Morocco votes in test for Islamist government

first_imgSome 15 million Moroccans went to the polls Friday for local elections seen as a gauge of the popularity of the government of Abdelilah Benkirane a year ahead of a general election.Around 32,000 seats on local and regional bodies are in play in a vote that will offer a snapshot of the political climate, four years after the Arab Spring swept through the north African state. The 2011 protests led to concessions from King Mohammed VI, and a new constitution was issued, leading to a parliamentary vote in November of that year that brought Benkirane’s Islamist Justice and Development Party to power.Benkirane remains popular in the conservative country, despite limited success in tackling corruption, and is credited with bringing down the budget deficit to less than five percent of GDP, down from seven.But Mustapha Bakkoury, leader of the opposition Authenticity and Modernity Party, has criticised Benkirane’s rule.“His priority over the last four years has been his own clan, rather than all the people of the country,” said Bakkoury, a close adviser to the king.With less than half of registered voters taking part in the election of 2011, turnout at Friday’s polls is being closely watched for an indication of the state of political transition in one of the region’s more stable countries.“In a Morocco that is learning to walk along the path of democracy, participation in elections is not a luxury; rather it is the first step along the road to building the future,” said independent daily Akhbar al-Yaoum on Thursday.last_img read more

Hurricane Season Officially Starts Today

first_img Tweet Share 23 Views   no discussions Share LocalNews Hurricane Season Officially Starts Today by: – June 1, 2012center_img Share Sharing is caring! Photo credit: luxurytravel-destinations.comToday (June 1) marks the official start of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season.However, the season has already gotten off to a quick start with Tropical Storms Alberto and Beryl which were formed in the month of May. This is the first time since 1908 that two Tropical Storms have developed before June 1. Tropical Storm Beryl which made landfall near Jacksonville Beach, Florida early on May 28 was the strongest pre-June Tropical Cyclone to make landfall in the United States.This year is expected to be a near Average year with according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 9 -15 Named Storms, 4 – 8 Hurricanes and 1 – 3 of those possibly becoming Intense Hurricanes of Categories 3 to 5.The names for 2012 are Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sandy, Tony, Valerie and William.Although this season isn’t expected to be as busy as last year’s above-average season island residents especially those on the coast should start stocking up on hurricane supplies, forming evacuation plans and generally preparing adequately.“There is still going to be a lot of activity. So just because we’re predicting a near normal season doesn’t mean anybody’s off the hook at all,” says one of the lead seasonal forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. Dominicans are therefore being urged to continue all preparedness activities, ensure they are in a safe shelter whenever a storm is announced, move away from coastal and other vulnerable areas and have on hand emergency supplies as advised by Disaster Management Officials. By:Cecil P. ShillingfordDisaster Risk Management Correspondentlast_img read more

Duterte decision on doctors’ plea for ECQ return out today

first_imgDozens of doctors’ groups on Saturday warned the Philippines was losing the coronavirus fight, calling for a “timeout” and urging President Rodrigo Duterte to tighten a recently eased lockdown to an enhanced community quarantine. FILE PHOTO Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) is scheduled to meet with medical frontliners group on Monday to reconfigure existing strategies in dealing with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In a letter signed by 40 medical societies, it said that the health care system has been overwhelmed, with hospitals temporarily closing to decongest and health workers falling ill as COVID-19 cases in the country surged under eased lockdown measures. MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision on whether to grant medical professionals’ call for Mega Manila to revert to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) will be known today. directed the IATF-EID to act on these concerns immediately,” Roque said. “Your voices have been heard. We cannot afford to let down our modern heroes. This is our commitment,” he added.center_img The letter cited a potential collapse of the health care system, with more COVID-19 patients being admitted into packed hospitals, while health facilities are understaffed as medical workers have also contracted the disease./PN The groups called for a return to ECQ for at least two weeks, from Aug. 1 to 15, to give exhausted health workers “breathing space” as they served in the frontlines of a pandemic that has seen no letup. “President Rodrigo Duterte has heard concerns of the medical community and the Chief Executive “We propose that the ECQ be used as a timeout to refine our pandemic control strategies addressing the following urgent conditions or problems: hospital workforce efficiency; failure of contact tracing and quarantine; transportation safety; workplace safety; public compliance with self-protection; social amelioration,” the letter read.last_img read more

