October 15, 2019
  • 3:54 am Manitobas DauphinSwan RiverMarquette riding in the spotlight
  • 3:53 am Suzuki visits the Cree
  • 3:52 am Court order puts survivor compensation cases in jeopardy
  • 3:42 am CN Rail trying to shut up former supervisor for giving financial documents
  • 3:36 am Churches calling for prayer and support ahead of TRC closing event in

first_imgAPTN National NewsAPTN National News investigative reporter Todd Lamirande takes a closer look at Manitoba’s Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette riding.The riding has a high Aboriginal population who could cast the deciding votes.last_img

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first_imgAPTN National NewsIt was an eventful weekend for a Cree community in northern Manitoba.The Misipawistik Cree Nation also known as Grand Rapids had members of a world renowned organization visit their region.It was also a chance for community members to share their experiences with development through their traditional territory.APTN National News reporter Tiar Wilson has this story.last_img

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first_imgAPTN National NewsAPTN Investigates reporter Kathleen Martens talks to anchor Dana Foster about the court order that’s holding up more than 50 IAP cases.last_img

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first_imgBy Kenneth JacksonAPTN National NewsA former supervisor at the Canadian National Railway says the law firm representing the railroad is trying to get him before a judge this week to “shut me up” for providing the Ontario Police Police with documents he claims show financial irregularities in the company.Lawyer Monique Jilesen of Lenczner Slaght has requested Scott Holmes be in court Friday for violating the deemed undertaking rule, meaning Holmes provided documents to a third party and allegedly wasn’t supposed to.Holmes has provided thousands of documents to OPP since February and during several meetings with detectives from the corruption section of the OPP’s anti-rackets unit.“They want to bring me in front of a judge and shut me up. They say I broke a rule by giving the OPP documents,” said Holmes.Holmes said he’s not concerned and doesn’t believe he violated any rule.Lenczner Slaght is representing CN Rail in the company’s civil suit against Holmes who they fired in 2008 on allegations of fraud. Holmes is countersuing them and CN police. It’s been going on for five years now without reaching trial.The documents Holmes gave to the OPP were from nearly 40,000 documents provided by the Crown as disclosure in CN’s failed pursuit to obtain a criminal conviction for fraud, twice. The charges were stayed by the Crown.APTN reported Tuesday that Holmes claims to have evidence to suggest CN billed GO Transit, a provincial transit company, for work CN never did.That sparked action by the province.Ontario Transport Minister Glen Murray said GO Transit and Metrolinx are taking the allegations “seriously” and are reviewing their books.“I understand they have a team of auditors looking into it. These are just allegations right now; nothing has been proven,” said Murray, in a statement sent to APTN National News. “Go Transit is doing its due diligence. I want to know the facts before I comment further.”Go Transit merged with Metrolinx in 2009.Metrolinx said in a statement it was investigating the allegations.“As soon as GO Transit heard about the allegations an audit was initiated as we consider the allegations serious. We will be able to respond more fully once we have more information in front of us,” said a Metrolinx spokesperson.CN said it adamantly denies any suggestion of impropriety in its management and involvements relating to GO rail projects.The OPP said in an emailed statement that the police force wouldn’t confirm or deny whether it has launched an investigation.“Generally, investigations involving possible corruption can be very sensitive due to the complexity and thoroughness required to ensure that the evidence is followed,” said Sgt. Pierre Chamberland in the email. “Because of the nature of these complaints, it may not be readily apparent what investigative actions are being pursued by police in order to effectively investigate and maintain the integrity and objectivity of the investigation.”CN said it wasn’t aware of any OPP investigation.“CN is not aware of any investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police into such allegations,” said spokesman Mark Hallman in an emailed statement Tuesday. “CN strongly rejects any suggestion of impropriety in its management of GO rail projects.”In its statement, CN said it employs strict accounting procedures and controls.“Mistakes, if any, are identified and corrected. As the work performed by CN on behalf of GO on a fixed-price basis with the work approved in advance and reviewed after completion, there was no risk of GO being overcharged due to any miscoding,” said Hallman.APTN’s story also raised allegations that CN was using partially worn material on GO projects to save cost. A GO source said they would have paid for new material.CN said it’s a common railway practice to use partially worn material it would be “transparent” with GO on projects.kjackson@aptn.calast_img read more

