Scheer unveils plane in Ottawa starts campaign with SNCLavalin reminder

first_imgOTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has formally launched his election campaign today in Ottawa, reviving attacks on Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair.Scheer went on the offensive in Ottawa after a report in the Globe and Mail that said the RCMP has been examining potential obstruction of justice in the handling of the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin Group, but has been limited by the federal government’s refusal to lift cabinet confidentiality for all witnesses.Scheer reiterated past criticism that Trudeau has lied to the public, and called on him to waive that confidentiality. While emphasizing the Tories’ main campaign slogan of being a party that will help Canadians get ahead, Scheer made clear that attacks on Trudeau’s credibility over his handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair will be central.“We made the case that he has lost the moral authority to govern. So over the next five weeks or so we’re going to be outlining our vision for the country to put more money back into the pockets of Canadians and let them get ahead,” Scheer said.Scheer was speaking in Ottawa before setting out for Quebec for a mid-day event ahead of an evening rally in Toronto.(The Quebec event is scheduled for Trois-Rivieres, between Montreal and Quebec City, but bad weather could force a change of plans.)Scheer was asked about Bill 21, Quebec’s new secularism legislation, which forbids some public-sector workers from wearing religious symbols on the job.“I’ve made my views of Bill 21 known. It’s not something that our party would ever consider at the federal level. We will always stand up for the rights of Canadians, and the rights for expression and the rights of freedom of religion,” Scheer said. Scheer begins the 40-day campaign with polls suggesting the Conservatives are essentially tied with the Liberals and the NDP and Greens are fighting for third.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Council welcomes new RCMP Inspector to Fort St John

first_imgHanson who is originally from New Brunswick attended the University of New Brunswick where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and English.Joining the RCMP in October 2000, he was posted to Invermere, BC out of training.During his career, he has served, aside from Invermere, in Ottawa, Tumbler Ridge, Vanderhoof, Fort St James and Prince George. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – At the regular Council Meeting on Monday, September 9th, 2019, Council welcomed a new RCMP Inspector to the city of Fort St. John.Anthony Hanson has moved to the community with his wife, a Professional Engineer and their three children.Hanson has held Detachment Operations and Command positions in Tumbler Ridge, Vanderhoof, Fort St James and Prince George.last_img read more

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We spoiled the party Mbappe agonises over Man Utd defeat

first_imgParis: Kylian Mbappe said he was left “stunned” by Paris Saint-Germain’s gut-wrenching exit from the Champions League in midweek as Manchester United pulled off an improbable comeback in the last 16. Marcus Rashford’s 94th-minute penalty at the Parc des Princes gave United a 3-1 win in France to send the English club through on away goals after becoming the first team in the competition’s history to overturn a 2-0 home defeat. “I’m stunned. I haven’t been able to sleep,” Mbappe told TF1 in an interview. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football together “It’s difficult, we’d worked so hard to get to this point and we’re disappointed. We’re going to try and pick ourselves back up.” PSG’s game at Nantes this weekend was postponed although they remain well clear of second-placed Lille and all but assured a sixth Ligue 1 title in seven seasons. Thomas Tuchel’s men are also through to the last four of the French Cup, but Mbappe admitted it was hard to look ahead to rest of the season with the pain of Wednesday’s defeat still raw. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian Open “Honestly, it’s hard to give it too much thought because the Champions League was our goal. The stadium was full for a magnificent occasion, we spoiled the party. We didn’t want to ruin it but in the end we did.” However, the 20-year-old allayed any fears among PSG fans that his immediate future could lie elsewhere in the wake of the club’s latest European failure. “I think I will be here, that’s guaranteed even,” he said. “With this elimination and all the problems it’s going to create, there’s no point in my personal situation being added to it. So there, that’s clear and precise.”last_img read more

