New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has attached a property worth Rs 6.18 crore in Jammu and Kashmir belonging to a well-known associate of Hafeez Muhammad Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-Ud-Dawa, in connection with a terror-financing case, officials here said.The patch of land in Narbal, Budgam belongs to Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali and his family members. He is currently under judicial custody in a case being investigated by the National Investigative Agency. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The ED is pursuing the PMLA case based on a chargesheet filed by NIA, naming Saeed, Hizb-ul-Mujahiddin head Yusuf Salahuddin and others. According to investigations, during raids conducted at Watali’s cashier/accountant’s home, the agency recovered documents that revealed money trails originating from Saeed, ISI, and the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, officials claimed. The seized documents signed by Watali show that he was passing the funds along to Hurriyat leaders, separatists, and stone-pelters in Jammu and Kashmir. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KED has further alleged that Watali also received funds from Dubai through hawala operator Naval Kishore Kapoor, who is also one of the accused in the case. Watali is said to have received the money under the pretext of a lease agreement between his company Trison Farms and Construction Pvt Ltd and Kapoor, the agency said in a statement. ED had previously attached another of Watali’s properties in Gurugram, which was worth Rs 1.03 crore in he same case.
New Delhi: Shares of Wadia Group firms tanked up to 10 per cent Tuesday amid media reports that Ness Wadia has been sentenced to a two-year jail term by a court in Japan over alleged possession of drugs. Bombay Dyeing shares plunged 9.78 per cent to close at Rs 112.60 on the BSE. During the day, it tumbled 17.42 per cent to Rs 103.05. Shares of Britannia Industries went down by 2.50 per cent to Rs 2,893.10 and Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation fell by 2.40 per cent to close at Rs 1,241.30. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraMeanwhile, the BSE Tuesday sought clarification from the three companies with respect to the news. “Wadia group shares such as Bombay Dyeing, Bombay Burmah, Britannia slipped today as the Wadia Group heir Ness Wadia was sentenced to two years jail in Japan due to possession of drugs,” said Umesh Mehta, head of research, Samco Securities Ltd. Wadia Group scion and co-owner of IPL team Kings XI Punjab, Ness Wadia has been sentenced to a two-year jail term by a court in Japan over alleged possession of drugs, a media report said. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysThe Financial Times reported that Wadia, who was on a skiing holiday, was arrested in early March at New Chitose Airport in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido after customs officials found 25g of “what appeared to be cannabis resin in his trouser pocket”. Reacting to the report, a Wadia Group spokeperson said Ness Wadia is in India. “The judgement is clear. It is a suspended sentence. Hence, it will not impact Ness Wadia in the discharge of any of his responsibilities and he will continue to play the role that he has done hitherto, both within the Group and outside,” the spokesperson added. Ness Wadia is director in major firms of the Wadia Group, including Bombay Dyeing and Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation.
Rabat- The Tindouf camps are increasingly becoming Fertile Ground for Terrorism and Embezzlement of Humanitarian Aid.Saharawis living in the Tindouf camps controlled by the Algerian-backed Polisario Front are systematically denied the basic human rights of freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of association. They are prevented from moving freely between the camps and are prohibited from leaving Tindouf without the express permission of the Polisario leadership.The Saharawis are housed in five separate camps in Toudouf, each a ta distance of between 30km and 172 km. Husbands, wives, and siblings are separated. Children are often removed from their parents’ care within the camps and then sent to Cuba for many years. While in Cuba, they lose contact with their families, and are often exploited and put to work in domestic service, factories, and agriculture, and subjected to military training. At the camps, women and the elderly are compelled to carry out forced manual labour in extreme heat in the summer and extreme cold in the winter. The camp system is cruel; penalties and intimidation are used to keep control and ensure conformity with the Polisario’s edicts. Dissent