Childhood abuse worsens depression in adulthood

first_imgFacing trauma in childhood can significantly change the structure of the brain, which may result in severe depression which could even be recurrent in adulthood, say researchers. The results from MRI scan images suggest that both childhood maltreatment and recurring depression are associated with similar reductions in the surface area of the insular cortex, part of the brain that regulates emotion and self-awareness. This reduction could make a future relapse more likely, said the study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, which found childhood maltreatment one of the strongest risk factors for major depression in adulthood. Also Read – An income drop can harm brain”Given the impact of the insular cortex on brain functions such as emotional awareness, it’s possible that the changes we saw make patients less responsive to conventional treatments,” said lead researcher Nils Opel from the University of Munster in Germany. The study included 110 patients aged 18 to 60 years. Of the 75 patients who experienced a relapse, 48 had experienced one additional episode, seven reported two episodes, and six experienced three episodes. Fourteen had a remission period of less than two months and could therefore be regarded as having chronic depression. The findings are to develop or improve risk-adapted interventions for people susceptible to a worse long-term clinical outcome. Future research should therefore explore how the findings could be translated into care and treatment that could improve patient outcomes.last_img read more

Thapas exit deals another blow to GJMs Bimal faction

first_imgDarjeeling: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (Bimal Gurung faction) suffered another setback with Rohit Thapa, the organisational secretary of Dooars tendering in his resignation from the party.Talking to mediapersons in Siliguri on Monday, Thapa stated that he has resigned as the party has been taking decisions without consulting the leaders and supporters on ground zero. “Since 2008 I have supported and worked on the behest of Bimal Gurung in Dooars. We have faced so many problems and oppositions yet have worked for the party. However, now decision are being taken unilaterally from Delhi without any consultations,” stated Thapa. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaWhen questioned on whether alliance with the BJP or choice of Raju Bista has caused any discontent, Thapa stated: “In 2009, we accepted Jaswant Singh and again in 2014 we supported SS Ahluwalia. This time also we are ready to support Bista but where is the Gorkhaland issue. We have supported Bimal Gurung just because of the Gorkhaland issue.” Thapa stated that they are not willing to support Gurung’s politics of self survival. “We were having an all-party meet to decide on a consensus candidate. Suddenly, the GNLF left for Delhi. Suddenly, we get an audio clip from Gurung stating that an alliance has been forged with the GNLF and the BJP and to extend all possible support,” stated Thapa. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayHe further questioned that if this move is for Gorkhaland than why weren’t other pro-Gorkhaland such as the CPRM and JAP called to Delhi. “We don’t know what sort of deal he has struck with the the BJP and the GNLF. We have been kept in the dark constantly,” Thapa said. Without naming the BJP he stated that they are adopting double standards on Gorkhaland. “From the Hills till Sukna its Gorkhaland and once they come to the plains Gorkhaland disappears,” added Thapa. When questioned on whether he would join any other party, Thapa stated that he has not decided on this yet. Recently Swaraj Thapa, a close confidant of Bimal Gurung and advisor, had also resigned from the party.last_img read more

Im often disasppointed with scripts which come my way Jim Sarbh

first_imgMumbai: Jim Sarbh, who has given critically-acclaimed performances in films such as “Neerja” and “Padmaavat”, says he feels underwhelmed with the kind of scripts coming his way. The actor caught the audience’s attention as the antagonist in his 2016 debut, “Neerja”. He has also starred in “Sanju” and was most recently seen in Amazon Prime Video’s “Made in Heaven” “Films have always been my first love but because I kept getting cast in plays or because the school I went to didn’t have film acting course. It just had theatre studies — I came from a theatrical tradition. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka “I have spent the better part of my life reading some of the best plays in the world. I am spoilt. I imagine that each script I get should be as good as those plays and I am often sorely disappointed,” the actor told PTI. Having played some of the most iconic parts on stage, the longing to do good work in films has only increased, Sarbh, 31, says. “I have had the opportunity of playing, in my opinion, some of the best characters ever written in a play, Romeo in ‘Romeo and Juliet’, Jerry in ‘Zoo Story’ and I can keep going. I have been lucky (in theatre). Also Read – Salman Khan remembers actor Vinod Khanna “(But) how will I get those parts (here)? I am waiting for an opportunity to sink my teeth into roles that are complicated, interesting as any of these.” The actor, however, found an opportunity where he could work and build his character while working on “Made in Heaven”, created by filmmakers Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti. He is garnering praise for his role of a rich Delhi industrialist, Adil Khanna, a complicated man, torn between his current love interest and wife. “In the beginning, my character was a little underwritten as compared to others, which was quite refreshing actually. You could get an interpretation reading the character that ‘oh he is just a bad guy’ but I was more interested in playing him as a person who fell in love, again,” Sarbh says. “Made in Heaven” is directed by Zoya, Nitya Mehra, Alankrita Shrivastava and Prashant Nair. The makers recently announced season two of the series.last_img read more

