Rabat- Algeria has decided to freeze its relations with Morocco. The spokesperson of the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Sunday that his country had decided to severe its diplomatic relations with Morocco. “There will be no meeting between the officials of both countries, especially those held in Morocco,” Omar Bellani, was quoted by the Algerian news outlet elbilad.net as saying. “The Algerian government will prevent any Algerian official from taking part in any activity held in Morocco, no matter how important it might be,” he added. The Algerian officials said this decision was made after the court of Casablanca had given a two-month suspended sentence to a Moroccan protester who broke into the compound of Algeria’s consulate in Casablanca and tore down the country’s flag during a diplomatic row.Bellani described the ruling as a “scandal,” adding that Morocco dealt with the issue as if the defendant had stormed an abandoned cottage or a private property.” © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or or redistribute
Rabat – The Moroccan police and the General directorate of national territory surveillance, in close collaboration with the Spanish security services, disbanded a network, active in Nador and Melilia (northeastern Morocco), suspected of recruiting fighters for the Iraqi-Syrian jihadist group “Islamic State.”A release of the Moroccan interior ministry said the operation is part of anticipation efforts to face terrorist threats.According to the source, eight members of the network who were arrested were in touch with members of “Attaouhid” and “Al Mouahidine,” two other groups disbanded in May 2013 in Nador. They also coordinated with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) group in northern Mali where the brother of the cell’s chief was active since end 2012 before joining the “Islamic State” organization in Iraq and Syria.The head of this cell is involved in several crimes, including robbery under the pretext of what is called “booty,” while other members smuggled all kinds of goods and sold stolen cars in order to finance the travel of the cell members to Syria and Iraq, the release goes on.The suspects will be referred to justice at the end of the investigation conducted under the supervision of the relevant prosecutor.
Rabat – Paris Saint-Germain are said to be interested in signing Morocco’s prodigy Hachim Mastour. According to Italian Sports Website Le Corriere dello Sport, AC Milan is waiting for a serious offer from Paris St Germain.It’s believed Milan would let the 17-year-old whizkid go for around €5m, said Le Corriere dello Sport. Mastour, who made his international debut for Morocco last month, has also been linked with Spanish archrivals Real Madrid and Barcelona.However, Mastour is still waiting to receive his senior debut for AC Milan.The young Milanista already has sponsorship deals and made ads with Brazil international and Barcelona forward Neymar.Earlier reports suggested that AC Milan may consider offering Mastour and three million euros in order to sign Besiktas winger of Moroccan origin Kerim Frei.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
Islamabad – Morocco and Pakistan have recently signed in Islamabad a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen cooperation in the field of training and scientific and academic research.The MoU was inked between the Moroccan universities of Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdallah in Fes, Hassan II in Casablanca, and the international Islamic university of Islamabad.Under this agreement, teaching staff, administrative executives and students of the three universities will exchange visits to take part in training sessions and inquire about teaching systems and the quality of research in Morocco and Pakistan.The Memorandum is also meant to develop common research tools and educational material. Both parties to the agreement decided on this occasion to set up a committee to ensure the implementation of the Memorandum.With MAP
SCHLEPZIG, Germany — Bastian Heuser swirls the snifter of deep amber whiskey before taking a sip, noting its sweet caramel flavour that soon opens up with hints of spices, nuts and dried fruits.It’s not a single malt from a verdant Scottish glen, nor a sour mash bourbon from the hills of Tennessee. This is an award-winning German rye whiskey produced by the tiny Spreewood Distillery , nestled in a small town among the fields and forests of Brandenburg about an hour’s drive from Berlin.German whiskey is little known outside the country, and the industry is still tiny compared with others. That could change, with distillers seeing both opportunities and dangers with Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and Europe’s trade spat with the U.S. over new tariffs.Both issues may seem far away from the Spreewood Distillery, established in refurbished farm buildings in the town of Schlepzig, home to about 600 people, where the emphasis is on a small, craft product created from locally sourced ingredients.“From grain to glass, we do it all here,” Heuser says at the distillery he has run with his two partners since 2016. “The only thing we don’t have is our own field of rye, but maybe that will come.”More and more micro operations like Spreewood have been opening up in recent years, focusing on small batches of quality whiskey. Nobody quite knows when it happened, but today distilleries producing whiskey in Germany outnumber those in Scotland, about 180 to 130.