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first_imgAPTN National NewsThe final preparations are being added to the sites that will host the final Truth and Reconciliation event starting Sunday in Ottawa.The TRC has spent the past six years talking to First Nation, Metis and Inuit people who went through the residential school system.The schools were mainly run by the Catholic and Anglican churches.And with just days before the Commissioners will release a final report, churches are calling for prayers and support.APTN’s Annette Francis reports.last_img

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first_imgAnnette FrancisAPTN NewsA law that gives First Nations full control over their education system is beginning to make a difference in the lives of students on the Nipissing First Nation.The Anishinabek Nation signed an agreement with Canada and the Province of Ontario in 2017.It means that they will control the education of almost 15,000 students.afrancis@aptn.ca@aptnafrancislast_img

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first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (16,309.99, up 100.86 points)Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Up $2.22, or 23.13 per cent, to $11.82 on 38 million shares.Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED). Health care. Up $2.63, or 8.84 per cent, to $32.37 on 8.8 million shares.Aphria Inc. (TSX:APH). Health care. Up $1.49, or 7.97 per cent, to $20.19 on 5.3 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Down seven cents, or 2.31 per cent, to $2.96 on 4.8 million shares.Precision Drilling Corp. (TSX:PD). Oil and gas. Up 23 cents, or 6.04 per cent, to $4.04 on 3.7 million shares.Crescent Point Energy (TSX:CPG). Oil and gas. Up 44 cents, or 4.59 per cent, to $10.02 on 3.6 million shares.Companies reporting major news:DIRTT Environmental Solutions Ltd. (TSX:DRT). Engineering, construction. Down $1.21, or 17.95 per cent, to $5.53 on 2.1 million shares. The Calgary-based company’s stock dropped after it made the surprise announcement its board had replaced founder Mogens Smed as CEO. A company press release presented the changes as part of succession planning with Smed staying on as executive chairman but, on a conference call, Smed said he had only learned of the changes last Friday and “haven’t really got a clue” what his new role will be.last_img read more

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first_imgAndy Fennell said he’s usually not very vocal, but he was sick of finger pointing and blame.“I’m definitely not an activist, but you know, I just got a little bit fed up with all the negativity surrounding — especially the Tim Hortons saga in Ontario. From owning a small business, I sort of know the economics of running a business like this and it didn’t jive to well for me,” he said.“Businesses going out of business purely ’cause of government legislation also doesn’t sit well with me. There’s more to it than that.”He admits, recent changes to statutory holiday pay do sting a bit.“In my opinion, the stat holiday guidelines were really fair on employees last year, and this new legislation adds a hell of a lot of extra expense,” he said.“I’m not totally in favour of it, but you know what, I mean, you lobby, you vote, you get on with it and you find a way to make it work.”And he said, he won’t let it hurt his staff. But, that doesn’t mean he’s letting the province off the hook when it comes to stimulating the economy.“There’s been a lot of talk and not a lot of action,” Fennell said.“I don’t think the government, in any level or shape, has really done a great deal to help us. If we want to diversify, this was the time to do it, and we’re probably going to forget that again, and move ahead with oil and gas, and we’ve had the opportunity and we haven’t took it.” The owner of a Calgary coffee bar is slamming corporations for “moaning” about minimum wage hikes.A post on the Facebook page for Gravity Espresso and Wine Bar in Inglewood says the shop supports the increases, and the changes make up “a small drop in the ocean.”It also says the business will “make it work.”last_img read more

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first_imgOTTAWA – Shopify Inc. says its original chief financial officer will retire but remain a strategic adviser during a transition after the arrival of his successor, Amy Shapero, on April 2.She succeeds Russ Jones, who has been Shopify’s CFO since 2011 and helped it grow from a 50-person private company into a publicly traded business with more than 3,000 employees.Shopify provides software and services that merchants can use to set up and manage retail operations across multiple sales channels including web, mobile and physical stores.Shapero has been CFO for a number of software-as-a-service companies since beginning her career as a chartered public accountant at Ernst & Young, now known as EY.Most recently, she has been at the Betterment online wealth-management service since 2016.Shapero has also been CFO at Sailthru, a software technology provider, and Spot Holdings, a financial services company.Shopify has recently hired Jeff Weiser, formerly chief marketing officer at Shutterstock. Weiser will also be chief marketing officer at Shopify while Craig Miller, who was performing that role, will focus on being chief product officer.Companies in this story: (TSX:SHOP)last_img read more

