needs serious and responsible government, away from electoral arithmetic.“The future cabinet should not be the result of calculations aimed at fulfilling political parties’ wishes, based on electoral arithmetic, as if they were spoils to be shared out,” said the sovereign in a speech delivered to the Nation from the Senegalese capital of Dakar, on the occasion of the 41st anniversary of Morocco’s Green March.“A government should have a clear program and well-defined priorities, both for home and foreign affairs, particularly as far as Africa is concerned. The government should have the ability to deal with the difficulties inherited from past years, with respect to Morocco’s obligations towards its partners,” the King said. In this regard, the sovereign noted that the government should represent an efficient, coherent structure. Programs and priorities should be responsibly set and consistently presented and supported.  His Majesty also added that government also requires qualified, skilled resources, with specific sectoral attributions.“These are the criteria I will ensure are respected when the next government is formed, in compliance with a strict methodology. I will not tolerate any attempts to deviate from it,” the King avowed.The Monarch underscored this promise by saying that Moroccans expect the coming government to be up to the challenge of this crucial phase.The speech comes less than a month after the legislative elections held on October 7, which saw the Party of Justice and Development (PJD) obtain a majority with 125 seats, followed by the Party of Authenticity and Modernity with 102 seats. Just a few days later, King Mohamed VI appointed Abdelilah Benkirane, head of the PJD, as the new head of government, entrusting him with the mission of forming a new coalition government. read more

Healthrope Organizes Second Annual Tree of Health In Rabat

Rabat – Youth-led NGO, Healthrope International, hosted the second edition of its annual “Tree of Health” Conference on December 10th. The conference was held at Cité Universitaire Internationale in Rabat and was organized in collaboration with the Association of Student Doctors and Pharmacists in Rabat (AMPER).Other stakeholders participating were the Confederation of Students and Trainees in Morocco (CESAM), Africa Health Service (AHS), Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN), Ghana Students’ Association in Morocco (GHASAM), Yenda NGO and Africarisme Group. The conference brought together youth from different regions across Morocco and from different national and cultural backgrounds.The theme for this year was “Diabetes, an underestimated danger,” which was examined in a panel discussion jointly led by Dr. Bernard Baudouin Boanimbek, General Secretary of Yenda and Samuel Opoku Gyamfi, Founder of Healthrope International. There was also a session on “Sexually Transmitted Infections,” jointly animated by Dr. Maria Achour and Dr. Aaicha Benarfa, from the Africa Health Service as well as a session on stress management, presented by Samuel Opoku Gyamfi.Other speakers included Mr. Olivier Bassock. As part of the conference’s agenda, the Morocco Chapter of Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN) launched the “Africa Youth for SDGs” program for SDGs 1,2,3,4 and 13. Through this program, young people were enlightened on how to have a positive impact in their respective communities, using community-adapted methods.This year’s conference ended with an exercise on Sophrology – A stress-management exercise for mind and body relaxation. read more