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Mayhem in New Zealand mosques

first_imgChristchurch: An Australian gunman whose assaults on two New Zealand mosques Friday left at least 49 people dead, published a racist manifesto on Twitter before livestreaming his rampage. The New Zealand government said it could be illegal to share the video, which showed the gunman repeatedly shooting at worshippers from close range. The Facebook Live video, taken with a camera that appeared to be mounted on the gunman’s body, shows a clean-shaven, Caucasian man with short hair driving to the Masjid al Noor mosque in central Christchurch. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in XinjiangHe enters the building and fires repeatedly at worshippers as he moves from room to room. AFP determined the video was genuine through a digital investigation that included matching screenshots of the mosque taken from the gunman’s footage with images available online showing the same areas. The “manifesto” detailing motivations for the attack was posted on Friday morning onto a Twitter account with the same name and profile image as the Facebook page that streamed the attack. Also Read – Want to bring back US forces engaged in endless wars: TrumpIn the video, the shooter parks his car next to the mosque and gets out of the vehicle with a rifle. He slowly goes to the boot of his car and retrieves another firearm. He then walks into the compound of the mosque and fires at a person standing near the doorway before dropping the rifle and shooting repeatedly with the second weapon as he moves inside. The gunman fires dozens of bullets at people trying to run away or lying down in huddled groups in corners of the rooms. In the excerpt of the video viewed by AFP, which did not appear to be the full clip, he can be seen changing cartridges three times in just under two minutes. The framing of the video, which shows only the gunman’s hands holding the gun as he shoots and reloads, is eerily similar to the style of a first-person shooter video game. AFP is not publishing the footage. In the 74-page manifesto entitled “The Great Replacement”, the gunman details his intention to attack Muslims. The title of the document has the same name as a conspiracy theory originating in France that believes European populations are being displaced in their homelands by immigrant groups with higher birth rates. The gunman identified himself as an Australia-born, 28-year-old white male from a low-income, working-class family. He said that key points in his radicalisation were the defeat of the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen in 2017 elections, and the death of 11-year-old Ebba Akerlund in the 2017 Stockholm truck attack. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday confirmed the attacker at the Masjid al Noor mosque was an Australian. “We stand here and condemn, absolutely the attack that occurred today by an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist,” Morrison said. New Zealand authorities said that three people had been arrested, but their identities were not made public. They later announced one man, aged in his late 20s, had been charged with murder and would appear in court on Saturday. The gunman spoke only occasionally while in the car, with what sounded like an Australian accent. Satellite navigational audio could also be heard in the video as he drove to the mosque. Distinctive writing on his weapons was seen in the footage as well as images posted on the Twitter account. Scrawled in English and several Eastern European languages were the names of numerous historical military figures — many of them Europeans involved in fighting the Ottoman forces in the 15th and 16th centuries. A few took part in the Crusades, centuries earlier. The Facebook account that posted the video was no longer available shortly after the shooting. The Twitter account of the same name was quickly suspended. “Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video,” Facebook said in a tweet. “We’re also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware.” A spokesman for New Zealand’s interior ministry said the video is likely to be classified as objectionable content under local law, and could be illegal to share. “The content of the video is disturbing and will be harmful for people to see,” he said. “This is a very real tragedy with real victims and we strongly encourage people to not share or view the video.”last_img read more

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Blast rocks near Egypt intelligence headquarters

first_imgBy Ahmed AttiaCairo- A powerful explosion rocked a garage near the main intelligence headquarters in eastern Cairo on Friday, eyewitnesses said.Security forces and bomb disposal teams rushed to the scene to explore into the causes of the blast, according to the witnesses. There was no comment from Egyptian authorities until the filing of this report.last_img

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In Pictures David Beckham Enjoying His Birthday in Marrakech

Rabat – The Beckhams shared with their millions on Instagram followers the first pictures of David Beckham’s 40th birthday celebrations in Marrakech.David, who turned 40 on Saturday, is seen receiving a hug from wife Victoria who shared the pictures with her 4.2 million Instagram followers.The former Real Madrid and Manchester United player is also seen in another picture with oldest son Brooklyn. In another, he is seen relaxing in front of a table with wrapped gifts on it.The British star was accompanied by family members, as well as his close friends. American actor, Tom Cruise, and Gordan Ramsey are believed to be among his guests.He also shared a picture upon arrival in Marrakech on Friday.David Beckham is believed to celebrate his party in the luxury Amanjena resort, on the outskirts of Marrakech. read more

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Dutch AntiIslam Politician to Show Cartoons of Prophet on TV in

