Toronto home sales to slip but remain vulnerable to overvaluation experts

first_imgTORONTO – Continued signs of overheating in some cities leaves Canada’s housing market highly vulnerable for the sixth straight quarter, the federal housing agency said Tuesday as the country’s largest real estate board predicted another year of rising prices.The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said Tuesday that the country could fall prey to market instability. The cities of Toronto, Hamilton, Victoria and Vancouver are its greatest source of concern.“This assessment is a result of the detection of moderate evidence of price acceleration and moderate evidence of overvaluation,” CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan said.He noted that Manitoba, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces are faring better than their Ontarian and British Columbian counterparts and that Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Regina are seeing rashes of overbuilding, but house prices there are in line with the population and its income.He stressed that across the country there are only “weak” signs of overbuilding and overheating — a problem that has plagued the Greater Toronto Area in recent years.The agency’s observations came the same day the Toronto Real Estate Board reported an 18 per cent drop in annual sales last year as the market started to cool from previous overheated conditions.In its annual forecast released Tuesday, the board said it expects home sales this year to slip to somewhere between 85,000 and 95,0000, slightly lower than 2017 when there were 92,394 sales.However, the real estate board also forecast that the average home will sell for between $800,000 and $850,000 — similar to TREB’s prediction for 2017.“The midpoint of that range suggests a slight increase in the average selling price this year,” it said in the report.The average selling price reached $822,681 last year.The market is being dampened by the Ontario government’s moves to stabilize housing conditions after 2017 saw a busy first quarter, another interest rate hike from the Bank of Canada in January, a rise in five-year fixed mortgage rates and a new mortgage stress test brought in Jan.1.“Federal and provincial policy decisions will act as a drag on demand for ownership housing,” TREB predicted in a Tuesday release.“In response to the stress test, many intending buyers will change the type and/or location of home they are looking to purchase or potentially tap other down payment sources, rather than simply deciding not to purchase a home.”TREB’s forecast comes about two weeks after the Canadian Real Estate Association slashed its outlook for 2018 to predict a 5.3 per cent drop in national sales to 486,600 units this year. When compared with previous estimates, that’s a drop of 8,500 units.At the time, CREA said it was already seeing signs that the country was “fully recovering” from last year’s surge in home prices that sent the market into a frenzy.TREB and CREA’s predicted Toronto slowdown is unlikely to seep across the country, TD Canada Trust economists Michael Dolega and Rishi Sondhi said in a note to investors on Tuesday.They found Atlantic markets are looking positive “with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador, owing to a continued influx of international migrants.”In Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, they expect higher mortgage rates will lengthen the time needed for sales to recover and dampen activity, but Quebec will “enjoy a relatively healthy performance.”However, they added, the recent mortgage regulations “coupled with higher rates will meaningfully weaken housing demand in the high priced Toronto and Vancouver markets, leading to softer activity in Ontario and B.C.”last_img read more