is publically punished, and torture and imprisonment are commonplace. Children are forced to watch the public punishment of their parents.Many Saharawis would like to leave Tindouf, but cannot.Those who express such a desire openly soon find that their family members have been moved to other camps and/or their children sent to Cuba. This effectively ensures that they remain in the camps, as hostages, and that they continue to comply with the Polisario’s regime and dictates, while waiting and hoping to be re-united with their spouses and/or children.Some Saharawi refugees have managed to escape from the camps and have described the hardships and cruelty which exists in the camps. They attest to the corruption of the Polisario leadership and its misuse of the international humanitarian financial and material assistance received for the benefit of the refugees.Much of the food and medicine donated by NGOs to benefit the refugees, for example, does not reach the refugees, but instead is sold in the markets of North African countries such as Mali, Mauritania,and Algeria, to raise money for the Polisario to purchase weapons and ammunition. Hans R. Wittewer, the Representative of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRCC), said “funds destined for the Sahraoui program, in the form of advances coming from the World Food Program and the European Union, which were earmarked to cover the cost of transportation and custom’s duties, have instead been used to purchase airline tickets for travel abroad by the Polisario leadership.”According to the latest report published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its offshoots in the Sahel are already working to expand their partnership with smugglers from the massive refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria, and to enlist recruits among the disenchanted youth there. If Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb strengthened its alliance of convenience with the Polisario, a formidable terrorist organization could emerge.”The latest report from the International Center for Terrorism Studies (ICTS), an office within the US think tank The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, called for dismantling the Polisario militias and the release of the population detained in the Tindouf camps, which have become a “breeding ground” for al-Qaeda recruiters and traffickers of all kinds. ICTS director, Yonah Alexander, urged the international community to take “a census of the populations of the Tindouf camps,” considered a “threat to regional security and a fertile recruiting ground for terrorists and drug traffickers.”Today, history offers a golden opportunity for the Polisario to accept the only solution possible, indeed the best one in many people’s view, of political autonomy under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco.If the Polisario leaders have the slightest bit of compassion or respect for the Sahraouis, they should readily seize this historic opportunity to avoid being trapped in the present circumstances and not be a thorn in the side of the Kingdom of Morocco to others to obtain political hegemony.Edited by Elisabeth Myers© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
Rabat – Rescue operations for Hajj pilgrim victims at the Mina’s fatal stampede that has left, as of Thursday evening, 717 deaths and 863 injured, have declared that so far, none of the identified victims were Moroccan.Saudi authorities have announced that following preliminary rescue numbers, no Moroccan national was involved in the accident. The Embassy of Morocco in Riyadh has confirmed the statement issued by Saudi authorities.King Mohammed VI of Morocco has sent a message of condolence to King Salman Ibn Abdelaziz of Saudi Arabia for the catastrophe occurred at Mina. King Mohammed VI wants to ensure that all Moroccan pilgrims currently gathered for the occasion of the Hajj pilgrimage are safe and provided with all necessary care in case of injury.The head of the official delegation for Hajj and the Ambassador of Morocco in Riyadh, Abdessalam Baraka are in charge of the King’s orders for the safety of Moroccans.Diplomatic representatives are being sent to visit hospitals and morgues in the area around Mecca in search for Moroccan citizens.Earlier today, Saudi Arabia’s s civil defense had said they were searching for causes that led to the tragic incident. Saudi Officials have declared that pilgrims did not respect “strict instructions of conduct during the steps of the pilgrimage, particularly during the ritual of the stoning of Satan, in the Mina valley, in western Saudi Arabia.”Pilgrims allegedly took “contraflow lanes” and ran into each other prompting the stampede, they added.
