Man gets 10 years for cyberattack on childrens hospital

first_imgBOSTON — A man has been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for attacking the computer network of a renowned hospital in Boston to protest the treatment of a teenager at the centre of a high-profile custody battle.U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton sentenced Martin Gottesfeld on Thursday after delivering a scathing rebuke of the man’s actions and lack of remorse in the attack on Boston Children’s Hospital and a residential treatment facility. Gorton called Gottesfeld’s crimes “contemptable, invidious and loathsome.”Gottesfeld represented himself at the hearing. He argued he should be sentenced to time served. He insists his actions weren’t criminal because he says he was trying to save the teen’s life.Gottesfeld’s wife said after the hearing that they will appeal. He was convicted in August.The Associated Presslast_img

5 killed in Zimbabwe fuel hike protests activists say

first_imgHARARE, Zimbabwe — A human rights group in Zimbabwe says five people were killed in clashes between demonstrators protesting fuel hikes and security forces who opened fire on some crowds.The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights on Tuesday reported the death toll as many businesses in the capital, Harare, and other cities were closed following Monday’s violence. This is Zimbabwe’s biggest unrest since deadly post-election violence in August.Another human rights group says 26 people suffered gunshot wounds and that some were afraid to go to hospitals for fear of arrest.State security minister Owen Ncube says lives were lost, police officers were injured and property was damaged. He says more than 200 people were arrested and blames the main opposition MDC party and some civil society groups for the violence.The Associated Presslast_img

Northern Healths Imagine Community Grants

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Northern Health has opened the application process for ‘Imagine Community Grants'(ICG).ICG helps projects that support community-based initiatives that focus on chronic disease prevention and or health promotion priorities. Taking a healthy community idea and working towards making it happen.Applications for the grant are being accepted March 1st to March 31st. The website expresses preference will be given to projects that;Support partnerships and build relationships – will encourage different groups to work together, connecting people to each other and their communityIdentify a community need – will address something that is missing that could benefit the community and its residents to improve health and well-beingPromote healthy outcomes – will include activities that reduce the risks and impacts of chronic disease and injury through education, awareness and collective actionReduce health inequities – will help those who are disadvantaged or vulnerable to improve their access to supports and resources for better healthBuild capacity – will develop and strengthen skills and resources within the communityLast – will have a good chance of living on after the funding endsFor more information on the grant; CLICK HEREIMAGINE Community Grants: Key factors for success in community blog; CLICK HERElast_img read more

Leaders welcome SC decision on Ayodhya row

first_imgNew Delhi: Political leaders welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to appoint a panel headed by retired apex court judge F M I Kalifulla to explore the possibility of an amicable settlement of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case. BSP leader Mayawati called the move “appreciable”. “Hon’ble Supreme Court’s order to constitute in-camera mediation (in Faizabad) in order to resolve the Ayodhya matter seems an honest effort. Hon’ble Court looking for ‘a possibility of healing relationships’ is an appreciable move. BSP welcomes it,” she said on Twitter. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! In an apparent reference to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said he should act in an “unbiased” manner. “It would have been better had the Supreme Court appointed a neutral person. One of the members of the panel had threatened Muslims that India would become Syria and I hope that he keeps those thoughts out of his mind while being on the mediation panel. We welcome the decision,” he told reporters. CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said the previous mediation efforts had failed to yield results but this time, the Supreme Court is monitoring it and all the parties who have gone to the court are in agreement with the decision and it is to be seen what will be the result. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed The Supreme Court Friday gave the panel eight weeks to complete its proceedings. The other members of the panel will be spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, said a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and added that they can co-opt more members if needed. Ravishankar said the Supreme Court’s decision is in the best interest of the country. “This move towards mediation by the Hon Supreme Court is in the best interest of the country and all parties concerned. We should not leave any stone unturned in resolving this burning issue amicably. We should keep our egos and differences aside and come together with a spirit of honouring & accommodating the sentiments of the communities concerned. Respecting everyone, turning dreams to reality, ending long-standing conflicts happily and maintaining harmony in society – we must all move together towards these goals,” he tweeted.last_img read more

