Eager to contribute to progress of Indian football

12 Oct 2019

first_imgNew Delhi: Newly appointed All India Football Federation technical director Isac Doru on Monday said he is looking forward to contribute to the progress of Indian football. The Romanian was selected from a list of over 60 candidates who had applied for the post which was advertised earlier this year. The 56-year-old comes with a rich experience of almost 29 years in international football across many countries namely France, Japan, USA, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Qatar amongst others. He was last employed as the Sporting Director of three-time J-league Champions Yokohama Marinos FC. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: Rijiju”I need to thank All India Football Federation for the opportunity. I’m eager to make a positive contribution to the progress of football in India, and to work with everyone from the AIFF family,” Doru said. “I am looking forward to starting employment immediately after obtaining the travelling visa to India,” he added. AIFF president Praful Patel also extended his best wishes to Doru. “It’s nice to have Doru on board. His vast experience will come in handy for Indian Football. I expect him to guide us to the next level,” Patel said in a statement. The post of technical director remained vacant since Australian Scott O’Donnell decided to quit in 2017. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersAIFF general secretary Kushal Das said the biggest challenge is to “sustain the momentum” gained by Indian football recently. “Indian football has been experiencing a significant transition in recent years. I look up to Mr. Doru to work on, and improve on the roadmap already laid down for the youth teams, and at the same time make value addition to our coach education programme, grassroots, women’s football, and men’s football too,” Das said.last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: Newly appointed All India Football Federation technical director Isac Doru on Monday said he is looking forward to contribute to the progress of Indian football. The Romanian was selected from a list of over 60 candidates who had applied for the post which was advertised earlier this year. The 56-year-old comes with a rich experience of almost 29 years in international football across many countries namely France, Japan, USA, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Qatar amongst others. He was last employed as the Sporting Director of three-time J-league Champions Yokohama Marinos FC. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: Rijiju”I need to thank All India Football Federation for the opportunity. I’m eager to make a positive contribution to the progress of football in India, and to work with everyone from the AIFF family,” Doru said. “I am looking forward to starting employment immediately after obtaining the travelling visa to India,” he added. AIFF president Praful Patel also extended his best wishes to Doru. “It’s nice to have Doru on board. His vast experience will come in handy for Indian Football. I expect him to guide us to the next level,” Patel said in a statement. The post of technical director remained vacant since Australian Scott O’Donnell decided to quit in 2017. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersAIFF general secretary Kushal Das said the biggest challenge is to “sustain the momentum” gained by Indian football recently. “Indian football has been experiencing a significant transition in recent years. I look up to Mr. Doru to work on, and improve on the roadmap already laid down for the youth teams, and at the same time make value addition to our coach education programme, grassroots, women’s football, and men’s football too,” Das said.last_img read more

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Scientists develop device to detect bacteria in minutes

12 Oct 2019

first_imgWashington: The era of doctors prescribing patients powerful antibiotics while they wait for lab reports could soon be numbered, with a new device returning results within minutes instead of days. It was invented by a team at Penn State university and described in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday. Co-developed by Pak Kin Wong, a professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering, the device uses microtechnology to trap single bacteria cells that can then be viewed under an electron microscope. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportThe approach allows clinicians to determine in as little as 30 minutes whether bacteria is present and its susceptibility to drug treatment — as opposed to the three-to-five days such lab work currently takes. “We currently prescribe antibiotics even when there is no bacteria present,” Wong told AFP. “That is over prescription. That is one of things we tried to express. Can we quickly determine the existence of bacterial infection?” The researchers’ paper said that in addition to being able to detect whether bacteria is present, the device can begin to classify the type by determining whether the cells are spherical, rod-shaped, or spiral. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protests”This device determines existence but not what type of bacteria it is,” said Wong. “What we’re working on is a complementary molecular approach such that we can ID the species.” And after finding bacteria is present, the sample is exposed to antibiotics to determine whether the strain is resistant, in which case antibiotic intervention would prove ineffective. “Urinary tract infections are the most common bacterial infections,” said Wong. “However, over 75 per cent of urine specimens sent to a clinical microbiology laboratory are negative. Rapidly ruling out or confirming the presence of bacteria at a clinically relevant concentration will dramatically enhance patient care.” He added that the team had applied for a provisional patent and could bring their device, which they hope to scale down in size so that it can be used in hospitals and doctors’ offices, to market in three years’ time.last_img read more

first_imgWashington: The era of doctors prescribing patients powerful antibiotics while they wait for lab reports could soon be numbered, with a new device returning results within minutes instead of days. It was invented by a team at Penn State university and described in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday. Co-developed by Pak Kin Wong, a professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering, the device uses microtechnology to trap single bacteria cells that can then be viewed under an electron microscope. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportThe approach allows clinicians to determine in as little as 30 minutes whether bacteria is present and its susceptibility to drug treatment — as opposed to the three-to-five days such lab work currently takes. “We currently prescribe antibiotics even when there is no bacteria present,” Wong told AFP. “That is over prescription. That is one of things we tried to express. Can we quickly determine the existence of bacterial infection?” The researchers’ paper said that in addition to being able to detect whether bacteria is present, the device can begin to classify the type by determining whether the cells are spherical, rod-shaped, or spiral. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protests”This device determines existence but not what type of bacteria it is,” said Wong. “What we’re working on is a complementary molecular approach such that we can ID the species.” And after finding bacteria is present, the sample is exposed to antibiotics to determine whether the strain is resistant, in which case antibiotic intervention would prove ineffective. “Urinary tract infections are the most common bacterial infections,” said Wong. “However, over 75 per cent of urine specimens sent to a clinical microbiology laboratory are negative. Rapidly ruling out or confirming the presence of bacteria at a clinically relevant concentration will dramatically enhance patient care.” He added that the team had applied for a provisional patent and could bring their device, which they hope to scale down in size so that it can be used in hospitals and doctors’ offices, to market in three years’ time.last_img read more

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In Pictures Maradona Gets Warm Welcoming From Moroccan Fans

12 Oct 2019

Rabat – The arrival of Argentine legend Diego Maradona to Laâyoune Hassan I Airport on Friday was a celebration in itself.  Videos and photos of the football superstar greeting the hundreds of fans who were awaiting his landing at the Saharan city as he exited the airport have made the news.Wearing his customary casual sports attire with a ball cap and sunglasses, ‘El Pibe de Oro’ was all smiles as Moroccans welcomed him with of love and admiration.Accompanied by his female partner while walking to the special car service that transported him and his people to their destination, the Argentine showed his appreciation for such Moroccan hospitality. Maradona threw his hands up in the air, laughed, and gave thanks to the warm welcome of Moroccans who watched as the football star left the airport grounds while waving to the crowd aboard a convertible open-top vehicle.Diego Maradona visited Marrakech and Laâyoune during his Moroccan weekend trip to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Morocco’s Green March.The 55-year-old star donated his time and skills to a gala match for charity accompanied by other international football legends in an emblematic game watched by more than 25,000 fans at the city’s stadium.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

Rabat – The arrival of Argentine legend Diego Maradona to Laâyoune Hassan I Airport on Friday was a celebration in itself.  Videos and photos of the football superstar greeting the hundreds of fans who were awaiting his landing at the Saharan city as he exited the airport have made the news.Wearing his customary casual sports attire with a ball cap and sunglasses, ‘El Pibe de Oro’ was all smiles as Moroccans welcomed him with of love and admiration.Accompanied by his female partner while walking to the special car service that transported him and his people to their destination, the Argentine showed his appreciation for such Moroccan hospitality. Maradona threw his hands up in the air, laughed, and gave thanks to the warm welcome of Moroccans who watched as the football star left the airport grounds while waving to the crowd aboard a convertible open-top vehicle.Diego Maradona visited Marrakech and Laâyoune during his Moroccan weekend trip to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Morocco’s Green March.The 55-year-old star donated his time and skills to a gala match for charity accompanied by other international football legends in an emblematic game watched by more than 25,000 fans at the city’s stadium.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

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Moroccan Security Officer Fatally Hit by Car Driven by Drunk Son

12 Oct 2019

By Zainab CalcuttawalaRabat – A Moroccan security officer was killed by a car driven by the son of a justice official, who was driving while under the influence of alcohol.A first sergeant of the Royal Gendarmerie lost his life Saturday morning after Hassan Al-Hajooji, the son of a Moroccan court official, fatally struck the officer with a car at a roundabout linking Sidi Harazem to Taounate around 20 kilometers away from Fez at 4:30 a.m. local time,. Al-Hajooji was intoxicated at the time of the incident. A source who inspected the scene told Akhbar Al-Yaoum that the 32-year-old son of an official at the public prosecutor’s office of the court of appeals in Fez dragged the late first sergeant behind his father’s Mercedes C220 for a long distance. The officer was inspecting a medium-sized truck when he was struck by the car, which bore the emblem of the Attorney General’s office.According to the same source, the car hit the officer and the truck that he was inspecting at a dangerously high speed, as indicated by the nature of the injuries found on the officer’s body during the post-mortem examination.According to eyewitnesses cited by the same source, the driver sped past the roundabout after striking the truck and the officer, but then returned to the scene of the incident only to exit his vehicle and beat the truck driver with his hands before fleeing the area again.The Royal Gendarmerie arrested the alleged perpetrator in his father’s house just a few hours after the hit-and-run. The car that the accused drove bore the emblem of the Attorney General’s office, which greatly facilitated the investigation.According to the newspaper, Sunday morning the body of the first sergeant—a 34-year-old father of two—was transferred to Casablanca, where an official autopsy took place before the body was returned to the family. The autopsy report showed severe wounds and bruises corresponding with the speed of the vehicle that struck him.The case is expected to be referred to the lower courts, which issue sentences for up to five years in prison, on Monday in the event that investigators classify the incident as a traffic violation. The accused could face charges of manslaughter, public intoxication and driving under the influence of alcohol.The truck driver and the victim’s colleague have both told investigators that the driver entered the roundabout from the wrong direction and took the road in which the victim was conducting a routine inspection of the truck. read more