By Kaitlin JunodRabat – Today, the United States House of Representatives will vote on a bill that seeks to add security measures to the refugee vetting process. Homeland Security Chair Michael McCaul (R-TX) introduced the bill in response to Friday’s attacks on Paris, though critics say it is taking political advantage of the tragedy. This America SAFE Act of 2015 will require that in addition to the Department of Homeland Security screening, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would have to investigate refugees seeking admission to the United States. The current process could take from 18 to 24 months to complete.Fear of accepting refugees was stirred when a Syrian passport was found near the body of one of the Paris attackers, though immigration experts question the connection between the two.Over 25 Republican governors and one Democratic governor have said their states will not accept Syrian refugees, though, according to the Constitution, there are no lawful means for state governments to change immigration policy. States where governors say refugees are not welcome include Alabama, Georgia, Arizona, Maine, New Hampshire and more.Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has made the argument that the majority of Syrian refugees are young males who could be “infiltrated by terrorists.”However, data from the UNHCR suggests that 50.5 percent of refugees are women, 6.5 percent are male ages 12 to 17, and 51.1 percent are under the age of 17.In addition, a 2014 Senate Judiciary Hearing found that the Department of Homeland Security vetting process “employs robust security measures to protect against risks to our national security.”Furthermore, Syrians are already the “most highly scrutinized and vetted group of travelers to the United Stats,” according to Anne Richard, the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration.Only 1,500 Syrian refugees have been accepted into the United States since 2011.In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, French president Francois Hollande has increased the number of refugees France will accept in the next two years from 24,000 to 30,000 and will invest about 49.8 million euros (533 million dirham) to develop housing for them.AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
By Sanae ElouaziRabat – Obtaining a driving license in Morocco will no longer be an easy task, announced the Secretary of State for Equipment and Transport, Najib Boulif, following the Governing Council meeting on December 28. Boulif presented a series of new measures to tighten the conditions for obtaining driving licenses, as part of a strategy to reduce the balance sheet of road accidents, to fight against illegal licenses and corruption. From now on, it will be necessary to have 34 points out of 40 to pass the theoretical test for the license B whereas previously, it was enough to have 30 points out of 40. The examination for the category C and D passes to 40 points out of 46 instead of 36 points out of 46.Moreover, the candidates can no longer expect to obtain their driving licence in a fortnight. The duration will be set on at least 45 days from the beginning of the training to the first test applied.The Ministry has also decided to fix the number of candidates for the tests applied to 10 people per car and per instructor for each month for category B, to prevent the instructors from submitting a large number of candidates to the examination centers. Boulif also announced that the 600 exam questions of the theoretical test would be reviewed and changed, given that the questions are initially well known by the candidates. Changes will also affect the training fees. Thus the prices for category B will be fixed at MAD 37 per hour for the theoretical test and MAD 75.5 for the applied training.The Secretary of State for Transport also lambasted the “fraudulent practices” of some driving schools and denounced the “unhealthy climate” in which the driving tests took place.It is no secret that the conditions for examining the license are tainted by serious irregularities, particularly corruption and clientelism that allow hundreds of candidates to obtain the document without passing the driver’s license exam.
Rabat- In the same way that Joseph Blatter, the previous FIFA president, practically gave away the 2010 World Cup to South Africa, FIFA’s current president, Gianni Infantino, is attempting to similarly influence the outcome of the 2026 World Cup in favor of United 2026.Infantino has created one obstacle after another to counter the momentum Morocco has been building in the last few months. He started by sending a letter to FIFA federations, asking members to remain neutral in their selection of the 2026 World Cup host. Despite his ostensible neutrality, Infantino was acting strategically, urging the African football federations to wait on their announcements of support for Morocco’s bid. Infantino further demonstrated his United loyalties when he barred Morocco from presenting its bid to the African Confederation Congress, while simultaneously allowing the United 2026 leaders to present their credentials to the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA). Having arrived in Casablanca on February 2 to attend the 40th Ordinary General Assembly of Confederation of African Football (CAF), Infantino stated, “I ask you to do everything possible to make the process as healthy as possible. It is about our credibility.”Infantino’s remarks, however, did