Lok Sabha has been part of my life Sumitra Mahajan

first_imgNew Delhi: The Lok Sabha has been a “part of my life and I will miss it”, outgoing Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said on Friday as she held the last official meeting to review the preparedness for the next House. Talking to the media here, the eight-time MP from Indore said: “For 30 years, the Lok Sabha has been a part of my life and I will miss it. But I will keep coming here.” Mahajan, early last month, had announced her decision not to contest the Lok Sabha elections and said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was free to name a candidate from Indore. After the meeting with senior Lok Sabha officials, the outgoing Speaker said that work has already started to acquaint the new members with the rules of procedure, direction by speakers and specially the Constitution. All elected members would be given pen drives containing minute details about Parliament and the proceedings, she said. “We have completed all the pending work of the 16th Lok Sabha like translation and printing,” she added. Around 300 rooms — 100 at Western Court and the remaining at the State houses — have been made ready for the new members. There would be help desks at the Airport and the New Delhi and Anand Vihar Railway stations to welcome the elected members. Moreover, a facilitation counter would be set up at Room No. 62 which would be functioning round the clock. The Lok Sabha has roped in Doordarshan and Rajya Sabha TV for providing information about the help desks. Western Court will have a medical centre and canteen with tight security arrangements. The Speaker also inspected the renovation work being carried out in the Central Hall of the Parliament.last_img read more

ICore Ponzi scheme CBI files chargesheet against scribe

first_imgNew Delhi: The CBI has filed a supplementary chargesheet against Bengali journalist Suman Chattopadhyay, in one of the 44 chit fund scams it is probing on orders from the Supreme Court of India, the agency said on Thursday.The new development comes as part of the investigation in ICore Group of Companies, one of the groups that ran Ponzi schemes to collect deposits from unsuspecting investors in West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, and other states. The Central Bureau of Investigation has alleged that the scribe conspired with directors of ICore Group to pocket around Rs 4 crore of the tainted money, which he used to settle outstanding liabilities he held with a public lender. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghIn the chargesheet that was filed recently in Bhubaneswar, the agency has further accused Chattopadhyay of actively promoting ICore Group, which helped it collect funds from members of the public. The CBI said that the senior journalist received the chit fund money through Disha Productions and Media Pvt Ltd (DPMPL) from one of the ICore Group companies. He was the director of DPMPL at the time. The probe agency said that Chattopadhyay had continuously published advertisements of the Ponzi scheme company in his Bengali daily Ek Din, which resulted in a phenomenal rise of collections from depositors for ICore. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadChattopadhyay was arrested in December last year after several rounds of repeated questioning in Kolkata. He is currently under judicial custody in Bhubaneswar, where the case is being prosecuted. CBI had in August 2017, filed a chargesheet against ICore Group, naming its Chief Managing Director Anukul Maiti for collecting Rs 2,421 crore from investors in the chit fund scam. Both the CBI and Enforcement Directorate had earlier questioned Chattopadhyay in connection with the Rs 1,200 crore Saradha chit fund case. At the time, ED alleged that the journalist had taken loans from three chit fund companies, including the Saradha Group, which he then laundered through two of his publishing entities.last_img read more

Morocco Second Largest Exporter of Medicine in Africa Report

Rabat – A new report by PharmaBoardroom revealed that Morocco’s exports of medicines have increased by 21.7% in the last three years, becoming Africa’s second largest exporter of drugs.On Tuesday, the UK-based website Pharma Boardroom which provides free pharmaceutical industry trends, news, and reports all over the globe, released a new reference entitled Morocco Pharmaceuticals Report.The report found the national pharmaceutical industry to be strong, with a well-developed base of local producers that “today manufacture products to the highest international standards.” It also noted that “Morocco has quietly become the second largest African exporter of drugs right below South Africa.”Statistics say Morocco exports between 7-8%of its national pharma production; an increase of 21.7% in turnover since 2012-2013.Pharma Boardroom informed this increase is due to the advances that have been made by Moroccan pharmaceutical companies which have exported for years, “benefiting from the vision of King Mohammed VI to open Morocco to the South.”Along with their continuous expansion southwards, the Moroccan companies are now eyeing more developed markets in Europe and the U.S.Ali Bennis, head of Laboratories Laprophan, one of the leading Moroccan pharmaceutical companies, said his company is “targeting Europe and North America especially for our patented medicines”.“We can benefit from the free-trade agreement with the United States to enhance our exports to this high-potential pharmaceutical market,” he added.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

