9 CBI officers get medal in excellence from MHA

first_imgNew Delhi: Nine CBI officers have been given medal for excellence in investigation, a first for the agency, for 2018 by the Union Home Ministry, officials said on Thursday.This award has been given to a total of 101 police officers from across the country, including nine from the Central Bureau of Investigation for the first time after being instituted by the ministry, they said. The winners from the CBI include Deputy Superintendents of Police — Velladurai Navaraju, Seema Pahuja, Roshan Lal Yadav, Ramavtar Yadav, Rajesh Kumar, K Pradeep Kumar and Inspectors Chandrakant Vithal Pujari, Girish Kumar Pradhan and Raman Kumar Shukla, they said. “The objective for institution of the medals for police investigators is to promote high professionalism standards of investigation of crime in the State Police and Central Investigating Agencies in the country and to recognise such excellence in investigation by investigating officers of the Police organisations,” a CBI spokesperson said.last_img read more

Purity of Indian democracy too sacred EC monitoring use of social media

first_imgNew Delhi: IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Wednesday sounded a warning to social media companies not to allow their platforms to be abused to influence elections, and said the Election Commission is maintaining vigil on the issue. Stating that the purity of Indian democracy is “too sacred”, the minister said while the use of social media for campaigning was okay, platforms should ensure that the data is not abused under any cimcumstances. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Asked if the IT ministry was monitoring the situation, he said the Election Commission (EC) is already monitoring it and also has the power to take action. Prasad said, “the Election Commission is already monitoring it (situation). Let them monitor it…They held a meeting…it is only appropriate and desirable that the EC must monitor, co-ordinate and lay the ground rule for working of social media during elections. “On my side, I can only make this observation that the purity of Indian democracy is too sacred, and social media please ensure that the data is not abused to influence election. If someone wants to use social media for campaigning I have no problem.” Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K The comments come a day after the social media intermediaries and the internet and mobile association Tuesday told the Election Commission that they would shortly come up with a draft ‘code of ethics’ for the industry as part of a mechanism to prevent abuse of social media platforms during the Lok Sabha elections beginning April 11. Representatives of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and TikTok had been called by the poll panel to discuss the issue of evolving mechanism to prevent abuse on social media platforms. The EC also wanted to ensure that elections are insulated from outside influence. A statement issued by the EC had said the meeting also discussed evolving a ‘notification’ mechanism by social media platforms for acting upon the violations of Section 126 of Representation of the People Act, 1951, and preventing misuse of these platforms. Section 126 of the Act prohibits advertising and campaigning on TV and other electronic media during the silent period, which is 48 hours before the end of polling. With ensuing general elections, the Indian government had warned social media platforms of strong action if any attempt was made to influence the country’s electoral process through undesirable means. Over the past few months, social media players and tech firms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google have promised to infuse more transparency into political advertisements on their platforms, and have since announced a slew of measures as part of election integrity efforts.last_img read more

BJP drops old warrior MP Shatrughan from Bihar LS list

first_imgNew Delhi: A day after the Mahagadbandhan announced the seat-sharing pact and names of its candidates for phase 1 polls, the the BJP on Saturday announced 102 more candidates for the Lok Sabha polls, including national spokesman Sambit Patra from Puri, Odisha, Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar (Morena, MP), Jayant Sinha (Hazaribagh, Jharkhand) and Shripad Naik (North Goa). Anurag Thakur has been renominated from Hamirpur.The party dropped four sitting MPs to fight anti-incumbency in Maharashtra. The party has dropped Pune MP Anil Shirole who has been replaced by Maharashtra Minister Girish Bapat. In Bihar, the BJP has dropped longtime “party warrior” Shatrughan Sinha from the Patna Sahib Lok Sabha constituency and fielded Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad from the Kayastha-dominated seat. Sinha is a two-time sitting MP from Patna Sahib but he has been unhappy with the BJP for the past couple of years. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsSinha has been seen aligned with the Opposition parties in targeting the Narendra Modi Government over issues ranging from demonetisation, GST, farmers’ distress, unemployment and allegations of corruption in Rafale deal. In the NDA list, Union Minister Giriraj Singh has been moved from his Nawada seat to Begusarai parliamentary constituency. Notably, Singh had expressed his displeasure over contesting from a new seat. The Nawada Lok Sabha seat has gone to the LJP as part of the seat-sharing pact and the LJP has fielded Chandan Singh (nephew of strongman Surajbhan Singh) from here. Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh was named NDA candidate from Purvi Champaran. He is the sitting MP. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayThe NDA’s list for Bihar has also taken care of caste equations as the party has fielded 13 candidates from the general category, 12 candidates belonging to the backward community and seven candidates belong to the extremely backward classes. The NDA has fielded three Bhumihar candidates while seven candidates belong to the Rajput community. In Uttar Pradesh, Pradeep Choudhary will contest from Kairana, which the BJP had lost in the by-polls while Yeshwant has been fielded from Nagina and Bhola Singh from Bulandshahr. Octogenarian party leader and sitting Kangra MP Shanta Kumar has been dropped. Kishan Kapoor will replace him. With Saturday’s 102 names, the party has announced 286 candidates.last_img read more

