TIFF founder Bill Marshall dead at 77

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement The film trailblaizer, who immigrated to Canada from Glasgow, Scotland in 1955, founded the festival in 1976 along with co-founders Henk Van der Kolk and Dusty Cohl. He had 13 different feature film credits to his name and also produced hundreds of documentaries.TIFF began small but became one of North America’s biggest film festivals, important because it had a public audience, instead of screening to insiders. It became known as a good place to premiere movies to the public and many filmmakers launched careers through the festival..Marshall leaves his wife Sari Ruda, his children Lee, Stephen and Shelagh, and six grandchildren.CBC Facebook Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Toronto International Film Festival founder William (Bill) Marshall has died at age 77 after suffering a cardiac arrest, according to a family statement released through TIFF’s press office Sunday.Marshall, described as “a pioneer in the Canadian film industry,” died in hospital in Toronto on New Year’s Day, the statement said.“In a very real way Bill was in the business of making dreams become reality,” read the statement. “Now, as the house lights dim, friends and family will remember and honour Bill as a first rate raconteur, famous for his honesty, keen mind and wry humour.” Advertisementlast_img read more

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Mantiboa flu fears grow

first_imgAPTN National NewsThere are fears that a lethal influenza outbreak in northern Manitoba may be growing.Two people are confirmed to have died from complications of Influenza A, also known as the common flu.Tests are still being conducted on another suspicious death.last_img

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MLA says old pipeline route turned hiking trail needs to be cleaned

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Canol trail is said to be the toughest hiking trail in Canada.It follows an old pipeline route through the Mackenzie mountains in the Northwest Territories.One problem though, the trail is littered with abandoned oil barrels, contaminants and worst of all, hundreds of kilometers of old telephone cables – considered the biggest threat to hikers and wildlife.APTN’s Iman Kassam has more.ikassam@aptn.calast_img

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Stkemlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation in BC get support from Kamloops city council

first_imgLaurie Hamelin APTN National NewsThe Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation in British Columbia is getting support from the Kamloops city council against a proposed mining development.Earlier this year, the Nation conducted its own environmental assessment of a proposed copper and gold mine. It called for an open pit mine that would be built on Pipsell, their sacred land near Jacko Lake in the Kamloops area.‘As long as it is responsible, as long as they have our input into it we’re not against all different things,” said Jeanette Jules, Tkemlups Councillor & Secwepemc Knowledge Keeper.” “There are just some areas too sacred, too holy to destroy.”Contact Laurie here: lhamelin@aptn.calast_img read more

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Judges lawyers at odds over deal Canada pay 75M in 60s Scoop

first_imgThe Canadian PressA Federal Court judge wants input by the end of the month into whether he has the power to decide how much the government should pay lawyers who successfully pursued an unprecedented lawsuit against Canada for the loss of identity suffered by victims of the ’60s Scoop.The request by Judge Michael Phelan to the lawyers involved comes after Justice Edward Belobaba, in a separate but parallel proceeding in Ontario Superior Court, threw a legal grenade into the Scoop class-action settlement by decrying the $75 million Canada had agreed to pay in legal costs as too rich by half.In a scathing decision in June in which he opened up the larger question of how class-action lawyers are compensated, Belobaba also railed at part of the deal under which lawyers who acted in Federal Court would collect half the fee total – $37.5 million – while the other half would go to the lawyers who had acted in Superior Court.The lawyers who had spent years fighting the landmark case in Superior Court agreed to allow Belobaba to deal with the fee issue separately. That paved the way for his final approval and implementation of the hard-fought Scoop settlement under which survivors are to be paid up to $50,000 each.The lawyers in the Federal Court action, however, made no such concession. They maintained, and still do, that Federal Court Judge Michel Shore, who was handling the matter, had signed off on the settlement on May 11, including the fee arrangement he called fair and reasonable. They nevertheless went back to Federal Court for one more judicial sign-off in light of the change on the Ontario end of the settlement.On Aug. 2, Phelan, who took over the case from Shore, signed an order under which the lawyers in Federal Court would get their $37.5 million.However, the following day, after Belobaba had received a copy of the order, Phelan sent a note to the Federal Court parties in which he said his approval applied to the Scoop agreement “other than fees.”Almost a week later, Phelan questioned whether he could even rule on the fee issue.“In light of Justice Shore’s decision approving fees, what jurisdiction does the court have to consider the issue?” Phelan wrote.In response, lawyer Celeste Poltak with Koskie Minsky in Toronto wrote Phelan to say there never was any new request for the judge to rule on the fees because “the amount was already approved by Justice Shore and Your Honour.”The letter goes on to point out that no one had appealed Shore’s order and, as a result, the fee issue had been “finally disposed of.”Nevertheless, in a case conference call Thursday, Phelan again asked for submissions before Aug. 31 on his authority to deal with the fee issue, and promised to render a decision within a week or so of that date, said Kirk Baert, another lawyer involved in the case.In the interim, the lawyers acting in Superior Court – Jeffery Wilson and Morris Cooper – are waiting to see whether their $37.5 million will materialize. They declined to comment on the latest twist but had previously said it would be grossly unfair for them to have to take home less than their Federal Court counterparts given Belobaba’s criticism.In his decision in June, Belobaba was effusive in praising Wilson, whose small firm took on “enormous” risk by filing the case in 2009 and then put in millions of dollars in time without any guarantee of success.“Bluntly put, this is as close a case of class counsel ‘betting the firm’ as I have seen,” Belobaba wrote.At the same time, the judge slammed “opportunistic” class-action lawyers who had acted in Federal Court, saying he was “stunned” they had admitted to collecting $10 million in fees for essentially having done not much at all.In all, Belobaba said, the total legal bill should have been around $37.5 million – half what was agreed to – of which the Federal Court lawyers deserved no more than $12.5 million.It now remains to be seen whether Phelan makes any changes to the fees and what Belobaba will decide regardless of what happens in Federal Court.last_img read more

