US firms to Trump Dont raise tariffs on more Chinese goods

first_imgWASHINGTON – Fishermen off the Alaskan coast. A Florida maker of boat trailers. A building materials distributor in Tennessee.Those and hundreds of other American businesses are delivering the same plea to President Donald Trump as he considers imposing tariffs on nearly 40 per cent of imported Chinese goods:Don’t do it.The Trump administration will hold six days of hearings starting Monday in Washington on the next barrage in an escalating trade war between the world’s two largest economies: Trump’s proposed tariffs of 10 per cent to 25 per cent on $200 billion in Chinese goods that could kick in as early as next month.Once in effect, the tariffs would immediately inflate the prices that American companies would have to pay for Chinese components they need to build their products. Those companies would have to decide whether to pass those costs on to their customers or absorb the higher prices themselves.The first shots have already been fired: In July, Trump slapped 25 per cent tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports. Taxes on an additional $16 billion are set to kick in this week. China is counterpunching with tariffs of its own.But the $200 billion in additional Chinese goods that the Trump administration is considering taxing would mark a significant escalation in its trade fight with Beijing.Washington and Beijing are clashing over U.S. allegations that China uses predatory tactics to try to overtake American technological dominance: Those tactics, the administration argues, include cyber-theft and pressure for U.S. companies to hand over trade secrets in return for access to the Chinese market.So far, the U.S. tariffs have targeted imported Chinese industrial products — not the electronics, toys and food that ordinary Americans might buy at a mall or order online. But adding $200 billion to the target list would expose to hefty taxes many more of the $506 billion in goods that China shipped to the United States last year, including many consumer products. The list includes 6,031 Chinese imports — an eclectic compilation that ranges from buttons to burglar alarms to motorboats.JO-ANN Stores, which sells fabric and crafting supplies, says it imports about 500 items on the tariff list, including fleece, yarn and cotton fabric. Ed Weinstein, JO-ANN’s vice-president of tax and public affairs, said he doesn’t understand how supplies for knitters and crafters became caught up in a trade dispute over high-tech policy.“Our products are very simple,” Weinstein told The Associated Press. “I would never have expected to see fabric and craft components on the tariff list.”In their filings to the Trump administration, companies that import from China complain that the tariffs will force them to raise prices, pay higher costs, try to find alternative suppliers or lose business to foreign rivals that don’t have to pay a penalty on components and machinery they import from China.“If you look at the filings, a lot of them are mom-and-pop businesses saying, ‘Please don’t do this to us,’ ” said Bryan Riley, director of the Free Trade Initiative at the conservative National Taxpayers Union.Consider:— Seattle’s Groundfish Forum, a trade group for the operators of 19 fishing trawlers off Alaska. It warns that the tariffs will hit flatfish caught off the U.S. coast that are sent to China for processing before being shipped back to the United States. Trump’s proposed 10 per cent tariff on those fish would leave the “sustainably harvested fish caught by U.S. fishermen at a competitive disadvantage,” the group says in a filing with the administration’s Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.— Magic Tilt Trailers, a company in Clearwater, Florida, that makes boat trailers. It says it has to buy Chinese tires and parts on Trump’s target list; there are few alternatives.“The tariffs will have little to no impact on the sourcing options of members in the trailer manufacturing community,” the company wrote. “We will just be getting a 10 per cent tax, payable to the general treasury.”— Building Plastics Inc., a Memphis-based building materials distributor. It buys 400- to 800-pound slabs of Chinese quartz and sells them to fabricators that turn them into countertops and other items for homes and offices. The company says it’s tried and failed to find alternative sources of the mineral.“We did not want to go to China, but we were forced to go to China,” said Mike Perkowski, a product manager for the company.Perkowski said the tariffs could prove “catastrophic.”“There’s a possibility we could be priced out of the market,” he said in an interview. “We’re definitely going to have to pass along the tariffs … We’ve been educating our customer base that tariffs are coming. There will definitely be a price increase.”Can the U.S. and China avoid a $200 billion tariff collision? Hopes rose last week on news that China will send an envoy to Washington this month to discuss a way out of the standoff.But many trade analysts aren’t very optimistic. A solution would likely require China to widen its market to foreign companies, reduce subsidies to domestic industries and rethink industrial policies that are considered vital to helping Chinese companies become leaders in such advanced fields as electric cars and robotics and thereby strengthening China’s economy.“China is not going to become a functioning market economy as we would like to see it in the next two months or even in the next two years,” said Bradford Ward, a former U.S. trade official and now at the law firm King & Spalding. “People need to prepare for and plan for the long haul. This is not going to be resolved quickly.”The tit-for-tat tariffs between the U.S. and China, Riley said, “could be become the new normal.”___Follow Paul Wiseman on Twitter at https://twitter.com/PaulWisemanAPlast_img read more

