Winnipeg mourns loss of street artist Daniel Martin

first_imgBrittany HobsonAPTN NewsA Winnipeg restaurant owner is raising money to pay tribute to a beloved street artist in the city.Christa Guenther started a Go Fund Me page to help pay for the funeral costs of Daniel Martin, who died last month from complications related to cancer.Within a week the campaign surpassed its goal and more than 100 people had donated.“He’s touched the hearts of so many people and I’m not surprised actually because that was Daniel,” Guenther said. “He was jolly, he was humble, he was kind.”Martin began drawing at the age of 24, after meeting another Indigenous artist.A residential school survivor, he lived in group homes throughout his teenage years.The trauma he endured led him to a life of addiction.But drawing helped change that.He lived at the Main Street Project men’s shelter before his death.Guenther plans to donate extra funds from Martin’s funeral fundraising campaign to the shelter.A service is being held Thursday morning in Winnipeg at the church Martin frequented.bhobson@aptn.ca@bhobs22last_img read more

Water main failure causes closure of 100th Street until further notice

first_imgHarvey said that water to the area around 100 Street and 100 Avenue will remain shut off until the repairs are complete, and that there may be additional temporary water shut-offs in other areas while the repairs are completed. At this time, the City does not have an estimated time when the repairs will be completed, but that updates will be posted to the City of Fort St. John Facebook page.Residents are reminded to slow down around workers, obey all traffic signs, and avoid the area completely if possible. UPDATE: The City of Fort St. John has fixed the water main and the intersection of 100th St. North and 100th Avenue is now open.FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The failure of a water main has been confirmed as having caused the closure of 100th St. north of the intersection with 100th Ave. The City’s Communications Coordinator Ryan Harvey said that the water main broke on Thursday afternoon causing to be closed between 100th and 101st Avenues until the emergency repairs are complete. He said that city crews began repairs last night and will remain on site until the break is repaired. last_img read more

PSAC lowers 2018 Drilling Activity Forecast amid uncertainty in Canada

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. – The Petroleum Services Association of Canada released the third update to its 2018 Canadian Drilling Activity Forecast, announcing that it was once again decreasing its forecasted number of wells to be drilled across Canada this year from 7,400 in April to 6,900 wells drilled.PSAC based its updated forecast on average natural gas prices of $1.55 CDN/Million cubic feet, crude oil prices of US$65.00/barrel and a Canada-US exchange rate averaging 77 cents.PSAC says that it is forecasting 36 percent fewer wells will be drilled in B.C. this year, down from 730 in its original forecast last fall to a revised forecast total of 464. In Alberta, PSAC is forecasting that 3,735 wells will be drilled in that province, down from 3,998 wells in the original Forecast.The revised Forecast for Saskatchewan now sits at 2,428 wells compared to 2,931 wells in the original Forecast, and Manitoba is forecasted to see 260 wells or a jump of 30 in well count for 2018.The total number wells drilled is projected to be approximately 200 less than in 2017, however, PSAC says it expects meterage drilled to be flat or slightly up due to average well lengths increasing.“While the number of active drilling rigs is currently up 3-5% over last year depending on the week, the rest of the oilfield services sector is marginally busier than it was last year at this time,” said PSAC President and CEO Tom Whalen. “When we look at the first half of ‘18 in aggregate, we drilled 200 fewer wells than in the first half of ‘17 but at the same time, the average length per well increased by approximately 190 meters. In general terms, revenue numbers for our sector are up year over year but we note that several publicly traded Canadian service companies are reporting minimal improvement in the quality of bottom line earnings; many are sitting at near breakeven or are still in negative territory. As we’ve said on previous occasions, this is not sustainable from a business continuity and competitiveness perspective. It’s also a compounding symptom of the sector’s lack of attractiveness for investment.”“It’s great to see the WTI oil price continuing to trade in the mid $60’s USD but being the recipients of a $21 USD average differential between WTI and WCS pricing in the first half of this year means that exploration and production (E&P) companies and Canadians are missing out on approximately $15 billion annually,” added Whalen. “Ironically, in June, our ‘energy independent’ focused southern neighbour achieved a record-setting, 11 million barrels per day of domestic oil production, which in contrast to Canadian oil, is fetching world-based pricing.In a reflection of the challenging natural gas market and continuing soft prices, for our latest Forecast, we tempered our AECO pricing down to $1.55 CDN/Mcf. Adding insult to injury, Canadian gas weighted E&P’s estimate they are losing up to $10 billion annually due to the disparity between AECO pricing and other markets. Obtaining access to tidewater continues to be mission critical for both our oil and gas weighted E&P customers and would mean an additional $25 billion for Canada.”last_img read more

