Saad Eddine Othmani Committed to Benkiranes Political Line

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Rabat – Facing the  anger and disappointment within PJD, Head of Gvernement Saad Eddine Othmani ended his silence and adopted a frank discourse, promising commitment to Benkirane’s political line.Morocco’s newly head of government, Saad Eddine Othmani, has said that the new government would continue the reform that  his predecessor, Abdelilah Benkirane, initiated.During a meeting held on Friday with Justice and Development Party (PJD) members of parliament, Othmani said that he would not renounce his “constitutional prerogatives”, adding that the “fact that PJD managed to  keep its portfolios from the previous government is a victory itself”. There was no wrongdoing“The new government’s program includes the continuation of reformative plans that Abdelilah Benkirane started, including there form of the Compensation Fund.”, Othamni told the youth section of his party.One of the most important announcement made during this meeting was also Othmani’s frank commitment to pursuing the reform of the Compensation Fund.“The parties that are currently leading the government have not mentioned their retreat to reform the Compensation Fund,” Othmani noted. “[Regarding] what is stirring controversy on media, I don’t know where the media gets its sources from.”Regarding the criticism of PJD members following the formation of the coalition government, Othmani said, “We can make a mistake in the politics – but there is no intentional deliberate wrongdoing.”Othmani explained that he cannot prohibit people from expressing their criticism about the structure of the new coalition government.Opinion is free, Decision is bindingOne of the most famous arguments in PJD rhetoric was “Opinion is free, decision is binding”. Each time during their arm wrestling with other parties the PJD has stuck  to “role repartition”. Some members adopt a violent tone, expressing indirectly party’s position on some issues, while the official position comes to balance it and make it more acceptable.This time again, Othmani used the same arguments to down play the impact of the current division within the party regarding his political line in comparison to Benkiran’s one.“The PJD is not a Stalinist party to reach  consensus on [the decisions of the party’s] leadership. However, there is a fair amount of ethics [for people] to express politely their opinions,” Othmani added.Othmani’s structure of the government, which includes six parties, caused an uproar among the PJD membership, leading many followers  to take to Facebook to exchange accusations.Abdelali Hamidine, a member of the PJD politburo, wrote on his Facebook account on Friday that “several glaring mistakes have been made since the appointment of Othmani’s government.”“Substantive repercussions have emerged since the evening of the announcement of the new government, which was certainly not in line with the aspirations and the spirit of  Moroccans who cast their votes in difficult circumstances for the Justice and Development Party (PJD),” Hamidine added.“I am the only Boss”One the Other Hand, the head of government responded to the claim that his party, the PJD, continues to succumb to the pressure of Aziz Akhannouch, Secretary-General of the National Rally of Independence, and that the latter has more power than Othmani in the newly-appointed government.“Akhannouch is not the Head of Government. There is only one Head of Government, the one appointed by King Mohammed VI,” said Othmani, noting that Akhannouch does not act outside of his limit in the government.Othmani added that the leading members of the PJD do not have any “interests, or companies, or anything” that would make them succumb to pressure.On another note, the head of government announced that the government program would soon be released.“You will see the government program that will be released soon. It will be strong and will carry strong implications. It will continue the reforms, from which we not back down […] including continuing the reform in the Compensation Fund,” said Othmani noting that the allegations saying the contrary are not true. read more

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Fitch Group Improved Harvest in 2017 Boosts Moroccos GDP Growth