Cristiano Ronaldo Expresses Sympathy for Syrian Refugees

Rabat – Portugal international Cristiano Ronaldo expressed sympathy for the people affected by the refugee crisis in a tweet on Friday evening. The three-time FIFA Ballon D’Or winner tweeted: “No one at the National Team is indifferent to Europe’s refugee crisis and to the shocking images spread by the media. All our thoughts are with those people.”No one at the National Team is indifferent to Europe’s refuggee crisis. All our thoughts are with those people. pic.twitter.com/Gf9wvXEuNJ— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) 3 Septembre 2015Ronaldo, who is on Portugal duty, shared a picture with his teammates at the Portuguese national team while observing a moment of silence for the European migrant crisis. The picture received major attention, gaining over 467,000 likes and was shared more than 7160 times. According to non-profit organization DoSomething.org, Cristiano Ronaldo is the most charitable athlete in the world.Cristiano is also the most generous footballer. CR7 once granted $83,000 to a 10-year-old fan in order to perform a brain surgery. He also donated over $165,000 to a Portuguese cancer center that treated his mother from cancer.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

Leaked Video Shows Inhumane Conditions in Polisario Prisons

Rabat – A video posted on YouTube shows the inhumane conditions inside a Polisario prison in the Tindouf camps in Algeria.The jail has been allegedly used by separatists with the support of the Algerian secret services  to house prisoners who disagree with the leaders of the front or  believe that  Morocco’s Autonomy Plan proposal is the most realistic solution that would pave the way towards finding a mutually acceptable political solution to the long-lasting Western Sahara conflict.The video shows the living conditions behind bars in the Polisario-run prison, with prisoners kept in inhumane and miserable conditions. . The video highlights the other face of the Polisario conflict that goes unreported in most mainstream media. Prisoners opened their hearts to the cameraman and talked openly about the sufferings they undergo every day in this hell.One of the prisoners was burned in both palms of his hands and his belly, apparently from the cruel tortures he experienced inside the prison. While he needs medical care, he has not been offered any.Another prisoner who introduced himself as Mohammed ben Mahmoud Messoud said: “I am here in the prison for more than one year without trial. I am calling on the Human Rights Organization to find a solution to our ordeal. I and some others are minors, and the elders harass and abuse us.”The third prisoner who appeared in the video does not know his name, where he is from nor that he is behind bars.When asked, the only reply he gives is “I don’t know,” with an innocent smile that reveals his mental illness.A 14-year-old young boy, who introduced himself as Si Mohamed Lamine Ahmad sidi Ahmed Khayri, said “I am sentenced to one year jail.” He called on Human Right Organizations to take their case seriously.Many prisoners, including underage children, disabled and mentally challenged people are suffering alone inside the prison of shame away from international public awareness. Many are kept for years without trial and without the possibility for their families to come and visit them. read more

French Automotive Supplier MGI Coutier to Open Factory in El jadida

Rabat – French automotive supplier MGI Coutier, which specializesin manufacturing plastic and rubber conduits, will open a factory in El Jadida in early 2016, the company announced.The factory, which costs an investment of 4 million Euros, will produce MGI Coutier products that are currently produced in Romania, and will supply the Renault factory in Tangier.“Today, many of the products for Renault Tangier are manufactured in our factories in Romania. With this project, we will be able to save logistics costs,” MGI Coutier CEO Matthieu Coutier said. The factory expects to employ 50 people in its first phase. It will produce mainly fluid management products, including conduits for fuel, washing, and circulating air. This activity accounts for 80 percent of turnover.The company will mainly supply Renault Tangier, but also other clients, including Ford in Spain and PSA Peugeot-Citroen, which plans to open a factory in Kenitra in 2020, Coutier said.“The choice to build our factory in El Jadida rather than in Tangier, where much of the automotive industry is concentrated, was to avoid some problems related to recruitment and wages, among others,” Matthieu Coutier explained.The MGI Coutier group, which has about thirty industrial subsidiaries worldwide, reached a turnover with 692 million Euros and net result with 33.6 million Euros in 2014. read more