Dissension among Council as 5 out of 7 in favour of pay

first_imgAs of January 1, 2019, the Federal Government has a removed a 33% tax exemption for election officials.  With the removal of the tax exemption, municipally elected officials will now receive less take-home pay.With the approval, the Mayor’s salary will increase to $89,130 compared to $83,430.  Each Councillor would see their income change from $31,286 to $32,850.Councillor Trevor Bolin expressed “My thoughts are doing it without a surplus and making it apart of the budget in 2020/2023 and holding the line because we are a little behind the gun by doing this last year based on this January and not doing it back,”The additional $18,525 to fund the pay raise could be found in the operating budget shared the City Manager as a way to reallocate some funds. By adjusting the operating budget, what is being asked of the taxpayer, holding off until the 2020 budget or using the surplus funds were the available options for Council.“It’s the fact we should have been doing this a year ago, we should have been prepped, and aware changes were coming and worked it into the budget,” said Councillor BolinThe vote took place, and five were in favour of the recommendation that Council members should not be penalized by receiving less remuneration in 2019 than they did in 2018 due to changes at the Federal level. Also, the recommendation includes the COLA increase that is included in the Council’s current policy that ensures that the Council’sremuneration does not fall behind the cost of living increases. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With Federal legislation passing in 2017 that eliminated a 1/3 tax exemption for elected officials effective January 1, 2019, Council passed a recommendation to increase Council’s remuneration.Councillor Becky Grimsrud and Councillor Trevor Bolin expressed concerns drawing the funds from the budgets surplus account to make up the difference when Council had time to set this in place yet had waited.“I’m concerned with the additional cost of this,” said Councillor Grimsrud, “I know it was forced upon us by the Federal Government, a lot of taxpayers have had a lot of additional costs due to different previous things, such as tax rebates being taken away from them and and has not been made up by their jobs,” Councillor Grimsrud goes on to say “Looking at additional staff for the festival plaza and how much of this can be put into another employee.”last_img read more

Section of 99 Avenue to be closed Saturday for Annual Bright Nights

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John is advising drivers that a section of 99 Avenue will be closed to traffic on Saturday, June 8, for the Annual Bright Nights in June Festival.The affected section will be at the corner of 100 Street and 99 Avenue, directly behind the parking lot of the North Peace Cultural Centre.According to the City, no parking signs will be placed on the sidewalks 24 hours in advance of the event and there will be no vehicle access from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Barricades will be set up blocking the entrances to the parking lot.Vehicles parked on the Avenue will need to vacate prior to the event or will be removed by Bylaw Enforcement.The Annual Bright Nights in June Festival is this Saturday, June 8, at the North Peace Cultural Centre.last_img

Ministry of Health PHO need to do more to ensure safety of

first_imgVICTORIA, B.C. – The Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia has released a report that looks at the safety of the Province’s drinking water.According to Auditor General Carol Bellringer, the report, titled ‘The Protection of Drinking Water: An Independent Audit’, concludes that the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer are not sufficiently protecting drinking water for all British Columbians.“We undertook this audit because of the considerable importance of safe drinking water and because the risks to drinking water are increasing. We found that overall, the Ministry of Health and the PHO’s accountability to ensure drinking water was protected is concerning.” Bellringer says while the Ministry has taken some action to mitigate risks to drinking water, more needs to be done as they have not developed a strategy to address which water systems are at risk.Bellringer also says B.C. has not had a known outbreak of a waterborne illness since 2004, but if a single event that contaminates drinking water were to happen, it could cause serious health impacts for numerous people.The full report is available on the Auditor General’s website.last_img read more

