Bill Clinton To Be Honored At Father Of The Year Awards

first_imgThe National Father’s Day Council has announced that Mark K. Shriver, Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Save the Children, will host the 72nd Annual Father of the Year Awards.The luncheon will take place at the Grand Hyatt New York Hotel on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 12 p.m. For tickets and sponsorship information, please contact the Council office at 212-594-5977 or visit, the Council announced that the 2013 “Father of the Year” Honorees will include President Bill Clinton, Founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States, Terry J. Lundgren, Chairman, President and CEO of Macy’s, Inc., and GQ and the Sani Family Foundation’s “All-Star” Dad, Major Jackson Drumgoole II.“We are thrilled to have Mark Shriver, past ‘Father of the Year’ honoree and host, return to serve as Master of Ceremonies at our 72nd Annual Father of the Year Awards,” said Dan Orwig, Chairman of the National Father’s Day Committee, and VP, Group Director Men’s Division Itochu Prominent. “Mark Shriver’s philanthropic efforts helped improve the lives of 240,000 children and families across the country last year alone. He is a true inspiration to fathers everywhere, from his dedication to Save the Children to his passion and love for his family.”Mr. Shriver developed Save the Children’s early childhood development, literacy and health programs in the United States, which benefit children living in some of the country’s most impoverished regions. Mr. Shriver also created Save the Children’s domestic emergency programs to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children before, during, and after disaster strikes. He led a national coalition that convinced Congress to create the National Commission on Children and Disasters and was appointed to the Commission by Senator Harry Reid (D-NV). He was elected chairperson by his fellow commissioners and served in that role for the life of the Commission (2008-2011).He was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1994 to 2002. In 1988, Mr. Shriver founded the innovative Choice Program, which serves delinquent and at-risk youth through intensive, community-based counseling. Mr. Shriver subsequently created The Choice Jobs Program, Inc., a private non-profit that trains, places and supports former Choice clients in jobs, as well as The Choice Middle Schools Program, a model for keeping at-risk middle school children in school.Mr. Shriver received his B.A. from The College of the Holy Cross in 1986 and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University in 1993. He has also received honorary degrees from Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland and from The College of the Holy Cross.Mr. Shriver has written a New York Times and Washington Post best-selling memoir titled, “A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver,” which was published in June 2012 and was the recipient of the 2013 Christopher Award. He resides in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife, Jeanne, and their three children, Molly, Tommy, and Emma.As part of its commitment to support meaningful philanthropies dealing with issues affecting mothers, fathers and children, the National Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council, Inc. has donated more than $35 million to date to meaningful charities nationwide.last_img read more

Holidays did little to slow Idle No More in Maritimes

first_imgBy Tim FontaineAPTN National NewsHALIFAX – The holiday season did little to slow the growth of the Idle No More movement in the Maritimes with demonstrations, round dances and group fasts taking place across the region.On Christmas Eve, the Elsipogtog First Nation wrapped up a four day “information traffic slowdown” of Hwy. 11 in New Brunswick.The RCMP monitored the slowdown but the event was peaceful and there were no reports of any incidents.Hundreds of Mi’kmaq and Maliseet with hand drums took to shopping malls in Dartmouth, N.S. and Fredericton, N.B. to participate in what is now being called the “round dance revolution.”And over the next four days, as many as 200 people will fast in solidarity with Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence who has been on a hunger strike for over two weeks.People from across Nova Scotia are participating in the solidarity fast but the majority are from two Mi’kmaq communities, Eskasoni and Millbrook.Eskasoni Chief Leroy Denny has joined the fast and is camped with community members in an area of the First Nation called Goat Island.Mi’kmaq chiefs say they’re considering taking legal action against the federal government over Bill C-45, the omnibus budget bill which became law in mid-December.The chiefs say Bill C-45 threatens the Mi’kmaq right to harvest fish for food, removes environmental protections on their traditional territory and strips the Crown of its duty to consult with First @anishinaboylast_img read more