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Trading in MEG mixed after it rejects Husky Energys hostile takeover bid

first_imgCALGARY – MEG Energy Corp. shares rose and fell in choppy trading Thursday after it formally rejected a $3.3-billion hostile takeover offer from oilsands rival Husky Energy Inc.The target company said after markets closed Wednesday that the Husky offer is opportunistic and undervalues its assets and prospects, adding it intends to conduct a formal process that could identify a white knight to make a better offer.MEG’s shares rose by as much as 21 cents to $11 in morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange before falling back to hover near Wednesday’s close of $10.79.Husky CEO Rob Peabody refuted MEG’s position in a news release Thursday.“Nothing in the MEG circular changes the clear and compelling value our offer delivers to MEG shareholders,” he said. “Existing and ongoing market challenges … underscore the benefits of a Husky-MEG combination.”Husky is offering a combination of cash or shares worth $11 for each MEG share. The maximum cash available under the deal is capped at $1 billion and the maximum number of shares is limited to 107 million.Husky values the transaction at $6.4 billion, including the assumption of $3.1 billion in debt.Analysts continued to speculate in overnight reports that Husky will have to raise its bid to win over MEG’s management.They also found it doubtful that an alternate bidder will emerge for MEG given that its only product, oilsands bitumen, is facing severely discounted prices as new oilsands production from northern Alberta makes worse an export pipeline bottleneck.MEG’s investor presentation includes a description of its plan to achieve the regulator-approved 210,000-barrels-per-day capacity production from its Christina Lake steam-driven oilsands wells by 2028.The cost of the growth, specified for the first time, works out to be about $2.3 billion, pointed out AltaCorp Capital analyst Nick Lupick in a report.MEG says it is currently producing 100,000 barrels per day of bitumen and has spent substantially all the capital required to increase production to 113,000 bpd by 2020.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:MEG, TSX:HSE)last_img read more

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Atlantic Canadas digital economy growing although rural areas lagging report

first_imgHALIFAX – A new report says the digital economy appears to be on the rise in Atlantic Canada, thanks to a large increase in household internet usage.The Atlantic Provinces Economic Council says 88 per cent of households were using the internet in 2016, compared with 12 per cent in 1997.The report card, issued Thursday by the independent policy research organization, says the rapid growth is due in part to download speeds increasing across the region, with New Brunswick having the fastest average download speed in Canada.But, the council says download speeds and internet access remain much lower in rural communities.In Prince Edward Island, for example, about 50 per cent of households do not have high-speed internet access.Senior policy analyst Fred Bergman says as the internet is increasingly used for streaming videos and music, online gaming and electronic purchases, download speeds have become a “key factor.”All four Atlantic provinces have initiatives underway to meet the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission target of 90 per cent high-speed internet access by 2021, the report notes.“Improving download speeds in rural communities must be a priority if all households and businesses are going to have effective access to the digital economy,” Bergman said in a news release.The report said about two-thirds of Canadians purchased at least one digital product in the last year, with non-store online sales almost tripling in Atlantic Canada between 2012 and 2016, compared with a 90 per cent increase nationally.It cites estimates by Statistics Canada that Atlantic Canadians earned $87 million through offering accommodations on digital sharing platforms, such as AirBnB, in 2017.The report says tracking digital use, purchases and sales is increasingly important, although regional analysis is hindered by a lack of provincial data for e-commerce and production.last_img read more