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Toronto – BMI Research, a Fitch Group Company, is predicting “real” GDP growth for Morocco in 2017, due to a substantial harvest rebound in the agricultural sector.BMI’s forecast calls for an increase in GDP growth from 0.9 percent in 2016 to 4.3 percent in 2017. They are attributing this growth primarily to favorable weather forecasts for the year.Agricultural Recovery Behind Growth 2016 saw a contraction in the agricultural sector of 10.9 percent due to a severe drought, which resulted in a loss in grain production of more than 70 percent. BMI’s agribusiness team is predicting that grain production in 2017 will increase by 136 percent, making it a key factor in Morocco’s predicted GDP growth.“Over the past decade, agriculture accounted for on average 13% of GDP and more than 40% of employment. As such, the sharp recovery in agricultural output will support private consumption growth in the country as well as exports.”Strategic Development of Manufacturing Sector on TrackContinued reforms to the business environment and Morocco’s political stability continue to bode well for its strategy to become an export and manufacturing hub between Europe and Africa. According to BMI, the “relative political stability by regional standards will also support policy continuity and investment-friendly reforms over the coming years.”BMI is also predicting a continued and gradual move toward higher-skilled manufacturing in the Kingdom, supported by investment promotion efforts on the part of the government. It identifies the auto and other transportation sectors, including aeronautics, as outperformers in 2016. “Foreign investment in the auto sector underpins this positive trajectory, with French manufacturer Renault increasingly using Morocco as a manufacturing base.”Tourism Sector RecoveringAfter suffering from the effects of “regional security turmoil” in the MENA region throughout 2014-2015, the tourism sector in Morocco is rebounding. This is due to the fast growth in Chinese and Russian tourists visiting the Kingdom as well as Morocco’s relative stability compared to other parts of the region, such as Tunisia. BMI warns, however, that tourists remain apprehensive regarding security concerns in the region.Akhannouch ConcursBMI’s forecasts support statements made earlier this week when the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Development, Water and Forests, Aziz Akhannouch, announced record expectations for Morocco’s cereal output. He also reported a noticeable increase in quality and production in the animal industry during opening ceremonies for the 9th Agricultural Conference, Monday in Meknes.“This year’s cereal output is expected to hit record levels between the three main cereals: 5.4 million tons for common wheat, 3 million tons for barley and 2.5 million tons for durum wheat.” Akhannouch said.At the same time, Akhannouch also provided an update on Morocco’s Green Plan, which has created more than 300,000 farms. The animal industry has also recorded significant growth in quality and productivity.Concluding its report, BMI is confident of the Kingdom’s ability to maintain its present positive course saying, “[…] we remain optimistic on the kingdom’s ability to become a manufacturing and exporting hub between Europe and Africa.” read more

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Prince Moulay Rachid Attends President Caid Essebsis Funeral

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Rabat – Prince Moulay Rachid arrived at Carthage International Airport on Saturday, July 27. King Mohammed VI had also sent a message of condolence to the interim President of the Assembly of People’s Representatives (Tunisian Parliament), Mohamed Ennaceur.The King expressed his deep compassion for “the loss of one of the great men of Tunisia who devoted their lives to serve their country and contributed with selflessness and dedication to the building of their modern state.” The King also added that “Béji Caid Essebsi worked conscientiously and with exemplary patriotism to complete and devote the democratic process of his country.”

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German business outlook darkens amid trade slowdown

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FRANKFURT — An index of German business optimism fell in April as Europe’s largest economy struggles with a slowdown in trade but is supported by a strong labour market.The Ifo institute said Wednesday its business climate index slipped to 99.2 points from 99.7 points in March, indicating managers were less satisfied with both the current situation and the outlook for the future.German’s economy endured flat growth at the end of last year despite low unemployment that has helped keep consumers spending. The slowdown was blamed on one-time factors such as troubles in the auto industry over new emissions standards and low river levels that disrupted production. Slowing global trade has held back export-oriented manufacturing.The government on April 17 cut its growth forecast for the full year to 0.5 per cent.The Associated Press read more

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The Latest EU chief rues failure to enter Brexit campaign

