My Blog

first_imgWASHINGTON – American military contractors operating in Iraq are accusing Baghdad of employing strong-arm tactics to make them pay exorbitant income taxes, a practice they’ve warned the Trump administration is hampering the fight against Islamic State extremists.To force payment of the taxes, which the companies say are haphazardly calculated and can total millions of dollars, Iraqi authorities have held up — and even threatened to stop altogether — delivery of essential supplies, including food, fuel and water, bound for U.S. and coalition forces, according to interviews and documents obtained by The Associated Press.Iraqi government officials also have refused to issue, or have delayed, the delivery of work visas to employees of companies that won’t hand over the money.A senior executive at a U.S. company that supports American troops in Iraq said contractor vehicles are stopped at checkpoints frequently and ordered to produce documents that certify they’ve paid the taxes or prove their company has received an extension from Iraq’s tax commission. The executive spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid retaliation from the Iraqi government for speaking out publicly.He said the Iraqis typically calculate the tax bills by first determining the total value of the contract and then charging 20 per cent of what they estimate the company’s gross revenue would be. That can lead to eye-popping yet wildly inaccurate totals as high as $20 million. The big number is really aimed at getting the company to agree on a smaller yet still substantial amount, the executive said.Najiha Abbas Habib, director general of Iraq’s tax authority, rejected the allegation U.S. contractors are being gouged. American companies working in Iraq are not exempt from taxation, she said, adding that Iraq’s tax rates are actually lower than other Middle East countries.“Many foreign companies operate in Iraq without paying any taxes at all,” Habib said.Robert Mearkle, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, denied the tax demands have undercut the counterterrorism mission. “Iraqi enforcement of tax laws has not disrupted U.S. efforts to defeat ISIS,” he said in an emailed statement, using an alternative acronym for the militant group that in 2014 burst into western and northern Iraq from Syria.But a trade group representing a number of the contractors told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson several months ago that the tactics present a “direct threat to the U.S. government’s mission in Iraq.” The Professional Services Council also said in the previously undisclosed May 1 letter to Tillerson that the arbitrary way the Iraqis are collecting the taxes heightens the potential for fraud and waste in a country that already ranks as one of the most corrupt in the world.David Berteau, president of the Professional Services Council, estimated in an AP interview that the Pentagon spent about $1 billion in just the last year on contracts with about 20 U.S. companies for support in Iraq. The work ranges from supplying U.S. and coalition bases to construction and weapon system maintenance.Berteau said the companies either seek reimbursement from the U.S. government for the taxes or build the expense into the price they charge on the contract.“Either way, U.S. taxpayers eventually foot the bill,” Berteau said.But the Trump administration hasn’t confronted senior Iraqi officials over the matter. Tillerson, in a brief response he sent the organization in early July, said a diplomatic note between the two countries approved in 2014 during the Obama administration gave U.S. government personnel but not contractors protections from Iraqi law.Tillerson said the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad routinely engages with the Iraqi government “to ensure fair treatment” of the U.S. contractors working there. But he also said it’s “always important that U.S. companies follow local laws,” which include the payment of taxes.And Tillerson gave no indication the Trump administration would pursue what U.S. companies with overseas contracts really want: an agreement with the Iraqi government that gives them exemptions from the taxes and other legal protections to shield them from being prosecuted in Iraqi courts.Iraq’s push for the taxes has coincided with a sustained drop in oil prices. Oil revenue makes up nearly 95 per cent of Iraq’s budget, but the country has been reeling under an economic crisis since 2014, when prices began falling from a high of above $100 a barrel.The seizure of territory across Iraq by the Islamic State group in 2014, including the fall of Mosul, worsened the situation. Badly needed resources have been diverted from productive investment to fight a long and costly insurgency.U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in Iraq, referred questions to the State Department. The command declined to provide a list of the U.S. companies in Iraq with Defence Department contracts.Among the companies operating in Iraq are General Dynamics Land Systems and DynCorp International. General Dynamics, which is based in Michigan, received a $65 million contract late last year to support Iraq’s fleet of M1A1 battle tanks. DynCorp, located in McLean, Virginia, won a contract in 2015 with a potential value of $139 million to school Iraqi troops in vehicle maintenance and repair. Neither company responded to requests for comment about whether they’d paid taxes to the Iraqi government.Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, has thrown his support to the U.S. companies, telling Tillerson and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis that he’s concerned the income tax demands could lead American contractors to avoid Iraq altogether.Cornyn wrote in early August that Iraq is “the only unstable conflict zone in the world where U.S. contractors and their employees have no legal tax protections.”___Associated Press writers Susannah George and Qassim Abdul-Zahra in Baghdad contributed to this report.___Follow Richard Lardner on Twitter at http://twitter.com/rplardnerlast_img read more