I belong to the caste of the poor Modi

first_imgSonebhadra (UP): Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday came down heavily on the opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh for raising questions on his caste, asserting that he belongs to the caste of all poor countrymen.Addressing an election rally here, Modi continued to attack the Congress over its leader Sam Pitroda’s hua to hua (It happened, so what?) remark on the anti-Sikh riots in 1984. National security also figured prominently. Modi accused a previous coalition government of weakening the intelligence agencies and recalled that the Pokhran nuclear tests took place on this day 21 years back. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh”They have destroyed Uttar Pradesh and now the SP and the BJP have come together to save themselves from destruction, he said, calling their alliance mahamilawati or adulterated. They have started a new thing about my caste, he said, in an apparent reference to Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati’s jibe that he is a farzi backward — a fake OBC leader. I want to tell them that Modi belongs to just one caste – whatever caste the poor belong to, I belong to that caste,” he said, listing the schemes that his government has launched for them. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadHe claimed that the country’s intelligence agencies suffered when a third front government, which included the Samajwadi Party, was in power at the Centre. “Our intelligence agencies were weakened by an earlier ‘mahamilawati’ government, but the (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee government set that right,” he said. “Many people connected with our security and intelligence agencies have written a lot about this. They have written how they had made the intelligence network hollow and the country had to bear its consequences for long, he said. What the third front government did is in no way less than a crime,” he said. “Whenever there is a ‘mahamilawati’ government in the country, it has threatened national security, he said. The prime minister hailed scientists for the successful Pokhran nuclear tests this day in 1998. “Twenty-one years back this day, India successfully carried out nuclear tests, Operation Shakti. I salute the scientists who brought laurels to the country with their hard work. This historic event in 1998 proves what strong political will can do for national security,” he said. Referring to the Manmohan Singh term, he claimed the country got a weak government run by remote control after the one headed by Vajpayee. He said that government brought a bad name to the country. “So many scams took place but the Congress and its people had no remorse as their way of thinking is ‘hua to hua’,” he said making a fresh attack on the Congress for its leader Sam Pitroda’s remarks. “It shows the character and mentality of the party, he said. The hua to hua’ remark reflects the arrogance of the Congress,” he said. Modi cited the Balakot air strikes against Pakistan as an example of what a bold government can accomplish. “This is the new India. Now India barges into the hideouts of terrorists and kills them,” he added.last_img read more

Congress arrogant the nation is saying ab bahut hua Modi

first_imgSasaram: Lambasting the Congress over Sam Pitrodas hua to hua comment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday charged that the remark was a reflection on the party’s arrogance with which it has been shrugging off its misdeeds while it was in power.The three words hua to hua (whatever happened, happened) uttered by the guru (Pitroda) of the Naamdaar (Rahul Gandhi) in front of TV cameras sum up their attitude. This is the way they have brazened it out whenever their regimes have been discredited on account of corruption scandals, Modi told an election rally in Sasaram. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkThe nation is fed up and crying out ab bahut hua (now, enough is enough)”, he said. The people are fed up with the dynasty politics of Congress, their corruption and arrogance. “The message on May 23 when counting of votes is scheduled, will be loud and clear, Modi said evoking chants of phir ek baar Modi sarkar from the crowds. In an obvious dig at Lalu Prasad’s RJD, he said the arrogance of the Congress was on display when it imposed the Emergency and humiliated Jayaprakash Narayan and in the way it had allegedly sought to erase the contributions of Ambedkar from history. “But those swearing by the legacy of JP and Ambedkar are, in Bihar, carrying the flags of the Congress.last_img read more

