Dynasty politics 8 grandchildren great grandsons and sons of exCMs to test

first_imgChandigarh: A platform for dynastic politics for decades, Haryana is seeing many political families in fray this time too as grandchildren of four former chief ministers, two great grandsons and sons of political bigwigs are trying their luck.Political families including Chautalas, Bishnois and Hoodas are in fray every election in Haryana, a Jat-dominated state. However, the grandchildren of the four former chief ministers including Bhajan Lal, Chaudhary Devi Lal, Om Prakash Chautala and Bansi Lal, say they are not contesting the elections riding on the popularity of their families but on basis of the work done in their constituencies. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghWhile the Congress has fielded Bansi Lal’s granddaughter Shruti Chaudhary from Bhiwani-Mahendargarh constituency, Bhavya Bishnoi, grandson of Bhajan Lal and son of Kuldip Bishnoi is the party’s candidate from Hisar. Chaudhary, a former MP from the Bhiwani-Mahendargarh constituency, told PTI, Coming from a politically influential family does come with its benefits as the family has a goodwill but voters today cannot be taken for ride. They are not interested in our dynasties but the work done . Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadShruti’s mother, Kiran Chaudhary, is an MLA from Bhiwan’s Tosahm constituency. Three Chautala great grandsons are in fray albeit not from the same party after the Chautala clan split last year following a bitter family feud. With Om Prakash Chautala being in jail in connection with the teacher recruitment scam, his son Ajay Chautala had broken away from the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and formed Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) which has formed an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the state. While the alliance has fielded Dushyant Chautala and Digvijay Chautala from Hisar and Sonepat respectively, Arjun Chautala, son of Abhay Chautala, is the INLD candidate from Kurukshetra constituency. Hisar, the industrial hub of Haryana and a politically crucial constituency, i seeing a triangular contest among grandsons. Digvijay Chautala and Bhavya Bishnoi are pitted against Brijendra Singh, the great grandson of prominent farmer leader Chotu Ram and son of Union Minister Birender Singh. I am not entering politics because I had nowhere to go. I have carved my own path in civil services, fairly succeeded at that and I am entering mainstream politics when I am confident I can bring substance to the table, Singh told PTI. And the dynasty politics theory does not apply to me as my party (BJP) is against it and hence my father has already submitted his resignation both from the Ministry and Rajya Sabha, he added. Rao Inderjit Singh, a Union Minister and son of former Haryana Chief Minister Rao Birender Singh, is in fray from Gurgaon. Singh, the sitting MP from Gurgaon, had ended his family’s decades old association with the Congress ahead of the 2014 elections and joined the BJP. Kuldeep Sharma, a former Haryana Speaker, the Congress candidate from Karnal is also in the fray to retain his family legacy. The Karnal seat was won by his late father Chiranji Lal four times in a row, thrice defeating BJP bigwig Sushma Swaraj. Also in the fray are Hooda father-son duo with Bhupender Singh Hooda, a former Haryana Chief Minister, contesting from Sonepat constituency and his son Deepender Singh Hooda contesting from Rohtak. The Hooda son, who is a sitting MP from Rohtak constituency, was the lone Congress candidate to win in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. However, the Hoodas do not see a problem with dynasty politics. He told PTI, “if people have been voting for us for several terms means they have faith in us and find us credible. What is the problem with that?” PTIlast_img read more

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Nicholas Hoult discusses his future in XMen films

first_imgLondon: Nicholas Hoult says he would love to reprise his role in the X-Men series if there are plans to bring the mutant back in other films in the Marvel franchise. Filmmaker Simon Kinberg, who has directed the upcoming Dark Phoenix, recently said the Sophie Turner-led film marks the “culmination” of all the movies made under the X-Men franchise. Hoult, who plays Beast/ Hank McCoy in the films, said while he is uncertain about how the series will branch ahead of Fox Studios’ merger with Disney, he would like to be a part of these films. “That’s the thing, it’s a character that I love. That character’s grown as I’ve grown, and I feel like when I grow and get older and discover new things in life I can put more into the character. The actor said he did not expect to play Beast for as long as he has.last_img read more

