12 years after Tiffany Morrison vanished change has come to how police

first_imgTom FennarioAPTN NewsOn an oppressively hot and humid evening with storm clouds hanging overhead, Melanie Morrison leads about three dozen people down Hwy 132 in Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory, just south of Montreal.“Speak up, answers now, justice for Tiffany Morrison,” Morrison shouts, her face flushed. A deep red emerges with every bellow, then recedes a little with every inhale.“Every year we have horrible, horrible heat,” she says. “I say it’s Tiffany’s way of making us work.”The 44-year-old Mohawk and Mi’gmaq woman leads the group through service roads adjacent to traffic towards their eventual destination, the wooded area where the body of Melanie’s sister Tiffany was found eight years ago.Melanie Morrison stands by the memorial for her sister Tiffany Morrison. Photo: Tom Fennario/APTNThe marchers echo Melanie’s shouts for justice and angle their banner towards the highway so the evening traffic can see its slogan.This march is an annual affair and very little organzing is needed.Many here know the route, know the tradition and most of all know the date.June 18, 2006 – the day the 24-year-old vanished.When I asked if searches could be done, they said we could contaminate thingsTiffany Morrison in an undated photo.The night Tiffany went missing she was at a bar in LaSalle, a Montreal neighbourhood that is less than a ten-minute drive across the St. Lawrence River to Kahnawà:ke.She got into a taxi with a fellow community member and the cab drove them back to Kahnawà:ke.Tiffany never made it home.According to Melanie Morrison, the man Tiffany shared the cab with got out first.“He is the last person to see her,” says Morrison.“He said he’d take a lie detector test, then four days before he bowed out for religious reason, saying his longhouse wouldn’t let him.”Kahnawà:ke police say he was a suspect – but now that the file has been transferred to the Surete du Quebec (SQ), and it’s not clear whether that is still the case.The cab driver was also a person of interest but has never been identified.Morrison blames the Kahnawà:ke police, known as “Peacekeepers”, saying they were not properly trained at the time to handle a missing person’s investigation.“The initial taking of the missing person’s file, the info, ‘she might’ve just went out drinking, she’s young,’” says Morrison, frustration still apparent in her voice.“But we stated to them she wasn’t like that because of her daughter, if she was going to change plans she would’ve called my mother.”For four years Tiffany was classified as a missing person.Then on May 31, 2010, a construction worker found Tiffany’s remains only a few kilometres from her home.The discovery left the Morrison family distraught in more ways the one.Morrison says Peacekeepers had discouraged the family from organizing their own community searches to compliment police searches.“When I asked if searches could be done, they said we could contaminate things, it would be best if we wait for some sort of evidence so we can do a proper search,” says Morrison.After the discovery of Tiffany’s remains the case was classified as a homicide, meaning the SQ would take over.It took a year to transfer the case to SQ investigators.“People had to be called in to back for statements because they hadn’t taken statements,” says Morrison.Yet despite her past criticisms, Morrison said she currently has a good relationship with the Kahnawà:ke Peacekeepers.They have asked her to speak to other Indigenous police forces and she takes cold comfort that things would likely be different if someone were to go missing in Kahnawà:ke today.Melanie pushed to have a better protocol for officers in terms of how they take missing person’s reports, as well as training so it doesn’t take a year for the Peacekeepers to hand a case over to a larger force such as the SQ.When contacted for comment, Peacekeepers Assistant Police Chief Jody Diabo confirms that should a person go missing in Kahnawà:ke today, things would be done differently.This is the kind of institutional change that Melanie Morrison has been fighting for in the years since her sister’s murder.“We can hope that this never happens to another family and that they’re given the right information, that they know what they can do when it comes to a search,” she says.In May of 2017, she was recognized with an award by Amnesty International for her advocacy and has served as a part of the family advisor circle for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman and Girls (MMIWG).Yet despite her involvement and outspokenness, Morrison was advised not to testify at the inquiry because it could affect Tiffany’s case.“I’m at peace with that,” said Morrison, who declined to say who’s advice it was to avoid the larger stage of the national inquiry.“With me being able to still voice my opinion in what needs to change in the process, I’m still doing good by my sister and for all the women that have gone missing or been murdered.”Tiffany is still waiting for justice, and as long as she’s stuck, we fight”The marchers turn off Hwy 132 and enter the woods.“Speak up, answers now, justice for Tiffany Morrison,” they shout even though they no longer have an audience.A memorial to Tiffany lies in the shade of several trees, close to where she was found.Melanie has described Tiffany as having boundless energy with an infectious laugh, the sort of person who could pick you up if you’re feeling down.Her memorial is in contrast to that, a somber place of solitude.The marchers gathered round, touch the wooden cross bearing Tiffany’s name, say an unspoken prayer.The wind from the approaching storm shakes the leaves, the occasional nervous birdsong is almost loud enough to drown the sound of the nearby highway.A Mi’gmaq honour song is played out of respect for the paternal side of the Morrison family.Melanie thanks the marchers for coming and vows to be back next year.“It doesn’t matter if it’s just her family, or ten people or two people behind us, we’re going to be out here raising awareness. Tiffany is still waiting for justice, and as long as she’s stuck, we fight,” she says.The crowd makes its way back to their cars just as the skies open up.The downpour that follows is heavy and relentless.“Tiffany is playing an evil joke on us,” Melanie says with a laugh. “That’s her humour, let us think we got away with it then douse us at the end.”Humour helps Melanie get by on every June 18.The rest of the year, it’s the knowledge that someone somewhere knows what happened to Tiffany that drives her.There is a $75,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case of Tiffany Morrison. Anyone with information can call the Kahnawà:ke Peacekeepers at 450-632-6505tfennario@aptn.ca@tfennariolast_img read more