not please CAF’s President Ahmad Ahmad. In response to Infantino’s call, Ahmad said, “We live in an era of democracy. You are free to make your decision.” The CAF president, who has been expressing his full support for Morocco’s bid from the beginning, added, “I have my position, the executive committee supports me in my position, but it is up to you to decide.”It’s no secret that the FIFA president wants to give United 2026 the bid, in order to thank the Americans for removing former FIFA President Joseph Blatter from office. Infantino also owes US Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati for encouraging federations to support the current president during the election process.That is to say, Infantino has a large debt owed to the Americans. He knows that without Gulati’s help, he would never have won the FIFA presidency, as Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein was the clear favorite to win.Despite Infantino’s efforts to disqualify the Moroccan bid, more and more countries have started to voice their support for Morocco. South Africa and Kenya are the latest countries to pledge support for the Moroccan bid.To prevent Morocco from reaching the final vote on June 13, Infantino devised a five-man evaluation task force, handpicked by the FIFA president himself. Currently evaluating the Moroccan bid, the task force will submit each country’s score based on five major criteria. Widespread speculation has worried that the task force will score Morocco’s bid poorly, without considering future infrastructural development planned across the next eight years. Furthermore, new voting option to “abstain” has been added to the ballot, allowing FIFA members to refrain from voting due to politics, when they should be making a choice instead.Morocco published by FRMF in response, in which the North African country’s bid committee leader expressed his concerns about the fairness and transparency of the procedure. Expressing concern alone will not make Infantino rescind his plan, and Morocco will need to do more than simply express its worries and surprise if it wants to win the privilege of hosting the World Cup. Unless some major changes take place, Morocco will be virtually out of the running before the vote even begins. To generate a real response, Morocco could convince the 54 African soccer federations to threaten to boycott the 2026 World Cup, should Morocco be unfairly disadvantaged by the last-minute task force addendum.As it stands, Morocco’s dream to host the World Cup is perhaps wishful thinking, considering that FIFA’s current president holds all the real power, just like biased Blatter before him. We can only hope the collective federation response can generate real accountability in the football world’s governing body.
By Josh BabbPakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday acquitted Asia Bibi of making “derogatory remarks” about the Prophet Muhammad in a highly anticipated decision that was widely praised by human rights groups. The decision has also set off nationwide protests by religious political parties in Pakistan. Bibi is a farmer and mother of four who has spent more than 8 years in prison since her conviction in 2010, relating to a dispute between Bibi and her neighbors over a bucket of water. Bibi was working in a field picking berries when she asked a group of women if they’d like some water, offering to bring it to them. That was when the women, who were Muslim, said they would never take water from Bibi since she is a Christian. Following this the women then claimed that Bibi made a series of “derogatory remarks” about the Prophet Muhammed for which Bibi was tried and sentenced to death. Pakistan’s highest court ruled that these allegations did not hold up, saying the prosecution based their case on flimsy evidence and had not followed proper procedures.Chief Justice Mian Sabiq Nisar wrote, “This Court has held that ‘Commission of blasphemy is abhorrent and immoral … but at the same time a false allegation regarding commission of such an offence is equally detestable.’”The legacy of the case has been violent. Following Bibi’s original conviction, Salman Taseer, the provincial governor of Punjab, where Bibi had lived, began to speak out against her death sentence and questioned the legitimacy of the blasphemy ordinances. As a result, Taseer was assassinated by his bodyguard, Mumtaz Qadri, in 2011. Qadri stated in his confession that he had murdered Taseer in defense of Islam and the Prophet Muhammed. Qadri was executed for his crime in 2016, but his legacy has lived on. Supporters of Qadri went on to establish the political party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), which garnered more than two million votes in Pakistan’s general election earlier this year. Following the court’s ruling, the highly secured red zone in Islamabad, which contains the Supreme Court, was sealed off in anticipation of protests with paramilitary forces deploying to protect the court.Supporters of the TLP have staged demonstrations around the country in response to the verdict and clashes with police have been reported. Bibi was not present for the court’s decision and instead was reached for comment by phone, reacting in disbelief. “I can’t believe what I am hearing, will I go out now? Will they let me out, really?” What happens next for Bibi remains to be seen. Several countries have offered her asylum, and she is expected to leave the country with her family.