By Zainab CalcuttawalaRabat – A Moroccan security officer was killed by a car driven by the son of a justice official, who was driving while under the influence of alcohol.A first sergeant of the Royal Gendarmerie lost his life Saturday morning after Hassan Al-Hajooji, the son of a Moroccan court official, fatally struck the officer with a car at a roundabout linking Sidi Harazem to Taounate around 20 kilometers away from Fez at 4:30 a.m. local time,. Al-Hajooji was intoxicated at the time of the incident. A source who inspected the scene told Akhbar Al-Yaoum that the 32-year-old son of an official at the public prosecutor’s office of the court of appeals in Fez dragged the late first sergeant behind his father’s Mercedes C220 for a long distance. The officer was inspecting a medium-sized truck when he was struck by the car, which bore the emblem of the Attorney General’s office.According to the same source, the car hit the officer and the truck that he was inspecting at a dangerously high speed, as indicated by the nature of the injuries found on the officer’s body during the post-mortem examination.According to eyewitnesses cited by the same source, the driver sped past the roundabout after striking the truck and the officer, but then returned to the scene of the incident only to exit his vehicle and beat the truck driver with his hands before fleeing the area again.The Royal Gendarmerie arrested the alleged perpetrator in his father’s house just a few hours after the hit-and-run. The car that the accused drove bore the emblem of the Attorney General’s office, which greatly facilitated the investigation.According to the newspaper, Sunday morning the body of the first sergeant—a 34-year-old father of two—was transferred to Casablanca, where an official autopsy took place before the body was returned to the family. The autopsy report showed severe wounds and bruises corresponding with the speed of the vehicle that struck him.The case is expected to be referred to the lower courts, which issue sentences for up to five years in prison, on Monday in the event that investigators classify the incident as a traffic violation. The accused could face charges of manslaughter, public intoxication and driving under the influence of alcohol.The truck driver and the victim’s colleague have both told investigators that the driver entered the roundabout from the wrong direction and took the road in which the victim was conducting a routine inspection of the truck. read more

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Guerguerat Morocco in Alert to Protect MINURSO against Terrorist Risk

12 Oct 2019

Rabat – Morocco has strengthened security measures at the MINURSO headquarters in the Guerguerat buffer zone to protect its forces after being alerted to terrorist threats. Following a warning from officials at the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), concerning possible terrorist acts that could target them, members of the mission have been on full alert in the Guerguerat buffer zone at Morocco’s southern borders with Mauritania.The United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO),The mission is on alert at its headquarters in the buffer zone, and Morocco’s forces strengthened security measures near them in a move to protect the MINURSO elements. Arabic-language news source, Al-Massa, reported in its weekend issue that Morocco takes very seriously the warnings and fears of the United Nations. The UN mission fortified its presence at a warehouse reserved for it in Guerguerat after it withdrew in reaction to the the threats. The decision was met with discontent from the Polisario Front.Later, the MINURSO teams resumed their activity in the region while maintaining maximum alert level. Increased measures included inspecting all company vehicles before use and parking them in the car parks reserved for MINURSO, as well as advising their personnel to avoid being alone.Earlier last week, UN reports indicated that terrorist groups active in the Sahel region and the Sahara intended to attack MINURSO personnel, especially those present at Guerguerat.The UN immediately notified its mission of these intentions and called on it to implement preventive measures and reinforce its security in the area.The ongoing terrorism threat in the Sahel area has prompted French U.N. Ambassador, Francois Delattre, to circulate a draft resolution on Tuesday to the 15 members of the UNSC authorizing the military intervention, in accordance with international law and in coordination with the peacekeeping mission of the UN.Speaking to the media, Delattre stated, “It would be irresponsible for the council not to come together behind this regional initiative to combat terrorism across borders at the moment when the threat has never been so high.” read more

Rabat – Morocco has strengthened security measures at the MINURSO headquarters in the Guerguerat buffer zone to protect its forces after being alerted to terrorist threats. Following a warning from officials at the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), concerning possible terrorist acts that could target them, members of the mission have been on full alert in the Guerguerat buffer zone at Morocco’s southern borders with Mauritania.The United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO),The mission is on alert at its headquarters in the buffer zone, and Morocco’s forces strengthened security measures near them in a move to protect the MINURSO elements. Arabic-language news source, Al-Massa, reported in its weekend issue that Morocco takes very seriously the warnings and fears of the United Nations. The UN mission fortified its presence at a warehouse reserved for it in Guerguerat after it withdrew in reaction to the the threats. The decision was met with discontent from the Polisario Front.Later, the MINURSO teams resumed their activity in the region while maintaining maximum alert level. Increased measures included inspecting all company vehicles before use and parking them in the car parks reserved for MINURSO, as well as advising their personnel to avoid being alone.Earlier last week, UN reports indicated that terrorist groups active in the Sahel region and the Sahara intended to attack MINURSO personnel, especially those present at Guerguerat.The UN immediately notified its mission of these intentions and called on it to implement preventive measures and reinforce its security in the area.The ongoing terrorism threat in the Sahel area has prompted French U.N. Ambassador, Francois Delattre, to circulate a draft resolution on Tuesday to the 15 members of the UNSC authorizing the military intervention, in accordance with international law and in coordination with the peacekeeping mission of the UN.Speaking to the media, Delattre stated, “It would be irresponsible for the council not to come together behind this regional initiative to combat terrorism across borders at the moment when the threat has never been so high.” read more

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Here Are All the Artists Performing in Jazzablanca 2018

12 Oct 2019

Rabat- The 13th edition of the Jazzablanca music festival will return from April 14-22, with 50 exceptional performances, including American Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ) to the young Moroccan Sonia Noor.For its thirteenth anniversary, Jazzablanca has revealed a unique lineup, with more than 60 percent of artists performing in Morocco for the first time.The program includes 50 concerts April  14-22 between Hippodrome Casablanca-Anfa and the United Nations Square in Casablanca. Living jazz legend Fred Wesley, James Brown’s former trombonist, is expected at the Village on April 14, the same stage will host Jamaican-born British saxophonist Yolanda Brown on April 18.On April 17,  Giulia Valle Trio’s will go on stage, representing contemporary Spanish jazz. Its members includes big names such as John McNeil, Guillermo Klein, Bill McHenry, and Jason Lindner.Other top performances include pop star Tom Odell on April 18, Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox on April 15, and Beth Ditto from the famous band Gossip April 17, followed by a performance by St. Germain on April 19.The Spanish band, The Excitements, with its pop, soul, and R&B flavor, will perform on April 15.The Dee Dee & The Band will entertain the Moroccan  public on April 18 with new songs and song covers as well their rock, pop, and funk titles.Emerging Moroccan artists performing in this edition include singer Sonia Noor; the poets and musicians of The Barons of Baltimore; the jazz trio Soul Mussango; pop and  folklore duo, Climax; and the Sahrawi blues band Daraa.Nearly 70,000 spectators attended the festival in 2017. read more

Rabat- The 13th edition of the Jazzablanca music festival will return from April 14-22, with 50 exceptional performances, including American Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ) to the young Moroccan Sonia Noor.For its thirteenth anniversary, Jazzablanca has revealed a unique lineup, with more than 60 percent of artists performing in Morocco for the first time.The program includes 50 concerts April  14-22 between Hippodrome Casablanca-Anfa and the United Nations Square in Casablanca. Living jazz legend Fred Wesley, James Brown’s former trombonist, is expected at the Village on April 14, the same stage will host Jamaican-born British saxophonist Yolanda Brown on April 18.On April 17,  Giulia Valle Trio’s will go on stage, representing contemporary Spanish jazz. Its members includes big names such as John McNeil, Guillermo Klein, Bill McHenry, and Jason Lindner.Other top performances include pop star Tom Odell on April 18, Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox on April 15, and Beth Ditto from the famous band Gossip April 17, followed by a performance by St. Germain on April 19.The Spanish band, The Excitements, with its pop, soul, and R&B flavor, will perform on April 15.The Dee Dee & The Band will entertain the Moroccan  public on April 18 with new songs and song covers as well their rock, pop, and funk titles.Emerging Moroccan artists performing in this edition include singer Sonia Noor; the poets and musicians of The Barons of Baltimore; the jazz trio Soul Mussango; pop and  folklore duo, Climax; and the Sahrawi blues band Daraa.Nearly 70,000 spectators attended the festival in 2017. read more

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Supreme Courts well ruling credit negative for energy firms says Moodys

12 Oct 2019

CALGARY — A credit rating agency says high court support for the Alberta Energy Regulator’s ability to force a bankruptcy trustee to pay out well-abandonment obligations before paying back creditors is credit negative for energy companies.Moody’s Investor Services says the Supreme Court of Canada ruling Thursday creates a “super priority position” for payment of such liabilities over repaying other creditors.It says the decision potentially reduces how much a lender could recover in the event of an insolvency and, therefore, how much it will be willing to lend to companies.That could potentially lead to a reduction in how much money oil and gas companies will be able to call upon to fund their exploration and development programs.The high court’s 5-2 ruling came with a recommendation from Chief Justice Richard Wagner for Parliament to clarify the confusion between the federal bankruptcy law and the regulations provinces rely on to protect the environment.Moody’s says the ruling is also credit negative for banks and other creditors but adds it’s unclear how it will affect other industries and provinces going forward.“The ruling favoured the Alberta energy regulator, but the Supreme Court’s statement that Alberta’s regulations must be followed in bankruptcy could mean that bankruptcy trustees in other provinces would have to follow similar regulations, with unclear effects on how environmental regulations would affect recoveries for creditors elsewhere,” the agency said in a report.The Canadian Press read more

CALGARY — A credit rating agency says high court support for the Alberta Energy Regulator’s ability to force a bankruptcy trustee to pay out well-abandonment obligations before paying back creditors is credit negative for energy companies.Moody’s Investor Services says the Supreme Court of Canada ruling Thursday creates a “super priority position” for payment of such liabilities over repaying other creditors.It says the decision potentially reduces how much a lender could recover in the event of an insolvency and, therefore, how much it will be willing to lend to companies.That could potentially lead to a reduction in how much money oil and gas companies will be able to call upon to fund their exploration and development programs.The high court’s 5-2 ruling came with a recommendation from Chief Justice Richard Wagner for Parliament to clarify the confusion between the federal bankruptcy law and the regulations provinces rely on to protect the environment.Moody’s says the ruling is also credit negative for banks and other creditors but adds it’s unclear how it will affect other industries and provinces going forward.“The ruling favoured the Alberta energy regulator, but the Supreme Court’s statement that Alberta’s regulations must be followed in bankruptcy could mean that bankruptcy trustees in other provinces would have to follow similar regulations, with unclear effects on how environmental regulations would affect recoveries for creditors elsewhere,” the agency said in a report.The Canadian Press read more