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LONDON — The Latest on Britain’s departure from the European Union (all times local):1:35 p.m.European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says one of his biggest mistakes in office was failing to get involved in the Brexit referendum campaign and counter what he says were the lies spread.Juncker told reporters that he stayed out of the June 23, 2016 vote at the request of then prime minister, David Cameron, and that his mistake had been “to listen too carefully” to the premier.Juncker says “it was a mistake not to intervene and not to interfere, because we would have been the only ones to destroy the lies which were circulated around.”Juncker, whose term of office runs out at the end of October, said: “I was wrong to be silent.”___9:55 a.m.The British government is making a final push to do a Brexit deal with the opposition Labour Party, amid mounting outrage from Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party at the prospect of compromise.Senior Conservative and Labour lawmakers are meeting to see whether they can reach a compromise. Several weeks of talks have so far not produced a breakthrough.Almost three years after Britain voted to leave the EU, the date and terms of Brexit remain uncertain because lawmakers have repeatedly rejected May’s divorce deal with the bloc.That has led her to seek a deal with Labour — to the fury of pro-Brexit Conservatives, who are demanding May’s resignation.The head of a powerful Conservative committee is due to meet May Tuesday to deliver a demand for “clarity” about her departure date.The Associated Press read more

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SecretaryGeneral calls for sixmonth extension of UN force in Golan Heights

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4 December 2007The situation in the Golan Heights has been “generally quiet” recently, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a new report, which warns that the overall region remains tense and a United Nations force observing the ceasefire between Israel and Syria should stay on for another six months. The UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which has been in place since 1974, should have its mandate extended until at least 30 June next year, Mr. Ban writes in his latest report to the Security Council on the work of the Force. He notes that both Syria and Israel have already voiced their agreement.The situation in the Middle East is likely to remain tense “unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem can be reached,” he states, calling for a just and durable settlement in line with Council resolutions on the issue.During the period under review UNDOF supervised its area of operation in the Golan Heights through a mixture of patrols and fixed positions, and also carried out regular inspections of equipment and Force levels. Both sides “generally cooperated” with UNDOF as it conducted its mandated tasks, although they also denied inspection teams access to some positions and imposed restrictions on the Force’s freedom of movement.UNDOF staff also helped the International Committee of the Red Cross with the passage of people through the area of separation between Israeli and Syrian forces. In the past six months, the Force assisted in the crossing of 637 students, 500 pilgrims, five civilians and one bride, while it provided health services to 243 villagers and medical treatment to 116 civilians.At the same time, Mr. Ban’s report draws attention to the growing financial shortfall faced by UNDOF. As of the end of August, some $24 million is owed to the countries that contribute troops to the Force: Austria, Canada, India, Japan, Poland and Slovakia. read more

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UN funding appeal for Kenya boosted by 150 million due to drought

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Inadequate rainfall in the latter part of last year has been blamed for drought in the Horn of Africa, which is also expected to lead to reduced crop harvests in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea, and south-central Somalia.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that 840,000 people are at risk from the drought in the northern parts of the country, in addition to the 500,000 people affected by post-conflict disruptions nationwide.OCHA’s Emergency Humanitarian Response Plan for Kenya now requests a total of $189 million, including the funding received since the original plan was launched in January, to cover humanitarian needs through 2008. 11 April 2008The United Nations announced today it has upped by $150 million its emergency aid appeal for Kenya, where severe drought has followed hard on the heels of civil conflict that erupted after disputed elections earlier this year and left hundreds of thousands displaced. read more

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DR Congo and Rwanda assess progress in dealing with armed groups –

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The Central African neighbours signed the Joint Nairobi Communiqué, under which the two nations agreed to work together against threats to peace and stability in the region. The Friday meeting of the Joint Monitoring Group’s Special Envoys was led by Edmond Mulet, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, and Alan Doss, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the DRC. During the discussions, the Congolese delegation said that it intends to invite leaders of the ex-Rwandan Armed Forces (ex-FAR)/Interahamwe to Kisangani early next month. At those upcoming talks, the DRC said that it will impress upon them that they must either seize the opportunity to disarm and repatriate voluntarily or else face the consequences of a refusal, including military operations and sanctions, as laid out in a Security Council resolution adopted last month. That resolution called on all members of ex-FAR/Interahamwe, Forces Démocratiques de la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) and other Rwandan armed groups operating in the eastern DRC to surrender immediately to Congolese authorities and the United Nations peacekeeping mission known as MONUC. The 15-member body also said these groups must “immediately stop recruiting and using children, release all children associated with them, and put an end to gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse,” adding that those responsible need to be brought to justice. The next meeting of the Joint Monitoring Group’s Special Envoys will take place in Kigali, attendees of Friday’s talks decided. 21 April 2008Representatives of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda met in New York in United Nations-chaired talks to review progress in dealing with armed groups. read more

