Fisheries groups opposing Nova Scotia mills proposed effluent treatment plant

first_imgHALIFAX – Opposition is mounting against a plan by a kraft pulp mill in Nova Scotia to pump treated waste into the Northumberland Strait, with a group of Maritime fisheries organizations saying the effluent could harm marine life.The group, which includes the Pictou Landing First Nation in Nova Scotia, said the proposal from Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corp. could see the release of up to 90 million litres of effluent per day into the strait, posing a threat to fish species and protected areas along the coastline.The other members of the group include the Gulf Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board, the Maritime Fishermen’s Union, the Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association and the New Brunswick Fisheries Association.Under provincial legislation, Northern Pulp has until 2020 to replace its current effluent treatment plant in Boat Harbour near Pictou, N.S. — a deadline the company has said will be tough to meet.The group said other options should be explored, such as a land-based effluent treatment facility. They said rigorous scientific research is needed to assess the impact.“The provincial government is asking us to take 100 per cent of the risk. Our concern is what is in the effluent. What’s going to do to our fishery? What’s the construction of the pipe going to do to our fishery?” said Ron Heighton, president of the Gulf Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board.Local fishermen, Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq chiefs and Prince Edward Island Premier Wade MacLauchlan are among those who have voiced concerns about Northern Pulp’s plan, saying it could have unintended consequences for fisheries in the area.Kathy Cloutier, spokeswoman for Paper Excellence Canada, which owns Northern Pulp, said in an email statement that effluent has been flowing into the strait for 50 years, and the proposed drainage site is not far from the current one.“The new system will make it so that the treated effluent, in part due to planned in-mill improvements, will be of better quality with a smaller environmental footprint than what is currently in place,” Cloutier said.She said the company investigated its treatment options and determined it needed a drainage point to pump waste.“The bottom line is no pipe equals no mill,” she said.Cloutier added: “Scientific studies are being completed with rigour, and First Nations, community and stakeholder engagement is occurring throughout the study.”The mill in Abercrombie, N.S., announced plans for a new treatment plant in December and is to submit an environmental assessment to Nova Scotia’s Environment Department in July.According to the company’s plan, waste would be treated at a new facility near the mill using a system that would meet all federal environmental standards.The effluent would be carried by polyethylene pipe across Pictou Harbour and then released through six pipes into the strait.Nova Scotia’s deputy environment minister Frances Martin faced questions about the plan at a public accounts committee meeting last month. She said she made the decision to go with a Class 1 environmental assessment last June after Northern Pulp filed a project description with the department at the end of April.She said it was clear to her the project required a Class 1 assessment instead of the more lengthy Class 2 under provincial regulations. Martin said Class 2 assessments are used in cases of larger projects, such as the building of a petro-chemical plant or pulp mill.But Heighton said he would like to see a federal environmental assessment.“We need every bit of science so we can understand what’s going on,” said Heighton. “We cannot accept anything less.”— Follow (at)AlyThomson on Twitter.last_img read more

