Yukons governments plan for the territorys peel watershed disappoints First Nations

first_imgAPTN National NewsThere is shock and disappointment in the Yukon territory today.That’s because after seven years of public consultations the Yukon government had largely rejected a detailed development plan for the territory’s peel watershed.As APTN’s Shirley Mclean reports, that decision is likely headed to courts.last_img

Crown says man should be convicted of Monica Jacks murder based on

first_imgThe Canadian PressA man charged with murdering 12-year-old Monica Jack in British Columbia over 40 years ago went on trial Monday.Crown prosecutor Mark Sheardown outlined the case against Garry Handlen saying he should be found guilty after confessing to undercover police that he abducted, sexually assaulted and killed her.Sheardown told jurors Handlen also took police to the crime scene and provided details about snatching the girl while she was riding her new bike near Merritt, in the province’s Interior.thouse@aptn.ca@inthehouse7last_img read more

Optimism in the Canadian economy for the coming year falls poll

first_imgTORONTO – Optimism about the Canadian economy in the first quarter fell to its lowest level since 2016 in a poll of senior accounting executives.The survey by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada says optimism in the first quarter of this year fell to 34 per cent compared with 48 per cent in the final quarter of last year.The percentage of those neutral about the economy increased to 47 per cent for the quarter, up from 36 per cent, while those with a negative outlook increased to 20 per cent from 16 per cent.The report says 67 per cent of respondents believe Canada is now a less competitive place to invest and do business than the United States compared to a year ago.The top three challenges to the Canadian economy cited were U.S. trade protectionism, uncertainty in the Canadian economy and U.S. tax reforms.The CPA report was based on 408 responses to 4,943 surveys that were emailed to executives in senior positions including chief executives, chief financial officers, chief operating officers and other leadership roles.The survey was conducted from March 13 to March 29.last_img read more