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Honda says it is recalling 437K vehicles for fuelpump issue

12 Oct 2019

TORRANCE, Calif. — Honda says it is recalling 437,000 vehicles in the U.S. to fix a fuel-pump issue.The recall covers model-year 2016-2018 Acura MDXs, 2015-2019 Acura TLX V6s and 2015-2017 Honda Accord V6s.The automaker says the vehicles’ software needs to be updated, and in some cases, have their fuel pumps replaced.That’s because sodium particulates in some U.S. gasoline can stick to internal components in the fuel pumps, reducing the pumps’ performance. In hot weather, this could limit the vehicle’s acceleration or cause its engine to stall, increasing the risk of a crash.Honda says it has received no reports of crashes or injuries because of the issue.Owners will be notified by letter in late March, after which they are advised to take the vehicles to authorized dealers.The Associated Press read more

TORRANCE, Calif. — Honda says it is recalling 437,000 vehicles in the U.S. to fix a fuel-pump issue.The recall covers model-year 2016-2018 Acura MDXs, 2015-2019 Acura TLX V6s and 2015-2017 Honda Accord V6s.The automaker says the vehicles’ software needs to be updated, and in some cases, have their fuel pumps replaced.That’s because sodium particulates in some U.S. gasoline can stick to internal components in the fuel pumps, reducing the pumps’ performance. In hot weather, this could limit the vehicle’s acceleration or cause its engine to stall, increasing the risk of a crash.Honda says it has received no reports of crashes or injuries because of the issue.Owners will be notified by letter in late March, after which they are advised to take the vehicles to authorized dealers.The Associated Press read more

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Boycott Saudi Arabias Almarai to Replace Centrale Danone

12 Oct 2019

Rabat- Saudi Arabia’s Almarai, the largest dairy company in the Middle East, will open a dairy factory in Morocco by 2019. As Centrale Danone, a subsidiary of the giant French dairy company Danone, has begun to count its losses with the ongoing boycott against it, the Middle East’s leading food and beverage manufacturer and distributor, Almarai, has emerged as an attractive future investor in the country.The Saudi company is expected to open its first subsidiary by the end of 2018 or early in 2019. The company has reportedly bought land belonging to the headquarters of Centrale Danone in the kingdom, according to Moroccan news site Hespress.For years, many Moroccans expressed their wish to have Almarai dairy product brands in Morocco due to their “high quality.”Founded in 1977 in Saudi Arabia, Almarai is a partnership between the Irish agri-foods pioneer, Alastair McGuckian, and Saudi prince Sultan bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer. Almarai is now the world’s largest vertically integrated dairy company.Almarai, headquartered in Riyadh, produces dairy, yoghurt, pastries, infant formula, and more than 1.2 billion liters of milk per year. It employs more than 4,700 workers.The decision may have been within the framework of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to boost economic partnership with Morocco by increasing the volume of direct foreign investment.Will Morocco say goodbye to Centrale Danone?Almarai’s decision to invest in the dairy sector in Morocco coincides with the ongoing boycott targeting Centrale Danone, the leading dairy brand in Morocco.The decision also poses questions of whether it will be the end of an era for the dairy firm, formerly known as Centrale Laitière, which has extended its roots in the kingdom since 1949.On April 20, Moroccans launched a boycott against three major companies at once, Afriquia (gasoline), Sidi Ali (mineral and soda water), and Centrale Danone, in protest against the high prices set by these companies.The boycott campaign has caused major revenue loss for Centrale, as it recently announced that it had a net loss of MAD 150 million in the first half of 2018. read more

Rabat- Saudi Arabia’s Almarai, the largest dairy company in the Middle East, will open a dairy factory in Morocco by 2019. As Centrale Danone, a subsidiary of the giant French dairy company Danone, has begun to count its losses with the ongoing boycott against it, the Middle East’s leading food and beverage manufacturer and distributor, Almarai, has emerged as an attractive future investor in the country.The Saudi company is expected to open its first subsidiary by the end of 2018 or early in 2019. The company has reportedly bought land belonging to the headquarters of Centrale Danone in the kingdom, according to Moroccan news site Hespress.For years, many Moroccans expressed their wish to have Almarai dairy product brands in Morocco due to their “high quality.”Founded in 1977 in Saudi Arabia, Almarai is a partnership between the Irish agri-foods pioneer, Alastair McGuckian, and Saudi prince Sultan bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer. Almarai is now the world’s largest vertically integrated dairy company.Almarai, headquartered in Riyadh, produces dairy, yoghurt, pastries, infant formula, and more than 1.2 billion liters of milk per year. It employs more than 4,700 workers.The decision may have been within the framework of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to boost economic partnership with Morocco by increasing the volume of direct foreign investment.Will Morocco say goodbye to Centrale Danone?Almarai’s decision to invest in the dairy sector in Morocco coincides with the ongoing boycott targeting Centrale Danone, the leading dairy brand in Morocco.The decision also poses questions of whether it will be the end of an era for the dairy firm, formerly known as Centrale Laitière, which has extended its roots in the kingdom since 1949.On April 20, Moroccans launched a boycott against three major companies at once, Afriquia (gasoline), Sidi Ali (mineral and soda water), and Centrale Danone, in protest against the high prices set by these companies.The boycott campaign has caused major revenue loss for Centrale, as it recently announced that it had a net loss of MAD 150 million in the first half of 2018. read more

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Bangladesh UN agency seeks solution for 6000 Myanmar refugees facing eviction

12 Oct 2019

The United Nations refugee agency is working with the Bangladeshi government, donors and partners to find more permanent housing for some 6,000 Muslim refugees from Myanmar whose riverbed settlement is threatened by a crackdown on illegal structures. “These people are of concern to us and we want to help them,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) country representative Pia Prytz Phiri said of the settlement, which perches perilously beside a busy road in Teknaf, 75 kilometres south of Cox’s Bazar in south-east Bangladesh. “It is hard to imagine human beings living in much more deplorable conditions than those in Teknaf. We understand why the government doesn’t want them living there, but to move them without having prepared any solution in advance is not very humane,” she added. The refugees, regarded by the Government as illegal migrants rather than legitimate refugees, set up the camp in October 2004, nearly two years after they had been evicted from rented homes in nearby villages in an earlier crackdown, “simply because we are Myanmarese,” according to one camp dweller. UNHCR has not been allowed to help them, except to distribute some plastic sheeting last year. The medical non-governmental organization (NGO), Médecins Sans Frontières-Holland, was recently allowed to open a health clinic there. The refugees’ homes are flimsy structures of bamboo, plastic sheets and flattened cement bags on muddy ground, where as many as 16 people crowd together in a room slightly larger than a garden shed. For fully half of each month, the refugees said, high tides flood nearly all shacks, bring disease, and some children have even drowned. Women spend much of their time repairing the mud foundations of the huts. Ms. Phiri said a solution needed to be found but “what we don’t want to do is to set up a formal camp.” UNHCR agency already runs two official camps south of Cox’s Bazar housing some 26,000 refugees and UNHCR sub-office head Jim Worrall suggested that the simplest step would be to allow the Teknaf refugees “just to go back to the villages where they were living peacefully with local people before 2004.” 8 March 2007The United Nations refugee agency is working with the Bangladeshi government, donors and partners to find more permanent housing for some 6,000 Muslim refugees from Myanmar whose riverbed settlement is threatened by a crackdown on illegal structures. read more

The United Nations refugee agency is working with the Bangladeshi government, donors and partners to find more permanent housing for some 6,000 Muslim refugees from Myanmar whose riverbed settlement is threatened by a crackdown on illegal structures. “These people are of concern to us and we want to help them,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) country representative Pia Prytz Phiri said of the settlement, which perches perilously beside a busy road in Teknaf, 75 kilometres south of Cox’s Bazar in south-east Bangladesh. “It is hard to imagine human beings living in much more deplorable conditions than those in Teknaf. We understand why the government doesn’t want them living there, but to move them without having prepared any solution in advance is not very humane,” she added. The refugees, regarded by the Government as illegal migrants rather than legitimate refugees, set up the camp in October 2004, nearly two years after they had been evicted from rented homes in nearby villages in an earlier crackdown, “simply because we are Myanmarese,” according to one camp dweller. UNHCR has not been allowed to help them, except to distribute some plastic sheeting last year. The medical non-governmental organization (NGO), Médecins Sans Frontières-Holland, was recently allowed to open a health clinic there. The refugees’ homes are flimsy structures of bamboo, plastic sheets and flattened cement bags on muddy ground, where as many as 16 people crowd together in a room slightly larger than a garden shed. For fully half of each month, the refugees said, high tides flood nearly all shacks, bring disease, and some children have even drowned. Women spend much of their time repairing the mud foundations of the huts. Ms. Phiri said a solution needed to be found but “what we don’t want to do is to set up a formal camp.” UNHCR agency already runs two official camps south of Cox’s Bazar housing some 26,000 refugees and UNHCR sub-office head Jim Worrall suggested that the simplest step would be to allow the Teknaf refugees “just to go back to the villages where they were living peacefully with local people before 2004.” 8 March 2007The United Nations refugee agency is working with the Bangladeshi government, donors and partners to find more permanent housing for some 6,000 Muslim refugees from Myanmar whose riverbed settlement is threatened by a crackdown on illegal structures. read more

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UN envoy on Kosovos status says independence is the only option