first_imgREGINA – The International Carbon Capture and Storage Centre is holding a global symposium in Regina to show off the technology that captures waste carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels and buries it underground.It’s a working meeting for about 150 invited delegates from 16 countries.Mike Monea, president and CEO of the knowledge centre, says the aim is to expand the technology around the world.Monea says carbon capture and storage works, and the next step is to find ways to deploy it around the world.He says another goal is to reduce capital and operating costs.The three-day conference, which wraps up Thursday, includes several presentations and a tour of SaskPower’s Boundary Dam coal-fired power plant in Estevan.“We have been on a path for the last 30 years developing the regulations, policy, pipelining, capture systems, and we can show people what to do quickly in order to deploy CCS into their own country,” Monea said Tuesday.The carbon capture facility at the Estevan plant went online in the fall of 2014.It was forced down several times in 2015. SaskPower had to pay $7.3 million in penalties to Cenovus Energy (TSX:CVE) because the plant wasn’t operating enough to deliver all the captured carbon dioxide promised to the Calgary-based oil company.SaskPower’s annual report that year said the power plant faced technical and mechanical issues which “prevented the plant from achieving an acceptable level of reliability and performance.”However, in 2016, SaskPower CEO Mike Marsh said the facility was operating well and on track to capture 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.(CKRM, The Canadian Press)last_img read more

first_imgCALGARY – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley took her pro-pipeline tour to the heart of the energy industry in Calgary on Friday where she urged business leaders not to let up on the message that Canada’s climate progress depends on pipeline progress.Speaking in front of the Calgary Chamber, Notley assured the audience that she has been delivering that message in person all week to audiences in Ontario in an effort to see progress on pipelines, especially with Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain project that faces resistance in British Columbia.“The time to speak up is now,” said Notley, calling on both business leaders and Albertans of all political stripes to get out and talk about climate action, pipeline safety, and the importance of the energy industry for the overall economy.“This is all about our common future. And it’s bigger than any party label. As business leaders, your voice matters.”Touting the enormous economic benefits Alberta contributes to Canada, and the need to preserve good jobs in the energy sector while making progress on the environment, Notley was thanked for her efforts with a standing ovation from a crowd that greeted her with lukewarm applause two years ago.Notley also called on the federal Liberals, as she had when in Ottawa and Toronto this week, to do more to advocate for the pipeline.“You have to step up,” she said. “This project is in the national interest, that’s why it got approved.”“Now, more than ever, Canadians need our national government to articulate, and then defend the national interest,” she added.Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan Canada, thanked Notley for her strong advocacy on behalf of the project and the industry in his introduction of the premier.“You’ve been a strong and unwavering supporter of ours, and our industry. Your voice is being heard loud and clear across the country.”He noted the importance of the public relations campaign as Kinder Morgan has still yet to put shovels in the ground for a project that the federal government approved a year ago.“While we had hoped that we would have been putting Albertans to work, I can assure you we will very soon be putting Albertans to work and we will be commencing construction as soon as we possibly can on the project.”Notley takes her pipeline tour to Vancouver next week where there exists some of the fiercest opposition to a project that would nearly triple the capacity of the pipeline running from Alberta to Burnaby, B.C.last_img read more

first_imgBEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – HBO’s programming chief pushed back Wednesday against the possibility that the cable channel will suffer under new owner AT&T.Casey Bloys, speaking to a meeting of TV critics, said there are no plans to choose volume over quality for its shows.“No one is asking us to take pitches of a ‘Love Boat’ reboot or anything like that,” he said.As support, Bloys cited comments made during an earnings call Tuesday by John Stankey, who manages the new AT&T division that includes HBO and other Time Warner media assets. AT&T acquired Time Warner in an $85 billion deal concluded earlier this month.Stankey said that the aim was to invest more in premium content at HBO, home to “Game of Thrones,” ”Big Little Lies” and “Westworld.” In contrast, he reportedly told HBO staff recently to prepare for a difficult year.Bloys called Tuesday’s remarks “music to our ears.”Time Warner had curtailed programming investment as it readied itself for sale “so this is the first time in a long time we’ve heard anybody talking about investing in programming,” he said.HBO has long held the high ground in acclaimed shows but is facing challenges from big-spending newcomers including streaming services Netflix and Amazon. In the recently announced Emmy nominations, Netflix ended HBO’s 17-year streak as the most-nominated outlet by snagging 112 bids to HBO’s 108.The outcome was unsurprising given the overall volume of programming, Bloys said, a reference to the phenomenon dubbed “peak TV” that has given viewers nearly 500 series.Getting four fewer nominations “is not going to change the type of programs that we develop and produce at all,” he said, but added that HBO does face the challenge of creating more programming without changing its approach.“So that’s what we’re in discussion now. What’s the right level for us with this increased funding?” he said.last_img read more