Police help Pikangikum youth build safer community

first_imgWillow FiddlerAPTN NewsOntario Provincial Police Sgt. Chris Amell is spending his Saturday morning knocking on doors in Pikangikum First Nation.“I’m here for your granddaughters,” he tells one person who answers.Having the police come to your door isn’t always good news.But Amell is not driving a police cruiser nor is he taking anyone to jail.In fact, he’s hoping to prevent that from happening – by picking up youth participants who need a ride to an event coordinated by Project Journey.“From a policing perspective although it’s not answering calls for service, it’s an investment so that we don’t have to answer calls for service,” he says.Amell has worked in Pikangikum since 2007.He’s been running Project Journey since it started in 2013.“A response to a lot of the tragedies that were occurring back in 2007 to 2009, there was a high rate of suicide and the police felt we were in a position to do more in terms of supporting the community to help overcome some of those challenges,” Amell tells APTN News.“When they’re given the opportunities to make healthy choices they… make healthy choices”The five-year project funded by Public Safety aims to reduce youth crime and solvent abuse in the remote First Nation. The program, delivered by the Ontario Provincial Police, is scheduled to end this year.Amell says Project Journey provides positive alternatives for the youth — who make up a large portion of the community.“When they’re given the opportunities to make healthy choices they almost 100 per cent of the time choose to make healthy choices,” he says.Pikangikum is about 500 km northwest of Thunder Bay and is only accessible by plane and boat.The community has a population of about 2,400 — and 97 per cent of the community speaks fluent Anishinaabemowin or Ojibway – and is the first language there.Pikangikum has struggled with social issues like suicides and addiction.“It gives the youth a lot of opportunities and more experiences in life”The chief coroner conducted a review after 16 suicides occurred between 2006 – 2008. All of them were children and youth between 10-19 years old.Tyra King is used to Amell knocking on her door now.“Yeah, it happens a lot,” she says laughing.The 16-year old got involved with Project Journey when it first started.“It gives the youth a lot of opportunities and more experiences in life,” King says.King is participating in a girls’ retreat at the school when APTN meets her. It’s one of the many positive experiences she’s had through regular participation with Project Journey.“I have my hair styling certification, I met Justin Trudeau, traveled a lot and went to conferences,” King says.She said it’s important to have these opportunities.“I faced a lot of alcoholism in my life and I, and the youth face that too a lot of times and a lot of losses of their loved ones. It affects them emotionally, physically and mentally,” says King.Amell says removing barriers that prevent participation is an essential part of the program’s success.“Whether it’s a pair of boots to do winter activities, whether it’s outdoor gear to go canoeing,” he says.“Just making sure they have everything they need so the only choice they really have to make is whether or not to participate.”Cst. Clayton Kenny is with the Pikangikum Police and has worked in the community for two years.On the day APTN meets him, he’s off-duty and helping a group of kids prepare for a canoe trip. It will be the second one he’s been on with Project Journey.“I’ve worked in a number of communities where this is actually the first time I’ve been able to do a program like this and work with the youth,” says Kenny.He believes land-based activities can empower youth.“As First Nations people they are part of the land,” he says.“They’re allowed to be themselves when they’re on the land and realize that they do have something to offer, some skills that they can excel in.”Rusty Keeper is the Youth Outreach Worker for Project Journey. He’s also planning to paddle along on the canoe trip.He knows the challenges that kids face in Pikangikum.“The youth were easily influenced to go start sniffing early. There was a lot of it growing up,” Keeper says.“I mostly stayed away from it but I saw a lot of other kids get turned, you know.”Keeper has also seen the impacts Project Journey has had on the youth.“I think it’s good for it to be here you know, so the kids can have someone to go to, you know to talk to someone.”“We’re seeing a reduction in youth crime, we’re seeing a reduction in solvent abuse”(Young people in Pikangikum take an interest in Willow’s camera during an interview) What will happen to Project Journey at the end of this year is still being worked out, according to Amell.Project Journey has developed partnerships with the community’s health and education authority organizations to possibly take over programming in the community.But one thing is clear.“We’re seeing a reduction in youth crime, we’re seeing a reduction in solvent abuse,” says Amell.And that’s not all.“We’re also seeing an increase in positive relationships between peers, between participants and their families, between participants and the community in general,” he says.Kenny says those connections are key to a safer community.“It’s very important to keep forming positive relationships especially with police because we do work for them and we do need those positive relationships to continue.”For King, who wants to be a makeup artist, Project Journey has opened her eyes to the possibilities ahead.“It gave me a lot of confidence in myself and it gave me a voice and it gave me opportunities and I’m very grateful to have it in my life,” she read more

Employment rate is a better indicator The Fraser Institute

first_imgAn economic think tank says it’s time to update how employment is measured in Canada. The Fraser Institute believes the unemployment rate doesn’t truly reflect how the economy is producing jobs. It states that too many people are leaving the workforce due to retirement, or to go back to school, and such changes are throwing off the jobless numbers.The think tank suggests the employment rate is a better way to evaluate how the economy is producing jobs as it measures the over all percentage of people working, not just those actively participating in the workforce.last_img