Rabat – In the late 1940s, American director Orson Welles began to realize the legendary Shakespearean play “Othello” on the big screen. However, although he planned to produce the film in Italy, one of the story’s settings along with Cyprus, fate brought him to North Africa instead. The geographical change proved to be an extreme boon for the director, and it enabled him to produce one of the most renowned classical films of cinematic history. The play “Othello,” a story about a general in the Venetian army, was originally published in 1603 and was based on an earlier Italian novel called “Un Capitano Moro.” The play immediately became a hit, and one of the first things that grabbed the attention of the 17th century English audience was the race of the protagonist. Othello is ambiguously described as a “Moor,” a term used during the time to describe Muslims of the Maghreb and Andalusia. But Othello had a special connection with Morocco from the beginning. Historians have supported claims that Othello was based on Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud ben Mohammed Anoun, the Moroccan ambassador to Queen Elizabeth I at the time. Anoun’s delegation stayed in England for six months, giving Anglo-Saxons a rare glimpse of a Moorish individual in person. Coincidentally, Othello was released a year later, according to the British Library.Read Also : FIFM: Martin Scorsese Reflects on Dying Cinema IndustryWhen Welles was filming the cinematic version in 1948, funding problems caused Welles to constantly put the project on hold to continue work on other directors’ movies, according to Moroccan news outlets. Eventually, the filmmaker travelled to Morocco to shoot the film, setting up in El Jadida and Essaouira, coastal cities south of Casablanca. Welles immediately fell in love with Morocco, describing it as “uncontaminated, cheaper, and historically closer to Cyprus than Italy.”Welles finished Othello in Morocco, and it debuted in Rome in 1951. Since, the movie has become a world renowned classic.But Morocco has not received much credit for helping create one of Welles’ most defining films. Many viewers would not be able to differentiate between the Moroccan coast and places around Europe. But Othello remains a silent salute to the silent beauty that Morocco emanates.
Rabat – A recording allegedly of top Algerian officials discussing the 2019 Algerian election has been sweeping Algerian social media, angering Algerian activists.The leaked recording is allegedly a conversation between Abdelmalek Sellal, the former prime minister who is leading President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s campaign, and Ali Haddad, the chairman of the Forum of Business Leaders (FCE).In the conversation, Sellal said that the group supporting Bouteflika’s fifth term “started to withdraw.” Read Also: Algerian Police Arrest 41 Protesters Opposing Bouteflika’s Re-ElectionHaddad then replied that the group was “afraid.”Sellal also spoke about how ministers had not managed to get last week’s protests against Bouteflika under control.He said that he was also surprised that the vast majority of ministers stayed home last Friday during the massive protests against Bouteflika’s campaign.Sellal said that the government would instruct gendarmes to confront the protesters, and the security service would not go easy on protesters.The recording has not been authenticated, reported Algerian news outlets. However, Observe Algerie quoted one source who said that he is “certain of the authenticity of the recording.”The source added that he had two hypotheses about how the recording got leaked.“The first is that there is a group within the system who opposes the fifth term of Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The second is that its a maneuver to spread messages and fear among protesters.”On Friday, February 22, a massive crowd took to the streets across Algeria to condemn Bouteflika’s campaign.When Bouteflika announced his campaign, a group of Algerians launched a campaign using the hashtag “Let_Him_Rest,” emphasizing that the president is being pressured to run.Algerian security services arrested 41 protesters last week.
TORONTO — Detour Gold Corp. has named a new CEO after an activist investor helped push for a leadership shake-up last year.The company says Michael McMullen will come on as chief executive and director on May 1, pending his authorization to work in Canada.Hedge fund Paulson & Co. won out in a proxy battle last December that saw five Paulson-nominated directors approved to take control of the company’s future.Detour Gold Corp. interim CEO Michael Kenyon resigned in December following the proxy vote, after which board member Bill Williams stepped into the role of interim CEO.Paulson & Co. had launched the proxy campaign months earlier after expressing frustration with what it said was the company’s inability to properly manage shareholder assets.Company CFO James Mavor said in February that he would resign from the company in mid April. Companies in this story: TSX:DGC)The Canadian Press