Japanese video gaming adapting new tech for familiar titles

first_imgCHIBA, Japan – The Japanese video game industry is finding its way out of the doldrums by adapting new technology for decades-old titles. And that energy was evident at the annual Tokyo Game Show, which opened to media Thursday before opening to the public over the weekend.“Our old fans used to play Japanese games, and those people are excited those games are coming back and they recognize them as Japanese-style games,” game creator Koji Igarashi told The Associated Press at the show in Makuhari Messe hall in Chiba, a Tokyo suburb.“Truly game-like games” is the way Igarashi described the genres enjoying revival, including his side-scrolling role-playing games. His latest version will come with a 3-D movie section.Although smartphones hammered the video-games market for some years, from about 2010, the companies have adjusted. After the dust settled, some of the games that stood the test of time turned out to be Japanese, such as “Monster Hunter” and “Resident Evil,” known as “Biohazard” in Japan, both from Capcom Co., the “Super Mario” series from Nintendo and “Gran Turismo” from Sony, to name a few.Also helping are new consoles from the Japanese makers, such as the PlayStation 4 from Sony Corp. and the Nintendo Switch. More than 60 million PlayStation 4, or PS4, consoles have been sold since they went on sale last year. Switch sales already total some 4.7 million globally. Switch went on sale in March.Kyoto-based Nintendo Co. initially scoffed at the threat from smartphones but did an about-face and began offering smartphone versions of their flagship games like “Super Mario” since 2015. “Pokemon Go,” featuring Nintendo’s Pokemon characters and played on smartphones, became a global hit.Games are also taking on more features, such as massive online communities, as well as immersive virtual reality, not only leading to new kinds of games but also helping revive interest in old-style genres.Igarashi compared that to the way Japanese movie-making has endured along with Hollywood films.“We are just offering what we find as fun,” he said, noting that what he called his “Japanese idea of fun” can cross borders. “And we must never lose sight of that — what makes us truly us.”In his latest game, “Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night,” the player becomes Miriam, an orphan who awakens from a coma and battles demons as she tries to end a curse that is turning her skin to crystal.Igarashi, known as “Iga” among game fans, produced the classic “Castlevania” vampire-action game series, which started in 1997, while at major Japanese game software maker Konami until he left three years ago to be on his own.He has raised $5.5 million in pledged funding, mostly from the U.S., on Kickstarter for his Gothic-horror “Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.” It is set to be playable on the Switch, PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Vita, when it launches in the first half of next year in seven languages, including Chinese and Italian.Atsushi Morita, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan, Sony’s game division, said Japanese culture is at the root of visual story-telling that began with manga comic books, went on to animation and films and now allows for an interactive element in games.Many people used to play games, Morita added, but they have stopped as they got older. But with new technology like the virtual reality headset that Sony has developed and an array of software products coming out, the time may be finally ripe for the Japanese game industry to reap the rewards, he said.“We want people to once again remember and rediscover the fun of games,” said Morita. “We want people to re-experience that joy, that emotion.”Square Enix Holdings Co. President Yosuke Matsuda said his company is putting out the 15th game of the longtime hit “Final Fantasy” series. Long lines were forming at its giant booth at the Tokyo Game Show for a chance to try it out.“Japanese games are loved by the world,” he said.___Kageyama can be reached at https://twitter.com/yurikageyamaHer work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/yuri%20kageyamalast_img read more