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Dollarama again recalls a toy containing high levels of restricted chemical

first_imgMONTREAL — Discount retailer Dollarama Inc. has for the second time this year recalled a Chinese-made toy containing excessive levels of a chemical used in plastic that is a risk to human health.Health Canada says the Montreal-based company has recalled more than 52,000 Montoy doll and toy furniture sets sold between Oct. 16, 2017 and Oct. 8.There have been no reports of injury, but Health Canada says the plastic toy contains levels of phthalates that exceed the allowable limit and may pose a chemical hazard.The chemicals formerly known as PVCs were restricted in 2010 after studies suggested that children who suck or chew on toys containing them for extended periods may suffer reproductive and developmental abnormalities.Consumers are advised to dispose of the toy or return it to the store for a refund, and no receipt is required.Dollarama recalled more than 500,000 “Skip Ball” toys in August that are made of a plastic cord and multi-coloured ball attached to a pink plastic ankle loop that contain higher than allowed levels of phthalates.That recall applies to toys sold between January 2012 and last July. The Canadian Press Companies in this story: (TSX:DOL)last_img read more

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Emera selling three natural gas power plants in New England for 780M

first_imgHALIFAX — Emera Inc. has signed a deal to sell its three natural gas-fired power plants in New England to an affiliate of the Carlyle Group for $780 million.The Nova Scotia-based company says proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce debt and for capital investment.Emera CEO Scott Balfour says the deal, worth US$590 million, increases the company’s financial flexibility.Together, the Bridgeport Energy, Tiverton Power and Rumford Power plants in the deal have the capacity to generate approximately 1,100 megawatts of power.Carlyle Group’s Matt O’Connor says the three additional plants will make it one of the region’s largest owners of power generation facilities.The sale is subject to the regulatory approvals of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and under the provisions of the U.S. Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Act.It is expected to close in first quarter next year.Companies in this story: (TSX:EMA)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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CEOS for Royal Bank Enbridge call for better balance in energy policies

first_imgTORONTO, ONT – The CEOs of Canada’s largest bank and its largest pipeline company say the country needs an energy strategy that will better balance environmental and Indigenous goals with the need to develop its abundant oil and gas resources.But Royal Bank CEO Dave McKay and Al Monaco, CEO of Calgary-based Enbridge Inc., had little in the way of specific advice for government during a Canadian Club event in Toronto.Over a 45-minute discussion, the two agreed the world has a growing thirst for Canada’s energy production and the sector contributes mightily to the country’s gross domestic product. But they also noted it’s suffering from what they say is an undeserved negative environmental image and that international investors have lost interest in funding Canadian projects.Monaco says Canada has among the best resources, capital markets, regulatory systems and technologies in the world but it needs an energy strategy to “put the pieces together.”He says the government shouldn’t mix social policy issues with its project regulatory reviews, a point made by critics of Ottawa’s proposed Bill C-69 to replace the National Energy Board, although he didn’t mention the bill specifically.“We need to a have a strong energy policy in this country. We need to have a strong climate policy and we need to have Indigenous reconciliation. Those need to be at the policy or umbrella level,” Monaco said.“Once those are set and we know the rules as investors, then we can say, ‘All right, I got the game plan, now here’s how I can build a project within that context.”’last_img read more

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100 Women Who Care Fort St John are accepting Nominations

first_imgTo view the FB Page; CLICK HERE FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – The Fort St. John Chapter of 100 Women Who Care are accepting nominations for the September 17th meeting.The 100 Women Who Care started in 2017, as a group of local women who come together for one evening to help infuse financial help into local charities. At the event, the women listen to three nominated charities who present their stories to the women. By sharing who they are, what they are doing in the community, and why they deserve the support.Each attending woman brings $100 to the event, and casts her vote towards the charity she feels deserves the donation. When you multiply $100 by 100 women there is a quick infusion of funding for the chosen charity.last_img

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Series win will boost Australia for World Cup Katich

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) coach Simon Katich believes that winning the just concluded One-Day International (ODI) series in India will give the Australian players a lot of confidence going into the World Cup later this year. India surrendered a 2-0 lead in the recently concluded 5-match series as the Australians made a superb recovery by winning three consecutive matches to claim the series. “It is a very god result, given how tough a summer it has been. You know, losing to India in Australia for the very first time..it was tough for the Australians to take. They deserve all the credit in coming to India and winning,” Katich told reporters here on Thursday. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football together”Australia have not been playing great ODI cricket for the past 12 months, so I think what they showed here in India is a lot of spirit and determination,” he added. There were several players in the Australian team who produced outstanding performances, most notably opener Usman Khawaja, who was the highest scorer of the series with two centuries and an equal number of half-centuries. Spinner Adam Zampa and lower-order batsman Ashton Turner also put in notable performances. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian OpenWith the 50-over World Cup coming up in a couple of months, Katich asserted that the Australians will have plenty of options whey they get down to the task of selecting the squad for the marquee tournament. “A few new faces propped up and grabbed their chance. There was Usman Khawaja at the top of the order, he was outstanding. Aston Turner down the order was excellent at the back end of the innings. So it has given the Australian selectors some interesting decisions to make ahead of the World Cup squad selection,” he said. Steve Smith and David Warner will also make a comeback after serving a year-long ban for ball tampering, which Katich feels, will add much needed experience to the Australian squad. “Having the class of Smith and Warner coming back into the mix, gives us a lot more confidence with our squad moving forward for the World Cup. So great result for Australia, and I hope that it continues throughout the English summer,” the former Australia star said.last_img read more