HOONAH, Alaska — The predominantly Alaska Native village of Hoonah is preparing for a new dock that is expected to bring thousands of more tourists.The village hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the dock Wednesday at Icy Strait Point, the Juneau Empire reported .Work on the new structure could begin in June with the hope of welcoming passengers in the 2020 seasonIcy Strait Point is owned by Huna Totem Corporation, a for-profit Alaska Native corporation. The new dock is a collaboration with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. The City of Hoonah has supported the project.Icy Strait Point will be able to handle the influx of visitors that will come with the new dock, said Huna Totem Corporation CEO Russell Dick and Norwegian Cruise Lines Executive Vice-President Howard Sherman.“We’ve got the infrastructure here to handle it,” Dick said. “We were pretty strategic about the dock location we picked. It will keep people spread out.”Hoonah is a community of more than 750 residents about 40 miles (about 64 kilometres) southwest of Juneau..___Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.comThe Associated Press
Rabat – Moroccan rapper French Montana has announced he will release his latest album, simply titled “Montana,” next month. He also teased the album’s cover and released an album trailer, both of which have already caused a stir on social media.He shared the cover to his Instagram with the caption “You don’t have to change who you are. You can bring people into your own world,” likely alluding to the juxtaposition between his Moroccan roots and his induction into the American rap world.The trailer and cover portray French Montana surrounded by women in burkas, wearing contrasting high-heeled red thigh boots. As the rapper probably anticipated, the choice to show burka-wearing women in a suggestive light has already got people talking. This Album cover is definitely gonna stir up some shit. Watch out.— Mazi Kelvinbagwell® (@kelvinbagwell02) September 23, 2019Some have dubbed the cover “haram” or disrespectful to Islam for the choice to “sexualise niqabis.” One user commented on Instagram calling it “deeply offensive.”I think @FrencHMonTanA new album cover is disrespectful for the beautifull religion of Islam.— iamRFDO (@iamRFDO) September 23, 2019frenchmontana is really out here sexualizing niqabis. Liberal Muslims are wack for hyping this shit up. pic.twitter.com/tBkDhJo9us— Anonymovsmvslim (@AmlasAvenue) September 24, 2019Fact french Montana is a prick. Even though he’s Muslim. He would selll his religion for money fuck him!— Younas Hussain (@yunus_KadafiMob) September 24, 2019However, not all the response to the album artwork has been negative, and it has received its fair share of praise too. One headline in particular, in sharp contrast to much of the album’s reception, said French Montana was “honoring his muslim roots” with the visuals. Fans have also been receptive.Two things that made my day 1) French Montana new album 2) French Montana new album w/ your non traditional cover #hijabae— -mary (@notyouravgsa) September 24, 2019Not excited for this at all but that album cover is so freaking dope imma listen to it anyway.— Fade of the Internet (@scaifington) September 23, 2019French Montana, whose real name is Karim Kharbouch, emigrated to the US from Rabat at age 13 and has since become one of the biggest names in hip-hop. He has always been vocal about his Moroccan roots and Muslim upbringing, making it a focal point of his public image.Last month, he used his platform as a presenter at the Video Music Awards (VMAs) to raise awareness about the plight of immigrants in the US.While presenting the award for Best Latin video, he said he was “proud” to present the award “because as an immigrant, I feel like we are the people that make this country, and I feel like I want to be the voice.”“These nominees — and most of them are immigrants, too — are on top of the biggest movement in music,” he added.Read also: Kourtney Kardashian Hosts ‘Moroccan Vibes’ Eid Dinner for French Montana
NEW YORK — U.S. stocks moved broadly higher in early trading Monday on Wall Street after the U.S. and Mexico averted a trade war and potentially damaging tariffs, while several companies inked billion-dollar deals.The solid opening follows the strongest week for stocks since November. U.S. President Donald Trump suspended plans to impose tariffs on Mexican goods after the nations managed to strike a deal on immigration. The spat threatened to add more costs for American companies and consumers and expand a global trade war that already includes China.Auto and consumer-related companies would have suffered significantly with new tariffs. Ford rose 1.8% and General Motors rose 1.7%. Constellation Brands, which makes Corona beer, rose 2.4%.Several megadeals also helped nudge stocks higher. Industrial giant United Technologies is merging with defence contractor Raytheon in a deal that will create a defence contracting powerhouse with more sales than rivals Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Meanwhile, customer-management software developer Salesforce is buying data analytics company Tableau Software in an all-stock deal valued at $15.7 billion.Technology companies led the gains and Apple rose 1.3%. Chipmakers made some of the biggest moves, with Nvidia rising 3.6% and