CRTC orders national wireless carriers to offer lowerpriced dataonly plans

first_imgTORONTO – Consumers who yearn for more alternatives to Canada’s large wireless carriers will have to wait longer, but in the meantime the CRTC has ordered the Big Three to offer consumers the option of lower-cost, data-only plans.The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said Thursday that it has ordered Rogers, Bell and Telus to submit initial proposals for data-only wireless plans by April 23.It also lowered the maximum wholesale rates that they can charge to other carriers that use their networks, from the levels set on an interim basis in December 2015.But the CRTC didn’t go so far as to force the trio to strike agreements with mobile virtual networks, a type of competitor that could avoid the enormous expense of having their own infrastructure by using another carrier’s.“Taking these things collectively, we’re confident that today’s decisions will ensure that Canadians have access to a range of affordable and innovative wireless services while fostering continued investments in high-quality networks,” CRTC chairman Ian Scott said in a conference call with reporters.He added that the CRTC had fulfilled its requirement to find a balance between competitive pricing and services for consumers and a sustainable business model for companies that invest in the necessary infrastructure.The federal cabinet ordered the CRTC to reconsider a position it took last year, when it issued a pair of rulings against Sugar Mobile’s attempt to piggy-back its WiFi-based mobile virtual network on the Rogers network.While leaving those decisions intact, Scott said that there will be a “more fulsome” public process that will take another look at WiFi and MVNO options.“I want to emphasize that we’ll continue to monitor facilities-based competition as it continues to intensify and evolve.”Navdeep Bains, the minister responsible for telecommunications, ordered the CRTC to review its March 2017 decisions which were seen as a setback for competition from mobile virtual networks.In one decision released March 1, 2017, the CRTC said it wouldn’t require Rogers to open its network to Sugar Mobile, which wanted customers of its WiFi service to be able to use the national carrier for making calls.In a more general decision, the CRTC said companies without a cellular network cannot allow their customers to “permanently roam” on the networks of the established national carriers.Sugar had wanted to expand the reach of its WiFi phone service through Ice Wireless, a regional carrier in Canada’s three northern territories that has a wholesale roaming agreement with Rogers Communications Inc.Bains said last June that the CRTC decisions would prevent smaller carriers like Sugar Mobile from offering cheaper alternatives to Canada’s large carriers and ordered the regulator to reconsider its decisions.last_img read more

Trudeau dogged by pipeline protesters as he meets with BC forestry workers

first_imgDUNCAN, B.C. – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with workers from British Columbia’s forestry business Saturday at a local museum but was also dogged by people protesting the Trans Mountain pipeline.At an outdoor news conference at the BC Forest Discovery Centre in Duncan, Trudeau acknowledged there are people opposed to the government’s decision to buy the pipeline from Kinder Morgan, but he said it won’t stop the project or Liberal plans to fight climate change.“There are people out there who think there is still a choice to be made. I don’t,” Trudeau said. The local band playing at the market stopped its regular set and played “O Canada,” with Trudeau later singing with the crowd.(THE CANADIAN PRESS) “We know we have to put in place a strong plan to fight climate change. There are people on the other side of the political spectrum who don’t like that.”.@JustinTrudeau now answering questions from the media in Duncan while visiting the B.C. Forest Discovery Centre. #cndpoli pic.twitter.com/FyqibbQlGr— CHEK News (@CHEK_News) August 4, 2018The prime minister was met by protesters at the centre’s gates who carried placards critical of the pipeline, with one even calling him an “oil pimp.”Trudeau also made comments about North Korea, reacting to reports the country has made few moves to halt its nuclear weapons program.“We must see a denuclearized North Korea,” he told reporters.Earlier in the day, Trudeau made a surprise visit to the Duncan Farmers’ Market, which quickly attracted a crowd of people around him, with many posing for selfies.last_img read more

Im as independent empowered as any other working woman Richa Chadha

first_imgMumbai: Actor Richa Chadha believes she is as “independent and empowered” as any other working woman but that does not mean she is only drawn to such characters. The actor, known for her powerhouse performances in films such as “Oye Lucky Lucky Oye”, “Gangs of Wasseypur” series and “Masaan”, said the roles she chooses resonate with reality. “I’m as independent or empowered as any other working woman in this city. To be pursuing any profession isn’t easy because it is still primarily a man’s world. It affects how you get paid and your hours of work, among other things. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka “It’s not like I’m drawn to only these characters. Maybe I’m getting a bit stereotyped. But at least I’m not getting stereotyped as some weeping victim,” Richa told PTI. The actor says her process of selecting projects has changed with time. “I consider ‘Gangs…’ my turning point. I can’t believe it has been seven years already. I have come a long way since then, especially in terms of what I want to do now. I have the wisdom today,” she added. Also Read – Salman Khan remembers actor Vinod Khanna And that is why, when filmmaker Pradeep Sarkar approached her to feature in the music video “Neel Samandar” as an Andaman tribal, she could not refuse the offer. “Of course, it meant that shooting the song would be a lot of fun but what I also loved about this was that it showed the matriarchal side of things. Showing that about an island tribe in a music video was very interesting,” she said. Richa said her future projects reflect her “concerns about the world” and she is happy to be a part of them. The actor will be seen in Indrajit Lankesh’s “Shakeela”, which features her as the eponymous adult actor who was one of the biggest Malayalam stars of the ’90s. Richa also has Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s sport drama “Panga”, Anubhav Sinha’s “Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai” and “Section 375”, in which she plays a lawyer. “I am so proud of all these films. I have found films that are echoing my concerns about the world. When I was watching the Oscars, I thought if everybody here could take up things they believe in and do that in a committed way, it would be so much magic on screen.last_img read more