Artificial intelligence pioneers win techs Nobel Prize

first_imgSan Francisco: Computers have become so smart during the past 20 years that people don’t think twice about chatting with digital assistants like Alexa and Siri or seeing their friends automatically tagged in Facebook pictures. But making those quantum leaps from science fiction to reality required hard work from computer scientists like Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun. The trio tapped into their own brainpower to make it possible for machines to learn like humans, a breakthrough now commonly known as “artificial intelligence,” or AI. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalTheir insights and persistence were rewarded Wednesday with the Turing Award, an honor that has become known as technology industry’s version of the Nobel Prize. It comes with a 1 million prize funded by Google, a company where AI has become part of its DNA. The award marks the latest recognition of the instrumental role that artificial intelligence will likely play in redefining the relationship between humanity and technology in the decades ahead. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost”Artificial intelligence is now one of the fastest-growing areas in all of science and one of the most talked-about topics in society,” said Cherri Pancake, president of the Association for Computing Machinery, the group behind the Turing Award. Although they have known each other for than 30 years, Bengio, Hinton and LeCun have mostly worked separately on technology known as neural networks. These are the electronic engines that power tasks such as facial and speech recognition, areas where computers have made enormous strides over the past decade. Such neural networks also are a critical component of robotic systems that are automating a wide range of other human activity, including driving. Their belief in the power of neural networks was once mocked by their peers, Hinton said. No more. He now works at Google as a vice president and senior fellow while LeCun is chief AI scientist at Facebook. Bengio remains immersed in academia as a University of Montreal professor in addition to serving as scientific director at the Artificial Intelligence Institute in Quebec. “For a long time, people thought what the three of us were doing was nonsense,” Hinton said in an interview with The Associated Press. “They thought we were very misguided and what we were doing was a very surprising thing for apparently intelligent people to waste their time on. My message to young researchers is, don’t be put off if everyone tells you what are doing is silly.” Now, some people are worried that the results of the researchers’ efforts might spiral out of control. While the AI revolution is raising hopes that computers will make most people’s lives more convenient and enjoyable, it’s also stoking fears that humanity eventually will be living at the mercy of machines. Bengio, Hinton and LeCun share some of those concerns especially the doomsday scenarios that envision AI technology developed into weapons systems that wipe out humanity. But they are far more optimistic about the other prospects of AI empowering computers to deliver more accurate warnings about floods and earthquakes, for instance, or detecting health risks, such as cancer and heart attacks, far earlier than human doctors. “One thing is very clear, the techniques that we developed can be used for an enormous amount of good affecting hundreds of millions of people,” Hinton said.last_img read more

BSNL collects record Rs 6500 cr in revenue from enterprise division

first_imgNew Delhi: State-owned telecom firm BSNL has collected a record revenue of Rs 6,500 crore from enterprise segment, making it sufficiently funded, which will help in meeting its various requirement. “We have collected Rs 6,500 crore from enterprise segment for 2018-19. This is highest ever that BSNL has collected with 91 enterprise making payment. On average, annual collection used to be from 50-60 enterprises,” BSNL CMD Anupam Shrivastava said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalWhen asked if this will help BSNL to make salary payments, he said that financially, the company is in comfortable position and it has seen revenue stabilising in other segments as well. “Even in consumer and mobility segment revenue has stabilised and we have seen slightly increase in it. Worst is behind us. We are looking for revival only. In my five years, I have realised that BSNL has so much with it that this organisation should never face problem,” Shrivastava said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostBSNL has been ailing because of high revenue-to-wage ratio as a large number of government employees were transferred by the telecom department to the telecom PSU. “We are sitting on gold mine. Department of Public Enterprise has declared that BSNL has networth of Rs 83,000 crore which is humongous. If we start working on asset monetisation, we will be able to resolve most of our issues,” Shrivastava said. Despite being a loss-making telecom firm, BSNL has the lowest debt of Rs 14,000 crore among all telecom operators. The company has been operating in the highly competitive telecom market without having spectrum for 4G services. It is the only incumbent operator that has been adding new subscribers every month while others have lost millions in last few months. It has sought 4G spectrum across India through equity infusion of Rs 7,000 crore. The total spectrum will cost the firm Rs 14,000 crore.last_img read more