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Shoal Lake 40 is another step closer to being hooked up to

first_imgAshley BrandsonAPTN NewsDecades ago Shoal Lake #40 got cut off from the world because of water needs in Winnipeg.But after a major lobbying campaign that focused on the sacrifice the people there made so others could have fresh drinking water – Ontario, Manitoba and Canada agreed to split the cost of a road reconnecting the community.That new road isn’t open yet – but you wouldn’t know it by the way people in Shoal Lake are talking.abrandson@aptn.ca@ashleybrandsonlast_img

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Pipeline protesters practise resisting police at Camp Cloud outside tank farm

first_imgVANCOUVER – Pipeline protesters who were ordered to take down their camp outside a Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby, B.C., are instead preparing to tie themselves to its structures in anticipation of police intervention.Spokeswoman Kwitsel Tatel said Monday that some of the camp’s protesters have offered to protect a sacred fire that has been burning around the clock at the settlement known as Camp Cloud.“There have been exercises that Camp Cloud has applied in order to reject police brutality by tying ourselves down to the sacred fire and some of our structures,” she said in a phone interview Monday. “Bodies have been offered up to protect the sacred fire as of (Sunday.)”The camp has grown since November from a single trailer to include a two-storey wooden structure, a cabin, an outdoor shower, more than a dozen tents and multiple vehicles and trailers.On Friday, a B.C. Supreme Court judge granted the City of Burnaby an injunction ordering protesters to remove all structures, shelters and vehicles from the site outside a Kinder Morgan tank farm within 48 hours — a time window that passed on Sunday.In his judgment, Justice Geoffrey Gomery also ordered that the fire be extinguished due to very dry conditions and its proximity to an aviation fuel site.Several protesters remain on site, but Tatel said she left the camp at the request of her children after someone sped along the road near the camp and then threatened to strangle her.She said the campers are exercising their Aboriginal rights to remain on the land and are making the stand to protect the water from a pipeline spill.Since the court order was issued, protesters have moved some trailers away from a street corner that the city had expressed concerns about, she said.Acting city manger Dipak Dattani said Monday that the city’s concerns extend beyond both the fire and the trailers on the corner. The court order was posted and distributed to defendants Friday afternoon, after months of unproductive dialogue, he said.“We were hoping that they would dismantle and peacefully leave the site and that has not been the case. So right now, in accordance with the plan, we’re working in consultation with the RCMP to look at enforcement of the order,” Dattani said.Mounties have discretion in terms of the timing and manner in which the order will be enforced, he said.In March, a different Supreme Court judge allowed Camp Cloud and a separate protest structure known as the Watch House to remain in place in response to a court injunction application from Kinder Morgan.While Tatel has argued that order should still protect Camp Cloud, Dattani said the makeshift settlement has grown significantly since then, creating hazards.Tatel said she has written a letter to the Queen of England, the Governor General of Canada and a Coast Salish chief asking them to intervene.On Friday, Gomery said he was concerned about “vigilantes” who had begun threatening to deal with the camp themselves. Protesters have also expressed violence, he said, noting one threatened to “drop kick” and “kill” a city official.last_img read more