Read More →

In a record year the movie theatre strikes back

first_imgNEW YORK — The movie theatre was dead, they said. After ticket sales slumped in 2017 , due largely to the worst summer season in more than a decade, pundits far and wide predicted the hastening demise of moviegoing, an inevitable casualty to the rise of streaming.This year, the movies flipped the script.This weekend, as “Aquaman,” ”Bumblebee” and “Mary Poppins Returns” arrive in theatres, ticket sales will reach a new record for the year, passing the previous 2016 high of $11.4 billion. Driven in part by zeitgeist-grabbing cultural events like “Black Panther,” ”Crazy Rich Asians” and even documentaries like “Won’t You Be My Neighbour?” the box office is expected to end up around $11.8 billion for the year. The overall domestic gross is up nearly 9 per cent from last year; ticket sales are up about 6 per cent.And it’s not just in North America. Propelled by Chinese moviegoers, global ticket sales should, for the second time ever, exceed $40 billion. Saudi Arabia declared itself open for business to Hollywood, after more than 35 years without theatres. In the United Kingdom, cinemas are headed to their best year since 1971.“This year serves to confirm that the movie theatre business is strong and growing in the long term, even though it can be cyclical in the short term,” said John Fithian, president of the National Organization of Theater Owners, the trade organization known as NATO. “Last summer of 2017, when there just weren’t very many movies coming out that had any traction, we confronted the inevitable story about the impending death of the movie theatre business. And we said back then: It’s all about short-term product supply.”“We knew that once the movies came back, we would be fine,” said Fithian.Even in a year where “Star Wars” flopped, the hits have indeed returned, even if they’ve come from some predictable places. All of the year’s top 10 movies were either sequels, reboots or based on a comic book. Even this year’s Oscar front runner, “A Star Is Born” ($376.6 million worldwide and counting for Warner Bros.), is a remake. The top three films of the year — “Black Panther,” ”Avengers: Infinity War,” ”Incredibles 2″ — all come from market-leader Disney, which is also in the process of gobbling up 20th Century Fox.But there were some less likely hits, too. Mid-budgeted films like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” ”Halloween,” ”Creed II” and the year’s bestselling original movie, “A Quiet Place,” had a significant role in driving the record box office. For the first time ever, four documentaries — “RBG,” ”Free Solo,” ”Three Identical Strangers,” ”Won’t You Be My Neighbour” — each cleared $10 million. Surprise successes — a franchise-birthing “Spider-Man” spinoff (“Venom”), a well-reviewed “Transformers” movie (“Bumblebee”) — outnumbered the disappointments (“Skyscraper,” ”Robin Hood”).Above all, the movies were often in the centre of the cultural conversation, never more so than with the history-making “Black Panther,” which became the third-highest grossing domestic release ever ($700.1 million) not accounting for inflation.Hollywood executives say the year has demonstrated that 2017 was an aberration.“When the experts out there were talking about the end of theatrical moviegoing, I just didn’t buy that to begin with,” said Jim Orr, distribution chief for Universal Pictures, which had hits in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” ”The Grinch” and “Halloween.” ”It was just some scheduling moves that happened along with some movies that just underperformed. People want to go out. They want the social experience. They want to be in theatres. And we proved that exponentially this year.”The box-office rebound came in a year during which Netflix launched its most ambitious original movie slate, premiering some 70 new films. Though Netflix this fall relented to a degree by playing three of its films (“Roma,” ”The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” and “Bird Box”) exclusively in theatres before premiering on its streaming service, Netflix and exhibitors remain at odds over the benefits of the traditional theatrical window.Yet there is a growing sense that Netflix may not be public enemy No. 1 for movie theatres, after all. In 2018, Netflix has gained millions of subscribers, just as movie theatres have surged. Co-existence is possible. Last month, a NATO survey found that 33 per cent of moviegoers who see nine or more movies a year also spend 15 hours per week on streaming platforms.“We have maintained for years that streaming in the home is not taking away from the moviegoing experience,” said Fithian. “If anything, streaming in the home is damaging other forms of home entertainment. Cable television, for example. DVD sales, for example.”Streaming will only be more omnipresent in 2019, when Disney and Warner Bros. are set to debut their own Netflix-like services. But both studios remain resolutely devoted to exhibition and in releasing some of their biggest releases in traditional slow periods on the calendar. The year’s biggest movie, “Black Panther,” opened in February. Three of Warner Bros.’ top performers — “The Meg,” ”Crazy Rich Asians” and “The Nun” — benefited from the typically quiet dog-days of summer.“There were some really good movies that were spread out through the year,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. distribution chief. “That’s the real takeaway: Make good movies, people will come.”But disruption is still at the door. Subscription services remade the moviegoing experience, led by the swift rise and fall of MoviePass, which took credit for the box-office revival before its inexpensive pricing structure proved unsustainable. MoviePass ran out of cash, repeatedly revamped its business model and descended into chaos, lawsuits and even a fraud investigation.The box office still chugged along (Fithian calls MoviePass’ impact “overblown”) and other subscription services (notably one by AMC , the world’s largest chain) entered the fray.Other threats to the movie theatre loom. When Disney’s acquisition of Fox is made official, there will be one less major studio in Hollywood. Further consolidation is expected, something Fithian grants “poses a challenge” for exhibitors that depend on a steady supply of movies. But he pointed to others that have picked up the slack: STX, Annapurna, A24, Bleecker St., Amazon and Apple, which last month partnered with A24 for a slate of films.Whether 2019 will continue the box-office trend or see a repeat of last year will come down, as it always does, to the movies. Analysts are bullish, predicting another record-setting year thanks to a Disney-heavy lineup including sure-fire blockbusters “Avengers: Endgame,” ”Captain Marvel,” ”Frozen 2″ and “Star Wars: Episode IX.”“On paper, that year is going to make this year look like small potatoes,” says Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore.Of course, similar predictions were made for 2017, too. That’s the problem with movie scripts. They can always be rewritten.___AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr contributed to this report.___Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAPJake Coyle, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Read More →

Watchdog group urges probe of Ivanka Trump tax break role

first_imgWASHINGTON — A watchdog group is asking the Justice Department to investigate whether President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka violated federal conflict-of-interest law by her key role in promoting an Opportunity Zone tax break program from which she could potentially benefit.The complaint from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington follows an Associated Press investigation last month. The AP found that, as White House aides, Trump and her husband Jared Kushner both backed the Opportunity Zones program, which could financially benefit the couple.Kushner owns a $25 million to $50 million stake in Cadre, a real estate platform has announced plans to invest in several cities under the Opportunity Zones program.The CREW complaint says that, under the law, Kushner’s financial interests are considered of value to Ivanka Trump.Stephen Braun, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Read More →

