TORONTO – Men and women are each making comparable contributions to the family finances in nearly one-third of all couples, Statistics Canada said Wednesday as the latest data from the 2016 census revealed new details about how — and which — Canadians are paying the bills.Of the 8.2 million married or common-law couples in the country last year, 96 per cent of them saw both members earn at least some income in 2015, the most recent year for which data was available, the agency reported.And in 32 per cent of cases, both incomes were “fairly equal,” or within 40 to 60 per cent of each other — a marked improvement over 1985, when only 20.6 per cent of couples were each making comparable salaries.“Many factors have contributed to this advance, led by the increased labour force participation of women,” Statistics Canada said in a brief on the new data. “Combined with a narrowing of the gender wage gap, women now contribute a larger portion of the couple’s combined income.”Men, however, continue to earn an appreciably higher income in fully half of all opposite-sex couples, while women earned the larger share in just 17.3 per cent of cases — a glaring difference, although significantly better than in 1985, when nearly three-quarters of the men made more, compared with just eight per cent of the women.The gender gap persists in same-sex couples, too: male couples earned a median income of $100,707 in 2015, compared with $92,857 for female couples.As she embarks on a career in law, a profession long dominated by men, Jennifer Chan said she expects to work longer than many of her male colleagues, citing student debt, the gender wage gap and potential family obligations, if she decides to have children.Two years after graduating, much of Chan’s Legal Aid salary goes towards paying down her student loans instead of building savings. She’s proud to say she’s knocked $30,000 off her outstanding balance “on a completely average salary.”Chan, 27, said she could have pursued a higher-paying corporate job, but at the expense of career satisfaction and work-life balance. Still, the decision will affect her financial goals, she admitted.“I work at Legal Aid; it’s not like I’m going to make millions of dollars here,” she said, describing the double whammy of lower pay and heavier debt load that can hit new female graduates especially hard.It will likely mean holding off on buying a home right away – the Toronto housing market is especially expensive, she conceded – as well as putting on hold her plans to max out her RRSP and tax-free savings account.“It’s prolonging some of the other financial goals that I have … but ultimately it was a choice that I made.”Women in the workforce, especially in professions long dominated by men, will likely earn less over their career and work later in life to achieve a comparable level of pension and retirement savings, said Nora Spinks of the Ottawa-based Vanier Institute of the Family.Women, Spinks said, tend to be slightly younger than their male partners, are paid less and often choose to leave temporarily in order to have and raise children. Those who get divorced later in life often suffer an especially heavy financial blow.“The women who are now in their 60s were part of the cohort that lost time in pension-building when their kids were little, because they often had a year or two without benefits and the like,” said Spinks, noting women simply have to work longer to support themselves.What’s more, she added, women aren’t guaranteed more security or spending power just because they’re generating more income.“Those women who are in the paid labour force and maybe earning, finally, $100,000 — are they supporting their mothers in another household? Are they sending money back to the Philippines? Are they providing funds for their grandchildren’s childcare? Have they just given their kids a massive down payment for their own Toronto home?”As more women join the workforce, census data released earlier this year showed a comparable increase in the number of men choosing to be stay-at-home dads — evidence of shifting societal norms, Spinks added.She cited outdated Hollywood stereotypes in movies like “Three Men and a Baby” and “Mr. Mom,” which “showed men as incompetent. Incapable. Klutzes. Not any more.”“The image of the stay-at-home dad is no longer one of failure or an idiot, but rather one really dedicated to family and being there for his family.”There’s a wrinkle, however: any growth in men swapping roles with women likely has more to do with the last major economic downturn and a loss of manufacturing jobs than with any great strides forward in pay equity or gender parity.“It’s not that she’s gone up significantly,” she said. “It’s that he’s gone down.”Making sure women have supports at home to pursue career goals is also key.Family doctor Ritika Goel, also a new mom, said she’s hyper-aware of how often family obligations and work obligations clash for women.Goel, 33, works in a community health centre that supported her desire to take a year of maternity leave, but has several physician friends in male-dominated specialty fields that actively discourage taking time off.“I chose to take a year off and I’m happy I did that for my life and my bonding with my child,” she said. “At the same time, those are things that impact your career prospects.”