Football India U23 go down 01 to Qatar

first_imgDoha: The Indian under-23 football team couldn’t convert the chances that came its way and suffered a narrow 0-1 loss to Qatar in a preparatory match here ahead of the AFC Championship Qualifiers in Uzbekistan. Monday evening’s game was India’s first under the tutelage of new coach Derrick Pereira. Three of the starting XI players were from the Indian Arrows setup, while the likes of Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Anwar Ali, Rahul KP, and Komal Thatal were a part of the India U-17 World Cup squad two years back. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football togetherIndia got off the blocks early, with Mehtab Singh, Komal Thatal and Rahul KP coming close in the early exchanges. However, it was Narender Gahlot, who had the best chance in the first half, as he jumped higher than the rest to send a powerful header towards the goal. However, it was saved by Qatari keeper Yazan Naim Hussein. Despite the chances created by Pereira’s men, it was Qatar, which got the breakthrough close to the half time break, when a Salmin Atiq pass from the right was met by Amro Abdelfatah Surag, who made no mistake. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian OpenWhile a large part of the second half was played with both the teams trying to breach each other’s defences, Pereira made a number of changes. Boris, who had come on for Rahul KP, missed a tap-in after Daniel Lalhimpuia had set him up with a square ball. Rahim Ali had the best chance of the match when he found himself in front of an open goal, just 12 yards away from his target. However, he scuffed his shot, as it flew over the bar in injury time.last_img read more

Court martial of Major Gogoi completed he may now face reduction in

first_imgNew Delhi/Srinagar: The court martial proceedings against Major Leetul Gogoi, who was at the centre of the 2017 ‘human shield’ controversy, have been completed and he may face reduction in seniority as a punishment for “fraternising” with a local woman in Srinagar last year, officials said. The court martial process against his driver, Sameer Malla, who was facing charges of unauthorised absence from the unit, was also completed recently in the Kashmir valley and he is likely to be given a “severe reprimand”. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsMalla was recruited in the Territorial Army in 2017 and he was posted with 53 sector of Rashtriya Rifles, a counter-insurgency force fighting militancy in J&K. After completion of Summary of Evidence against Major Gogoi and his driver in early February followed by the initiation of court martial proceedings, the two men have been held guilty on two counts — “fraternising” with a local in spite of instructions to the contrary and “being away from the place of duty while in operational area”, the officials said. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayStatements of the accused as well as other witnesses were recorded by the Army court and the punishment, which will be vetted by the Army headquarters, has been given, they added. The Army (CoI) had recommended disciplinary action against Major Gogoi after it indicted him as well as his driver for the Srinagar hotel incident on May 23 last year. Major Gogoi was detained by police following an altercation with the hotel staff when he was allegedly trying to enter inside with an 18-year-old woman. The woman had expressed her unwillingness to depose during the court martial proceedings and informed the Army authorities that she had given a statement before a magistrate and the same should be treated as her final stand. The woman had also stated that she had gone out with Major Gogoi of her own will, besides disclosing that she had become a friend of the Army officer through his fake Facebook profile, where he had named himself Ubaid Arman. Immediately after the incident came to light last year, Army chief Bipin Rawat had said that exemplary punishment would be given to Major Gogoi if he was found guilty of “any offence”.last_img read more

Australian teen escapes with caution for egging farright senator

first_imgSydney: An Australian teenager lauded worldwide for egging a far-right senator who made offensive comments about the Christchurch mosque attacks was let off with a police caution for the incident Tuesday. William Connolly, now better known as “Egg Boy”, cracked an egg on the head of Fraser Anning during a March 16 press conference, prompting the senator to hit him several times in the face. The controversial politician had a day earlier drawn international condemnation when he blamed the attacks in New Zealand that killed 50 people at two mosques last month on immigration. Connolly’s act spawned viral memes and drew support from around the world, with a GoFundMe page raising more than Aus 80,000 (US 57,000) to help with any legal fees and “more eggs”. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe 17-year-old said he would donate money raised to the victims of the attacks. Victoria state police said after investigating footage of the incident they would not be pressing charges against Connolly. “The 17-year-old Hampton boy has been issued with an official caution in relation to the incident,” police said in a statement. They said Anning had also escaped charges. “On assessment of all the circumstances, the 69-year-old’s actions were treated as self-defence and there was no reasonable prospect of conviction,” police said. Several men could be seen pinning Connolly to the ground after the egging.last_img read more