The life cycle of a cannabis plant from seed to store

first_imgArmina Ligaya, The Canadian Press TORONTO — Licensed cannabis producers are ramping up production to address shortages that have plagued the pot market since legalization in October, but the time required to grow the average marijuana plant means consumers likely have a few more weeks to wait. Cannabis lives up to its nickname and grows like a weed, but the plant needs as many as 18 weeks to progress from seed to harvest before it even moves on to processing and packaging.Licensed producer CannTrust walked The Canadian Press through their cultivation and processing facilities to get a close look at the process. Here are the various life stages of the cannabis plant: from seed to plant to processing and packaging.1) Seed/CuttingMost commercial cannabis growers skip the seed stage and grow new plants from cuttings of established ones, as seeds take longer and are prone to genetic variation, which can affect product quality. Cuttings are taken from so-called “mother plants” grown for the purpose of genetic cloning. The moniker stems from the fact that they must be female — male plants produce pollen and seeds but female plants produce the coveted cannabinoid-filled flower. “Every plant in the greenhouse is a female plant,” said Michael Camplin, general manager of CannTrust’s Niagara-area cultivation facility. “There are no males allowed in this facility.”Growing a new plant from cuttings produces genetically identical plants, allowing producers to generate cannabis from a certain strain with particular characteristics, he said.“It’s called a mother plant because it’s producing basically children,” Camplin said. “It’s producing young plants that will have the same characteristics as the mother.”2) SeedlingSmall cuttings are taken from the mother plants and planted into a moist starter cube in a low light and high humidity environment.“They’re literally babied along,” Camplin said.After two weeks, the roots start to sprout through the starter cube and the seedling is transplanted to a larger cube. After an additional two weeks of growth, the young cannabis plant is moved to a slightly larger base.3) Vegetative stateOnce beyond the seedling stage, the plant enters the vegetative state and is encouraged to grow up and out. This is done by controlling the amount of light the plant receives.If the plant receives 18 hours of daylight or more in a given day, it will continue to grow without producing any flower, Camplin said.4) FloweringGetting the plant to produce flowers involves convincing it that autumn is approaching, which means cutting back on the light cycle.“Marijuana plants are very light sensitive, and they are triggered to go into flower when the day length shortens in nature, as the summer starts to turn into fall,” he said. “The days get shorter, and the plant knows that it’s time to reproduce.”Mimicking the change in seasons by shortening the daylight period to 12 hours will prompt the plant to flower and produced the desired bud.The time needed for a plant to flower depends on the strain, but it can range from as little as seven weeks to as much as 10 weeks, Camplin said.5) HarvestingOnce the flowering plant has reached the desired stage, it is time to harvest. The plant’s flower or bud is coated in tiny, glistening hair-like glands called trichomes that contain the active ingredients in the plant called cannabinoids. The best-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, known as THC and CBD. Trichomes also contain terpenes, the fragrant oils which produce a unique taste and smell.The plants are cut and cannabis buds are mechanically separated from the stems and leaves, before being inspected and then trimmed by hand, Camplin said.6) DryingThe fresh cannabis flower is then dried on racks for up to two weeks. The buds are then stored in loosely closed plastic bags in large bins, which help to control the humidity, for two weeks.“That equalizes the moisture level, and every day they’re opened and stirred — or burped as they say in the drying room — and closed back up,” Camplin said.Keeping them in the closed bins also help the buds retain the terpenes, he said.Once the drying is complete, the bud is graded by size. Larger buds are usually preferred for dried flower sales while smaller buds are often earmarked for oil, he said.7) Testing and processing At this stage, the cannabis is tested for quality before it is cleared for the manufacturing process, said Chris Lucky, CannTrust’s vice-president of supply chain and manufacturing. On average, it takes 10 to 11 days to get the lab results back.Once the buds pass the appropriate tests, the pot is then either packaged for sale or put through an extraction process to produce cannabis oil.8) ExtractionThe buds chosen to produce oils are put through an industrial-sized grinder and then baked. Similar to when cannabis is smoked, the heating process activates the ingredients within the bud that provide the medicinal effects, Anna Jakobsmeier, CannTrust’s director of extraction and refinement, said.“We’re manipulating it to now provide the medicine,” she said.The baked cannabis is then placed into an extraction machine that uses heated and pressurized carbon dioxide to separate the cannabinoids from the plant.“You’re removing the cannabinoids, as well as some other components of the plant, but you’re leaving behind the actual dried product,” she said.The resulting liquid containing the cannabinoids is mixed with a carrier oil, such as a type of coconut oil known as Medium Chain Triglycerides or MCT oil. The oil is then bottled or put into capsules and packaged for sale.9) Packaging and LabellingThe finished products are packaged and labelled as per Health Canada’s guidelines, which include strict limits on the use of colours, graphics and logos.Products destined for Canada’s adult use market receive an excise stamp, which indicate that the product was produced legally and that applicable duties were paid. Each product must have a stamp corresponding to the province or territory where it will be sold.Complications with the stamp were blamed by many pot producers for causing a bottleneck in the supply chain, contributing to the shortage. Problems cited by producers included a delay in receiving the stamps, as well as the need for glue to affix the stamps, which slowed down the process. Cannabis is a brand new industry, and companies are learning and refining the processes as they go, and incorporating automation to speed up the process where possible, Lucky said.“Everybody is learning the processes… There’s a lot of things we have done as an organization, and industry across the board, in terms of how we can automate.”last_img read more

Fish Creek Community Forest receives new decor

first_imgIn speaking with Ryan Harvey, Communications Director for the City of Fort St. John, says crews will be dispatched to collect the signs and City staff will attempt to contact the owners from the information on the signs.To read more about the 2016 signs; CLICK HERE FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – This past weekend the Fish Creek Community Forest received some unexpected decor with the addition of real estate signs at the entry to the trails.The titled image posted to a FB group shows approximately 8 signs scattered about the entrance.This is not the first time real estate signs have been posted at the entrance of Fish Creek as reported by Energeticcity in June 2016.last_img read more