Canada’s main stock index saw mild gains Monday while U.S. markets surged higher as worries of a trade war with China eased.The rebound came after Chinese officials signalled some flexibility on policies including foreign investment in China and South Korea reached a new deal on steel with the U.S., said Craig Fehr, Canadian markets strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis.“If we look at the equity markets at large, I would say this is the collective deep breath of investors today, after the big sell-off last week predicated on the rising fears that a trade war could be breaking out.”The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 74.82 points at 15,298.56, boosted by metals and energy stocks.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 669.40 points to 24,202.60 for its largest one-day gain since August 2015, regaining almost half what it had given up last week. The S&P 500 index ended up 70.29 points to 2,658.55 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 227.87 points to 7,220.54.U.S. President Donald Trump sparked trade fears last week after imposing tariffs on some US$60 billion worth of Chinese imports as well as investment restrictions, adding to trade tension on the steel and aluminum tariffs he moved to impose earlier in the month.China has promised to defend its interests, raising fears of rising protectionism on both sides, but recent signs of concessions on both sides is easing concerns, said Fehr.“Given the signs we’re getting that there’s perhaps some concession to be made related to some of the tariffs that have been announced, I think the markets are finding some solace in that and we’re getting a bit of a relief rally after last week’s declines.”Canada didn’t see the same gains Monday as U.S. stocks because it hadn’t been hit as hard, he said.“The domestic market didn’t see the declines last week like we saw in the S&P 500 and the Dow. The TSX is also being held back a little bit today by the weakness in oil prices.”The Canadian dollar closed at 77.60, down 0.18 of a US cent, also held back by oil prices, said Fehr, but still up from recent lows after higher-than-expected inflation data last week.The May crude contract closed down 33 cents to US$65.55 per barrel and the May natural gas contract was up two cents to US$2.66 per mmBTU.The April gold contract closed up US$5.10 to US$1,355.00 an ounce and the May copper contract was down two cents to US$2.97 a pound.The rise in gold prices made it one of the biggest sector gains on the TSX. Kinross Gold Corp. climbed 4.03 per cent after the metal’s price gains, as well as after settling with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over civil charges that it failed to ensure its payments in Africa were not being used to bribe government officials.
WAUSAU, Wis. – Wisconsin ginseng growers are seeking new customers as tariffs in an escalating trade war with China will raise the price by 15 per cent for Chinese consumers.Harvests will begin in the fall but export declines will take a while to measure, the Wausau Daily Herald reported.Wisconsin grows more than 98 per cent of all U.S. ginseng, said Bill Kaldunski, president of the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin. Ginseng exports are an $8-million-per-year industry.The ginseng industry in central Wisconsin is braced for a large impact, said Kaldunski. China is one of the largest consumers of American ginseng.Tariffs went into effect at a time when the industry isn’t making a lot of sales. Most of the ginseng meant to head overseas had already been shipped.“But we’re hearing more now, and buyers are being more aggressive,” Kaldunski said.Ginseng is most commonly taken in tea and is also used as a spice in food. Ginseng products such as beer, extract pills and herbal energy drinks could help growers and distributors like the Wausau-based Hsu Enterprise find new customers in the U.S.“The stereotypical American consumer is not super familiar with ginseng, but probably knows it might be good for them,” said Will Hsu of Hsu Enterprises. “But because they didn’t grow up with the product … they don’t know the benefits.”Hsu said those products are aimed toward people “seeking lifestyle or health changes.”___Information from: Wausau Daily Herald Media, http://www.wausaudailyherald.com