Sohi defends Liberal infrastructure plan says 20000 projects underway

first_imgOTTAWA – The Liberals’ multibillion-dollar plan to spur the economy through work on the country’s roads, bridges, transit and water systems is rolling out as planned, Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi said Thursday as he defended the government’s strategy by outlining details of work to date.Federal officials say 82 per cent of the $11.8 billion set aside in the Liberals’ first budget has been allocated to 28,000 projects. Approximately 20,000 projects, valued at $9.4 billion, are underway, based on reports from provinces and cities.The details of how much the federal government has doled out for those projects will be known later this year after federal workers close the books on the recently completed fiscal year. Less clear is how much cities and provinces have spent to date on the various construction, upgrade and rehabilitation projects which the first phase of spending was supposed to fund.Parliament’s budget watchdog in a report late last month said the government’s economic growth projections from the money had slipped as spending has been delayed, and warned economic gains could be wiped out by 2022 thanks to expected increases in interest rates.Sohi argued that the spending he oversees has helped prod some economic growth in the short-term, but much of it won’t be realized for years to come.“Infrastructure investments are about long-term opportunities. They act as a catalyst for economic growth,” he said.“The LRT (light rail transit) system being built today may not create as much economic growth, but they enable people to move quicker, they enable people to get to work on time and get home on time, they improve our productivity and reduce congestion. So all those things act as a stimulus for economic opportunities and economic growth.”As for the delays in spending, Sohi suggested they were natural. The program, he said “has been rolled out as we had anticipated and is being delivered as we’ve anticipated.”Conservative infrastructure critic Michael Chong said the government was missing its growth targets because it wasn’t properly managing the program, nor spending the money according to schedule. He called the update on the infrastructure plan “more spin from the government.”“Every month or so we seem to get another version of what’s going on. The fact remains that they’re not spending the money they committed to,” Chong said.“They can talk about … the money is being spent at the provincial and municipal level and will be reimbursed at some future date, but the fact remains the federal government is not getting the money out the door that they committed to and this has real life, real-world implications.”Sohi’s briefing was designed to let the government take stock of the work done to date on dozens of infrastructure programs that, together, total $186.7 billion over 12 years and are overseen by 14 federal departments and agencies.Sohi said it makes sense to have more than a dozen federal organizations involved in distributing the money because the government wants to leverage their expertise, rather than duplicate efforts inside Infrastructure Canada.The first phase of the infrastructure plan was to deliver $14.4 billion through 34 programs detailed in the Liberals’ first budget in 2016.Sohi extended the deadline for finishing projects to 2020 after provinces, territories and cities said they would have a hard time completing work by now.The second phase will see $81.2 billion over the next decade through 24 new programs, 13 of which have yet to launch. The Liberals are finalizing spending agreements with provinces that, once signed, will lock in the spending, Sohi said.NDP infrastructure critic Brigitte Sansoucy said despite the numbers, the government has yet to provide specific infrastructure funding assigned to projects in the last two budgets.“Like the (parliamentary budget officer) report pointed out, it really does seem like the Liberals don’t have a plan,” she said in a statement.Sohi also said that the Liberals soon expect to announce the first permanent CEO of the Canada Infrastructure Bank, a new federal agency created to finance revenue-generating projects like subway lines that have private sector backers. He said there are a number of projects that the agency is reviewing, but details are not being made public for the moment.— Follow @jpress on Twitter.last_img read more

Ensign Energy Services makes takeover offer for Trinidad Drilling

first_imgCALGARY – Shares in Calgary-based Trinidad Drilling Ltd. leaped by almost 15 per cent on Monday after cross-town rival Ensign Energy Services Inc. announced it would make a hostile $470-million cash takeover bid.The offer of $1.68 per share comes less than two weeks after Trinidad announced it would abandon a strategic review that included considering a corporate sale or asset sales to reduce debt and attract investors.Including Trinidad’s estimated net debt of $477 million as of June 30, the total value of the takeover would be about $947 million, Ensign said in a news release.Trinidad said Monday it has struck a special committee and hired advisers to examine the Ensign bid so that it can provide advice to its shareholders.Ensign, which already owns 9.8 per cent of Trinidad’s shares, said it tried to discuss a deal after Trinidad announced ending its review on Aug. 1, but the board had unacceptable conditions, including the signing of a confidentiality agreement with a lengthy standstill provision.“We strongly believe that the Trinidad board and management of Trinidad, as fiduciaries of the company, should have engaged with Ensign, without a standstill, to pursue an attractive opportunity to surface shareholder value,” the statement reads.“The Trinidad board’s failure to fully engage with Ensign has led us to bring the offer directly to you, the shareholders and true owners of the company.”Ensign called on the Trinidad board to allow the bid period to be shortened from the legal minimum of 105 days to 35 days, pointing out a higher bid is unlikely to emerge given that the target company’s review found no viable alternatives.Full details of the bid are to be included in a formal offer to be filed with regulators within the next two weeks, it said.In its statement, Trinidad said Ensign didn’t take part in its strategic review process and therefore hasn’t had access to information that would “better allow it to understand” its business and operations.Trinidad shares rose 22 cents on Monday to $1.73, five cents higher than the bid. Their five-year-high close of $12.75 was set in June 2014.Ensign shares rose through the day to reach $6.28, up 5.5 per cent, by about 2:30 p.m. ET.Ensign’s offer greatly undervalues Trinidad, said Jason Tucker, an oilfield services analyst and partner at Paradigm Capital in Calgary.“We have a target price on it of $3 (per share) and I think $3 is probably more than fair,” he said, adding Trinidad has an enviable position in the Permian Basin in Texas that could attract an American buyer.“Ensign and Precision Drilling are the only logical takeout candidates for a deal of that size by a Canadian player, but I think there are more options at this point.”In a research note after Trinidad halted its review and adopted a five-year plan instead, analyst Ian Gillies of GMP FirstEnergy Capital said the news was negative and would likely result in it continuing to trade at a discount to other drilling companies.“We appreciate the company’s five-year plan but believe the oilfield services business cycle could ultimately derail its goals,” he wrote.“We are disappointed with this outcome given our view that consolidation remains a key tenet of a healthier oilfield services market in North America.”Both Ensign and Trinidad have Canadian, U.S. and international operations, but Ensign is much larger.In the second quarter ended June 30, traditionally a slow period for Canadian drillers due to the melting landscape, Ensign posted a net loss of $37 million on revenue of $263 million, while Trinidad had a loss of about $12 million on revenue of $130 million.Several Canadian drillers, including Trinidad and Precision, have moved rigs from Canada to the United States as demand grows much more quickly south of the border.In July, the Petroleum Services Association of Canada adjusted its 2018 Canadian drilling forecast down by 500 wells to 6,900 oil and gas wells, 200 fewer than were drilled in 2017, and nearly seven per cent less than its April forecast for 7,400 this year.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:TDG, TSX:EDI, TSX:PD)last_img read more