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Security Council calls for credible and secure Afghan polls extends UN mission

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23 March 2009The Security Council today extended the United Nations presence in Afghanistan for another year, while recognizing the key role played by the world body in coordinating international efforts in the country and in supporting upcoming elections. In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body renewed the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) until 23 March 2010, and decided that the Mission and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Kai Eide, will continue to lead international civilian efforts in the country.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the renewal of UNAMA’s mandate, and particularly the Council’s reaffirmation of the UN’s “central and impartial role” in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan.“The Secretary-General also warmly welcomes the Security Council’s recognition of Mr. Eide’s leadership, who working closely with Afghan political leaders, has led the efforts of the international community to set priorities and rationalize their assistance to Afghanistan,” his spokesperson said in a statement. These efforts include supporting the Government’s efforts to improve governance and the rule of law and fight corruption, as well as facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance.They also include supporting, at the request of the Afghan authorities, preparations for the 20 August presidential elections. The Council underscored the importance of the polls to the country’s democratic development, and called for “all efforts to be made to ensure the credibility, safety and security of the elections.”Mr. Ban, in his latest report on Afghanistan, stated that the Government and people of the strife-torn nation, as well as their international partners, face a critical test with the holding of the elections this year.The 20 August election date set by the Afghan Independent Electoral Commission is three months after the presidential term expires on 22 May. This has generated “constitutional uncertainty” over the President’s legitimacy after 22 May, he noted. “There is no higher responsibility in Afghanistan right now than that of the three branches of government to find a solution to the constitutional issue in a way that ensures the existence of a functioning Government between 22 May and the inauguration of the next presidential term,” he stresses.The elections are likely to feature prominently on the agendas of two upcoming meetings on Afghanistan – in Moscow on 27 March and in The Hague on 31 March.Mr. Ban, who will be attending both meetings, said that he intends to press the international community to produce a clear, unified course for helping to bolster Afghan security, stability and development.He will also stress the need to strengthen regional and international cooperation, he told an informal gathering of the General Assembly today.The Secretary-General also briefed the Assembly on his participation at the upcoming G-20 Summit in London, stressing that the stakes at that meeting are large.The UN chief said that he has sent a letter to all G-20 leaders, urging them to show leadership in four areas: providing a substantial and truly global stimulus package that also meets the needs of all developing countries; standing firm against protectionism; moving towards a “Green New Deal;” and reforming global rules and institutions. read more

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Sri Lanka conditions unstable for civilians trapped in conflict

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Shelling is still reported in the so-called ‘no fire zone’ of the Vanni region and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have maintained its campaign of forcible recruitment while confining people to the area, Michele Montas told reporters in New York.The conflict zone shrank from 300 square kilometres to nearly 58 square kilometres in February, with many civilians – the UN puts their number at between 100,000 and 200,000 – sheltering in a new 14-square kilometre no-fire zone.These internally displaced persons (IDPs) have limited access to food, safe water, sanitation facilities and medical assistance, with the International Red Cross delivering a two-week supply of medicines aboard a ship to the zone and the World Food Programme (WFP) preparing to send 1,000 tons of food to the area by the end of the week.Since January, some 44,756 IDPs have escaped the conflict zone into makeshift camps, located mostly in Vavuniya, as well as Mannar and Jaffna, and a total of 3,701 shelters have been constructed at various IDP sites in Vavuniya District, where the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is setting up a temporary medical facility.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other top UN officials have been calling over recent months on the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE to suspend hostilities to allow civilians to leave the conflict zone and allow immediate humanitarian access to them. 25 March 2009The humanitarian and security situation for civilians caught up in fighting between Government forces and separatist Tamil rebels in northern Sri Lanka remains precarious, a United Nations spokesperson said today. read more