Atishi lodges complaint with DCW Gambhir too files defamation case

first_imgNEW DELHI: AAP’s East Delhi candidate Atishi Marlena, on Friday, filed a complaint with Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) against the alleged derogatory pamphlets circulated in her constituency. “If BJP and Gautam Gambhir can do this with an empowered woman then how will he ensure security to rest of the women? We have filed a complaint with the Delhi Commission of Women,” Atishi said.Meanwhile, Gautam Gambhir also sent a defamation notice to the AAP trio demanding their apology. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesDeputy CM Manish Sisodia said his party will send him a notice for defamation. “How is he filing a defamation case? We are the ones being defamed, we will file a defamation case against him. We will try to send a defamation notice to him today. His party has endorsed the pamphlets and he has not questioned that,” Sisodia said. On Thursday, Atishi broke down at a Press conference called by the AAP, where leaders displayed a pamphlet full of religious and sexist attacks on the candidate. “If Gambhir can stoop so low to defeat a strong woman like me, how can he ensure security for women as an MP?” asked the 37-year-old Oxford alumnus. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarStepping up his counter-offensive, BJP candidate Gautam Gambhir on Friday said he will ‘hang’ himself in public if the Aam Aadmi Party can prove that he has any link to the derogatory pamphlet allegedly circulated against his rival and AAP nominee from East Delhi Atishi Marlena. If the AAP fails to prove the allegations, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal should quit politics, the ex-cricketer demanded. “Challenger Number 3 to @ArvindKejriwal and @aap. If he can prove that I have anything to do with this pamphlet filth, then I will hang myself in public. Otherwise @ArvindKejriwal should quit politics. Accepted?” Gambhir tweeted. The BJP also approached East Delhi parliamentary seat returning officer K Mahesh seeking a police probe into the accusations against Gambhir in connection with the alleged circulation of obscene pamphlets targeting Atishi. The complaint was lodged by BJP’s Krishna Nagar councillor Sandeep Kapoor with the district magistrate and returning officer of East Delhi seeking a police probe in the matter, said Delhi BJP spokesperson Harish Khurana. The returning officer has already asked the police to register a complaint in this case. On Thursday night, Gambhir sent defamation notices to Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and Atishi asking them to withdraw their charges against him and tender an unconditional apology or face legal action. Atishi accompanied by Sisodia in a Press conference on Thursday had alleged Gambhir’s role in the circulation of pamphlets carrying “obscene and derogatory” remarks against her.last_img read more