first_imgNEW YORK — Stocks are wobbling ahead of the highly-anticipating trade meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping of China. Investors have long hoped the two will use their meeting at the Group of 20 summit to start resolving the trade dispute between the two countries. Energy companies sank as crude oil dropped under $50 a barrel for the first time since September 2017.KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index added 2 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 2,740 at 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 20 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 25,318. The Nasdaq composite gained 4 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 7,277. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks edged up 1 point, or 0.1 per cent, to 1,526.Stocks have rallied this week after falling to a six-month low last Friday. The S&P 500 is up 1 per cent this month, but it’s still 6.5 per cent away from the all-time high it set in late September. While the U.S. and China have been sparring for months over technology policy and other trade issues, in the last two months investors have become more pessimistic that the two sides will be able to resolve their differences without causing damage to the global economy.The U.S. has announced tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports so far, with the tax rate on many products set to rise Jan. 1, while China is taxing $110 billion in U.S. goods. Wall Street is concerned that the lingering questions about tariffs and other trade issues will keep businesses from spending money.UNWANTED GUEST: Marriott said the information of as many as 500 million guests at Starwood hotels has been compromised by a data breach that started in 2014 and September 2018. The company said the credit card information of some guests may have been taken, along with other personal details. The company’s stock lost 5.8 per cent to $114.80.ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell sank 3 per cent to $49.92 a barrel in New York, which put crude on track to fall for the eighth week in a row. Brent crude fell 2.5 per cent to $58.40 a barrel in London. Oil prices have plunged as supplies have built up, partly because the U.S. agreed to hold off on sanctions for countries that import oil from Iran. Investors are also worried that a slowdown in global economic growth will reduce demand for fuels.Oil and gas drilling services company Schlumberger lost 2.5 per cent to $44.78 and Chevron fell 0.9 per cent to $117.78 while ConocoPhillips lost 1.6 per cent to $65.82.TESTING, TESTING: Medical lab company LabCorp skidded 10.6 per cent to $144.58 after cutting its profit and sales forecasts. On Thursday LabCorp fell 2 per cent and rival Quest Diagnostics dropped 9.3 per cent after Quest did the same, saying testing volumes were down. Quest fell 1.8 per cent to $86.37 Friday.GAME OVER: Video game retailer GameStop skidded 9.8 per cent to $13.20 after it cut its annual profit and sales forecasts. The company said some key titles didn’t sell as well as it hoped, and promotions and sales of used games weren’t as strong as expected.BONDS: Bond prices rose further. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.01 per cent from 3.03 per cent.OVERSEAS: The FTSE 100 index in Britain shed 0.6 per cent. Germany’s DAX fell 0.4 per cent while France’s CAC40 gave up 0.1 per cent.Japan’s Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.4 per cent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.2 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.8 per cent.CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.59 yen from 113.43 yen. The euro fell to $1.1344 from $1.1389.____AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAPMarley Jay, The Associated Presslast_img read more