Oil import dependence jumps to 84 Govt data

first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have set a target to cut India’s oil import dependence by 10 per cent but the country’s reliance on foreign oil for meeting its energy needs has jumped to a multi-year high of nearly 84 per cent, latest government data showed. Speaking at the ‘Urja Sangam’ conference in March 2015, the Prime Minister had said that India needs to bring down its oil import dependence from 77 per cent in 2013-14 to 67 per cent by 2022 when India will celebrate its 75th year of independence. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraFurther, the dependence can be cut to half by 2030, he had said. But with consumption growing at a brisk pace and domestic output remaining stagnant, India’s oil import dependence has risen from 82.9 per cent in 2017-18 to 83.7 per cent in 2018-19, according to the oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC). Import dependence in 2015-16 was 80.6 per cent, which rose to 81.7 per cent in the following year, PPAC said. The country’s oil consumption grew from 184.7 million tonnes in 2015-16 to 194.6 million tonnes in the following year and 206.2 million tonnes in the year thereafter. In 2018-19, demand grew by 2.6 per cent to 211.6 million tonnes. In contrast, domestic output continues to fall. India’s crude oil output fell from 36.9 million tonnes in 2015-16 to 36 million tonnes in 2016-17. The trend of negative growth continues in the following years as well as output fell to 35.7 million tonnes in 2017-18 and to 34.2 million tonnes in the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2019, PPAC data showed. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysThe government is focusing on measures like increasing domestic production, promoting the use of biofuel and energy conservation to reduce dependence on imported crude oil. It changed exploration rules multiple times during the last five years to get the elusive private and foreign investment. The previous New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) was changed to Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) promising pricing and marketing freedom. HELP brought in open acreage licensing policy that gave companies freedom to choose areas they want to explore. Discovered oil and gas fields, taken away from state-owned firms, were also auctioned but neither this nor the open acreage policy managed to get big names to invest in exploration and production of oil and gas. According to PPAC, India spent $111.9 billion on oil imports in 2018-19, up from $87.8 billion in the previous fiscal year. The import bill was $64 billion in 2015-16. For the current fiscal, it projected crude oil imports to rise to 233 million tonnes and foreign exchange spending on it to marginally increase to $112.7 billion. State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp’s (ONGC) output fell to 19.6 million tonnes in 2018-19 from 20.8 million tonnes in the previous year. ONGC’s oil production was 20.9 million tonnes in 2016-17 and 21.1 million tonnes in 2015-16.last_img read more

Premonsoon showers bring welcome respite to DelhiNCR

first_imgNEW DELHI: Rain lashed parts of Delhi-NCR region in the morning on Wednesday bringing the much-needed relief to those who were reeling under sweltering heat. The rain hit the Delhi-NCR region around 8 am and there are reports that other parts of North India too witnessed heavy rainfall.Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a warning for rainfall and thunderstorm. Rain with thunderstorm was witnessed in parts of Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) on Wednesday, the weather office said, adding that the weather condition was likely to continue till Friday. The temperature dipped in Delhi on Wednesday after an intense spell of rain lashed the city in the morning, bringing the mercury level down by several notches. The maximum temperature was recorded at 35.7 degree Celsius while the minimum temperature was 22.3 degrees Celsius. A total of 1.4 mm rainfall was recorded till the evening. Thursday will be partly cloudy with chances of light rains, said an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official. According to Skymet, the pre-monsoon rains are because of three phenomenon — Western Disturbance, induced cyclonic circulation and the South Westerly winds. “The rains on Wednesday were because of the back to back Western Disturbance. The Western Disturbance creates cyclonic circulation over Rajasthan. Also, the South Western winds from the Arabian Sea are increasing the moisture,” said, Mahesh Palawat, Vice President, Meteorology and Climate Change at the Skymet Weather. The condition, he said, will continue on and off till Friday at least. The rain will also decrease the heat wave and keep the temperature in control in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, and parts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, Mahesh Palawat said. The humidity at 8.30 a.m. was recorded at 82 per cent. Other states that were affected by the weather were Punjab, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. There are also chances of the formation of cyclonic circulation over West Rajasthan, West Bengal, and Sikkim as per the IMD. The formation of a cyclonic circulation could lead to heavy rainfall in the regions. The air quality in the national capital improved significantly after this morning’s downpour, authorities said. The level of PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) was recorded at 64 and PM10 at 156, the SAFAR said. Delhi’s air quality was oscillating between ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ for the last few days due to a dust storm in northwest India, which led to a sharp increase in the PM2.5 level. Meanwhile, monsoon showers are expected to hit Kerala coast on June 4 and deliver less rainfall than average in 2019, the country’s only private weather forecasting agency said on Tuesday, dampening prospects of higher farm and economic growth in the $2.6 trillion economies.last_img read more