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Penney Fiscal 3Q Earnings Snapshot

first_imgPLANO, Texas (AP) _ J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) on Thursday reported a loss of $151 million in its fiscal third quarter.On a per-share basis, the Plano, Texas-based company said it had a loss of 48 cents. Losses, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 52 cents per share.The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 57 cents per share.The department store operator posted revenue of $2.73 billion in the period, which did not meet Street forecasts. Five analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $2.81 billion.The company’s shares closed at $1.22. A year ago, they were trading at $2.98._____This story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on JCP at https://www.zacks.com/ap/JCPThe Associated Presslast_img read more

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Pomeroy Sport Centre to host world record paper airplane attempt

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John residents could witness history next month when two American men will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest distance flown by a paper airplane at the Pomeroy Sport Centre.In 2012, John Collins designed a paper airplane that former college football quarterback Joe Ayoob threw an astonishing 226 feet, 10 inches. That flight would set the Guinness World Record for furthest recorded paper airplane flight, a record that still stands today.“It wasn’t all that surprising, but it was really a relief. It was just an amazing accomplishment after three years of trying.” Collins said of breaking the record, “A) it was a great relief, and B) it was just a really great moment to have a lot of my friends there to celebrate with.” Collins said he decided to come to the Energetic City after local resident and paper airplane enthusiast Parker Andrews told him he was going to break his record one day. He explained that he had been trying to find a place to beat his record for over two years, but couldn’t find a building large enough to attempt it. After Andrews told him about the size of the  Pomeroy Sport Centre, Collins said he thought it was the perfect fit.“It all looks good on paper, it’s the right length, and we’ve got plenty of headroom.” said Collins, “The idea that there is nothing and no obstruction above us is really good news. There is a lot to like about that building.”Collins may also return to the Energetic City in September to teach classes on building paper airplanes to schools throughout School District #60.Collins and Ayoob will attempt their record-breaking flight on July 11th.last_img read more

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Cenovus inks deal to sell Montney oil and gas assets for 625

first_imgCenovus says it is continuing to market other assets in what is known as the Deep Basin region as it tries to pay down debt from its purchase of oilsands and conventional assets from ConocoPhillips last year.NuVista says the acquired business includes production of about 9,600 barrels of oil equivalent per day and related infrastructure.It says it will fund the purchase with its credit facilities, a $384-million offering of subscription receipts and a private placement of up to $35 million in common shares issued on a “flow-through” basis.(THE CANADIAN PRESS) CALGARY, A.B. – Oilsands producer Cenovus Energy Inc. is selling northwestern Alberta oil and gas assets for $625 million as part of a process to reduce its $9.5-billion debt burden.The sale is to include its Pipestone and Wembley natural gas and liquids production, as well as its 39 percent interest in the Wembley gas processing plant.Cenovus didn’t identify the buyer but Calgary-based NuVista Energy Ltd. confirmed it was the purchaser in a separate news release late Thursday.last_img read more

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Two minutes with the candidates – Trevor Bolin

first_imgThe 2018 Municipal Election will be held in Fort St. John on October 20 with advance voting opportunities on October 10 and 17.  Get out and vote and help pick the next Fort St. John City Council.There are 12 candidates running for six seats on Council.  Over the next two weeks, we will share more about each candidate on Moose FM and Energeticcity.ca.  We gave each candidate two minutes to tell us why you should vote for them.  We will post a video daily in alphabetical order by last name.Our first candidate is current Councillor Trevor Bolin who is running for re-election. Here is a list of all the candidates running in 2018.Trevor Bolin (incumbent)Bruce Christensen (incumbent)Larry Evans (incumbent)Chuck FowlerBecky GrimsrudLilia Hansen (incumbent)Gabor HarisJim HarrisJustin JonesGord Klassen (incumbent)Byron Stewart (incumbent)Tony ZabinskyGet out and vote.  You can vote October 10, 17 and 20.  The polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on those days at the Royal Canadian Legion in Fort St. John.Click here to see if your eligible to vote.last_img read more