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Passenger vehicle retail sales slide 2 in April

first_imgNew Delhi: Automobile dealers’ body FADA Wednesday said retail sales of passenger vehicles (PV) in March declined by 2 per cent to 2,42,457 units as compared to the same period last year. PV sales stood at 2,47,278 units in April 2018, according to Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA).Two-wheeler sales declined by 9 per cent to 12,85,470 units last month compared with 14,09,662 units in the year-ago period. Commercial vehicle sales declined by 16 per cent to 63,360 units against 75,622 units in April last year. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraThree-wheeler sales saw a dip of 13 per cent to 47,183 units last month. Total sales, across categories, declined by 8 per cent to 16,38,470 units in April, against 17,86,994 units in the same month last year. “On a year-on-year basis, there was de-growth in all the categories as April 2018 had a very high base,” FADA President Ashish Harsharaj Kale said in a statement. The near-term outlook continues to be negative to neutral with the absence of any immediate positive triggers which could affect retail sales, he added. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysKale said that despite negative situation, which is expected to continue over the next 8-12 weeks, the industry still believes that things could become better if there is a stable government in place. Besides, an average to above average monsoon with an even spread and continued easing of liquidity by Reserve Bank of India can also help the sector, he added. Kale said that inventory levels continue to remain high and requires further correction than done in recent months. “We believe that high inventory at this time is an extra burden on the auto dealers especially when the current environment is witnessing negative sales growth combined with extremely tight working capital availability,” he added. FADA will be strongly advocating for a leaner inventory of 21 days for its members thus helping them reduce a huge cost burden to stay afloat in these challenging times, Kale said. He added that consumer liquidity in April has seen marginal improvement but continues to be tight and still far away from the normal levels. “FADA is extremely concerned at the dealer liquidity which continues to remain very very tight and access to working capital for dealers has reduced further with the banking system taking a negative view towards auto retail in the current circumstances,” Kale said. There have been an unusually high number of dealership closures in recent times, especially in metro and tier 1 cities.last_img read more

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itels next budget smartphone set to take on Redmi 6A

first_imgNew Delhi: China-based Transsion Holdings’ itel Mobile is set to launch a new feature-packed smartphone in India on May 16 that would take Redmi 6A head on. Industry sources told IANS on Monday that the power-packed itel device is likely to be launched below Rs 5,000. On the other hand, the 2GB and 16GB Redmi 6A is currently priced at Rs 5,999. The device may house features like AI dual camera, capable of performing tasks beyond just capturing good pictures, 2GB RAM for multitasking, latest Android Pie 9 OS, full screen HD+ display and double security features like fingerprint and face unlock. Sources said that the upcoming itel device would be a good choice in the budget smartphone segment. The latest itel portfolio includes A44 Air (5.45-inch full screen device), A44 power and A23 — priced at Rs 4,399, Rs 4,599 and Rs 3,999 respectively. The latest addition could be a game changer for first time buyers and those consumers who are willing to upgrade from old entry level handsets. The company logged 7 per cent share in the feature phone segment in the first quarter of 2019, according to Counterpoint Research.last_img read more

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Egypt officer killed in clashes with wanted militants

first_imgCAIRO- An Egyptian police officer was shot dead north of Cairo on Thursday while on a mission to arrest militants suspected of assassinating a senior security official, the interior ministry said.Captain Ahmed Samer Mahmoud was killed at dawn in an operation in the Nile Delta town of Qulubiya when a team of special forces exchanged gunfire with militants, the ministry said.The team was chasing “terrorist elements” wanted for the murder of Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Mabruk, it said in a statement, adding that two arrests were made. Mabruk, an officer involved in the crackdown against Islamists and members of the Muslim Brotherhood to which ousted president Mohamed Morsi belonged, was shot dead on Sunday in Cairo.A Sinai-based group linked to Al-Qaeda, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, said its militants had gunned him down.Militant groups such as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis have escalated their attacks since the ouster of Morsi and have expanded to targeting security forces outside the restive Sinai Peninsula.The group had previously claimed bombing the interior minister’s convoy in a failed assassination attempt in September.Egypt’s new military-installed authorities are engaged in a crackdown on Islamist supporters of Morsi.More than 1,000 people have been killed in clashes with police since his ouster in July, and thousands have been arrested.last_img read more