Trump task force recommends ways to boost Postal Service

first_imgWASHINGTON — A task force created by President Donald Trump to evaluate ways to stem billions of dollars in losses at the U.S. Postal Service is suggesting a range of options, including proposals that could significantly boost the cost of sending non-essential mail.The report recommended that the Postal Service develop a new pricing model that would remove current price caps and charge market-based prices for both mail and packages that were not deemed to be “essential postal services.”That recommendation could raise costs for Amazon and other major businesses that are currently using the Postal Service to supplement their delivery operations.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says that the report “contains achievable recommendations.”Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Presslast_img read more

What is isnt available for businesses during govt shutdown

first_imgNEW YORK — Small business owners are increasingly feeling the impact of the partial government shutdown that’s in its 17th day. Agencies including the Small Business Administration and the IRS are not providing information and services, although the SBA’s disaster loan operations are at work.A look at what is and isn’t available for businesses:SBA LOANS AND CERTIFICATIONSThe SBA isn’t processing loan applications, which means owners seeking business loans will have to wait until after the government reopens to find out if they’ve been approved. Owners can still apply for loans, as the process begins by contacting a bank that is an SBA lender.SBA certifications are also not being processed. Companies hoping to get certification, for example, as a woman-owned business, can’t apply, and they also can’t find out the status of a previously submitted application. Small businesses use certifications in bidding for government and private contracts and also in marketing themselves.GOVERNMENT CONTRACTINGCompanies that are already working for the government won’t be paid for their work until after the shutdown ends. Companies that have bid on contracts and want to know if they’ve won may have to wait — the outcome will depend on whether the agency and contracting officer is working.In some cases, contractors are not authorized to do government-related work during the shutdown.Agencies that are operating are publishing bidding opportunities. The Defence, Agriculture and Justice Departments were among those posting opportunities on the government’s bidding website, www.fedbizopps.gov on Monday. However, the government employees listed as contacts on a specific opportunity might not be available.CERTIFYING EMPLOYEESEmployers are unable to verify that their new hires are eligible to work in the U.S. The government’s verification website, www.e-verify.gov , is available for information purposes, but is not providing verification services.IRSAll taxpayers including business owners and tax advisers are unable to reach IRS employees to get information or have their questions answered. Phone calls to the IRS, including its phone line for tax professionals, are answered by a recording saying the service is unavailable. The IRS website, www.irs.gov , is operating, and taxpayers can make tax payments and view their account information.DISASTER ASSISTANCEBusinesses and homeowners can apply for disaster assistance through the SBA website, www.sba.gov and www.disasterassistance.gov .___For more small business news, insights and inspiration, sign up for our free weekly newsletter here: http://discover.ap.org/ssb_____Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: https://apnews.com/search/joyce%20rosenbergJoyce M. Rosenberg, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Royal BC Museum awards repatriation grant to Treaty 8 Tribal Association