Taroudante- Dutch Anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders intends to show cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) on TV during the holy month of Ramadan. Dutch Anti-Islam Politician Geert Wilders announced on Wednesday that he will display cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed on television airtime allocated to his political party.The far right politician revealed his plan to dedicate television airtime allocated to his party to display controversial images of the prophet, in an effort to support those “who use the pen and not the sword,” he said. In a move expressly intended to offend Muslims around the world, the anti-Islamic politician aimed at provoking Muslims again, despite the harsh criticism he has received for his “racist and Islamophobic” acts.  He has been living under round-the-clock protection since 2004 because of death threats.While no date has been set yet for the broadcasting of the cartoons, the anti-Islam lawmaker, whose Freedom Party holds 12 of the 150 seats in parliament’s lower house, and whose previous request to display the cartoons inside the parliament was turned down, vowed to show the cartoons on TV soon.The announcement came a month after Wilders took part in cartoon depictions of the prophet in a contest in Garland, Texas,Wilders is currently facing prosecution for hate speech over a chant raised last year by his supporters who shouted: “Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!” in answer to his question about whether they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands.Edited by Elisabeth Myers Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

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Moroccos Housing Sector is a Model to Emulate says Ivorian Minister

Rabat – Moroccan officials and their Ivorian counterparts signed a collaborative program in the construction sector on Tuesday in Rabat, showing that the North African country’s development model, especially its technical expertise and know-how in fields with specialized workers, is attracting the attention and admiration of many at the continental level.The agreement, which was signed by Moroccan Minister of Housing and Urban Policy, Abdelahad Fassi Fehri, and his Ivorian counterpart, Claud Isac De, aims to strengthen bilateral relations in terms of transfer of knowledge and expertise sharing with regards to urban policies, city planning, as well as housing and construction know-how.In addition to creating to a better and working coordination of Moroccan and Ivorian urban policies and territory management, the agreement is also an integral part of the kingdom rapprochement with its sub-Saharan fellows: create and consolidate strong and effective bilateral and multilateral agreements facing the continent’s common challenges. This will done through the organization, in the future, of platforms and symposiums that will convene experts and decision-makers from both countries to discuss the challenges and perspectives for their respective urban policies. Speaking to the press after the signing of the deal, the Ivorian minister stressed the historical friendship binding his country to the North African kingdom. However, he puts a greater emphasis on the many reforms that have transformed Morocco into an example and an “inspiration” for many countries in the continent. “Ivory Coast strongly wishes to emulate Morocco’s model in the housing sector,” the Ivorian minister said.Mr. Isac De further explained that Morocco’s success in building decent, highly modernized houses, as well as its investment-friendly housing sector, are some inspiring realities that have captured the attention of his country’s decision makers.He also lauded Morocco’s “genuine engagement” in helping the development of the housing sector in Ivory Coast: “the launching of projects with high and discernible social impact, notably the construction of the Mohammed VI mosque, [and] the establishment of a vocational and training complex in tourism and the construction industry” demonstrate Morocco’s efforts in assisting its West African partner.Morocco’s Housing and Urban Planning Minister, for his part, underscored the reason for the continental appeal Morocco’s thriving and flourishing real estate sector. For the minister, Morocco’s continental reputation is based on the vital and “unquestioned role that the sector has played in the socio-economic development” of the North African country.Armed with its effective policies, institutional advances, and vast human resources, Morocco is ready to avail its expertise and policy model to its partners and “brothers” on the continent, the minister said.Mr. Fehri, who acknowledged that Morocco also has its own housing and urban planning challenges, despite the laudable advances made in recent years, reiterated the Moroccan  government’s commitment to creating an environment of decent, “inclusive, and affordable housing system.” The government is currently working to bring in “more legal, institutional, and regulatory reforms” aiming to further boost the sector’s performances, the Moroccan minister concluded. read more

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BCIJ Arrests 9 More Suspects in Scandinavian Tourist Murders

Rabat- The Central Bureau of Judicial Research (BCIJ) arrested nine more men suspected of belonging to ISIS and being involved in Monday’s terror attack yesterday and today. BCIJ made the arrests in several cities across Morocco, including Essaouira; Sidi Bennour, near Casablanca; Marrakech; Tangier; and Chtouka Ait Baha, near Agadir.The arrest of the nine suspects is part of the investigation of their potential connection to the terror attack. Read Also: Morocco on Alert after Terror Attack on 2 Scandinavian Tourists2As part of the investigation, security forces seized electronic equipment, an unlicensed hunting rifle, knives, flashlights, binoculars, a military vest, laboratory glasses, and a quantity of potentially explosive materials.According to the BCIJ report, the persons were taken into custody under the supervision of the prosecutor’s office at the Rabat Court of Appeals.Yesterday, Morocco’s Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi said Morocco has dismantled around 20 cells accused of terrorism since last year. “All Moroccans denounce and reject this criminal terrorist act.” read more