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More than 1 billion tons of food lost or wasted every year

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11 May 2011About a third of all the food produced for human consumption each year – or roughly 1.3 billion tons – is lost or wasted, according to a new study commissioned by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). About a third of all the food produced for human consumption each year – or roughly 1.3 billion tons – is lost or wasted, according to a new study commissioned by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).The study, compiled by the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology and unveiled today, finds that food waste is more of a problem in rich countries and food loss during production is a bigger issue in poor countries because of poor infrastructure and technology.Consumers and retailers in industrialized countries waste an estimated 222 million tons of food each year, mostly by throwing away perfectly edible food. Fruits and vegetables have the highest rates of wastage.The average consumer in Europe and North America wastes 95 to 115 kilograms of food a year, while his or her counterparts in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or South-East Asia wastes only six to 11 kilograms of food.The report outlines steps to reduce waste, noting that surveys consistently show consumers are willing to buy foods that are safe and taste good even if their appearance does not meet some standards.Selling farm produce direct to consumers, without having to go through supermarkets and their over-emphasis on the appearance of foods, is another recommendation.Charities should work with retailers to collect and then distribute or on-sell food that would otherwise be thrown away, despite meeting standards of safety, taste and nutrition.The report also calls for a change in consumer attitudes to encourage them to not buy more food than they need at any one time and to not throw food away needlessly.For poorer countries, the report recommends measures to strengthen the food supply chain post-harvest, noting that many farmers miss out on valuable income because food is lost during harvest or in subsequent storage.“The private and public sectors should also invest more in infrastructure, transportation and in processing and packaging,” the report also states. read more

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Sudan UN deplores looting of humanitarian supplies in Abyei

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27 May 2011United Nations agencies in Sudan have deplored the ransacking of humanitarian premises and looting of emergency relief supplies in the disputed area of Abyei, which was last week taken over by Sudanese Government troops, and urged all parties to respect the property and assets of aid groups. In a statement released yesterday, the UN Country Team in Sudan also called for “free and unhindered movement of humanitarian workers and relief items to vulnerable communities that have been displaced from their homes during the recent upsurge in conflict in Abyei and the surrounding region.”The looting happened as thousands of civilians displaced from Abyei a week ago were on the move to Southern Sudan after Sudanese Government troops took over the disputed territory, which is claimed by both the Government of Sudan in the north and Southern Sudan, the semi-autonomous region due to formally secede on 9 July.Looted relief supplies included medicines, surgical equipment, 800 tons of food – enough to feed 50,000 people for three months – non-food items and water and hygiene equipment. Those supplies had been dispatched to Abyei town in recent weeks to respond to the urgent needs of the town’s residents and the rural population in surrounding villages.In Turalei, 130 kilometres from Abyei, 15,000 displaced people are living in the open, while an additional 4,000 people have sought safety in nearby Mayen Abun village, according to the UN. An unknown number of people are believed to have fled into the bush between Agok and Turalei.The UN said in its statement that humanitarian organisations are scaling up their response to the humanitarian crisis spawned by the recent violence and displacement in Abyei.“Humanitarian agencies are working around the clock to provide assistance,” said Georg Charpentier, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan. “Food and emergency items are being distributed in Mayen Abun and Turalei. Medical and nutritional screening is underway in 11 health posts and seven nutrition centres.“Broken water points are being repaired, emergency bladders are being set up and latrines are being constructed. Specialists in child support have also been deployed to help children separated from their families,” Mr. Charpentier said in the statement.Despite the difficult conditions in remote areas of Southern Sudan, non-governmental organisations are present and UN agencies had pre-positioned emergency supplies.The UN Country Team, however, voiced concern over fuel shortages and the fact that airstrips may become unusable due to heavy rainfall.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), meanwhile, reported that the situation in Abyei town remained volatile with sporadic bursts of gunfire and more looting reported.According to the UN World Health Organization (WHO), the Abyei hospital is not functioning and Southern Sudan Ministry of Health staff had been relocated to Agok. The health ministry staff and WHO officials conducted a one-day mission to the hospital in the town of Muglad and found medical records that indicated that 71 patients had been admitted with injuries.Deadly clashes have claimed dozens of lives since the start of the year, when a referendum on Abyei’s status that was supposed to have been held never took place amid disagreement on voter eligibility. read more