first_imgThe repatriation grant program is the first of its kind in Canada, the Museum said that it is an important part of the ongoing collaboration between the it and Indigenous communities in B.C. to address the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the direction provided by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. VICTORIA, B.C. – The Royal BC Museum announced today that 21 First Nations communities across B.C., including the Treaty 8 Tribal Association in Northeast B.C., have been granted funding to support repatriation work.The repatriation grants announced by the Museum this morning total $586,160, of which the Treaty 8 Tribal Association will be receiving $21,883. The funding will allow the First Nations to support a host of repatriation activities, ranging from establishing planning committees to facilitating the return of ancestral remains to home communities.“Museums around the world, including the Royal BC Museum, have a moral obligation to support Indigenous communities engaged in repatriation,” said Museum CEO Professor Jack Lohman. “Providing this financial support for repatriation projects across the province is one way for this museum to put its full institutional weight behind reconciliation efforts.”last_img read more

School District 60 receives Regional Performance Award for Youth Apprentices

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – At a recent School District 60 Board Meeting, the School District received recognition for excellence in Youth Apprentices.Pam Eales, of Industry Training Authority B.C., was on hand to present the Award to the School District for their continued support in trades training.“I’d like to recognize School District 60 for their great support, encouragement, and all of the work that they do with youth working in trades.” Ida Campbell, School District Chair, accepted the Award on behalf of the School District.The ITA Regional Performance Award recognizes apprentices, employers and training providers for excellent performance in providing youth apprenticeships.last_img read more

Senator refuses to apologize for remark urging convoy roll over Liberals

first_imgThe Saskatchewan senator said in a statement the comment was a figure of speech, in the context of an election year.“This is manufactured outrage by the Liberals to distract from the real plight of our and gas industry and the harm they are doing to the West _ to my province _ with their policies,” it read. “The words I used may not have been as artful as I would have liked and certain individuals are happy to misinterpret them to suit their own self-interest, but I am not going to apologize for that.”Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick prefaced an appearance at the House of Commons justice committee on Thursday by voicing grave reservations about the state of political dialogue.Wernick did not mention Tkachuk directly but said it was “totally unacceptable” that a parliamentarian would incite people to drive trucks over others after 10 pedestrians were killed in a van attack in Toronto last year.“I hope that you as parliamentarians are going to condemn that,” he said.Toronto Liberal MP Adam Vaughan apologized in early February for a tweet that people should “whack” Ontario Premier Doug Ford. OTTAWA, O.N. – Conservative Sen. David Tkachuk says he won’t apologize for comments he made at a pro-pipeline rally in Ottawa, calling criticism that he was inciting violence “manufactured outrage.”Tkachuk spoke Tuesday to the United We Roll convoy, which left Red Deer, Alta. on Feb. 14 and expressed a wide variety of demands, some related to the oil and gas sector. The convoy participants opposed bills that will overhaul environmental assessments of energy projects and ban oil tankers from the northern coast of British ColumbiaTkachuk told the crowd, many of whom had driven across the Prairies and Ontario in pickup trucks and semis, to “roll over every Liberal left in the country … Because when they’re gone, these bills are gone.” Vaughan said the remark was in reference to the “whack-a-mole” carnival game, where players hold a mallet and hit targets as they randomly pop up from a board.last_img read more