Timely compendium

first_imgIt’s been described as “an episode without precedent or parallel in the modern history of the British empire. Not surprisingly, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of April 13, 1919, spawned a wealth of outporuing from Indian writers and poets that author-critic-literary historian Rakshanda Jalil has painstakingly brought together in a seminal volume that will be an eye-opener for present generation for the lows to which a ruler can stoop. “While a grat deal of scholarly work has been done on Jallianwala Bagh, it’s reflection in Indian literature in the different bhashas and also in English has been overlooked. I was curious to see how an incident that stirred the conscience of millions, one that had far-reaching implications for the national freedom struggle, that made British colonial interests in India morally untenable, found its way through pen and paper to reach the nooks and cranies of popular imagination filtered through the mind of the creative writer,” Jalil writes in the extensive introduction to ‘Jallainwala Bagh – Literary Responses in Prose and Poetry’. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainThe book, she says, subjective as all such collections are by their very nature, “makes no pretence at being either exhaustive ot definite; it’s only claim is to open a window into the world of possibilities that literature offers to reflect, interpret and occasionally analyse events of momentous historical import. At best, the prose and poetry included in this selection offers ways of ‘seeing’ history,” Jalil says. As is Jalil’s wont, she is being much too modest. Where else, in one volume, will you come across the works of Saadat Hasan Manto, Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, Mulk Raj Anand, Bhisham Sahani, Stanley Wolpert, and Josh Mahilabadi, to name a few. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardWhat clearly comes out is the pain and anguish the Jallianwala Bagh massacre caused them and the burden of living under a brutal colonial ruler for whom justice and mercy didn’t exist. And yet, the fire of freedom didn’t die – indeed it was only reinforced. Sample this from ‘Inquilab’ by Abbas, about two friends, Anwar and Ratan, caught in the malestorm of the massacre: “A child was trying to wake up his mother who would be asleep forever; a boy of Anwar’s own age lay flat and lifeless. Everywhere there was blood. Anwar’s head reeled, his bowels contracted within him, he wanted to vomit but could not. He laid his head on the ground and saw the sky revolving and the stars dancing, a dance of death, and the crooked palm tree was dancing too. But before he yielded to unconsciousness, Anwar saw a glimpse of Ratan’s face. It bore nor trace of sorrow or grief but a far-way look, he was biting his lip to choke his sobs.” Then, there’s ‘Panjab 1919’ by Sarojini Naidu: “How shall our love console thee, or assuage/Thy helpless woe; how shall our grief requite/The hearts that scourge thee and the hands that smite/Thy beauty with their rods of bitter rage? Lo! Let our sorrows be they battle-gage/To wreck the terror of the tyrant’s might/Who mocks with ribald wrath they tragic plight/And stains with shame they radiant heritage! O beautiful! O broken and betrayed!/O mournful queen!/O martyred Draupadi!/Endure thou still, unconquered, undismayed!/The sacred rivers of thy stricken blood/Shall prove the five-fold stream of Freedom’s flood/To guard the watch-towers of our Liberty.” Jalil’s work will ensure that the flame that Jallianwalla Bagh lit will never be ensured.last_img read more

Russell is a billion dollar man for KKR Lynn

first_imgBengaluru, April 6 (IANS) It was another blitzkrieg from Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all-rounder Andre Russell that saw his team snatch victory from the jaws of defeat at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), but KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik wants the others to rise to the challenge, especially the bowlers. While praising Russell for putting together another masterpiece, Karthik added that the bowlers too needed to take responsibility. The captain also appreciated the way Chris Lynn started at the top of the innings with a 31-ball 43. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh “Those kind of knocks, you don’t talk much. We trust him as a player. It’s important to give him an atmosphere where he’s happy and he just keeps performing. Yes, it was hard to play strokes against spinners with the ball gripping but was easier against the fast bowlers,” he said after the game on Friday. “I think as much as well he batted, it’s time we all started to bowl better and help the batters. It was nice to see Lynn bat like that and take responsibility.” Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later Lynn though was all praise for Russell and said that the West Indian is just too good. Looking back at the game, he added that both teams gave opportunities to the other (on the field), but Russell just turned everything in favour of KKR with the bat in hand. “We keep putting him in tough situations and he keeps lifting his game. He is just too good. Two-hundred and fifteen was probably par on that wicket. Both teams gave opportunities. We dropped Kohli and AB de Villiers and RCB also dropped a couple of chances. Luck was on our side. Change of fortune for us. It is unbelievable and entertaining for us. He keeps doing it. He is a billion dollar man for KKR,” he said.last_img read more