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Libyas Benghazi shuts down in protest at jihadist violence

first_imgBENGHAZI, Libya – Shops and schools closed across Benghazi Tuesday as residents of Libya’s second city responded to calls for civil disobedience to protest deadly clashes between radical Islamists and the army.The call by the city council came as a source said defence ministry officials were in talks with jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia on an offer of safe passage out of the city on condition its fighters leave their weapons behind.The army clashed with jihadists on Monday after one of its patrols was attacked near the headquarters of Ansar al-Sharia, a group blamed for the killing of the US ambassador in 2012. The health ministry said seven people were killed in the fighting and around 50 wounded.On Tuesday, the army deployed across the eastern city, taking control of key roads, an AFP correspondent reported.Troops were also in control of the Ansar al-Sharia headquarters in the city of Ajdabiya, south of Benghazi, which residents had attacked late Monday, forcing jihadists to flee, before handing it over to the army.Benghazi was the cradle of the 2011 uprising during which NATO-backed rebels toppled and then killed longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi.Since the end of the uprising, Libya has been hit by waves of deadly violence much of it blamed on heavily armed former rebels who have banded into militias each with its own ideology and allegiance.The government has been struggling to integrate the former rebels into a regular army and police, or make them surrender their weapons.Fed up by the government’s inability to rein in the gunmen, the city council called on residents to show their frustration through three days of “civil disobedience”, including strikes.The move brought Benghazi to a near standstill with schools, universities, shops, banks and public offices all closed, as residents mourned the dead.Earlier this month, residents of the capital Tripoli observed a similar campaign of protests against militias in response to deadly violence, prompting some of them to pull out of the city.Jihadists seek ‘safe’ exitDefence Minister Abdallah al-Teni said his ministry was in touch with Ansar al-Sharia to find a solution that would avoid further bloodshed.Ansar al-Sharia is requesting a “safe corridor” for its fighters to leave Benghazi but army chiefs are demanding they leave behind their heavy weapons, the minister said, according the spokesman of Libya’s top political body, the General National Congress.A GNC delegation also arrived in Benghazi on Tuesday at the request of the city council.Late on Monday Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, fresh from talks with US and British officials in London on the violence wracking his country, flew into Benghazi briefly for meetings with security officials.Last week, the US military said it hopes to train 5,000 to 8,000 troops for the fledgling new army, following a request from Zeidan.Zeidan met both US Secretary of State John Kerry and Britain’s William Hague in London on Sunday and after the talks the US top diplomat vowed to help stabilise Libya.The Benghazi violence comes as the authorities take steps to evacuate militias from Tripoli, on the back of popular discontent in the capital against armed groups.Less than two weeks ago, 46 people were killed and more than 500 wounded after militiamen opened fire on peaceful demonstrators in Tripoli prompting armed clashes.Ansar Al-Sharia advocates the implementation of sharia Islamic law and has systematically refused to recognise the authority of the central government or its security services.The group controls areas of Benghazi as well as Sirte and Derna, also in eastern Libya, and has been blamed for bloody attacks against foreign missions, judges and security personnel.The most daring attack, in September 2012, targeted the US consulate in Benghazi, killing ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Ansar al-Sharia denies any involvement.last_img read more