Morocco participates in workshop on fight against transnational threats in Sahel

Dakar – A workshop on “the fight against transnational threats in the Sahel” kicked off Monday in Dakar with the participation of a number of experts and specialists from several international and regional organizations as well as several countries including Morocco.Initiated by the African Centre for Strategic Studies (ACSS), the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, the Senegalese government, this five-day seminar will provide an opportunity for participants to discuss different strategic approaches to fight transnational threats in the region.This meeting, which is also supported by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM ) and the Center for Strategic Studies of the Middle East and the South Asia, also seeks to examine the nature, scope and implications of transnational threats, and to identify and assess the strengths and weaknesses of national, regional and international initiatives on the matter. Speaking at the opening session of the workshop, to resume behind closed doors, Senegalese Interior Minister Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo, said the challenges in the Sahel region pose a real danger and a threat to international peace and security.“The Sahel is still witnessing multifaceted crises which makes it a breeding ground for criminal networks of all kinds, often maintained by terrorist organizations,” he recalled, noting that such a situation makes the countries of the region increasingly vulnerable to insecurity, resulting from various transnational illicit trafficking, mainly of people, drugs and weapons. read more

Badr Hari Visits Kenitra Prisoners

Rabat – On Friday August 28, Moroccan kickboxing champion, Badr Hari, visited the Kenitra central prison to celebrate his last victory over Ismael Londt.Accompanied by Moroccan artists Latifa Raafat, Abdelali El Ghaoui, Adil Miloudi and Zineb El Adaoui, Badr Hari expressed his sympathy towards the inmates.He began his speech by saying, “I experienced the same thing, I know exactly how you feel but nobody is perfect and to err is human.” He continued to express the difficulties he has faced in jail and his strong faith and belief in hope. “Once I was released from prison I strongly believed that there was another beginning and it’s time to show people that I am not that prisoner anymore.”He went on to add that he never expected to address the prisoners. “We don’t know what may have happened in the future. Yesterday, I was a prisoner like you and today, I am addressing you.  The point is, never loose hope and tenaciously defend your dream. Never allow others to demoralize you,”  he strongly concluded.Badr Hari, also known as the ‘Golden Boy’, made a strong comeback with a knockout punch against his opponent Ismael Londt out on August 22.ALC Fès Talent Show© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

Morocco Built 1772 km of Highways as of 2016

Rabat – Morocco has recently shifted into high gear in the construction of its road infrastructure. As of 2016, Morocco has reached 1772 kilometers of highways.The number was announced by Anwar Benazzouz, the General Director of the Moroccan motorway operator Autoroutes du Maroc (ADM) Thursday at a press conference in Rabat for the presentation of the company’s annual results of 2015.Currently, ADM builds, maintains and operates a motorway network of 1800 kilometers in total. According to the statistics made public during the press conference, Morocco’s motorway network comprised 1588 kilometers in use by December 31, 2015 and 184 kilometers are under construction. The rest is programmed for the medium term, as explained by the company’s representative. The motorway connecting Berrechid and Khouribga was inaugurated in 2015, while the Rabat-Sale bypass (42 km) and Safi-Al Jadida (143 km) are still in the terminal phase of construction. The Deputy Minister for Transport, Mohamed Najib Boulif, announced on Wednesday, May 11 that the highway bypassing Rabat and Sale and its landmark cable-stayed bridge would be inaugurated for traffic use in June.The average daily traffic amounted to 18.9 million vehicles per day in 2015, which represents an increase of 8.1% compared to 2014.This traffic has generated a revenue of 2,319 million dirhams, an increase of 9.7% compared to 2014, according to the ADM.Despite the increase in traffic, ADM’s net income is, however, still in deficit as explained by the company. December 31, 2015 marked a loss of 2,150 million dirhams, compared to 1.114 million dirhams in 2014. read more