“It’s crazy how many German whiskey distilleries there are these days,” German Whisky Distillers’ Association president Michaela Habbel says. “Of course the fact still is that German whiskey only accounts for 0.4 per cent of the world market.”In 2017, the entire German whiskey production was worth 11.6 million euros ($13.1 million) — negligible when compared with Scotch whisky exports alone that year, worth some 4.4 billion pounds ($5.8 billion).With such a small overall production of about 6 million litres (about 1.6 million gallons) in 2017, German whiskey is mostly sold on the domestic market. But that doesn’t mean that distillers like Heuser and Habbel aren’t watching international politics, with whiskey featuring prominently in two major current issues — Brexit and U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist tariffs.With 90 per cent of Scotch whisky exported, accounting for 20 per cent of all British food and beverage exports, the Scotch Whisky Association is increasingly concerned about Britain’s looming Brexit exit from the European Union, especially if there is no deal on future trade relations.“Brexit represents a seismic shift for our industry and one which our members are working hard to plan and adjust for,” the association says, noting that the EU is the single most valuable market for Scotch.Across the Atlantic, when Trump imposed tariffs on European steel and aluminum, the EU retaliated last year targeting “typically American” products, including Harley-Davidson motorcycles and bourbon whiskey.With duties looming for Scotch and already on bourbon, Habbel sees opportunity for German distillers.“Maybe the consumer who has always drunk Scotch will look over to the distillery next door and turn to the German product,” she says.But if the whiskey tariffs turn into a long-term issue, Heuser says it would be to nobody’s benefit.Right now, Spreewood only exports small quantities of whiskey to Britain. But it’s hoping to increase that, and is eyeing possible exports to the U.S. down the road.“The U.K. is a very important whiskey market, especially to launch brands, because they’re just very open toward it,” says Heuser, who worked as a bartender in London in a previous life. “And the U.S. is a huge market, especially for whiskey.”Despite being sold mostly domestically, German whiskeys are gaining international recognition. In 2017, a single malt from Habbel’s Hillock Park Distillery won double gold and was named the best whiskey in the world by the “World Spirits Award.”Hillock Park is one of the oldest German distilleries producing whiskey today. The business grew out of the distillery’s production of “korn” liquor — basically moonshine — to provide the daily 200-millileter (about seven-ounce) ration for coal miners in the industrial Ruhr region.“There used to be a really crazy korn culture in Germany years ago,” she says. “And korn is nothing more than an un-aged whiskey with somewhat less alcohol.”Whiskey can be made from many different grains, and has to be aged at least three years in either oak casks that have previously been used to mature other liquor, or virgin oak casks.Malt whiskey is made from malted barley and can only be called Scotch if produced in Scotland, according to EU regulations, and is predominantly matured in used oak casks. The German product is known as single malt. Bourbon must contain at least 51 per cent corn, and rye whiskey predominantly rye grain. Both are typically aged in virgin oak barrels.Whiskey has been growing slowly in market share as Germans move away from more traditional liquors like korn and fruit brandy, and now makes up about 10 per cent of the market, according to the Association of the German Spirit Industry and Importers.German distillers tend to focus on using the raw ingredients readily available in the area, making whiskey from rye, wheat, spelt and other grains, Habbel says.“I don’t think there’s such thing as a ‘German whiskey,’” she said. “The distillers are particularly proud that in Germany there is tons of diversity.”When Heuser took over Spreewood in 2016 with his partners, it was producing brandy and other liquors as well as small batches of whiskey.The three decided to become Germany’s first distillery to concentrate solely on rye whiskey.“If you focus on one thing you can be really good at it,” Heuser said.Heuser says part of the distillery’s appeal is its serene setting and natural approach. In addition to using grain from the nearby fields, it draws water from the river that flows through the tiny town, which attracts about 40,000 eco-tourists each year. Its brand name — Stork Club — refers to large birds that can often be seen flying overhead.The whiskey is aged in three different types of oak barrels, which are mixed together at the end of the aging process for a unique flavour that garnered it several awards and a recent “brilliant” ranking in Jim Murray’s authoritative Whisky Bible.With 500 barrels currently aging and plans to double that this year, Spreewood is growing — but Heuser says Scotland’s got nothing to worry about just yet, Brexit or no Brexit.“We’re just a little fly on the back of an elephant,” he says._____Daniel Niemann contributed to this report from Sprockhoevel.___Follow David Rising at https://www.twitter.com/davidrisingDavid Rising, The Associated Press