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first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,213.45, lost 153.84 points)Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Healthcare. Down 23 cents, or 2.47 per cent, to $9.07 on 9.7 million shares.Prometic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX:PLI). Biotechnology. Down 14 cents, or 15.91 per cent, to 74 cents on 7.4 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Down nine cents, or 2.40 per cent, to $3.66 on 5.7 million shares.Aphria Inc. (TSX:APH). Healthcare. Down 24 cents, or 2.09 per cent, to $11.25 on 5.4 million shares.Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED). Healthcare. Down $1.65, or 4.90 per cent, to $32.01 on 5.3 million shares.BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB). Wireless communications. Down $1.01, or 6.82 per cent, to $13.80 on 3.9 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Aimia Inc. (TSX:AIM). Loyalty programs. Down five cents, or 2.89 per cent, to $1.68 on 518,276 shares. Aeroplan’s parent company is apologizing for a politically charged survey it circulated that it says “offended” customers. In a statement made to the Canadian Press, Aimia spokesperson Christa Poole says the questions had not been properly reviewed internally and didn’t meet the company’s data-gathering standards.CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. (TSX:CMED). Healthcare. Down $2.07, or 5.72 per cent, to $34.15 on 20,118 shares. CEO Brent Zettl has resigned, effective immediately, as Aurora Cannabis nears completion of its $1.1 billion acquisition of the medical marijuana company.Torstar Corp. (TSX:TS.B) – Media company. Down three cents, or 1.68 per cent, to $1.76 on 6,500 shares. The media company says it is hiring 20 new reporters in Western Canada and will rebrand and upgrade the digital offerings of its five free daily Metro urban newspapers across Canada. As of April 10, the Metros will be called StarMetro Vancouver, StarMetro Calgary, StarMetro Edmonton, StarMetro Toronto and StarMetro Halifax.Transcontinental Inc. (TSX:TCL.A) – Printer and publisher. Up $2.47, or 9.71 per cent, to $27.92 on 538,309 shares. Transcontinental is taking a big leap in its strategic shift towards flexible packaging with the company’s largest ever deal that would diminish the role of commercial printing that has been the cornerstone of the company since its founding 42 years ago. The C$1.72 billion purchase of Coveris Americas will make it North America’s seventh-largest packaging company.last_img read more

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first_imgSINGAPORE – Asian markets have bounced back from their retreat after the report of strong preliminary manufacturing data in Japan.KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index jumped 0.5 per cent to 22,130.30 as a private survey suggested a recovery in manufacturing in October. The Shanghai Composite index, which closed more than 2 per cent lower on Tuesday, jumped 1.5 per cent to 2,634.50 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index surged 0.9 per cent to 25,565.27. The Kospi in South Korea picked up 0.2 per cent to 2,109.66. Australia’s S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.1 per cent to 5,839.10. Shares were higher across the region apart from in Thailand.JAPAN FACTORY OUTLOOK: A rise in the preliminary, or “flash” purchasing manager’s index to 53.1 in October from 52.5 the month before raised hopes that recent sluggishness in manufacturing demand may have been transient. A revival in new export orders, to 51.7, a seven-month high, was viewed as especially good news given concerns over China-U.S. trade tensions. Readings above 50 in the survey indicate expansion.ANALYST’S VIEWPOINT: “Following a rather disappointing slew of PMI data over the third quarter, Japan’s manufacturing sector looks set to start Q4 on a more upbeat note. The latest survey indicated stronger expansions in all the key barometers of macroeconomic health,” Joe Hayes, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, said in a commentary.WALL STREET: U.S. indexes fell on Tuesday following a broad-sell off on softening growth in China and fears that tariff hikes are beginning to hurt corporate earnings. The S&P 500 index suffered its fifth-straight loss, dropping 0.6 per cent to 2,740.69. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.5 per cent to 25,191.43 and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.4 per cent to 7,437.54. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks was 0.8 per cent lower at 1,526.59.U.S. EARNINGS: Sentiment was dampened as large U.S. companies kicked off a busy earnings week with warnings of rising costs related to tariffs. Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar posted a larger profit and revenue than expected in the third quarter. But the company said Trump’s taxes on imported steel were driving up production costs, causing its shares to slip 7.6 per cent to $118.98. 3M, the maker of Post-it notes and ceramic coatings, reported disappointing revenues and said it anticipates about $100 million in extra costs next year. That sent its shares tumbling 4.4 per cent. The U.S. and China are locked in a trade dispute over technology and have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods.ENERGY: Oil futures rose after the opening of a high-profile investment conference in Saudi Arabia, amid controversy surrounding the killing of a dissident journalist. Benchmark U.S. crude added 13 cents to $66.56 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 7 cents to settle at $66.43 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 30 cents to $76.74 per barrel. In the previous session, it dropped $3.39 to $76.44 a barrel.CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 112.56 yen from 112.42 yen on Tuesday. The euro eased to $1.1472 from $1.1473.___AP Business Writer Alex Veiga contributed to this report.last_img read more