ISIS plotting attacks across Europe Report

first_imgLondon: The Islamic State terror group is plotting deadly attacks across Europe along the lines of the one carried out on a concert hall in Paris in which 130 people were killed four years ago, a leading British newspaper has reported. The November 2015 Paris attacks were a series of coordinated terror attacks in Paris and the city’s northern suburb of Saint-Denis. In the attacks, three suicide bombers struck outside the Stade de France stadium during a football match, followed by several mass shootings and a suicide bombing at restaurants. A total of 130 people were killed at the Bataclan concert hall. Documents seen by The Sunday Times reveal detailed plans of terrorist attacks in Europe and the Middle East, funded and controlled by ISIS leaders who are “actively planning” to recreate the Paris-style attack of November 2015. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details”The operations in Europe are only a fraction of the plans outlined in the documents, which were found on a hard drive dropped by members of an ISIS cell in a firefight near the militants’ final stronghold in Syria earlier this year,” it noted. The documents provide details of how, even with its so-called caliphate destroyed in Syria, the ISIS terror group continues to run sophisticated international networks, move fighters over borders, fund operations and plan bank robberies, vehicle rammings, assassinations and computer hacking. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayIn a letter signed by six ISIS leaders and addressed to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – the group’s “caliph” – and his deputy, the authors break down ISIS strategy abroad into two parts: operations and borders. Operations abroad, they write, will be directed by an ISIS member called Abu Khabab al-Muhajir. The document says he controls three cells: one in Russia and two in Germany. Another group will be based in northeastern Syria under separate command. The first aim of the cells would be to steal money to fund the caliphate. “Killing infidel venture capitalists, hacking banks through bank accounts, bank robberies or robberies of places that are pre-studied,” the letter said, adding that “after any operation of this kind, we will send the money as we procure it”. The cells will also commit attacks including vehicle-ramming operations, it said. Most importantly they will plan “special operations” with a “determined goal and outcome that are picked carefully”. The authors list the Paris massacre of 2015 and the “Manhattan attack” of 2017, in which a terrorist-driven truck mowed down eight people to death, as “inspiration”. According to the newspaper, the picture that emerges from the documents is one of the ISIS supporters in Europe and other areas outside the so-called caliphate being intimately linked with the group’s leadership in Syria and Iraq and actively plotting attacks.last_img read more

VVIP chopper case Delhi court issues fresh summons against Christian Michels business

first_imgNew Delhi: A Delhi court Thursday issued fresh summons against David Nigel John Syms, an alleged middleman and business partner of British national Christian Michel, in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case. Special judge Arvind Kumar summoned Syms, named as an accused in the supplementary charge sheet, to appear before the court. A charge sheet was also filed against Syms and two firms — Global Services FZE and Global Traders. Syms and Michel are both directors of the two firms. Michel was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on December 22 last year after his extradition from Dubai. He is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the chopper scam by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation. The others are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.last_img read more

AWS announces 3rd availability zone in Mumbai Cloud region

first_imgMumbai: In a bid to add more customers in the growing Indian market, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the Cloud arm of retail giant Amazon, on Wednesday announced the third availability zone in its Mumbai Cloud Region. The company launched AWS Asia PacificA(Mumbai) Region with two availability zones in 2016 and has seen tremendous growth in adding new customers in the region. “Today, we announce third availiability zone in India with the Mumbai Region. We offer over 200 security compliances, more than any other Cloud provider,” said Peter DeSantis, Vice President, Global Infrastructure and Customer Support at AWS. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: Icra Addressing a packed house during the AWS India Summit here, DeSantis said that over 130,000 databases have been migrated so far globally with AWS. “AWS offers seamless migration of your workloads. Security is top on our mind,” the AWS executive noted. AWS Mumbai Region has over 75,000 active customers in India. Each Region, a separate geographic area, has multiple, isolated locations known as availability zones. Amazon EC2 provides the ability to place resources, such as instances, and data in multiple locations. Availability zones protects applications and data from data centre failures. The AWS Cloud spans 64 availability zones within 21 geographic regions around the world, with plans for 12 more availability zones and four more regions in Bahrain, Cape Town, Jakarta, and Milan.last_img read more

Parking space for over 1300 cars in Noida by yearend

first_imgNoida: In a major relief for residents in Noida, work on three underground parking lots in the city with space to accommodate more than 1,300 cars is nearing completion, Noida Authority officials said on Friday.The multi-storey parking lots, with estimated costs of Rs 141.23 crore are to be built in Sectors 1, 2, and 3, which are infamous for traffic congestion arising as a result of excessive roadside parking, a senior official said. In total, the three underground parking lots in the city will be able to make parking space for 1,361 cars by the end of this year, the official added. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarThe parking in Sector 1, built at an estimated cost of Rs 47.26 crore, will have space for 534 cars in an area of 17,160 sq metres and is scheduled to get completed by this December-end, Noida Authority’s General Manager Rajeev Tyagi said. “Work is also underway for a Rs 61.82 crore parking in Sector 2 which will have space for 565 cars in an area of 18,273 sq metres,” he said, adding that the project is expected to be completed by October-end. The officer said the third parking is coming up in Sector 3. “It will have space for 262 cars in an area of 11,370 sq metres. It is being built for an estimated cost of Rs 32.15 crore and work on it will be completed by June-end,” Tyagi said.last_img read more