The Canadian Press TORONTO — Canopy Growth Corp. will soon join the S&P/TSX 60, making it the first cannabis company to be added to the index of Canada’s large-cap stocks.S&P Dow Jones Indices says Canopy’s stock will replace Goldcorp Inc. and the change will take effect before trading on April 18.Goldcorp is set to be delisted once its merger with Newmont Mining Corp. is complete, and the combined company will apply for a listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange.Canopy’s co-CEO Bruce Linton says its addition to the S&P/TSX 60 index marks “another major accomplishment” for the cannabis company, based in Smiths Falls, Ont.Canopy Growth was first went public on the TSX Venture exchange in 2014, and graduated to the main TSX board in 2016.The company changed its stock symbol on the TSX to WEED in February 2017, and was added to the S&P/TSX composite index later that year. Companies in this story: (TSX:WEED)
NEW YORK — Emails obtained by The Associated Press show an Ethiopian Airlines pilot pleaded with his bosses for more training on the Boeing 737 Max just weeks before one of the airline’s jets crashed.Veteran pilot Bernd Kai von Hoesslin (von-HOSS-lin) began emailing managers at Ethiopian just days after a Max operated by Lion Air went down in Indonesia last October, killing all 189 on board.He warned that without more training, specifically on the Max’s problematic anti-stall system, Ethiopian’s pilots could be overwhelmed in a crisis and “it will be a crash for sure.”On March 10, an Ethiopian Max crashed, killing all 157 people aboard.What the airline did in response to von Hoesslin’s warnings is unclear, and whether it made any difference is a matter of dispute. But his emails have added to the debate over what role pilot error may have played in the two disasters.Bernard Condon, The Associated Press
The Canadian Press Some of the most active companies traded Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (16,015.89, down 21.60 points).Prometic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX:PLI). Health care. Down half a penny, or 12.5 per cent, to 3.5 cents on 11.6 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Down three cents, or 1.48 per cent, to $2.00 on 10.9 million shares.Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB). Energy. Down $2.34, or 4.7 per cent, to $47.42 on 10 million shares.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Down 63 cents, or 6.13 per cent, to $9.64 on 9 million shares.Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX). Materials. Up 84 cents, or five per cent, to $17.65 on 7.5 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Energy. Up four cents, or 0.56 per cent, to $7.17 on 6.7 million shares. Companies in the news:Bombardier Inc. — The De Havilland brand will take flight once again, as its parent company announced the re-launch of the Dash 8 aircraft program following its newly minted purchase from Bombardier Inc. Longview Aviation Capital Corp. unveiled the de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd., its new subsidiary that will operate the turboprop family following the Monday close of Bombardier Inc.’s Q Series sale to Longview for about $250 million after liabilities, fees and closing adjustments. The sale also includes the de Havilland trademark and Bombardier’s full Dash 8 program, composed of the 100, 200 and 300 series.Aimia Inc. (TSX:AIM). Unchanged at $3.50. Aimia Inc. says the final price for the sale of Aeroplan to Air Canada has increased to $516 million following the finalization of all financial adjustments after the deal’s January close. Air Canada signed a definitive agreement last November to buy the flagship points program from Aimia, a loyalty analytics company, at an initial price of $450 million in cash. It was increased to $497 million after original adjustments. Aimia says it will receive a final payment of $19 million to complete the transaction. It says the post-closing adjustments stem mainly from favourable working capital relative to the target working capital set out in the agreement.BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE). Up 22 cents to $61.08. The chairwoman of a government-appointed panel looking at Canada’s telecommunications and broadcasting laws says it must take into account that international borders are disappearing. Janet Yale says the panel’s goal is to come up with recommendations for legislation that will guide the communications industries for the next 20 to 30 years. Yale was commenting at the Canadian Telecom Summit, an annual event that will feature a speech on Wednesday by Navdeep Bains, one of the two ministers who appointed the panel last year.Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (TSX:AQN). Up four cents to $15.81. Algonquin Power & Utilities has signed a deal to buy Ascendant Group Ltd., the parent company of Bermuda Electric Light Co., for US$365 million. Algonquin chief executive Ian Robertson says the deal will be immediately accretive to the company’s earnings. Bermuda Electric Light, which has roughly 370 employees, serves 63,000 residents and businesses in Bermuda. Under the deal, Ascendant will maintain its headquarters in Bermuda.