Fort St John Schools taking part in Classroom Champions Program

first_img“During the holiday season, giving back is often top of mind. We are so thankful for the ongoing investment and generosity of PETRONAS Canada and our athletes as they continue to invest in helping local kids get better and better through the Classroom Champions program.”Canadian Olympic skeleton racer, Mirela Rahneva, is paired with four elementary schools in Fort St. John and Hudson’s Hope to virtually mentor students and to inspire them in areas like goal setting, perseverance, teamwork and giving back to the community.Over the past six years, Classroom Champions has mentored over 35,000 students across North America. Athletes use video lessons, live video chats and social media to develop social-emotional skills through Classroom Champions’ Scaled Mentorship program which makes a measurable difference with students, teachers, classrooms and mentors.For more information on this program, you can visit classroomchampions.org FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Classrooms from across Fort St. John are teaming up with elite athletes for the Classroom Champions Program.Classroom Championships, in partnership with PETRONAS Canada, is dedicated to partnering with teachers to connect low socio-economic students with world-class athlete mentors to support students in academic, social and emotional learning.Steve Mesler, Olympic Gold Medalist and Co-Founder & CEO of Classroom Champions, says he is grateful for the continued support from PETRONAS Canada and the athletes in providing this program to local school children.last_img read more

Read More →

Snowfall warnings remain in place and expand into Alberta and Fort Nelson

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The snowfall warning issued Friday for the B.C. Peace and Pine Pass remains in place, but has also been expanded into Alberta and Fort Nelson.Fort St. John and the rest of the B.C. Peace is expected to see heavy snow today with total amounts ranging from 10 to 15 cm.A low-pressure system will cross the region today. Heavy snow is expected to develop early this morning.  The wind will gust up to 60km/h Saturday afternoon causing temperatures to feel more like minus 26. Fort Nelson is expected to receive 5 cm today as the heavy amounts remain to the south. The snow will ease this afternoon as the low moves into Alberta.The Pine Pass could see up to 25 cm of snow.Before you head out on area highways, visit www.drivebc.ca or 511.alberta.ca for current road conditions and highway cameras.For more information on weather warnings where you live, click here.last_img read more

Read More →

HC upholds cancellation of LS poll in Vellore

first_imgChennai: The Madras High Court Wednesday upheld the Election Commission’s decision cancelling the election in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore Lok Sabha constituency.A bench of justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad dismissed petitions filed by AIADMK-led alliance candidate in the constituency, A C Shanmugham, and an Independent, K Sugumar, seeking to set aside the order cancelling the election which was slated for Thursday. The EC had on Tuesday cancelled the polls in Vellore — one of the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state — over allegations of excess use of money power. President Ram Nath Kovind had rescinded the notification to hold election to the seat based on an EC recommendation after “black money” worth Rs 11.53 crore, allegedly linked to DMK candidate Kathir Anand, was seized by the Income Tax Department on the intervening night of March 29-30. When the petitions were taken up for urgent hearing, the counsel for the EC submitted a report in a sealed cover to the court. Citing a Supreme Court verdict in its order, the bench said, “Legislatures are no Prophets, but pragmatic. Hence, comprehensive provisions have been made in Art 324 of the Constitution to take care of surprise situations.” The bench also said the EC, which has the power to issue notification for conducting polls, also has the power to recommend cancellation if it has arrived at the view that it is necessary to countermand it. The EC, after going through various reports of the Income Tax Authorities, Special Observers for Expenditure had come to the conclusion that there was enough material to cancel the election, it said. The commission informed the court that the cash was packed in covers with names and slips with details of whom it was to be paid to, the bench noted. Senior counsel Satish Parasaran, appearing for Shanmugham, contended the cancellation of the election due to seizure of cash allegedly linked to the DMK candidate was illegal, arbitrary and disproportionate. Referring to Section 8A of the Representation of the People Act, he argued appropriate remedy in cases of corrupt practices was disqualification of the concerned candidate and not countermanding the election as a whole in the constituency. The legislature in its wisdom had envisaged countermanding or adjournment of elections only in such cases as law and order violations and natural disasters and not in cases of corrupt practices, he added. The Union Law Ministry, which issued the order, and the President, who rescinded the notification, have no such powers after the announcement of the elections, Parasaran contended.last_img read more