Bizman murder case Wife daughter of main accused held

first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi Police on Wednesday arrested two women in connection of businessman murder in West Delhi’s Moti Nagar area.Both the arrested persons are wife and daughter of the main accused involved in the killing. Joint Commissioner of Police (western range) Madhup Tewari and Deputy Commissioner of Police ( West) Monika Bharadwaj visited the deceased’s family in Moti Nagar area and assured them about proper investigation and help in the case. DCP Monika Bharadwaj told Millennium Post that both the women were involved in a fight with the deceased’s family. In the statement to police, the victim in the case had told that both of them had beaten the deceased’s daughter. Investigation is underway to ascertain if the two women had helped the accused flee from the crime scene, the officer added. “We have also recorded deceased’s daughter statement in the case,” added DCP West. She further added the deceased’s son who was injured in the case is out of danger and receiving treatment at the hospital.” “Investigator further added that they have also taken the statement of the person who took the victim’s son to the hospital. A 51-year-old businessman was stabbed to death allegedly for objecting to lewd comments made by some boys on his daughter in West Delhi’s Moti Nagar area. Police identified earlier arrested two accused in the case and two minors were also apprehended. Sources said that they are verifying the age of the one of minor in the case. The family of the deceased met Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday. Security remained tight in the area Days after the incident the Delhi Police personnel were seen standing at the different corner of the street near the deceased’s house to make sure no untoward incident took place. Deceased’s brother told this newspaper that they do not want any political colour given to the incident. “People are coming but we are only to show condolence we don’t want any politics in this. We condemn such an act,” added the deceased’s brother. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday demanded strict action into the brutal killing of a businessman.last_img read more

Morocco Italian arrested for sexually abusing a minor

Rabat – An Italian national has been arrested in Marrakech on claims of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy.The Italian was arrested on Friday by local authorities in the town of Tamseloht, 15 kilometers from Marrakech.According to media reports, the man’s suspicious behavior grabbed the attention of authorities, who discovered the boy hidden beneath the seats of his car. The same source added that the man had been seen frequenting local play areas and schools where he came into contact with minors.The Italian, identified as 69-year-old Maori Develao, has been charged on Sunday with seducing and sexually abusing a minor without the use of  violence. read more

Saudi Grand Mufti Says Celebrating Prophets Birthday is Sinful

Rabat – After sparking controversy for warning against Pro-Gaza Demonstration, Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh has reportedly issued a new controversial fatwa suggesting that celebrating the birthday of Islam’s Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is “sinful.”On Friday, Muslims around the world celebrated the birth of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). In many countries, including Morocco, Muslims honored the birth of their Prophet in a ritual called the Mawlid.These popular practices are festive occasions that are often celebrated by remembering episodes from the life of the Prophet or by reciting devotional poetry.. It is also an opportunity for parents to take their children with them to the mosque and teach them about the Prophet’s teachings, bravery, and forgiving character. Some families also make sure to donate to charity in honor of the Prophet’s birthday.However, Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti and the General President for Scientific Researches and Fatwa Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh objects to such celebrations, according to Arab News.In his Friday congregational sermon at the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque in Riyadh, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh reportedly said that celebrating the Prophet’s birthday is a bidaa- sinful religious innovation-that “crept into Islam after the first three centuries, when the companions and successors of the companions lived.”He also claimed  that those who urge others to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet are “evil and corrupt.”The Grand Mufti clarified that love of the prophet should be expressed by following the Prophet’s teachings detailed in the Sunnah, rather than celebrating his birthday. In an attempt to support his claims, he quoted a verse from the holy Quran, in which Allah says:  “If you do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive your sins.”On the other hand, Omid Safi, Director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center, says that Muslims who honor Muhammad’s birthday do it out of a deep love for Muhammad that brings them closer to God. He explained saying:“For those who identify as Salafi, and wish to abide only by practices that they believe originate in the Qur’an and the example of Muhammad, it is a way of honoring the desire to practice Islam as Muhammad would have wanted us to do, without what is deemed to be later accretions and potentially dubious practices.”“As the Prophet himself is to have said, disagreement among the scholars is a mercy,” Omid Safi concluded.This is not the first time Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh has released a controversial fatwa.Last year, while several demonstrations were being organized in Arab and non-Arab countries in solidarity with the Gaza Strip, he said that these demonstrations “are just useless demagogic actions.” read more