Spl Police Observer holds meet with CEO

first_imgKolkata: Special Police Observer for Bengal Vivek Dube on Sunday held a meeting with the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Aariz Aftab and other election officials in the state, to take stock of the poll-preparedness and deployment of the security personnel.Earlier in the day, Dube landed in the city and went to the guest house of Kolkata Port Trust. It has been learnt that Dube will hold a meeting with all the senior election officials in the state to assess the law and order situation across Bengal. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaOn Sunday, he wanted to know from the CEO about the deployment of the Central forces in the state. A special chamber has been set up at the office of the CEO for Dube, where he will be stationed until the completion of the Lok Sabha elections in the state. He is expected to hold a meeting with the various political leaders on Monday and listen to their concerns. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has recently appointed Dube as the Special Police Observer, replacing K K Sharma. The announcement came less than a day after Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee sought Sharma’s removal. Banerjee had produced a photograph showing Sharma attending a programme organised by the RSS, in uniform. The commission has not, however, given any reasons for replacing Sharma. Dube will look after the deployment of Central and state forces. He will also look after other matters as per the instructions of the Election Commission.last_img read more

Kim Kardashian sports maang tika to church slammmed

first_imgLos Angeles; Reality TV star Kim Kardashian West has courted criticism for wearing a traditional Indian maang tika, a jewellery piece worn on the head, for a church service. The 38-year-old mother-of-three shared her outfit on social media with the caption ‘Sunday Service Vibe’, but some Instagram users were unimpressed with her mishmash of cultural items, reported dailymail.co.uk. Kim, who boasts 133 million followers on Instagram, accessorised her flowing white dress with gold Indian-inspired jewelry, including the head piece typically worn at times of celebration. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka The photo made a stir when it was shared online. One user said that “culture is not a costume” and that it was wrong for Kim to adorn it. “This is not a Sunday Service Vibe, it’s an Indian vibe,” another complained. One user explained the cultural significance of the head piece and wrote in depth about how Kim had appropriated her culture. “For those of you who don’t know, the maang tika is a ceremonial head piece traditionally worn by the bride. Wearing white in India is traditionally reserved for funerals,” another explained. “On top of that she wore this to a Christian service. She probably thought it was just jewellery, but when that piece has literally been used for centuries wouldn’t you kinda think there must be some sort of significant meaning held towards it,” wrote another user. There was a different side to the coin as well, as not everyone found Kim’s look offensive.last_img read more

West Indies set record ODI opening stand against Ireland

first_imgDublin: West Indies openers John Campbell and Shai Hope shattered the record for the highest first-wicket partnership in a one-day international with a stand of 365 against Ireland in Dublin on Sunday. The duo comfortably exceeded the previous opening best at this level of 304 set by Pakistan’s Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in July last year. Campbell made 179 and Hope 170 in an eventual total of 381 for three after the visitors were sent in to bat by Ireland captain William Porterfield at Clontarf. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuHope was first to his century while Campbell quickly followed to him to a hundred — his first in international cricket. They were both dismissed in the 48th over, Campbell top-edging Barry McCarthy to mid-off with Hope falling three balls later when he holed out to deep square-leg. Campbell faced 137 balls, including 15 fours and six sixes, with Hope’s 152-ball knock featuring 22 fours and two sixes. The only higher partnership in the 4,128-match history of men’s ODI cricket also belongs to the West Indies, with Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels sharing a second-wicket stand of 372 against Zimbabwe in Canberra during the 2015 World Cup. Ireland’s attack had sparked an England top-order collapse at nearby Malahide on Friday but had no answer as the West Indies ran riot in the opening match of a triangular series also featuring Bangladesh.last_img read more