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World Cup Hervé Renard Reassures Fans about Nabil Dirars Injury

Rabat – Nabil Dirar will miss Morocco’s friendly game against Slovakia.The national coach Hervé Renard reassured Moroccans Sunday about the injury of the right side Nabil Dirar. The international football player will be absent for the friendly match against Slovakia Monday in Geneva, just a few days before the 2018 World Cup in Russia.“Dirar had a small calf alert and there is no point in taking unnecessary risks. We are ten days away from the competition and we must not use his assets,” Renard said during a press briefing at the Geneva stadium. According to the French coach, “it’s just a precaution to be in possession of all our strength on the D-day…. It’s better to leave him a few days off, and not let him play tomorrow to make sure he can get back in shape pretty quickly.”In anticipation of their friendly against the Slovakian team, the Atlas Lions performed a training session of about sixty minutes Sunday afternoon. “The very concentrated group made the final adjustments before the Monday game,” it was reported to the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF).Mehdi Benatia’s teammates started their preparation for the World Cup with a draw against Ukraine (0-0). After the match against Slovakia, the national team will fly to Estonia where it will compete against the Estonian team on 9 June.Placed in Group B, the Atlas Lions will play their first game on June 15 in St. Petersburg against Iran. They will play their second group match against the Portuguese five days later on June 20 at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow. The Lions will close their first-round experience on June 25 with a game against Spain in Kaliningrad. read more

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Barrick Gold proposes merger with rival Newmont Mining

TORONTO — Barrick Gold Corp. has made a formal merger offer for rival Newmont Mining Corp. in an all-stock deal that would combine two of the world’s largest gold producers.The Toronto-based Barrick says its shareholders would own 55.9 per cent of the combined company and the rest would be owned by shareholders of the Colorado-based Newmont.Barrick says its proposal is far superior to Newmont’s planned merger with Vancouver-based Goldcorp, another of the world’s major gold producers.Under the proposal, Newmont shareholders would receive 2.5694 Barrick shares for each of their shares.Based on Friday’s closing price at the Toronto Stock Exchange, the offer would be worth about C$44 per Newmont share or US$33.50.Companies in this story: (TSX:ABX)The Canadian Press read more

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The Latest Spains prime minister votes in general election

MADRID — The Latest on the Spanish national election (all times local):9:45 a.m.Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez says he wants Sunday’s highly contested general election to yield a parliamentary majority that can undertake social and political reforms in the country.Surrounded by cameras and accompanied by his wife, the 47-year old incumbent Socialist leader cast his ballot early on Sunday at a cultural centre in an affluent suburban neighbourhood of the Spanish capital.He was the first of the five top candidates to vote in the general election marked by the rise of a far-right party and the high number of undecided voters.All polls forecast that Sánchez’s Socialists will overtake the conservative Popular Party to garner the most votes, but Sánchez will be nowhere near a majority in the parliament’s Lower House.Up for grabs are the 350 members of the Congress of Deputies, who then choose a government, and also 208 senators for the Upper House.___9:05 a.m.A divided Spain is voting in its third general election in four years, with all eyes on whether the rise of conservative nationalism will allow the right wing to unseat the incumbent prime minister.Pedro Sánchez is set to win the most votes, but his Socialists seem far from scoring a majority in parliament to form a government on their own.The fragmentation of the political landscape is the result of austerity that followed the economic recession, disenchantment with bipartisan politics and the recent rise of far-right populism.Sánchez called Sunday’s ballot after a national budget proposal was rejected in the Lower Chamber by the centre-right-conservative opposition and Catalan separatists pressing for self-determination in their northeastern region.Voting stations opened at 9 a.m. (0700GMT) Sunday and will close at 8 p.m. (1800GMT), with results expected a few hours later.The Associated Press read more

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Venezuelans return to daily struggle after violent unrest