EGE Students to Represent Morocco at New Yorks Model United Nations

Rabat – A delegation of students from Rabat’s Governance and Economic School (EGE) will represent Morocco at the “National Model United Nations (NMUN) 2015”, scheduled from March 22 to 26 at the Sheraton New York Times Square.The strongly motivated delegation, composed of 14 students between the ages of 18 and 22, is one of the two only delegations representing the African continent, according to a press release issued by EGE.Every year, this international event brings together thousands of students from all around the world to debate, negotiate, and defend the interests of the country they are assigned to represent. The Moroccan delegation will represent Kuwait. “Our main purpose is to give the best image of Morocco in this large gathering, but also to put what we have learnt in our Political Science and International Relations studies into practice,” reads the press release.It is not the first time that a delegation from EGE has participated in NMUN. The school has been successfully represented for the past three years.The Moroccan delegation has attended many workshops run or supervised by experts in order to be fully prepared for NMUN. These workshops included training on UN rules of procedure and jargon, Model United Nations conferences at EGE, and training at the Diplomatic Academy of Morocco.The event is a simulation of three UN bodies: the General Assembly, ECOSOC and the Security Council, in addition to several other UN committees, such as UNESCO, C-34, HRC, UNHCR, and others. read more

New Heat Wave to Hit Morocco in Ramadan

Rabat – A new heat wave is expected to hit several regions of Morocco from Saturday July 4th to Thursday July 9th, the national weather service has announced in a special bulletin.The regions concerned by this heat wave are Zagora, Tata, Assa-Zag, Aousserd, Oued Eddahab, Kasba Tadla, Beni-Mellal, Fquih Ben Saleh and Taroudant, where temperatures could vary from 40 to 44 degrees Celsius.From Sunday July 5th to Monday July 6th, temperatures are expected to reach between 44 and 48 degrees Celsius inAssa-Zag, Es-Smara, Laayoune, Boujdour, Oued Eddahab and Aousserd. During the same period, temperatures will vary between 40 and 44 degrees Celsius in Sidi Ifni, Guelmim, West of Laayoune, Boujdour, Oued Eddahab, Aousserd, Tata, Zagora, Taroudant, Agadir, Inezgane, Agadir Ait Melloul, Chichaoua, Benguerir, Marrakech, Essaouira, Beni Mellal, Tadla, Kelaât Sraghna, Sidi Slimane, Moulay Yaacoub, Meknes, Fez, Sidi Kacem and Taounate.The hot weather coincides with Islam’s holiest month of Ramadan. Moroccans observing the month of Ramadan are being urged to take extra care during the heat wave.It is important for Ramadan observers to stay well hydrated as being directly exposed to the sun may have negative side effects, namely dehydration and other serious health complications. read more

Brazil New Destinations for Moroccans Looking for New Opportunities

Miami – Moroccan nationals who choose to live abroad are making Brazil their new destination. The South American country is attracting the Moroccan diaspora due to its multicultural approach and economic opportunities.Brazil has become a top economic power in Latin America and its benefits are being recognized by Moroccans who immigrate to cities like “Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Recife and Porto Alegre”.Since 2013, Brazil-Moroccan relations have been growing such as the Rabat-Rio economic axis. Moroccan nationals do not require a visa to enter Brazil, although there is a lengthy legal process to establish residence in the nation. A report by Yabiladi said that several trade and industrial agreements have been signed between the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM) and the Association of Brazilian Employers (LIDE). Also, the creation in 2014 of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Brazil-Morocco (BCCM) has reinforced the economic ties between both countries.According to the same source, the Moroccan Embassy in Brazil estimates over 3,000 Moroccan nationals live in Brazil. They have preferred the Portuguese-speaking nation over other countries in Europe and North America.In late August 2015, the “Brazilian Senate approved the creation of a Parliamentary Group Brazil-Morocco in the Brazilian Parliament” which will examine both countries’ “political, legal, social, technological, environmental, cultural, economic, and financial” sectors, the report notes.Moroccan French journalist, Wafaa Essalhi, visited Brazil and produced a video interview in which Moroccan nationals express their satisfaction living and working in the South American country.In the video, one of the Moroccans who works at a restaurant says that the majority of Moroccans have a job in Brazil. He reiterates that the situation is better than in Europe and he foresees great development in the next 5 years. The young Moroccan also feels safe in the South American nation and attempts to clarify the negative image of violence associated with the country.Another advantage according to MRE in Brazil is the ease of learning Portuguese. Essalhi interviews another Moroccan immigrant who raves about Brazil’s weather, its beauty, moral values, and how he has been treated with respect and not felt discriminated. In his opinion, secondary education in Brazil is still lacking strength and foreign immigration aids its development. He also indicates the interest in Moroccan cuisine at Brazilian hotels, which becomes a source of employment.As far as social adaptation, Moroccans feel welcome in Brazil despite the differences in religion. According to those interviewed, even though they live comfortably in Brazil and are grateful for their success, they miss Morocco, their homes and traditions.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