Legislation ordering postal workers back to work was passed in the House of Commons during a special session that dragged on into the wee hours of Saturday morning.Bill C-89 passed third reading by a vote of 166 to 43.The Senate is now set to sit Saturday and, if necessary, Sunday, to deal with the bill, which would go into effect at noon eastern time on the day following royal assent.The legislative push came as Ottawa, as well as smaller towns in Ontario, B.C., and Quebec became the latest targets of rotating strikes by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.Despite the rush to pass the legislation, Labour Minister Patty Hajdu encouraged Canada Post and CUPW to remain at the bargaining table.“They can still pull a deal off,” she said.That said, Hajdu added: “Obviously, we would prefer that the parties are able to negotiate an agreement together, but the time has come that we need to be prepared to take action if they cannot.”Hajdu referred to mail delivery as an “essential service” and said small businesses that rely on the postal service to deliver their goods over the busy Christmas season could go bankrupt if the situation isn’t remedied quickly.“And when I say small, I mean really small. I mean people that, you know, sell marmalade or handmade goods, that this is the most profitable time of their year and if they are unable to make their earnings this time of year, they very well might be facing the end of their business.”Labour leaders and New Democrat MPs slammed the government for undermining the collective-bargaining process. The government has removed all incentive for Canada Post to reach a negotiated settlement now that the agency knows workers will be ordered back to work by early next week, they charged.“The right to strike is an integral part of the collective bargaining process,” said Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff. “Without it, an employer has no incentive to bargain in good faith, and workers have no recourse to demand a fair process.”Canada Post seems to have convinced Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that Christmas wouldn’t come without a back-to-work bill, added CUPW president Mike Palecek.“The mail was moving, and people know it,” he said. “People have been getting their mail and online orders delivered. That was the point of our rotating-strike tactics, not to pick a fight with the public.”NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh accused the Liberals of hypocrisy, professing to believe in the right to collective bargaining while bringing in what he called the “worst, most draconian” back-to-work legislation.“They’ve shown their true face … that this government is not a friend of working people,” Singh said.New Democrat MPs voted against the motion to speed up debate on the back-to-work legislation, with many making an elaborate show of walking out of the Commons after voting, raising their fists in salute to postal workers watching from the public gallery. The votes of those who walked out were not counted.Six New Democrats remained in the chamber – representative of the small number the party maintained would get a chance to speak during the subsequent expedited debate on the bill.CUPW maintains the bill is unconstitutional and is threatening to challenge it in court.The union won a court challenge against back-to-work legislation imposed on postal workers in 2011 by the previous Conservative government. The court ruled in 2016 that by removing workers’ right to strike, the bill violated their right to freedom of association and expression.Hajdu argued that her bill is “dramatically different” from the “heavy-handed” approach taken by the Harper government and takes into account the concerns of both the union and Canada Post.But two independent senators, Frances Lankin and Diane Griffin, wrote Hajdu to express their concern that the bill may not be constitutional. The pair said Hajdu had promised to issue a government analysis detailing how the bill does not violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms but it still had not materialized by Friday evening.CUPW members have held rotating walkouts for a month, causing massive backlogs of unsorted mail and packages at postal depots, though Canada Post and the union dispute how big the pileup is.Canada Post says it could take weeks – even stretching into 2019 – to clear the backlog that has built up, especially at major sorting centres in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.CUPW’s 50,000 members, in two groups, are demanding better pay for rural and suburban carriers, more job security and minimum guaranteed hours.Waseem is a letter carrier for #CanadaPost. He tells us why these striking postal workers are in MP Morneau’s Toronto constituency office. #CDNpoli @CityNews @680NEWS pic.twitter.com/bhX5GhbfQo— Tony Fera (@tonyfera1) November 23, 2018
Companies in this story: (TSX:HSE, TSX:MEG)The Canadian Press CALGARY — Husky Energy Inc. says it plans to spend approximately $3.4 billion on its capital expenditure program next year.The energy company says the total is about $300 million less than it forecast earlier this year and includes spending cuts resulting from Alberta’s mandated oil production cuts and lower global oil prices.The Alberta government has ordered production cuts in the oilpatch next year in a bid to boost oil prices.Husky says spending is being cut in areas where it has the most capital flexibility, including heavy oil and Western Canada resource plays.Average annual 2019 production is expected to be approximately 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, not including any production associated with its proposed acquisition of MEG Energy Corp.Husky has made a hostile takeover offer for MEG Energy.