12 Oct 2019

26 March 2007The only viable option for Kosovo is independence, with an initial period of supervision by the international community, the senior United Nations official overseeing the Serbian province’s future status process has concluded in a report endorsed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and sent today to the Security Council. The only viable option for Kosovo is independence, with an initial period of supervision by the international community, the senior United Nations official overseeing the Serbian province’s future status process has concluded in a report endorsed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and sent today to the Security Council.Martti Ahtisaari, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the future status process for Kosovo, stated that independence is the only way to ensure the province – where ethnic Albanians outnumber Serbs and other minorities by nine to one – becomes politically stable and economically viable.Kosovo’s Government and Serbia have been unable to reach any agreement over what should happen, even on smaller, practical issues, Mr. Ahtisaari said, despite his efforts over the past year to broker a compromise. He warned that the continuing uncertainty is threatening democratic development and ethnic reconciliation.“Such uncertainty only leads to further stagnation, polarizing its communities and resulting in social and political unrest,” the envoy wrote. “Pretending otherwise and denying or delaying resolution of Kosovo’s status risks challenging not only its own stability but the peace and stability of the region as a whole.”Calling Kosovo “a unique case that demands a unique solution,” Mr. Ahtisaari said an international civilian and military presence is necessary as part of the settlement, focused on such areas as minority community rights, the rule of law, decentralization and the protection of the Serbian Orthodox Church.Under his Comprehensive Proposal, once the Council endorsed his settlement plan and it entered into force, there would be a 120-day transition period during which the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) – which has run the province since mid-1999 when Western forces drove out Yugoslav troops amid fierce fighting and human rights abuses – would remain in charge.An International Civilian Representative, who would be appointed by an international steering group and act also as the European Union (EU) Special Representative, would have no direct role in Kosovo’s administration but would hold ultimate supervisory power over the implementation of the settlement.The civilian representative would have the power to annul laws or decisions by Kosovo authorities and the right to punish or remove officials whose actions he or she deemed inconsistent with the settlement, and would work until the steering group determined that Kosovo had implemented the terms of the settlement.The Kosovo Assembly, working with the civilian representative, would approve a new constitution and any legislation necessary under the settlement. These would take effect at the end of the transition period, when UNMIK’s powers would expire and be transferred to Kosovo’s authorities.Within nine months of the settlement entering into force, Kosovo would also be required to hold general and local elections.A series of constitutional and legislative provisions would be introduced to ensure that minority rights are protected and other interests upheld. Albanian and Serbian would both be official languages, while other community languages such as Turkish, Bosnian and Roma would have the status of languages in official use. Ethnic minorities would be guaranteed representation within the Kosovo Assembly.The Serbian Orthodox Church would be recognized formally by Kosovo’s authorities and enjoy tax and customs duty privileges. Protective zones would be created around more than 40 key cultural and religious sites.An international military presence would remain, with a mission led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) continuing the current work of the Kosovo Force (KFOR) until such time as Kosovo’s institutions are deemed capable of assuming complete responsibility for security.Local police officers in the Kosovo Police Force would reflect the ethnic composition of the municipality in which they serve, and a new Kosovo Security Force would be established within a year of the end of the transition period. The new force would have a maximum of 2,500 active members and 800 reservists, and the current Kosovo Protection Corps would be disbanded.Mr. Ahtisaari stressed that Belgrade’s demand for Kosovo’s autonomy within Serbia, and nothing beyond that, and Pristina’s insistence that nothing less than independence is acceptable, meant he had no other option than the proposal.“A return of Serbian rule over Kosovo would not be acceptance to the overwhelming majority of the people of Kosovo. Belgrade could not regain its authority without provoking violent opposition. Autonomy of Kosovo within the borders of Serbia – however notional such autonomy may be – is simply not tenable.”Mr. Ban expressed his full support for the report and the settlement plan today, saying in a statement released by his spokesperson that the future status process “has reached a decisive phase.“The Security Council has been presented with a plan which the Secretary-General believes contains all of the right elements for a fair and sustainable solution to Kosovo’s future status,” the statement said. read more

26 March 2007The only viable option for Kosovo is independence, with an initial period of supervision by the international community, the senior United Nations official overseeing the Serbian province’s future status process has concluded in a report endorsed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and sent today to the Security Council. The only viable option for Kosovo is independence, with an initial period of supervision by the international community, the senior United Nations official overseeing the Serbian province’s future status process has concluded in a report endorsed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and sent today to the Security Council.Martti Ahtisaari, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the future status process for Kosovo, stated that independence is the only way to ensure the province – where ethnic Albanians outnumber Serbs and other minorities by nine to one – becomes politically stable and economically viable.Kosovo’s Government and Serbia have been unable to reach any agreement over what should happen, even on smaller, practical issues, Mr. Ahtisaari said, despite his efforts over the past year to broker a compromise. He warned that the continuing uncertainty is threatening democratic development and ethnic reconciliation.“Such uncertainty only leads to further stagnation, polarizing its communities and resulting in social and political unrest,” the envoy wrote. “Pretending otherwise and denying or delaying resolution of Kosovo’s status risks challenging not only its own stability but the peace and stability of the region as a whole.”Calling Kosovo “a unique case that demands a unique solution,” Mr. Ahtisaari said an international civilian and military presence is necessary as part of the settlement, focused on such areas as minority community rights, the rule of law, decentralization and the protection of the Serbian Orthodox Church.Under his Comprehensive Proposal, once the Council endorsed his settlement plan and it entered into force, there would be a 120-day transition period during which the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) – which has run the province since mid-1999 when Western forces drove out Yugoslav troops amid fierce fighting and human rights abuses – would remain in charge.An International Civilian Representative, who would be appointed by an international steering group and act also as the European Union (EU) Special Representative, would have no direct role in Kosovo’s administration but would hold ultimate supervisory power over the implementation of the settlement.The civilian representative would have the power to annul laws or decisions by Kosovo authorities and the right to punish or remove officials whose actions he or she deemed inconsistent with the settlement, and would work until the steering group determined that Kosovo had implemented the terms of the settlement.The Kosovo Assembly, working with the civilian representative, would approve a new constitution and any legislation necessary under the settlement. These would take effect at the end of the transition period, when UNMIK’s powers would expire and be transferred to Kosovo’s authorities.Within nine months of the settlement entering into force, Kosovo would also be required to hold general and local elections.A series of constitutional and legislative provisions would be introduced to ensure that minority rights are protected and other interests upheld. Albanian and Serbian would both be official languages, while other community languages such as Turkish, Bosnian and Roma would have the status of languages in official use. Ethnic minorities would be guaranteed representation within the Kosovo Assembly.The Serbian Orthodox Church would be recognized formally by Kosovo’s authorities and enjoy tax and customs duty privileges. Protective zones would be created around more than 40 key cultural and religious sites.An international military presence would remain, with a mission led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) continuing the current work of the Kosovo Force (KFOR) until such time as Kosovo’s institutions are deemed capable of assuming complete responsibility for security.Local police officers in the Kosovo Police Force would reflect the ethnic composition of the municipality in which they serve, and a new Kosovo Security Force would be established within a year of the end of the transition period. The new force would have a maximum of 2,500 active members and 800 reservists, and the current Kosovo Protection Corps would be disbanded.Mr. Ahtisaari stressed that Belgrade’s demand for Kosovo’s autonomy within Serbia, and nothing beyond that, and Pristina’s insistence that nothing less than independence is acceptable, meant he had no other option than the proposal.“A return of Serbian rule over Kosovo would not be acceptance to the overwhelming majority of the people of Kosovo. Belgrade could not regain its authority without provoking violent opposition. Autonomy of Kosovo within the borders of Serbia – however notional such autonomy may be – is simply not tenable.”Mr. Ban expressed his full support for the report and the settlement plan today, saying in a statement released by his spokesperson that the future status process “has reached a decisive phase.“The Security Council has been presented with a plan which the Secretary-General believes contains all of the right elements for a fair and sustainable solution to Kosovo’s future status,” the statement said. read more

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Viet Nam receives 35 million UN loan for rural development

12 Oct 2019

Praising Viet Nam’s efforts to reduce rural poverty, the head of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today signed a $35 million loan agreement to expand market access and develop businesses for tens of thousands of small farmers in the Mekong Delta.“The Government of Viet Nam has made remarkable progress in reducing poverty even in rural areas,” IFAD President Lennart Båge said on an official visit to Hanoi, citing the need to include rural people in the economic surge.The country’s rural poor must be given the chance to place their products on the national and global supply chain if extreme poverty is to be eradicated in Viet Nam, he added.As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, Viet Nam has cut poverty from 60 per cent to 20 per cent in little over a decade. Extreme poverty still exists however, especially in rural areas where 45 per cent of people still live below the poverty line compared with nine per cent in the cities.“One of the ways to ensure that poor rural people also benefit from this phenomenal growth is by creating the right market conditions for private investors in agriculture and their cooperation with farmer households,” Mr. Båge said.Besides the $35 million loan, IFAD is also providing a $550,000 grant to assist poor households in Ben Tre and Cao Bang provinces in developing market-based agricultural production and business. The project – “Developing Business with the Rural Poor Programme” – will bring IFAD’s total loan commitment in Viet Nam since 1993 to $168.3 million. The programme focuses on improving the local investment environment, developing rural businesses, and expanding market access for poor rural people so that they are better positioned to gain the added value from their produces. About 44,400 households in Ben Tre and 55,200 in Cao Bang are set to benefit from this programme. “The Government of Viet Nam is to be lauded for its recognition of the role of the rural poor as custodians of the natural resource base in its National Socio-Economic Development Plan,” Mr. Båge said.“The key is to now help them by investing in technology and financing to halt land degradation and deforestation whilst at the same time increasing wealth in rural areas where the vast majority of the country’s poor live.” 18 January 2008Praising Viet Nam’s efforts to reduce rural poverty, the head of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today signed a $35 million loan agreement to expand market access and develop businesses for tens of thousands of small farmers in the Mekong Delta. read more