Kejriwal raises full statehood demand

first_imgNew Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday started its third phase of the Lok Sabha polls with a roadshow by party chief Arvind Kejriwal, where he urged the city to vote for the full statehood demand. In the road show started from Lal Bagh, Model Town, in Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency, the party leader urged people to vote for the party’s candidate Pankaj Gupta. Kejriwal said the AAP has worked for the city in the last four years. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework “The BJP and the Congress collectively ruled the county and Delhi for 70 years, but could not improve the situation. We have improve the schools and hospitals here, despite hurdles from the Centre,” he said while addressing the people. He said he wished to work more for the city, but lacks power. “If Delhi was a full state, we would have build new schools and hospitals. We want you should vote for our candidate who will take the full statehood demand at the Centre.” He said he would have ensured that the women security is increased and crime against women is controlled if the police was under him.last_img read more

CJI gets clean chit as inhouse panel finds no substance

first_imgNew Delhi: Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi Monday got a clean chit from the Supreme Court’s In-House Inquiry Committee which “has found no substance” in the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by a former woman employee of the apex court.A notice by the office of Supreme Court Secretary-General said the report of the Committee, headed by Justice S A Bobde, “is not liable to be made public”. The committee, also comprising two woman judges of the apex court -Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee – gave the report ex-parte as the woman had opted out of the inquiry on April 30 after participating for three days. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkShe issued a press statement in which she described as “very frightening” the atmosphere of the Committee and walked out raising various objections including denial of her lawyer’s presence. Justice Gogoi appeared on May 1 before the Committee and recorded his statements. The notice said: “The In-House Committee has found no substance in the allegations contained in the complaint dated April 19, 2019, of a former employee of the Supreme Court of India. Please take note that in case of Indira Jaising vs Supreme Court of India and others, it has been held that the report of a committee constituted as a part of the In-House Procedure is not liable to be made public.” It further said: “The In House Committee has submitted its report dated May 5, 2019, in accordance with the In House Procedure, to the next senior judge competent to receive the report and also sent a copy to the judge concerned, namely, the CJI.” The complainant said “gross injustice” had been done to her and she was “dejected and disappointed” with the outcome.last_img read more

Inauguration of Progay Mosque in South Africa Sparks Controversy

Karima AhmedWashington D.C. – Controversy surrounded the opening of what is proclaimed to be South Africa’s first ‘open mosque’ Friday, when a small group of people protested outside the gates at the mosque’s inaugural prayer.  The mosque, which welcomes people from all genders, religions and sexual orientations, was founded by Taj Hargey, a professor at the Muslim Educational Center of Oxford. “In South Africa 20 years ago, there was a peaceful revolution changing from apartheid to democracy and we need to have a similar development in the area of religion,” said Hargey in an interview with BBC.Inside the mosque, media and mosque-goers outnumbered protesters. Women sat alongside men, while they listened to Hargey’s sermon, in which he condemned hatred between Muslims and Christians and blamed it on “warped theology,” according to the AFP news agency.The Muslim Judicial Council, a non-profit religious advocacy group, told The Telegraph that it is “in the process of investigating the policy and objectives of the mosque.”The deputy president of MJC, Sheikh Riad Fataar said they would not consider the open mosque a proper place of prayer.“We see in the newspaper clipping and the messages that this is a place of worship, but we can’t call it a mosque,” he told The Voice of the Cape.Hargey was born in South Africa under the apartheid regime and became the first South African Muslim to obtain a doctorate of philosophy at Oxford.In both South Africa and Britain, Hargey has been surrounded by controversy. He is one of the few imams who will conduct marriage ceremonies between Muslim women and non-Muslim men and he is known for supporting a total ban on burqas in the UK.While the idea of an open mosque may cause uproar among many Muslims, it’s an idea that has picked up momentum in the last couple of years. France opened its first gay-friendly mosque in 2012 and organizations such as Muslims for Progressive Values have gained popularity and membership, although they still represent a small minority within the Muslim world. read more