Age doesnt define us

first_imgLos Angeles: Actor Halle Berry doesnt like to be defined by her age, and wants to prove women can do anything. Berry, 52, feels working on John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is a step towards that goal. “There is nothing I wanted to do more than to prove that women of my age can do exactly what we want to do. Age doesn’t define us,” Berry said in a statement. Keanu Reeves will be back as the remorseful assassin John Wick. He has teamed up with Berry for another mission. Talking about the role, she said: “I never worked harder for a film role in my entire career. I had to work through some injuries, but I kept at it because quitting was not ever an option. Now I have the bug, and I just want to keep going and going.” The third chapter in the franchise will pick up in the immediate aftermath of John Wick 2, with Wick excommunicated and on the run, having to defend himself against a host of equally skilled assassins looking to scoop up the bounty for killing him. The film is being brought to India by PVR Pictures. It will release on May 17. The film is directed by Chad Stahelski. In addition to Berry, new cast members include Anjelica Huston, Asia Kate Dillon and Jerome Flynn. “I loved how real the action felt in the first movie… I looked forward to Chapter 2 as soon as I saw the first. When my manager told me that Chad was looking for a female assassin, I knew I had to play the part. When I first met with Chad he had not yet finished writing my role, but I didn’t care, I said, ‘Sign me up…I’ll do it’!”last_img read more

Tangier Free Zone Ranks Best Free Zone in Africa

Rabat – Tangier Free Zone was ranked Africa’s best free zone in 2015 by fDi Intelligence, an English-language bi-monthly news and foreign direct investment publication, which provides an up-to-date review of global investment activity.This annual ranking compared more than 80 free zones according to international benchmarks. Ranking measures took into account the free zones’ competitiveness to meet international investors’ needs.Tangier free zone ranked Overall Winner for the region of Africa along with Santiago’s free zone in Latin America and Caribbean, DMCC Free Zone of United Arab Emirates, Subic Bay Freeport Zone in the Philippines, and Katowice Special Economic Zone in Poland, according to the Magazine. Tangier free zone’s Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) tenancy rates increased by 36.4% between 2013 and 2014, creating 12,000 jobs in the zone, according to the publication.The zone’s export turnover increased from €2.6bn to €4bn, with the main target markets being the US, Europe and Africa.The zone was also praised for its skills and training. Provision of a skilled labor force in the zone is ensured through the opening of two new training centers, focusing on automotive and offshoring industries, the magazine highlighted.fDi’s Global Free Zones celebrates those zones that are best at providing good services for investors and improving their offering through reinvestments, expansions or upgrades. read more

Thousands of Nigerian Refugees Fleeing Boko Haram in Dire Health Situation

By Alexandra KrauskaRabat – Medicins Sans Frontieres reported Thursday that almost 200 Nigerian refugees have died from starvation and malnutrition in the past month while in the Bama refugee camp.MSF has been unable to access the Nigerian refugee camp previously, but travelled there with a military escort. Many children in the camp were diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition and sent to an MSF feeding center. The refugees were fleeing from Boko Haram, the terrorist organization that recently joined ISIS and now calls itself the ISIS of West Africa. “Boko Haram” means “Western education is prohibited,” in Hausa, the local language. The group claimed an area in northeast Nigeria as its “caliphate.” In the 7 years of the rebellion, around 20,000 people have been killed, and more than 2 million people have been displaced. Boko Haram is also responsible for the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in 2014.24,000 refugees have arrived at the refugee camp in Bama, though this camp is difficult for MSF or Nigerian authorities to access. Almost 1,200 people were evacuated from June 13th to 15th in order to receive medical care. Many of the refugees remain in a “dire situation.”The MSF head of mission in Nigeria, Ghada Hatim, said, “This is the first time MSF has been able to access Bama, but we already know the needs of the people there are beyond critical. We are treating malnourished children in medical facilities in Maiduguri and see the trauma on the faces of our patients who have witnessed and survived many horrors.” read more