WHO Fights NonCommunicable Diseases in Morocco

By Christopher ThomasRabat – Yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a new initiative to combat Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Morocco. Qualified experts in teams of four will range the streets of Rabat and approach households to ascertain potential signs of NCDs. They will then expand beyond Rabat to encompass the entire country as part of a mission for a new WHO project to improve data on health hazards in Morocco and worldwide. Data for Health, an initiative already backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Australian government, has partnered with WHO among other governments and NGOs. Their goal is to diminish the information gap on worldwide causes of death. Currently, about half of all global deaths go unreported. This daunting figure prevents health organizations from understanding the greatest causes of death, which significantly hinders knowledge concerning the greatest threats to human life. While heart and lung diseases, diabetes, and cancer are prime suspects, without more information researchers cannot be certain.Data for Health will help WHO conduct house-to-house surveys using their STEPS approach. This interpersonal survey method uses electronic databases to streamline previous data collection efforts, and provide a basic standard of information upon which to build. They will begin collecting in Morocco and Zambia, then expand to four other currently undetermined countries.The Moroccan Ministry of Health strongly supports this mission as well. Dr. Hicham El Berri, head of that ministry’s NCDs Division, told the WHO that “this is an important moment for Morocco. We lack NCDs data and STEPS is a tried and tested system. To have WHO and the Data for Health initiative help us establish a system to collect NCDs data from households will be very useful and important for NCDs prevention and control in Morocco.”The initiative will begin its work in October this year, with fourteen teams of four visiting over 6000 households around the nation. Data will be collected via surveys and electronic questionnaires, asking adults aged 18 and over on topics concerning “tobacco use, alcohol consumption, physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, weight and height, waist circumference, blood pressure, cholesterol, and fasting blood sugar,” according to their website.WHO’s NCD Surveillance team head Leanne Riley is confident in the project’s goals and importance. “Knowing how widespread are the risk factors that threaten people’s health is essential for governments to develop policies and make the case for resources to curb these risks endangering people’s health,” she told WHO in a press release. “Thanks to Data for Health, WHO is able to roll out the STEPS surveillance system in even more countries, which will provide decision-makers with real, actionable data to use to improve health.”She also expects this initiative to help Morocco’s government learn how to collect data on NCDs, and improve the nation’s efforts to meet the international Sustainable Development Goals. Riley believes that this project will support the wider initiative carried out by Health Data Collaborative, a coalition of over 30 global health organizations seeking to improve individual countries’ health information systems and improve health conditions worldwide. read more

Macedonias name change – what does the country have to do

SKOPJE, Macedonia — Macedonia is changing its name to North Macedonia in return for Greece dropping its objections to its northern neighbour joining NATO to settle a nearly three-decade dispute. But what does a country have to do, practically, when it changes its name?Greece’s parliament ratified the deal on Friday, in one of the final steps needed to end the disagreement between the two neighbours. Some procedural steps remain, including Greece signing its northern neighbour’s NATO accession protocol, before the name change comes into effect.Changing a country’s name is by no means unprecedented — many nations have done so, generally following political upheavals or at the end of colonial periods: think Burma to Myanmar, Rhodesia to Zimbabwe, Zaire to Congo and, more recently, Swaziland to eSwatini.Many things in Macedonia will have to change, from passports to government letterhead to schoolbooks. But some others, such as internet domain names, will remain the same. Here’s a look at the path ahead:____WHAT IS CHANGING?The country adopted the name Republic of Macedonia after it declared independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991. It has been recognized as such by more than 130 countries, but not by the United Nations, NATO or the European Union, due to Greece’s objections. Greece argued use of the term “Macedonia” usurped its own ancient heritage and implied territorial ambitions on its own northern province of the same name, birthplace of the ancient warrior king Alexander the Great.So the country’s official name was the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, or FYROM.Once the name change is complete, that will change to Republic of North Macedonia, or North Macedonia for short.____WHAT HAPPENS NOW?Once the deal comes into effect, the country will inform the rest of the world, including the United Nations, that it is now called North Macedonia, and will apply to join NATO and the European Union.The U.N. step could prove tricky. Russia, a U.N. Security Council member, has slammed the name change process as a crude violation of Macedonian law under pressure from the West so the country can join NATO. Russian officials, however, have stopped short of saying whether Moscow will recognize the new name.____WHAT ELSE WILL CHANGE?The government in Skopje will have a five-year grace period to implement practical changes, such as altering official letterhead, and changing passports and car license plates. The deal stipulates two transitional periods, one technical and one political.The five-year technical period is for official documents and materials for international use, while the five-year political period is for documents and materials used domestically. The latter process could actually take many more years.Passports will have to be amended, and the new versions are expected by the end of this year or in early 2020. Car license plates, which until now bore the international code MK, will change to either NM or NMK within five years.However, the country will retain its current codes of MK and MKD, assigned by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), for all other purposes, such as internet domain names and sports events.____STATUES AND MONUMENTSThe construction of monuments has played a big role in the dispute with Greece. Macedonia’s former prime minister, Nikola Gruevski, ordered a plethora of statues and monuments, including of ancient Greeks, to festoon the capital, Skopje, and other areas. Skopje’s main square is dominated by a towering statue of a rider on a horse — and few had any doubts it was of Alexander the Great. A statue of Alexander’s father Philip is a short walk away.Once the name change takes effect, Macedonia will have six months to “review the status of monuments, public buildings and infrastructures on its territory, and insofar as they refer in any way to ancient Hellenic history and civilization …. shall take appropriate corrective action.”Within six months it will also have to stop using the sixteen-rayed Sun of Vergina, a symbol in ancient Greek art and associated with Alexander’s dynasty, which Macedonia formerly displayed on its first national flag after independence.____COMMERCE AND TRADEHere the issue becomes less clear. For usage in commercial names, trademarks and brand names, the deal says Greece and Macedonia agreed to encourage their respective business communities to ” institutionalize a sincere, structured and in good faith dialogue … (to) seek and reach mutually accepted solutions.”An international expert panel is to be established including representatives of both countries to implement this.____SCHOOLBOOKS AND HISTORYThe two sides have a year from the signing of the agreement in June 2018 to ensure that school textbooks or other materials such as maps, atlases and teaching guides do not contain any irredentist or revisionist references. A committee of experts on historic, archaeological and educational matters, supervised by the foreign ministries of each country, is to review the materials.____Becatoros reported from Athens, Greece. Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.Konstantin Testorides And Elena Becatoros, The Associated Press read more