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Denied ticket from Nawada Giriraj goes into a sulk

first_imgPatna: Firebrand BJP leader and union minister Giriraj Singh was on Monday apparently left sulking after the Nawada Lok Sabha seat, which he represents, went to NDA ally LJP.”Compulsions of seat-sharing may be there. But I wish to underscore that no other union minister from Bihar may have to give up his sitting seat,” the veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader told media persons here. “This is despite the fact that I have worked so much to nurture my constituency,” Singh added. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had on Sunday announced the list of candidates and their respective seats to be contested by its three constituents– the BJP, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) and Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP. As per the announcement the BJP and the JD(U) will contest 17 seats each and six seats were allotted to the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP). Asked whether he had expressed his wish to seek re-election from Nawada to state BJP president Nityanand Rai, Singh said: “I must have done so 200 times”. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”Five years is a long time and I have become attached to Nawada and its people. Rai had assured me that I would get a ticket from wherever I wanted. Why this (denial of ticket) happened is for him to answer,” Singh told reporters here. On reports that he might be asked to contest from Begusarai, the seat which he had wanted to fight in 2014, Singh replied with a hint of bitterness, “I was a party worker, am a party worker and shall always remain a party worker.” Besides Giriraj Singh, the other union ministers from Bihar are Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Buxar), R K Singh (Ara), Ram Kripal Yadav (Pataliputra) and Radha Mohan Singh (Motihari). All these seats have been retained by the BJP and it is believed that the sitting MPs may be fielded again from their respective seats. Interestingly, in the last general election Giriraj Singh had initially expressed his wish to contest from Begusarai, which is dominated by the Bhumihar caste to which he belongs. But the seat then went to Bhola Singh, a party-hopper who had been previously associated with the Communist Party of India (CPI), Congress and the Janata Dal. Giriraj Singh was then given the ticket from Nawada, a less safe seat given its social profile which he won riding the Modi wave.last_img read more

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Mala Roy files nomination says confident of victory

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress candidate from South Kolkata Lok Sabha seat Mala Roy filed her nomination on Monday at the office of the District Election Officer (DEO), South Kolkata, at Survey Building in Alipore.”I am 1000 percent confident of victory. The people of South Kolkata have always elected Trinamool Congress and this year, it will be no exception. Our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is the candidate for all the 42 Lok Sabha seats and the TMC will win riding on the massive development that she has done in the state,” Roy said after filing her nominations. She reiterated that she is trying to reach every single doorstep in the constituency during her campaign. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaSouth Kolkata will go to polls in the last phase of elections on May 19. Roy was accompanied by state Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim, state Education minister Partha Chatterjee, state Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay and state Disaster Management minister Javed Khan. “The people of South Kolkata have full faith in Mamata Banerjee and she has nominated Roy in this seat. So her win is just a matter of time,” Chatterjee said. Subrata Bakshi had swept the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 with a margin of 1,36,339 votes over BJP’s Tathagata Roy. Interestingly, Roy had contested with a Congress ticket in 2014 and had bagged over 1 lakh votes. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayRoy was initially surprised when Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee nominated her in the seat but being a seasoned politician, she soon started her campaign to reach out to the voters. TMC celebrity candidate Nusrat Jahan also filed her nomination on Monday for the Basirhat parliamentary constituency. Basirhat will go for the polls in the seventh phase on May 19. Nusrat Jahan and Mimi Chakraborty (fighting from the Jadavpur constituency) are two new additions to the party’s list of celebrity candidates, which also includes MPs Dev Adhikari, Moon Moon Sen and Shatabdi Roy.last_img read more