NICOSIA, Cyprus — The chief of the Cyprus Association of Banks say Cypriot lenders are concerned that their adoption of some of the toughest anti-money laundering regulations in the world has not been fully recognized abroad.Association Director Michalis Kammas told The Associated Press Monday that banks are challenging “outdated perceptions” and are working to raise awareness about reform efforts.Kammas says more rigorous supervision and directives have led to the closure of a “significant number” of bank accounts since 2014.Prior to a 2013 banking sector crisis that brought Cyprus to the brink of bankruptcy, the east Mediterranean island nation, which is a member of the European Union, was hounded by allegations that it was a tax and money laundering haven.The Associated Press
The thieves then loaded up a pair of duffle bags with 25 of the digital cameras, worth an estimated $10,000. Wright said that the two thieves were in and out of the store in less than a minute, and that the two were focused only on stealing the cameras, explaining that the pair ignored several pieces of stereo equipment that were sitting out in the open.According to the surveillance video, one of the suspects was wearing a dark-coloured hoodie, jeans, and dark-coloured running shoes. The other was wearing a grey hoodie, light gray sweatpants, and white Nike running shoes. It’s not known how old the suspects are or what their ethnicity is, since their faces were not caught on camera.Wright said that the two suspects likely walked in across the store’s front lawn, since the parking lot camera was not activated. It is not known if or what type of getaway vehicle the thieves used.Cpl. Madonna Saunderson with North District RCMP said that police are currently investigating the break-in, and are asking anyone with information to call the Fort St. John RCMP at (250) 787-8100, or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-8477. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Mounties in Fort St. John are searching for two suspects who broke into Autographics Trim & Signs this week.Autographics co-owner Jason Wright said that the break-in happened at around 4:45 a.m. on Wednesday morning. According to surveillance video that the store posted on its Facebook page, two men smashed the front door to gain entry to the store, and proceeded smash a locked display case containing Go-Pro digital cameras.
Ahmedabad: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi Tuesday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his 2014 promise of “depositing” Rs 15 lakh in the account of every citizen. He was speaking at a rally in Adalaj village of Gandhinagar district, held after the Congress Working Committee meeting. Gandhi also played to the gallery in the business- driven state by claiming that “Gabbar Singh Tax”, his oft- repeated jibe for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was beyond the understanding of traders. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day “Gabbar Singh Tax (GST) can’t be understood by our traders even today (after its was implemented nationwide last year),” he said. “Did people get Rs 15 lakh into their bank accounts as promised by Narendra Modi?” he asked at the well-attended rally. Turning his attention on the Pulwama terror attack and the subsequent air strike by India and the aerial engagement with Pakistan Air Force the next day, Gandhi said it was National Security Adviser Ajit Doval who has sent Jaish-e- Mohammed chief Massod Azhar to freedom in a “special plane”. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents on Reliance penalty “Who sent Pulwama terror attack perpetrator Masood Azhar to Pakistan?” he asked the crowd. “Masood Azhar was sent in a special aircraft and NSA Ajit Doval accompanied him,” Gandhi answered his query for the crowd. The Congress leader, however, did not reveal if he had any proof to substantiate his claim that Doval accompanied Azhar on a special flight. In the next month’s Lok Sabha polls, truth will win and hatred will be defeated, Gandhi said.
Lahore: Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was released from jail on Wednesday, a day after the Supreme Court granted him six weeks’ bail to receive medical treatment within the country. Sharif, 69, was lodged in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail since December last year, serving a seven-year imprisonment in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills graft case. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo, who denies wrongdoing, has suffered four angina attacks in recent weeks, according to his daughter Maryam Nawaz. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US On Tuesday, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa accepted Sharif’s appeal and allowed him to get medical treatment from any health facility of his choice within the country. Sharif is barred from leaving Pakistan. The deposed prime minister’s supporters and party workers gathered in large numbers outside the jail and showered his car with flowers as he left the area. Some PML-N party workers moved along with Sharif’s car till his residence. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls The three-time prime minister was received by PML-N leaders and his family at his house in the Jati Umra Raiwind area here. Sharif’s release got delayed as the court order and other required documents could not reach the jail for more than 10 hours after the bench’s direction. The Supreme Court observed in its order that several senior doctors had suggested that Sharif’s history of hypertension, cardiac and renal ailments may present a “mild-moderate risk” if he is to undergo angiography. Therefore, granting him relief for a limited period is a “reasonable” request, the top court said. It directed Sharif to deposit two bail bonds worth Rs 5 million Pakistani rupees (USD 35,423) each, receive medical treatment and surrender after six weeks. PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif thanked the court for “meeting the merits of justice”. “We thank the SC for considering gravity of the situation in the light of the medical reports of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif. We also thank the nation and workers of the PMLN whose prayers had made this day possible,” he said. He said that Sharif’s health and well-being is the utmost priority of the party and that would be their primal focus. The Sharif family has been complaining that the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan was not providing adequate treatment to the three-time former premier who has serious health complications. Three corruption cases – Avenfield properties, Flagship investment and Al-Azizia steel mills – were registered against the Sharif family by the anti-graft body in 2017 following a judgment by the Supreme Court that disqualified Sharif in the Panama Papers case in 2017. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in the Avenfield corruption case in July 2018 which was related to his properties in London. Later he was given bail in September. In December, the accountability court convicted him in the Al-Azizia graft case but acquitted him in the Flagship corruption case. The Al-Azizia Steel Mill case is related to setting up steel mills in Saudi Arabia allegedly with corruption money.