Ford to invest 1 billion hire 500 at Chicago factories

CHICAGO — Ford Motor Co. plans to invest $1 billion and add 500 jobs at its plants in Chicago as the automaker launches three new SUVs.Ford announced at the Chicago Auto Show on Thursday that they will expand capacity to produce a new Ford Explorer, new Police Interceptor Utility and new Lincoln Aviator. Work will be finished this spring. The new jobs at the two Chicago facilities will bring employment at both to about 5,800.The Chicago plant will stop making the one-time top-selling Taurus sedan as it meets rising demand for SUVs. The Chicago factory is Ford’s longest continually operating vehicle assembly plant. It started producing the Model T in 1924.The Aviator is due in showrooms this summer and the Interceptor is the top-selling police vehicle in the country.The Associated Press

Police Demolish Ain Sebaa Sidi Moumen Slums in Casablanca

Rabat – The inhabitants of informal housing in Ain Sebaa and Sidi Moumen slums claim that police demolished their housing and expelled them by force without any notice. Several inhabitants, who say they are living in the streets after being expelled from their houses, said they would drop their Moroccan nationality and go into political exile. They argued that police and auxiliary forces in Casablanca showed up to demolish the informal housing without notice and prevented them from getting their clothes and belongings.The demolitions occured last week. The final demolition came at dawn on Saturday, September 22. Inhabitants were surprised by the demolition, claiming that they did not receive any notice. As shown on viral videos on social media platforms, inhabitants clashed with authorities and refused to leave their homes.Read also: How Sustainable is Morocco’s Cities Without Slums Program?Speaking to Le Site Info, one inhabitant stated, “Children are prevented from accessing school, as they are residents in slums.”“When the authorities showed up at 4 p.m., we thought that we are in Palestine receiving strikes from Israel,” declared another resident.Residents said that they have nowhere to go. They said it is impossible to rent in Casablanca, especially because of their low income and the high price of rent. read more

Rico Challenges Moroccos Kickboxing Star Badr Hari Again

Rabat – Dutch Glory Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven has challenged the Moroccan golden kickboxing superstar, Badr Hari.In a Dutch television program, the Dutch kickboxer said that he is “ready” for another confrontation with the Moroccan star.“I am waiting when I will be informed of the date and the location where the combat will take place,” he said. Verhoeven defeated Hari in 2017 due to a shoulder injury Hari suffered in the second round. Despite the defeat, Hari promised that he would be back in 2018 when he would be fully ready to face off with Rico again.Moroccan television channel Arryadia published a poster of the two stars captioned, “A revenge rematch between Badr Hari and Rico Verhoeven next March. The rematch will be broadcasted live on Arryadia.”Hari has tangled with Verhoeven, calling himself “the best, the number one, the absolute best.” The star has shared several photos of himself on his social networks doing intensive workouts.In August, Hari wrote a post on Instagram, saying “I don’t like retrospectives because there is still much work (KOs) to be done but it seems to be a (funny) list day…. Unreachable Bad Boy. There will be no loophole for my opponents,” citing some of the most challenging games he had won.Receiving the message loud and clear, it did not take long for Verhoeven to respond to his opponent. “Unreachable bad boy that’s exact what you are when they call you for the big fight……get to training and let see how long you last this time.”On the same post, Hari tagged his Dutch rival in a comment and wrote: “Dear Rico, don’t try to feed a false rumor: there was NEVER any discussion regarding a fight in September. How can you imagine that you would have been the 1st fighter on the poster in such a case ?”In his comment, the Moroccan kickboxer wrote, “Don’t forget who’s the boss.” Now, Badr Hari has another challenger as renowned Moroccan kickboxer Jamal Ben Saddik also wants a fight with Hari.After defeating Dutch kickboxer Angelo Marshall, Ben Saddik challenged Hari, who was in the audience.“Come here; you are always a bad boy,” said Ben Saddik after winning his fight.Hari did not hesitate to enter the ring and has accepted the challenge. “You are not my first choice, but if you want it it is ok for me, I am ready.” read more