20 June 2007United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is meeting today in Washington with leaders of the United States Congress on issues of mutual interest to the country and the world body. Earlier today, he met with Senators Norm Coleman, Bill Nelson and George Voinovich, and held a discussion over lunch with Congressman Tom Lantos.“These meetings focused on UN-US relations including funding, on UN reforms, on peacekeeping operations, on Darfur, Kosovo and Haiti,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson told reporters in New York.During his first visit to Washington soon after taking office in January, Mr. Ban called on the country’s president, George W. Bush, as well as Congressional leaders to raise their spending cap on the UN peacekeeping budget, warning that if the limit remains then the work of individual operations may be hampered.The Secretary-General observed that the Congressional cap means that the US, which is the UN’s largest financial contributor, never funds more than 25 per cent of expenses for peacekeeping operations.According to a scale of assessments agreed upon by UN Member States in 2000, the US is required to pay about 27 per cent.Mr. Ban has meetings tentatively scheduled with other members of Congress, and will return to New York this evening to attend an awards ceremony.
The senior United Nations envoy to Kosovo announced today that municipal, assembly and mayoral elections will be held on 17 November in the Serbian province administered by the United Nations since 1999. However, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative in Kosovo Joachim Rücker stressed that the future status of Kosovo takes precedence. “It is crucial that democracy runs its course, notwithstanding the paramount importance of concluding the status problem,” he said, following his meeting with the Team of Unity, a group of representatives of Kosovo Albanian institutions and all major political parties. “I wish to make it clear that the Team of Unity and I are in complete agreement that the status process has absolutely priority,” he said. “I reserve the right to postpone the elections date should there be a conflict – in particular, should the holding of the elections be used as an excuse to delay status.” The Security Council has been deadlocked over a proposal by Mr. Ban’s Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari for a phased process of independence for the province. Earlier this month, the Secretary-General welcomed an agreement to have a troika comprising the European Union, Russian Federation and United States lead further negotiations on Kosovo’s future status. Kosovars will cast ballots in November for Assembly Members and Municipal Assembly Members and, for the first time, will also directly elect a mayor for each of the 30 municipalities of Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians outnumber Serbs and others by nine to one. The electoral system has been changed, with the upcoming polls introducing an open list for seats, according to an UNMIK press release issued in Pristina. Voters will elect both a political entity and up to 10 individuals within the same entity’s candidate list. 31 August 2007The senior United Nations envoy to Kosovo announced today that municipal, assembly and mayoral elections will be held on 17 November in the Serbian province administered by the United Nations since 1999.
“Housing rights of Roma are abused in several parts of Europe,” stated Miloon Kothari, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, in a joint statement issued with the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg.Mr. Kothari drew attention to an increasing number of reports of evictions of Roma communities and families “which have been carried out in violation of human rights standards.”He also noted an “undeniable growth of anti-Romani sentiment or ‘anti-Ziganism’” in Europe, and a lack of action on the part of authorities to tackle this problem. “It is regrettable that the actions of many public authorities – particularly at the local level – have been to acquiesce in this intensification of anti-Romani hatred.“As a result, the rate and number of forced evictions of Roma have grown dramatically, and segregation and ghettoization in the housing field appears to have intensified and become entrenched in recent years,” he stated.The Special Rapporteur pointed out that the right to adequate housing is crucial for the enjoyment of other rights, including privacy, education, employment, health and electoral participation, and pointed out that the “substandard” education of Roma in many European countries is often the result of placement far from decent schools or repeated eviction.Calling for concerted action at the local, national and European levels to end the housing crisis of the Roma, Mr. Kothari urged that domestic laws be strengthened to ensure security of tenure for all vulnerable groups, and that legal protection against forced eviction be brought into conformity with international law.In taking these and other measures, he stressed the need for “full and meaningful” consultation with affected Roma communities. 24 October 2007An independent United Nations rights expert has urged European countries to ensure the right to adequate housing for Roma, as more and more of them have been forcibly evicted from their homes and are facing growing discrimination.