Mayawati to meet Sonia Rahul today

first_imgNEW DELHI: Mayawati will meet with Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi on Monday in what is seen as a significant outreach after the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief carried out an acrimonious campaign that was unsparing of the Congress.The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister attacked the BJP and the Congress in the same breath throughout her campaign in the national election, for which she teamed up with old rival Samajwadi Party. But even as she left the Congress out of her gathbandhan in UP, Mayawati said all the votes of the alliance would go to the Congress in Amethi and Raebareli, the constituencies of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. Mayawati’s meeting with the Congress top two is the latest in a series of meetings among opposition parties ahead of the results on Thursday, May 23. The three were last seen in public together when Janata Dal Secular leader HD Kumaraswamy took oath last year as chief minister of a coalition government with the Congress. Mayawati and Sonia Gandhi’s big smiles and forehead bump portrayed bonhomie that was not to be for long. The two parties failed to agree on seat sharing for the Madhya Pradesh state polls, and a furious Mayawati started clubbing the Congress along with the BJP as her top enemies. But now that the polls are over and talk revolves around numbers, Mayawati realizes that even if she wants the top post, no non-BJP coalition can come to power without Congress help. Meanwhile, continuing his efforts to unite opposition parties against the BJP ahead of Lok Sabha results, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday met Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar and Sitaram Yechury, among other leaders. He had on Saturday also held talks with several opposition leaders, including Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav in the national capital and with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati in Lucknow. Naidu met Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Nationalist Congress Party chief Pawar for the second consecutive day on Sunday morning, followed by a meeting with Sonia Gandhi in the evening. He also held a separate meeting with CPI(M) general secretary Yechury and discussed the possibility of all opposition parties getting together. The TDP chief’s efforts are being seen as part of the opposition strategy to bring all the non-NDA parties together and form an alliance to keep the BJP out of power. Naidu’s meeting with Sonia Gandhi assumes significance as the latter held an internal meeting with top Congress leaders Saturday evening to assess the party’s process and strategy to stake claim for government formation incase of a hung verdict on May 23 when the results are announced. The Telugu Desam Party president has held several rounds of discussion with various opposition leaders, including TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal and CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury. Naidu’s TDP was part of the NDA, but quit the alliance a few months ago. The Congress and other opposition parties have exuded confidence of forming the next government. With agency inputslast_img read more

Morocco Expresses Solidarity With Tunisia Condemns Terrorism

Rabat – Morocco firmly condemned the armed attack which targeted on Friday two hotels in the Tunisian city of Sousse, killing and wounding several victims.“The Kingdom of Morocco firmly condemns the armed attack which targeted on Friday two hotels in the city of Sousse in the Republic of Tunisia, claiming the lives and injuring many victims,” said the foreign affairs ministry in a statement.“The Kingdom of Morocco expresses its solidarity with the sister nation of Tunisia, government and people, following this despicable terrorist act, extends its heartfelt condolences and sincere compassion to the victims’ families, and wishes swift recovery for the injured,” noted the statement. “Morocco reiterates its continuous support for the sister country of Tunisia against terrorist attacks and attempts to undermine its stability, plunge it into the economic crisis and hamper the development process to which the country committed itself to achieve progress, prosperity and democracy,” it added.Morocco also reaffirmed its stance of rejecting terrorism and extremism under all their forms and called for the need to join efforts regionally and internationally to counter the dangers facing the region and its future.With MAP read more

After Tangier Money Truck Robbery DGSN Presses Banks to Boost Security

Rabat – Following the attempted robbery of a cash-transit truck in Tangier, Morocco’s General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) has hired a special committee to carry out checks on banks’ security systems to detect any faults.DGSN is concerned that lax security at banks is one reason for the recent robbery attempts across Morocco, a security source told Daily Al Massaa newspaper.The same source went on to add that DGSN has hired a special committee in order to monitor the security systems of banks across the country. These checks aim at assuring that banks comply with the safety measures instructed in Morocco’s approach to fight burglary operations. This approach was put in place by Morocco’s Ministry of Interior in 2008.The source said the checks have enabled the special committee to detect failures in monitoring of alarm systems and cameras at several bank agencies.Camera failure has been the main reason that prevented the DGSN from stop robbers in several previous burglaries, according to the same source.These inspection operations come after armed robbers attacked an armored vehicle belonging to private security firm G4S at the Val Fleuri Avenue in Tangier on August 13.The robbers fired around 20 bullets and lobbed a Molotov cocktail as they tried to raid the cash security van.The would-be robbers fled the scene without taking anything, and the security guards accompanying the armored truck were not injured.This violence comes a few months after another incident in Tangier in which an armored truck was targeted.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