Hammers boss seeks January boost

first_img Press Association Injuries to key first-team players have seriously hampered the Hammers so far this campaign, with the 3-1 Boxing Day defeat to Arsenal leaving them in the Barclays Premier League relegation zone. Co-chairman David Sullivan has publicly promised funds for additions next month, and Hammers boss Allardyce would like nothing more than to sign another Djorkaeff. Sam Allardyce hopes to find another Youri Djorkaeff to help West Ham stave off the threat of relegation.center_img The World Cup-winning forward’s career was winding down when he joined up with Allardyce at Bolton in 2002, yet his class proved just the tonic as the Trotters avoided the drop. “I can’t tell you exactly when Andy Carroll will be back,” the 59-year-old said when asked about injuries. “I am not medically qualified enough to say. “Winston Reid, Stewart Downing, Ricardo Vaz Te, James Collins and Ravel Morrison have all got to get fit as quickly as we possibly can. “If we have got two additions in January, my concern is to make sure they can hit the ground running. “I need them to jump into the team and deliver what we know he has delivered elsewhere from day one. That is a massive, massive task in this window, but we have to try and achieve it. “It would help if they had Premier League experience, but you have to take the CV of a player if they are from abroad, if he is a top, top player in the countries he has played, like a Djorkaeff. “He kept me up at Bolton many, many years ago when I was in this position. He came in January, scored the goals we needed, kept us in the division with two or three games to go. “A player with an impact like that would be important not just for the team and the results, but everybody at the club.” last_img read more

LIVE: President Trump Unveils Mideast Peace Plan Calling for “Two-State Solution”

first_imgWhile Congress is impeaching the President, he is trying to solve world peace.President Trump’s long awaited Middle East Peace Plan is expected to be released today at noon. Trump calls the plan as “the deal of the century.” Palestinian leaders have already rejected the plan, which would reportedly allow Israel to annex portions of the West Bank. Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu says the plan will make history.last_img

Heavy rain costs Australia $300 000

first_imgA WASHED out final day of the third Test in Hamilton will see South Africa jump ahead of Australia in the International Cricket Council’s Test rankings, earning the Proteas a bonus $300 000 windfall.The tourists were set to resume at 5-80 on the fifth morning, still trailing New Zealand by 95 runs as the Black Caps pushed for a victory that would have levelled the series.But torrential and persistent rain at Seddon Park meant no play was possible and the Proteas escaped with the draw they needed to move ahead of Australia and into second place in the ICC rankings.South Africa will earn a $500 000 bonus for being in second place by the April 1 cut-off date, while Australia’s drop to third means they will pick up just $200 000.India, who strengthened their grip on top spot with a 2-1 series win over Australia, will earn $1M for finishing No.1.Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis admitted his side were fortunate to escape the match with a draw.“New Zealand outplayed us in this game,” said du Plessis, who led his side to a famous series win in Australia earlier in the summer.“They can count themselves very unlucky. They outplayed us in every department.”The draw is also a cruel blow to New Zealand, who will now drop from fifth to sixth spot, behind Pakistan.last_img read more

Clatter of wickets puts Jaguars in control against Scorpions

first_imgSCORPIONS 1st innings 106JAGUARS 1st innings (o/n 75 for three)C. Hemraj c Green b Miller 47A. Persaud lbw b Leveridge 0L. Johnson c Palmer b Green 13V. Singh c Allen b Leveridge 19S. Chanderpaul lbw b Miller 50A. Bramble c Miller b Green 10R. Reifer lbw b Green 0K. Paul c Blackwood b Miller 1V. Permaul b Jacobs 7G. Motie c Leveridge b Miller 13K. Joseph not out 0Extras (b10, lb11, w1, nb1) 23Total: (all out, 59.5 overs) 183Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-57, 3-63, 4-102, 5-122, 6-122, 7-123, 8-139, 9-180.Bowling: Green 14-3-39-3, Leveridge 12-1-42-2, Blackwood 2-0-8-0, Miller 14.5-3-30-4, Campbell 7-1-10-0, Jacobs 10-1-33-1.SCORPIONS 2nd inningsJ. Campbell c Paul b Motie 62A. Fudadin not out 61J. Blackwood run-out 9B. King b Motie 0P. Palmer run-out 10F. Allen b Permaul 4A. Thomas not out 9Extras: (b-1, lb-4, nb-7) 12Total: (5 wkts, 50 overs) 167Fall of wickets: 1-112, 2-127, 3-133, 4-149, 5-153.Bowling: Paul 10-1-31-0, Joseph 3-0-27-0, Reifer 6-1-22-0, Johnson 2-0-16-0, Permaul 18-3-45-1, Motie 11-4-21-2.Position: Scorpions lead by 90 runs. KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – Half-centuries from left-handed openers John Campbell and Assad Fudadin led a Jamaica Scorpions fightback but a clatter of wickets late in the day left leaders Guyana Jaguars firmly in control of their eighth round contest in the Regional Four-Day Championship here yesterday.Trailing by 77 runs on first innings, Scorpions ended the second day at Sabina Park on 167 for five – just 90 runs ahead.They made an excellent start to their second innings as Campbell stroked 62 and Fudadin, 61 not out, in a fine first wicket stand of 112.Campbell was his usual aggressive self, stroking nine boundaries in a 68-ball innings while Guyanese Fudadin proved the anchor for Scorpions against his old team, and has so far faced 155 balls and counted six fours.However, once Campbell became the first of left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie’s two wickets, the innings fell apart with five wickets tumbling for 41 runs.Motie has been the best bowler with two for 21.Earlier, veteran former West Indies batsman Shiv Chanderpaul completed his 142nd first class half-century as Jaguars, resuming from their overnight 75 for three, were dismissed in their first innings for 183.The left-hander Chanderpaul made exactly 50 off 129 balls with three fours but received little support. He extended his overnight fourth-wicket stand with Vishaul Singh (19) to 39 before the last seven wickets tumbled for 81 runs.Left-arm spinner and captain Nikita Miller picked up four for 30 while seamer Derval Green ended with three for 39.last_img read more