17 July 2009Another two tribal communities in eastern Chad have agreed to end their feud and reconcile under a joint initiative of the United Nations peacekeeping mission to the country and the national authorities to promote better community relations. More than 130 village chiefs from the ethnic Zaghawa and Asshongori communities met to put an end to their long-running dispute and improve the security situation in the Waldagalda area of Molou canton along the Chadian-Sudanese border, the mission – known as MINURCAT – reported today.The two communities of herders and farmers had been feuding over land use for some time, but under the mediation of local authorities with support from MINURCAT, they agreed to set up a reconciliation commission to improve relations.Zaghawa chiefs committed to living peacefully with the Asshongori and to stopping insecurity caused by delinquent members of their own community, and they publicly called on the Asshongori to return to the area and tend to their fields.It is hoped that more than 1,000 members of the Asshongori community currently living in neighbouring Sudan will now feel secure enough to return to their villages in eastern Chad.Rima Salah, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative in Chad, visited the region this week and praised the efforts of local authorities to support reconciliation moves.Last month, as part of the Intercommunity Dialogue initiative sponsored by the mission, the European Union and Chadian authorities, members of the ethnic Zaghawa and Massalit communities near the town of Adre agreed to end their own dispute.
Ashraf Qazi, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, welcomed the renewed commitment by the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) to respect the 22 July ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Abyei. The Court began deliberations earlier this year on the demarcation of Abyei, which is being contested by the NCP and the SPLM, the two signatories to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which ended the 21-year north-south conflict in which at least 2 million people were killed and some 4.5 million more driven from their homes. Abyei is one of several outstanding issues related to the CPA, whose key benchmarks also include census results, border demarcation and preparations for a referendum on the final status of areas of southern Sudan. Mr. Qazi today said he is concerned over both confirmed and reported violations of the Abyei Roadmap Area by elements other than the Joint Integrated Units (JIU) and the Joint Integrated Police Units (JIPU). During the past two weeks, he said there have been confirmed reports of the presence of soldiers of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), as well as elements of the Southern Sudan Police Service, in the area. “This is a clear violation of the Abyei Roadmap Agreement and could lead to escalation and violence if it remained unchecked,” the envoy said. “All these armed groups must be immediately withdrawn to outside the area, and.. the international community [is] closely monitoring the situation in and around Abyei and expects all sides to behave in the most responsible manner in order to avoid violence.” The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) must have full freedom of movement in the broader Abyei area, Mr. Qazi said, adding that restrictions on blue helmets, “particularly at this sensitive juncture, impede the Mission from discharging its mandate effectively.” Further, he said that the continued reports of forces and commanders in the area know to have taken part in the deadly 2008 clashes in Abyei, if confirmed, “could be particularly destructive.” The Representative stressed that the Abyei Roadmap Agreement requires that armed elements from both sides not only stay out of the Roadmap area but redeploy further afield. “Security in the area is to be provided only by JIU and JIPU, as they are the only mandated security bodies,” he said. Although UNMIS is boosting its own presence in the area, Mr. Qazi emphasized that civilian protection is primarily the Government’s responsibility. The Mission “will implement its mandated obligations towards civilians under imminent physical threat within its capabilities,” he said. “However, it is the duty of the political and military leadership of both parties to the [CPA] to ensure the integrity and effectiveness of the JIUs and JIPUs and to prevent unauthorized armed personnel from entering the Abyei area.” Yesterday, the Security Council called on the NCP and SPLM to abide by next week’s decision on Abyei, but voiced concern over the delay in implementation of some aspects of the CPA, “especially in regard to the preparations for the elections and the escalation of inter-communal violence,” according to a press statement. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy told reporters that UNMIS has reinforced its presence in Abyei to protect civilians in case of any incidents. “We all expect that the implementation of this outcome should be as peaceful as possible,” he added. In his recent report on UNMIS, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that next year’s planned national elections are vital for the process of democratic transformation throughout the country, and stressed the importance of peaceful, transparent and credible polls. He added that escalating inter-tribal violence in Southern Sudan is jeopardizing the stability of the entire country, and key milestones in implementing the CPA. 18 July 2009The top United Nations envoy to Sudan today expressed concern over the presence of armed elements in the oil-rich town of Abyei, close to the boundary between the vast African nation’s north and south, ahead of next week’s decision to be rendered on the dispute over the area.