first_imgTORONTO — Realtor Ash Alles wanted to throw an open house to remember.So, he catered a food truck.“Food is what drives people in,” said Alles, a real estate agent at Sutton Group Summit Realty in Mississauga, Ont. “We’re trying to make it an event, as opposed to a traditional open house.”The open house at the townhouse in Burlington, Ont., west of Toronto, last May drew in more than 200 people over four hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon. There were free tacos, music, and people were encouraged to bring their babies and dogs along.Although the eventual buyer wasn’t at the open house, billed as a “Cinco de Mayo Neighbourhood Fiesta,” Alles still considered the party a success.So much so that since the spring, he has hired a food truck for five other open houses.Alles spends about $5,000 out of pocket each time for the food truck, much higher than the typical $250 a realtor usually spends to run an open house.“I want my listings to stand out. We want buyers to come to our listings. We want to sell our listings,” he said. “Whatever we can do to drive traffic is worth doing. Yes you have to spend a little more money but that is what marketing is and that is what is going to get the house sold at the end of the day.”From food trucks to iPad giveaways to private wine and cheese nights, realtors are upping their game in a bid to lure potential homebuyers to an open house, a feat that may become more difficult with real estate markets across the country continuing to show signs of softening.“There has been an evolution of what an open house can look like,” says Ryan Hartlen, a Halifax broker who’s been in the business for 15 years.“Back in the day, you put a sign out, advertise in the paper and see who shows up.”Nowadays, those who attend open houses can expect anything from cookies and charcuterie boards to colouring books for the children to giveaways of foodie baskets.Although the eventual homebuyer may not be the nosy neighbour down the street or the dogwalker who decided to pop in to the open house, most realtors see it as an opportunity to showcase the property to as many people as possible.But if you ask Brett Starke, a sales rep with PSR Brokerage in downtown Toronto, he has a different strategy to running an open house.“I don’t do water or coffee or anything like that,” said Starke, who specializes in sales of downtown condominiums and homes in west Toronto. “I just do straight information (about the property).”He says it’s more important to him to get the right kind of person into a client’s open house, one that is serious about the property, rather than aim to attract anybody off the street.“There is a difference between drawing people in and drawing in a buyer,” said Starke.To him, a successful open house is getting six to 10 people and being able to give them individual attention and answer all their questions.“We want to spend the right time with the right people,” he said. “You’re not going to buy a condo or house because someone gave you a $20 bottle of wine, or the people who come for the free food, they’re not going to be one ones who buy the house.”Starke says agents who employ these “gimmicky” tactics are doing a disservice to their clients, when the extra money spent on the open house could instead be put towards research and marketing directly to the right demographic of buyers.And what about those nosy neighbours often seen at open houses? His tip is to hold a VIP event before the public open house so they don’t distract actual potential buyers.“Open houses have almost become like a Saturday or Sunday social event where people think, ‘Why not go see beautiful properties in the neighbourhood, get design inspiration and spy on our neighbours?,’ he said.“We don’t want the tire kickers in there, complaining about things, when the real buyer could be there too.”Follow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter.Linda Nguyen , The Canadian Presslast_img read more

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A Go Fund Me campaign has started for a Fort St. John family who lost everything due to a house fire on August 5th.Greg Slack, Robyn Carr and their three children were luckily out of the house when the fire occurred at approximately 4:50 on Sunday. Fire crews were able to put out the fire within one hour but due to smoke damage, the house was unsalvagable.Fort St. John Fire Department Captain Marco D’Agostino explained that the fire started in the laundry room likely due to a build-up of lint in the dryer. D’agostino added that the family’s dryer had plastic tubes in the back which when exposed to excessive heat don’t react well. D’agistino went on to warn residents to check dryer lint deposits regularly so this doesn’t happen to their homes in the future.The family lost all their clothes, appliances, personal items, and children’s toys, making them have to effectively start from scratch.Anyone interested in donating to the Go Fund Me can click here.last_img read more

first_imgIf you or know someone that would be suited to or would like to join the Board yourself, read the nomination package CLICK HERE The deadline for submissions is 11:59PM, Friday, February 4, 2019. VANCOUVER, B.C. – The BC Chamber of Commerce has one vacancy in the Northeast without an incumbent.The BC Chamber of Commerce is seeking people that want to help shape the Chamber’s future through their actions, words and principals to serve on the 2019 Board of Directors.They seek dynamic individuals to serve as leaders in their pursuit of advocacy, insight, and influence.last_img read more

first_imgVICTORIA, B.C. – The Provincial government will help bring an end to shell companies and other legal entities to anonymously hide wealth, evade taxes and launder money.According to the government the landowner transparency act, when passed, will establish a public registry of beneficial owners of property in B.C., meaning true ownership will no longer be hidden.The act will require corporations, trusts and partnerships, which currently own or buy land, to disclose their beneficial owners in the registry. Corporations, trusts and partnerships that fail to disclose could face fines of up to $100,000 or 15% of the assessed property value, whichever is greater shared the government. “For years, the previous government did not act, while people used numbered companies, trusts and partnerships to hide who really owns property in B.C.,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “Their decisions led to B.C.’s international reputation as a place to anonymously invest wealth and left the real estate sector open to tax evasion, fraud and money laundering.“This registry will make information about the true owners of B.C. real estate publicly available and help crack down on illegal activities. It is one of the key steps our government is taking to ensure homes in B.C. are used for people, not speculative investment or money laundering.”Transparency International Canada released a report in 2016 indicating that nearly one-third of the 100 most valuable residential properties in Greater Vancouver were owned by shell companies. Data leaks, such as the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers, have provided further examples of how loopholes have left Canada exposed.B.C’s new ownership registry is Canada’s first publicly searchable registry of its kind.According to the government information, including names of all corporate interest holders, beneficial owners or partners, will be publicly searchable through the registry. Tax authorities, law enforcement agencies and relevant regulators will have access to more detailed information and may use it to crack down on tax evasion, fraud and money laundering.“Requiring companies, trusts and partnerships to disclose their controlling shareholders, beneficial owners and partners protects the public by letting everyone know who they are dealing with in B.C.’s real estate market,” said Nancy Merrill, president of the Law Society of BC. “This groundbreaking move by the B.C. government will increase the transparency of land ownership in B.C. and make it more difficult to use such arrangements for tax evasion, fraud and money laundering. British Columbians will benefit from a fairer and more transparent real estate market.” In addition, the B.C. government shared they are introducing amendments to the Business Corporations Act to crack down on tax evasion and money laundering by requiring private companies to hold accurate and up-to-date information about the true owners of their shares and eliminating bearer shares, which are unregistered shares owned by the certificate holder.last_img read more