Insurance policy for pipeline is result of exceptional situation says Trudeau

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says putting federal cash down as an insurance policy of sorts to get the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion built is the result of an “exceptional” political situation.Speaking in New York City a day after his government announced it would compensate Kinder Morgan for any delays in construction caused by political problems, Trudeau said he has every confidence the pipeline will proceed.“What we have proposed in our finance minister’s proposal yesterday is to remove some of the risk by providing a sort of insurance policy for this particular context of political risk,” Trudeau said. “It’s very much an exceptional situation.”Kinder Morgan halted non-essential spending on the project in April because of pending legal questions by the government of British Columbia, and the federal government now has just two more weeks to come to an agreement with the company before its May 31 deadline.The big political obstacle at play is the British Columbia government’s opposition to the project, and B.C.’s court challenge asking whether it has jurisdiction to regulate what flows through the pipeline even though Canada has jurisdiction to build it.That court challenge, filed in late April, could take months, if not years to sort out, and it has given jitters to pipeline investors who fear starting construction on the project is risky if there is a possibility no oil can ever flow through it.Those jitters are extending beyond the pipeline and threatening Canada’s competitiveness in the energy industry overall. Coupled with the unease created by the North American Free Trade Agreement’s meandering path to renegotiation — a politically imposed deadline to get a new deal in place passed by on Thursday — investor confidence in Canada is showing signs of trouble.The Bank of Canada said earlier this week that trade uncertainty due to issues like NAFTA will chill business investment in the country by two per cent this year.Combating those concerns was the main focus of much of Trudeau’s three-day trip to the United States this week, where he met with more than a dozen different business executives, pension fund managers and CEOs in New York and has more meetings planned in Boston Friday.None of those meetings involved the Trans Mountain pipeline however, Trudeau said. While Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Wednesday that if Kinder Morgan won’t build the pipeline there are others that will step in, Trudeau said he was not meeting with any such parties on this trip and is leaving the pipeline talks to Morneau.“I have tremendous confidence in our finance minister and the work he’s done with both the company in question and with leading voices and investors in the Canadian and global energy sector,” said Trudeau.“There are many people interested in seeing this project proceed.”Trudeau says Morneau has made many different contacts with people in the Canadian and global energy industries, and continues to have robust conversations with Kinder Morgan as well.Morneau would not say Thursday who else he is talking to about the pipeline project.“We’re at the table, we’ve got our sleeves rolled up, and certainly we look forward to continuing those discussions with Kinder Morgan,” he said.Trudeau said his conversations with investors this week have included reminding them that while he hopes for a speedy conclusion to NAFTA talks, Canada and the U.S. had a solid trading relationship before NAFTA existed and it is important but not the only element of the relationship now.“Trade between Canada and the United States in particular was robust, positive and extremely beneficial to both of our countries,” he said. “Regardless of how long it might take to renegotiate NAFTA — and I certainly hope it doesn’t take too much longer — the trade ties, the relationships, people to people, business to business, neighbour to neighbour will continue.”Trudeau would not directly address criticisms lobbed at him by United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney this week. Kenney said he did not believe Trudeau was smart enough to grasp complex and nuanced political issues like Trans Mountain.“I welcome robust disagreements over policy, over issues, but it is not my practice and it is not I think helpful to make personal attacks to denigrate an individual,” he said. “My father raised me better than that and I’m not going to engage.”last_img read more

RCMP present rural crime stats to PRRD Board

first_imgDAWSON CREEK, B.C. — Members from the RCMP detachments in Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, and Tumbler Ridge gave presentations to the Peace River Regional District Board outlining regional crime statistics from last year.Speaking first, Fort St. John detachment commander Insp. Mike Kurvers said that officers had seen an overall decrease in service calls in the rural area, from 3,246 in 2016 to 3,200 last year. He said that overall, most types of crime had decreased, while others increased slightly.Insp. Kurvers said that rural arsons dropped significantly last year compared to the year prior, from 21 to six. Property crime and violent crime saw substantial decreases year-over-year with the exception of sex offences. Those increased from seven to 22 in the past year. The number of vehicle thefts, drug-related offences, and impaired drivers also increased from 2016 to 2017. Dawson Creek’s acting detachment commander Sgt. Mike Richard said that rural calls in the South Peace have increased 33 percent compared to 2016, with police being called out 1,917 times last year.  Sgt. Richard said that vehicle thefts were a big problem in 2017, with an average of 15 to 17 vehicles being stolen every month. He did attribute at least part of that to a large chop-shop operation in Doe River, north of Rolla, which was shut down by police last year.Sgt. Scott Hromadnik said that the Chetwynd RCMP had a busy 2017, which he attributed to an uptick in oil and gas industry activity near his community. Sgt. Hromadnik also said that his detachment has been focusing recently on traffic enforcement, as roads in the Chetwynd area claimed seven lives last fiscal year.last_img read more

Antibullying speaker to give presentation to SD 60 parents this evening

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A speaker who has been giving a series of anti-bullying presentations at schools around Fort St. John this week is going to be giving a presentation for an older audience this evening.Scott Graham, who is a bestselling author and a winner of the Governor General of Canada Award, has hosted leadership and anti-bullying school assemblies at four schools in Fort St. John this week.He visited Margaret ‘Ma’ Murray School on Monday, Dr. Kearney on Tuesday, Robert Ogilvie Wednesday, and spoke at Bert Bowes earlier today. Graham, who was also one of the speakers at the 2012 TEDx Conference in Burlington, has been teaching students the skills to stand up to bullies for 25 years, having spoken in Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, and as far away as Scotland.Graham’s presentations allow children develop their leadership abilities and learn anti-bullying skills.Graham will also be giving his presentation to the parents of students who attend Bert Bowes and Dr. Kearney Middle Schools on Thursday evening.The presentation is taking place from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Bert Bowes School.last_img read more