Praising Viet Nam’s efforts to reduce rural poverty, the head of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today signed a $35 million loan agreement to expand market access and develop businesses for tens of thousands of small farmers in the Mekong Delta.“The Government of Viet Nam has made remarkable progress in reducing poverty even in rural areas,” IFAD President Lennart Båge said on an official visit to Hanoi, citing the need to include rural people in the economic surge.The country’s rural poor must be given the chance to place their products on the national and global supply chain if extreme poverty is to be eradicated in Viet Nam, he added.As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, Viet Nam has cut poverty from 60 per cent to 20 per cent in little over a decade. Extreme poverty still exists however, especially in rural areas where 45 per cent of people still live below the poverty line compared with nine per cent in the cities.“One of the ways to ensure that poor rural people also benefit from this phenomenal growth is by creating the right market conditions for private investors in agriculture and their cooperation with farmer households,” Mr. Båge said.Besides the $35 million loan, IFAD is also providing a $550,000 grant to assist poor households in Ben Tre and Cao Bang provinces in developing market-based agricultural production and business. The project – “Developing Business with the Rural Poor Programme” – will bring IFAD’s total loan commitment in Viet Nam since 1993 to $168.3 million. The programme focuses on improving the local investment environment, developing rural businesses, and expanding market access for poor rural people so that they are better positioned to gain the added value from their produces. About 44,400 households in Ben Tre and 55,200 in Cao Bang are set to benefit from this programme. “The Government of Viet Nam is to be lauded for its recognition of the role of the rural poor as custodians of the natural resource base in its National Socio-Economic Development Plan,” Mr. Båge said.“The key is to now help them by investing in technology and financing to halt land degradation and deforestation whilst at the same time increasing wealth in rural areas where the vast majority of the country’s poor live.” 18 January 2008Praising Viet Nam’s efforts to reduce rural poverty, the head of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today signed a $35 million loan agreement to expand market access and develop businesses for tens of thousands of small farmers in the Mekong Delta. read more

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Ban outlines Laos progress challenges in meeting development targets

12 Oct 2019

Laos has made considerable strides towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline, but the nation must continue its efforts to slash child malnutrition and maternal mortality rates to make the country more competitive in the global economy, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said.“There have been steady improvements in health, education, living standards and life spans,” with progress having been made in literacy rates and access to safe drinking water, Mr. Ban said on Saturday in Laos’ capital, Vientiane, at the launch of the latest progress report on Laos’ progress towards the MDGs.“These gains are underpinned by greater macro-economic stability and increasing integration with the global economy,” he added, congratulating the Government on its achievements.But the Secretary-General, who met with President Choummaly Sayasone while in Laos, cautioned that much remains to be done for the country to achieve the eight targets. “Poverty is prevalent, especially in the countryside,” he said. “Inequality – especially between rural and urban areas – is getting worse.”Mr. Ban expressed his particular concern over the high rates of child malnutrition, noting that Laos has the highest maternal mortality rates in the region. Additionally, the country’s education index is the lowest among the countries belonging to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).“This is not only a human tragedy; it will have serious implications for the future of this country’s workforce and its ability to compete” economically at the international level, he said.In order for Laos to achieve its twin goals of meeting the MDGs by 2015 and pulling itself out of the list of least developed countries by 2020, the Secretary-General said that the country must maintain sustainable growth, which will require stepped up investments in human development and the social sector.His remarks were also made to mark the opening of the UN House, a compound in central Vietiane hosting the world body’s agencies, which “will foster greater economies of scale, improve collaboration among UN agencies, and present a unified UN image to the country.”Mr. Ban said that at the UN House, “we will all join forces to benefit the people of this country, especially those who need it most.” He was scheduled to depart from Laos to neighbouring Thailand to co-chair the third ASEAN summit in the resort town of Pattaya with Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. However, mass protests in the area forced the gathering to be postponed.The Secretary-General expressed his regret at the deferment of the gathering, emphasizing that he values “the long-standing relationship between ASEAN and the United Nations and their cooperation in various fields.”He also voiced hope for an early restoration of normalcy in Thailand and for the settlement of differences through dialogue and peaceful means. 13 April 2009Laos has made considerable strides towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline, but the nation must continue its efforts to slash child malnutrition and maternal mortality rates to make the country more competitive in the global economy, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said. read more

Laos has made considerable strides towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline, but the nation must continue its efforts to slash child malnutrition and maternal mortality rates to make the country more competitive in the global economy, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said.“There have been steady improvements in health, education, living standards and life spans,” with progress having been made in literacy rates and access to safe drinking water, Mr. Ban said on Saturday in Laos’ capital, Vientiane, at the launch of the latest progress report on Laos’ progress towards the MDGs.“These gains are underpinned by greater macro-economic stability and increasing integration with the global economy,” he added, congratulating the Government on its achievements.But the Secretary-General, who met with President Choummaly Sayasone while in Laos, cautioned that much remains to be done for the country to achieve the eight targets. “Poverty is prevalent, especially in the countryside,” he said. “Inequality – especially between rural and urban areas – is getting worse.”Mr. Ban expressed his particular concern over the high rates of child malnutrition, noting that Laos has the highest maternal mortality rates in the region. Additionally, the country’s education index is the lowest among the countries belonging to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).“This is not only a human tragedy; it will have serious implications for the future of this country’s workforce and its ability to compete” economically at the international level, he said.In order for Laos to achieve its twin goals of meeting the MDGs by 2015 and pulling itself out of the list of least developed countries by 2020, the Secretary-General said that the country must maintain sustainable growth, which will require stepped up investments in human development and the social sector.His remarks were also made to mark the opening of the UN House, a compound in central Vietiane hosting the world body’s agencies, which “will foster greater economies of scale, improve collaboration among UN agencies, and present a unified UN image to the country.”Mr. Ban said that at the UN House, “we will all join forces to benefit the people of this country, especially those who need it most.” He was scheduled to depart from Laos to neighbouring Thailand to co-chair the third ASEAN summit in the resort town of Pattaya with Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. However, mass protests in the area forced the gathering to be postponed.The Secretary-General expressed his regret at the deferment of the gathering, emphasizing that he values “the long-standing relationship between ASEAN and the United Nations and their cooperation in various fields.”He also voiced hope for an early restoration of normalcy in Thailand and for the settlement of differences through dialogue and peaceful means. 13 April 2009Laos has made considerable strides towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline, but the nation must continue its efforts to slash child malnutrition and maternal mortality rates to make the country more competitive in the global economy, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said. read more

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UN providing technical support following South Asian cyclone

12 Oct 2019

27 May 2009United Nations agencies are providing technical support to assess the damage in southern Bangladesh following Cyclone Aila, which killed at least 100 people in the South Asian nation and also hit parts of neighbouring India earlier this week. According to Bangladeshi authorities, over 5,400 people were also injured and nearly 842,000 were forced into shelters by the cyclone, which made landfall on Monday, and continuing high winds. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that agencies, including the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) were helping the Bangladeshi Government assess the affected districts. Meanwhile, the UN Resident Coordinator’s office in India is monitoring the situation there, while the Government carries out damage assessments. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which have offices in the eastern Indian states of Orissa and West Bengal, “are responding to the impact of the cyclone in their regular programmatic manner,” stated OCHA.UN humanitarian chief John Holmes yesterday voiced his sadness in hearing of the loss of life and property damage caused by Cyclone Aila, and stated the UN’s readiness to assist as required. Neither Government has requested international assistance so far, according to OCHA. read more

27 May 2009United Nations agencies are providing technical support to assess the damage in southern Bangladesh following Cyclone Aila, which killed at least 100 people in the South Asian nation and also hit parts of neighbouring India earlier this week. According to Bangladeshi authorities, over 5,400 people were also injured and nearly 842,000 were forced into shelters by the cyclone, which made landfall on Monday, and continuing high winds. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that agencies, including the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) were helping the Bangladeshi Government assess the affected districts. Meanwhile, the UN Resident Coordinator’s office in India is monitoring the situation there, while the Government carries out damage assessments. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which have offices in the eastern Indian states of Orissa and West Bengal, “are responding to the impact of the cyclone in their regular programmatic manner,” stated OCHA.UN humanitarian chief John Holmes yesterday voiced his sadness in hearing of the loss of life and property damage caused by Cyclone Aila, and stated the UN’s readiness to assist as required. Neither Government has requested international assistance so far, according to OCHA. read more

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UN officials express concern over loss of life in wake of Pacific

11 Oct 2019

1 October 2009United Nations officials today voiced great concern over the mounting death toll following the tsunami that struck a group of islands in the South Pacific on Tuesday, as rescue and emergency relief efforts gather pace. A total of 110 people have been killed in Samoa to date and 146 injured as a result of the tsunami – triggered by a powerful 8.0 magnitude earthquake on the ocean bed – while 19 deaths in American Samoa and seven in the Tongan island of Niuatoputapu have been reported, according to UN Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes. The number of dead is expected to rise as search and rescue operations continue to pull bodies from under the rubble left in the wake of the waves, Mr. Holmes, who also heads the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told reporters in New York. A four-member UN disaster assessment and coordination (UNDAC) team has arrived in Samoa, which has suffered extensive damage to homes, community buildings, resorts, roads, power lines and water supply close to coastal areas.The survivors of the tsunami, which reportedly sent waves as high as six metres crashing down on the islands, are in urgent need of emergency medical care along with water, food, and shelter, said Mr. Holmes.UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said he was “deeply distressed by the losses provoked by this most recent tsunami in the Pacific Ocean,” in a message released by the agency, urging governments to strengthen efforts to protect coastal communities.“National authorities must maintain and constantly improve their communications and warning systems to help protect coastal populations, which are inevitably vulnerable to such phenomena,” said Mr. Matsuura.He said that while the UNESCO-coordinated early warning system clearly raised the alarm 16 minutes after the earthquake struck, there was not time for coastal populations to evacuate.Mr. Matsuura said that the tragic deaths of 29 September underscored the importance for governments to improve emergency response mechanisms and public awareness so that all communities benefit from the advance warning that is available at the regional level.The number and scale of natural disasters to sweep over the region in the last week is almost unprecedented, said the head of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). On top of the tsunami, Typhoon Ketsana has swamped the Philippines and two massive earthquakes have rocked the Indonesian island of Sumatra since 26 September.“The resulting loss of lives, casualties and destruction to property is heartbreaking,” said ESCAP Executive Director Noeleen Heyzer. “The disasters of the past week remind us that Asia Pacific is the world’s disaster hot spot,” said Ms. Heyzer, calling for greater investment in disaster preparedness. “A person living in Asia Pacific is four times more likely to be affected by natural disasters than someone living in Africa and 25 times more likely than someone living in Europe or North America.”The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) also announced that they will dispatch emergency relief staff in the area to help with recovery efforts.UNICEF Pacific Representative Isiye Ndombi expressed shock over the scale of destruction of the tsunami and the resulting grief to the people of Samoa and Tonga.“Our hearts and minds are with the children and families of Samoa and Tonga right now,” said Dr. Ndombi. “This is a tragedy of unbelievable proportions.” “From past experiences we know that it is especially important that we work to immediately immunize children against measles, ensure the protection of women and children who are especially vulnerable now, and establish good sanitation facilities to prevent outbreak of diseases,” he added. read more