Fresh off offensive explosion, Badgers host Coyotes

first_imgWisconsin’s Jon Leuer is the top-scoring Badger at 18.7 points per game and his size (6-foot-10) will help against South Dakota.[/media-credit]Any questions the Wisconsin Badgers (5-2) had regarding their offensive ability were probably answered in Wednesday night’s 87-48 smackdown of N.C. State.So now, the question becomes, can they keep it going?The Badgers will get their first chance to answer that question Saturday afternoon, as the South Dakota Coyotes (3-4) come to Madison for the second of a three-game UW homestand. In three games down in Orlando for the Old Spice Classic, where the Badgers finished second, UW averaged only 55.3 points per game, shot a rough 38.97 percent from the field and an abysmal 24.3 percent from three-point range.Yet, against the Wolfpack Wednesday night, the Badgers shot exactly 50 percent from the field and sunk 55 percent of their attempts from behind the arc. Come Saturday against South Dakota, Wisconsin will look to carry that offensive rhythm forward.“We don’t talk about winning and losing,” UW head coach Bo Ryan said. “I don’t use the language. You have to be resilient in this sport. As soon as something happens on one end of the floor, something is instantly happening somewhere else. You have to get back, make the next play, stop somebody, get a charge.”For Wisconsin, most of the plays have come from two sources: point guard Jordan Taylor and forward Jon Leuer. The latter leads the Badgers in points (18.7 per game), rebounds (7.6) and blocks (1.7), while Taylor is second in scoring (14.4 ppg) and first in assists (3.86).“He knows what makes a team more effective than not,” Ryan said of Taylor. “He’s always had the green light to do that. It’s not like we tell him to take it down [the court] methodically, get it into the post. When it doesn’t happen in the game, it’s because the other team took it away from us defensively. Jordan Taylor understands what it takes.”In addition to Taylor and Leuer, the Badgers have also received valuable production from freshman guard Josh Gasser. The Port Washington, Wis. native was just the third true freshman to start a game under Ryan – Nov. 16 against North Dakota – and he is third on the team with 8.3 points per game. As a 6-3 guard, Gasser has impressed Ryan and his coaching staff with not only his court vision and offensive skills, but also his rebounding – he’s second on the team with 5.0 boards per game.While Gasser has emerged to provide Ryan and the Badgers solid backcourt depth, Wisconsin’s frontcourt has been steady, as well. Keaton Nankivil is averaging 7.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.43 blocks per game, while Mike Bruesewitz has contributed 5.4 points and 3.1 boards per game. The 6-6, 220 lb. forward affectionately known as “Brueser” by Badger fans has also proved to be a threat from outside, as he leads the team in three-point shooting at 60 percent.“I don’t think any team really shot too well down in Orlando, including us,” Bruesewitz said. “I think a lot of guys just got into the gym and got some jump shots up.”Against South Dakota, Wisconsin figures to face a squad fairly similar to itself, at least on paper. The Coyotes have scored slightly less – 69.6 points per game and they’ve shot nearly the same – 45 percent. Yet, the Badgers should be able to find some mismatches on defense and on the boards. South Dakota has allowed opponents an average of 71.4 points per game – the Badgers have only given up 53.1 – and Wisconsin boasts a favorable size advantage. Leuer and Nankivil are 6-foot-10, 228-pounds and 6-foot-8, 240 lb. respectively, while the Coyotes big men, center Trevor Gruis and forward Ricardo Andreotti are 6-foot-9, 238-pounds. and 6-foot-8, 225-pounds, respectively.Additionally, the Coyotes have been starting three guards while the Badgers have been starting three forwards – Bruesewitz is 6-foot-6, 220-pounds and South Dakota’s next biggest starter is Charlie Westbrook – their leading scorer at 15.9 points per game and a Milwaukee native – at 6-foot-4, 208-pounds.“[Against N.C. State], we kept guys out of the lane, and for the most part, when they got in the lane we did a good job of keeping our hands off them and making them shoot over us,” Taylor said. “We just played solid team defense…and forced tough jump shots.”last_img read more