MI eye revenge against KXIP

first_imgMumbai: Revenge will be on their mind when Mumbai Indians lock horns with Kings XI Punjab, the hosts looking to stretch their winning run in the Indian Premier League here on Wednesday. The previous encounter between the two teams in Mohali had ended in a comprehensive eight-wicket win for Kings XI, but home conditions at the Wankhede Stadium are expected to favour MI. MI enter the match high on confidence following successive victories over holders Chennai Super Kings and last edition’s finalists Sunrisers Hyderabad. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhSignificantly both these victories came mostly because of MI’s all-round bowling strength as the bowlers defended totals successfully. MI are also blessed with splendid batting firepower in the end overs from West Indian Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya. Kings XI, who too have been given a shot-in-the-arm by their six-wicket victory Monday night over Sunrisers, need to chip away at the top of the MI batting as well as ensure that the big-striking Pollard and Hardik don’t take away the game like they did when carving 45 runs in the last two overs against CSK to turn the game around. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterMI don’t even have anyone in the top-20 run scorers’ list this season, an indication of the depth in their batting, and have a superior fast bowling attack bolstered by the inclusion of West Indian pacer, Alzarri Joseph, who blew away Sunrisers with his record-breaking haul of 6/12 in Hyderabad in their previous game. The hosts have a formidable pace attack with Jasprit Bumrah and left-arm Jason Behrendorff also there, along with Joseph and Hardik, to utilise the bounce and carry on the Wankhede track. Kings XI, third on the table with eight points, have been top heavy in batting with K L Rahul and Mayank Agarwal leading the way with 200-plus aggregates and the indomitable Gayle too not far behind. In bowling, skipper Ravichandran Ashwin (7 wickets) has done well in five out of six games that the team has played and has got good support from the likes of Sam Curran, Mohammed Shami and Murugan Ashwin.last_img read more

To make police stations spacious and clean cops shift over 6000 vehicles

first_imgNew Delhi: In a bid to maintain cleanliness inside and outside police stations in the city, the Delhi Police had shifted more than 6,000 vehicles, which comes under case properties, lying in the police stations to different auto ponds/centralised malkhanas. Sources said that under the process, possibilities are there that more than 40,000 vehicles likely to be removed soon.Police sources told Millennium Post that in his crime review meetings, the Delhi Police Commissioner has taken stocks from districts and units DCPs regarding the shifting of vehicles. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”In a recent meeting which held in police headquarters, the police chief reviewed the update on the progress of shifting vehicles in different districts and units,” sources said. They further added that as many as 6,233 vehicles were shifted to auto pounds where the confiscated, recovered vehicles are kept with proper details of the case in which they were involved. The facility of a auto ponds is only to decongest police station. Sources further added that one of the districts shifted 1,117 vehicles whereas two districts separately moved more than 600 vehicles. Rest of the districts shifted over 3,000 vehicles. Two units of Railways and Special Cell shifted as many as 71 vehicles. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsSources further revealed that there are possibilities of having 41,543 vehicles that might be shifted to auto ponds. A senior police officer said that bigger case properties such as vehicles, equipment and furniture are sometimes damaged by weather. “Also during the rainy season, the water gets collected in the vehicles and became breeding ground for mosquitoes. Through shifting, cleanliness will be there in the police stations,” added the officer. Another officer said that it will also make the police stations beautiful and spacious. Apart from all the city, police also inaugurated e-Malkhana in which the case property has been given a proper identity packed in a cover with a barcode in it. “Details of the case property are first entered into the software, followed by uploading of its photograph. The case property is packed in a cardboard box to prevent damage, and a unique barcode is generated which is pasted on the box,” said police.last_img read more

Moroccan Student Becomes Worlds Third Fastest Mental Calculator

Taroudant – Abdellah Ak-Houch, a young Spanish national of Moroccan origin won third place in the worldwide mental calculus championship held on December 5-6 in New Delhi, India.The Moroccan young boy, the third fastest mental calculator in the world, competed with around 11,300 students from 56 countries, representing more than 6,000 schools worldwide, according to Spanish news agency EFE.The young student had already gained a reputation as a fast calculator in the Canary Islands where he lives with his family. According to the same source, the mental calculus genius earned the support of the autonomous government of the Canaries, which made it possible for Abdellah to travel to India.Abdellah has been practicing mental arithmetic since 2013 with excellent results. He is the current Spanish regional and national champion of the Universal Mental Arithmetic System Calculation (UCMAS).The talented Moroccan studies seventh grade at Vecindario school. According to Gran Canaria TV, Abdellah has become a brilliant student with an extraordinary memory and concentration capacity.He is able to perform 200 arithmetic processes in only eight minutes using mental calculus, a method that was born in China based on the abacus system.The ancient arithmetic method is used in 5,000 schools in 52 countries around the world, and it reportedly benefits nearly one million students worldwide.According to several Spanish media reports, the Canary Islands has been implementing mental calculus in their education system for several years.Ak-Houch is the third Canary resident to earn a winning spot in the calculus world championship.In 2011, Marta Lisson Diaz, 8, earned the fifth spot in the competition, and in 2012, Nisha obtained the third sport. read more