Boeing takes hit to its reputation after 2 plane crashes

NEW YORK — Boeing’s newest version of its bestselling airliner has crashed twice in less than six months, delivering a massive blow to the company’s reputation.Critics have questioned Boeing’s decision not to voluntarily ground its planes as country after country pulled them from the sky.Boeing’s finances will take a hit as it faces lawsuits from victims’ families and compensation claims from airlines. It also faces delayed revenue from missed airplane deliveries and the expense of fixing its planes.But the airline industry has a long history of recovering from tragedy. And experts say the disasters are unlikely to have a lasting impact on Boeing’s brand or finances.Cathy Bussewitz, The Associated Press

Moroccan Contractual Teachers Strike for 4th Week for Equality

Rabat – More than 10,000 of young Moroccans made their voices heard internationally as they flocked to Rabat to protest the government’s alternative decision regarding their status as contractual teachers throughout Saturday night and Sunday morning.The teachers, who describe themselves as “forcibly contracted educators,” decided to camp out in front of Parliament on Saturday night to show their determination.Anti-riot police used water cannons and police motorcycles to disperse the protests.Some teachers also said there was “violence” during the protests. Some video clips and pictures showed faces covered in blood.The government has hired teachers under annually renewable contracts every year since 2016.To fill the need for more teachers while managing heavy public debts, the government hired the teachers through regional academies.Read Also: Morocco’s Police Use Water Cannon at Contractual Teachers’ ProtestThe contractual teachers, who are not officially part of the public sector, receive the same salary, starting at MAD 5,000 ($520) monthly, as teachers who are permanently on the government payroll but have reduced pensions.Teachers have not held up their end of the contracts they signed, the government said.Minister of Education Said Amzazi issued a statement earlier this month, explaining that teachers were informed of the contracts’ conditions before signing them.But contractual teachers are demanding equal treatment to their public sector counterparts.Oussama Hamdouch, a 27-year-old member of the National Coordination of “the Forcibly Contracted Teachers,” spoke to Morocco World News about their demands and loopholes in the contracts.Hamdouch said that the situation of the teachers has reached a critical and decisive moment.“We are in a battle”Hamdouch, who became a teacher when he signed a contract in 2018, said that the government has offered to change 14 articles of the contracts as a compromise.Read Also: Amzazi: Contractual Teachers Knew They Could Not Join Public ServiceHe said that the Ministry of Education offered to change the teachers from “contractual teachers” hired under fixed terms to full employees of the regional academies of education.The offer was unacceptable, teachers said.Regional academies do not have the ability to adopt all teachers, Hamdouch said.“They lack the human and financial resources teachers need.”Morocco’s regional academies are not autonomous institutions and receive funding from the Education Ministry.“The academies will be able to fire teachers if they don’t have financial resources whenever they want to. School principals will also have a certain authority over us. We want to work with dignity like the other teachers in the public sector,” Hamdouch told MWN.Contractual teachers. Photo Credit: Morocco World NewsAmong the working conditions the contractual teachers are complaining about is the pension system.Teachers working under contracts will only receive 40 percent of their monthly salary after retirement. If they receive MAD 10,000 while working, the teachers will receive MAD 4,000 monthly after retiring.Debts, politics drive the issueHamdouch said that contractual teachers signed the contracts because they were not offered better job opportunities. “We had no choice. The job market is disappointing.”Explaining why the group representing teachers calls themselves “forcibly contracted teachers,” Hammouch said, “If the government wants to increase the prices on gas cylinders, there will be protests, but people will buy anyways because of their need and lack of options.”Read Also: Contractual and Cell 9 Teachers: We Will Continue Our ProtestsIn 2016, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Finance announced a joint decision to recruit teachers through contracts  to offer job opportunities, to meet a need for teachers, and to improve human resources in education.Children supporting contractual teachers in protests. Photo Credit: Morocco World NewsThe Ministry did not respond to our calls for comment.The unemployment rate in Morocco remains high, despite the slight year-on-year decrease from 10.2 percent to 9.8 percent between 2017 and 2018, according to the Moroccan High Commission for Planning (HCP).Morocco continues to borrow from international firms to complete socio-economic and infrastructure projects and cover its budget deficit.HCP estimated that the overall public debt of the economy will increase to 82.5 percent of GDP in 2019.Several senior officials have warned that rising external debt could negatively impact Morocco’s economy.In 2018, the governor of the central bank, Bank Al Maghrib, Abdellatif  Jouahri, said he expected external debt to rise to 16.6 percent of GDP in 2019, up from 13.8 percent of GDP in 2018.Contractual teachers. Photo Credit: Morocco World News.He added that he refused to apply in 2016 when the government was looking for 10,000 candidates.“I did not have a choice in 2018; I applied because there are no other options.”One condition of the contract specifies that the teachers cannot seek to become public sector employees in the education sector for the duration of the contract, a key demand of the protesting teachers.Good health coverage, bad payAccording to the contracts, teachers’ salaries can increase depending on the employee’s pay grade.But the ministry did not respect some of the conditions in the contracts, teachers say.The government should increase the salary for the contractual teachers by MAD 100 annually.Read Also: Former Head of Government Benkirane Criticizes Protesting Contractual Teachers, Citing IslamEvery two years, the ministry should offer qualifying exams to evaluate the performance of teachers which could allow them to move to a higher pay grade.Another teacher speaking on condition of anonymity, however, acknowledged that the teachers are offered good health coverage.“The government introduced employment under fixed term contracts because of pressure from the World Bank,” Hamdouch said.To handle mounting debts, the government has reduced its payroll obligations.“The contracts make teachers feel unstable, disappointed, and deceived, he said. read more