Read More →

Libya militias say they have left Tripoli

first_imgTRIPOLI- Libyan militias including two groups from the western city of Zintan have withdrawn from the capital in response to public pressure nearly a week after deadly violence, they said Thursday.The Al-Qaaqa Brigade said it had handed back to the authorities a site it had occupied and pulled out of the city with its weapons and vehicles, including tanks.Brigade commander Othman Mligta, a civilian, told AFP members of the group include military-registered border guards. “They are leaving from here and will head for their posts on the southern frontier,” he said.Another Zintan-based group, the Sawaek Brigade which is one of the most heavily armed units that battled dictator Moamer Kadhafi, also said it was pulling out.It said it was leaving the premises of a Kadhafi-founded organisation that it had occupied since rebels advanced into the capital in August 2011.On Tuesday, the government announced plans to remove militias from Tripoli and eventually integrate them into the security forces, after a weekend of deadly clashes between militiamen and residents.Prime Minister Ali Zeidan attended Thursday’s pullout by the Sawaek Brigade, and thanked the groups for complying with the government announcement.“The decision to evacuate armed groups from the capital will apply to all factions without exception,” he said.The Misrata militia, which was at the heart of the weekend violence in which 46 people died and some 500 were wounded, had already started pulling out of Tripoli on Monday at the behest of community leaders in their coastal city.Former rebels helped topple and kill Kadhafi in 2011, but have since banded into militias carving their own fiefdoms, each with its own ideology and regional allegiance.The unrest, the deadliest in Tripoli since the uprising, erupted on Friday when demonstrators protesting against militias in the Gharghour neighbourhood were fired upon from villas occupied by the Misrata fighters, who killed several of them.Rival militiamen then swept in, sparking clashes that continued until Saturday.The Misrata brigade saw some of the heaviest fighting during the uprising against Kadhafi, when their city was besieged by regime forces.But many such groups have rejected government calls to lay down their arms or integrate into the armed forces, triggering the frustration of Libyans who once hailed them as heroes for toppling Kadhafi.An Islamist militia that had run a prison facility at Tripoli’s Mitiga airbase also announced it was leaving the site.last_img read more

Read More →

El Khayat Likely to Face Imprisonment or Dismissal

Fez – Television host Amany El Khayat continues to face repercussions for her incendiary remarks concerning Morocco. Moroccan press has reported that the board of ONTV substituted Mrs El Khayat with young animator Ramy Radwane for the program ‘Sabah TV’, customarily hosted by El Khayat.Akhbar Lyaoum newspaper has reported that Moroccans’ political and social discomfort following the Egyptian TV host’s attack on Morocco has placed pressure on ONTV channel to make urgent decisions to alleviate tensions between Morocco and Egypt. Moroccan Diplomacy is said to have brought El Khayat’s case to court after the Egyptian journalist labelled Morocco a leading country in prostitution, AIDS, and political corruption. Moroccan activists, especially on social networks, have been calling for punishment for the Egyptian channel and its presenter.Assabah reported that the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs held a meeting with Egyptian press editors to warn them against ruining Egypt’s close bilateral relations with Morocco. Similarly, Egyptian Ambassador to Morocco Ahmad Ehab Jamal Eddine expressed his respect for Morocco and its monarch and his pride of the good relations Egypt has with the Kingdom.Egypt’s latest actions revealed that the government has asked media to ‘repair’ what El Khayat has spoiled with her emotional anti-Morocco statements.Meanwhile, Amany El Khayat is being put on leave from ONTV until the case is closed. The same sources report that Morocco’s official move may be to demand El Khayat’s arrest for her baseless accusations of Morocco.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

Read More →

Natural gas fields give Israel a regional political boost

JERUSALEM — The discovery of natural gas fields off Israel’s coast along the Mediterranean Sea has given the country a geopolitical boost with its neighbours.It’s tightened relations with Arab allies and built new bridges in a historically hostile region — even without significant progress toward peace with the Palestinians.Last week’s inclusion of Israel into the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum in Cairo — a consortium aiming to cut infrastructure costs and lower prices — marked the first time Arab countries accepted the Jewish state into such a regional alliance, sparking excitement in Israel that its long-held hope of finally also making “economic peace” with Egypt and Jordan was fast approaching.The forum, which also includes Cyprus, Greece, Italy and the Palestinian Authority, aims to emerge as a mini-OPEC of sorts.Aron Heller, The Associated Press read more

Read More →

Super Bowl ads offer simple escapism with star power

NEW YORK — Star power abounds in this year’s Super Bowl ads.Sarah Michelle Gellar, for instance, is making a horror movie parody for Olay, while Jeff Bridges revives his “The Dude” character from “The Big Lebowski” in a pitch for Stella Artois.Advertisers are hoping to provide some welcome distraction as economic fears persist and the nation’s political climate remains sharply divided.As much as Sunday’s Super Bowl will be a battle between players on the field, it will be a battle between advertisers over who gets the buzz — and who gets forgotten.The stakes are high. A 30-second Super Bowl ad can cost more than $5 million. More than 100 million people in the U.S. are expected to tune in to Sunday’s game on CBS.Mae Anderson, The Associated Press read more