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Candidates in North West Delhi claim to have secured decisive mandate

first_imgNew Delhi: North West Delhi constituency where polling took place on Sunday, witnessed slight fall in voter turnout. The constituency recorded around 58.99 per cent votes in comparison to 61.66 per cent in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The candidates of three major political parties, despite having a lower voting percentage this time, claimed to have secured the decisive mandate.The voters, however, said to vote for development as the constituency is a mix of unauthorised colonies, middle class urban areas, an industrial belt and a swathe or rural areas. “While civic issues and facilities are the key issues in the urban areas of the constituency, in the rural belt, people say they need hospitals, better transport, higher education institutions, especially for girls, and lower electricity tariff for tube wells. Hence we have keeping these issues in mind,” said Mahesh, a time voter from Mangol Puri area. As far as assembly wise data is concerned Narela recorded 60.87 per cent, Badli 57.83 per cent, Rithala 58.44 per cent, Bawana 58.78 per cent, Mundaka 56.05 per cent, Kirari 58.69 per cent, Sultan Pur Majra 60.90 per cent, Nangloi Jat 54.03 per cent, Mangol Puri 63.74 per cent and Rohini 64.10 per cent votes. “There was slow but peaceful voting were witnessed in all 10 assembly constituencies. Despite the lower turn out, efforts were made to attract maximum number of voters at poling booths,” said a polling office deputed at one of the booths in constituency. The BJP has fielded popular Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans, preferring him over the incumbent Udit Raj, who then joined the Congress a day after denying the ticket. The Congress has fielded on one of its three working presidents and two-time MLA Rajesh Lilothia while the AAP has given ticket to Gugan Singh, a former BJP MLA from Bawana assembly constituency. The constituency of 23.7 lakh voters has a sizeable Scheduled Caste population mainly Jatav and Balmiki, roughly 22 per cent of the voter base. The villages are dominated by Jats and Brahmins, while unauthorised colonies and slums have mostly Scheduled Caste and Muslim voters. Considering the fact, the AAP candidate comes from Jatav community while BJP and Congress candidates are from Balmiki community. “The community from which Hans Raj Hans comes has nearly 3.5 lakh votes in three assembly constituencies- Sultan Puri, Mangol Puri and Bawana and we are hopeful that we will get 95 per cent votes of this community alone. Besides this we have also get a huge support of voters especially Jatav from Bawana, a stronghold of the AAP candidate. Poor performance of AAP in Delhi and zero possibility of forming government by the Congress in Centre is the key reason of support to BJP besides Modi Wave,” said Manoj ChandelNorth-West Media Co-Incharge, BJP. The Congress candidate Rajesh Lilothia, while talking to media, said to win the election. “The people who are fed up with AAP and BJP in Delhi and Centre, desperately want to change their representative. Both the parties have miserably failed to address the issues hence we are confident of our victory. The vision of Congress party is also a factor bringing people closes to us,” said Lilothia. The AAP candidate Gugan Singh, however, claim to work scores of development related projects.last_img read more

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Spain rejects Catalonias independence

first_imgMADRID – Spanish parliament agreed on a motion against the Catalan parliament’s independence.The Spanish Parliament has rejected plans for the northeastern Catalonia region to hold a referendum to declare its independence.The motion rejected the Barcelona-based regional government of Catalonia to hold the referendum in November. The rejection was approved on Thursday by 272 deputies from the country’s mainstream parties, against 43 votes from Catalonian nationalist and leftist groups.Three Spanish national parties, the Union, Progress and Democracy Party (UPyD), the Popular Party (PP), and the Socialist Party (PSOE) passed the motion. The UPyD party said that “in no case, any part of the citizenship can decide on the State’s territorial organization or on any other aspect or provision of the Constitution, excluding the others from this eventual decision”. Polls indicate that Catalans are roughly evenly split on independence.last_img read more

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I came to Morocco With My Parents Consent Rebecca Arthur

Rabat – 24 hours after Rebecca Arthur, was reported missing by the Connecticut Police Department, the American teenager appeared in a video on Friday inside the house of Mohamed El Adala, known as Simo, saying “she is safe and OK.”“My name is Rebecca Arthur. I am safe and OK with my boyfriend Simo and his family,” Rebecca said.Contrary to what has been reported in American media, the American teenager said that she had traveled to Casablanca with her parents’ consent. “I am OK, and I have my parents’ permission to come here visit and spend time with them,” she said.Mohamed El Adala said that his girlfriend was hosted by his family with the permission of her family. He showed a paper allegedly signed by Rebecca’s mother where she gives permission to her daughter to fly to Morocco.El Adala said that the media hype was caused after one of Rebecca’s friends- driven by jealousy- went to the police and told them that she was kidnapped.“We were having a good time together in Essaouira with my family,” Simo said.The Moroccan boy said that he has been in contact with Rebecca through Facebook for the past years ago, adding that their relationship has become stronger following regular chatting with her via Skype over the past seven months.“Before she came, I was talking also with Rebecca’s mother who was happy to send her daughter to visit us in Morocco,” he saidThe love story of this young couple has taken a new twist after the American consulate in Casablanca decided to send Rebecca back home at the request of federal authorities, because she is still a minor. read more