Off the Charts Holiday heartbreak for retailers

NEW YORK — The holiday season was a brutal one for U.S. retailers, especially department stores and companies that sell luxury products, and companies and investors alike didn’t see it coming.The U.S. economy has been growing at a steady pace, and unemployment is low and consumer confidence is high. That seemed to set the stage for strong sales over the holidays, but companies including Macy’s, Nordstrom and Signet all said they struggled badly over the critical December shopping period.The stock market itself may have been part of the problem: extreme volatility in December may have shaken up wealthy shoppers more than it hurt average consumers.Earlier this month, Macy’s suffered the biggest one-day stock drop in its history as a public company. The retailer said sales fell off after Black Friday and Cyber Monday until the week of Christmas, and it cut its sales forecast. The surprise report rattled companies throughout the industry.The next week, Nordstrom helped confirm the trend when it said sales of full-priced clothes slowed in November and December and that the company offered more discounts.Signet Jewelers, the owner of brands including Kay and Jared, dropped almost 25 per cent after saying its holiday season had been difficult and slashing its annual forecasts. Signet said competition grew tougher in December and sales of some key products were weak. The company also said fewer customers came to its stores last month.Iconic jeweler Tiffany said uncertainty surrounding the stock market and Britain’s departure from the European Union also hurt its sales, along with protests in France that forced it to close a store during some weekends.Tiffany became the latest luxury brand to run into trouble. Several companies have said in recent months that shoppers from China have also cut back on spending as the Chinese economy weakened, and the strong dollar has made it more expensive to buy Tiffany jewelry outside of its stores in China.Hard times for department stores and luxury companies don’t mean the entire holiday shopping season was a total disaster. Experts believe shoppers spent more money online than any other year. That’s bad for mall-based retailers, and the trend toward shelling out for “experiences” like spas and restaurant meals might be making things worse.Investors are also being deprived of data they might appreciate at a time like this. The Commerce Department isn’t issuing its monthly report on retail sales or a great deal of other economic data as a result of the partial shutdown of the federal government.As of Wednesday, the shutdown has lasted more than a month, and federal employees have either been furloughed or are working without paychecks, and some government contracts or services have been disrupted. While federal employees will eventually be paid back, experts say consumer spending and economic growth might still be hindered in a significant way.Marley Jay, The Associated Press read more

Laptop likely holds key to missing 180 million in cryptocurrency experts

HALIFAX — Experts in the cryptocurrency industry say there’s a slim chance technicians will be able to recover the $180 million in digital assets believed to be in the laptop of the late founder of the insolvent QuadrigaCX exchange platform.Alfred Lehar, a finance professor at the University of Calgary, says access to Gerald Cotten’s computer is probably protected by some form of digital security — but Lehar says those barriers could be overcome with the right tools.However, Lehar says the big question is whether Cotten’s laptop contains the private digital keys needed to unlock the highly secure offline locations where the cryptocurrency is being stored — known as cold wallets.Cotten, a Nova Scotia resident and CEO of QuadrigaCX, was travelling in India on Dec. 9 when he died suddenly.His widow, Jennifer Robertson, has said Cotten was the only person with access to the laptop and the private keys.Manie Eagar, CEO of Vancouver-based DigitalFutures, says if the private keys aren’t in the laptop, it will be impossible to recover the funds because the encryption used is beyond what can be hacked with existing computers.The Canadian Press read more

UN Bourita Meets with Russias Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Rabat – Morocco’s foreign affairs minister Nasser Bourita met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Thursday. The officials’ bilateral talks took part on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, which opened on September 18.The meeting was held on the eve of the Security Council meeting on Western Sahara. The Security Council is due to hold a number of meetings next month as it prepares to renew the mandate of the United Nations mission in Western Sahara, known as MINURSO. Morocco strives to secure Russia’s support for its strategy to include Algeria fully in the UN-led political process aimed at finding a mutually acceptable political solution to the Western Sahara dispute.Morocco stresses that the Polisario- the breakaway movement that claims to represent the Saharawis and wants to establish an independent state in Western Sahara- is not master of its destiny and the only way to achieve a political solution to the conflict if for the United Nations to admit and includes Algeria in the negotiations.Nothing has filtered so far about the topics discussed during the meeting.Bourita also met with the foreign ministers of several countries present the UN, including Denmark, Chile, Cyprus, Vietnam, Indonesia and Poland.During his participation in the UN General Assembly, the Moroccan diplomat also held talks with Under-Secretary-General and the Head of the United Nations Office for Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), Vladimir Voronkov.Morocco has mobilized a delegation of several high-level officials to reinforce diplomatic ties with several capitals.The Moroccan delegations was headed by Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani also represented King Mohammed VI on Tuesday at the General Assembly. Also The delegation includes Mohcine Jazouli, deputy Minister of African Affairs and Morocco’s permanent representative at the UN, Omar Hilale.Yesterday, the Moroccan minister met with Trump. Morocco’s delegation participated in several sideline symposiums, including a high-level meeting to promote and commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. read more