Qualcomm rising 2.1%.Banks were also among the biggest gainers as lower bond prices pushed yields higher. Higher yields allow banks to make more profits from loan interest. Bank Of America rose 2.6% and Citigroup rose 2.8%.Consumer-related and internet stocks also gained ground as investors shifted to holdings with high-growth potential and away from safe-play sectors, like utilities. Amazon rose 2.3% and Facebook rose 1.8%.Utilities and consumer staples lagged the market.KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 0.6% as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. After a 4.4% gain last week, the benchmark index was 2.5% below its record set on April 30 as of Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 137 points, or 0.5%, to 26,123. The Nasdaq composite rose 1%.STRONG Defence: Raytheon rose 1.2% after the company said it will merge with United Technologies in a move that will create one of the world’s largest defence contractors.The combined company will have sales of about $74 billion, pushing it ahead of competitors including Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Boeing, which has a significant defence segment, has annual sales of about $100 billion.United Technologies fell 1%.Raytheon is known for its missiles, including the Patriot system. United Technologies makes aircraft engines, among other industrial products.In 2018 there were eight defence sector mergers exceeding $1 billion in value, including an all-stock deal between L3 Technologies and Harris and General Dynamics’ acquisition of CSRA Inc., according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.USE THE FORCE: Tableau shares surged 35.5% after customer-management software developer Salesforce said it would buy the company in an all-stock deal valued at $15.7 billion.Salesforce fell 4.4%.Tableau uses self-service analytics to help people with any skill level work with data. Companies using its services include Charles Schwab, Verizon and Netflix. More software and technology companies are adding data analytics operations to bolster their offerings.Other data companies gained ground following news of the deal. Alteryx rose 8.3%, MongoDB rose 5% and Talend rose 4.7%.The deal comes a few days after Google said it is purchasing data analytics firm Looker for $2.6 billion in order to expand its Google Cloud business.Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press
22 May 2007When the Brazilian midfielder Kaká takes to the field tomorrow night to battle for one of soccer’s most glittering prizes, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) ambassador will dedicate his participation to the plight of the world’s estimated 400 million hungry children. When the Brazilian midfielder Kaká takes to the field tomorrow night to battle for one of soccer’s most glittering prizes, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) ambassador will dedicate his participation to the plight of the world’s estimated 400 million hungry children.Kaká, 25, who will play for the Italian club AC Milan against Liverpool of the United Kingdom in the final of the Champions League in Athens, is the youngest Ambassador Against Hunger for the WFP.“As professional footballers, we are very privileged,” Kaká said after arriving in Athens to prepare for the match. “From time to time we have a chance to help others because of who we are and what we do. I want to use my position as a WFP Ambassador Against Hunger to make more people aware of the challenges of feeding hundreds of millions of hungry children in some of the poorest, least developed parts of the world.”WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said “it’s an incredible asset to have the world’s best player in the world’s favourite game on our team. Kaká has shown that he can combine the skills and dedication needed to be at the very top of the game with a commitment to a worthy humanitarian cause.”WFP gives food to an average of 90 million people, including 58 million children, each year across 80 countries as part of its programmes to assist the world’s most needy and malnourished.Other WFP Ambassadors Against Hunger include the Kenyan marathon world record holder Paul Tergat, the Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho and the Cape Verdean singer Cesária Évora.
During her week-long visit to the strife-torn nation, Ms. Arbour will meet with President Hamid Karzai, as well as senior Government officials and representatives of the judiciary and the Parliament, according to a statement issued by her office.She will also hold discussions with members of the UN family and representatives of the international armed forces operating in the country. In addition, the High Commissioner will meet with representatives of civil society and victims of human rights violations, as well as with the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission. This is Ms. Arbour’s second visit to Afghanistan as High Commissioner. Her first visit was in 2005. 13 November 2007United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour will visit Afghanistan from 15 to 21 November with the aim of engaging the country’s Government in its efforts to promote and protect human rights.