first_imgBarcelona: Four years have passed since Lionel Messi last reached a Champions League semi-final and his drought has become a source of unease for Barcelona ahead of their latest attempt on Tuesday. Manchester United are the ones looking to emulate Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Roma by sending Barca out in the quarters for a fourth year running but for the Catalans, another failure would be unforgivable, not least because of the implications for their captain. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”Last season we did the double but we all felt bad about how it went in the Champions League,” Messi said in August. “We promise this season we will do all we can to bring that beautiful cup back to Camp Nou.” Barcelona’s dominance in Spain has been shaped by Messi, who only this month overtook Iker Casillas as the player with the most La Liga victories, 335, in its history. Those wins have helped them capture seven of the last 10 league titles, a figure that will surely become eight from 11 next month, given their nine-point lead at the top of the table. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterThere could be an historic fifth consecutive Copa del Rey too if Ernesto Valverde’s side beat Valencia on May 25. But in Europe, Barca would appear under-marked, with only one success in the last seven years, three in 10 since Pep Guardiola took charge in 2008 and set in motion what has felt, in playing terms at least, like an iconic era. The list of clubs etched onto the cup hoisted at the Wanda Metropolitano on June 1 will instead show a decade swallowed up by Real Madrid, whose domestic failings in that period have been exonerated by four Champions League triumphs in five years. “Obviously it’s infuriating,” Luis Suarez said. “Madrid have made history and it’s a thorn in our side.” Messi’s record is similarly unbalanced. He has nine La Liga titles and is by a distance the competition’s top scorer, with an astonishing 414 goals. Cristiano Ronaldo, closest in second, has 311. But in the Champions League, Messi has lifted the trophy four times, a relatively modest return given it puts him on a par with 11 current Real Madrid players alone, including Nacho, Casemiro and Dani Carvajal. This year, Ronaldo is hunting his sixth. And while Messi dwarfs the Portuguese for goals in La Liga, the opposite is true in Europe, where Ronaldo has 125 goals to his 108. The game’s most illustrious pair could yet meet in this year’s final, should Barca capitalise on their 1-0 first-leg win over United and then overcome either Liverpool or Porto in the semis. Ronaldo and Juventus, meanwhile, would have to beat Ajax, and then either Manchester City or Tottenham. A showdown in Madrid would throw an even brighter glare on Messi’s record compared to Ronaldo, whose sensational hat-trick against Atletico Madrid last month only enhanced the sense this tournament belongs to him. Messi is not one to complain, particularly given he cannot be blameless in Barca’s underachievements in Europe. But the fans are frustrated, with last season’s double doing little to ease the disappointment of the collapse against Roma.last_img read more