Read More →

Authorities Seize Chicken Droppings In Khenifra

Rabat – Authorities discovered large amounts of poultry droppings used to fatten up herds on a breeding farm near Aguelmous in the Khenifra province.In the fight against the usage of chicken excretions as livestock feed, headed by Morocco’s Minister of Agriculture, authorities seized copious amounts of droppings from a farm located at Aït Saîd Aït Amii, in the commune of Aguelmous in the Khenifra province, reported the Moroccan daily newspaper Al-Massae on April 16.As Aid Al-Adha draws nearer, the question of how to fatten herds has become even more relevant, seeing as after Ramadan, many goats, camels, and sheep will be sacrificed and eaten. According to Al-Massae, the commission that seized the chicken droppings was comprised of the Caid of Aguelmous, representatives of the Royal Gendarmerie, Auxiliary Forces, the Delegation of the Ministry of Health, the Dictorate of the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Chief of Veterinary Services in Khenifra. Together, they searched the farms’ stables and stores. There, they found 50 25-kilogram bags of chicken poop in the same area where the conventional feed was being stored. This was in addition to another 30 bags that were uncovered in other locations around the farm. Al-Massae reported that members of the commission alerted the prosecution, and that a further investigation has been opened. The bags of droppings were seized by the officials, with the prosecution’s express permission.The discovery of the farm’s droppings bags has put the Minister of Health in a tight spot with the National Office for Food Safety (ONSSA). The campaign against the use of “animal waste” for herd nourishment has become very critical in recent years, as it affects the health of those consuming meat. read more

Read More →

La Mamounia in Marrakech Best Urban Hotel in the World

Rabat – The prestigious hotel la Mamounia of Marrakech has been awarded “Best Urban Hotel in the World” in the Spanish version of UK travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler.Managing Director Pierre Jochem received the award Thursday, May 10, during the 10th ceremony of “Traveler 2018 Awards.”The hotel has won numerous awards since it reopened in 2009. The award confirms la Mamounia’s position as the flagship of the Moroccan hotel industry. La Mamounia was built in 1923 but received a makeover at the hands of French designer Jacques Garcia in 2009.In traditional Moroccan style, complete with intricate patterns and arabesques based on Berber and Arab-Andalusian architecture, la Mamounia is set in royal gardens, marked by Moorish opulence. The hotel, situated near the famous Jamaa El Fna Square has 209 rooms (including 71 suites), gardens, a spa with hammams (Moroccan traditional baths), and three riads.In 2016, the British newspaper The Independent ranked la Mamounia’s garden  the fourth best garden retreat in the world.In 2015, the hotel was ranked the world’s best hotel in Conde Nast Traveller’s annual reader poll.La Mamounia’s spa was named the world’s best hotel spa by the same magazine in 2011, Hotel of the Year in 2010 by Tatler Travel Guide, and Best Resort in 2010 by Travel and Leisure. read more

Read More →

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Down three cents, or 0.32 per cent, to $9.47 on 26.8 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Energy. Down six cents, or 0.74 per cent, to $8.06 on 11 million shares.Aphria Inc. (TSX:APHA). Health care. Up 88 cents, or 7.91 per cent, to $12 on 9.9 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Up two cents, or one per cent, to $2.02 on 8.8 million shares.Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB). Energy. Down $1.06, or 2.19 per cent, to $47.24 on 8.7 million shares.Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Up 36 cents, or 1.73 per cent, to $21.15 on 4.8 million shares. The Canadian Press Companies reporting:Shopify Inc. (TSX:SHOP). Up $2.54 or 1.1 per cent to $232.37. Shopify’s loss narrowed in the fourth quarter as it began powering provincial and private marijuana e-commerce offerings and continued its push to grow its merchant base. The e-commerce software company reported Tuesday a fourth-quarter loss of US$1.5 million compared with a loss of US$3 million in the same quarter a year earlier. The quarter was the first to include the legal sale of recreational cannabis in Canada. Molson Coors Brewing Co. (TSX:TPX.B). Down $5.10 or 5.8 per cent to $82.90. Molson Coors plans to continue focusing on offering more premium and innovative drinks, including a soon-to-be launched line of cannabis-infused beverages, as it grapples with declining beer demand in North America. The company must accelerate premiumization of its portfolio and innovation agenda, CEO Mark Hunter said during a conference call with analysts Tuesday. Some of the company’s innovation efforts, including cannabis-infused beverages. The company also restated its financial results for 2016 and 2017 due to income tax accounting errors.DHX Media Ltd. (TSX:DHX). Down 33 cents or 13.25 per cent to $2.16. DHX Media reported a $17.9-million loss attributable to its shareholders for its second quarter, as a change in foreign exchange rates affected the carrying value of its debt and revenue fell. The loss amounted to 13 cents per share for the three months ended Dec. 31, which compared with a year-earlier profit of $7.4 million or six cents per share. Revenue fell four per cent to $117.0 million from $121.9 million in last year’s comparable quarter. Some of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,642.10, up 73.25). read more