Palestinian Farah Chamma Tours Morocco

first_imgGoulmima – Palestine has always been the motherland of martyrs and poets. Some of those poets wrote lengthy poems for it without even having seen it before. Farah Chamma, a Palestinian slam poet, who believes in the Palestinian cause, personalized her work to modernize poetry in the Arab world. Chamma made her words come to life during an electrifying performance at the School of Economy and Governance in Rabat, Morocco.Thanks to her popular Arabic poems on Palestine, Farah Chamma gained a worldwide audience. Chamma is a Palestinian poet who was born in the United Arab Emirates. She is studying philosophy and political science at the Paris-Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi. She was 14 years old when she first started writing poetry. She participated in several events around the world. She made her first appearance on stage as a performer in 2008. Her love of the spoken word continues to inspire youth around the world, including Moroccans. Having written her first poems in English, the switch to Arabic enlarged her audience and Moroccans were very pleased to host her in a country where the Arabic language seems to flee people’s repertoires.Farah Chamma is now on her “To North Africa” tour in Morocco. She was invited by Moroccan youth to perform her controversial poems in different schools in Rabat, Casablanca, Fes, Ouajda. The first leg of her tour in Rabat finally took place after a long struggle with Moroccan authorities, which refused to grant her a visa.Farah Chamma’s visit to Morocco was rejected by the Moroccan embassy in UAE due to her Syrian travel document that does not prove that she is Palestinian, in addition to the fact that she did not provide any invitation from the host institutions in Morocco. When the Rabat-based School of Economy and Governance learned about the incident, it immediately sent her an invitation and mobilized people to support her.Farah Chamma is Palestinian but she holds a Syrian travel document for Palestinian refugees, according to what she explained at the beginning of the ceremony in Rabat.Social media also played an enormous role highlighting Moroccans’ love towards this young poet. They launched a petition entitled, “Moroccan government: Give Farah her Visa!” Surprisingly, signatures reached nearly one thousand in less than five days.Chamma performed in Rabat with the Egyptian poet Ali Essam Emara. Moroccan rap singer Hamza Hachlaf, former member of the band L’Bassline, also attended the performance and diversified the panel. The three young poets marveled the audience and had them standing on their feet when they performed poems on freedom, sense of belonging, land, democracy.Farah made it clear during the event that Palestine is a cause more important to her than simply land or country. Her poems are a message of love to a land she has never been to, but when she describes her love through her well selected and balanced words, it makes readers feel as if she had always lived there.Moroccans who attended the event did not hesitate to exhibit their poetic skills. Most of the reactions during the discussion were poems praising Chamma’s work. Some attendees simply seized the opportunity to express themselves and read their spoken words in public.Edited by Liz Yaslik© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

Delta Africa Seeks to Invest in Morocco

Rabat – Morocco has recently become the hub of international investment thanks to the political and social stability it enjoys. The famous Delta International Property Holdings which specializes in real estate investments in shopping centers and office blocks has expressed its intentions to make expansion moves in Morocco. Delta Africa seeks to invest in Africa with particular focus on Morocco and Mozambique.Delta Chief Executive Officer Bronwyn Corbett said in this regard: “We own assets spread across various countries on the African continent. We feel that our Moroccan assets are performing well and … that country has become an attractive investment destination for many Middle Eastern investors. So, we are working on a tie-up with a Middle Eastern investor, which could help us to find opportunities in the country.” She continues: “the idea is to put together a separate Moroccan-focused real estate investment trust structure, which can benefit from an exciting retail sector. Morocco is seen as a developed country with close ties to Europe. Its shopping centres are doing very well, with many European brands trading strongly there. There are also various people who live in Spain and commute to Morocco for work. We want to invest in this economy, and details on our Moroccan plans will be unveiled soon.”Delta Africa seems to be interested in Morocco particularly for its geo-strategic location with only a few miles south of Europe. Morocco is also culturally straddling both Africa and the Arab world, which makes it a gate to both. After a merger with Mara Diversified Property Holdings, Delta Africa has become Maradelta. It defines itself as a pan African property income fund focusing on African real estate assets. read more