Committee undertakes project on children and youth with special needs

first_imgVICTORIA, B.C. – A project on children and youth with neuro-diverse (e.g., ASD, FASD, developmental delay) special needs, is being undertaken by the all-party Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth focusing on improving assessment and eligibility processes.The committee invites British Columbians to share their input and experiences by speaking with the committee at a public hearing, or by making a written submission by 5 p.m., June 7, 2019. The committee will release a report with recommendations to the legislative assembly by the early fall.“Families of children and youth with neuro-diverse special needs may navigate a number of pathways, services and providers over the course of a child’s journey,” said Nicholas Simons, committee chair and MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast. “The committee is looking to better understand those experiences and explore opportunities to improve assessment and eligibility processes.” “We are interested in hearing directly from parents, caregivers and other stakeholders about barriers and challenges, and how processes and supports can be simplified,” said Michelle Stilwell, deputy chair and MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. “The committee wants to find solutions that better serve children and youth with neuro-diverse special needs and their families.”The consultation, including registration for public hearings, is available; CLICK HEREPublic hearings will be held in eight communities; teleconference options are also available: Terrace (May 21) Fort St. John (May 22) Prince George (May 22) Kelowna (May 23) Castlegar (May 23) Nanaimo (May 24) Victoria (June 3) Surrey (June 4)The members of the committee are: Nicholas Simons, MLA Powell River-Sunshine Coast (chair) Michelle Stilwell, MLA Parksville-Qualicum (deputy chair) Sonia Furstenau, MLA Cowichan Valley Rick Glumac, MLA Port Moody-Coquitlam Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA Courtenay-Comox Ellis Ross, MLA Skeena Rachna Singh, MLA Surrey-Green Timbers Laurie Throness, MLA Chilliwack Kent Teresa Wat, MLA Richmond North CentreFor further information on the meetings, contact;Jennifer ArrilCommittee ClerkRoom 224, Parliament BuildingsVictoria, B.C., V8V 1X4Telephone: 250 356-2933 (collect)Toll-free: 1 877 428-8337Fax: 250 356-8172E-mail: ChildrenandYouthCommittee@leg.bc.calast_img read more

Canfor announces curtailments for BC Sawmills due to very poor lumber markets

first_imgThe curtailments will reduce production output by approximately 200 million board feet and are scheduled to run from June 17 through to July 26. VANCOUVER, B.C. – Canfor Corporation announced on Monday, June 10, that it will be curtailing operations at the majority of its British Columbian Sawmills.According to Canfor, mills will be curtailed for two weeks or the equivalent, with extended curtailments of four weeks at Houston and Plateau, and six weeks at Mackenzie.Canfor says the curtailments are due to very poor lumber markets and the high cost of fibre, which are making the operating conditions in B.C. uneconomic.last_img read more

Clarke compares GoT season 8 with Meet the Parents

first_imgLos Angeles: Actor Emilia Clarke says she considers the upcoming eighth and final season of her hit HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’ a bit like ‘Meet the Parents’. The 2000 romantic comedy, featuring Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro and Teri Polo, is about a man meeting the parents of his girlfriend for the first time. In the upcoming eighth season, Clark’s Daenerys Targaryen arrives at Winterfell, the home of her new lover, Jon Snow (Kit Harington), where she is set to meet his sisters, Arya (Maisie Williams) and Sansa (Sophie Turner), and his brother Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright). Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka”I like to think that it’s like ‘Meet the Parents’. It’s like: ‘I hope they like me. This dude’s wicked. It’s a real good thing we got going on. He’s the final piece. We’re destined for greatness and world domination is a breath away.’ “And so I need to be like: ‘Can I braid your hair, Sansa? Little Arya, come over here, let’s play some cricket.’ So there’s that. And then, very, very quickly, it’s like: ‘Wait, is it just me, or do they hate me?'” Clarke told Entertainment Weekly. The 32-year-old actor also said that her portrayal of the Mother of the Dragons has evolved a lot over the years. “The thing I now realise is she’s not a scared little girl anymore. So there’s less room for vulnerability or sentimentality or soft edges,” she added. The final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ premieres on April 14.last_img read more

Two labourers suffer injuries in Rajarhat blast

first_imgKolkata: Local residents of Kanchkal near Lauhati in Rajarhat got panic-stricken after a blast took place on Friday morning when work to widen roads was in progress. Two labourers were injured in the blast. They have been treated and discharged from a local primary health centre.According to the police, on Friday, around 9:25 am, when the road-widening work was in progress, labourers were moving some boulders, which were kept at the roadside with the help of a JCB machine. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaWhile doing so, all of a sudden a blast took place leaving two labours — Ajij Gaji and Safiqul Sardar injured. Rajarhat police station was immediately informed. The labourers were rushed to Reckjoani Block Primary Health Centre with minor injuries. Meanwhile, the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) of Bidhannagar Police was called for a thorough check of the area. The officials of the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad collected samples and sent them to Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) for examination. Primarily, it appears that the blast occurred due to unused explosive present in stone boulders. However, the exact cause of the blast would be confirmed after the CFSL examination is conducted.last_img read more