Read More →

Desert Design Berber Carpets Added to Museum Collection in Marrakech

Rabat – The Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) Museum in Marrakech has announced that its new exhibition, “Desert Design,” will showcase the “incredible talent of Berber weavers.”The exhibition, which will run from June 16 to October 8, will feature 30 rugs woven by women of the Aït Khebbach tribe, from the easternmost region of Morocco.The vibrancy and patterns of the rugs, as well as the recycled material used to make them, “bear witness to the remarkable creativity of these Berber weavers, and contrast with the harsh and desolate environment in which they live,” said the YSL Museum in a statement. The YSL museum, next to the famed Majorelle Garden that once belonged to Yves Saint Laurent, opened its doors in 2017. As well as housing a permanent exhibition hall displaying the works of Yves Saint Laurent, the museum also houses a hall for temporary exhibitions, where the “Desert Design” exhibition will be on display.Arnaud Maurieres, the co-curator of the exhibition, explained in the statement how the ‘Desert Design” came to be. “In December 2010, we were exploring the eastern Moroccan desert, a vast plain devoid of trees, shadows, and water. It was there, in the middle of nowhere, that we came upon two modest earthen structures: the home of our guide, Lahcen, and his family,” Maurieres explained.“Nine people lived within the walls; there was nothing in the unpainted interior that resembled furniture. The only thing we noticed was a pile of rugs in the corner of one of the rooms.”“As they were unfolded to welcome us, the floor suddenly seemed dappled with vibrant colors, which astounded us. Lahcen told us that all the women of his tribe wove such rugs, and asked if we wanted to meet them. It was how our adventure began.”Moroccan designer Younes Duret is to credit for the design of the exhibition. The second co-curator, along with Arnaud Maurieres, is Christine Bouilloc.Bouilloc is the director of the Musee Bargoin de Clermont-Ferrand in Clermont Auvergne Metropole, France,  which is cosponsoring the exhibition. The exhibition will travel to the Musee Bargoin de Clermont-Ferrand after Marrakech, and be on display there from 2 November 2019 through 5 April 2020.Read also: Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech Wins 2018 ‘AFEX’ for its Architecture read more