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Egyptian ambassador to Turkey returns home

first_imgCAIRO- Egyptian ambassador to Turkey Abdel-Rahman Salahuddin returned to Cairo on Saturday from Ankara.Last week, Egypt downgraded its diplomatic relations with Turkey to the level of charge d’affaires and declared the Turkish ambassador a “persona non-grata.”It linked the decision to statements made by Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan about Egypt’s domestic affairs and his criticism of Egyptian authorities.The Turkish Foreign Ministry responded the same day by downgrading diplomatic relations with Egypt to the level of charge d’affaires and declaring the Egyptian ambassador a “persona non-grata”.last_img read more

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Moroccan Minister Meets in Quebec with Leaders of Transportation Enterprises

first_imgQuebec – Minister Delegate in Charge for Transportation, Mohamed Najib Boulif, held, Tuesday in Quebec, a series of meetings with leaders from the Quebecer transportation association (AQTr), the Montreal port department (APM) and transportation and infrastructure enterprises, on means to foster relations between Morocco and Quebec in these fields.Boulif highlighted the importance of debates and talks he had with the said leaders and of the province’s performance in the transport sector, underlining that Morocco boasts huge opportunities that could be the basis of a win-win cooperation between the two parties.He also underscored Morocco’s interest in the development of port infrastructure to become real engine for socio-economic development, stressing Morocco’s geostrategic positioning (3500 km of coastlines) as well as its maritime assets.last_img read more

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Morocco WTCC 2014 Mehdi Bennani Excluded From the Second Race

first_imgRabat – After he had an accident with Tom Coronel in Marrakech, driver Mehdi Bennani of Morocco was disqualified from the race on Sunday for being underweight.This is big disappointment for Moroccans who were expecting their superstar to shine in the World Touring Car Championship that kicked off on Sunday in Marrakech.Bennani crashed into Tom Coronel at the startline, and Coronel’s Chevrolet was destroyed after it hit the wall hard and then bounced back across the track. Bennani has been given a three-place grid penalty for the race next week for the incident, but the worst is yet to come.After Mehdi Bennani passed Mikhail Kozlowski and was ranked fifth in the provisional results, he was supposed to qualify to the second race of World Touring Car Championship. However he has been disqualified for technical reasons.According to Touring Car Times, Bennani “has now been excluded as his car has been found to be underweight in scrutinizing.”According to the same source, “the minimum weight for the Honda Civic, like the Citroën, the Lada and the Chevrolet, which all are running maximum ballast in Morocco and France is 1,164kg.”Edited by Jessica Rohan© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

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The Ordeal of TwinSisters Accused of Cheating in Baccalaureate Exam

Azrou – Throughout their school years, twin sisters Salma and Soumaya Al Ahmadi were known for their excellence. As expected, the day of their baccalaureate exam, both girls scored high in all subjects— with the exception of philosophy.Recognizing suspicious patterns in the two’s scores in the philosophy section of the test, the scorer assigned them a score of 0/20. Consequently, the sisters were prohibited from taking the makeup test.Salma and Soumaya disagree with the decision and it will mean that they will have wasted an entire year of their education if it stands. They brought their case to court, which issued a ruling in their favor. But to the twins’ dismay, the Ministry of Education refused to implement the court’s ruling. In an interview with Medi1 TV, the twins’ lawyer Morad Zerzori claimed the Ministry’s refusal to implement the court’s decision is unjustified and based on unsound facts. He had expected the Ministry to comply with the judicial ruling and allow the twins to retake the test instead of repeating the academic year. However, the Ministry’s actual decision forbids the sisters from taking the baccalaureate exam for one year.While the exam administrator claims that the twins exams contain matching ideas, Morad Zerzori notes that the sisters’ introductions and conclusions were completely different. The similarities lie in the analyses and citations, which is permitted under the exam laws. Morad Zerzori adds that as twins, Salma and Soumaya Al Ahmadi live under the same roof, use the same books, and refer to the same reference materials to prepare for exams. Their lawyer adds that the twins have consistently earned similar grades, the difference never exceeding a half-point.The Ministry of National Education has confirmed in a statement that changes in decisions regarding cheating are not possible. Only the Regional Academy for Education and Training has the authority, under Article 105 dated 6 May 2014, to reverse decisions made against those accused of cheating.The Ministry also highlights that during the correction process, the scorers found matching answers on the twins’ answer sheets. The Regional Academy for Education and Training indicated that exams undergo correction anonymously.The Ministry’s decision has failed to put an end to the twins’ case as protest amongst the twins’ supporters continues to heighten. In response to the protest, the Ministry replied that their verdict ensures the credibility of the results, as well as equal opportunity for students. The Ministry reported that they will not address grievances that are incompatible with the morals and educational values that Moroccan schools seek to consolidate in society. The Ministry confirmed the Regional Committee’s decision to prevent the twins from participating in the retake session.Salma and Soumaya have reached out to their supporters through YouTube claiming that given tightly controlled exam room conditions, it would be impossible for them to copy from each other. Moreover, the sisters state that they always prepare for exams together from the exact same references and that their writing style is almost the same. The twins even share a Facebook account and a single cell phone. The two sisters provided, as proof, copies of their previous exams in philosophy in which the analysis and ideas were similar.The two sisters are distraught since they hoped to achieve high scores on the baccalaureate and continue their studies at the best schools available to them. Salma and Soumaya are convinced their only crime is that they are twin sisters.Edited By Sahar Kian© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