Mohand Laenser Benkiranes Government Formation Logic Will Lead to Political Crisis

Rabat – Popular Movement (MP) Secretary-General Mohand Laenser said on Thursday that Head of Government Abdelilah Benkirane’s logic for the government formation process “cannot lead to anything but a political crisis because it ignores the principles of symmetry, harmony and trust that should be the cornerstone of any effective and efficient alliance.”Laenser noted that instead of opting for a cabinet reshuffle after winning the October 7th elections, the Justice and Development Party’s (PJD) Benkirane has chosen a full-scale course adjustment – delaying the completion of the formation process.“Benkirane’s preference for the parties of the Kutla – the trusted Istiqlal Party and the Party of Progress and Socialism – does not cancel the incorporation of other parties in the government coalition in order to complete a parliamentary majority,” the MP leader said. “This is making the task of forming a government harder and risks a political crisis.” Morocco still is not in political crisis mode, Laenser said, while encouraging the PJD leader to pursue relationships with the remainder of the political parties with seats in the new legislature.The two Kutla parties have declared their support for Benkirane’s coalition so far, but negotiations with the National Rally of Independents (RNI), led by Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Aziz Akhannouch, and the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) are still ongoing.The government coalition’s seat count now stands at 183 seats – 15 seats shy of a majority. An alliance with either the RNI (37 seats) or the USFP (20 seats) would give the PJD the 198 seats it needs to push its legislative agenda. read more

Moroccan Intellectual Abdallah Laroui Wants to Make Inheritance Wills a Requirement

Rabat – To solve the debate on inheritance in Morocco, historian and intellectual, Abdallah Laroui believes that establishing wills should be mandatory. He made the comments during a speech at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Mohammed V University in Rabat on 19 January.The question of inheritance in Morocco is a socio-economic problem that could be approached “from the point of view of utility and interest,” he said, as quoted by Telquel. For him, the question on gender equality in inheritance could be solved by requiring all Moroccans to write their own individual will.“The inheritance can take the form of a declaration by citizens, as part of their properties subjected to taxes,” says Laroui. Arbaoui indicates that inheritance cannot be discussed from a religious perspective. “The state must address this issue from an objective point of view,” said the Moroccan philosopher. However, an overwhelming majority of Moroccans — eighty-seven percent — oppose gender equality when it comes to inheritance, according to the results of a national survey by the High Commission for Planning.In 2015, the Moroccan Council of Human Rights (CNDH) called on the government to establish equality between men and women in inheritance in accordance with the 2011 constitution.The current majority party in parliament, Party of Justice and Development (PJD), responded to the issue stating its unequivocal rejection of any debate regarding equality of men and women in inheritance. read more

Bollywood Superstar Salman Khan Sentenced to 5 Years for Poaching

By Zoubida SenoussiRabat – One of the world’s highest paid celebrities is now paying for his crime.Bollywood bad boy Salman Khan is facing some real time in jail. According to the BBC, the Indian actor was sentenced on Thursday to five years in prison and INR 10,000 (MAD 1,418) by a court in Rajasthan for poaching rare antelopes from his car window back in 1998, while filming in Jodhpur.   This complaint has been filed by the local Bishnoi, “a community who reveres and worship the blackbuck,” adds the same source. The 52-year-old actor’s lawyers will appeal the decision. An urgent bail hearing was scheduled for Friday.“We are studying the judgment–it just came as a surprise, as the entire investigation, and facts of this case were the same as those for which Salman was acquitted by the High Court of Rajasthan in two [other] cases,” one of his lawyers said to the source.On social media, the “Saajan” actor has been receiving a lot of support from his fans. The hashtag #WeLoveYouSalmanKhan is actually trending on Twitter, where he has more than 32 million followers and another 15.3 million on Instagram.Khan has a long and troubled relationship with the law. In 2015, Bollywood’s sweetheart was found guilty in a deadly hit-and-run accident and received a five-year prison sentence. The case was later dropped by a higher court for “a lack of evidence.”Difficulties with the justice system aside, Salman Khan has been busy pursuing his acting career. Last year, the heartthrob was filming the movie “Tiger Zinda Hai” in Morocco, an event that attracted Moroccan fans of the star in Essaouira, where part of the shooting took place. read more