Mulayam Akhilesh get CBI clean chit in DA case

first_imgNew Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court gave clean chits to former Uttar Pradesh Chief Ministers Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav among others named in a disproportionate assets (DA) case. The development came as efforts by parties surged for post-poll alliance over the last two days. The CBI told the apex court that the inquiry into the alleged disproportionate assets of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh and his sons — party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Prateek Yadav and daughter-in-law and SP MP Dimple Yadav were closed in 2013 as no evidence could be found. The CBI in the fresh affidavit said: “No prima facie evidence of commission of offence was found during inquiry and the inquiry was not converted into and FIR.” It said it closed the enquiry after submitting a report to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in 2013. After August 2013 no inquiry has been conducted in the case against Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav, the CBI told the court.last_img read more

Morsi trial kicks off amid unprecedented security presence

first_imgCAIRO  – The trial’s first session kicked off at 10:30am local time, according to state television.The trial of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi began Monday morning at the Police Academy in eastern Cairo amid an unprecedented security presence that included both police and military personnel.The trial’s first session kicked off at 10:30am local time, according to state television. Morsi, the country’s first elected civilian president, faces charges of inciting the killing of demonstrators outside the presidential palace late last year.Fourteen other Muslim Brotherhood and ex-presidency figures face the same charges.Morsi does not recognize the legality of the trial, while members of his family say they will not attend Monday’s session for the same reason.The trial has been accompanied by unprecedented security procedures countrywide.The streets of capital Cairo have been turned into a military barracks, particularly in central Cairo’s Tahrir Square and the vicinity of Cairo University, where democracy supporters had staged a six-week sit-in that was violently dispersed by security in mid-August.An alliance of Islamist forces and pro-democracy groups have urged Egyptians to join mass protests against the trial.last_img read more

King Mohammed VI Arab Unity Unavoidable Necessity For survival

Skhirate – Arab unity is not an unattainable dream, nor is it a shimmering mirage, but a legitimate aspiration which can be fulfilled and a strategic necessity to which everyone is called upon to give substance, King Mohammed VI underlined Wednesday.“What unites Arab countries exceeds what divides them. Indeed, their unity is rooted in the rock-solid foundation of history and a shared civilization”, the Sovereign said in a message to the participants in the 13th Fikr conference of the Arab Thought Foundation, read out by Abdeltif Menouni, Advisor to the King.The Monarch noted that in addition to being geographically contiguous, Arab countries are characterized not only by harmony at the human level, but also by complementarity in terms of their immense human and natural resources, while Arab peoples are united by faith, language, culture and blood ties, in addition to fraternity and a common destiny. “What is deeply and painfully saddening, however, is the division and disunity currently characterizing Arab relations”, the king regretted, noting that ties between most Arab countries are affected by the consequences of long-running inter-Arab disputes, pointless internal conflicts and growing sectarianism, extremism and terrorism.Some of these countries are wasting their peoples’ resources on fictitious causes and artificial disputes which fan the flames of disunity and separatism, the King pointed out.In view of this situation, which is rejected by Arab peoples, “promoting complementarity has become an urgent necessity”, the Sovereign said, underlining the importance to address the situation from a new and realistic angle given the growing challenges in the Arab world and beyond.Noting that the Arab world has missed out on many dates with history, he underlined that the Arab world is called upon to “ensure that complementarity no longer remains a slogan that is postponed indefinitely”.Complementarity is not only a means to promote development, but it is also an “unavoidable necessity for survival in the face of all-powerful coalitions and groupings”, the King said. Without complementarity, we would either disappear or remain meaningless entities, with no real clout in the international arena”, he warned.The king also said that Arab complementarity does not mean living in isolation or shutting ourselves off from the world. It must be a catalyst for consolidating the Arab role and clout in Africa and Asia, and for expanding our relations with influential regional and international groupings, he pointed out.For the Monarch, Arab countries are at a crossroads today, pointing out that they are facing development and security challenges as well as pressing popular aspirations for further rights and freedoms, and greater human dignity and social justice. “These challenges and aspirations can only be addressed through complementarity, unity and integration.”“It is high time we restored Arab cohesion and closed our ranks, resolutely and in good faith, in order to rise to the real challenges facing Arab peoples, using a comprehensive, multi-dimensional approach”, he said. read more