1 October 2009United Nations officials today voiced great concern over the mounting death toll following the tsunami that struck a group of islands in the South Pacific on Tuesday, as rescue and emergency relief efforts gather pace. A total of 110 people have been killed in Samoa to date and 146 injured as a result of the tsunami – triggered by a powerful 8.0 magnitude earthquake on the ocean bed – while 19 deaths in American Samoa and seven in the Tongan island of Niuatoputapu have been reported, according to UN Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes. The number of dead is expected to rise as search and rescue operations continue to pull bodies from under the rubble left in the wake of the waves, Mr. Holmes, who also heads the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told reporters in New York. A four-member UN disaster assessment and coordination (UNDAC) team has arrived in Samoa, which has suffered extensive damage to homes, community buildings, resorts, roads, power lines and water supply close to coastal areas.The survivors of the tsunami, which reportedly sent waves as high as six metres crashing down on the islands, are in urgent need of emergency medical care along with water, food, and shelter, said Mr. Holmes.UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said he was “deeply distressed by the losses provoked by this most recent tsunami in the Pacific Ocean,” in a message released by the agency, urging governments to strengthen efforts to protect coastal communities.“National authorities must maintain and constantly improve their communications and warning systems to help protect coastal populations, which are inevitably vulnerable to such phenomena,” said Mr. Matsuura.He said that while the UNESCO-coordinated early warning system clearly raised the alarm 16 minutes after the earthquake struck, there was not time for coastal populations to evacuate.Mr. Matsuura said that the tragic deaths of 29 September underscored the importance for governments to improve emergency response mechanisms and public awareness so that all communities benefit from the advance warning that is available at the regional level.The number and scale of natural disasters to sweep over the region in the last week is almost unprecedented, said the head of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). On top of the tsunami, Typhoon Ketsana has swamped the Philippines and two massive earthquakes have rocked the Indonesian island of Sumatra since 26 September.“The resulting loss of lives, casualties and destruction to property is heartbreaking,” said ESCAP Executive Director Noeleen Heyzer. “The disasters of the past week remind us that Asia Pacific is the world’s disaster hot spot,” said Ms. Heyzer, calling for greater investment in disaster preparedness. “A person living in Asia Pacific is four times more likely to be affected by natural disasters than someone living in Africa and 25 times more likely than someone living in Europe or North America.”The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) also announced that they will dispatch emergency relief staff in the area to help with recovery efforts.UNICEF Pacific Representative Isiye Ndombi expressed shock over the scale of destruction of the tsunami and the resulting grief to the people of Samoa and Tonga.“Our hearts and minds are with the children and families of Samoa and Tonga right now,” said Dr. Ndombi. “This is a tragedy of unbelievable proportions.” “From past experiences we know that it is especially important that we work to immediately immunize children against measles, ensure the protection of women and children who are especially vulnerable now, and establish good sanitation facilities to prevent outbreak of diseases,” he added. read more

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One month after the quake UN officials in Haiti find picture becoming

11 Oct 2019

12 February 2010One month after Haiti was torn apart by an earthquake, the scale of the disaster is still becoming apparent, the United Nations aid chief said today as he stressed that finding adequate shelter and sanitation remain the greatest challenges of the relief effort. “The scale and impact of this disaster are still becoming clearer and clearer, and therefore the scale and the nature of the challenges we face – not only on the relief side, but also the course for the recovery and development later on,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes told reporters via teleconference from Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, where a National Day of Mourning was being observed. Speaking alongside Rebeca Grynspan, the Associate Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Mr. Holmes praised the coordinated relief efforts of the many UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other international actors operating in Haiti. “The coordination structures we have in place in terms of the coordination amongst the international actors, the cluster system, is working well and is working outside of Port-au-Prince as well as in,” he said. “The civil-military coordination continues to go very well and I was happy to see that on the ground for myself with the Americans and with the Canadians this morning. Increasingly, we are moving to a position where we can see ahead a bit more and think more strategically about the next two or three months at what are the plans we need to put in place in terms of food, shelter, sanitation, to make sure we are tackling all the problems we need to tackle.” Shelter remains a key priority. So far around 49,000 tarpaulins have been distributed along with 23,000 family-sized tents to the hundreds of thousands of displaced people, but the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that 400,000 plastic sheets are in stock and in the pipeline. Mr. Holmes, who is also the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, said distribution of the emergency shelter material is going on “at a reasonable 30 to 35 per cent, but clearly we have a long way to go.” Sanitation also remains a concern as only 5 per cent of the required latrines are in place. The need is calculated on the basis of one latrine per 50 people. Some 3,000 latrines will be installed in Port-au-Prince in the coming weeks. OCHA said the goal is to have 50 percent of latrines completed by the end February. Mr. Holmes and Ms. Grynspan praised UNDP’s cash-for-work programme, which has now employed more than 35,000 Haitians to remove debris for around $4 for a half-day’s work. In future months, heavy machinery will be brought in to clear the larger rubble and to clear land for temporary camps for the displaced. Tackling problems will require resources. An emergency appeal launched by the international aid community three days after the earthquake struck is now around 95 per cent funded, having received nearly $548 million for both short- and long-term projects. A revised appeal is expected next week based on a detailed assessment of the damage on the ground. Mr. Holmes and Ms. Grynspan said the revised number is expected to be significantly higher as it will encompass the needs in Haiti over the course of 12 months. A donors’ conference is scheduled in New York for March. read more

12 February 2010One month after Haiti was torn apart by an earthquake, the scale of the disaster is still becoming apparent, the United Nations aid chief said today as he stressed that finding adequate shelter and sanitation remain the greatest challenges of the relief effort. “The scale and impact of this disaster are still becoming clearer and clearer, and therefore the scale and the nature of the challenges we face – not only on the relief side, but also the course for the recovery and development later on,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes told reporters via teleconference from Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, where a National Day of Mourning was being observed. Speaking alongside Rebeca Grynspan, the Associate Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Mr. Holmes praised the coordinated relief efforts of the many UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other international actors operating in Haiti. “The coordination structures we have in place in terms of the coordination amongst the international actors, the cluster system, is working well and is working outside of Port-au-Prince as well as in,” he said. “The civil-military coordination continues to go very well and I was happy to see that on the ground for myself with the Americans and with the Canadians this morning. Increasingly, we are moving to a position where we can see ahead a bit more and think more strategically about the next two or three months at what are the plans we need to put in place in terms of food, shelter, sanitation, to make sure we are tackling all the problems we need to tackle.” Shelter remains a key priority. So far around 49,000 tarpaulins have been distributed along with 23,000 family-sized tents to the hundreds of thousands of displaced people, but the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that 400,000 plastic sheets are in stock and in the pipeline. Mr. Holmes, who is also the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, said distribution of the emergency shelter material is going on “at a reasonable 30 to 35 per cent, but clearly we have a long way to go.” Sanitation also remains a concern as only 5 per cent of the required latrines are in place. The need is calculated on the basis of one latrine per 50 people. Some 3,000 latrines will be installed in Port-au-Prince in the coming weeks. OCHA said the goal is to have 50 percent of latrines completed by the end February. Mr. Holmes and Ms. Grynspan praised UNDP’s cash-for-work programme, which has now employed more than 35,000 Haitians to remove debris for around $4 for a half-day’s work. In future months, heavy machinery will be brought in to clear the larger rubble and to clear land for temporary camps for the displaced. Tackling problems will require resources. An emergency appeal launched by the international aid community three days after the earthquake struck is now around 95 per cent funded, having received nearly $548 million for both short- and long-term projects. A revised appeal is expected next week based on a detailed assessment of the damage on the ground. Mr. Holmes and Ms. Grynspan said the revised number is expected to be significantly higher as it will encompass the needs in Haiti over the course of 12 months. A donors’ conference is scheduled in New York for March. read more

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Sustainable development key to Africas socioeconomic challenges – Migiro

11 Oct 2019

21 November 2011Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro today stressed that sustainable development is key to addressing Africa’s economic, social and environmental challenges, noting that the continent has the capacity to transition to a green economy without the adverse effects that have accompanied growth in other regions. “For the most part, Africa has avoided many destructive aspects of unsustainable development,” Ms. Migiro said at the meeting of the regional coordination mechanism of United Nations agencies and other organizations working in the continent in support of the African Union (AU).“And let us not lose sight of Africa’s own wealth and advantages. Countries here can leapfrog straight to green technology. Many are in a strong position to move quickly,” Ms. Migiro told the meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where both the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the AU are based.She said that the UN and AU are strengthening cooperation as the world body strives to deliver services as a one unified entity.Africa is also showing impressive economic growth, she said, pointing out that the continent is home to six of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies. Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the few regions in the world showing resilience in the face of the global economic crisis, she added.“But we know that Africa, as a whole, is still faced with daunting yet not unsurpassable challenges. From water and sanitation, child and maternal health to job creation, and from the food crisis and famine – as currently seen in the Horn of Africa – to stemming armed conflicts where they persist. In addition, climate change and natural disasters threaten to reverse hard-won development gains,” she said.The integrated approach embodied in sustainable development is Africa’s most promising way forward, Ms. Migiro said, urging the continent to actively engage in preparations for next year’s UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil.“The Conference is a major opportunity to produce plans for greater economic dynamism, social protection, and the creation of jobs, especially for youth – all while protecting our natural resources.“With concrete plans and political will, we can make the most of Rio+20 and get the best possible outcome. The benefits will spread across the African continent,” she added. read more