New Delhi: The Delhi BJP has started a campaign where the party’s volunteers are interacting with college students and telling them about various initiatives initiated by the Narendra Modi government aimed towards the youth, a move aimed at reaching out to the first-time voters ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The campaign — ‘Youth4Modi’ — being run by Delhi BJP vice president Jai Prakash will be covering colleges, tuition centres and other places frequented by the youth. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”The volunteers, who comprise former members of the students unions of colleges or college passouts, have been talking to students about Modi government’s initiatives like Startup India, Skill India, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and the 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections,” Prakash said. He also claimed that their volunteers have found a lot of curiosity among the first-time voters about the Balakot air strikes and are curious to know about the operation. Till now, the campaign has covered colleges like Kirori Mal, Shri Ram College Of Commerce, Hansraj College and Ramjas College. The volunteers will soon be visiting Maharaja Agrasen College as part of the campaign. The campaign was also carried out at the Vishwavidyalaya Metro station recently where Union Minister Vijay Goel addressed the young voters.
New Delhi: The Trinamool Congress Sunday wrote to the Election Commission complaining that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the media at Kedarnath shrine was “unethical” and that the coverage of his visit was in “gross violation” of the Model Code of Conduct. The prime minister also announced that the master plan of Kedarnath Temple is ready and also addressed the public and media at Kedarnath. It is absolutely “unethical and morally incorrect,” party spokesperson Derek O’Brien said in the letter. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework “Even though the Election campaign for the last phase of polling for 2019 Lok Sabha is over on May 17 at 6 pm, surprisingly Narendra Modi’s Kedarnath Yatra is being covered and widely televised for the last two days in all national as well as local media. This is a gross violation of the Model Code of Conduct,” he said. The prime minister offered prayers at the Himalayan shrine on Sunday morning. Speaking to reporters at the shrine, Modi thanked the Election Commission for granting him permission to visit the shrine at a time when the Model Code of Conduct is in force. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen “Every minute detail of his activities during the visit is being widely publicised with an ulterior motive to influence voters directly and/or indirectly,” the TMC leader charged and added that “Modi Modi” chants are also being heard from the background. He said all these moves were well calculated with the “ill intention to influence voters” on polling day. It is unfortunate that the poll body has not taken any action against the PM, he added. “Election Commission, the highest body and the eyes and ears of the democratic process, remains blind and deaf to the gross violation of the MCC.l would request you to take immediate action and stop telecast of such surreptitious and unfair campaign which is also morally wrong,” he charged.