Birmingham Mosque to Offer Food For Homeless in Holidays Season

Taroudant –  Birmingham Central Mosque in the United Kingdom will be offering free hot meals for those in need and the homeless from December 24 through January 1, ending at 5:00 p.m. local time.In partnership with the Birmingham Soup Kitchen, the mosque is expecting to serve hundreds of homeless people during the holiday season.“Hot meals will be served from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day,” the organizers said. According to U.K.’s The Independent, “Birmingham has one of the worst rates for homelessness in the country,” with about 2,500 people homeless or living in temporary accommodation in the city streets.Kasim Choudry, community activist and one of the organizers of the meal giveaway told the same source that the mosque decided to offer meals for the poor because “many of the existing services that homeless people rely on in the city close for the holidays.”“That’s why we chose to do it, really. We are open anyway and it’s nice to be able to help when it’s needed most,” Choudry said.He added that “Birmingham is an amazing city that thrives on diversity and together as one community we can unite as one to tackle poverty.”In a video posted on Facebook, Muhammad Ali speaks about the Birmingham Central Mosque Christmas Soup Kitchen.“It is a great feeling that a lot of people from different communities and backgrounds wanted to volunteer and help out in this event and making it a success,” Ali said.@Independent Thats very kind ! And a lovely thing to do for the community. Bravo merry Xmas— Jason A. Coulson (@CoulsonJason) December 25, 2015@Independent @FatherBob charity is in the Qur’an nice to see them doing one of the few good bits for a change— Drewan Strigoi (@drewanstrigoi) December 25, 2015 read more

Ebola Super Spreaders Responsible for Most Cases in Last Outbreak

Rabat – New research has found the majority of cases in the Ebola outbreak of 2014-2015 were caused by the phenomenon of “super spreaders,” according to BBC News.Super spreaders are small pockets of infected individuals who pass a virus on to a larger group of people who then, in turn, infect still more people. Nearly 2/3 or 61% of infected Ebola sufferers in the world’s largest outbreak of the disease in 2014-2015 were caused by these so-called super spreaders. The question for researchers was how and why?According to the same BBC report, super spreaders are more likely to be young or old people. Understanding why this is occurring will help in handling future outbreaks of virulent diseases such as Ebola, severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) or Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers). During the last outbreak, researchers studied life patterns of the infected to learn who was infected and where the infection occurred. According to Professor Steven Riley from Imperial College London, “Most cases had a relatively short infectious period and generated low numbers of secondary infections, whereas a smaller number had longer infectious periods and generated more infections.”The study discovered that children 15 years of age or younger, and adults aged 45 or older, were more likely to spread the virus. Researchers are speculating that the reason for this can be explained by “people coming to care for the young or old,” becoming infected and spreading the virus exponentially.Super Spreaders are not a new theory. They have been implicated in outbreaks of several viruses. Professor Jonathan Ball, a virologist at the University of Nottingham, told the BBC, “Knowing who is most likely to transmit the virus can help in focusing interventions designed to prevent virus spread, and the current study suggests that infected children and the elderly were more likely to pass their virus on.”The study was an international collaboration involving Princeton University, Oregon State University, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Imperial College London and the US National Institutes of Health.During the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak, Royal Air Maroc(RAM) distinguished itself and Morocco by actively participating in delivering aid to stricken Liberia. As reported at the time by Morocco World News, at the height of the outbreak, when most airlines shut their corridors to infected countries, Morocco’s Royal Air Maroc stayed open and ready to assist.When Liberia found itself most isolated by the outside world, it was RAM who answered the call for help, delivering drugs, specialists and much-needed equipment. The airline was honoured by Liberia for its humanity during the crisis. read more