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American Elections Explained

By Mohamed ZefzafThe ContextLike most nations in the world, The United States is a society divided along many lines. These divisions are not just across economic, social, ethnic, or religious demarcations; they are, especially, acute along political affiliations. Such affiliations-or lack, thereof- determines who is elected president of the United States. The artful Politician who is best able to carefully dance between these constituent parts is usually the winner. The Yellow Dogs DemocratsA cursory examination of the American electorate reveals that slightly less than a third are registered democrats. No matter what, a substantial majority of this group consistently votes along party line. They are often labeled “Yellow Dogs Democrats.”Meaning-and this is metaphorical, of course- that in any election, even if the party’s nominee is a yellow dog, they’ll still support the dog- as long as it is a democrat.The Die-hard RepublicansJust like their counterparts on the democratic side, a portion of the American people always votes Republican, regardless of the standard bearer. These die-hard Republicans, faithfully and repeatedly, choose party first. That leaves the remaining forty-five percent of the electorate- the so-called middle voters. This large group is not affiliated with any political party.The UnaffiliatedPresidential hopefuls know-and history bears this out- that the unaffiliated, or independents, are the most influential voters in general elections. Their decision is based on issues and candidates rather than ideology. These men and women are heterogeneous and represent every segment of the American people; they’re flexible, sensible, and not driven by dogma. Unlike the Yellow Dogs Democrats, or the Die-hard Republicans, this Great Middle has no party loyalty. In all previous elections, the formula for potential presidential winners is to secure their respective base first, but without alienating the all-important unaffiliated block.The Mathematics of Presidential ElectionsThe mathematic is simple: In the United States, it is virtually impossible to be elected by the yellow dogs or the die-hard alone. There are just not enough of them. That is why presidential nominees of both parties must pivot to the Great Middle, to the unaffiliated voters. Traditionally, it is this crucial constituency that actually decides who is elected president of the United States.In the current equation of American electoral politics, Donald Trump stands for a loud and vocal minority. This faction makes the sort of constant background noise the media loves, amplifies, and lives for. The reality, however, is that throughout America’s history, successful candidates must carefully calibrate their rhetoric so as not to make it impossible for them to attract the unaffiliated voters.For well-documented reasons, Donald Trump has crossed the Rubicon of political decency; he is too close to the abyss to ever credibly walk toward the necessary political center, where elections are won or lost. It follows, therefore, that it is very unlikely for him to become the next president of the United States. read more

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43754 Moroccans Received US Green Card Between 20052014