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ISIS Sends Death Threats to Moroccan Sheikhs

By Alexandra KrauskaRabat – In a recent statement by Al Battar, ISIS sends death threats to four Salafist sheikhs from Morocco, claiming that they “glorify and compete” to reject the political and religious ideas of Islam.Al Battar, named for the sword of the prophet, is the unofficial media wing of ISIS, and much of what it produces is propaganda in favor of the Islamic State. It is one of several media companies that supports ISIS, also including Caliphate News, Inspire, Al-Furqan Media, Al-Ghuraba Media, Al-Hayat Media, Al-Ibaa Media, and many more. The Sheikhs threatened include Abdelwahab Rafiki, Omar Haddouchi, Mohamed Fizazi, and Abdelkrim Chadli. They are all conservative, non-violent Islamists. ISIS criticizes them and Moroccan Islam as “inauthentic” and ineffective in Islamizing Morocco.Moroccan Islamists remain in many prominent political positions, though they are non-violent and do not recognize the Islamic State, as ISIS would prefer. Several ISIS cells have been dismantled by the Moroccan government, which takes a strong stance in combating the terrorist group.ISIS has used media, especially social media, very effectively. High definition videos and pictures of graphic events indicate that they have advanced equipment and a talented team of producers creating the media, in contrast to the materials of their early days with low quality images that were clearly made by amateurs.Despite their accounts being discovered and taken down on Facebook, Twitter, and across several websites, they have been able to get the message out. Their propaganda has led to the recruitment of thousands of people from around the world. In 2015, it is projected that at least 30,000 foreigners were recruited to join their ranks. read more

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Ouarzazate Court of Appeal Jails 5 Demonstrators over Thirst Protests in

Rabat – The Hirak Rif movement’s protesters are not the only Moroccan demonstrators to face jail sentences. The Criminal Chamber in Ouarzazate Court of Appeal has sentenced a group of people to prison for protesting over water scarcity in the Moroccan southern city of Zagora.The court has sentenced a protester to one year of imprisonment, after being accused of taking part in an unauthorized demonstration and for throwing stones on security officials, according to news daily Al Massae.The Ouarzazate Court of Appeal has also sentenced four other protesters to two months each in prison and a fine of MAD 500. The court has cleared two teenagers of charges made by the Prosecutor General’s Office. On September 24, a group of people took to Zagora’s parched streets to demand access to clean drinking water. The police then intervened to disperse the manifestation and arrested 23 people, seven of whom were prosecuted for “participating in an unauthorized demonstration,” according to the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH).On October 8, residents of Zagora flocked to the streets of the city once more in a peaceful march, carrying Moroccan flags and portraits of King Mohammed VI to denounce water shortage in their town as well as in the surrounding regions.Dubbed ‘Hirak Al Atach,’ meaning ‘thirst protest’ in Arabic, the movement was quickly targeted by Moroccan authorities. Police elements started to stalk small crowds in the alleys of the city to prevent any kind of improvised demonstrations.Protesters then allegedly started assaulting security officials by throwing them with projectiles, lighting firecrackers and setting up barricades to prevent security vehicles from advancing into the city’s neighborhoods.The clashes between police elements and protesters resulted in injuries to authorities and a woman, who was wounded. However, protesters accused an officer of beating her and kicking her hard in the back while police intervened to stop the protest.In October, King Mohammed VI tasked Morocco’s Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani to chair a committee to find a solution to the problem of water shortage in the country. Charafat Afailal, minister delegate in charge of environment, visited the city of Zagora, where she vowed to find a solution to the country’s water problem.Residents of different regions, especially rural areas, have complained about an increasing scarcity of drinking and irrigation water. In cities like Ouazzane, Beni Melal, Zagora, Sefrou, Khenifra and Azilal, Moroccans took to the streets to draw the government’s attention to their suffering. read more

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