Agadir to Host the 13th Annual Timitar Festival

By Safae KajouaneRabat – The 13th annual Timitar Festival will be held in Agadir on July 13-16 under the slogan of “Amazigh artists greet the world music.”This edition will gather more than 40 artists, under the theme of “Signs & Culture.” Timitar is a festival where international music mixes with the sounds of traditional instruments of Amazigh artists calling for dialogue and reconciliation by fusing the world music and create an atmosphere where people around the globe come to travel the time with a special mix of music, and contributes to the recognition of the Amazigh culture on an international scale.Last year, the festival was titled one of the best music festivals in the world by the British magazine “Songlines.”Performances will start at 20:00p.m. in Place Al Amal, Place Bijaouane and Theatre de Verdure in Agadir.Headliners this year, all Moroccan artists, include:Nass El GhiwanAhidoussTighassalinesAïchaTachinouiteAhouzarInourazAchwach Bnat ArganTAFRAOUTAhwachBani TataAhwach Ighrem Nait Mhend-DemnatLahoucineAmarrakchiOudadenParole des RwaysOther artists include Samia Ahmed – Passion Andalouse, Nabyla Maan, Daoudi, Laila Lamrini, Eva From Morocco, La Bronze, Africa United, DJ Hassan, Fnaïre, Laila Lamrini, DJ Serhane, H-Name.International performers include Idir, Bombino, Tamer Hosny,Speed Caravan, Sauti Sol, Vocal Trash, DJ ILLspokinn/VJ Kalamour, Djmawi Africa, José Luis “El Gato” Moran & Spanish all stars, DJ ILLspokinn/VJ Kalamour, SidiBémol, Steinar Raknes, Tiken Jah Fakoly. read more

Africa is Ambitious Project Strongly Backed by King Mohammed VI Amrani

Rabat – Africa is an ambitious project strongly supported by King Mohammed VI, says Youssef Amrani, chargé de mission at the Royal Cabinet. It is a project based on the principles of shared growth, common wealth and innovation, and reinforced by an African pragmatic and promising policy in line with the new realities of the continent.“This is a definite royal vision, which mirrors the Sovereign’s commitment to the emergence and development of our continent,” Amrani said at a conference organized by the Moroccan Association for Marketing and Communication (AMMC) in Rabat on Monday with the title “Moroccan firms in Africa: what strategies and what positions?”. He stressed that Africa and Morocco have a common destiny and that “the African policy of the Kingdom, which was boosted by the Sovereign, constitutes a break with the classical schemes of cooperation.”Amrani also said that, for Morocco, “Africa is a dynamic continent, which today represents the second area of global growth after Asia.”“Morocco has always advocated the sharing of experience and cooperation to contribute to the strengthening of states’ capacities” in the continent, he addedOrganized by HEM Business School’s research center, this conference took place on the occasion of the publication of HEM’s latest book: “Morocco, regional hub: South-South trade strategies”, which analyzes Moroccan investments in other African countries as well as economic collaborations within the continent.Amrani was joined in the conference by Amine Mahmoud Redouane El Alj, the Executive Director of the Bank of Finance and Investment at Attijariwafa Bank, Khalid Baddou, the president of the AMMC, Caroline Minialai, a researcher at HEM, and Hanane Harrath, a journalist at Medi1TV. read more

French President Emmanuel Macron Vows to Return African Heritage to Africa

Rabat – French President Emmanuel Macron said he wants to “return African heritage to Africa,” at the end of his inaugural speech at the University of Ouagadougou, building up Benin’s hopes of recovering its cultural heritage after months of negotiations with France.“African heritage […] must be highlighted in Paris, but also in Dakar, Lagos, Cotonou,” said the French president, reported Agence France Presse (AFP).The French president said that returning African art and historical artifacts currently in France to their rightful owners is one of his priorities. “Within five years, I want all the necessary conditions to be available so that African heritage is returned to Africa,” he said. The declaration follows an official request for the return of Beninese heritage to Benin by the country’s president, Patrice Talon, in July 2016.For President Talon, who has advocated against the influence of France on its former colony, the return of these works will “better inform our people the value of our cultural and historical assets” and enrich tourism, which is a major pillar of the Beninese economy .Irénée Zevounou, the ambassador of Benin’s delegation to UNESCO, estimates that “4,500 to 6,000 Beninese cultural assets are in France, some of which are held in private collections,” reported the AFP.“This is the first time a French president has addressed the issue head-on and expressed his willingness to go in the direction of restitution,” wrote Marie-Cecile Zinsou, creator of the contemporary art foundation Zinsou in Cotonou, on her Facebook page.French authorities had initially refused to return their artistic holdings to Africa based on the “the legal principles of inalienability of public collections,” explains the AFP.For Yves-Bernard Debie, a lawyer specializing in the law of art trade, Macron’s speech goes against French legal tradition established in 1566. “Such restitution would therefore require changing the French law,” he told the French press agency.“It may be a little naive on my part, but I hope that relations would improve between France and its partners in Africa,” said Ousmane Aledji, director of the Benin cultural center Artisttik Africa. read more