21 November 2011Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro today stressed that sustainable development is key to addressing Africa’s economic, social and environmental challenges, noting that the continent has the capacity to transition to a green economy without the adverse effects that have accompanied growth in other regions. “For the most part, Africa has avoided many destructive aspects of unsustainable development,” Ms. Migiro said at the meeting of the regional coordination mechanism of United Nations agencies and other organizations working in the continent in support of the African Union (AU).“And let us not lose sight of Africa’s own wealth and advantages. Countries here can leapfrog straight to green technology. Many are in a strong position to move quickly,” Ms. Migiro told the meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where both the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the AU are based.She said that the UN and AU are strengthening cooperation as the world body strives to deliver services as a one unified entity.Africa is also showing impressive economic growth, she said, pointing out that the continent is home to six of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies. Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the few regions in the world showing resilience in the face of the global economic crisis, she added.“But we know that Africa, as a whole, is still faced with daunting yet not unsurpassable challenges. From water and sanitation, child and maternal health to job creation, and from the food crisis and famine – as currently seen in the Horn of Africa – to stemming armed conflicts where they persist. In addition, climate change and natural disasters threaten to reverse hard-won development gains,” she said.The integrated approach embodied in sustainable development is Africa’s most promising way forward, Ms. Migiro said, urging the continent to actively engage in preparations for next year’s UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil.“The Conference is a major opportunity to produce plans for greater economic dynamism, social protection, and the creation of jobs, especially for youth – all while protecting our natural resources.“With concrete plans and political will, we can make the most of Rio+20 and get the best possible outcome. The benefits will spread across the African continent,” she added. read more

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As quakes wreak havoc for second year UN urges seismic threats be

11 Oct 2019

The new statistics published by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) show that 20,943 people lost their lives in earthquakes last year out of a total of 29,782 people directly killed by 302 disasters.The earthquake fatalities included 19,846 who died in Japan in March while the remainder were largely accounted for by the October earthquake in Turkey, according to a news release issued by the Geneva-based UNISDR.UNISDR chief Margareta Wahlström said that the many major cities located in seismic zones need to take seriously the probability of return events even if many years have passed since the last seismic event of major magnitude.“In 2010 we saw this phenomenon as well when over 220,000 people died in Haiti, which had not been hit by an earthquake of such strength for almost 200 years,” she noted.“Unless we prepare for the worst then many earthquake-prone urban areas around the world are destined to see even greater loss of life in the future as more and more people move to cities.”In 2011 major disasters in terms of human impact and economic losses occurred in high and middle-income countries, according to the new figures. These included the Brazil floods (January), the Japan earthquake/tsunami (March), Hurricane Irene in the United States (August/September), floods in Thailand (August to December), the earthquake in Turkey (October), and the storm Sendong (Washi) in the Philippines (December).Brazil’s floods were the deadliest in the country’s history, claiming 900 lives, while those in Thailand constituted the country’s most expensive natural catastrophe, costing $40 billion.“It was notable last year that many of the disasters were in high- and middle-income countries which have the resources for better disaster prevention,” noted Professor Debby Guha-Sapir, Director of CRED at the University of Louvain, Belgium.CRED estimates the economic losses from disasters in 2011 at $366 billion compared to $243 billion in the last record year of 2005.Other major causes of disaster deaths last year were floods, which claimed over 5,000 lives, and storms, which claimed over 3,000. Extreme temperatures claimed 231 lives compared to the annual 10-year average of 14,731 between 2001 and 2010.Overall, 206 million people were affected by a total of 302 recorded disaster events last year, the new figures show. Some 106 million people were hit by floods while 60 million were affected by drought, mainly in China and in the Horn of Africa, and storms impacted on 34 million people.More than 45 per cent of the disasters that occurred in 2011 took place in Asia. Over 85 per cent of those killed and those affected globally and 75 per cent of economic damages were also in Asia.Meanwhile, Europe experienced very few disasters and impacts in 2011 with the lowest numbers killed, numbers affected and economic damages since 1990. 18 January 2012The United Nations is urging that seismic threats be taken seriously as it published new data today showing that major earthquakes claimed thousands of lives and affected millions of people in both 2010 and 2011. read more

The new statistics published by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) show that 20,943 people lost their lives in earthquakes last year out of a total of 29,782 people directly killed by 302 disasters.The earthquake fatalities included 19,846 who died in Japan in March while the remainder were largely accounted for by the October earthquake in Turkey, according to a news release issued by the Geneva-based UNISDR.UNISDR chief Margareta Wahlström said that the many major cities located in seismic zones need to take seriously the probability of return events even if many years have passed since the last seismic event of major magnitude.“In 2010 we saw this phenomenon as well when over 220,000 people died in Haiti, which had not been hit by an earthquake of such strength for almost 200 years,” she noted.“Unless we prepare for the worst then many earthquake-prone urban areas around the world are destined to see even greater loss of life in the future as more and more people move to cities.”In 2011 major disasters in terms of human impact and economic losses occurred in high and middle-income countries, according to the new figures. These included the Brazil floods (January), the Japan earthquake/tsunami (March), Hurricane Irene in the United States (August/September), floods in Thailand (August to December), the earthquake in Turkey (October), and the storm Sendong (Washi) in the Philippines (December).Brazil’s floods were the deadliest in the country’s history, claiming 900 lives, while those in Thailand constituted the country’s most expensive natural catastrophe, costing $40 billion.“It was notable last year that many of the disasters were in high- and middle-income countries which have the resources for better disaster prevention,” noted Professor Debby Guha-Sapir, Director of CRED at the University of Louvain, Belgium.CRED estimates the economic losses from disasters in 2011 at $366 billion compared to $243 billion in the last record year of 2005.Other major causes of disaster deaths last year were floods, which claimed over 5,000 lives, and storms, which claimed over 3,000. Extreme temperatures claimed 231 lives compared to the annual 10-year average of 14,731 between 2001 and 2010.Overall, 206 million people were affected by a total of 302 recorded disaster events last year, the new figures show. Some 106 million people were hit by floods while 60 million were affected by drought, mainly in China and in the Horn of Africa, and storms impacted on 34 million people.More than 45 per cent of the disasters that occurred in 2011 took place in Asia. Over 85 per cent of those killed and those affected globally and 75 per cent of economic damages were also in Asia.Meanwhile, Europe experienced very few disasters and impacts in 2011 with the lowest numbers killed, numbers affected and economic damages since 1990. 18 January 2012The United Nations is urging that seismic threats be taken seriously as it published new data today showing that major earthquakes claimed thousands of lives and affected millions of people in both 2010 and 2011. read more

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Closing Bell TSX slightly lower amid Greek political turmoil worries of economic

08 Oct 2019

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed slightly lower Wednesday with buying sentiment held well in check by political turmoil in Greece and worries about slowing economic conditions.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 11675.01 -0.25% -29.73S&P 500 — 1354.58 -0.67% -9.14Dow — 12835.06 -0.75% -97.03Nasdaq — 2934.71 -0.39% -11.56The resource-intensive S&P/TSX composite index, closed off the lowest levels of the day, shaking off early triple-digit losses to close down 29.73 points at 11,675.01. The showing extended losses to six straight days, which left the TSX more than two% below where it started 2012. The TSX Venture Exchange gained 7.32 points to 1,345.69.The Canadian dollar closed below parity with the U.S. currency for the first time since Mar. 6 as traders continued to avoid riskier assets such as oil and metals and resource-based currencies like the loonie. But the currency closed above the worst levels of the session, down 0.26 of a cent to 99.91 US cents.New York’s Dow Jones industrial average fell 97.03 points to 12,835.06.The Nasdaq composite index dropped 11.56 points to 2,934.71 and the S&P 500 index lost 9.14 points to 1,354.58.Greece has weighed on markets since inconclusive elections Sunday failed to produce a party that could form a government.After the conservative New Democracy failed to muster enough support to form a government, the mandate has passed onto Syriza, a left-wing party that came a surprise second in the election.Its leader, Alexis Tsipras, said Tuesday that Greece was no longer bound by its promises to cut spending sharply. But failure to keep those promises could see international lenders cut off rescue funding, which would likely lead Greece to default and exit the euro common currency. It would also send shock waves through the eurozone banking system.“And the reality is the whole European banking system has all this Greek debt on their books. It’s unbelievable the amount of debt that is out there,” said Jim Muir, director at Fraser Mackenzie.Tsipras is not expected to be able to form a government and most observers think a second election will be called for June. But analysts warn that Greece could run out of money as soon as next month without a government to negotiate the next level of its bailout.Signs of a slowing global economy have also weighed on markets in the wake of weak manufacturing data from Europe and China and a much weaker than expected U.S. employment report last Friday.The financials sector was the biggest drag, down 0.83% as Royal Bank lost 72 cents to $53.37 and TD Bank gave back 81 cents to $79.61.Railway stocks also lost more ground, with Canadian National Railways down $1.38 to $80.82.Canadian Pacific Railway was off 44 cents at $73.25 as an attempt by New York investment firm Pershing Square Capital Management to have its nominees join CP’s board of directors and replace chief executive Fred Green gained more momentum. Pershing Square said proxy advisory firm Glass, Lewis & Co. and credit rating agency Egan-Jones Ratings Co. are now backing its plan to revamp CP’s board.The base metals component lost 0.48% as metal prices also fell, with the July copper contract in New York down two cents at US$3.66 a pound. Copper, viewed as an economic bellwether because it is used in so many industries, has fallen more than 5% this month. First Quantum Minerals gained 20 cents to $18.19 while HudBay Minerals fell 47 cents to $9.27.The energy sector was off 0.22% as the June crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange declined 20 cents to US$96.81. Suncor Energy fell 70 cents to $29.07 while Cenovus Energy moved up 39 cents to $32.55.The gold sector was the major advancer, up about 1.75% despite a retreat in bullion prices with the June contract down $10.30 to a 2012 low of US$1,594.20 an ounce. Barrick Gold Corp. gained 94 cents to $37.65 while Goldcorp Inc. climbed $1.20 to $35.60.Kinross Gold Corp. dipped eight cents to $7.67 even as it reported a first-quarter profit of US$105.7-million, down from US$250.1-million a year ago, as production slipped. Sales totalled US$1.04-billion, up from US$937-million.On the earnings front, Tim Hortons Inc. said quarterly net income was up 10% from a year ago to $88.8-million or 56 cents a share. Total revenues were up by 12.1% to $721.3-million, but its shares shed $1.25 to $55.83.In the media sector, Quebecor Inc. said its first-quarter net income rose to $72.9-million, or $1.15 per share, from $34.3-million, or 53 cents per share, a year ago. Its stock was unchanged at $37.And Torstar Corp. shares were off 15 cents at $9.95 as it reported net income of $29.3-million, or 37 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2012. That is up from $15.5-million, or 20 cents, in the first quarter of 2011.Here’s the news investors were watching today:RBC chief Nixon weighs in on housing bubble furorWhy Germany has zero desire to fix anything in EuropeTelus ditches share conversion plan after concerns over empty votingSpain to partly nationalize Bankia, tighten provisions on real estate loansTim Hortons shares drop as earnings short of forecastsON DECK THURSDAYECONOMIC NEWSCANADA8:30 a.m.Merchandise trade balance (March): Economists expect $500-million, up from last month New housing price index (March): Economists expect o.2% gain on month, 2.4% year over year UNITED STATES8:30 a.m.Weekly jobless claims: Economists expect 367,000 claims, up from last week Goods & Services trade balance (March): Economists expect a deficit of $50-billion Trade price indices: Economists expect a 0.2% decline from the month before and 0.8% gain year over year 2 p.m.Treasury budget (April) CORPORATE NEWSCANADABombardier Inc Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 10¢ a share Canadian Tire Corp Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 77¢ Magna International Inc Q1 earnings: Analysts expect US$1.24 Sun Life Financial Inc Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 72¢ Yellow Media Inc Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 14¢ Brookfield Asset Management Q1 earnings Crescent Point Energy Corp Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 18¢ Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 73¢ Stantec Inc Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 56¢ UNITED STATESCA Inc Q4 earnings: Analysts expect 52¢ Kohl’s Corp Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 61¢ Express Scripts Inc Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 77¢ read more