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NPCL officials booked for transformer explosion tragedy

first_imgGreater Noida: Following the tragic death of three children who were charred to death in an electricity transformer explosion incident in sector Phi-III of Greater Noida on Wednesday afternoon, Gautam Buddh Nagar police have booked officials of Noida Power Company Limited (NPCL) who were responsible for upkeep of the cables at the transformer and the maintenance of sub-station. They have been charged for causing death due to negligence and under relevant Sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe deceased identified as Rinku (13), Golu (8) and Sagar (8), all natives of sector phi-III in Greater Noida were playing at the road situated near the electricity substation. All the three children were trapped with the live wires of transformer and were charred in the fire triggered by transformer blast around 3:00 pm on Wednesday. The family members of the deceased alleged laxity from electricity department as they made several complaints regarding malfunctioning of the transformer but no one responded. They also complained that no attendant was ever appointed in the transformer room while the gates of the plot and shutter of room, where transformer was placed, remained open always. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsCops have sent samples from the site to the forensic science laboratory and after getting the expert’s opinion, police came to the conclusion that the LT cable on the transformer premises was not kept in good condition and the concerned NPCL officials did not take precautionary measures, even though there was history of complaints made by residents. “Based on the complaint received, an FIR under Sections 304A (causing death due to negligence), and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered against eight officials of NPCL including the CEO of board at Kasna police station of Greater Noida. The investigating officer is carrying out fair investigations into the case while actions will be taken against those responsible for the fatal incident,” said Shwetabh Pandey, Circle Officer-I, Greater Noida.last_img read more

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IndiaBdesh Home Minister level talks next week in Delhi

first_imgNEW DELHI: Amidst hectic political campaign Home Minister Rajnath Singh has invited his Bangladesh counterpart Asaduzzaman Khan for bilateral talks next week here.Though Singh is also contesting the Lok Sabha poll from Lucknow constituency, he thought it was important to have the 7th round of bilateral talks before the polls. During the polls, most of the paramilitary forces would be deployed all over the country. India needs special cooperation from Bangladesh to keep a strict vigil on the border and especially to the sensitive areas. Intelligence agencies have alerted the government for a possible terrorist attack to disrupt the poll process. Official sources said Bangladesh and India will discuss trans-border security, cross border trafficking and border management issues during the home minister-level talks slated to be held on April 1. Bangladesh Minister will arrive in the capital on 31st March and will leave for Dhaka on 2nd April. Asaduzzaman Khan and Rajnath Singh will lead their respective sides to the talks. The 6th round of home ministerial talks was held in Dhaka in October last year when Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Bangladesh. The sources further said they might discuss other issues like Rohingya influx into Bangladesh, their repatriation, restriction on visa issuance (except emergency need) before and during the general election in India that begins from April 11. It’s reported in Dhaka press that law and order situation is fast deteriorating in the makeshift refugee camps for the displaced Rohingyas. Indian intelligence agencies have also alerted their counterparts in Bangladesh about a possible influx of some radical groups and illegal arms are also found in the camp. In two occasions Bangladesh police had to fire to disperse the armed groups. In fact, Bangladesh Government has also urged the India Government to take up this refugee crisis with the Myanmar government for speedy repatriation of the displaced person to their homeland. Last month, Bangladesh foreign minister Dr A K Abdul Momin visited India and gave a new proposal to Indian External Affair Minister for consideration. Their proposal was to create a safe zone for the Rohingyas in the Rakhine Province and that zone should be monitored by both friendly countries like India and China. So far, the India government has not given any positive response. Bangladesh Home minister is likely to raise the same issue to Home Minister Rajnath Singh. In this meeting, the opening of a new consulate in southern state Tamil Nadu will get importance. Bangladesh High Commissioner Syed Moazzem Ali had recently visited Chennai to expedite the process. Last year, both countries signed a revised visa protocol. Officials said both sides will review the progress on this issue and apart from Home minister, Home Secretary, representatives from all security agencies and Indian High Commissioner Riva Das Ganguly will be present for the day-long deliberation.last_img read more