The Latest UKGerman companies arent ready for Brexit

LONDON — The Latest on Britain’s departure from the European Union (all times local):11:10 a.m.A survey of German companies’ subsidiaries in Britain and British firms’ subsidiaries in Germany has found that nearly half the companies aren’t prepared for Brexit.The survey of 101 firms, conducted in December and January and released Thursday, showed that 47 per cent hadn’t carried out a Brexit risk assessment. It was conducted by auditor KPMG and the British Chamber of Commerce in Germany.It showed a wide variety of expectations for the outcome of the Brexit impasse. KPMG’s Andreas Glunz said that “when all scenarios are possible, a company can’t prepare for all scenarios simultaneously.”Thirteen per cent of respondents said that, if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal, they would move some or all of their business from the U.K. to Germany, and a further 10 per cent planned to move business from Britain to another EU country. None planned to move business to Britain.___9:05 a.m.British Prime Minister Theresa May is making a final effort to save her European Union withdrawal deal after her promise to quit failed to win over lawmakers from Northern Ireland.May pledged Wednesday night that she would stand down if the deal were approved, in hopes of blunting opposition from lawmakers who have criticized her leadership. While some opponents, including former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, quickly said they would back May’s deal, Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party said it remained opposed because of concerns it treats the province differently from other parts of the U.K.Parliament later rejected eight alternatives in a series of “indicative votes.”Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay said the outcome showed May’s deal was “the best option” as he appealed for lawmakers to support the agreement.The Associated Press read more

Minnesota mans family sues Boeing over deadly plane crash

CHICAGO — The family a Minnesota man who died when an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed last month has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Boeing, the manufacturer of the 737 Max aircraft that is was involved in the crash and is now being investigated by U.S. prosecutors.The suit was filed Monday in federal court in Chicago, where Boeing is based, on behalf of the family of Mucaad Hussein Abdalla, of St. Cloud, Minnesota. It’s the latest complaint in a growing number of claims against Boeing following two 737 Max crashes within six months.The lawyers representing Abdalla’s family allege that Boeing knew or had reason to suspect a malfunction of a new automated anti-stall system known as MCAS. The lawsuit says the company “actively concealed” the nature of the defects.Boeing declined to comment on the lawsuit.The Associated Press read more