Insurance Fees in Morocco to Rise Dramatically Despite Stagnant Wages

Rabat – Owners of passenger vehicles valued at less than MAD 160,000 will have to pay MAD 12,000 instead of MAD 4,500 to have comprehensive insurance.The price increase is due to the compensation the client receives from insurance, reported daily newspaper Assabah in its Wednesday edition.Despite offsets, insurance company profits remain high and do not stop increasing each year. The insurance sector recorded a net profit of MAD 4.33 billion in 2017 and is expected to rise by the end of 2018. The insurance market recorded in 2018 a turnover that exceeds MAD 6.29 billion, up by 5.8 percent compared to 2017.The assurance fee in Morocco is calculated based on tax horsepower, the type of the engine (gasoline or diesel), and the age of the vehicle, among other things.Salaries stagnate, living costs riseAssabah, which first reported the news, noted that the insurance companies’ move is “unwarranted and controversial.” The newspaper suggested that the move is likely to raise eyebrows in various Moroccan sectors, especially given the country’s extremely low minimum wages for employed Moroccans. But another eyebrow-raising element to the move may be consumers’ feeling that their recent demonstrations against relentless commodity price fluctuations and rising costs of living have not been taken seriously by both the country’s authorities and leading businesses.Earlier this year, a nationwide boycott movement manifested Moroccans’ accumulated grievances towards a system which many demonstrators said favors rich business owners over Moroccan consumers. While there were promises that prices would go down, things have remained virtually the same.Read Also: Morocco’s Unions Urge Govt. to Provide Health Insurance for CraftsmenMeanwhile, demands to raise the country’s minimum wages have been met unfavorably by the government. Last month, chief of government El Othmani’s meeting with trade unions’ representatives ended in a stalemate. In France, by comparison, only three weeks of general strike resulted in the French government bending to most of the protesters’ demands. France’s Yellow Vests’ demands were similar to the series of complaints Morocco’s boycott campaign had raised: an aloof and pro-rich government elite, as well as an exponential rise in living costs.The contrast, however, is that France’s popular uprising compelled authorities to–even temporarily–forsake their ivory tower and listen to disaffected and impoverished citizens.“I know I have hurt some of you and I take full responsibility,” President Macron said in a speech earlier this week, as he announced tax cuts and wage raises. While the French President’s late-minute surrender has not fully placated the protesting, many observers have suggested that his move means that at least the government has taken heed of the people’s struggles to make ends meet.In Morocco, however, wages are significantly low and stagnant while taxes and insurance fees are exponentially rising. Moreover, Assabah noted, income deduction to pay for taxes or insurances fees should be based on a given customer’s socio-economic status, or the price of the purchased good. But in Morocco, “insurance fees rise when insurance companies feel like it.” read more