first_imgBanda (UP): Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Wednesday termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “Pradhan Prachar Mantri” and accused the BJP of “wasting drinking water” to clean roads in Banda, an arid town in Uttar Pradesh’s Budelkhand region. Priyanka Gandhi’s comments drew a sharp reaction from Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who said her statements show that the fear of defeat has gripped the Congress. The Congress’s attack on Modi and the BJP came a day ahead of the prime minister’s visit here. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Water from tankers were being used to clean roads to “welcome our Pradhan Prachar Mantri (chief publicity minister)”, she claimed. This is happening at a time when “the entire Bundelkhand, the men and women living there, school going children, crops, birds and animals are facing the spectre of drought,” the Congress general secretary said. In a tweet, Priyanka Gandhi said, “Is he a ‘chowkidar’ (watchman) or a ‘shahnshah’ (emperor) coming from Delhi.” Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K The prime minister is schedule to address an election rally here on Thursday. Rebutting allegations, Adityanath said, “The fear of defeat has gripped the Congress so much that it can be proved from the fact that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has termed an 11 seconds of washing of keechad (mud), as the washing of an entire road.” In a tweet, he said, “The Congress is a factory of lies. Even after tendering an apology in the Supreme Court, these Congressmen are not mending their ways.’ His reference was to Congress president Rahul Gandhi expressing regret in the Supreme Court on Monday over his remark “chowkidar (watchman) Narendra Modi chor hain” in connection with the Rafale judgment.last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi Capitals qualified for the IPL play-offs for the first time since 2012 after a convincing 16-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore here on Sunday. Entertaining knocks from captain Shreyas Iyer (52 off 37) and Shikhar Dhawan (50 off 37) helped Delhi put up a daunting 187 for five before the bowlers delivered once again to stop the RCB at 171 for seven. It was Delhi’s eighth win in 12 games, giving them the 16 points needed to seal a top-four berth. Chennai Super Kings were the first team to quality for the play-offs. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuOn the other hand, it is all but over for the Virat Kohli-led RCB, following their eighth loss in 12 games. With 62 needed off the last five overs, the Delhi bowling attack, led by spinners Amit Mishra (2/29) and Axar Patel (1/26), produced another commendable performance after RCB made a promising start. RCB opener Parthiv Patel initially resisted the Delhi attack with aplomb, hitting a belligerent 39 off 20 balls with five boundaries and a six while Kohli seemed happy to play spectator at the non-striker’s end. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersAlthough it was Delhi’s home game but when Kohli survived a caught behind call on 4, it seemed most of the fans had turned up to cheer for the Indian skipper, who did not disappoint and hit the very next ball for a towering six. The Delhi bowlers replied strongly to the onslaught by the openers by dismissing the duo in quick succession, Kagiso Rabada scalped the wicket off Parthiv while Axar Patel accounted for Kohli (23 off 17), who was caught by Rutherford in the deep. Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals for RCB as their batsmen failed to make an impact. Patel took a stunning catch at the boundary to dismiss AB de Villiers (17 off 19) in the 12th over and South African Heinrich Klaasen (3) soon followed him into the dressing room. Shivam Dube (24), who was dropped on 3, was then caught by Dhawan, eliciting the trade-mark thigh-slap celebration from the Indian opener. RCB seemed to be leading towards victory when Marcus Stoinis (32 not out off 24)and Gurkeerat Singh (27 off 19) were in the middle of a blistering stand but the total proved to be too much in the end. Earlier, half centuries by Dhawan and Iyer coupled with late cameos from Sherfane Rutherford and Axar Patel had powered Delhi to a strong total. Keeping in mind the extremely dry nature of the wicket, Iyer opted to bat first. The openers began the Delhi innings on a steady note. Dhawan sliced Umesh Yadav over cover point to hit the first boundary for his team. Shaw also hit four boundaries and looked in dangerous form but couldn’t capitalise on his good start and perished for 18 in the fourth over with Yadav providing the first breakthrough for the visitors. Skipper Iyer edged the first ball he faced to the boundary. His innings of 52 was laced with two fours and three sixes. On the other end, Dhawan continued hitting boundaries at regular intervals to the packed crowd’s delight. The home team reached to 88/1 at the halfway mark. The duo shared a 68-run stand and looked to set a huge target. However, there was a shift in momentum as Yuzvendra Chahal, who was the pick of the bowlers, dismissed Dhawan as he tried to reach out and sweep the ball in the 13th over. The spinner than dismissed danger man Rishabh Pant for 7 in his next over. Delhi then lost wickets of Iyer and Colin Ingram (11) in quick succession. Delhi were struggling at 141 for 5 when Rutherford ( 28 off 13 balls) and Patel (16 off 9) walked in to share a 46-run partnership with 20 runs coming off the last over.last_img read more

Rabat – Belgian law enforcement arrested a suspect identified as Faycal C. on Thursday on a warrant for participating in the terrorist group responsible for the Brussels attacks, committing terrorist murders, and attempting to commit terrorist murders.Authorities are still in the process of confirming whether the suspect is the third man – wearing a dark hart and a white coat – caught in the surveillance photograph taken at the Zaventem airport before the attacks, according to comments by Eric Van der Sijpt, a spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office, on Saturday.The attacks – claimed by ISIS – occured on Tuesday as an official response to Belgium’s support of the international coalition fighting against terrorist forces in Iraq and Syria. The man, who Belgian prosecutors say was “deeply involved in the Brussels plot,” has been identified in Belgian media as Fayçal Cheffou, an independent journalist.No weapons or explosives were found in Cheffou home during a recent police search.In July 2014, Cheffou made a video in which he stands in front of a detention center for refugees and asylum seekers in Steenokkerzeel, a neighborhood near the attacked airport. The video shows Cheffou criticizing the Belgian government for serving Muslim refugees meals before the end of the daily fast during the month of Ramadan.The judge in charge of Cheffou’s case issued the arrest warrant on Friday in accordance with a Belgian law that requires a hearing to be held before a judge and a warrant to be issued within 24 hours or arrest to keep a suspect in detention. read more