Boy Who Loses Eye in Syria Conflict Sparks Solidarity Campaign on

Rabat – Karim, a three year old boy whose mother was killed in the violence in Syria, lost his left eye and suffered serious scars during  attacks on the besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta.  A graphic photo of his injuries has sparked  a campaign of support on social media.Although Karim lost his left eye and suffered a serious head, he survived an attack in Eastern Ghouta’s Hammuriye district last Friday as he and his mother were shopping in the local fruit market. His mother, Fadiya, however, was killed during the clash, according to the Telegraph.Karim’s picture inspired activists on social media take pictures showing their left eyes covered to express their solidarity with the boy, posting them with the hashtags #SolidarityWithKarim and #StandWithKarim. “Syrian children stand in solidarity with Karim, who lost his eye and had his skull broken by the Assad regime shelling his home in Eastern Ghouta. His mother was also killed in the same attack,” Syrian journalist Hadi Al Abdullah tweeted.I’m in solidarity with karim a syrian child two month-old, lost his eye and broke the skull of his head and lost his mother when they came under artillery bombardment of the Assad regime on the EasternGhoutaHe lives alone without a mother.#SolidarityWithKarimDear friends , I stand with 2 months old baby Karim who lost his eye & mother in Syria . What is the crime of a baby? Please #StandWithKarim pic.twitter.com/IIWhSVRrIN— Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) 19 décembre 2017Join our campaign pic.twitter.com/pRTXaCCaqt— ???? ????????? Hadi (@HadiAlabdallah) 18 décembre 2017 The team of @BILD joined the campaign #solidarityWithKarim that’s started by activists to stand with Karim a syrian child 2 month-old, lost his eye & broke the skull of his head & lost his mother when they came under artillery bombardment of the Assad regime on the #EasterGhouta. pic.twitter.com/cM1k8Gex2Z— Abdalaziz Alhamza (@3z0ooz) December 20, 2017The British diplomat to the United Nations, Matthew John Rycroft, also joined the campaign.When we sit around the #UNSC & warn that inaction will mean more people are going to die. More schools bombed. More children scarred. This is what we mean.We must see an end to the bombardment & siege of #EasternGhouta.#SolidarityWithKarim pic.twitter.com/8Io85VlDdF— Matthew Rycroft (@MatthewRycroft1) 19 décembre 2017 Karim’s father, Abu Muhammed  told the Andalou News Agency that life under the siege is a “nightmare,” explaining that his other children are helping to care for Karim.“It is very difficult to find a proper job and a piece of bread  under these circumstances,” he said.Rycroft said in the UN’s meeting on Tuesday that “Russia should use its influence over the Syrian government to facilitate the entry of food and other supplies into Eastern Ghouta, as well as the evacuation of the injured,” reported Al Jazeera.“It’s just a thirty minute journey from Eastern Ghouta to Damascus to receive treatment,” he said, but “It really is a matter of life and death.” read more

Heavy Rain Causes More Flooding in Casablanca and Rabat

Rabat- Rabat, too has had its share of floods and traffic disruption. Photos and videos of the two cities, especially from Casablanca’s Ain Diab neighborhood, have been circulating on social media.Photo by: AIC PressOn Tuesday, the floods impeded traffic in the center of Casablanca and stopped the city’s trams from operating from afternoon to night. Moroccans took to social media to share videos of flooded streets, complaining about the overflowing streets and “poor infrastructure.”Photo credits: Challenge.maThe Casablanca-Settat region and many others across the country are experiencing a cold snap and rainfalls early in the season. Since Sunday, October 28, temperatures dropped drastically in Morocco, leading to the first snowfall of 30 centimeters in the Atlas Mountain cities of Ifrane and Midelt and the villages of Imouzzer, El Hajeb, and Boulemane.Severe floods hit several regions of Morocco in late September in Rhamna and Al Haouz, Sidi Ifni, Meknes, and Guelmim, causing up to five deaths.The floods also caused extensive property damage and agricultural casualties, from flooded houses to drowned livestock and blocked roads.Read Also: Casablanca Trams Begin Running Again After Floods Caused DelaysIn the past year, the Moroccan National Motorway Company (ADM) has carried out several investment projects worth a total of MAD 600 million. The projects mainly tried to modernize infrastructure and electronic tolls.In April, the company pledged a MAD 3.4 billion investment to widen the Casablanca-Berrechid road and other future projects.Photo by: AIC Press read more

Forget kibbles US sales of fresh pet food are soaring

DETROIT — U.S. pet owners are increasingly feeding fresh food to their dogs and cats.Online companies are delivering pre-proportioned meals of meat and vegetables or frozen raw meat. This spring, Petco will open a kitchen in New York where it expects to make 2,000 pounds of fresh pet food every day.Nielsen says U.S. sales of fresh pet food in groceries and pet stores jumped 70 per cent between 2015 and 2018, to more than $546 million. That doesn’t include online sales or people making their own fresh pet food.Proponents say fresh foods preserve nutrients and improve pets’ health.But some veterinarians question the trend, saying established products are backed by decades of research.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also warns that raw meat has a higher risk of contamination.Dee-Ann Durbin, The Associated Press read more