Moroccan Professor Researcher Mohamed Benchrifa Dies at 88

Rabat – Benchrifa’s funeral took place after the Friday prayer at the Achouhada cemetery in Rabat, Moroccan media reported.Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani offered his condolence to  Benchrifa’s family in a tweet.Benchrifa “died … after [pursuing] a career marked by science and bestowment. He is the author of valuable works and research in language, literature, and the history of Moroccan and Andalusian civilization. May Allah have mercy on him,” El Othmani wrote. توفي أمس الخميس الأستاذ محمد بنشريفة عن سن تناهز التسعين عاما، بعد مسيرة حافلة بالعلم والعطاء. وهو صاحب المؤلفات والتحقيقات القيمة في اللغة والأدب وتاريخ الحضارة المغربية والأندلسية. رحمه الله وغفر له وأسكنه فسيح جناته وألهم أهله الصبر والسلوان. وإنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون— رئيس الحكومة -المغرب (@ChefGov_ma) November 23, 2018Benchrifa was born in 1930 in Laatamna, El Jadida province, near Casablanca.Benchrifa was a professor of Andalusian literature at Mohammed VI University in Rabat between 1970 and 1995 when he retired.The researcher was among the first Moroccan students to receive a BA in literature in 1960 and Masters degree in literature in 1964 from the ٌFaculty of Letters in Rabat. He obtained a PhD in Literature from Cairo University in 1969.Benchrifa was also author of several valuable books and studies.Read also: Ali Squalli, Author of Moroccan National Anthem Dies at 86The 88-year-old researcher was awarded several prizes, including the King Faisal International Prize for Arab Literature for his paper of “Arabic literature in Andalusia” in 1988 and the Maghreb Grand Prix for his study “Abu Tammam and Abu Tayeb in Moroccan literature” in 1987.Benchrifa was member of the Royal Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco, the Royal Academy of History in Spain, and the Arabic Language Academy in Damascus. read more

Summary of CRTCs findings about telecom sales practices

Here’s a list of findings by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission after it investigated allegations of misleading and aggressive sales tactics by wireless and internet service providers:Overview: Misleading or aggressive retail sales practices are present in the telecommunications service provider market in Canada. They exist in all types of sales channels and are harming Canadian consumers.Most vulnerable: Seniors, people with disabilities and people whose first language isn’t English or French.Providers’ faults: In some cases, service providers failed to adequately inform sales agents about internal measures to prevent misleading or aggressive sales practices, or to adequately monitor compliance with the policies.Solutions: Written, time-limited sales quotes are an efficient, feasible way to limit misleading or aggressive sales practices. Trial periods are another important tool for consumers. Special discounts for people with disabilities.Complaint process: There’s a lack of a fast, efficient, and easy-to-use mechanism by which a customer can seek redress is a continuing issue. Improvements can and must be made on this issue.Public education: There are gaps in terms of public awareness of existing consumer protections.Quote: “It is apparent that misleading or aggressive retail sales practices are present in the telecommunications service provider market in Canada and, to some extent, in the television service provider market. “These practices exist in all types of sales channels, including in store, online, over the telephone, and door to door.“They occur to an unacceptable degree; they are harming Canadian consumers, in particular vulnerable Canadians; and they are a serious concern for the CRTC.” — Report on Misleading or Aggressive Communications Retail Sales Practices.The Canadian Press read more

US durable goods orders up 12 per cent in December

WASHINGTON — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods posted a 1.2 per cent advance in December, the best showing in four months, but much of the strength came from a surge in orders for commercial aircraft. In a worrisome development, a key category that tracks business investment fell for a second straight month.The Commerce Department says the December advance in orders for durable goods followed a 1 per cent rise in November which was revised up from an initial reading of 0.7 per cent.But orders for non-defence capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched category used as a proxy for business investment plans, fell 0.7 per cent in December after a 1 per cent drop in November. The strength in the overall number came from a 28.4 per cent jump in commercial aircraft orders.Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press read more

French aviation experts see clear links in 2 Boeing crashes

PARIS — The French civil aviation investigation bureau BEA has concluded there were “clear similarities” between this month’s crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX plane and a Lion Air plane crash last October.The French bureau said Monday that black box data from the Ethiopian Airlines flight showed the links and will be used for further study.Ethiopian authorities asked BEA for help in extracting and interpreting the crashed plane’s black boxes because Ethiopia does not have the necessary expertise and technology.The Ethiopian Accident Investigation Bureau intends to release a preliminary report within 30 days.The Associated Press read more