Rabat – The 23rd edition of the Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF) kicked off on Wednesday with the participation of three Moroccan publishers and the ministry of Culture.Moroccan publishers “La Croisée des Chemins”, “la Fontaine du livre” and “Dar Taouhidi” showcase their books in the six-day event.Their participation in the 23rd BIBF is part of the support of the Ministry of culture which enables Moroccan publishers to participate in some 20 international book fairs every year. A total of 2,407 publishers both from China and abroad take part in the BIBF.The BIBF, which first launched in 1986, is the third largest book fair in the world, after the Frankfurt Book Fair and the London Book Fair. read more

Rabat – Six Moroccan women have been named to Forbes Middle East’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Businesswomen.Not surprisingly, Gulf women top the list for 2016 headed by Saudi, Lubna S. Olayan, Chief Executive Officer of Olayan Financing, which is one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest family-owned conglomerates. Olayan is followed by Egyptian Deputy and Governor of Central Bank of Egypt, Lobna Helal, and Raja Easa Al Gurg, Managing Director of Al Gurg Group. Morocco can, however, be extremely proud of the six highly successful businesswomen who have taken honoured places on the Forbes list.Nezha Hayat Ranked 9th among the 100 most powerful Arab businesswomen, head of the Moroccan Capital Market Authority, Nezha Hayat, topped the list of Moroccan businesswomen.Hayat earned her MBA from France’s ESSEC Business School in 1984 and has been an executive at the Casablanca Stock Exchange since 1996. Hayat is also the founder and deputy chair of the Association des Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises du Maroc, (Association of Women Business Managers in Morocco) and was appointed as the first woman member of the Executive Board in 2007 to Societe Generale Morocco.  Hayat is dedicated to seeing more women take their rightful places on boards of directors in the future.Rita Maria ZniberHead of Diana Holding, Rita Maria Zniber, ranked as the 35th most powerful Arab businesswoman.Founded by her late husband, Brahim Zniber, Diana Holding was the first winemaker in Morocco. It achieves a turnover of MAD 3 billion each year and generates over 6,500 direct jobs.Under the leadership of Maria Rita Zniber, the group joined the capital of French spirits group, Belvédère, with 13.14%, becoming the majority shareholder. Zniber plans to make Diana Holding a global player in the production of wines and spirits.Sadia LamraniSadia Ramani ranks 36th on the list. She runs Casablanca-based Safari Group, which operates BMW and Land Rover dealerships in the country, as well as interests in Credit du Maroc and textile manufacturing.Lamarani is the daughter of famous Moroccan politician Mohammed Karim Lamrani, who was a three-time prime minister of Morocco.Miriam Bensalah ChaqrounProminent figure, Miriam Bensalah Chaqroun was ranked  the 52nd most powerful businesswoman in the Middle East.Chaqroun is an MBA graduate in International Management and Finance from the University of Dallas, Texas, USA. She was elected President of the CGEM in 2012. Before this she directed mineral water companies Sidi Ali, Oulmes, and Bahia for 23 years.Salwa Idrissi AkhannouchProminent Moroccan, Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch occupies the 68th place on most powerful businesswoman in the Arab world list. Akhannouch is Head of Akwa Group, a distributor of petroleum products. She is also head of franchise group, Aksal, founded in 2004. Her project, Morocco Mall, is the largest shopping center in Africa and the Middle East and ranks in the world’s top five.  She is the wife of current President of the National Rally of Independents (RNI), Aziz Akhannouch, and the daughter famous Berber businessman, Ahmed Haj Belfiqih, who made his fortune in the tea trade. Laila MamouMoroccan Chief Executive Officer of the Management Board of Wafasalaf, Laila Mamou ranked 59th. Mamou’s leadership, Wafasalaf has become a leading consumer credit company.Edited by Constance Guindon read more

Casablanca – Moroccan Anass Ait El Abdia won Morocco’s 30th Cycling Tour, following the 10th and last stage held Sunday between Rabat and Casablanca (120 km).Ait El Abdia becomes the third Moroccan in history to win the competition, after Mohamed El Gourch and Mohcine Lahssaini.Morocco’s cycling tour is part of the UCI Africa Tour calendar and brought together 120 cyclists representing 20 teams from Africa, Europe and the Americas.