Casablanca Airport Guinean Dies After Hiding in Plane Landing Gear

Rabat – A Guinean national died while hiding in the landing gear of a plane operated by the Moroccan airline company Royal Air Maroc (RAM). The plane, coming from Conakry, arrived at Casablanca’s international airport on Monday, September 30, at 6:30 a.m.The young man had been attempting irregular migration. Officials believe that he died right after the plane’s take-off.RAM issued a statement following the incident: “Obviously, the man of sub-Saharan origin had reached the runway of Conakry airport in violation of the security rules in force, before hiding in the hatch of the landing gear of the plane.” RAM has opened an investigation into the accident “to determine the exact circumstances.” read more

UN bolsters ties with European network to protect refugees and asylumseekers

28 September 2007The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), a network of 76 organizations in 31 countries, agreed to enhance their collaboration to promote better treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers. The memorandum of understanding signed between UNHCR and ECRE earlier this week “establishes an important strategic partnership in support of efforts to ensure fair and humane policies for the treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe,” UNHCR spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis told reporters in Geneva.The new partnership aims to enhance existing cooperation in the fields of advocacy, monitoring and capacity-building initiatives between the two organizations, as well as efforts to increase Europe’s role in sharing responsibility for protecting refugees worldwide, she added.UNHCR seeks to encourage civil society to increase its participation in shaping and implementing protection principles in Europe. “In this respect, ECRE is a trusted partner serving as an independent monitor of protections systems,” Ms. Pagonis noted. read more

Armed men ambush group of UNAfrican Union peacekeepers in West Darfur

10 November 2008Unknown armed men have ambushed a peacekeeping patrol with the hybrid United Nations-African Union mission in the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan, injuring one of the blue helmets and stealing a vehicle. The mission, known as UNAMID, reported that a group of Nigerian peacekeepers were on patrol about 5:45 p.m. yesterday near the Geneina Super Camp in West Darfur state when they were ambushed by a group of men armed with rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47 assault rifles.The patrol returned fire during the ambush and one peacekeeper was injured in the arm during the firefight, according to a press release issued by UNAMID today. The wounded soldier was later evacuated to El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, for medical treatment.UNAMID said in a statement that it strongly condemned “this unprovoked and dastardly attack,” stressing that it would not deter the operation – in place since the start of the year – from pursuing its mandate. The mission is now investigating the ambush as well.More than 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed in Darfur, an impoverished and relatively arid region on Sudan’s western flank, since rebels began fighting Government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen in 2003. Another 2.7 million civilians have had to flee their homes.UNAMID began operations in January to replace an under-resourced African Union mission known as AMIS, and in recent months the mission has expressed deep concern about the rising number of attacks against its personnel and also aid workers operating in the region. read more

Tackling impunity for violators of child rights next step for Burundi says

18 September 2009Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has lauded the fact that all children associated with armed groups in Burundi have been released and united with their families, but noted that a climate of impunity for violators of children’s rights persists. In April of this year, the last 340 former child soldiers, formerly associated with the Forces Nationales pour la Liberation (FNL) rebel militia, were released and reunited with their families. An additional 40 children associated with the alleged FNL dissidents were then let go in June. “I am heartened by the fact that as of August 2009, there are no more known cases of children associated with armed groups in Burundi,” Mr. Ban wrote in his latest report on the subject, which covers the period from September 2007 to June 2009.He stated that the Government, with the assistance of the UN country team in Burundi, the World Bank and partners, should make it a priority to ensure that all children formerly associated with armed groups are fully reintegrated.In addition, a viable protection and prevention system should be set up to reduce the vulnerability of children to any possible new recruitment or re-recruitment in the small Central African nation, which is recovering from a brutal civil war lasting four decades between the Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority. The report also noted that cases of rape and sexual violence, abduction and detention of children, and child recruitment by the FNL increased during the period before the release of all children associated with its forces in April.Mr. Ban called for a comprehensive strategy to combat sexual violence “that ensures an end to impunity through the prosecution of perpetrators and that takes measures to provide support for girl and boy victims of sexual violence.” This strategy, he added, should be formulated and implemented by the Government with the support of the UN country team.The Secretary-General urged the relevant authorities to act to redress impunity for crimes against children through the “rigorous and timely” investigation and prosecution of such cases.In this regard, the Government is urged to ensure that children who are prosecuted for association with armed groups and crimes are treated in accordance with international standards specific to the rights of the child, in particular with regard to the age of criminal responsibility, due process and the principle of deprivation of liberty as a measure of last resort. Mr. Ban also encouraged the Government to consider the protection of children in the application of transitional justice mechanisms and in all provisions of security sector reform.In addition, he said the Security Council Working Group on children and armed conflict may wish to consider a visit to Burundi in the coming months to follow up on the progress made in the reintegration process and to establish lessons learned. read more

