Thursday 17 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 08/14/17)
Morocco on Monday rejected accusations by media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) that it obstructed coverage of months of unrest and protests that have shaken the northern Rif region. In July, RSF issued a scathing statement accusing the authorities in the North African country of preventing journalists from covering events in the Rif, particularly in the main city of Al-Hoceima. "The situation of Moroccan and foreign journalists covering the events in northern Morocco keeps on getting worse," said Yasmine Kacha, the head of RSF's North Africa bureau, at the time. "By trying to prevent coverage of the Rif protests, the Moroccan authorities are gradually turning this region into a no-go zone for independent media." On...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead next year, Gates said in an interview in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital. “It’s quite clear that they won’t make those drastic cuts,” Gates said. “I’m hopeful they won’t make any cuts at all, but that’s still subject to...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/11/17)
Morocco has lodged its bid to host the 2026 soccer World Cup, the country's football federation said in a statement on Friday. The offer to host the expanded 48-team tournament will compete with a joint bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada. The North African nation narrowly lost out to South Africa in its offer to stage the 2010 finals. “The Royal Moroccan Football Federation has officially submitted its candidacy on Friday, August 11, 2017 to organize the World...
(APA 08/11/17)
Morocco has formally submitted its application to organize the 2026 World Cup, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) announced on Friday. “The FRMF has officially filed its application to the specialized commissions of the International Football Federation (FIFA) to host the World Cup 2026,” the body said in a statement. After four attempts to host the major global football event (1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010), Morocco aspires to be able to clinch the World Cup 2026, the first that will...
(Xinhuanet 08/11/17)
Morocco on Friday launched its bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2026. Morocco's football association (RMFF) said in a statement posted on its website that it submitted its application to host the 2026 World Cup to the world soccer governing body FIFA. This will be Morocco's fifth bid to host the World Cups, after its unsuccessful bids for the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 editions of the tournament. The deadline for a country to express their intention to...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/10/17)
A British explorer for mineral resources in Africa will on Thursday become the first venture of its kind to be listed on London's AIM market for growing companies, its CEO said. Following the recovery of the mining sector from a commodity price crash in 2015-16, a handful of new companies have listed. But smaller exploration companies known as project generators, which find assets but sell them on or agree joint ventures to develop them, have generally preferred the Canadian or...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the...
(AFP (eng) 08/09/17)
Spanish police have found 30 Moroccan and Algerian migrants, 10 of them minors, hidden in fairground vehicles leaving the Spanish territory of Ceuta after an annual festival, they said Tuesday. Agents used heartbeat detectors and dogs to locate the migrants who had hidden anywhere they could find -- including bumper cars and a ghost train -- as the vehicles carrying them waited to board ferries bound for mainland Spain, the Guardia Civil police force said. "They try to use attractions...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
Morocco's vegetables exports to the European Union increased by 17 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same period of 2016, local media reported on Wednesday. The total value of the exports in the first six months of 2017 stood at 551.8 million euros(648 million USD) compared to 470.6 million euros(553 million USD) a year earlier, the financial daily L'Economiste said, citing figures from Eurostat, compiled by Spanish producer-exporter association Fepex. Morocco remains one of the...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal...
(AFP (eng) 08/08/17)
Morocco's opposition chief has resigned to take responsibility for the troubles facing his Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), including last year's election defeat, the party said. Ilyas El Omari's party was beaten by the ruling Islamists in Morocco's legislative polls in October, but more than doubled its number of seats in the new parliament. The PAM, formed in 2008 by a close adviser to the king, had poured enormous resources into a campaign criticising the government's economic record. But party...
(AFP (eng) 08/08/17)
A protester in a coma after being struck on the head last month in clashes between demonstrators and security forces in northern Morocco died Tuesday of his injuries, officials said. The neglected northern Rif region of Morocco has been shaken by weeks of protests and violence with demonstrators demanding jobs, development and an end to corruption. On July 20, Imad Atabi was hit in the head in clashes in the main Rif city of Al-Hoceima, and taken to a military...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year,...
(AFP (eng) 08/02/17)
Human rights groups have raised fears for a detained Moroccan activist who was hospitalised a month into a hunger strike over his arrest following protests in the troubled Rif region. Detained in the northern town of Al-Hoceima in late June and held in Casablanca's Oukacha prison, 34-year-old Rabii Elablaq immediately began refusing food to demand his release. "His health has been deteriorating ever since," said Rachid Benali, coordinator of a group defending detainees from the Rif, a predominantly Berber region...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys...
(AFP (eng) 08/01/17)
Some 200 migrants stormed a high fence between Morocco and the Spanish territory of Ceuta early on Tuesday, with 73 managing to get through in the latest incident at the border, authorities said. A spokesman for the central government's representative office in Ceuta, on Morocco's northern coast, said 18 people were "slightly" injured, including 15 migrants and three policemen. The migrants used "wire cutters and mallets to cut through the doors" in the high double fence, he added. Ceuta and...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands...
(AFP (eng) 07/31/17)
King Mohammed VI of Morocco on Saturday pardoned more than a thousand detainees, some of whom were under arrest for taking part in protests in the troubled northern Rif region, the justice ministry announced. The monarch pardoned a total of 1,178 people, including a number who had joined demonstrations in the northern port city of Al-Hoceima and surrounding area, the ministry said in a statement, issued shortly before King Mohammed made a televised speech to mark 18 years on the throne. The justice ministry said pardons were granted to those "who have not committed crimes and who are not implicated in serious acts... bearing in mind their family...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/31/17)
Morocco's King Mohammed VI has pardoned dozens of people arrested in recent protests in a northern region and blamed the failure of local officials to quickly implement development projects for stoking public anger. It was his first public address since the start of protests in October over injustice, corruption and underdevelopment following the death of Mouhcine Fikri, a fishmonger crushed in a garbage truck retrieving stock confiscated by police. Fikri's death triggered widespread anger and protests in the Rif region...

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