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first_imgRICHMOND, Va. – Amazon will split its second headquarters between Long Island City in New York and Crystal City in northern Virginia, according to a person familiar with the plans.The official decision expected later Tuesday will end an intense competition between North American cities to win the Amazon bid and its promise of 50,000 new jobs — and dash Toronto’s hopes of securing one of the locations.Toronto Mayor John Tory said in September that the city — the only Canadian contender to make the short list — was uniquely positioned to host the company because of its diversity and comparatively lower business costs.Tory had said that Toronto submitted a bid that highlighted “the fact that the Toronto Region has emerged as a global centre of innovation and technology because of our talented, diverse and inclusive workforce.”“There is no other region in North America that can boast the same talent, the same quality of life, the same vibrancy and economic strength. We made that point to Amazon in our pitch and in person when they visited us here,” he said in a statement to The Canadian Press in September.Some locations tried to stand out with stunts, but Amazon made clear that it really wanted incentives, like tax breaks and grants. Amazon also had sought to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people, among other criteria.The company received 238 proposals before narrowing the list to 20 in January.Amazon had stipulated that it wanted to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people; be within 45 minutes of an international airport; have direct access to mass transit; and have room to expand. It also wanted to able to attract top technical talent and be able to expand the headquarters to as much as eight million square feet in the next decade.Set within eyeshot of the nation’s capital, Crystal City is a thicket of 1980s-era office towers trying to plug into new economic energy after thousands of federal jobs moved elsewhere.Rapidly growing Long Island City, in the borough of Queens, is an old manufacturing area already being reinvented as a hub for 21st-century industry, creativity and urbane living.In setting off the flurry of interest, Amazon said it could spend more than US$5 billion to build its second headquarters over the next 17 years. The two locations combined would be about the same size as the company’s current home in Seattle, which has 33 buildings, 23 restaurants and houses 40,000 employees.The company isn’t leaving Seattle, and Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has said the new headquarters will be “a full equal” to its current home.The extra space will help the rapidly growing company.Launched in 1995 as a site that mostly sells books, Amazon now produces movies, makes voice-activated Echo devices, runs the Whole Foods grocery chain, offers online services to businesses and designs its own brands of furniture, clothing and diapers. Its ambitions are wide: It launched a company to lower health care costs for its employees and Amazon’s corporate partners in the venture, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway.Amazon’s employee total has ballooned to more than 600,000 worldwide, and that’s expected to increase as it builds more warehouses across the country to keep up with online orders. The company recently announced that it would pay all its workers at least $15 an hour, but the employees at its second headquarters will be paid a lot more — Amazon says they’ll make an average of more than $100,000 a year.___Pisani reported from New York.With files from The Canadian Press.last_img read more

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first_imgThe Canadian Press CALGARY — Cenovus Energy Inc. is planning total capital spending of between $1.2 billion and $1.4 billion for next year.The plan compares with its guidance for this year of between $1.3 billion and $1.4 billion.Cenovus says the reduction compared with its 2018 forecast is largely due to efficiency improvements and reduced development plans as a result of the current commodity price environment.The company says the majority of its budget for 2019 will be spent at its Foster Creek and Christina Lake oil sands operations.Cenovus also plans to complete construction of the Christina Lake phase G expansion.In addition to its oilsands operations in northern Alberta and established natural gas and oil production in Alberta and B.C., Cenovus also holds a stake in two U.S. refineries. Companies in this story: (TSX:CVE)last_img read more