January Deadliest Month for Refugees

By Fatima DrarIfrane – In January 230 refugees died on their way to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that 55,528 migrants and refugees crossed the Mediterranean to enter Europe during the first 28 days of 2016. The same organization recorded 244 deaths at sea for the same period. This is almost three times the number of refugees who died in January 2015. According to IOM, a survey of migrants and refugees revealed that 90 percent of those refugees were from Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan.For the first 28 days of this year, an estimated number of 55,528 migrants and refugees crossed the Mediterranean to enter Europe.The refugee crisis becomes increasingly deadly. Aljazeera reported on January, 22 that “at least 45 people, including 17 children, […] died after their boats sank near two Greek islands.”On day after this tragedy, Angela Merkel emphasized the need for a joint effort among European countries to solve this problem. read more

SAMIR Refinery Glencore and Carlyle Present Their Bid

Rabat – Swiss giant Glencore and US investment fund Carlyle Group have teamed up to bid on the Samir refinery in hopes of recovering about USD 600 million in loans they issued to the plant before it went bankrupt.According to Reuters, “two sources close to the process said the Moroccan government wanted at least $2 billion for the plant at Mohammedia, on the Atlantic coast near Casablanca,” although no decision on a sale is imminent, in part because of the complexity of the case. If this deal is concluded, it will allow the refinery to restart production. The Samir refinery, once a flagship of the refining industry in the Maghreb, has entered a spiral of difficulties since late 2014. On the June 1, 2016, the Court of Appeal of the Casablanca Commercial Court decided its final judicial liquidation. In August 2015, the government froze the bank accounts of its loss-making operator, a procedure which involved the sale of the assets of the company to the benefit of its creditors. Since then, the identified debt of the refinery amounts to MAD 35 billion, 13 billion of which are in unpaid taxes, says Reuters. While Glencore and Carlyle have yet to issue any official confirmation of the news, Reuters states that “if the deal goes through, it would become Glencore’s (GLEN.L) first oil refinery and allow the plant to restart production.”Glencore, an Anglo–Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company with headquarters in Switzerland, has a USD 200 million prepayment deal with Samir funded by loans from banks Natixis and APICORP. “A source familiar with the situation said negotiations to restructure the debt were on hold until there was clarity on the fate of the plant,” reports Reuters.The company has repeatedly insisted the plant needs to restart production so creditors can gradually recoup the money, stated the press agency, adding that the oil trader giant has “now joined Carlyle(CG.O), which already co-owns refineries in Switzerland and Germany with Vitol, in offering to buy the plant.” read more

UCP calls for an Alberta exemption to stress tests for homebuyers

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Brick by brick, UCP Leader Jason Kenney wants to scale back legislation from Ottawa when it comes to buying homes. He would like Alberta to be exempt from stress tests involved in buying homes.Kenney believes this broad legislation was brought in because of problems outside of Alberta.“One of the reasons why homes are less affordable in Alberta today is because of unfair rules imposed by Ottawa to deal with the overheated real estate markets in Toronto and Vancouver.”Kenney noted his party will act on this before any election.“A motion at the first opportunity in the next (sitting of the) legislature calling on the federal government to withdraw its unfair attack on Alberta home ownership.”Meanwhile, Mayor Naheed Nenshi is happy to see any party talk about housing ahead of the next provincial election.“I’d love to look at it because it clearly did not apply to the Alberta context.”Kenney also believes this causes problems for first-time homebuyers. That is an argument Nenshi could get on board with.“That stress test has actually been very challenging for first-time homebuyers. It has particularly been challenging for folks who are trying to access housing through Attainable Homes Calgary.”Ward 5 Councillor George Chahal is bringing forward a motion on Monday asking for a more regional approach from the federal government.Premier Rachel Notley quipped she may look into this but will be focused on what the provincial government can do to help.“That can help people have a higher quality of life and have more affordability. So that is what my focus is on. read more