Washington DC — Morocco needs a new powerful framework to overcome recent public relations setbacks in its never ending cold war with Algeria over the “Western Sahara.”The time is ripe for Rabat to engage the underlying political and diplomatic preconceptions that led to a patchy Sahara policy. The key to a viable strategy in the Southern provinces rests with the creation of a “war room” that would incorporate different intelligence agencies and all Ministries, including Interior and foreign affairs, involved in implementing policies in the Sahara. Recent events point to the need for a national strategy to merge domestic, international and economic assessments of the situation in the Sahara into one single vision. Time and time again, domestic and social episodes turned into international incidents. A high level interposition among the competing security and political entities will streamline the “Sahara policy” creating comprehensive international strategies and positive local dynamics. One of the most favorable outcomes of the creation of a “war room” will be the removal of the long-running impediments to a complementary multifaceted strategy in the Southern provinces. Improving the lives of the average Sahrawi is as important as reinforcing the political and diplomatic efforts on the international scene. In creating a sustained income stream for the population based on a strong self-sustained local economy, Morocco will earn international recognition. Events such as Javier Bardem’s showing of an anti-Moroccan movie in Paris, violence during United Nations envoy visits to the Sahara or the upcoming Pro-Algeria activist Haider stay in Washington underscore the need to tighten and streamline Morocco’s response to the Algerian provocations.A decision by a local Interior Minister official in the Sahara could carry several implications on the international scene. As such, close and coordinated efforts between all parties involved in the decision making process in the Provinces is critical to a successful implementation of the “Local Autonomy Plan for the Sahara.” As Rabat casts local autonomy, and not independence, as the only viable resolution to the conflict, Moroccan politicians and officials must elucidate and expound the details of the Moroccan Proposal. Some Parliamentarians and political figures’ lack of knowledge about the aspects of this crucial dossier is shameful. Dumping millions of dollars into lobbying efforts spins attitudes at the international level but doesn’t influence attitudes at the local Saharan level, if only because it gives the impression that Morocco is consolidating its positions. The fact remains, however, pro-Algeria elements are still active in Laayoune while Moroccan diplomats struggle to expose Polisario’s human rights abuses in the Tindouf Camps.Morocco needs to appeal to a rising Sahrawi youth that doesn’t remember the Sahara war and holds very different expectations from government and politicians than their fathers and grandfathers did. To succeed in winning the hearts and minds of all the Sahrawis, Moroccan authorities should rethink some aspects of their Sahara strategy. Unified and sustained security, economic and foreign policies could be the avenue to a successful implementation of the Local Autonomy Plan for the Sahara. Concluding that the diplomatic-lobbying efforts to influence international attitudes are more important than local domestic policies is an oversimplification; in fact, small, targeted assistance programs for young Sahrawi may have more impact on the image of Morocco’s management style in the Sahara. Adopting the two strategies thru the creation of a “war room” would be a plus.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
Casablanca – A bus crashed into a bank agency located at Ibn Tachfine Boulevard on Thursday morning, leaving eight people injured, according to LE360. On Thursday, one of El Madina buses crashed into a bank agency on Ibn Tachfine Boulevard, in Casablanca’s Roches Noires neighborhood, leaving 8 people injured and serious material damages.Some witnesses said brake failure was what caused the bus to end up in the bank agency, according to LE360. According to the same source, the bus crash took place at 6:30 am. The bus driver had allegedly attempted to avoid collision with a truck coming from the opposite direction, before the bus ended up crashing into the bank agency.Eight injured victims were subsequently taken to Mohammed V hospital in Casablanca.
Rabat-The Belgian government is facing a storm of criticism after one of its Ministers made racist comments about Moroccan, Algerian, and Congolese immigrants and questioning their contribution to the development of the country.Theo Francken, Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration and a Flemish nationalist, doubted that Moroccan, Algerian and Congolese immigrants could add any value for Belgium.Media reports revealed these statements based on a Facebook status that the Belgian politician wrote on November 21, 2011. He questioned the value Moroccan, Algerian and Congolese immigrants can add to Belgium’s economy in comparison to the Jewish, Indian, and Chinese immigrants. This statement was labeled racist categorization and a “worrying development,” especially from an official who takes the tenure of immigration and asylum.Theo Francken said: “I can figure the added value of Jewish, Chinese and Indian diasporas, but less that of the Moroccan, Congolese, or Algerian diasporas.”The statement brought him heavy criticism and forced him to apologize in front of the federal parliament three years later.“I realize I hurt people by saying this. I never intended to. I want to present my sincere apologies. I can guarantee you that I will be a state secretary who defends the interests of all the people in this country, with a great respect for everyone,” he was quoted by the Guardian as saying.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.