Read More →

What Next EU gives UK an extension but impasse remains

LONDON — Following the decision early Thursday by the European Union to delay the U.K.’s departure for a second time, not much is clear about Brexit bar the certainty that the divisions in British society and in Parliament will remain.The so-called “flextension” until Oct. 31 given to Britain to approve a Brexit withdrawal agreement will require the country to hold elections for the European Parliament on May 23 — provided the withdrawal agreement hasn’t been passed by lawmakers.Few think that’s going to be likely after Prime Minister Theresa May saw the deal she agreed with the EU voted down by lawmakers on three occasions this year.The extension at least provides more time for May to break the logjam, though it could easily just prolong the national agony. European Council President Donald Tusk acknowledged as much when he delivered a message to Britain: “Please do not waste this time.”A look at what could happen next:MAY’S MARKETING CAMPAIGNFor two years, May pledged that Britain would leave the EU on March 29, 2019. But this is the second time she has been forced to agree to a delay.The prime minister addressed the House of Commons Thursday afternoon and urged members to use the upcoming Easter break to “reflect on the decisions that will have to be made” in search of compromise.She said that if talks with Labour do not lead to a plan both sides could back, then the government would ask Parliament to vote on a small number of options. She said the government would agree to accept the decisions and that the opposition would have to agree to that as well.May stressed that Britain can still leave the EU without taking part in the European Parliament elections if lawmakers approve her deal by May 22.May has in recent months failed to sway many hard-line Brexiteers in her party partly because of deep opposition to provision in the withdrawal agreement about making sure the border between EU member Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, remains seamless.It remains to be seen whether her pleas win anyone over. Many of them find the prospect of Britain participating in the European elections unpalatable, given that it will be almost three years since Britain voted to leave the EU.___CROSS-PARTY COMPROMISEHaving failed to win enough support from her own Conservative Party, May last week began negotiations with the opposition Labour Party.Labour favours a softer Brexit than the government’s plan and is seeking a close economic relationship with the bloc through a customs union. That’s anathema to many Conservatives, who say it would prevent Britain from striking its own trade deals with countries like the United States, China and India.Several days of talks have failed to produce a breakthrough. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says the government hasn’t been willing to compromise on its “red lines.”Still, the negotiations are set to continue.___LET PARLIAMENT DECIDEIf the talks fail, May says she will let Parliament vote on a variety of Brexit alternatives, including the government’s proposed deal, in hope something can command a majority.A so-called “soft Brexit” might get through Parliament and would be welcomed by the EU, allowing Britain an orderly departure before Oct. 31.But it could also blast open rifts within both the Conservative and Labour parties. Pro-Brexit government ministers could resign, increasing pressure on May to quit. The prime minister has already said she will resign if her Brexit deal is approved and Britain leaves the EU, but rivals are circling.Corbyn, meanwhile, would face rebellion from the large number of Labour lawmakers who want a new referendum on Britain’s departure from the EU.___NEW PRIME MINISTERThe pressure on May is increasing, with hard-line Brexit supporters criticizing the prime minister for twice begging the EU to delay Britain’s departure and many mainstream Conservatives suggesting she has failed to build consensus.If May were to resign, the Conservative Party would elect a new leader who would become prime minister. Front-runners include Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and his predecessor Boris Johnson, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab.Labour is pushing for a general election that could bring it to power for the first time since 2010.Conservatives hope to avoid such an outcome amid fears the Brexit stalemate will lead to an electoral wipeout that would open the door for what they see as Corbyn’s damaging left-wing policies.___NO DEALAs it stands, the next Brexit cliff-edge is Oct. 31.Most politicians, economists and business groups think leaving the world’s largest trading bloc without an agreement would be damaging for the EU but disastrous for the U.K. It could lead to tariffs on trade between Britain and the EU, customs checks that could cause gridlock at ports and shortages of essential goods.Many pro-Brexit lawmakers dismiss such warnings and say Britain should be prepared to leave without a deal and then wring concessions from the EU. But Parliament has voted repeatedly to rule out “no-deal,” and even passed a law that forces the government to ask for delay rather than crash out.But a ‘no-deal’ Brexit is still the legal default and could happen if lawmakers fail to reach a compromise and the EU refuses to grant another extension. If that happens the only way to stop Britain crashing out would be for the government to choose the “nuclear option” and revoke the decision to leave.___NO BREXITAmong pro-EU Britons, there are rising hopes that Brexit can be stopped.With one Brexit day gone and another following, the government has lost control of the timetable.Support is growing for the idea that any Brexit deal agreed by Parliament should be put to the public in a “confirmatory referendum,” with the other option being to stay in the EU. The proposal is backed by many in Labour and other opposition parties, plus some of May’s Conservatives.The government has ruled out holding another referendum, saying voters made their decision in 2016. But with divisions in both Parliament and the Cabinet, handing the decision back to the people could be seen as the only way forward.___Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit at: https://www.apnews.com/BrexitDanica Kirka And Jill Lawless, The Associated Press read more

Read More →

Moroccos Mawazine Festival A Celebration of Openness and Respect

Rabat – Over the years, Morocco’s Mawazine music festival has included more and more musicians from around the globe – as its eighteenth edition nears it continues to foster tolerance and respect of other cultures.Even as the festival has evolved overtime, it holds true to its long-standing goal to “democratize culture.” The festival exposes as many people to different cultures as possible and, to nearly everyone, for free.The Mawazine Festival-Rhythms of the World began in 2001 under direction from King Mohammed VI to encourage cultural tolerance, openness, respect and dialogue. Read Also: Mawazine 2019: Aya Nakamura, Travis Scott, and Migos Added to LineupMaroc Cultures Association, also created in 2001, is a non-profit organization in charge of providing cultural experiences throughout Morocco – the Mawazine Festival and the youth music contest, Generation Mawazine are its main events.More than half of Mawazine’s lineup is dedicated to Moroccan artists and it has historically served as a “springboard” for Moroccan musicians, granting local artists a global platform to share their work.Mawazine also features music from throughout Africa, the MENA region, and around the globe.  Over time, the festival has become more international, hosting well-known artists from around the world like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and The Weekend.The popular international artists included in the lineup have served as ambassadors to Mawazine, drawing greater international attention to the event, Maroc Cultures Association president Abdeslam Ahizoune said in a written statement.Collaborations between international and local artists, like the 2011 Arabic re-release of American Quincy Jones “Tomorrow” co-directed with the Moroccan producer RedOne, adds to the cultural mixing pot that characterizes Mawazine.While the festival directly supports Morocco’s entertainment industry, it has also boosted Morocco’s economy, generating 22 percent growth in Rabat’s tourism throughout the nine days of music.The association is committed to making culture accessible to everyone and 90 percent of the festival’s 2.5 million attendees go for free.As Mawazine draws foreigners to Rabat to listen live, an additional 4 million people worldwide watch broadcast content from the nearly 600 national journalists and 160 international journalists in attendance.“The media popularity is also accompanied by a presence increasingly noticed on social networks, a sign that the festival brings together youth around an ideal that is common to us: growing together and overcoming differences,” Ahizoune said.This year’s festival will run from June 21st through the 29th and take place across six stages throughout Rabat and its neighboring regions. read more