CARACAS, Venezuela — Bumping shoulders with fellow shoppers as she navigated Caracas’ biggest open-air market, Naira Garcia had no trouble tuning out the messy political struggle that plunged Venezuela into two days of deadly violence this week.She focused instead on her own daunting task: How to feed her family of five for the next two weeks on the $4 she had in her pocket. Like many of Venezuela’s poor, Garcia scrapes by on odd jobs — selling home-made lollipops or mangos that recently came into season.“There are good days and bad days,” said the 43-year-old mother of three teenagers, lugging two shopping bags with sardines, sweet peppers and leafy green onions. “I never abandon my faith.”The bustling Coche Market is a sign that Caracas has returned to what passes for normal life after the outburst of violent unrest that left at least four people dead. It began Tuesday when U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó called for a military uprising, attempting to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro.The socialist Maduro is blamed for leading Venezuela into the deepest economic and political crisis in the nation’s history, despite having the world’s largest oil reserves. Soaring hyperinflation has pulverized paychecks in a nation where the average monthly wage is just $6.50.Opposition leaders had hoped that Guaido’s risky move would stir a string of high-ranking military defections and shake Maduro’s grip on power. But no rebellion materialized, and instead two days of deadly clashes ensued between protesters and police in cities across the country.Two people were killed by gunfire in the city of La Victoria and two others in Caracas, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict, a human rights group. Among the dead was 16-year-old Yosner Graterol, who died Thursday morning. Activists said at least 230 people were injured and 205 were detained during the clashes Tuesday and Wednesday.The entrenched president on Thursday urged the armed forces to combat “traitors” as he sought to project strength. Speaking at Fort Tiuna, a military base in Caracas, Maduro also said the opposition had sought to provoke bloodshed in the capital at Guaidó’s urging.Meanwhile, Venezuela’s top court ordered the arrest of opposition activist Leopoldo López, who took refuge at the home of the Spanish ambassador after joining Guaidó’s attempt to topple Maduro in violation of his house arrest. Lopez was detained for leading anti-government protests in 2014, and had been under house arrest for two years.Spanish officials said Thursday they would not hand over Lopez and urged the Venezuelan government to respect the ambassador’s residence.Speaking at the gate of the ambassador’s home in Caracas, Lopez said he expects the country’s military will step up to overthrow Maduro despite setbacks, adding that in recent weeks he has talked with majors in the Venezuelan armed forces, who told him they are committed to Maduro’s ouster.“I want to tell all my brothers in Venezuela and all over the world that we are not going to rest until we reach our goal, which is the cessation of the usury,” he said.But at the Coche market, such political talk was pushed aside Thursday to make room for haggling over the best price for carrots and shiny purple eggplants.Tucked beneath a hillside barrio in the capital, its narrow pathways were filled with bare-chested workers pushing carts heavy with sacks of onions and potatoes. They vied for space with shoppers and vendors selling cigarettes and bottled water.An occasional gambler played an old-fashioned shell-game with three tennis balls cut in half, and a white-and-red rooster drew a crowd, crowing from atop one nearby stall with watermelons balanced on a scale.Farmers truck in the produce, meat and coffee from miles away to the market, known for its low prices. Its customers include everybody from restaurant owners to homemakers who travel for hours from the outskirts of Caracas to get there.A woman crouched over a box of white onions said she sets the price based on what her customers, most of whom survive on monthly wages of $6 or less, are willing to pay. Another vendor, flicking a wad of cash in his left hand, explained that his stacks of bell peppers and eggplants would go for the equivalent of 20 cents. They were yesterday’s produce and go into the pot for tonight’s dinner.“Today, or never,” he said.Garcia, who carefully budgets for her shopping trips each two weeks into Caracas, said she was trained as a school teacher, but the low pay forced her to abandon the classroom. Instead, she and her husband sell mangoes that fall into the streets this time of year. During other seasons, they sell homemade lollypops.Garcia collects her meagre earnings and at dawn leaves her home in the rural outskirts of Caracas for a journey by foot, train and metro taking nearly two hours. She avoids entering into debates about Maduro and Guaidó and turns off the television when politicians take to the airwaves.“The truth be told, life is quite challenging,” Garcia said. “It’s better to pray to God and ask him to take control.”_____Associated Press writer Christopher Torchia in Caracas contributed to this report.Scott Smith, The Associated Press read more

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UN to Discuss Western Sahara After Months of Stasis