Royal Air Maroc Cancels New York Casablanca Flights Due to Blizzard

New York – Morocco’s state-owned airline carrier Royal Air Maroc (RAM) announced on Saturday the cancellation of its flights to and from New York scheduled Saturday following the deterioration of weather conditions in the United States of America.The announcement was made as the US east coast is being hit an historical blizzard.The ongoing blizzard on Saturday afternoon promoted New York Andrew Governor Cuomo to announce a citywide travel ban of 2:30 p.m. local time and the cease of operations for aboveground subways beginning at 4:00 p.m. The US National Weather System has issued an active blizzard warning that will remain in effect until 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning.Snowfall has been recorded at 20-25 inches, with winds from the north at 20-30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. Temperatures are in the mid-20s Fahrenheit.

IMF Approves US 347 Billion Precautionary Line for Morocco

Washington – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday approved a new two-year arrangement for Morocco under the Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) for US$ 3.47 billion, the Fund said Saturday.The access under the arrangement in the first year will be equivalent to about US$ 1.73 billion, the Washington-based Fun said in a statement.According to the Fund, the new PLL arrangement will provide Morocco with useful insurance against external shocks as the authorities pursue their reform agenda aimed at further strengthening the economy’s resilience and fostering higher and more inclusive economic growth. “The authorities have successfully reduced fiscal and external vulnerabilities and implemented key reforms with the support of two successive 24-month PLL arrangements”, the same source pointed out.Morocco’s first PLL arrangement for US$ 6.21 billion was approved on August 3, 2012. Morocco’s second 24-month PLL arrangement for US$ 5 billion was approved on July 28, 2014.The PLL was introduced in 2011 to meet more flexibly the liquidity needs of member countries with sound economic fundamentals and strong records of policy implementation but with some remaining vulnerabilities. read more

Morocco is an Impenetrable Shield Against Terrorist Plans Official

Cairo – Director of the Central Bureau for Judiciary Investigation (BCIJ) Abdelhak El Khayam said that Morocco has always been an impenetrable shield against terrorist plans and that the vigilance of Moroccan security mechanisms thwarted all terrorist attempts targeting the Kingdom.El Khayam, who gave an interview to Egyptian daily “Al Watan” on Wednesday, noted that the Kingdom’s strength in terms of the counterterrorism fight relies on the proactive approach advocated by Morocco seeking to nip in the bud any attempt that could undermine the country’s security.This proactive approach is also aimed at facing young people who enrolled in terrorist organizations to undergo training or receive instructions, he added. El Khayam underlined that the setting up of the BCIJ is part of the plan for modernizing the Kingdom’s security mechanism following the terrorist attacks committed in Morocco in the past years and seeks also to counter the terrorist threat looming over the region, notably in Morocco given its geographic location.The upsurge of the terrorism phenomenon can be explained by the current situation in the Arab region and the world in general, mainly after the emergence of El Qaeda in Afghanistan, the indoctrination of fighters with ideas of jihad and the 9/11 attacks, he said.He went on to say that the number of Moroccans who joined the different terrorist organizations is 1,609, adding that several countries do not disclose exact figures. read more

Moroccos BCP Signs Agreement with Nigerias Heirs Holdings to Up Africa

Rabat – Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Nigeria-based development bank Heirs Holdings this week, paving the way for new cooperation on investing and co-financing opportunities across the African continent.Heirs Holdings is known for its support of Africapitalism, which urges the continent’s financial institutions and business leaders to spearhead economic development efforts – similar to King Mohammed VI’s South-South cooperation initiatives. The monarch has been touring African Union states to ramp up support for Morocco’s return to the regional organization.Heirs Holdings chairman Tony O. Elumelu and Mohamed Benchaaboun, the CEO of BCP signed the document, according to Business Daily Online. Elumelu also heads the United Bank for Africa – with operations spread across 19 countries – which signed a cooperation agreement with Attijariwafa Bank as well. “This is an opportunity for the private sectors of both countries to collaborate to leverage on opportunities for sustainable economic growth,” Elumelu said in statement. “It shows that our leaders are committed to intra-African trade and to prioritizing commercial relationships across borders. As businesses that both share a pan-African perspective, we recognize the importance of intra African trade as a pillar of the continent’s economic transformation.”The Tony Elumelu Foundation will also continue to fund the training of North African youths in skills necessary for the 21st century business environment through the organization’s entrepreneurship program, which mentors 1,000 start-up CEOs across Africa every year.Benchaaboun said he expects the new cooperation between Nigerian and Moroccan banks to “deepen African integration” in order to attract further investments from other parts of the world. read more