A report issued by the Republic of Korea in its capital, Seoul, on Thursday morning reportedly found that the Cheonan was hit by a DRPK torpedo in late March.The explosion killed 46 Republic of Korea sailors.“The facts laid out in the report are deeply troubling,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the Secretary-General, a national of the Republic of Korea, learned of the findings with a “heavy heart.” Mr. Ban voiced his appreciation for the Republic of Korea’s Government for its “restrained and patient efforts” to look into the Cheonan incident in an “objective and scientific manner by both domestic and international experts.”He reiterated his deep sadness over the loss of the sailors’ lives, extending his sympathy to their families as well as to the people and Government of the Republic of Korea. 20 May 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced serious concern over the results of the investigation into the sinking of a navy ship off the coast of the Republic of Korea, alleged by the country to have been carried out by its northern neighbour, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DRPK).
“Here there is an opportunity to shape the landscape and the trajectory of humanity’s response to the loss of its natural and nature-based assets in profound and transformational ways,” Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), told the opening session of the 12-day Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD).“Here and together we can begin to put in place the kinds of far sighted policy-responses and smart mechanisms that have been incubating for years in many countries and communities,” he added.During the event, more than 15,000 participants – the highest number ever recorded for such a meeting – representing the 193 Parties and their partners are expected to wrap up negotiations on a new strategic plan on biodiversity for the 2011-2020 period.That plan will be submitted to the high-level segment of the conference, which will begin on 27 October and will be attended by several world leaders and more than 100 environment ministers.Ahmed Djoghlaf, the Executive Secretary of CBD, said that species extinction rates are now as high as a thousand times the natural rate, and that the world is nearing a “tipping point” where there could be irreversible loss. “Let’s have the courage to look in the eyes of children and admit that we have failed,” he said.Mr. Steiner highlighted the findings of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment of 2005 which concluded that 60 per cent of the services provided by the world’s ecosystems that support human well-being are now either degraded or are nearing degradation.It also found that changes in biodiversity as a result of human activities have been more rapid in the past 50 years than at any other time in human history.The UNEP chief said that the report “underlined that rather than exercising the brake, the world continues to choose the accelerator.“This is hurtling us all on a collision course towards an extremely sobering destiny. The issue in front of this meeting is whether human beings have the collective intelligence, wisdom and common humanity to read the writing on the wall.”Mr. Steiner underlined the need for humanity to recognize that the stability and human well-being in the 21st century will rest on the fate of all life on Earth.“Science tells us that we are currently going through the sixth wave of extinctions,” he said, questioning how long until human beings are included on the list of threatened species issued by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).“If that is what science is telling us, what will this meeting tell the world it is doing about it? The plants and animals, fungi and micro-organisms that produce and clean our air, generate drinking water, hydro-power and irrigation; provide food, shelter and medicines and also bring to many joy and a spiritual dimension to our daily lives need a big helping hand from this 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties – if not for their sakes, but for ours.”In a related development, UNEP announced today that a mapping exercise to identify where countries’ carbon stocks overlap with areas that are rich in wildlife and important for local peoples’ livelihoods is under way in Asia, Africa and Latin America.The project aims to support international efforts to conserve forests in order to combat climate change, in a way that delivers other benefits, including conservation of economically-important ecosystems linked with water, fertile soils and other crucial services.Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), governments are negotiating a mechanism to provide payments for the so-called UN REDD+ scheme, which seeks to create incentives to reverse the trend of deforestation and conserve forests’ carbon stocks.According to UNEP, nearly 20 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions result from changing the way land is used, mainly through deforestation. 18 October 2010Delegates from across the world have gathered in the Japanese city of Nagoya today for a United Nations conference to discuss a new strategy to halt the alarming loss of the Earth’s biodiversity, driven largely by human activity, a trend experts warn threatens the planet’s capacity to sustain human well-being.