Syrian Refugee Invited to Obamas State of the Union Address Arrives

New York – Dr. Refaai Hamo, the Syrian refugee who was invited to U.S. President Obama’s Final State of the Union Address (SOTU) on Tuesday night, has arrived in The White House.The White House official Facebook page posted a picture of Dr. Hamo who is standing on one side of The White House’s front lawn at his arrival.American organization Humans of New York (HONY), which met with the Syrian refugee while in Turkey, captioned the photograph. “Dr. Hamo just arrived at the White House for a reception before attending the State of the Union tonight. It’s been a bit surreal reconnecting under these circumstances, since the last time I saw him was during our initial interview in Istanbul. It’s been great catching up,” HONY wrote.“While he’s honored to be representing refugees tonight, he wishes foremost to be seen as a scientist, and hopes that soon he will be known more for his work than his refugee status,” the organization added.According to the same source, Refaai Hamo recently had surgery to remove a “large benign tumor” from his stomach. He is also a stomach cancer survivor.The White House official Facebook page announced on Sunday, “We’ve invited people from around the country who represent the progress we’ve made over the past seven years to come watch it from the guest box.”According to The White House press release, Dr. Hamo arrived in Detroit, Michigan last December 18 after fleeing Syria and spending two years in Turkey.A Syrian government missile destroyed Hamo’s complex killing his wife, one of his daughters and five other relatives.President Obama was touched by Hamo’s compelling story and wrote him, “Welcome to your new home. You’re part of what makes America great.”Dr. Hamo represents the lives and challenges of all Syrian refugees around the world. Tonight, he will witness one of the most prestigious and important events where few are invited.The Obama Administration has chosen to honor Dr. Hamo and the refugee community in accordance with the true values of the United States. read more

Commerce chief asks why furloughed workers using food banks

NEW YORK — Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, one of the richest people in President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, is questioning why furloughed federal workers are reluctant to take out loans to get through the government shutdown.Ross was asked on CNBC on Thursday about why some of the 800,000 workers currently not receiving paychecks are going to homeless shelters to get food.Ross, whose financial disclosure forms reveal $700 million in assets, said he “didn’t quite understand” why workers would do that.He advocated that workers borrow from a bank or credit union, saying “there’s no real reason why they shouldn’t be able to get a loan against it.”The comments were the latest in a series of out-of-touch remarks about the shutdown from Trump officials. Trump said workers need to “make adjustments.”Jonathan Lemire, The Associated Press read more

Oujda to Celebrate its Capital of Arab Culture Award with

Rabat – Morocco’s Ministry of Culture is launching a year-round cultural program to celebrate the “Oujda, the Capital of Arab Culture for 2018.”On Friday, Minister of Culture Mohamed Laaraj said on Oujda that the program includes 910 activities, including festivals, conferences and scientific meetings, exhibitions, and art activities.The festival will see the participation of some 1,200 artists and intellectuals from April 13, 2018 to March 29, 2019. According to Laaraj, the program offers an opportunity for investors and cultural projects to make the city of Oujda a destination for international artists, intellectuals, and Arab cultural activities.In December 2017, the Standing Committee on Arab Culture unanimously appointed the city of Oujda as the Capital of Arab Culture for 2018, following its November meeting in Casablanca.Laaraj, expressed his thanks to the organizers for placing their trust in the Kingdom of Morocco and welcomed the appointment of the city of Oujda as Capital of Arab Culture for 2018.“This designation, provides an opportunity to develop a rich and diverse cultural program that can energize the cultural sector in the Oriental region, with the participation of regional and local actors,” said Laaraj.The Standing Committee on Arab Culture is an organizational body authorized by Ministers of Culture of the Arabic Speaking Region to prepare documents for ministerial conferences and coordinate the work of the Culture Directorate of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO).The members of this commission, which represent more than 16 Arabic-speaking countries, sent a message of thanks and gratitude to King Mohammed VI at the end of “The Arab Forum for the Elaboration of Cultural Action” held under his patronage. read more