Rabat- Morocco’s number two telecom operator Meditel is set to be majority owned by French telecoms giant Orange and renamed Orange Morocco, French weekly magazine L’Express reported.The French group, chaired by Stephane Richard, reportedly appointed a financial expert on January 19 to assess the value of Meditel and the amount of the transaction ahead of its acquisition of a 9 percent stake with 10.10 percent of voting rights by exercising a buy option.Orange had already acquired40 percent of the company for 640 million Euros in 2010. In late December, Orange estimated in its financial statements that its 40 percent Meditel stake was worth 320 million Euros. The French company is expected to pay a little more than 72 million Euros to take control of the second mobile operator in the kingdom. Moroccan telecom regulator ANRT will have to give the green light to this operation, L’Express added.With 13.59 million subscribers at the end of 2014, Meditel faces fierce competition from Maroc Telecom and Wana Corporate.The transaction will all allow the French group to include its Moroccan subsidiary in its group accounts and rename it Orange.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
Washington D.C. – Examples of Royal Air Maroc (Morocco’s national airline known as RAM) bad service and management incompetence have been in stark display at New York’s JFK airport.Videos of desperate and angry travelers stranded in the American airport continue to surface on social media hurting not only the image of RAM, but the reputation of Morocco as a tourist destination. Yet, neither the pleas of frantic customers nor the embarrassment and humiliation this “national” airline has brought to the country have moved a company official into action. RAM is now a national disgrace on the international scene.Will this incident be the breaking point that would compel the “power to be” shielding the company’s CEO from accountability to act and help save face? For now this will remain an open ended question. As the news speared around the airport that RAM flight number AT 203, scheduled to take off last Thursday from JFK to Casablanca, was canceled, protesters (AKA RAM customers who paid exorbitant amount for their tickets to Morocco) went into a frenzy looking for company representatives who were nowhere to be found.As it became clear that the flight will not make it in time for the passengers to celebrate Al-Eid (a Muslim holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan) with family and friends, some went into a riot mode making so much racket and commotions at the international airport that the police had to intervene to calm furious customers.This was not a flight delay but rather numerous cancelations of flights with little or no notice and no clear explanations. As seen on many videos, Moroccan and American travelers were anxiously looking for airline officials to get information but to no avail. Flyers paying $1500 a ticket were left rotting at the airport with no information or guidance in violation of American Federal law.RAM is not only inconveniencing customers who paid high prices for their tickets but rather relegating its duties under the Warsaw Convention, “an international convention which regulates liability for international carriage of persons, luggage, or goods performed by aircraft for reward”. In fact, U.S. and Moroccan consumers have every right to file a complaint.Videos of such incidents should alone lead to the resignations of some RAM officials. Yet, as we have seen in the past this shameful images will not lead to any changes to the organization’s irresponsible leadership or adjustments in the cavalier attitudes of some of the company’s employees. In short, RAM does not care.Regardless of whether or not we fly Royal Air Maroc, the way this airline has handled its customers should be of a concern to the flying public. While I seldom fly RAM, the actions and behaviors of the national airline is a reflection on the nation and thus is a source of apprehension to me and to other Moroccans. Many of the unfortunate RAM customers who “willingly or unwillingly” fly the airline have few alternatives and hence need the support and the indignations of all of us.Most of RAM customers got used to a degraded service over the years. In recent years, Moroccans and foreigners have endured frequent broken-down planes and snappier gate agents and flight attendants. However, the recent carelessness of the Moroccan national airline at JFK has pushed its customers to unprecedented indignation and outrage. Leaving dozens of travelers stranded in an airport for days is indeed a major blow to the image of Morocco.If history is a judge, the JFK fiasco will have no impact on the culture of indifference and bad service plaguing RAM. Moroccans and visitors will have to suffer RAM or take longer flight to visit the Kingdom.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permissionThe views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
Rabat – Casablanca has been chosen by US magazine Cities and technologies (CITI) among Africa’s top 5 cities for opportunity.Morocco’s largest city and economic capital ranked fourth in the list, right between Johannesburg (third) and Algiers (fifth.)“Casablanca triumphed in the hotly-contested economics index, coming first in GDP diversity and as a key location for Top 500 company headquarters — top transport and energy infrastructure rankings no doubt helped in this sense,” CITI said. However, and like Tunis, the city was let down by poor diversity and population growth, typical of the North African cities surveyed, the magazine added.North African cities dominated the top five, with Cairo in first position, followed by Tunis.Last year, Casablanca was ranked the fourth city for opportunities in Africa in a study released by American consulting confirm PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC (PwC).The Moroccan economic capital ranked first in “economics” criteria, with a score that reaches 122, and first as the city with the highest number of headquarters of the top 500 companies in Africa.Casablanca ranked fourth in terms of GDP per capita, and fifth in terms of the attraction of foreign direct investments (FDI).With regards to infrastructure, Casablanca ranked also first in terms of transportation infrastructure, third in terms of airport connectivity, and fourth in road security.