UN envoy voices hope for calm and safe Lebanese municipal elections

Michael Williams, the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, discussed the preparations for the forthcoming polls with the country’s Minister of Social Affairs, Salim Sayegh, in the capital, Beirut.“I trust that this process will take place in a democratic and safe atmosphere free from intimidation,” Mr. Williams said in a statement following the meeting.He also welcomed the decision taken on 9 March by the last session of the national dialogue, a political reconciliation process in which all political parties agreed to maintain a calm atmosphere in the period leading up to the elections.The four rounds of the 2010 municipal elections are scheduled to be held every Sunday in May starting in Beirut, followed by the Bekaa region, then south Lebanon and finally in north Lebanon, according to media reports. Mr. Williams added that he looks forward to further progress by the national dialogue, which will meet again on 15 April, to keep channels of communication open among the difference political sides in the country.He and Mr. Sayegh also discussed the general situation in Lebanon and in particular the implementation of resolution 1701, the Security Council resolution that ended the 2006 conflict between Israel and Hizbollah.The resolution calls for respect for the so-called Blue Line separating the Israeli and Lebanese sides, the disarming of all militias operating in Lebanon and an end to arms smuggling in the area. 13 April 2010The top United Nations envoy to Lebanon today stressed the need to ensure a calm and safe atmosphere ahead of the country’s municipal elections, which are slated to be held next month. read more

UN expert praises Congos draft law on indigenous rights

“I welcome the development of a bill for a law on indigenous peoples, and am pleased to have heard from Government and parliamentary officials that the bill will very likely be adopted into law during the current session of Parliament, before the end of the year,” said James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples.“I urge the Government of Congo and the Parliament to ensure enactment of the law without amendments that would weaken its provisions, and to adopt the necessary implementing legislation as soon as possible,” Mr. Anaya said in a statement issued in the country’s capital, Brazzaville, at the end of his 11-day visit.He said that the draft law will be the first of its kind in Africa when enacted. “It provides an important example of a good practice in the region for the recognition and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples,” he said.“With its promotion of this legislation, along with its agreement to a National Action Plan to diminish the disadvantaged conditions of non-dominant indigenous groups, the Government of Congo is committing to action that is generally in keeping with international standards in this regard,” he added.Mr. Anaya, however, deplored the extreme poverty and marginalization in which the country’s indigenous communities, such as the Baaka, Mbendjele, Mikaya, Luma, Gyeli, Twa and Babongo, who are collectively known as ‘Pygmies,’ live.“The Government should strive to ensure that a deeper awareness of the rights of indigenous peoples is incorporated into a range of government agencies, programmes and initiatives, which would allow for a holistic approach to addressing indigenous disadvantage across the country,” he said.UN Rapporteurs are tasked with investigating, monitoring and recommending solutions to human rights issues, and report in an independent and unpaid capacity to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council. 12 November 2010An independent United Nations human rights expert today welcomed a draft law in the Republic of Congo intended to recognize and protect the rights of marginalized indigenous communities in the central African country. read more