Bezos says Enquirer threatened to publish revealing pics

LOS ANGELES — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says the National Enquirer is threatening to publish revealing photographs of him unless his private investigators back off the tabloid.Bezos detailed the revelations in a Thursday post on Medium.com. He accuses the Enquirer of “extortion and blackmail.”The National Enquirer published a story last month that included lurid texts between Bezos and former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez. Since then, private investigators have been looking into how the Enquirer got the texts.Bezos says the Enquirer’s parent company tried to get him to agree to a deal for the tabloid not to publish the explicit photos.As part of the deal, Bezos would have to release a public statement that he has “no knowledge or basis” to suggest the tabloid’s reporting was politically motivated.Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press read more

RAM Denies Responsibility in Prince Harry and Meghan Photographers Luggage Loss

Rabat – Royal Air Maroc (RAM) released a statement explaining the delay of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s flight and the loss of their photographers’ luggage.RAM said that because of heavy fog over London, Heathrow and Gatwick airports ordered several airlines, including RAM, to temporarily suspend their flights over the capital on Saturday.Flight AT 803 carrying the royal couple and their accompanying delegation was consequently delayed by an hour. RAM noted that Prince Harry and Meghan’s three photographers, whose luggage was lost, flew into Morocco on RAM’s flight AT 801 on Friday. However, RAM blamed the photographers for not registering their luggage aboard the same flight.According to Mark Cuthbert, one of the royal photographers, seven members of the media had no luggage upon arrival, and five of them have “gone the whole trip without them.” He complained that RAM refused to even give them a lost luggage reference number and accused RAM of having “woeful service.”The company explained that for purely operational reasons, the three photographers’ luggage had to be transported from London to Casablanca via Madrid through airlines other than RAM.The Duke and Duchess and their staff returned to London on Monday. read more

Moroccan Doctors Want Pregnant Women to Pay UpFront for Cesareans

Rabat – Private doctors in Morocco have announced they will no longer accept reimbursements from the National Fund of Social Welfare Organizations (CNOPS) for cesarean operations.“Our position on this matter is firm” Doctor Hachem Tyal, the deputy director of the National Association of Private Clinics told Morocco World News.The National Coordination of Private Doctors (CNMP) announced in a press release on April 20 that “from 1st May 2019, for reasons beyond their control, gynecologists will no longer accept reimbursements from CNOPS.” Patients receiving c-sections will now have to pay clinics upfront for the surgery’s full cost, and it will be their responsibility to seek reimbursement from CNOPS.CNMP’s  decision is a direct response to recent changes by CNOPS in its c-section reimbursement procedure. The changes angered doctors who claim CNOPS is accusing them of performing unnecessary cesareans. Doctors also claim that CNOPS is attempting to control the cesarean birth rate.In a press release on April 17, CNOPS announced that from May 1, all cesareans performed without a medical justification would be reimbursed at the same rate as a natural delivery. CNOPS also introduced more stringent reimbursement requirements. Cesarean providers seeking CNOPS reimbursements would have to provide a document identifying the reasons for the cesarean, a risk-benefit analysis of the procedure and the conditions of its delivery, stated CNOPS in the press release. High rate of cesareansAccording to CNOPS, the new requirements come in response to the “abnormally high rate of cesareans” in Morocco. In 2017, CNOPS counted 30,583 births, of which 18,522, or 61%, were by cesarean. In 2013, cesareans accounted for 35% of births. Spending by CNOPS on cesareans increased from MAD 13 million ($1.3 million) in 2013 to MAD 130 million in 2017 ($13 million).According to Tyal, these numbers are biased. “The cesarean numbers recorded by the CNOPS are completely biased. Many women in Morocco do not have access to CNOPS so these numbers do not take into account the high number of natural births for which no CNOPS reimbursement is claimed. These numbers do not reflect the real childbirth situation in Morocco,” Tyal told MWN.Read Also: Morocco’s CNOPS Files Fraud Lawsuit against Privately Owned ClinicsAziz Khorsi, head of communication at CNOPS told Morocco World News that the CNOPS statistics do only reflect patients covered by CNOPS. He added, however, that “the cesarean statistics are worrying.”“The reimbursement procedure has not changed significantly. All we are requiring is a medical report.”Read Also: Public Doctors Condemn Health Sector Problems, Threaten to EmigrateThe World Health Organization considers the ideal rate for cesareans to be between 10% and 15% of births.In its press release, CNOPS also cited a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, noting that non-necessary medical procedures and “wastages” account for 20% of spendings on health.Doctors have expressed anger about this comment, saying CNOPS is suggesting gynecologists in Morocco are performing unnecessary cesareans.“This is pure and simple defamation. The CNOPS must not make allegations that gynecologists are crooks,”  Tyal complained. Tyal wants the CNOPS to reconsider the changes it has made to the reimbursement policy.“CNOPS is not here to control the rate of cesarean births. It makes no sense. This is a medical decision to be taken by the doctors,” he said. “CNOPS must reconsider its position. CNOPS is threatening the health of mothers and children and it’s comments towards gynecologists are defamatory.”The National Association of Private Clinics is meeting with the Minister of Health this morning to discuss the issue. read more