Enough vaccines to immunize 1.2 million animals – including cattle, sheep, goats, donkeys and camels – will be handed out in Darfur’s three states over the next two months, thanks to the efforts of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).The vaccines include treatments against haemorrhagic septicaemia, anthrax, sheep pox and black quarter, according to Emmanuel Lujuo, the senior emergency coordinator for the agency in Sudan.“Livestock comprises a greater part of the livelihoods of many people in Darfur… so the impact of this is huge for them,” said Mr. Lujuo. Pastoralists, herders and nomadic communities all stand to benefit from the programme, he noted.FAO has procured the vaccines, which are then airlifted from the national capital, Khartoum, to Darfur by the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping operation in the region (UNAMID). The first batch was flown out yesterday.Within the region, FAO is working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and officials from the ministries of animal resources in the various Darfur states to train local veterinarians and ensure that the vaccines are adequately distributed and administered.Major animal vaccine campaigns often take place twice a year during the normally arid Darfur region, with one during the current rainy season, when many animals are more susceptible.Oriano Micaletti, the head of UNAMID’s humanitarian protection strategy coordination division, said about 800 kilograms of vaccines will eventually be airlifted under this campaign. The vaccines have to be kept at optimum temperatures during their transport to ensure they arrive in good condition.Mr. Micaletti said the outpouring of thanks which UNAMID has received since the campaign was begin was an indication of the important of livestock to the economic health of many local communities in Darfur. 26 August 2011The United Nations has begun distributing the first batch of more than a million vaccines across Darfur in a bid to protect livestock and other animals in the western Sudanese region from deadly diseases during the current rainy season.
29 November 2011The situation in Kosovo remains precarious and poses certain dangers, as witnessed in recent clashes, but it also offers opportunities to overcome long-standing tensions that warrant the support of the international community, the top United Nations envoy there said today. The ongoing dispute between Kosovo and Serbia over the control of two border crossings in northern Kosovo has led to several violent clashes between local Serb residents and the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR).For some months now UN officials have called on all concerned to refrain from unilateral actions or the use of force, which could escalate tensions in the area, and urged Pristina and Belgrade to demonstrate their full commitment to dialogue, reconciliation and peace. “While some speak of Kosovo as a ‘frozen conflict’, I believe the situation is fluid and dynamic,” Farid Zarif, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN peacekeeping force in Kosovo (UNMIK), told the Security Council in a briefing.“This potentially entails greater dangers, but equally, there exist genuine opportunities to pursue a viable, sustainable resolution that could overcome the long-standing tensions,” he added. “It is my belief that this can best be achieved through the stewardship of this Council…“No less than the taking of full, statesman-like responsibility is demanded if the present opportunities for moving toward peaceful, durable solutions are not to be missed.”Mr. Zarif noted that, regrettably, the situation in the north has also become intertwined with the politics of the Serbian elections due next spring as well as with the current political dynamics in Pristina. “We are working hard to help dissipate tensions and create an atmosphere in which durable solutions are possible,” he said. “Our core messages have been to exercise patience, refrain from the use of force, avoid violence, and support the Security Council-mandated international presences in the fulfilment of their responsibilities by not impeding their freedom of movement.” He reported that one element of the UN’s strategy of engagement has already borne some fruit, namely the toning down of rhetoric by the various sides.Nevertheless, he stated that the situation in the north continues to be “extremely volatile” and the combined factors of frustration, fear and mistrust could easily and quickly provide the spark that could ignite violence, as was demonstrated by the recent clashes. “The situation calls for strong, united leadership from the international community,” he stressed.