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first_imgUnder the new fund, child care spaces created by child development centres or Indigenous communities remain eligible for 100 percent of the cost of their projects, up to a maximum of $500,000. Not-for-profit organizations will be supported to create new child care spaces under the new fund, with these organizations remaining eligible for up to 90 percent of the total cost of their projects, up to a maximum of $500,000. Private child care providers remain eligible for 75 percent of the total cost of their project, up to a maximum of $250,000.Conroy said that the government will adopt a streamlined application process with a continuous intake, rather than fixed application dates. Boards of education will have 100 percent eligibility of the total cost of their project up to a maximum of $500,000 for child care spaces they create.“Too many parents are dealing with a lack of good options when it comes to child care, and that’s only made worse as spaces close due to financial pressures on child care operators,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “With our Childcare BC plan, we’re letting operators and parents know that government is on their side, and investing in their future. Creating these new spaces is the latest step in making child care more available and affordable for more families.”More information on these changes will be available later in the coming months. COQUITLAM, B.C. – The provincial government announced today that it will be funding 22,000 new licensed child care spaces coming over the next three years.The new spaces will be created through a $221-million investment in the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, which replaces the Child Care Major Capital Funding Program. Children and Family Development Minister Katrine Conroy said that the government will be looking to leverage existing facilities – such as those on school grounds, in churches, at recreation centres, and other public places – to expand child care for B.C. families. Creating new infant and toddler spaces will be a priority.“Parents are struggling to find quality, affordable child care, and it’s time we made the investments that are good for families, and for our economy,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “Creating more licensed, affordable child care spaces is a key part of our new Childcare BC plan, so parents can have the peace of mind they need and quality care they can rely on.”last_img read more

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first_imgNorthern Health is working closely with physicians to communicate with patients and their families and minimize any disruptions. Northern Health appreciates the patience of patients, visitors and our staff, as we recover from this unexpected incident. DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Northern Health has confirmed a fire happened early Sunday morning at the Dawson Creek Hospital.The fire occurred in a utility area of the hospital, and damage was contained to a power source in that area. There was no damage to hospital infrastructure, and phones and power have been restored. Visitors to the hospital may notice an odour as the facility is still being ventilated.The hospital’s emergency department, inpatient areas, oncology services, laboratory and medical imaging departments are fully operational. Patients can continue to access these services as they normally would.last_img read more

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first_imgNew Delhi: Actors Kalki Koechlin and Ranvir Shorey are a part of the cast of the much-awaited second season of ‘Sacred Games’, which will stream on Netflix later this month. The first look of the second season of the series, which became an audience favourite within just a week of its launch last year, came out recently. “Season 2 is coming. Put your chattris in the air. ‘Sacred Games Season 2’. Kalki Koechlin, Ranvir Shorey and Pankaj Tripathi in season 2 of ‘Sacred Games’. Please take a moment to join us in screaming hysterically,” read a post on the official Twitter page of Netflix India. Also Read – ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ has James Cameron’s fingerprints all over it: Arnold SchwarzeneggerSeason 2, which promises a new trail of friendship, betrayal, crime, passion, and a thrilling chase through Mumbai’s underbelly, will witness Kalki as Batya, and Ranvir as Shahid Khan. “Personally, I am a fan of the series, and it is super awesome to be a part of the ‘Sacred Games’ and Netflix family. Season 2 promises to be much more exciting and I cannot wait for viewers to watch me in the series,” she said in a statement. Ranvir said: “The digital platform is so empowering and working on this audience-favourite show has been an absolute delight. My character Shahid Khan is a complete departure from any of the roles I’ve played before, and I’m looking forward to fans across the world bingeing on the new season.” Also Read – Salman pays tribute to Vinod Khanna on ‘Dabangg 3’ wrap upThe show is based on Vikram Chandra’s “Sacred Games”. The second season picks up from Sartaj Singh (actor Saif Ali Khan) pursuing his relentless battle of saving the city and Ganesh Gaitonde (actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui) facing bigger challenges to retain his position as the legendary kingpin of Mumbai. The intriguing Guruji (actor Pankaj Tripathi), introduced in season one as Gaitonde’s ‘third father’, plays a pivotal role in unfolding a chain of events that shape the next season. Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and Neeraj Ghaywan have directed the new season. Vikramaditya Motwane and Varun Grover continue their roles of being the showrunner and the lead writer, respectively.last_img read more