Roundup

first_imgCrimes against propertyAt 2:32 P.M. on Sept. 19, a staff member at the University Park Campus Public  Safety Office reported his safety vest missing.Miscellaneous incidentsat 7:00 a.m. on Sept. 19, DPS officers detained a man suspected of pulling on car door handles. The man was arrested for possessing a pipe with residue of a controlled substance in it.at 8:05 a.m. on Sept. 19, DPS and the Los Angeles Fire Department  responded to an activated third floor fire alarm at Blanche & Frank R. Seaver Student Residence Hall. The alarm was activated by smoke from burnt food. The building was cleared for re-entry.at 10:12 a.m. on Sept. 19, a female reported that her husband, who should not be driving due to his medical conditions, had left the Healthcare Consultation Center in their vehicle. DPS could not find the man, but he returned home unharmed.at 1:17 a.m. on Sept. 20, DPS officers assisted a non-USC female who could not locate friends in possession of her property. The officers helped the woman find her friends and transported her to the airport so she could be on time for  her airline flight.at 3:23 a.m. on Sept. 20, DPS officers examined a student who had injured his finger with a table saw while working on a project at the Ray and Nadine Watt Hall of Architecture and Fine Arts. The officers transported the student to the Good Samaritan Hospital.at 4:01 a.m. on Sept. 20, an intoxicated student was detained by DPS for obstructing traffic and jay walking at the intersection of 30th Street and Figueroa Street. He was cited to Judicial Affairs for his uncooperative behavior. The following incidents were reported in the USC Dept. of Public Safety incident report summary between Thursday, Sept. 19, and Friday, Sept. 20. last_img read more

Professors study bacteria fighting method

first_imgThree USC professors have found a way to combat deadly bacteria through a computer-simulated study.The study was conducted using computer simulations. Photo from Viterbi School of Engineering.USC professors Priya Vashishta from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering; Rajiv Kalia from the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; and Aiichiro Nakano from Viterbi, were hired in 2002 by President C. L. Max Nikias to conduct the study.“We were hired jointly in three separate departments,” Vashishta said. “The idea was to establish a group who would do simulations using computers. You need all three of those departments for this kind of study.”Simulations have become an increasingly common research method. Conducting research on a computer lessens the cost of materials and shortens a lengthy, repetitive trial process, Vashishta said.The professors, along with Aravind Krishnamoorthy, a Viterbi postdoctoral fellow, used simulations to find the optimal conditions for killing the bacteria, even with the presence of spores, which are a protective mechanism developed by bacteria to allow bacteria to withstand most harm.“Once they go to the dormant state, nothing [can] kill them,” Nakano said. “No radiation, no chemicals — they survive. it’s extremely hard to kill in this dormant state of the spore. Basically the simulation found how much heat and how much water content is needed to make it easy to kill the bacteria.”The study is rooted in the concept that a certain amount of water and heat cause bacteria to germinate before detecting conditions are harmful and entering spore mode, which makes bacteria impossible to kill.“You allow it to germinate but not to go into full spore mode,” Vashista said. “So if you just barely germinate, you’ll be able to kill it. At that point of wet heat, we will kill [them], and that is the simulation.”The computer simulation revealed that the bacteria can be killed at the optimal temperature of 90 to 95 degrees Celsius with a water concentration above 30 percent, according to Vashista.Once the bacteria is in the right environment, they are killed with black silicon nanopillars, which Nakano described as similar to a “bed of nails.”The research project was funded by a grant from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, who’s looking for ways to combat bacteria as a biological weapon.“The funding comes from the DTRA, as they are primarily interested in find out how and when these bacterial spores die,” Krishnamoorthy said. “It’s important because if you’re trying to disinfect something with the presence of this bacteria, you have to be sure that these bacterial spores die. They want to know what are the conditions in which these things die, because if you don’t kill them completely, they can come back.”Krishnamoorthy said the study will have real-life applications. It can be used to counter biological weapons, lessen the spread of bacterial diseases and provide breakthroughs in food preservation.last_img read more