TORONTO — Canadian Netflix users stream an average of about an hour a day, watch another half hour’s worth of content online, and catch another hour and a half of broadcast TV, suggests a study.Most Netflix customers are not so-called cord cutters — a term to describe consumers who have cancelled their cable or satellite plan in favour of other content options — according to the report by the Media Technology Monitor, based on surveys with thousands of Canadians.[np_storybar title=”Q&A: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings on international growth and writing big cheques” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/2013/01/24/netflix-stock-skyrockets-as-ceo-hastings-writes-big-cheques/”%5D It’s been an interesting couple of years for Reed Hastings.The chief executive of Netflix Inc. has seen shares of his video streaming company rise to all time highs and plummet quickly. Netflix has gone international, expanding into 40 countries, but suffered a public relations backlash for a failed attempt to spin off its legacy DVD-by mail service from its video streaming business.Continue reading. [/np_storybar]In fact, Netflix users were found to be more likely than other consumers to shell out for a premium TV package, even while paying $8 a month for the streaming service.MTM estimated that about one in five anglophones were subscribing to Netflix in the fall, while only about five per cent of francophones had the digital service. Users were watching an average of 6.4 hours of Netflix content per week, according to the report.Netflix subscribers appeared to be watching less TV on cable and satellite, tuning in for about 11.3 hours per week compared to the 14.9 hours that non-users were watching. But when adding their Netflix streams and other TV content viewed online, they watched an average of more than 22 hours a week, well above the almost 16 hours for non-Netflix users.While 31% of anglophone consumers said they pay extra for a premium TV package, the figure was 36% among Netflix subscribers.The report also suggests that while most Netflix users are gadget lovers, they don’t do much viewing on smaller screens.Just under half of Netflix subscribers said they owned a tablet and 81% had a smartphone. Still, when asked what devices they used to watch Netflix, 83% said a TV, 47% said a computer, only 20% said a tablet and 16% sometimes watched on a smartphone.In terms of how Netflix viewers divvied up their 6.4 hours a week of viewing, the report suggests that about two-thirds of the time was on TV sets, 27 per cent on computers, and four per cent each on tablets and smartphones.As for demographics, 29% of consumers aged 18 to 34 said they were Netflix users, closely followed by 27% of those aged 35 to 49. Only 14% of consumers aged 50 to 64 and four per cent of those 65 and older had bought into Netflix.Parents were also identified as big subscribers of Netflix. Almost one in three households with children under 12 were estimated to have a Netflix subscription, while the figure was 36% in homes where teenagers lived.
WATERLOO, Ont. — Smartphone maker BlackBerry says it has received an order for 2,000 new keyboard smartphones from Hispanic broadcaster Univision Communications.The Waterloo, Ont.,-based company says the order for the BlackBerry Q10 devices will upgrade all of the BlackBerry phones used by employees at Univision.Univision is one of the largest broadcast networks in the United States, owning more than 60 local broadcast TV stations and nearly 70 radio stations that broadcast primarily in Spanish.BlackBerry has spent much of its marketing efforts on securing longtime business customers with orders of its new phones that operate on an updated BlackBerry 10 operating system. The move is part of a strategy to help slow the number of defectors to a growing number of competitor’s phones, including Apple’s iPhone, devices on the Android operating system and others.Earlier this month, BlackBerry’s new phones passed what the company called a “critical step forward in the security certification process” by the U.S. Department of Defence, which give them permission to operate on the Pentagon’s networks.Despite its efforts, BlackBerry is still struggling to retain a notable market share. In the U.S., the recent launch of its touchscreen and keyboard BlackBerry 10 devices have been perceived as a sales flop.A report from U.K.-based Juniper Research said the company is also starting to lose market share in parts of the world where it once had a certain stronghold, like South Africa and Indonesia.As part of an effort to turn around its operations, BlackBerry has been trying to reduce expenses across its operations. The effort has seen the company cut thousands of jobs over the past year, from lower-level employees to executives. The latest reduction came earlier this month when it laid off about 100 workers.The company is also in the midst of a review of its “strategic alternatives,” which could result in the sale of its operations or an agreement to take the company private.BlackBerry shares were ahead 19 cents at $11.05 near midday Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
On the markets at midafternoon (ET):In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 82.79 points to 15,165.49.The Dow Jones industrial average was up 38.26 points to 21,903.63.The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 12.12 points to 2,458.42.The Nasdaq composite index was up 63.23 points to 6,365.11.The Canadian dollar was trading at 79.23 cents US, up from Tuesday’s average price of 79.90 cents US.