UN agencies launch 85million appeal to aid 22 million Iraqi refugees

The funds are required to support host governments in meeting the health and nutrition needs of the refugees until the end of next year.The appeal emphasizes the basic health needs of displaced Iraqis in neighbouring countries, in particular Syria and Jordan which host about 1.5 million and 750,000 Iraqis respectively. The large numbers of people who have arrived over the past year put an enormous strain on the already overstretched public services and pose major challenges to host governments as well as local and international organizations.“The health needs of more than 2 million displaced Iraqis should not be ignored,” said the World Health Organization (WHO), which launched the appeal together with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), UN High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) and World Food Programme (WFP).“Many are survivors of violence and have serious medical conditions. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi displaced children need to keep on track with their vaccination programme. This requires an enormous coordinated effort between governments, UN agencies and NGOs (non-governmental organizations), and significant financial support from the international community,” it added in a news release. In Syria alone, hundreds of Iraqi amputees need prostheses and thousands of cancer patients and trauma victims need specialized treatment. Access to hospital care is limited. Gaps have arisen in the national health information and disease surveillance systems, which increase the risk of vaccine-preventable diseases.The displaced population also needs reproductive and child health services, while the deteriorating purchasing power of Iraqis may also lead to rising malnutrition rates, the agencies said. “Over the past year, the countries in the region have been very generous in keeping their borders open and have made a very substantial contribution to the health and nutrition needs of the displaced Iraqis,” WHO said. “But the burden on their health systems has become overwhelming and requires immediate and urgent support from the international community.”A recent assessment in Syria found that 62 per cent of household heads were unemployed, while 35.8 per cent worked in private jobs, and that 45.4 per cent of Iraqi refugee families can be classified as poor or extremely poor. It also showed that the majority of families live in shared accommodation, leading to overcrowding with increased the risk of the spread of infection, especially among elderly and young. 18 September 2007United Nations humanitarian agencies today launched a joint $84.8-million appeal to meet the health and nutrition needs of an estimated 2.2 million Iraqis who have fled the ongoing violence and instability in their homeland to neighbouring countries. read more