Rabat – After months of inactivity, Western Sahara is back on the Security Council’s agenda for discussion in October.On October 1, the Security Council published its provisional program of work for this month. The Security Council members are expected to meet three times this October to consult on the Western Sahara conflict and the UN peacekeeping operation in the region, known as MINURSO. The agenda outlines that the first consultation on the MINURSO report took place on October 1. No further details are included. The agenda also includes meetings to be held on October  8 and 16 which will also look at MINRUSO.The Security Council announced that they will sit to adopt a new resolution for the Western Sahara conflict, aiming to extend the mandate for MINURSO on October 30.The current mandate of the MINURSO is due to expire on October 31. In April 2019, the council adopted Resolution 2468, extending the MINURSO mandate for six months. The Western Sahara question’s return to the Council’s agenda comes in the wake of the unexpected resignation of Horst Kohler, the personal envoy of the UN  Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.Kohler announced his resignation in May. Five months after his resignation, the UN has not yet discussed a replacement for Kohler.Kohler was a key element in the Western Sahara conflict since his appointment in  August 2017The former personal envoy managed to bring the parties to the conflict to one table during his suggested-roundtables in December 2018 and March 2019.In the days leading up to the expected adoption of the new resolution, Guterres is also expected to submit his annual report on Western Sahara to the Security Council. read more

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UNbacked meeting calls for more strategic approach to mountain development

5 October 2007A United Nations-backed meeting on mountains has forged a consensus among over 60 representatives from governments, civil society and international organizations on the need for a more coherent approach to sustainable agriculture and rural development in the world’s highland areas. A United Nations-backed meeting on mountains has forged a consensus among over 60 representatives from governments, civil society and international organizations on the need for a more coherent approach to sustainable agriculture and rural development in the world’s highland areas.This call came in a statement issued at the close of the third meeting of the Adelboden Group for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Mountain Regions held 1-3 October at the Rome headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).Physically isolated and socially and politically marginalized, mountain populations are among the most vulnerable in the world, FAO said in a news release, noting that 840 million chronically undernourished people live in highland areas and about 270 million mountain people lack food security, with 135 million suffering chronic hunger. “Higher priority should be given to mountain issues in national, regional and global policymaking either through incorporating mountain specific requirements into general policies or through specific mountain policies,” the Group said in a statement read at the end of its meeting.Governments with mountain regions were urged to better integrate mountain areas into national economies and foster economic diversification in highland regions by helping farmers, craftsmen and foresters add value to their products. The group also stressed the need to provide policy support to indigenous mountain communities, whose traditional local knowledge and know-how often help conserve the mountain environment and biodiversity and represent a sustainable approach to highland agriculture.Established in June 2002 in Adelboden, Switzerland, the group serves as a forum for discussion of policies, exchanges of experience, and coordinated planning. It also acts as an advisory board for FAO’s project on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Mountain Regions. read more

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Migrants sent home over 300 billion in 2006 finds UN study on

“This figure, which is a conservative estimate, shows that the seemingly small sums sent home by migrant workers when added together dwarf official development assistance,” said Kevin Cleaver, Assistant President of the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which co-authored the study with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).According to Sending money home: Worldwide remittances to developing countries, Asia received the largest share of the remittances – more than $114 billion – followed by Latin America and the Caribbean with $68 billion, Eastern Europe with $51 billion, Africa with $39 billion and the Near East with $29 billion.India received the most of any single nation with $24.5 billion, followed by Mexico ($24.2 billion), China ($21 billion), the Philippines ($14.6 billion) and Russia ($13.7 billion).The study also found that the remittances sent home regularly by some 150 million migrants exceeded foreign direct investment (FDI) in developing countries, which last year totalled around $167 billion.IFAD underscored that more than one third of these remittances flow to families in rural areas, and is mostly used for basic necessities such as food, clothing and medicines. While 10 to 20 per cent is saved, too often these savings are hidden in homes rather than put to work in financial institutions, constituting a “major missed opportunity for local development.”The study based its figures are based on official data from governments, banks and money operators, as well as estimates of informal flows, such as money carried home. It was released yesterday ahead of the International Forum on Remittances 2007, co-hosted by IFAD and IDB in Washington. 18 October 2007A new United Nations study reveals that migrants working in industrialized countries sent home more than $300 billion to their families in 2006 – surpassing the $104 billion provided by donor nations in foreign aid to developing countries. read more

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To support Timorese economy UN mission aims to increase local purchasing