Rabat – South by Southwest officials have apologized to the Muslim Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad after she was denied registration at the festival in Austin, Texas on Saturday for wearing a hijab.The organizers of South by Southwest, an annual set of film, interactive media, and music festivals that takes place in mid-March in Austin, Texas in the United States, were angered by their employer who asked Muhammad to remove her headscarf before she would be given credentials to get into the festival.The American Olympian tweeted about the incident on Saturday afternoon. I was just asked to remove my hijab at SXSW Registration for my ID badge.. I can’t make this stuff up #SXSW2016— Ibtihaj Muhammad (@IbtihajMuhammad) March 12, 2016She also tweeted that she was given the wrong ID badge, with her name misprinted on the badge.Thennnnn I was given the wrong ID! From now on my name is Tamir & I work for Time Warner Inc #SXSW2016 pic.twitter.com/TE3jJR16P6— Ibtihaj Muhammad (@IbtihajMuhammad) March 12, 2016Immediately after the tweets went viral, the officials of the festival released a statement, apologizing to the Muslim American fencer.“It is not our policy that a hijab or any religious head covering be removed in order to pick up a SXSW badge,” the statement read.“This was one volunteer who made an insensitive request and that person has been removed for the duration of the event. We are embarrassed by this and have apologized to Ibtihaj in person, and sincerely regret this incident,” they added.
NEW YORK — Shares in GameStop are getting hammered after the video game retailer says it is no longer pursuing a sale of the company. GameStop shares have fallen more than 20 per cent in premarket trading.The company said Tuesday that securing acceptable financing terms for prospective buyers made selling GameStop too difficult.Although its shares jumped last month when it announced it had sold its Spring Mobile business for $735 million, the Grapevine, Texas company’s stock has lost about two-thirds of its value since 2015. More and more, gamers are bypassing retail shops for games and gear that can be downloaded or ordered online.GameStop Corp. also said it is continuing its search for a chief executive.The Associated Press
Rabat- Moroccan fans of the Atlas Lions are hyped up in Moscow, one day before the start of the World Cup 2018 tournament and two days before Morocco’s first World Cup match against Iran on June 15.The Moroccan mile-race Olympic champion and world record holder Hicham El Guerrouj shared on his Twitter account a video of Moroccan fans chanting “I love a red flag,” from a popular Moroccan song.The Atlas Lions are playing in the World Cup for the first time since 1998. El Guerrouj’s 17-second clip captured the fans as they held the Moroccan flag together and jumped up and down in sheer enthusiasm in Moscow, where a few Russian passersby got to witness the jovial cheering.From Russie to support our @Morocco2026_FR & @EnMaroc ??? ?? ???? ????? ???? ????? ????? pic.twitter.com/F2WHHCz7pn— Hicham El Guerrouj ???? ?????? (@elguerrouj32600) June 11, 2018The Atlas Lions will play against Portugal in their second game on June 20 and against Spain on June 25 in the final first-round match. Recently, many Moroccan celebrities displayed support for the national team in their own way, including French-Moroccan rapper Lartiste who wore a T-shirt reading “Keep calm and support Morocco” during his performance on the French show “Chanson de l’année 2018” (Song of the Year 2018). In addition, many artists, such as Said Naciri, Abderrahim Souiri, and Leila Haddioui, joined together in a music video, Malhama Abtal Al Watan (Saga: Heroes of the Nation), which received nationwide ridicule and criticism for its “lack of creativity.”