Maymkench2026 Saad Abids Humorous Meeting with Jamel Debbouze

Rabat – “It is impossible not to have the 2026 World Cup bid,” said a very determined Jamel Debbouze. The French-Moroccan comedian has agreed to meet Youtube influencer Saad Abid to endorse Morocco’s World Cup bid in his own unique way.On Day 9 of his incredible journey of “meeting 26 celebrities, in 26 days, in 26 countries” to score symbolic support for Morocco 2026 in the #Maymkench2026 (impossible) challenge, Abid flew to Paris to spend a funny moment with the proud Moroccan comedian Debbouze.In a video posted on his social media, Abid shared about his trip to the French capital. Having just landed at the airport, he found a supporter of #Maymkench2026 who agreed to drop him off at his hotel. After a night’s rest, the Moroccan activist met the French-Moroccan humor sensation near the Seine “to explain the project.”“I’m sorry I have a little asthma,” the actor of “Les indigènes” joked before giving his breath, symbolically inflating the hopes of Moroccans to host the World Cup in 2026. Debbouze then nominated an unexpected person to take on the challenge.After joking about nominating the late boxer Mohamed Ali, who Debbouze claims has “his number in heaven,” the humorist nominated another almost unreachable Mohamed.“I’ll name you someone less reachable: his majesty the king of Morocco. If he gives you his breath my brother, it’s not a ball that you will have, it’s a balloon!” said the 42-year-old artist.“King Mohammed VI! Jamel gave me the biggest challenge of my life,” Saad Abid told the camera.Debbouze also signed the ball which boasts signatures from Eto’o, Iniesta, RedOne, Gad Elmaleh, Pirlo, Achraf Hakimi, Lionel Messi, and more. Afterwards, Abid accompanied the native of Trappes in a film shoot, where he was able to find Gad Elmaleh, before following Jamel to the recording of an episode of the Burger Quiz, where he asked for the breath of French actor Jean Dujardin.Can Saad Abid take on the most difficult challenge of his adventure yet and score the King of Morocco’s support? To be continued … read more

Pot sector players welcome edibles tax change but unhappy medical tax remains

TORONTO — Cannabis industry players welcomed the change in the Federal Budget to tax edibles, extracts, oils and concentrates based on the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol rather than weight, as it could ease pricing for some products and potentially boost product availability.However, licensed producers and a patient advocacy group say they are disappointed that medical cannabis will continue to be taxed, despite a campaign calling on Ottawa to exempt patients.The Liberal government yesterday laid out its 2019 budget which proposed that cannabis edibles, extracts, topicals and oils — which will be legalized in the coming months — be subject to excise duties based on the total quantity of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, in the final product, rather than by weight of the cannabis used.Organigram’s chief executive officer Greg Engel says prices for some products depending on potency could relax, as consumers will now be paying for what is in the final product, not how it was produced.The Cannabis Council of Canada’s executive director says this change would also make it more financially viable for licensed producers to use low-grade, low-THC cannabis in their inventory that is not suitable for sale to produce edibles and other products once legalized.Allan Rewak added that under the old regime, licensed producers were disincentivized from utilizing this low-grade unfinished inventory, such as trim and shake, as it would require large volumes to yield enough THC and would be taxed accordingly.Patient advocacy group Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana says it appreciates the government’s move to reduce taxation on certain products, but basing taxation on THC content stigmatizes those who rely on the cannabinoid to treat conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and is “disappointed” that taxes remain on medical cannabis overall.The Canadian Press read more