Man Stabs Moroccan National in Sports Club in Riyadh

Rabat – A man in Saudi Arabia stabbed a Moroccan coach at a sports club in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Sunday, July 14.Saudi news outlets reported that police are launching an investigation after a man stormed the sports club and stabbed Moroccan coach, Youssef Abdellatif El Mouji.The murder took place after the sunset (maghrib) prayer. لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله .. #وقت_اللياقة— ‏‏﮼عٌ (@akoooas_1_wahed) July 15, 2019Videos of police surrounding the club have gone viral on social media. One of the members of the club filmed himself, saying that the murderer had stabbed the Moroccan coach in the chest.The suspect violently and repeatedly stabbed El Mouji, making it impossible for the coach to defend himself. The killer also threatened other members of the club, telling them  not approach him which allowed him to flee the scene. An eyewitness, quoted by Erem News, said that the suspect had been talking to the coach about some exercises, when he left the club to get a knife from his car.“The coach was helping him, but no one heard what he told him exactly. The  killer stopped his workout and went to his car. He came back a few minutes later with a knife and stabbed the coach,” the witness explained.Police identified the suspect through surveillance cameras in the club.Police in Saudi Arabia arrested the suspect on Monday, July 15; investigations are ongoing to determine the circumstances and the motives of the murder. read more

Former Peruvian Official Western Sahara Conflict is Issue of Territorial Integrity

Rabat – Peruvian congresswoman and politician Martha Gladys Cossio published a one-page opinion piece to speak about her visit to two of the twelve regions of Morocco: Laayoune and Dakhla in Western Sahara.Published in Expreso, the publication shows the congresswoman’s satisfaction with her visit to the region, where she observed  significant development.“The purpose of my visit (..) was to directly observe the situation in these regions, especially the day-to-day life of the population” of the regions, she said. She also said she had the opportunity and “freedom” to exchange ideas with government officials, as well as representatives of private institutions and association dedicated to   education and the support of vulnerable groups.Read Also: Bourita Calls Guinea ‘Exceptional Friend’ of Morocco, Thanks Country for Support on Western Sahara“Life in these regions goes on  normally with eagerness to achieve progress and well-being,” Cossio said.The congresswoman also acknowledged Morocco’s “seriousness, commitment, and significant human and material efforts” in the search search for a mutually and pragmatic political solution to end the conflict.Morocco, which does not accept any hostility against its sovereignty over  Western Sahara, has already submitted an initiative which was recognized by the most significant resolutions of the Security Council. Morocco submitted its the Autonomy Plan  to the United Nations in 2007. The plan  is part of the country’s ongoing efforts to build a democratic and modern society based on the rule of law; individual, collective, and economic freedoms, as well as social development.In 2018, Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita  said that Morocco’s initiative was established within the framework of international legality “to guarantee all the collective and individual rights as decided by international instruments, in particular those relating to human rights, natural resources, and the self-determination principle.”Aware of the pragmatism of the initiative, Cossio said that the Western Sahara conflict is an issue of territorial integrity.Cossio added that  an increasing number of countries, in particular in Latin America and regional blocs such as the African Union, the European Union, as well as other regional organizations, d support a final solution to the question ofthe “territorial integrity of Morocco” through the autonomy initiative.In her article, Cossio did not forget to mention the good diplomatic relations between Morocco and Peru.“Morocco, a friend of Peru, is an ally of the world” in the face of threats linked to religious extremism, she said.Peru  has long supported Morocco’s autonomy plan.In October 2017, 21 members of the Peruvian Parliament expressed their support for Morocco’s autonomy plan for Western Sahara. read more

Canfor reports 895million firstquarter loss revenue down from year ago

Companies in this story: (TSX:CFP) VANCOUVER — Canfor Corp. reported a loss in its most recent quarter compared with a profit a year ago as revenue fell.The forestry company says it lost $89.5 million or 71 cents per diluted share for the three months ended March 31.That compared with a profit of $112.2 million or 87 cents per diluted share in the same quarter last year.Sales for the first three months of 2019 amounted to $1.15 billion, down from $1.23 billion for the first three months of 2018.On an adjusted basis, Canfor says it lost $36.8 million or 29 cents per diluted share for the quarter compared with an adjusted profit of $145.4 million or $1.13 per diluted share a year earlier.On Monday, Canfor temporarily curtailed operations at its B.C. lumber mills due to low prices and the high cost of fibre. The curtailment is expected to reduce Canfor’s production output by approximately 100 million board feet.“While our B.C. based lumber business experienced significant challenges due to lower than anticipated market prices and difficult operating conditions, our U.S. South and European operations generated solid financial returns,” Canfor chief executive Don Kayne, said in a statement.“We look forward to adding a further 200 million board feet to our U.S. South operations during the second quarter with the upcoming close of the Elliott acquisition, which will help offset the escalating log cost and fibre supply issues impacting our B.C. operations.” The Canadian Press read more