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Closing Bell North American markets take fiscal cliff talks as a reason

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TORONTO — North American stock markets kept positive Tuesday buoyed by hopes that U.S. political leaders are moving closer to a deal that would steer clear of the “fiscal cliff.”Here are the closing numbersTSX — 12,334.34 +52.99 0.43%S&P 500 — 1,446.79 +16.43 1.15%Dow — 13,350.96 +115.57 0.87%Nasdaq — 3,054.53 +43.93 1.46%The S&P/TSX composite index rose 52.99 points to 12,334.34, while the TSX Venture Exchange ticked back 8.99 points to 1,176.00.The Canadian dollar was down 0.21 of a cent to 101.45 cents US.House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday he remains hopeful that a fiscal cliff compromise can be reached, but added President Barack Obama has yet to offer a balanced deficit-cutting plan. Boehner said that Obama’s latest offer for US$1.3-trillion in tax increases over the next decade with $850 billion in spending cuts is not balanced enough.But Boehner’s plan also faces opposition from other quarters. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Boehner plan can’t pass the Democratic-run Senate.If congressional Republicans, Democrats and the White House can’t reach a deal by Jan. 1, tax cuts enacted a decade ago for all Americans will expire and government programs will be cut across the board. The combination could lead to a U.S. recession that could spread to other economies of the world.But traders still seem confident a deal can be etched out.On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials gained 115.57 points to 13,350.96, logging the first back-to-back triple digit gains since July. The Nasdaq rose 43.93 points to 3,054.53 while the S&P 500 index was up 16.43 points at 1,446.79.Meanwhile, the U.S. current account trade deficit narrowed in the July-September quarter to the smallest level since late 2010, but the improvement may not last.The U.S. Commerce Department said the deficit fell to US$107.5-billion in the third quarter, down nine% from the second quarter imbalance of $118.1 billion. It was the lowest trade gap since the final three months of 2010.And Standard & Poor’s rating agency has boosted the credit grade of Greece by six notches to B-, which moves the country out of default status. After concerns earlier this year that Greece would leave the euro, S&P said that it’s confident the other 16 countries using the currency will ensure that Greece stays within the union.In commodities, oil prices trekked higher as the January crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 73 cents to US$87.93 a barrel. The TSX energy sector led the market, gaining 0.7% with EnCana Corp. gaining 23 cents to $19.99.Gold stocks dropped 0.4%, while February gold bullion ended down $27.50 to US$1,670.70 an ounce — its lowest close since Aug. 30. March copper settled 1.3 cents lower to US$3.65 a pound.Information technology stocks were the biggest decliners on the TSX with Research In Motion moving back 19 cents to $13.47.Air Canada unveiled plans to launch its new low-cost airline, Rouge, on July 1. The carrier will focus on leisure destinations in the United States and Caribbean and some routes in Europe. Shares of the company rose 13 cents to $1.83.Heroux-Devtek shareholders approved a $160-million special distribution resulting from the sale in August of its industrial and aerostructure operations to focus on its landing-gear business. Its shares increased 13 cents to $12.72.Here’s the news investors were watching today:Air Canada targets new leisure destinations with low-cost carrier Rouge13 lessons Warren Buffett learned about how to achieve successRIM downgraded as better entry point seen aheadApple loses bid to ban Samsung devices as fans turn bearishON DECK WEDNESDAYECONOMIC NEWSCANADA8:30 a.m.Wholesale trade (Oct): Economists expect 0.5% rise UNITED STATES8:30 a.m.Housing starts (Nov): Economists expect 2.5% decline Building permits (Nov): Economists expect 0.8% rise CORPORATE NEWSUNITED STATESFedEx Q2 earnings: Analysts expect US$1.41 a share General Mills Inc Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 79¢ Bed Bath & Beyond Q2 earnings: Analysts expect US$1.09 Paychex Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 41¢ Accenture Q1 earnings: Analysts expect US$1.04 read more