Government Approves Draft Law on EUMorocco Fisheries Agreement

Rabat – In addition to the topics discussed during Thursday’s government council, Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani’s cabinet also adopted draft Law 14.19 to approve the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement.The government council also adopted the Protocol for the Implementation of the Agreement and the related exchange of letters.The protocol is an integral part of the agreement signed by Morocco and the EU on January 14. The government confirmed that the “Moroccan Saharan provinces are an integral part of the national territory where it exercises its full sovereignty as in the rest of the national territory” through the letters exchanged between the two parties, Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi told the press after the meeting.Read Also: Spain: Adoption of EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement is Decisive StepEl Khalfi said that the agreement is committed to “developing sustainable fishing in the fishing zone on the basis of the principle of non-discrimination between the different fleets present in these waters and aims to lay down the framework for a legal, environmental, economic and social governance of fishing activities carried out by the EU fleets.”The agreement covers the fishing area from parallel 35 to parallel 22, from Cap Spartel in northern Morocco to Cap Blanc in southern Morocco, including the waters off Western Sahara.It specifies the fishing zones and access conditions for EU vessels and increases the EU’s financial contribution from the previous agreement’s annual average of €40.0 million to €52.2 million. In addition to the fisheries agreement, the government council also adopted a draft law to approve an agreement to apply to products from Morocco’s southern provinces at the same tariff preferences as those covered by the EU-Morocco association agreement.The draft Law 10.19 approved the agreement in the form of an exchange of letters on the amendment of draft agreements number 2 and 4 of the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement, concluded on October 25 in Brussels. The agreement establishes an association between the European communities and their member states.El Khalfi said that the first draft agreement concerns the tariffs on products imported to the EU from Morocco, while the second concerns the definition of the concept of “sourced products” and administrative cooperation. read more

The Latest Company says damaged gasoline tank stable

HOUSTON — The Latest on fire damage at a petrochemical storage facility that led to a partial closure of the Houston Ship Channel (all times local):12:30 p.m.Officials say an emergency dike has been repaired and a damaged petrochemical tank stabilized during cleanup of leaking oil products that closed part of the Houston Ship Channel.Authorities are still trying to determine what caused a March 17 fire at Intercontinental Terminals Company’s Deer Park facility that damaged or destroyed several petrochemical tanks.ITC spokesman Brent Weber says some tanks leaked oil products and a containment area was breached Friday, but was fixed by Sunday.Weber says the company is no longer pumping flammable pyrolysis gasoline out of a damaged tank because that tank is now secured. He says it did not leak any pygas but that there was a risk of toxic fumes.The Coast Guard says a stretch of nearby Houston Ship Channel that closed Friday remains shut down with more than 50 vessels delayed.___11:45 a.m.Officials say efforts continue to drain a damaged tank that contains flammable gas following a massive fire at a Houston-area petrochemical complex, after other tanks leaked product prompting a partial closure of the Houston Ship Channel.Intercontinental Terminals Company says pumping began Saturday afternoon to extract about 20,000 barrels of pyrolysis gasoline, known as pygas, from the tank at the Deer Park facility. Vacuum trucks are removing other liquid from a ditch.A section of the Houston Ship Channel remains closed Sunday after products from other tanks at the facility leaked. Coast Guard Petty Officer Kelly Parker says the Guard hopes to reopen the waterway Monday morning.Parker says 52 vessels are waiting to move, but the channel won’t reopen until air and water quality has improved.___This story has been corrected to show the damaged tank is not leaking pygas and was not the reason for the closure of the Houston Ship Channel.The Associated Press read more

USTR Treasury defend Trump strategy on trade row with China

BEIJING — The U.S. Trade Representative and Treasury Department have issued a statement defending Washington’s strategy in its trade dispute with Beijing.The statement seen on the USTR’s website Tuesday said the U.S. was “disappointed” by a report China issued over the weekend that accused the American side of backtracking in negotiations.The two sides are in a stalemate after 11 rounds of talks over trade and technology issues that have led to both sides raising tariffs, among other retaliatory measures.The U.S. statement accused Beijing of playing a “blame game” and misconstruing the nature and background of the trade dispute.It said, “President Trump is committed to taking action to address the unfair trade practices that China has engaged in for decades, which have contributed to persistent and unsustainable trade deficits.”The Associated Press read more