France Arrests Yassine Salhi Main Suspect of Lyon Attack

Rabat – Bernard Cazeneuve, French Minister of Interior, said the suspect of the Lyon terrorist attack has been identified Yassine Salhi.According to Cazeneuve, the man accused of decapitating a man and causing an explosion on Friday, is as 35-year-old man from the Saint-Priest suburb of Lyon.The same source added that the suspect, married and father of three children, had been under surveillance between 2006 and 2008 for “radicalization” and his “links with Salafist movement.” Though the man has no criminal record, the French Minister of Interior said that the suspect has links with jihadists.Salhi was reportedly wounded in the face and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance escorted by firefighters and police vehicles.French authorities continue their investigation to arrest other accomplices who may have been involved in the terrorist attacks.According to French newspaper L’Express, Salhi may have two accomplices.“At least two occupants, possibly three, were seen in the car that forced the factory gate,” a source close to the investigation was quoted by the newspaper as saying.Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

King Mohammed VI Arrives in Abidjan for Working Visit to Côte

Rabat – King Mohammed VI, accompanied by Prince Moulay Ismail, arrived on Friday in Abidjan for a friendship and working visit to the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, new leg of a royal tour that took the sovereign to Ghana, Zambia and Guinea.At the Félix Houphouët-Boigny airport, the King was greeted by Ivorian president, Alassane Dramane Ouattara, who was accompanied by Côte d’Ivoire’s First Lady Dominique Claudine Ouattara.The sovereign was also greeted by Ivorian vice-president Daniel Kablan Duncan, prime minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Côte d’Ivoire’s ambassador in Rabat Idrissa Traoré, Morocco’s ambassador in Abidjan Abdelmalek Kettani, minister to the president of the republic, in charge of defense, Alain Richard Donwahi, the vice-governor of Abidjan district and the representative of Port-Bouët’s mayor. King Mohammed VI and the Ivorian head of state headed for the VIP stand to salute the national flags while the anthems of the two countries were playing, and reviewed a detachment of the republican guard which paid the honors.The sovereign was afterwards greeted by chief of general staff of the Ivorian armed forces, the gendarmerie commander, and director general of police, presidents of republican institutions, state ministers, ministers and secretary general of the government.The King was also welcomed by the doyen of the diplomatic corps accredited in Abidjan, doyens of regional groups of the diplomatic corps, Guinea’s ambassador in Côte d’Ivoire, the African Union representative, the ECOWAS representative, members of the Moroccan diplomatic mission in Abidjan, representatives of the Moroccan community established in Côte d’Ivoire and Moroccan high-ranking officers members of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI).The Ivorian president greeted the members of the official delegation accompanying the King, as well as the Moroccan economic operators.After a short break at the airport VIP lounge, the procession of the two leaders headed for the residence of the King in Abidjan. read more

Fire causes Wells Fargo customers to lose access to accounts

NEW YORK — Wells Fargo customers are experiencing issues with accessing online or mobile banking as well as other banking services, after a fire happened at one of the bank’s data centres.Wells Fargo on Thursday blamed the technical issues on smoke, which was “detected following routine maintenance.”It is unknown how many Wells Fargo customers have been impacted, but the fire at the unspecified location has caused reported outages to Wells Fargo’s mobile banking app as well as its online banking portal.The Associated Press read more

Humbug holidays US retail sales drop 12 pct in December

WASHINGTON — U.S. retail sales fell in December, posting the biggest drop since September 2009 and delivering more evidence that last year’s holiday sales fizzled unexpectedly. Even e-commerce suffered a big setback.The Commerce Department says December retail sales dropped 1.2 per cent from November. They were up 2.3 per cent from December 2017.Excluding gasoline station sales, which swing widely as pump prices rise and fall, retail sales dropped 0.9 per cent in December.Non-store retailers, which include mail-order and e-commerce vendors, saw sales tumble 3.9 per cent. That’s the most since November 2008 in the midst of the Great Recession.Retailers had high hopes for the 2018 holiday season. But Macy’s, J.C. Penney and Kohl’s last month reported disappointing holiday sales. Overall, department-store sales dropped 3.3 per cent in December, the most since January 2016.Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press read more