Polisario Media Outlets Accuse Leadership of Embezzling Humanitarian Aid

By Sana ElouaziRabat – As Polisario’s usual sources of funding dry up, local media outlets – typically aligned with the separatist front – have accused its leaders of illegally appropriating and reselling humanitarian aid on the black market.The sweeping corruption of Polisario leadership has garnered the attention of the local media, who are accusing the leaders of the so-called Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) of taking advantage of humanitarian aid addressed to the Sahrawi population in the Tindouf camps. On October 5, local media outlet Futurosahara, linked to the former vizier of the Sahrawi army, Mohamed Lamine Bouhali, openly accused the members of Polisario’s general secretariat of accumulating fortunes at the expense of the local population.The report reiterates earlier allegations of corruption in the camps.Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in 2013, Nancy Huff, the chairman of Teach the Children International, accused the Polisario Front of embezzling humanitarian aid intended for the Tindouf camps, which “reveals the corruption of Polisario leaders who seek to serve their own interests.”In 2014, the European Anti-Fraud Committee, known OLAF confirmed these suspicions in a report detailing how the Polisario leaders have for four decades been redirecting aid to the black market, turning the conflict into a lucrative business.While this reality was kept under wraps by pro-Polisario media for 40 years as an unspoken taboo, a new shift has occurred among some outlets, who have begun openly discussing the misappropriation of humanitarian aid.  The OLAF reports detailed how this humanitarian aid is sold on the markets in Oran, Algiers, Tindouf, and even in Nouadhibou (Mauritania), Niamey (Niger) and Bamako (Mali).Milk and FlourIn its recent article, “futurosahara” slams the local warlords for having luxurious villas and palaces in neighboring countries, accusing them if turning their backs on the local population mired in poverty.“It is not surprising that countries such as Nigeria, Norway, Venezuela, Spain, and even Cuba are reluctant today to grant scholarships to our students,” reports the separatist publication, stressing that the grants awarded benefit only the progeny of the leadership of Rabouni.The outlet adds that basic goods like milk, flour, peas, and other vegetables are stolen and resold on the markets of neighboring countries, causing serious problems of malnutrition among the abandoned Sahrawi population.Empty PocketsAccording to an analysis provided by Moroccan media outlet le360, this sudden outburst of anger against the leadership of Rabouni was caused by the collapse of global oil prices, causing an economic crisis in Algeria and leading the dinar to fall to its lowest level.The most valuable banknote in Algeria, DZD 1000, is worth no more than EUR 7 today, leading the Moroccan dirham to become the main currency in the Lahmada-Tindouf camps.As reported by le360, the expectation of the total collapse of the Algerian dinar is frightening the leadership of Rabouni, whose survival has been solely dependent on the generous donations in petro-dollars granted by the Algerian regime. Now, this is becoming a luxury that the neighboring ally, threatened by the drying-up of its foreign exchange reserves, can no longer afford.This media outrage can be seen as the expression of tensions between old, Mohamed Abdelaziz-era leaders and newer players, who claim their share of the “cake” but find only crumbs and worthless Algerian dinars. The conflict between higher-ups could likely degenerate into an open struggle between the parties and reveal the nature of the separatist project in the Sahara. read more

Wydad Reaches CAF Champions League Final After Breathtaking Match

Rabat – The Moroccan football team Wydad of Casablanca (WAC) has reached the CAF Champions League Final after defeating USM Alger (USMA) 3-1 in the second leg of their face off on Saturday.Dozens of Thousands of Wydad fans flocked to the Mohammed V stadium in Casablanca in hopes to see their team reaches the final of the African cup for the first time in six years.Wydad entered the game as the favorite by virtue of the 0-0 result of the first leg in Algiers.  Wydad seemed set to book its ticket to the final against a relatively weaker rival and also after scoring two goals before things almost went upside down.In minute 25 the Wydad’s right-back Abdelatif Noucir sent long shot on the right corner of UCM. After receiving a great back heel cross from midfielder Assaidi striker Achraf Bencherki entered the penalty area of the Algerian team and gave a brilliant pass to Oualid El Karti who scored the first goal for the Moroccan teams, making thousands of fans go crazy.The Moroccan championship title-holder seemed on good track when Bencherki, after receiving a good pass from a free kick by Mohamed Ounajem, jumed higher than the Algerian defenders and beautifully netted the second goal with a header in the 53 minute.Shortly after a mostly unpleasant surprise happened when Wydad’s defender Amine Atouchi was sent out after a tackle against an Algerian player. Having received a second yellow card, the Moroccan player left the picth in regret as he knew his teammates will have to endure the pressure of their rivals for the remainder of the game.The Algerian team benifited from this advantage to score a goal in the 66 minute of the game.  USMA kept pushing for the equalizer. A second goal would have enabled the Algerians to book their ticket to the finals.In the extra time, a counter attack by Wydad players put pressure on the Algerian defense. Bencherqui, face to face with an Algerian defender, dribbled the latter and beautifully sent a shot in USMA’s goal. No more suspense, Wydad was officially declared a CAF Champions League finalist.Suday’s game between the Egyptian team of Al Ahly and the Tunisian Etoile de Sahel in Cairo will determine which of the two will face Wydady in the final. read more