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CP Rail freight cars plunge into Ontario river after train derails

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SUDBURY, Ont. — Canadian Pacific says there is no indication that a freight train derailment east of Sudbury on Sunday poses a danger to the public or the environment.[np_storybar title=”CP Rail chief Harrison fires back at union critics over safety concerns” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/2013/05/22/get-ready-to-deal-with-fear-cp-rail-chief-harrison-fires-back-at-union-critics-over-safety-concerns/”%5D“Our culture as I see it is about accountability and consequences. People got a job to do, and if they do it well, they’re going to be rewarded. That’s part of the consequences,” Hunter Harrison said at a conference in New York Wednesday. Read more. [/np_storybar]CP spokesman Ed Greenberg says one of the rail cars derailed and as a result struck a trestle bridge near the community of Wanup.Images of the scene showed the bridge collapsed and a number of cars carrying containers fell into the Wahnapitae River.Greenberg says preliminary inspection of the containers indicates there are no materials or products that pose any danger.He says roughly 24 containers were involved and there were no injuries in the mishap.He says CP crews are working with local officials to determine the condition of the containers and which ones actually made contact with the water.The initial investigation by CP has found one of the rail cars had an unexpected wheel bearing failure that caused the derailment just before the trestle bridge, Greenberg said in an email.“Our early investigation indicates this incident is the result of an unexpected and catastrophic wheel bearing failure that could not have been detected in advance,” Greenberg said.Canadian Pacific has a network of electronic inspection systems that didn’t detect any problem with the rail car wheels or bearings prior to the derailment, he added.The Transportation Safety Board has dispatched a team of investigators to the scene to investigate the accident. read more

Goldcorp CEO Chuck Jeannes to retire in spring Hudbay Minerals CEO to

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VANCOUVER — Goldcorp says its president and chief executive Chuck Jeannes will retire in the spring and David Garofalo, who is currently the president and CEO of HudBay Minerals Inc., will take over his role.The gold miner said Jeannes will step down following the company’s annual general meeting in April.Jeannes has been at the helm of the company since 2007, and has worked for Goldcorp and its predecessor company Glamis Gold for nearly 17 years.“It has been a tremendous honour to lead Goldcorp over the last seven years as it has matured into one of the world’s leading gold mining companies,” Jeannes said in a statement Friday.“I have had the privilege of working with an exceptional group of leaders as we built the foundations for long-lasting success at Goldcorp, including two key new mines that will drive strong, low-cost production for many years. I have tremendous respect for David and look forward to working with him, the board and the management team over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition.”The Canadian PressGoldcorp Inc stops operations at Northern Ontario mine to investigate fatal worker accidentDoes Goldcorp Inc have some M&A in the works? read more

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TSX down as gold and materials weigh while loonie heads higher amid