Stolen 17th Century Italian Masterpiece Found in Casablanca

Rabat – A 17th century masterpiece, by Italian painter, Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, known as Le Guerchin (1591-1666), has been recovered by the judicial police of Hay El Hassini. The painting was stolen in 2014 from a church in northern Italy (Modena), according to MAP.After being checked by the carabinieri of the unit specializing in the protection of Italian cultural heritage, the painting was verified as “The Virgin, Saint John the Evangelist and Gregory the Thaumaturge,” painted by Le Guerchin in 1639, according to the prosecutor’s office. The 2.93 m by 1.84 m sized painting was stolen in August 2014 from the church of Saint Vincent of Modena. The masterpiece is estimated by experts to be valued somewhere between five and six million euros.“In the evening of Tuesday, the Moroccan authorities communicated, via Interpol, that during a survey of three of their compatriots, a large canvas that could correspond to a theft that occurred in Italy was found,” said the prosecutor in a statement.Three people were arrested on February 15 in possession of the work, suspected of being linked to a criminal gang specializing in antiquities trafficking, according to a statement from the Directorate General of National Security (DGSN), dated of February 17.The culprits were trying to sell the painting for 940,000 euros to a rich Moroccan entrepreneur in Casablanca, who, having recognized the value of the work, contacted the authorities. The Italian Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini said in a press release relayed by EFE the Spanish international news agency, on February 17, that “the Italian and Moroccan governments are working closely to ensure that this masterpiece goes back to Italy as quickly as possible and is returned to its community.”Investigations and research into databases for artworks declared stolen or mislaid by Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization), have confirmed the existence of a flight notice issued by the Italian security authorities concerning an historic painting meeting the same artistic dimensions and criteria, the DGSN said in a statement.According to the same source, as soon as Moroccan authorities confirmed the painting was indeed Guerchin’s, they contacted the Rome office of the International Police Organization. “The initial results of the investigation revealed, preliminarily, that this is indeed the historical painting that the Italian authorities had reported as stolen,” said the DGSN in a communiqué. The same source revealed that an inquiry has been opened with the Court of Appeal of Casablanca. read more

King Mohammed VI Inaugurates CommunityBased Sports Field in Casablanca

Casablanca – King Mohammed VI inaugurated, on Thursday in Al Hanaa neighborhood in the Ain Sebâa-Hay Mohammadi districts prefecture (Casablanca), a community-based sports field carried out under the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH).The project, which consisted of developing a football field by providing synthetic grass, is part of a global program involving the development of 23 community-based sports fields in the different neighbourhoods of the districts of Roches Noires, Ain Sebâa and Hay Mohammadi for an amount of 27.4 million dirhams.The ambitious program also lays provisions for building community-based sports fields in the neighbourhoods of Dakhla (4 fields), Belle vue (3), Espace Jaouhara (2), Espace El Khalil (2), Foum El Hasn (2), Roches Noires (2), El Fouarrate (1), El Machrouaa (1), Al Amane II (1), Achabab (1), Dar Lamane (1), Ibn Al Banae Al Mourakouchi (1), El Manzeh (1) and Fal Al Hanaa (1). The said INDH projects, with a strong social value added, are an addition to the multiple actions undertaken by King Mohammed VI to ensure an integrated, balanced and inclusive development in the city. read more