Polisario Stages Illegal Armed Activities Near Guerguerat

Rabat – Despite the United Nations’ continuous warnings regarding the Guerguerat buffer strip between Mauritania and Morocco’s southern provinces, Mauritanian observers have detected suspicious moves exerted by the Polisario Front near the restricted area.Moroccan daily Al Massae reported on the weekend of December 17 that Mauritanian observers have detected suspicious activities conducted by armed militias of the separatist group in Mauritania’s northern borders. The sources quoted by the newspaper said that these activities are more likely to be operations and military exercises that the Polisario Front used to exercise in the buffer strip before its withdrawal.Al Massae said that this is the first time that armed elements of the separatist group Guerguearathave ventured into this area since it was forced by the UN to withdraw on April 27. However, the Algerian-backed movement has been threatening to re-enter the area for months. Earlier this week, Polisario addressed a message to Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, saying that it would no longer accept the situation on the ground, threatening to access the restricted area.The letter, which was addressed by the separatist group leader Ibrahim Ghali, says that “the situation has not changed” in the region, claiming that “the UN Security Council resolution on the regulation of the status of the buffer strp of El Guerguerat in accordance with the ceasefire agreement“ has not yet been implemented.”Polisario also accused Morocco of violating the resolution, claiming that “the Moroccan presence in the buffer zone constitutes a direct violation of the resolution.” Morocco, however, was the first to comply with the orders of the UN, when this latter called on both sides to withdraw their forces from the region.Morocco’s Peaceful Commitment to End Four-Decade IssueMorocco withdrew its law enforcement officers from the area on February 26 immediately after a statement issued by the UN chief, where he called on “the parties to unconditionally withdraw all armed elements from the buffer stream as soon as possible, to create an environment conducive to a resumption of the dialogue in the context of the political process led by the United Nations.”The separatist group did not accept the UN’s request until April 30, and continued to harass Moroccan truck drivers in the buffer strip by setting up illegal checkpoints in the area. The Polisario Front also attempted to hinder trade between Morocco and other African countries through illegal checkpoints led by mercenaries proclaiming themselves “National Gendarmerie” of Polisario.After the continuous refusal of Polisario to withdraw its forces from the region, a draft resolution on the Western Sahara was submitted “in blue” – meaning ready for adoption – to the secretariat of the UN Security Council on Thursday, April 27.The draft resolution put high pressure on Polisario, urging it to withdraw from the Guerguerat region or face a compulsory withdrawal The Security Council expressed its “deep concern with the continued presence of elements of the Polisario Front in the buffer strip in Guerguerat,” asking for its immediate and “unconditional withdrawal from the region.”The blue document gave Polisario 30 days to abide by the provisions of the resolution.Shortly after the UN Security Council submitted its blue document, Polisario started withdrawing its forces from the region on April 30.Polisario did not back away from the region until April 30 after months of increased tension in the region, which began when armed members of the separatist group started making incursions into the region. read more

PJD Accepts Lahcen Daoudis Resignation from Government

Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of General Affairs and Governance, Lahcen Daodi has asked the head of the government to relieve him from his position.The decision comes following the uproar that Daoudi caused after he took part Tuesday night in a sit-in against the ongoing boycott targeting three companies, Centrale-Danone, Sidi Ali and Afriquia.The move caused the displeasure of Morocco’s head of government, who called for an extraordinary meeting of the Party of Justice and Development on Wednesday night. According to a communique released following the extraordinary meeting, the politburo of the PJD accepted the resignation of Lahcen Daoudi. In the communique, a copy of which was obtained by Morocco World News, the General Secretariat of the PJD considered Daoudi’s participation in the sit-in as ” unreasonable and inappropriate.” “The members of PJD appreciate that brother Lahcen Daoudi asked to be dismissed from his ministerial responsibility,” it added.On Tuesday night, the Moroccan Minister who made no secret of his support of the Centrale-Danone, appeared in a video chanting slogans denouncing the boycott’s reported “negative effect” on the Moroccan economy.His presence at the sit-in caused an unprecedented backlash on social media with thousands of Moroccans describing it as “irresponsible” and “unworthy” of an incumbent minister.For the resignation of Daoudi to become effective, it will require the approval of King Mohammed VI, as set out in the Moroccan constitution. According to article 47, “the Head of Government can demand of the King to terminate the functions of one or more members of the government who make their individual or collective resignation.” read more

Moroccos Royal Navy Rescues 181 Irregular Migrants

Both Moroccan and sub-Saharan migrants were aboard eight makeshift boats when naval forces discovered them at risk of sinking between Tuesday and Thursday of this week.The Royal Armed Forces (FAR) reported that two of the migrant boats sank soon after the navy helped the immigrants to safety. The navy units successfully returned the migrants to Ksar Sghir in Tangier, Al Hoceima, and Nador in the Rif region. Read Also: Spanish Navy Plays National Anthem Provocatively near GibraltarIn a similar rescue operation in November, the navy rescued 136 undocumented migrants aboard inflatable boats near Tangier. The intercepted migrants were also sailing from Nador and Tangier.Late in October, the Moroccan navy intercepted four boats carrying 143 migrants off the coasts of Tangier and Nador.Attempts at irregular migration continue to pressure Moroccan authorities and make headlines in Morocco. In September,  a young Moroccan woman named Hayat died after navy opened fire on a migrant speed boat.Moroccans have protested the harsh measures against migrants, and the government has reported  large numbers of “intercepted immigrants.” read more