By Bryn MillerRabat – According to the Department of Homeland Security’s records, 43,754 Moroccans received green cards between 2005 and 2014. Green cards are identification documents issued by the Department of State that grant its holder lawful permanent residency.The government reported that an average of 4,375 Moroccans obtained a green card each year through various classes of admission, including family-sponsored preferences, employment-based preferences, and the State Department’s diversity lottery. Green card issuance for Moroccans reached its peak in 2010, when 5,447 immigrants received a card. In context, during this ten-year period the United States issued green cards to 1,172,380 immigrants from predominately Muslim countries, 1,051,249 Europeans, and 10,822,112 total immigrants,Morocco ranked ninth out of the world’s predominately Muslim countries for the number of nationals receiving lawful permanent resident status. Bangladesh came first with 139,584 recipients, followed by Iran and Iraq with 137,097 and 119,146 cards respectively.Egypt, Somalia, Albania, Uzbekistan, and Turkey also ranked higher than Morocco. However, Moroccans far outstripped their neighbors in the Maghreb region, receiving almost 40,000 more green cards on average than Algerians, Mauritanians, Tunisians, and Libyans. Saudi Arabia, another American ally, received only 13,696 green cards for its citizens. read more

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Hijabs Hit New York Fashion Week Runway

Toronto – Indonesian fashion designer, Anniesa Hasibuan, is returning to the runway with her second New York Fashion Week collection. Once again, hijabs will be front and centre of her work, according to the UK Independent.It’s New York Fashion Week and that means the second collection for breakout Muslim fashion designer, Anniesa Hasibuan. Last year, Hasinuab became the first fashion designer to feature the hijab in her collection for New York Fashion week.NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 12: Anniesa Hasibuan takes a bow on the runway at the Anniesa Hasibuan during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Dock, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows)She’s making history again this year by using only immigrants and second generation children of immigrants as models. For the designer, however, her collection is more about answering the call from Muslim women who were looking for fashion industry representation, than it is a political response. The red-hot designer was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, and opened her first boutique in 2015. In Spring of that same year, she made her fashion debut in London and is now travelling to the US to introduce and showcase her game-changing collections.So-called Islamic fashion is fast becoming the new darling of the industry and simply refers to fashion which acknowledges the Islamic view that some parts of the female body should remain modest.In recent years, there has been an increasing demand from Muslim women who desire fashionable clothing that adheres to their beliefs. Islamic fashion offers an important bridge between the world of consumer fashion and religion. It encourages the idea that Muslim women can be covered, if they so desire, and still be fashionable.Breakthrough designers such as Anniesa Hasibuan are answering the demand by presenting the hijab as a religious component which can also be fashionable; modest yet beautiful.Asked about the pairing of fashion and the hijab, Hasinuab has declared that “fashion is for everybody.” Asked about her own creative perspective as a designer, she said “There is beauty in diversity and differences, something we should not be afraid of.”According to the same source, Somali-American model Halima Aden, is also breaking barriers. Last November the she participated in the Miss USA pageant, proudly sporting her hijab and modelling a burkini during the swimsuit portion of the competition. In Yeezy Season 5, Kanye West cast the 19-year-old to make her runway debut during this year’s fashion week. Aden is fast becoming an icon in the beauty industry. read more

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Exclusive Resolution on Western Sahara Positive for Morocco