Bahraini Delegation Pays Visit to Israel Upon Orders From King Hamad

By Sana ElouaziRabat – A delegation from Bahrain has reportedly travelled to Israel for a four-day visit, amid widespread demonstrations denouncing Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, reported the Israeli channel Two on Saturday December 9.The delegation, which was sent upon orders from the Bahraini monarch Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, includes 24 religious figures of a group called “This is Bahrain,” to deliver a “message of peace and brotherhood to Israel.” “His Majesty King Hamad has sent us with a message of peace to all places around the world. The Shia in and outside Bahrain do not hold any animosity or hatred towards any faith or doctrine,” Sheikh Fadil al-Jamri told local media.“We are visiting Jerusalem today with our message of peace and to see this historic religious site,” he added.According to the Hebrew channel, the mixed Sunni-Shia delegation accompanied by an Israeli Foreign Ministry delegation, conducted a field tour in Jerusalem’s old city, without disclosing the places and sites visited.“Although the Bahrain Foreign Ministry condemned Trump’s recent decision, the delegation did not cancel the visit,” the Israeli channel said.Bahrain’s foreign ministry has warned that the move “threatens the peace process in the Middle East and impedes all initiatives and negotiations towards a lasting solution.”However, the Foreign Ministry’s statement does not reflect King Al Khalifa’s overall position regarding Israel and Jerusalem.Israeli media reported three months ago that King Al Khalifa condemned the hostility of Arabs against Israel, during his participation in a memorial on “Jewish genocide” organized by the Jewish center in Los Angeles in the the United States.The Bahraini monarch also asserted that Israeli citizens can visit his Gulf state and called for diplomatic ties to be established between the two countries..In addition, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had previously said “developments in Israel’s ties with moderate Arab countries are in an unprecedented situation,” and that the relations are improving.“The scale of our cooperation with Arab countries has yet to be set, but it is better than ever. These big changes are ongoing despite Palestinians. Unfortunately, the Palestinians have not changed their minds to reach any solution,” Netanyahu said. read more

Morocco Best Destination For Spaniards to Spend Christmas Holiday

Rabat – Morocco is the best travel destination for Spaniards who preferred “warmth and the beach” for the coming Christmas and New Year holidays, according to a report released Monday by the online travel agency “Rumbo”.As the holidays get closer, many Spaniards “have planned Christmas holidays well in advance” the study said.While others are likely to reserve their flights at the last moment, “it is clear that Spaniards are among those who prefer the heat of the sun and the beach rather than snow and sub-zero temperatures in this time of year,” the report added. The report compared the reservations made between December 22 and 31, 2017 with the same period last year.According to this report, the reservations made to warm destinations have increased by 20% this year.More than 30% of Spanish holiday bookings have chosen Morocco as their destination, followed by Thailand with 20%, Mexico at 14%, and Indonesia at 9%.The same source revealed that the majority of Spaniards that travel abroad this time of the year are young couples or those without children, representing 40% of Spanish tourists. New York is the most popular destination for families with children.While some renowned world destinations may be freezing and busy this time of the year, most world tourists are opting for Morocco as an amazing destination thanks to its varied climate and its vigilance in countering terrorist threats.In a recent ranking made by Fodor’s Travel Guide in November, Marrakech ranked on the top of its “Travel Go List for 2018.”Thanks to its romantic charm, reflecting both authenticity and modernity, Marrakech made it to the top of the list ahead of 51 other renowned tourist destinations all over the world. read more

Choosing Between 2026 World Cup Bids Was Not Easy Spain

Rabat – The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has decided who it will vote for on Wednesday’s 2026 World Cup host ballot in Moscow.Spain has not revealed its decision yet. However, it has recognized that choosing was not easy.“We made the decision… but it was not easy. With both candidates we unite close cultural ties and in some geographical ties, besides our Latin roots,” said President of the RFEF Luis Rubiales. The Spaniard made his remarks at the end of a meeting of the UEFA associations in Moscow.According to EFE, Rubiales said that RFEF will consider “only and exclusively the interests of Spain and the Spanish football.”The Spanish official also described both bids as “fabulous” despite their differences.Several European countries announced their support for Morocco 2026, including France, Serbia, Russia, Belgium and Luxembourg.Morocco’s bid committee took advantage of the proximity between the North African country and European countries as the gateway to Europe and Africa. Additionally, the flights between European countries and Morocco are much shorter than to North America, and the time zone proximity is also an argument that Morocco relies on to clinch more votes.In April,  President of the African Football Confederation (CAF) Ahmad Ahmad called on European football associations to vote for Morocco’s bid.The CAF chief told AFP that a Moroccan bid serves the interest of Europe. “Time zones, distance, fans, it is a question of interest for Europe.” He also noted that Europeans “do not need a visa” to travel to Morocco.“For all that, it is estimated that Europe must vote for Morocco,” Ahmad concluded.The vote to decide which bid will be given hosting rights of the 2026 World Cup will be held in Moscow during the 68th  FIFA Congress on Wednesday, June 13. read more