Morocco to Host Pan African Humanitarian Summit for First Time

Rabat – The 2018 summit, under the theme “Africa, My Home: An Inclusive Participation for Africa’s Development,” will meet November 16-17 at Palais des Congres Rabat.The event will host civil, political, art, and media personalities as well as representatives of the public and private sectors and diplomatic missions.The summit’s activities “will focus on themes which form the main strategic vision of the 2030 UN Agenda and the African Union (AU) agenda 2063, including migration, gender, youth and women’s participation in development and peace as well as education, employment and climate change,” reads a press release by the Pan African summit. The summit will also focus on “African cultural identity and its contribution to socio-economic transformations in Africa, as well as the role of civil and civic diplomacy in promoting people-to-people relations and partnerships exchanges bilaterally and regionally.”Why choose Morocco?After Morocco re-joined the AU in January 2017, the country took part for the first time in the 2017 Pan African Humanitarian Summit and Awards in Tanzania on November 18 last year.Morocco’s ambassador and country director to the Pan African Humanitarian Summit, Karima Rhanem, told Morocco World News, “Morocco was chosen for its global and regional commitments to just causes, it is a country that has shown solidarity, vision and leadership in promoting socio-economic development and cooperation in Africa.”At the 2017 Pan African Humanitarian Summit, Morocco took the chance to share its experience in human and socio-economic development with over 300 delegates. Morocco’s leadership “has been clearly seen through several investments and efforts deployed by Morocco under the wise leadership of HM King Mohammed VI in the past few years to promote South South cooperation and to contribute to the development of the African continent,” she added.She noted that 85 percent of Morocco’s foreign direct investment goes to Africa. This makes Morocco the “number one investor in West Africa and the second largest investor in the African continent.”Morocco may have left the AU for three decades but it never left the African continent and “has ever since strengthened ties with several African countries on the bilateral level,” Rhanem affirmed.After the 2017 Pan African summit, the Moroccan International Center for Diplomacy signed a partnership agreement with the Nigerian-based Pan African Center for Leadership and Entrepreneurship Development to organize the fourth summit in Morocco.Rhanem said that the King regards Africa as “his natural home and deployed considerable efforts in strengthening partnerships with African countries.”“It is a beautiful day when one returns home after too long of an absence,” King Mohammed VI said at the AU summit in January 2017.King Mohammed VI has made over 52 visits to several African countries in the last 19 years. Holding the summit in Morocco, according to Rhanem, shows “the Kingdom’s commitment towards regional and global issues and provides for an institutionalized platform for dialogue for civil society and other stakeholders.”Speaking about migration, Rhanem asserted that Morocco is “the only African country with a full integration policy for African migrants and refugees.”On November 7, Moroccan Minister of the Interior Abdelouafi Laftit said that 50,000 migrants residing in Morocco have been regularized since 2014. The number accounts for about 85 percent of the overall applications from foreign nationals in Morocco.Summit objectives The objective of the 2018 summit is to identify concrete African solutions on sustainable peace and social-economic development in Africa.Rhanem said that one of the main objectives of the summit is to “demonstrate HM the King’s leadership in Africa and his efforts in promoting South-South cooperation.”The event will also be an opportunity to exchange Morocco’s experience in human and economic development with other African countries.This year’s meeting seeks to “provide technical expertise to delegates on how to move Africa from consumption of international aid programs to a strong strategic economic and geopolitical partner,” according to the Pan African Summit’s press release.The Moroccan International Center for Diplomacy organized the two-day event in partnership with the Pan African Center for Leadership and Entrepreneurship Development (PALEDEC), the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation, and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.At the end of the summit, an award ceremony will pay tribute to African personalities who have developed Africa in various fields.Rhanem, who is also a civil society activist, won a 2017 Pan African Humanitarian Award.The activist was the first Moroccan woman to be nominated for the award, in the category of “Young Achievers Award on Social Leadership and Nation Building.”The summit will come one month before the UN Global Compact on Migration conference in Marrakech. read more