Mexico calls on UN to help control flow of highpowered weapons to

“It is unjust and inhuman that the profits of the arms industry should decide the deaths of thousands of people,” Mexican President Felipe Calderón told the UN General Assembly on the opening day of its annual general debate, calling the huge profits of drug trafficking and easy access to high-powered weapons two sides of the same coin against which the world must forge a common front.“At the United Nations we must continue to drive forward negotiations for the International Convention on Trade in Arms so as to avoid their diversion to activities that are forbidden under international rules,” he said, citing a proposed treaty that has been under discussion in various UN forums for several years.Listing drug trafficking and transnational organized crime among three major challenges facing the UN – the other two were climate change and health – Mr. Calderón called for action by consumer countries to curb the stratospheric profits of drug trafficking, which are fuelled by an ever growing demand.“Now, more than ever, countries with the highest levels of drug consumption must take effective action to reduce demand,” he said. “And if that is not possible, or they are disposed or resigned to seeing consumption continue to grow, these consumer countries must in any case find ways of reducing the enormous profits which criminals make on their black market.“They are morally obliged to find solutions that cut off this source of financing and explore other options and alternatives that stop drug trafficking money from being the source of violence and death, particularly in Latin America, the Caribbean and parts of Africa.”On climate change, Mr. Calderón called on the international community to turn into action decisions taken last December’s UN talks in Cancún, Mexico, that formalized mitigation pledges for developing nations and protected the world’s forests.“I am concerned that what has been achieved so far could be lost though the lack of necessary political leadership, hence I appeal to the United Nations and its leaders to take serious responsibility for the results of Durban 2011,” he said, referring to the upcoming climate change talks in the South African city.On public health he cited Mexico’s own system of universal coverage, calling it the basis for confronting the challenge of chronic and infectious diseases at the international level. Mr. Calderón also referred to the Middle East crisis, the unrest shaking the Arab world, and the need for reform of the 15-member Security Council, which has remained unchanged for decades although overall UN membership has increased to 193.In his speech to the Assembly, Guatemala’s President Alvaro Colom Caballeros, also stressed that drugs and human trafficking by trans-national groups of organized criminals remained a challenge to the country’s security and called for greater regional and international cooperation to tackle the problem.On the Assembly’s theme of conflict mediation, Mr. Caballeros said that sanctions were acceptable if imposed by the Security Council, but rejected the idea of “coercive measures adopted unilaterally.”“In this regard, we call on the Government of the United States of America to abandon the economic embargo applied against the Republic of Cuba. We believe that such a step would result in many favourable consequences in both countries,” Mr. Caballeros added.Echoing Mr. Caballeros’ concern over the drug problem, Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón told the Assembly that there had been successes in the fight against the trafficking of narcotics but major challenges remain.“Colombia will keep fighting these scourges. We will achieve success only if we keep on cooperating and act together in this fight affecting all States equally,” said Mr. Santos. 21 September 2011Mexico, where tens of thousands of people have been murdered and mutilated in drug wars over the past five years, today called on the United Nations to help establish strict controls in producer and supplier countries on the high-powered weapons that feed the arsenals of traffickers. read more

Canadians believe volatility is the new normal – study

A new bank study suggests that nearly three-quarters of Canadian investors believe big swings on stock markets are here to stay.BMO Financial Group says 72 per cent of investors surveyed in their latest study believe this volatile investment environment is the new normal.And 84 per cent of respondents said they have changed their investing behaviour to adapt to the new environment.The Toronto Stock Exchange lost six per cent of its value in May alone as traders reacted to uncertainty surrounding whether financial woes in the eurozone will spark a global recession.But 47 per cent of those asked by BMO said they believe these volatile times present good investment opportunities.The online survey was conducted by Pollara with a random sample of 1,156 Canadian adults, between May 17 and May 22.Rajiv Silgardo, Co-CEO at BMO Global Asset Management agreed that market volatility will not disappear any time soon.“Several factors lead us to conclude that volatility will continue to characterize the financial markets for the foreseeable future. These include ongoing pressures in the eurozone, higher inflation rates in China, tensions in the Middle East and a tentative U.S. economic recovery.”More than half of the survey’s respondents, 56 per cent believe economic troubles in Europe, the Middle East and other parts of the world have negatively impacted their investments. read more

Air Canada explores collaboration with overnight delivery carrier Cargojet

MONTREAL — Air Canada is exploring opportunities to collaborate with Cargojet Inc., a specialized carrier that provides overnight deliveries across Canada for international airlines.The two companies say they have signed a letter of intent to look at strategic initiatives to increase revenue and reduce costs by co-operating on sales and marketing as well as operational connections.Closer ties between Cargojet, based in Mississauga, Ont., and Canada’s largest airline would be subject to obtaining regulatory approvals and finalizing documentation.Cargojet, which provides scheduled overnight deliveries to 13 Canadian cities, announced last week that it had $225,000 of net income and $43.4 million of revenue in the third quarter ended Sept. 30.By comparison, Air Canada had about $3 billion of revenue over the same period and reported $365 million of adjusted net income. read more