Nationwide Mourning in Egypt After at Least 235 Worshippers Killed in

Rabat – Egypt has announced a three-day nationwide mourning after at least 235 people were killed and 130 were injured in a terrorist attack at Al Rawda mosque in Egypt’s North Sinai on Friday.Masked terrorists unleashed a suicide bomb before gunfire broke out during the Friday prayer on the worshipers, some of whom were Egyptian army conscripts.The attack occurred in the village of Bir Al-Abed, 40 kilometers away from El Arish, the capital of North Sinai province. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi denounced the attack, describing it as “criminal and “cowardly” in a televised statement on Friday.He also said that the attack “will not go unpunished,” adding that the police will achieve vengeance for those who were killed.“The armed forces and the police will avenge our martyrs and restore security and stability with the utmost force,” said the president.The Egyptian military have also unleashed air strikes on targets in mountainous places around Bir al-Abed just hours after the attack, reported Qatari news outlet Al Jazeera.Since the removal of the former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi by the Egyptian army, terrorist groups, including the Egyptian branch of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), have continuously attacked the Egyptian security forces in northern Sinai.Many police and soldiers, as well as civilians, were killed in these attacks.Egypt is also threatened by al-Qaeda-linked jihadists operating from Libya on the country’s western border.A group called Ansar al-Islam, “the Supporters of Islam,” claimed an ambush in October in the western Egyptian desert that killed at least 16 policemen. read more

Three Moroccan Pupils Find Bag Containing Money Report it to Police

Rabat – Three young men from the northern city of Asilah turned over an abandoned bag containing a sum of money to the police after they found it on their way back from school.Upon their arrival at Mohammed V Square, located in the center of the city, the three pupils found a lost bag containing a sum of money estimated at MAD 25,000, in addition to Euro banknotes and passports, which turned to belong to a Moroccan citizen resident in the Netherlands.Although some homeless people tried to steal the handbag from the young men, they managed to escape and went directly to the nearest police station to hand it over to the security agents. The police then informed the owner of the bag, who rushed immediately to the police station to claim it, which made the Moroccan immigrant cry tears of joy and thank the 15-year-old men for their ethical behavior. read more

Morocco Beats Tunisia to Win 2019 Street CAN in France

Rabat – A Moroccan squad has won the popular streets African Cup of Nations, which took place in Creteil,  a commune in the southeastern suburbs of Paris, France on Sunday.The final game ended with Morocco’s victory against Tunisia (9-4).Le Parisien reported that  the competition attracted 2,000 spectators during the semi-final held on Thursday. On Sunday, the number of people doubled to reach  4,000 spectators, who attended the final between Tunisia and Morocco on Sunday, an unexpected number for the organizes.The news outlet reported that a Franco-Senegalese resident Moussa Sow launched the “Living together” idea without expecting a nod from the African and Maghreb youth living in France.“Wherever we go, every day in the city, in the streets, in mosques, churches, and in supermarkets, people only talk about that! The last time Creteil vibrated [with such excitement], it was for the Senegal – Cameroon friendly match in 2005. It’s a huge pride.”Iliass, a Moroccan man living in Essonne commented on the competition emphasizing that “it is only fun.”Read Also: Morocco’s Atlas Lions to Play 2 Friendly Games Before 2019 CANHe also added that he and his friends will convene for drinks to celebrate the win.  Later in June, Egypt will host the 2019 African Cup of Nations, with the participation of Morocco’s national football team, one of the favorites to win the title.Morocco’s national football team will play two friendlies in preparation for the game. The first friendly will be against Gambia on June 12, while the second friendly game will take place on June 16 against Zambia.The CAN will start on June 21 in Egypt. read more