Forget Netflix – The real joy of movies is still in theatres

NEW YORK — Sure, it’s easy to Netflix and chill these days. Or Prime and recline. Or Hulu and … well, whatever. But if you really want to savour a film, there’s still no substitute for a movie theatre.Turns out that there are few better ways to rediscover the joy of heading to the theatre than a year of free movie tickets, courtesy of MoviePass. Among the greatest attractions: no distractions from Facebook, online chats, household chores and what not.I was a regular moviegoer until ticket prices rocketed past $10 several years ago. In New York, $15 is now common; some theatres can charge $18 or $19, even before 3D and other surcharges. Streaming at home became far more affordable — and convenient. Who has time to go to the movies when you’re already behind on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and everything else?But then came a too-good-to-be-true subscription deal from MoviePass, offering a daily movie for a year for just $94. With ticket prices no longer an issue, I ended up seeing 181 movies that would have cost me $2,747 without MoviePass. That’s 52 cents per film, a 97 per cent discount from $15. The deal was so good that MoviePass no longer offers it.That MoviePass subscription has expired, but I’ve already seen 42 movies on other subscriptions this year — a mix of Sinemia, AMC A-List and memberships with individual theatres. It’s costing about $60 a month in all, far more than the $8 a month with MoviePass — but all worth it.I confess I have it easier than many people. Having no kids means no worries about babysitters and bedtime. I can squeeze in a 10 p.m. showing after a night out with friends.Once the lights dim, it’s just the movie and me.When watching Netflix, you need discipline to put your phone or laptop away. I’ve sometimes had to consult Wikipedia for a plot point I missed because I was responding to a text or reading about the next movie to watch. Even folding laundry takes your eyes off the screen.And while it’s convenient to be able to stream movies in bits and pieces, as time permits, that detracts from their rhythm and pacing. Some movies, such as the Netflix drama “Roma,” are meant to feel slow and deliberate, but you lose that feeling if you multitask on Facebook. The Netflix thriller “Bird Box” just doesn’t feel right without the proper buildup of suspense.Costumes and landscapes come to life on the theatre’s big screen. Rock climber Alex Honnold’s nerve-wracking, rope-free ascent of the gigantic Yosemite rock formation El Capitan in “Free Solo” wouldn’t have been the same on a phone. This documentary was even worth watching a second time, in the mega-size Imax format.Then there was “Cold War,” a Polish drama on romance in the Eastern Bloc. It was filmed in black and white in the boxy, 4-by-3 frame used by TV screens of that era. That gives the movie a nostalgic feel, even though it just came out. With streaming, video sometimes gets squeezed or stretched to match the dimensions of the TV or phone.Sound quality at many theatres far exceeds what I could get at home. That became clear watching — and hearing — “Bohemian Rhapsody,” about the rock band Queen, and “A Star is Born,” a Lady Gaga-led drama on a singer’s rise to fame.True, theatres can still be a hassle. You have to be there at showtime — and then big theatre chains show nearly a half-hour of trailers. (I typically read an e-book at low brightness or catch up on podcasts.) Coordinating schedules with friends can also be complicated, though if you’re OK watching movies alone, that doesn’t have to be a problem.Spending all that time at the multiplex has changed how I watch movies and shows at home. I try harder to pay attention; my phone’s screen-time controls, which block message notifications and the like, help me focus. But it still takes willpower, like avoiding the chocolate cake that’s right in front of you.For that reason, I choose theatres when I can, even when streaming is available right away. Some movies never make it to theatres outside big cities. I don’t have that problem in New York, where several theatres show more than just the latest mega-blockbuster sequels.So instead of asking, “Who has time to go the movies?,” I ask myself, “Who has time for streaming?” And Netflix just raised its prices yet again. Hmmm.Anick Jesdanun, The Associated Press read more

Walmart to make every effort to keep disabled greeters

After more than a week of backlash, Walmart is pledging to make “every effort” to find other roles for disabled workers who’d accused the retailer of targeting them as it phases out the “people greeter” job at 1,000 stores.Greg Foran, president and CEO of Walmart’s U.S. stores, said in a memo to store managers Thursday night that “we are taking some specific steps to support” greeters with disabilities. Walmart released the memo publicly.Walmart told greeters around the country last week that their positions were being eliminated in favour of an expanded “customer host” role. Greeters with cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other physical disabilities feared they’d be out of work, sparking protests from customers and others.Walmart says it has already started making job offers to greeters with disabilities, with at least one accepting so far.Michael Rubinkam, The Associated Press read more

Moroccos Zakaria Tijarti Wins WMTA Thai Boxing World Championship

By Zakaria wadghiriRabat – Moroccan boxer Zakaria Tijarti won the World Muay Thai Association (WMTA) title of Full Muay Thai World Champion for under 66 kilograms in Marrakech on Saturday. He defeated the Venezuelan-Spaniard Mikel Sortino by the points system after both failed to achieve a knockout.In the five-round match, Tijarti took on Sortino, the former World Kickboxing League (WKL) intercontinental champion. Read Also: Court Gives Moroccan Boxer Mohamed Rabii Suspended Sentence for Affair“Thanks to all the Moroccan people for the great support before and after the fight,” Spain’s Sortino wrote on Instagram. Tijarti was the winner of the 4th Mohammed VI Kickboxing Grand Prix in 2018. Born into a family of Muay Thai artists in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1991, Tijarti started his career in Thai boxing in 2010, according to the website Team Tijarti.In 1984, Dutch kickboxing coach Thom Harinck founded the WMTA, one of the oldest Muay Thai organizations. read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

The Canadian Press Some of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (16,188.10, down 63.27 points).Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Down four cents, or 0.3 per cent, to $13.22 on 21.8 million shares.The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings. (TSX:TGOD). Health care. Up 38 cents, or 7.45 per cent, to $5.48 on 17.7 million shares.Hexo Corp. (TSX:HEXO). Health care. Up 29 cents, or 3.25 per cent, to $9.20 on 10.5 million shares.Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ). Energy. Down 45 cents, or 1.2 per cent, to $36.94 on 8.2 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Energy. Down 24 cents, or 2.39 per cent, to $9.79 on 6.6 million shares.Aphria Inc. (TSX:APHA). Health care. Up six cents, or 0.44 per cent, to $13.71 on 6.4 million shares.Companies reporting:Air Canada (TSX:AC). Up 33 cents to $31.75. Air Canada has decided to remove its grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 jets from service until at least July 1 in order to provide more certainty for passengers that wish to book flights in the coming months. Canada’s largest airline announced Tuesday that it has substituted different aircraft in its fleet, chartered flights or leased aircraft from Air Transat, suspended some routes temporarily, and adjusted its rebooking policy for affected customers. read more