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Indian Dental Association conducts workshop on preventive dentistry

first_imgKolkata: A two-day of workshop on interceptive and myofunctional appliances was organised by department of pedodontics and preventive dentistry in association with Indian Dental Association, state branch, at the Dr.R Ahmed Dental College and Hospital for the first time in Eastern India.Prof. Dr Baby John, president Indian Society of Periodontics and Preventive Dentistry was the chief guest of the programme while prof Dr Bimalendu Saha , deputy secretary of the department of Health and Family Welfare and Dr Tapan Giri, Principal of R. Ahmed Dental College graced the occasion. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaDr Partha Pratim Chowdhury, assistant professor of Dr R Ahmed Dental College and Hospital was appointed as an observer from West Bengal Dental Council. Distinguished personalities such as Dr T K Pal, Dr J K Singh , Dr Subhra Nandi, Dr Pranab Banerjee, Dr Sitangshu Ghosh, Dr Timir Baran Sarengi, Dr Sibram Karmakar, Dr Jiban Mishra ,Dr Amitava Chakroborty, Dr Tirthankar Debnath, Dr R D Rekhade ,Dr Anant Pal Singh also took part the programme. Dr Raju Biswas secretary IDA West Bengal State Branch said: “Innovative workshops helps participants to specialise on latest expertise of pedodontic dentistry. Especially in an era of development in dentistry such seminars and workshops provide the latest updates in patient service.” Dr Biswas also added: “We hope to conduct more such workshops in future for the betterment of people and spreading awareness. I thank all the participants to make this program a grand success.”last_img read more

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Were a herodriven society

first_imgNew Delhi: Actor Shweta Tripathi, who finds showbiz “hero-driven”, says writing good roles for women is the first step towards gender equality. “Gender equality will happen when the roles are also equal. There is no point fighting for things when you don’t have a standing as your co-actor,” Shweta said. “And we are very hero-driven society… Once that changes, we can expect gender equality and other changes. Pay should be decided based on the role in the project… It is getting better now,” she added. Also Read – ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ has James Cameron’s fingerprints all over it: Arnold SchwarzeneggerFrom Masaan, Haraamkhor, Zoo, ‘Mirzapur’ to Gone Kesh that dealt with alopecia – Shweta has stepped into a different zone with each project. She is getting lauded for essaying Dr Shreya in Amazon Prime Video’s ‘Laakhon Mein Ek Season 2’ with conviction. The show exposes the dark underbelly of the medical world – be it black marketing of medicines or the inefficiency of the system as a whole. Talking about her role in the series, she said: “I did a lot of workshops with doctors before we started shooting the project, and even during the shoot.” One thing I did on my own was to speak to a girl who was Shreya’s age. I tracked her day-to-day life – what she wore to the food she would eat because that helped me understand the world better.”last_img read more

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PayPal snubs come to Pak overture

first_imgIslamabad: PayPal will not come to Pakistan despite the governments efforts to convince the American company, which operates a worldwide online payment system that supports online money transfers, to introduce its services in the country, said a senior official. “PayPal did not decline because it has issues operating in Pakistan. Their internal working is such that they are not ready to introduce services in Pakistan,” Ministry of Information Technology Secretary Maroof Afzal told a Senate Standing Committee on Thursday. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraWhile Afzal tried to explain why PayPal was not interested in coming to Pakistan, Senator Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh said PayPal was afraid to come to Pakistan unless there were laws to protect the company’s interests, reports Dawn news. “One case of money laundering could cause significant problems for PayPal. PayPal must have the backing of the government that it can secure the interests of the company,” Shaikh added. In February, Finance Minister Asad Umar had said that talks to bring PayPal to Pakistan were underway, while rubbishingreports that the federal government was impeding the company’s entry into the Pakistani market. In November 2015, the IT Ministry had announced that it was set to invite global online payment giants PayPal and Alibaba to offer their services in Pakistan.last_img read more