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TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index pulled back modestly Tuesday as investors seemed to shrug off a decision by the United States to impose duties on the country’s softwood lumber.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index lost 34.80 points to 15,281.22, with gold and materials stocks among the biggest decliners.Late Monday, the U.S. Department of Commerce hit Canada with an additional 6.87 per cent in preliminary average anti-dumping tariffs, leaving the softwood lumber industry facing average duties of about 27 per cent.But the move turned out to be lighter than expected, which helped forestry stocks finish the day among the gainers.Shares in West Fraser Timber (TSX:WFT) were up 1.25 per cent, or 75 cents, to $60.65, while Canfor Corp. (TSX:CFP) advanced 1.41 per cent, or 27 cents, to $19.44.Todd Mattina, a chief economist with Mackenzie Investments, says the duties had been anticipated and doesn’t believe they’ll have a large impact on the financial market as a whole.“Lumber is still a very small part of Canada’s total exports and this has been a longstanding grievance between Canada and the U.S.,” said Mattina.“I think while this will certainly have an impact on certain regional companies and specific companies, from a macro and Canadian perspective I wouldn’t expect this to have a dramatic impact on the markets — even though it sorts of set a backdrop or the tone for the larger NAFTA question.”Canada, the U.S., and Mexico are expected to start negotiations for the new North American Free Trade Agreement in August.South of the border, the Dow Jones industrial average pulled back 98.89 points to 21,310.66, the Nasdaq composite index was down 100.53 points to 6,146.62, and the S&P 500 index shed 19.69 points to 2,419.38.In currencies, the Canadian dollar was trading up 0.29 of a U.S. cent to an average price of 75.83 cents US, as the August crude contract advanced 86 cents at US$44.24 per barrel.In other commodities, the August gold contract was up 50 cents to US$1,246.90 an ounce, the August natural gas contract gained two cents at US$3.07 per mmBTU, and the July copper contract added two cents at US$2.65 a pound.Follow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter. read more

Concerns over hate campaign

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At the core of the discussions on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva is the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission which clearly calls for the upholding of democratic rights, including freedom of expression. The National Peace Council, in a statement today, said that the campaign to vilify and incite hatred towards NGOs and human rights activists in the context of the sessions of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva is of particular concern as it involves the use of the state controlled media. The National Peace Council said it regrets that even while the government is trying to convince the international community that it is committed in both spirit and substance to the recommendations of the LLRC and to upholding universal human rights, certain sections persist in intimidation of the NGOs and human rights activists using the state media.“We are deeply concerned that the background is being created for targeted attacks and that the state-controlled media is being utilized for this purpose in an orchestrated campaign.  Incitement of the people is a reckless exercise which may spill over to mindless violence against minorities and those perceived to be enemies which the government may find difficult to restrain once unleashed as in 1983,” the National Peace Council said. Concerns have been raised over a hate campaign launched by the state media against some journalists in the private media as well as human rights workers and NGOs in the country.State owned ITN has, for the past few days, been profiling some journalists and human rights activists saying they are working against the country. read more

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CID grills Upul over alleged threat to FCID

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The Southern Provincial Council member however denied making the comments.The Colombo Chief Magistrate had later issued an order preventing D V Upul from leaving the country till investigations over his alleged comments are over. The police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) recorded a statement from Southern Provincial Council member D V Upul over an alleged threat he had made to the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID).Upul had reportedly said that if former President Mahinda Rajapaksa returns to power the public must attack the FCID.

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Sri Lanka looks to strengthen its presence in Africa

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Sri Lanka’s new Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the  African Union (AU) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Dassanayake Mudiyanselage Sumith Priyantha said that Sri Lanka will officially open a new Embassy in Addis Ababa in January 2017.Sri Lanka extended an invitation to the AU Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to attend the opening. The Chairperson congratulated and welcomed each of the new Representatives to the AU and wished them success in their collaboration with the AU and during their stay in Ethiopia. (Colombo Gazette) Opening an Embassy in Addis Ababa, is very strategic as Sri Lanka strengthens its presence in Africa, satprnews.com reported. Newly appointed Ambassadors of India, Japan, Netherlands and Sri Lanka to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Permanent Representatives to the AU and UNECA, presented their Credentials to the AU Commission Chairperson. read more