New York – The members of the Security Council concluded on Thursday morning their negotiations on the draft resolution regarding the Western Sahara.The United States has pushed for the adoption by the Security Council of a resolution that is very pro Morocco, sources acquainted with the matter from inside the United Nations told Morocco World News on Thursday.The 15-member body held another closed-door meeting on Thursday morning to discuss the final language of the resolution. The final version of the resolution was submitted “in blue” – meaning ready for adoption – to the secretariat of the Security Council. But according to our sources in New York, new developments may warrant revision of the text and a vote has not been scheduled. It is unclear whether the 15-member will adopt the resolution tomorrow or this weekend.The latest version of the resolution, which was obtained by Morocco World News, is positive for the Moroccan position and puts clear pressure on the Polisario.The resolution reflects the concern expressed by the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres concerning the situation in the region. In his first annual report on the Situation Regarding the Western Sahara, the UN chief called on the Security Council to urge the Polisario to withdraw from the Gueguerat region.The resolution calls unequivocally on the Polisario to respect the provisions of the 1991 ceasefire agreement and withdraw from the Gueguerat region without conditions.Paragraph 3 of the resolution expresses the Security Council’s “deep concern with the continued presence of elements of the Polisario Front in the buffer strip in Guerguerat and strongly urges the Polisario Front to fully and unconditionally withdraw from the buffer strip in Guerguerat immediately.”The Polisario will be given 30 days to abide by the provisions of the resolution. In the event it refuses to withdraw from the Gueguerat region, the Security Council will decide on ways to compel it to do so.The Security Council “requests the Secretary-General to brief the Council within 30 days on whether elements of the Polisario have withdrawn from the buffer strip in Guerguerat and expresses its intention, if there is no full and unconditional withdrawal, to consider how best to facilitate achievement of this goal,”  says the resolution in its paragraph 4.On the other hand, the resolution calls on the parties to show commitment towards achieving a mutually acceptable political solution. In this regard, unlike last year’s resolution, the new text insist three times that the any political solution should in the “context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations.”The addition of this sentence in three paragraphs echoes the recommendation made in the report of the Secretary General in which he called on the parties to work towards achieving a mutually political solution and on defining the meaning and scope of the concept of self-determination.The recommendation of the UN chief and the text of the resolution are in line with the position of Morocco, which has for long insisted that  independence is not only way of achieving self-determination and that autonomy is also among the arrangements of the United Nations that provide achieving self-determination.The Security Council expressed “its full support for the commitment of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy towards a solution to the question of Western Sahara in this context to relaunch the negotiating process with a new dynamic and a new spirit leading to the resumption of a political process with the aim of reaching a mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations,”To achieve this goal, it calls on “the parties to resume negotiations under the auspices of the Secretary-General without preconditions and in good faith, taking into account the efforts made since 2006 and subsequent developments, with a view to achieving a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and noting the role and responsibilities of the parties in this respect.”The resolution calls on the Secretary General “to update the Security Council within six months of the appointment of the new Personal Envoy on ways in which the Personal Envoy, working with the parties, is progressing towards a mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and present a clear path forward.”US and France lend their support to MoroccoBut while the United States, penholder of the resolution, and France wanted to push for the resolution along the lines expressed in the first draft, other members called for the adoption of a more nuanced and more balanced resolution.The main bones of contention were the need that Polisario withdraw from the Guerguerat region and respect the ceasefire agreement, and the approach that the Security Council will adopt to help the parties reach a mutually acceptable political solution.“The differences relate to how the Council addresses the situation of Guerguerat, and also how it addresses the parties’ proposals. It appears that the Council is leaning for the Moroccan proposal submitted to the Council in 2007,” the same source said.“The text was leaning or very favorable to Morocco as prepared by the US, especially in these two areas. Therefore, there was some disagreement from other members that do not agree with this approach,” the same source added. read more

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Alaska marijuana industry raises concern about future

JUNEAU, Alaska — Marijuana growers and retailers in Alaska say they’re concerned about Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s plans for the industry after he appointed a marijuana critic and a law enforcement officer to the state marijuana board.The Anchorage Daily News reports the Republican governor has been quiet on his policies for the state’s legal marijuana industry, but his pick of Vivian Stiver for the regulatory board has stirred opposition.Stiver was involved in an unsuccessful 2017 effort to ban marijuana operations in Fairbanks.Democratic state Rep. Adam Wool says the appointment is an “antagonistic” move that’s setting up for a fight.Stiver says she is “absolutely not” a prohibitionist of marijuana, noting that the new industry seem to be working.She says she hasn’t heard from the governor’s office about its marijuana policy.___Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.comThe Associated Press read more

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