At a ceremony yesterday in the capital, Phnom Penh, WFP and the Cambodian Government launched the $64 million feeding programme which, starting next year, will target the neediest and least developed regions of the South-East Asian country.WFP Country Director Thomas Keusters called on international donors to step up their support of its programmes in Cambodia, warning that it was important to avoid a repeat of the funding crisis earlier this year that threatened to interrupt the supply of emergency food relief.“Food assistance has an immediate impact on beneficiaries and it is often also the catalyst that will allow other programmes to be successful,” Mr. Keusters said.“What good is it to build more schools and train more teachers if the children cannot take advantage of the improved facilities because they come to school hungry? What is the benefit of HIV/AIDS/TB medical support if the people cannot afford to buy the food that is needed for the medicine to be effective?”WFP has been operating in Cambodia since 1979, when it started supporting refugees and returnees, mainly along the Cambodian-Thai border. 14 December 2007The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has announced a new, three-year programme to provide meals to 1.8 million vulnerable Cambodians, including schoolchildren, tuberculosis patients and people affected by HIV/AIDS.
Drivers Karim Bentebal and Nabil Slimani, both Algerian nationals, were killed when a car bomb ripped the façade off the UNHCR office, the agency’s spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis told reporters in Geneva today, adding that one staff member was seriously wounded, while others sustained minor injuries.A support team from Geneva, where the agency is based, was urgently dispatched to the Algerian capital on Wednesday to assist staff and families of those killed in the attack, which also claimed the lives of at least nine other UN staff members. UNHCR has about 40 staff working in Algeria, 14 of whom were in Algiers at the time of the blast, Ms. Pagonis said. Most of the agency’s staff work in the Tindouf area some 2,000 kilometres south-west of the capital, assisting Sahrawi refugees from Western Sahara living in five refugee camps.The agency lost another staff member last week when driver Mahamat Mahamadou, a Chadian national, was shot dead in his vehicle in the southern part of the country. “It has been a particularly black time for UNHCR, with three drivers killed in the line of humanitarian duty in the space of a week,” said Ms. Pagonis. “UNHCR drivers are a vital part of our frontline humanitarian staff and widely recognised as crucial to our operations and understanding of the countries we work in. It is very troubling that three drivers have lost their lives in such violent circumstances within a week.” 14 December 2007Staff members of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are mourning the loss of two colleagues, both Algerian nationals, killed in the deadly terror attack that struck the world body’s offices in Algiers on Tuesday.
12 June 2008The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has handed out the first batch of 1,600 goats and 200 cows to farmers in southern Lebanon as part as its programme to assist them recover from livestock losses accrued during the war in mid-2006. About 450 families living in 40 villages south of the Litani river are expected to eventually benefit from the $1.9 million programme, FAO announced today, adding that it will also include animal feed and training.The batch of goats and cows will allow farmers to resume their production activities, including milk production and processing into local yoghurt and cheese.An assessment by FAO found that southern Lebanese farmers lost more than 20,000 goats and 1,600 high-yielding milking cows as a result of the war between the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and Hizbollah in 2006.Nacif Rihani, an animal production expert with FAO, said animals and feed meeting international standards of productivity and health were found for the programme, despite rapidly rising market prices.Aside from the livestock programme, the agency is also helping more than 600 horticulture farmers by distributing high-quality vegetable seeds and fertilizer and establishing greenhouses with improved design to maximize crop production.
“First they expressed sympathy and support for the military action in course,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Envoy for the LRA-Affected Areas Joaquim Chissano told reporters after briefing the 15-member body on the situation.“They also urged that the peace process be continued and they would support the peace process, which means the signature of the final agreement,” he said, stressing that LRA leader Joseph Kony had now failed “for the seventh time” to sign the accord reached earlier this year with Uganda.Ugandan Government forces have been fighting the LRA in the north of the country since the mid-1980s and during the conflict the rebel group, which has spilled over into Sudan and DRC, has become notorious for human rights abuses including the killing and maiming of civilians and the abduction and recruitment of children as soldiers and sex slaves.The International Criminal Court has indicted Mr. Kony and four other LRA leaders on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. A series of accords struck by the two sides this year raised hopes that they could reach a permanent, wide-ranging agreement ending the conflict, but each time Mr. Kony was expected to emerge from the jungle and sign the deal mediated by the Government of Southern Sudan, he failed to appear. 17 December 2008The Security Council today voiced support for the joint military operation launched by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Uganda and Southern Sudan to flush out the Ugandan rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) from a remote national park in north-eastern DRC, a senior United Nations envoy said.