Ban Kimoon unveils judicial selection panel for Hariri tribunal in Lebanon

Mr. Ban sent a letter to the Security Council President informing him of his intention to appoint Judge Mohamed Amin El Mahdi, Judge Erik Møse and Nicolas Michel to the selection panel, according to a statement released by the Secretary-General’s spokesperson.Judge El Mahdi formerly served on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Judge Møse currently serves as a presiding judge with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Mr. Michel is the UN Legal Counsel and Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs.Today’s statement stressed that Mr. Ban remained committed to setting up the Tribunal in a timely manner and that he continues to believe the court “will contribute to ending impunity in Lebanon for the crimes under its jurisdiction.”The Tribunal is being set up to deal with the assassination of Mr. Hariri, who was killed along with 22 others in a massive car bombing in downtown Beirut in February 2005.Once it is formally established, it will be up to the court to determine whether other political killings in Lebanon since October 2004 were connected to the assassination of Mr. Hariri and could therefore be dealt with by the Tribunal.The selection panel is tasked with recommending to Mr. Ban the names of the four Lebanese judges and seven international judges who should serve on the court, as well as its chief prosecutor.According to the Tribunal’s statute, the chambers will consist of one international pre-trial judge; three judges to serve in the trial chamber (one Lebanese and two international); five judges to serve in the appeals chamber (two Lebanese and three international); and two alternate judges (one Lebanese and one international). The judges of the trial chamber and those of the appeals chamber will then each elect a presiding judge to conduct the proceedings in their chamber, with the presiding judge of the appeals chamber serving as president of the Tribunal. 11 October 2007Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the composition of a selection panel to recommend to him the names of judges and chief prosecutor to work on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which is being set up to prosecute the suspected killers of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005. read more

UN war crimes tribunal chief reports Serbia to Security Council

Judge Fausto Pocar of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) informed Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad of the United States, which holds the rotating Council presidency this month, that the Serbian Government had been unwilling to cooperate in the so-called ‘Milutinović and others’ case.The ICTY trial chamber tried on a number of occasions between March and June this year to contact General Aleksander Dimitrijević, former head of the Yugoslav Army’s Security Administration, to have him appear as a witness in the Milutinović case.Mr. Milutinović is on trial with five other former top Yugoslav political and military figures – Nikola Šainović, Nebojša Pavković, Dragoljub Ojdanić, Vladimir Lazarević and Sreten Lukić – over an alleged campaign of terror and violence directed against Kosovo Albanians and other non-Serbs living in Kosovo in 1999. All six men face charges of murder, deportation, forcible transfer and the persecution of thousands of Kosovo Albanians and other non-Serbs.As Gen. Dimitrijević’s address in Serbia was not available to the ICTY, both the trial chamber and Judge Pocar urged Rasim Ljajić, the head of Serbia’s National Council for Cooperation, on a number of occasions to ensure the delivery of both the letter inviting the General to testify and the subsequent subpoena.But the National Council for Cooperation’s response to requests from the tribunal for updates “were often delayed and incomplete,” according to a statement to the media issued today, and Gen. Dimitrijević failed to appear in court as well.“The Government of Serbia is challenging the authority of the International Tribunal and the Security Council,” Judge Pocar said, adding that Serbia is therefore “in breach of its international legal obligations.” 23 June 2008The President of the United Nations tribunal set up to deal with the worst war crimes committed during the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s has reported Serbia to the Security Council for failing to cooperate with the court. read more

Battle against terror is multidimensional Pakistani leader tells UN

Tackling terror demands a multi-faceted approach that goes beyond military means, President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan said at the General Assembly’s high-level segment today, calling on the support of the international body to address the scourge.“Fighting it requires political will, popular mobilization and a socio-economic strategy that wins the hearts and minds of nations afflicted by it,” Mr. Zardari, the husband of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated last December.He stressed the need to generate jobs and provide education for the people, adding, “to mobilize them we have to give them hope and opportunity for the future.”Unlike those who only know about terror from what they read, “we live with it,” the President told delegates. “We do not learn about terror from reading newspapers or watching the evening news.”The President trumpeted democracy as the only means to triumph in the struggle against extremism.He noted that his late wife “understood that democracy was not an end, but a beginning: that a starving child has no human rights; that a father who could not support his family was someone ripe for extremism.”But he underlined that Pakistan needs the support of other nations to succeed, having contributed its military facilities, air space, intelligence and armed forces to the international community. “In our stability lies the world’s security,” Mr. Zardari said.“Better relations between Pakistan, Afghanistan and India would help create the regional environment that is more conducive to reducing militancy in our region,” he added. 25 September 2008Tackling terror demands a multi-faceted approach that goes beyond military means, President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan said at the General Assembly’s high-level segment today, calling on the support of the international body to address the scourge. read more