Science Says Why scientists prize plant animal genomes

NEW YORK — Just about every week, it seems, scientists publish the unique DNA code of some creature or plant. Just in February, they published the genome for the strawberry, the paper mulberry tree, the great white shark and the Antarctic blackfin icefish.They also announced that, thanks to a crowdfunding campaign, they’d produced the genome of Lil BUB, a female cat with a large Internet following.That followed a notable advance in January: an improved genome for the axolotl, a salamander renowned for regrowing severed limbs and other body parts.Scientists have been uncovering genomes for quite a while. The first from an animal — a worm — came in 1998. Now, the technology has advanced far enough that scientists last year announced a project to produce the genomes for all life forms on Earth other than bacteria and single-celled organisms called Archaea. They called it a “moonshot for biology.”But what’s the point of uncovering new genomes?For scientists, a detailed look under the hood of their favourite organism provides a foothold for learning the deepest secrets of their objects of attention, it leads to discoveries about how life works, and possibly how to prevent disease.Take the mosquito. Late last year, researchers published a much-improved description of the DNA code for a particularly dangerous species of mosquito: Aedes aegypti, notorious for spreading Zika, dengue and yellow fever.That achievement came from analyzing the DNA of 80 mosquito brothers. They were born in Leslie Vosshall’s lab at Rockefeller University in New York, where thousands of mosquitoes swarmed in cages recently as Krithika Venkataraman was trying to make some more.She stuck a tube that protruded from her mouth like a straw into a transparent cube filled with male mosquitoes. Then she repeatedly sucked about 30 males at a time into the tube. She counted them, and then blew them into another cube that housed females. Before long, the two sexes were mating.You can think of a genome as an instruction book for building a living thing. Its language is a four-letter alphabet, which stand for the four compounds that make up the innards of the DNA molecule. The order of those compounds along the molecule is the code; it creates “words” that we call genes.The mosquito genome, for example, is about 1.28 billion letters long, a bit less than half the length of the human version. Knowing the DNA sequence lets scientists manipulate it with gene editing techniques, said Ben Matthews of the Vosshall lab, who was part of the international team that published the refined description of the mosquito genome last November.And once researchers started analyzing that version of the A. aegypti DNA code, discoveries began to pop out.— They nearly doubled the known size of a family of genes that help mosquitoes sense information from their environment, such as the odour of humans. That was “totally, mind-blowingly, unexpected,” Vosshall said. (Vosshall’s salary is paid by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which also supports The Associated Press Health & Science Department.)Further study may reveal surprises about what mosquitoes pay attention to, Vosshall said. And that could lead to better lures for mosquito traps, as well as better repellents. Maybe scientists can find something “10,000 times more disgusting” to a mosquito than the old standby, DEET, she said.— They found new details about genes that let some mosquitoes resist certain insecticides. That’s a possible step toward predicting what insecticides would be useless for fighting certain populations, as well as a potential lead for coming up with new chemical weapons against the insect.— They found previously unknown targets for a major class of insecticides. That could open the door to designing new versions that target mosquitoes while sparing beneficial insects and posing less risk to people.— They narrowed the search for genetic variants that prevent some A. aegypti mosquitoes from infecting people with dengue, a severe flu-like illness that sickens millions every year. If those variants can be identified, scientists might use genetic engineering to reproduce them in some mosquitoes, which could then be released to spread the variants though wild populations, Voss said. Those variants, or others, might also work for reducing threats of spreading Zika and yellow fever, Voss and Matthews said.— A similar strategy might be used to make mosquito populations overproduce males. That would reduce mosquito bites in the short term — only females bite — and open the door to shrinking wild populations through genetic engineering. The new genome revealed details of the DNA stretch that makes mosquitoes develop as males, which Matthews called “step one” in pursuing the make-more-males strategy.The axolotl genome published in January built on a previous publication by European scientists last year. Although its genome is about 10 times the size of the human one, which makes the analysis harder, the salamander’s regenerating capabilities are an obvious lure.Axolotls can replace “almost anything you can cut off of them, as long as you don’t cut off their heads,” says Jeramiah Smith of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, an author of the more recent genome paper.But Smith points to another trick that might pay off sooner for human medicine: the salamander can also heal large wounds without scarring.As for learning how to let people grow back a severed arm, he figures that’s a long way off.“That probably won’t be useful for me,” joked Smith, who’s 42. “I’ll be dead, so I won’t need to grow my arm back.”And Lil BUB ? She’s the size of a kitten even though she’s eight years old, and has a number of other odd traits. Scientists looked for genetic mutations, and found altered genes that appear to be responsible for her extra toes and for a rare bone disease.___Follow Malcolm Ritter at @MalcolmRitter.___The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.Malcolm Ritter, The Associated Press read more