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France Leading Country for Jewish Emigration to Israel

Rabat- The rise in anti-Semitic sentiment has seen the Jewish community in France leaving the country for Israel in unprecedented numbers.According to a leading Jewish group, more Jews have left France to Israel so far this year than from any other country, blaming a “climate of anti-Semitism to be the reason behind this “New Age” exodus of the French Jewish community.“France is today the leading country for Jewish emigration to Israel. It has never been before,” Ariel Kandel, head of the French office of the Jewish Agency for Israel was quoted as saying by Le Figaro. Kandel based his statement on figures from the Israeli integration Ministry, which shows that, as of August 31, 4,566 Jews had left France for Israel so far in 2014, ahead of Ukraine (3,252), Russia (2,632) and the United States (2,218).“We will get close to 6,000 departures from France in 2014,” said Kandel, adding that it’s about one percent of the total Jewish community in France, which is estimated to be around 500,000.“In the Western or free world, we’ve never seen one percent of the Jewish community leaving to Israel,” he added. France is home to the third largest Jewish community in the world behind Israel and the United States.According to the same source, a climate of anti-Semitism that spiked in the wake of the Israeli onslaught on Gaza Strip and economic difficulties in France, are believed to be the main reasons behind the emigration of the Jewish community.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

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Decision to Ban Much Loved Was Made by the Government Head

Rabat – The government apparently made the decision to ban Nabil Ayouch’s prostitution-themed drama “Much Loved” without consulting with the film regulatory body CCM.CCM director Sarim Fassi-Fihri told Huffpost Morocco website that the Ministry of Communication called them to see if the leaked clips, which have prompted an avalanche of criticism on social media platforms, actually belong to “Much Loved”.“The Ministry of Communication called us to inquire if the video clips posted for several days on YouTube are present in “Much Loved.” We said yes,” Fassi-Fihri said. “And it is on this basis that the Ministry decided to ban the screening of the film in Morocco.”  The CCM has not given its opinion.The Ministry of Communication said in a previous statement that the decision to ban the film had been taken after a team from the Moroccan Cinematographic Center (CCM) saw it at an international festival, referring to Cannes Festival.“After a CCM group saw the film in an international film festival, it was decided not to authorize the release of the film in Morocco, “ a statement from the Ministry of Communication said last Monday.The film’ director Nabil Ayouch said he was shocked by the decision of the Ministry of Communication because none of its members have actually seen the film, and that he hadn’t even applied for a permit for it be shown in Moroccan movie theaters.A number of international filmmakers and producers- including Arnaud Desplechin, Michel Hazanavicius, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Costa-Gavras, Bertrand Tavernier, Jean Labadie, Edouard Weil and Christophe Rossignon- have signed a petition to support Ayouch and Loubna Abidar, the film’s main character.Cannes Directors’ Fortnight Edouard Waintrop has also joined those who are protesting against Morocco’s ban on Nabil Ayouch’s film, saying that the reality the film is seeking to portray “won’t be altered by an act of deliberate censorship.” read more

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Moroccan Singer Cancels Participation in Festival to Avoid Dirtying Passport With

Rabat – Moroccan Rai singer Hafid Douzi has canceled his participation in the 16th annual International Festival for Palestine in Ramallah, to avoid “dirtying” his passport with an Israeli stamp.Hafid Douzi made the decision after he learned from the Festival administration that he and his band would have to enter Ramallah via the Tel Aviv airport.Speaking to Daily Alquds, Douzi said he was very delighted when he received the invitation to perform for the Palestinian people in Ramallah. He added that initially the agreement was to enter the Palestinian city via Jordan’s capital of Amman. “However, recently the organizers contacted us saying the entry should be via TelAviv airport.”Douzi negotiated with the organizers in an attempt to avoid getting Israeli stamps on the band members’ passports.After long negotiations with the organizers, the festival director promised his manager, Kader Douzi, who is also his brother, that none of the passports of the band’s members will have the Israeli stamp.“Yet, three days before the date of our flights, we received notice from the director that Israeli authorities insist on stamping our passports,” Hafid Douzi said.Douzi stressed that he firmly refused “dirtying” his passport with the stamp of an occupying country, adding that accepting such stamp “is just like accepting normalization with Israeli.”“And I announce that I am against normalization with Israel,” he concluded.Some Arab countries refuse entry to travelers with any Israeli stamp in their passport. The stamp may be a visa stamp, or a stamp on entry or departure. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, and Lebanon will refuse entry.Last June, Adham Nabulsi, a Jordanian singer of Palestinian origin, was barred from entering Lebanon because he visited the Occupied Territories.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