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Rabat – Nezha Skalli, a Moroccan MP from the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS) and a former Minister of Solidarity and Women, said that criminalizing sexual relationships out of wedlock would cause the majority of young people to end up in prison.Speaking to news website Alyaoum24, Nezha Skalli criticized the new draft law of the proposed amendments to the Penal Code. She raised questions of philosophical vision and whether the bill is even constitutional.“Everyone has been waiting for this new project to bring a new philosophical vision that is in line with the new constitution and international conventions, but it came with the same provisions that prevailed during the seventies at a time when Morocco was away from the current human rights situation,” she told Alyaoum24. Skalli’s comments put her directly at odds with her leftist party, a member of the governmental coalition led by the conservative party of Justice and Development (PJD).She said that if the draft authors want to regulate these relationships and reduce them, they must provide young people with tax exemptions and jobs so they can get married.“How is it possible not to provide for a young man the necessary means to lead a normal life and at the same time prevent him from enjoying his natural rights,” she added.The Moroccan government has been getting an earful of criticism about the new draft of proposed amendments to the Penal Code.The introduced draft law, if adopted, would make rape, sexual harassment and sexual relations out of wedlock criminal offences.Article 490 of Morocco’s current penal code stipulates that sex outside marriage is punishable by up to one year in prison.In 2007, a study conducted by the health ministry found that 36 per cent of young Moroccan men had had sexual relationship out of wedlock, while the percentage of unmarried young women who had lost their virginity stood at 15 per cent. read more

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Ramallah – Israeli occupation forces arrested, on Monday, 16 Palestinians from various West Bank cities.The Israeli forces stormed the cities of Nablus, Bethlehem, Hebron, Qalqilya and arrested the citizens, including 2 journalists and 4 members from the same family, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Club.The Israeli army launches arrest campaigns on a daily basis against dozens of Palestinians in various cities and villages of the West Bank.

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Rabat – Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika made a rare public appearance on Tuesday, following a weeklong trip to France for medical reasons. The North African leader sat with Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, the Deputy Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates (UAE), during the Gulf leader’s one-day trip to Algiers.The government-run Algerian news channel showed footage of the 79-year-old head of state speaking with the Emirati official on joint economic development projects.Bouteflika returned from Grenoble last Tuesday after completing “routine” health checks in the French city. The president’s shaky health condition has been the concern of Algerians, especially after the stroke he suffered in April 2013. Bouteflika was transported to a hospital in Paris for treatment.After a three-month stay in the European country, the leader fulfilled most of his duties via letters to the Algerian people and private meeting with his closest political allies.Since then, Bouteflika, who took power in 1999, has made several rounds to French and Swiss hospitals for check-ups and treatments related to his mental and physical health.Sources from Algiers say a power vacuum formed in 2013, leaving the largest country in Africa by landmass without clear political vision.After global oil prices took a dive two years ago, the country has struggled to pay wages to its massive public sector workforce. As pointed out by the International Monetary Fund earlier this month, the country’s weak private sector would make it difficult for Algerians to find work if recommended austerity measures and economic reforms were to be carried out. read more

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Rabat – The number of tourist arrivals in Tetouan has increased by 16 percent during the first five months of 2017, revealed a report published by the city’s provincial Tourism Commissary on July 28.According to Maghreb News Agency, hotels in the provinces of Tetouan, Chefchaouen, Larache and at the prefecture of M’diq Fnideq registered 55,908 tourist arrivals between January and May 2017, compared to 48,234 during the same period in 2016. This represents an increase of 16 percent.The number of foreign tourists who visited the four provinces during the five-month period this year  totaled 16,119 tourists, contributing to a 38 percent year-on-year increase.The number of national tourists reached 39,789 in the 2017 period, a 9 percent increase from the same period previous year. During the first five months of 2017, these regions’ hotels recorded a total of 104,112 overnight stays, compared to 86,493 between January and May 2016, representing a 20 percent increase.Spanish nationals comprised the largest nationality of tourists in the northern Moroccan region at 4,623. Americans followed (2,829), then French (2,127), Arabs (1,280), Germans (375), Portuguese (373), British (360), Italians (316) and Belgians.Four-star hotels were most popular, receiving 19,693 tourists, followed by 3-star hotels with 16,949 guests, 2-star hotels (7,379), 1-star hotels (6,310), 5-star hotels (4,874), guest houses (1,091), tourist residences (177).Regarding the number of overnight stays, 4-star hotels recorded 40,710 nights by the end of May this year, followed by 3-star hotels (30,704), 5-stars (11,516), 2-stars (10,664) and 1-star (1775) and tourist residences (279). read more

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