Read More →

Sahrawi Activists Health Deteriorating in PolisarioManaged Prison

Rabat – The families of the three opposition activists jailed in Edhibia prison have warned that the condition of their relatives is deteriorating. The three activists have been on a hunger strike for two weeks to condemn their arbitrary detention.Members of the Polisario Front arrested the activists in June when they were participating in protests against human rights violations in the Tindouf camps.Pro-Polisario news outlet Futuro Sahara reported that Moulay Aba Bouzid and Mahmoud Zidan’s health is deteriorating due to their continuous hunger strike for “the arbitrary detention and the delays in bringing them to trial.” Moulay Aba, according to the source, is suffering from pain in his left side.Read Also: Second Sahrawi Activist Joins Hunger, Water Strike to Protest Polisario’s ViolationsThe prison doctor warned  Mahmoud Zidan that the hunger strike may result in kidney failure. The families of the detainees said that the Polisario Front should bear all the responsibility for the detainee’s health conditions.In July, the activists condemned the serious violations committed by members of the Polisario Front.One of the activists told his family that he spent 36 hours in a secret prison before he was transferred to a prison in Rabouni.Polisario also used a blindfold while they were interrogating the three activists.“We were then transferred to the Edhabia prison,” he said. The activist described the conditions of detention in the Edhabia prison as “miserable.”On July 16, Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned  Polisario’s use of arbitrary arrests and torture.HRW also called for the immediate release of the three activists. read more

Read More →

Initial public offerings scheduled to debut next week

NEW YORK — The following is a list of initial public offerings planned for the coming week. Sources include IPO ETF manager Renaissance Capital, and SEC filings.Week of May 20.Bicycle Therapeutics – Cambridge, United Kingdom, 4.3 million shares, priced $14-$16, managed by Goldman Sachs/Jefferies. Proposed Nasdaq symbol BCYC. Business: Phase 1 biotech developing novel oncology medicines based on bicyclic peptides.GX Acquisition – New York, 25 million shares, priced at $10, managed by Cantor Fitzerald. Proposed Nasdaq symbol GXGXU. Business: Blank check company led by the managing partners of Trimaran Capital Partners.IDEAYA Biosciences – San Francisco, 5 million shares, priced $13-$15, managed by JP Morgan/Citi. Business: Phase 1 biotech developing targeted therapies for genetically-defined cancers.Peloton Therapeutics – Dallas, 9.4 million shares, priced $15-$17, managed by JP Morgan/Citi. Proposed Nasdaq PLTX. Business: Phase 2 biotech developing small-molecule HIF-2a inhibitors for kidney cancer.Rattler Midstream LP – Midland, Texas, 33.3 million shares, priced $16-$19, managed by Credit Suisse/BofA Merrill Lynch. Proposed Nasdaq symbol RTLR. Business: Oil and gas midstream services unit being spun of Diamondback.The Associated Press read more

Read More →

Fed likely to leave rates alone but signal readiness to cut

WASHINGTON — Jerome Powell has tantalized the financial world with the prospect that the Federal Reserve he leads may soon cut interest rates for the first time in over a decade.Probably not quite yet, though.When the Fed issues a policy statement Wednesday and Powell holds a news conference, the message will likely echo the theme the chairman struck in a speech early this month: That the Fed will act if it thinks the Trump administration’s trade conflicts are threatening the U.S. economy.Powell’s remarks were seen as a signal that the Fed will likely cut rates later this year, and the stock market surged in response.Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press read more

Read More →

UNESCO joins forces with Belgian tennis ace to encourage sporting values

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is teaming up next week with the world’s top female tennis player, Belgium’s Justine Henin, to promote sporting values such as fair play and honesty and to warn of the dangers of using performance-enhancing drugs.The agency is taking part in the Paris Stade Français Youth Tennis Open – BNP Paribas Cup, an international tournament for players aged 13 or 14 years that starts on Monday at the Stade Français tennis club in Paris.At a village set up at the tournament site, UNESCO will conduct a series of educational workshops, interactive games and other activities that will be open to the young players and also to parents and coaches. The workshops will focus on doping in sports and on the importance of developing good values, particularly team spirit, integrity and mutual respect.On Monday, Ms. Henin – who won the BNP Paribas Cup herself in 1996 – will speak to the junior players about doping in sports and sporting ethics. The 25-year-old, the number-one ranked player in the world and the winner of six Grand Slam titles during her career, reached the semi-finals of the women’s singles event at Wimbledon this week.This is the fifth year that UNESCO has been involved in the running of the tournament, which is expected to bring together teenage tennis stars from more than 60 countries. 6 July 2007The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is teaming up next week with the world’s top female tennis player, Belgium’s Justine Henin, to promote sporting values such as fair play and honesty and to warn of the dangers of using performance-enhancing drugs. read more

Read More →