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Headquarters Agreement on Moroccos COP22 Organization Signed in Bonn

Bonn – The headquarters agreement marking the official commitment of Morocco to organize in Marrakech the 22nd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), also known as COP22, was signed on Monday in Bonn.The agreement was signed, during the Bonn Conference on Climate Change (May 16-26), by chairman of the COP22 steering committee and foreign minister Salaheddine Mezouar and Executive secretary of the UNFCCC Christiana Figueres.The event comes following the signature by the EU and 176 countries in New York of the Paris Agreement which pledges to curb global warming at 1.5-2 °c. On May 10, the development of the Bab Ighli site (COP22 village) was launched in Marrakech.Built as an environment-friendly village, this site which is constructed over 223,647 square meters will be carbon neutral and will be ready for use on Oct.With MAP read more

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Morocco Poised to Be Chinas Gateway to Africa The Diplomat

Washington  – Morocco is on the way to becoming China’s gateway to Africa by actively courting more Chinese investment and closer ties, said an article published on Wednesday by  US magazine “The Diplomat”.“Morocco’s largest city, Casablanca, is increasingly recognized as an important African financial center. This year Casablanca surpassed Johannesburg to be ranked the number one financial center in the Global Financial Centers Index,” said the article’s author Joseph Hammond, noting that few countries have positioned themselves aggressively for the position in the way that Morocco has.“Moroccan banks are interested in China, and Chinese banks are interested in Morocco. The Bank of China, China’s oldest financial institution, opened its first branch in Morocco this year. The bank seeks to manage its involvement in various African markets from Casablanca,” he said. “Moroccan BMCE bank recently opened its full branch in Shanghai. We are in Asia because of Africa; we opened the Shanghai branch because of Africa. Morocco can be China’s gateway into West Africa and beyond, where Moroccan companies and businessmen are already playing a leading role,” he said quoting Brahim Benjelloun Touimi, the director general of BCME Bank and chairman of the Bank of Africa.The author pointed out that Casablanca, Morocco’s financial and economic capital, has been ranked Africa’s  top financial center ahead of Johannesburg, according to the Global Financial Centers IndexThe author recalled that, last year, the government of Morocco hosted the first Sino-African Entrepreneurs Summit in Marrakech, where Morocco later hosted the COP22 summit. “Similar forums are planned in the future.”The author also quoted Mohamed Boussaid, Morocco’s minister of economy and finance, as saying that “HM the king’s trip in May 2016 played a major role in moving the relationship forward.” read more

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Marrakech CrossDresser Relates Fears for Safety Hopes to Leave Morocco