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed slightly lower Wednesday with buying sentiment held well in check by political turmoil in Greece and worries about slowing economic conditions.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 11675.01 -0.25% -29.73S&P 500 — 1354.58 -0.67% -9.14Dow — 12835.06 -0.75% -97.03Nasdaq — 2934.71 -0.39% -11.56The resource-intensive S&P/TSX composite index, closed off the lowest levels of the day, shaking off early triple-digit losses to close down 29.73 points at 11,675.01. The showing extended losses to six straight days, which left the TSX more than two% below where it started 2012. The TSX Venture Exchange gained 7.32 points to 1,345.69.The Canadian dollar closed below parity with the U.S. currency for the first time since Mar. 6 as traders continued to avoid riskier assets such as oil and metals and resource-based currencies like the loonie. But the currency closed above the worst levels of the session, down 0.26 of a cent to 99.91 US cents.New York’s Dow Jones industrial average fell 97.03 points to 12,835.06.The Nasdaq composite index dropped 11.56 points to 2,934.71 and the S&P 500 index lost 9.14 points to 1,354.58.Greece has weighed on markets since inconclusive elections Sunday failed to produce a party that could form a government.After the conservative New Democracy failed to muster enough support to form a government, the mandate has passed onto Syriza, a left-wing party that came a surprise second in the election.Its leader, Alexis Tsipras, said Tuesday that Greece was no longer bound by its promises to cut spending sharply. But failure to keep those promises could see international lenders cut off rescue funding, which would likely lead Greece to default and exit the euro common currency. It would also send shock waves through the eurozone banking system.“And the reality is the whole European banking system has all this Greek debt on their books. It’s unbelievable the amount of debt that is out there,” said Jim Muir, director at Fraser Mackenzie.Tsipras is not expected to be able to form a government and most observers think a second election will be called for June. But analysts warn that Greece could run out of money as soon as next month without a government to negotiate the next level of its bailout.Signs of a slowing global economy have also weighed on markets in the wake of weak manufacturing data from Europe and China and a much weaker than expected U.S. employment report last Friday.The financials sector was the biggest drag, down 0.83% as Royal Bank lost 72 cents to $53.37 and TD Bank gave back 81 cents to $79.61.Railway stocks also lost more ground, with Canadian National Railways down $1.38 to $80.82.Canadian Pacific Railway was off 44 cents at $73.25 as an attempt by New York investment firm Pershing Square Capital Management to have its nominees join CP’s board of directors and replace chief executive Fred Green gained more momentum. Pershing Square said proxy advisory firm Glass, Lewis & Co. and credit rating agency Egan-Jones Ratings Co. are now backing its plan to revamp CP’s board.The base metals component lost 0.48% as metal prices also fell, with the July copper contract in New York down two cents at US$3.66 a pound. Copper, viewed as an economic bellwether because it is used in so many industries, has fallen more than 5% this month. First Quantum Minerals gained 20 cents to $18.19 while HudBay Minerals fell 47 cents to $9.27.The energy sector was off 0.22% as the June crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange declined 20 cents to US$96.81. Suncor Energy fell 70 cents to $29.07 while Cenovus Energy moved up 39 cents to $32.55.The gold sector was the major advancer, up about 1.75% despite a retreat in bullion prices with the June contract down $10.30 to a 2012 low of US$1,594.20 an ounce. Barrick Gold Corp. gained 94 cents to $37.65 while Goldcorp Inc. climbed $1.20 to $35.60.Kinross Gold Corp. dipped eight cents to $7.67 even as it reported a first-quarter profit of US$105.7-million, down from US$250.1-million a year ago, as production slipped. Sales totalled US$1.04-billion, up from US$937-million.On the earnings front, Tim Hortons Inc. said quarterly net income was up 10% from a year ago to $88.8-million or 56 cents a share. Total revenues were up by 12.1% to $721.3-million, but its shares shed $1.25 to $55.83.In the media sector, Quebecor Inc. said its first-quarter net income rose to $72.9-million, or $1.15 per share, from $34.3-million, or 53 cents per share, a year ago. Its stock was unchanged at $37.And Torstar Corp. shares were off 15 cents at $9.95 as it reported net income of $29.3-million, or 37 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2012. That is up from $15.5-million, or 20 cents, in the first quarter of 2011.Here’s the news investors were watching today:RBC chief Nixon weighs in on housing bubble furorWhy Germany has zero desire to fix anything in EuropeTelus ditches share conversion plan after concerns over empty votingSpain to partly nationalize Bankia, tighten provisions on real estate loansTim Hortons shares drop as earnings short of forecastsON DECK THURSDAYECONOMIC NEWSCANADA8:30 a.m.Merchandise trade balance (March): Economists expect $500-million, up from last month New housing price index (March): Economists expect o.2% gain on month, 2.4% year over year UNITED STATES8:30 a.m.Weekly jobless claims: Economists expect 367,000 claims, up from last week Goods & Services trade balance (March): Economists expect a deficit of $50-billion Trade price indices: Economists expect a 0.2% decline from the month before and 0.8% gain year over year 2 p.m.Treasury budget (April) CORPORATE NEWSCANADABombardier Inc Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 10¢ a share Canadian Tire Corp Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 77¢ Magna International Inc Q1 earnings: Analysts expect US$1.24 Sun Life Financial Inc Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 72¢ Yellow Media Inc Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 14¢ Brookfield Asset Management Q1 earnings Crescent Point Energy Corp Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 18¢ Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 73¢ Stantec Inc Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 56¢ UNITED STATESCA Inc Q4 earnings: Analysts expect 52¢ Kohl’s Corp Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 61¢ Express Scripts Inc Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 77¢ read more

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Canadas housing market stronger than forecast

08 Oct 2019

TORONTO — The Canadian Real Estate Association said Friday that the national home price and sales activity this year will be higher than previously forecast, following a strong spring.It now forecasts 475,800 homes will be sold in 2012, up 3.8% from 2011, compared with earlier expectations of a gain of 0.3%.The average home price is forecast to rise by 2.2% to $370,700 in 2012 compared with an earlier expectation that it would fall 1.1%.“National activity over spring months was stronger than anticipated,” CREA president Wayne Moen said in a statement.“This shows clearly how the continuation of low interest rates is keeping homeownership affordable and within reach.”[np-related]CREA had previously forecast 2012 and 2013 sales volume would be on par with the 10-year average, but it now expects them to be slightly above that.CREA expects 470,200 sales in 2013, down 1.1% from this year, compared with the earlier forecast of 457,200.The increased outlook for the year came as CREA reported homes sales last month fell 3.1% compared with April, but remained up from a year ago.The group said sales volume rose 9% from May 2011, while the Canadian average price slipped marginally to $375,605, down 0.3%.Continued overall strength in the housing market, largely due to the staying power of low interest rates, has led some economists to warn the market is overvalued.That could make homeowners vulnerable to a downturn, especially those who have used low interest rates to borrow more than they could otherwise afford.The Bank of Canada and federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty have cautioned Canadians repeatedly to moderate borrowing on real estate, declaring household debt to be the domestic economy’s number one enemy.The bank noted certain segments of the housing market that have a persistent oversupply — such as condos in Toronto — face a higher risk of a price correction.A report released this week by TD Bank projected Vancouver and Toronto home prices will probably experience a downturn of about 15% in two to three years, but not the dramatic drop that hit the United States a few years ago. read more

TORONTO — The Canadian Real Estate Association said Friday that the national home price and sales activity this year will be higher than previously forecast, following a strong spring.It now forecasts 475,800 homes will be sold in 2012, up 3.8% from 2011, compared with earlier expectations of a gain of 0.3%.The average home price is forecast to rise by 2.2% to $370,700 in 2012 compared with an earlier expectation that it would fall 1.1%.“National activity over spring months was stronger than anticipated,” CREA president Wayne Moen said in a statement.“This shows clearly how the continuation of low interest rates is keeping homeownership affordable and within reach.”[np-related]CREA had previously forecast 2012 and 2013 sales volume would be on par with the 10-year average, but it now expects them to be slightly above that.CREA expects 470,200 sales in 2013, down 1.1% from this year, compared with the earlier forecast of 457,200.The increased outlook for the year came as CREA reported homes sales last month fell 3.1% compared with April, but remained up from a year ago.The group said sales volume rose 9% from May 2011, while the Canadian average price slipped marginally to $375,605, down 0.3%.Continued overall strength in the housing market, largely due to the staying power of low interest rates, has led some economists to warn the market is overvalued.That could make homeowners vulnerable to a downturn, especially those who have used low interest rates to borrow more than they could otherwise afford.The Bank of Canada and federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty have cautioned Canadians repeatedly to moderate borrowing on real estate, declaring household debt to be the domestic economy’s number one enemy.The bank noted certain segments of the housing market that have a persistent oversupply — such as condos in Toronto — face a higher risk of a price correction.A report released this week by TD Bank projected Vancouver and Toronto home prices will probably experience a downturn of about 15% in two to three years, but not the dramatic drop that hit the United States a few years ago. read more

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