The Mission is supporting the Buy Local: Build Timor-Leste campaign by encouraging its staff members to spend their money locally in support of businesses in their communities. The campaign is an initiative of the Peace Dividend Trust, following a study by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in 2005 that found that increasing peacekeeping and partners’ expenditure in post-conflict States has a positive effect on local economies by creating employment and building the private sector capacity.The Mission itself is also purchasing locally where possible and is working to assist local businesses meet the standards and procedures required to bid for UNMIT contracts. Atul Khare, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Timor-Leste and head of UNMIT, urged everyone at the Mission to buy locally and increase support to local businesses.“The stimulation of the private sector is essential for the socio-economic growth of Timor-Leste and we support the initiatives of the Peace Dividend Trust,” he said. The Peace Dividend Trust is now working in two countries – Timor-Leste and Afghanistan – and is looking to increase its presence in other countries where there are UN peacekeeping operations. 12 June 2008The United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) is aiming to increase its support for long-term economic recovery in the fledgling nation by increasing purchasing of goods and services available in the country. read more

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New High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina welcomed by UN

The United Nations Security Council today welcomed and agreed to the appointment of Valentin Inzko, a senior Austrian diplomat, as the new High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina.In a resolution adopted unanimously, the 15-member body stressed the importance of the High Representative’s role in the implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended devastating inter-ethnic fighting in the Balkan country.Mr. Inzko was appointed on 11 March as the European Union Special Representative (EUSR) for Bosnia and Herzegovina until 28 February 2010, and was designated High Representative by the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council on 13 March.Previously the Austrian ambassador to Slovenia, Mr. Inzko is a 60-year-old career diplomat with extensive experience in south-eastern Europe, much of that in Bosnia and Herzegovina.In today’s resolution, the Council also paid tribute to Miroslav Lajcák, Mr. Inzko’s predecessor, who had served from June 2007. 25 March 2009The United Nations Security Council today welcomed and agreed to the appointment of Valentin Inzko, a senior Austrian diplomat, as the new High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina. read more

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UN calls for probe after air strike in northern Afghanistan kills dozens

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is sending a team to the north of the country where an overnight air strike by NATO forces against stolen trucks has reportedly led to dozens of civilian deaths. Peter Galbraith, the Deputy UN Special Representative in Afghanistan, said in a statement that he was very concerned by the reports of the civilian casualties in the air strike, which took place in the Aliabad district of Kunduz province. “As an immediate priority, everything possible must be done to ensure that people wounded by this attack are properly cared for, and that families of the deceased are getting all the help they need,” Mr. Galbraith said. “Steps must also be taken to examine what happened and why an air strike was employed in circumstances where it was hard to determine with certainty that civilians were not present,” he said, adding that UNAMA was dispatching a team to look into the situation. 4 September 2009The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is sending a team to the north of the country where an overnight air strike by NATO forces against stolen trucks has reportedly led to dozens of civilian deaths. read more

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Tens of millions to benefit from Indias Right to Education Act –

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates there are eight million children in this age group, mostly girls, who are out-of-school in India.“Tens of millions of children will benefit from this initiative ensuring quality education with equity,” said UNICEF Representative in India Karin Hulshof.The Right to Education Act will “propel India to even greater heights of prosperity and productivity for all guaranteeing children their right to a quality education and a brighter future,” she added.UNICEF, along with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), pointed out in a news release that without India, the world cannot reach the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of having every child complete primary school by 2015. “This act is an essential step towards improving each child’s accessibility to secondary and higher education, bringing India closer to achieving national educational development goals, as well as the MDGs and Education for All (EFA),” said UNESCO New Delhi Director Armoogum Parsuramen.The Act is also being lauded for providing a platform to “reach the unreached,” as it contains specific provisions for disadvantaged groups, such as child labourers, migrant children, children with special needs, or those who have a ‘disadvantage owing to social, cultural, economical, geographical, linguistic, gender or such other factor.’ André Bogui, Acting Director for ILO’s Sub-Regional Office for South Asia, noted the opportunity the Act presents to reach disadvantaged young people such as child labourers. “Considering there is no general minimum age for employment, the Act recognizes that children should be in school which is an implicit recognition that they should not be at work.” 3 April 2010Three United Nations agencies are hailing what they described as a “ground-breaking” new act that legalizes the right to free and compulsory education for all children between the ages of 6 and 14 in India. read more

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