Rabat – On New Year’s Eve, Chafiq’s worst nightmare came true after a minor road accident in Marrakech. He hit a motorcycle driver with his vehicle, but no casualties were reported. A cross-dresser who only wants to be mentioned by his first name, Chafiq’s choice of attire was what caused him issues.After press reports and rumors posted online, Chafiq decided to break his silence to talk about his side of the story in an interview with Morocco World News.The 33-year-old said that he was partying at a hotel in Marrakech. At 2 a.m., Chafiq, who was wearing a blue woman’s robe and a wig, left the hotel. At a traffic light, Chafiq hit a motorcycle. News reports said that Chafiq tried to escape the scene, but the crossdresser said that he was planning to stop. “You know that feeling when you are shocked, you cannot stop immediately after the accident,” Chafiq told MWN.After a while, Chafiq said that he stopped his car, and the crowd started to get bigger. “A policeman stopped by and asked me to leave the car. I told him that I will give him my car papers and stay inside the car. But he refused and broke my car’s window,” Chafiq said.The incident started to get worse after citizens saw him wearing a dress. “After I left the car, they handcuffed me. It was a minor car accident; they don’t have the right to do that,” Chafiq said.Read Also:  Moroccan Police Investigate Leaked Pictures of Hit-and-Run CrossdresserHe added that everyone was filming and taking photos of him during his arrest. “When I went to the police station, some policemen took pictures of me through their personal phones. I did not know why they did that,” Chafiq said. Police also photographed his ID card.After a while, Chafiq was released but was asked to come back to the police station in 48 hours.“I left and I thought that everything will finish after what happened that night, so I just slept. But when I woke up and checked my phone I was shocked to find videos and photos of me posted online. My friends sent them to me, and I was surprised,” Chafiq said.He added that his brother asked him if it was him but he denied it. “I told my brother that it was not me, God creates forty people who look the same,” Chafiq told MWN.But when pictures of his ID were posted online, Chafiq could not deny his sexual orientation or the incident anymore.“I told my brother that it is what it is. My mother fainted when she heard. But what else can I do? This is what it is.”Chafiq’s parents were unaware of his sexual orientation, and after the incident, he has not been in touch with his family, except his brother.In a sad tone, Chafiq said that what the police did was unexpected, especially considering his ID has his home address.“I feel threatened now. Who can tell that I am not a target of someone who would try to harm me?” Chafiq asked.He said that after the incident, a traveler from Oujda visited him at home to ask him how he feels after the controversy.“He had a three day beard, and he said he is from Oujda and he passed by to check how I am after the incident. He also invited me for a coffee. To be honest, I felt scared. I am scared,” Chafiq said.Now, Chafiq is planning to leave the country because he fears for his safety.Read Also: Marrakech Hit-and-Run Crossdresser Plans to Leave MoroccoA spokeswoman for Moroccan NGO Alternative Movement for Individual Freedoms (MALI), Ibtissam Lachgar, said that Chafiq’s case is “complicated.”Lachgar, who is also a clinical psychologist, said that Chafiq is really depressed now. “We contacted him and received him in Rabat. He was really depressed,” Lachgar told Morocco World News.She added that MALI is now contacting several embassies and associations to assist him in seeking asylum.“It takes time as there are several steps that we should follow,” Lachgar said. She added that MALI will not give up and will knock on every door that might help Chafiq because the process is complicated.Read Also: DGSN Sanctions 4 Policemen for Leaking Video of Marrakech Cross-DresserShe explained that there are more complicated cases than Chafiq’s whose requests for refuge were rejected.Chafiq called on Moroccans to avoid prejudice at the end of the interview.LGBT people in Morocco often  fear unfriendly reactions and keep their sexual orientation secret. Article 489 of Morocco’s Penal Code also stipulates prison periods ranging from six months to three years for “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex.”Revealing suspects’ information publicly is also punishable. After the release of the photos, videos, and ID of the cross-dresser, General Director of National Security Abdellatif Hammouchi announced disciplinary sanctions ranging from warnings to temporary suspensions for four policemen in Marrakech.The four policemen were suspended for not preserving Chafiq’s personal and private data.A statement from the General Directorate of the National Security (DGSN) also condemned the lack of policemen’s rigor in preserving the personal data of an individual who is the subject of a judicial investigation.Chafiq’s case generated thousands of reactions, with some saying he  disrespected Moroccan culture and religion and others condemning the sharing of his pictures, calling it a violation of his personal freedom. read more

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Karim Medrek Presents His Credentials as New Moroccan Ambassador to Vanuatu

Rabat – Karim Medrek, Moroccan Ambassador to Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific States, with residence in Canberra, presented his credentials to the President of the Republic of Vanuatu, Tallis Obed Moses on August 13.At the ceremony, Moses expressed his admiration for the role of King Mohammed VI in promoting South-South cooperation and welcomed the excellent bilateral relations since the signing of the joint statement for the establishment of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Vanuatu on December 14, 2000.The president recalled that the two countries have strengthened their cooperation over the past two decades in various fields. Moses also thanked the Kingdom for its many initiatives to strengthen cooperation in the fields of education, health, and the fight against terrorism. Ambassador Medrek conveyed to the President of Vanuatu the warmest greetings and most sincere wishes of King Mohammed VI.The Ambassador also expressed his willingness to contribute, through political dialogue, to the promotion of economic cooperation between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Vanuatu.“This complementarity, reinforced by regular consultations and dialogue, has resulted in multilateral action where Morocco and Vanuatu can create innovative partnerships,” said the King’s Ambassador to Vanuatu.Vanuatu is a country in the southern Pacific Ocean consisting of about 80 islands stretching 1,300 kilometers. Its population of 276,244 is concentrated in the capital Port Vila on Efate Island and Luganville on Espiritu Santo. read more

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