Rabat – Kaouthar Zaghba, sister of Italian-Moroccan London Bridge attacker Youssef Zaghba, has criticised the attack that left eight dead and 48 injured, saying it was the result of their “violent” father.The 24 year old said her brother was inspired by the violent nature of their father Mohammed, who beat her and her mother Valeria. She stated that her father used violence when she would not wear the veil, went out with male friends or obtained bad grades.Zaghba explained her move to Italy saying, “I left Morocco because I’d had enough of my father.” When she left Fes aged 18, her brother stayed behind with their father but he soon left for London.  Zaghba said that her brother’s move to London was also motivated by his desire to stay away from their father. Zaghba has praised their Muslim convert mother who has openly criticised her son’s actions, saying that their mother taught “the rules of tolerant Islam.”In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Italian resident Zaghba said she would not attend her brother’s funeral, even if it took place in Italy. “I am so shocked by what he did. He is still my brother, I cannot change that but I will never forgive him for what he has done.”Zaghba said she understood why over 500 imams and religious leaders had refused to conduct a funeral service for her brother– “they need to send a sign.”Zaghba noted that while the pair were close as children, religion had caused them to grow apart over the past few years. Unlike her brother who desired “to live a pure Islamic life,” Zaghba told the Italian press: “I don’t believe in God, in any God. I’m sorry but that’s the truth.”She stated that she had not spoken recently with her brother because they “didn’t see eye to eye” and “he didn’t like the way I lived my life.”The Sun reported that Zaghba’s father is due to collect his son’s body in London over the next few days.Youssef Zaghba was one of three attackers who killed eight people and injured at least 48 in the London Bridge area of London on Saturday June 3. Along with two other attackers, who have been named as British national Khuram Butt and Moroccan-Libyan Rachid Redouane, the trio drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then exited the van to attack people in nearby Borough Market. read more

Rabat – A picture of King Mohammed VI following his eye surgey in Paris went viral on social media.The picture was published by an unofficial Facebook page of King Mohammed VI which has more than 3.5 million fans.The monarch is seen in a store wearing an eye patch on his left eye while another person stood by his side. King Mohammed VI is pictured dressed casually in a dark blue T-shirt and gey pork pie hat with a purple band.The picture was widely shared by Facebook users. The page’s fans expressed their wishes for the King of speedy recovery.The surgegry took place on Wednesday at the the Quinze-Vingt Hospital in Paris.His doctors, Jean Philippe Nordmann and Abdelaziz Maaouni said in a statement that the monarch developed a “pterygium”, also called “Surfer’s Eye”.Pterygium is a growth that develops on the conjunctiva or mucous membrane that covers the white part of the eye. It is said to be common among surfers and people who spend a lot of time outdoors.The doctors said the King would wear a patch for protection and will have to rest for 15 days so that his eye can heal properly. read more

Rabat – Baibanou announced her determination to climb the mountain, which is the last summit of the “Seven Summit” challenge at a press conference.It will take the Moroccan mountaineer ten days to reach her destination, as the massive mountain is  21 kilometer long and 13 kilometer wide. The mountain lies within the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains.During the press conference, Baibanou stated  that her message is “to prove that dreams can come true [if you] just believe in it and have the will.” She added: “With a lot of perseverance [and] determination, I am pursuing my dream to climb Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica, and to be the first in Morocco to realize the ‘Seven Summits’ challenge.”Read Also: Moroccan Mountaineer Bouchra Baibanou Climbs World’s Highest MountainBaibanou also succeed to reach the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, in 2017. Like Baibanou, several other Moroccan women are passionate about hiking mountains. Last year in May,  Ghizlane Aakar waved the Moroccan flag from Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world.In an interview with Outdoor Women Alliance, the 47-year-old mountaineer said after her Everest achievement, “people [in Morocco] accept women doing adventure sports. It wasn’t like before. Women can do everything now. I feel lucky to be a Moroccan woman.” read more

Rabat – King Mohammed VI  hosted an iftar (a breaking fast  ceremony) in honor of President Trump’s son-in law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, according to Moroccan News Channel Al Oula. Tasked with solving the American Middle East Peace Plan, Jared Kushner arrived in Morocco on Tuesday along with with US officials Jason Greenblatt and Brian Hook. The visit is part  of Kushner’s tour in preparation for Washington’s upcoming economic conference scheduled for June 25-26 in Manama, Bahrain. The conference aims to encourage investment in  Palestine. Read Also: Jared Kushner to Visit Morocco for Israel-Palestine Peace TalksTrump’s administration seeks to garner support for the US efforts to broker peace between Israel and Palestine.Jared Kushner will also visit Jordan and Israel after his visit to Morocco.Last week, Palestinian authorities condemned the decision of the US-led economic symposium in Bahrain, emphasizing that it was not  consulted during the planning process of the conference.The Palestinian Authority also decided to boycott the conference, emphasizing that the plan aims to  force Palestinians to “sell” their country.Nabil Shaath, adviser to the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said last week: “We will inform Bahrain that we will not take part in such a conference.”He added, “We will not sell our country based on an economic project.”The Palestinian government also called on Arab states to  boycott the conference. Several Arab countries, especially in the Gulf have announced their support for the event, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE. read more