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Morocco News meets the World

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    Inclusion of Mohammed VI International Meeting in Diamond League to Be Decided in November

    Marrakech - The inclusion of the Mohammed VI International meeting, stage of IAAF World challenge, in the Diamond League calendar, will be decided next November on the occasion of the meeting of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), said head of the Moroccan Athletics Federation Abdeslam Ahizoune.

    In a statement to MAP on the sidelines of the 19th edition of the 2014 African Athletics Championships in Marrakech, Ahizoune, president of the event's local organizing committee, said that the candidacy of the Mohammed VI International meeting was accepted and does meet all required criteria.

    The Mohammed VI International meeting has gained much fame over the past seven editions and holds an indispensable place in the IAAF World challenge circuit.

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    Smuggled Smartphones

    Tetouan  -  Some 399 smuggled smartphones worth around 331,000 dirhams have been seized recently by Customs personnel in Bab Sebta.

    The merchandise, smuggled via the occupied enclave of Sebta, was concealed under the seats of a Spain-registered car driven by a Moroccan national who lives in Sebta, said a source in the customs services.

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    Morocco Deploys Anti-Aircraft Missile To Prevent Terrorist Attacks

    Fez- Morocco is taking the terrorist threat posed by terrorist groups linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI) very seriously.

    The Moroccan press reported in its weekend issues that the coast of Casablanca, as well as Mohammedia have been witnessing an unusual activity of the Moroccan Royal Navy.

    According to the Moroccan daily Al Massae, the Moroccan army deployed in the coast of Casablanca anti-aircraft missiles, as well as automatic weapons to prevent any potential attack from terrorist groups.

    According to the same source, the Moroccan authorities gave strict instruction to air traffic control authorities to report any aircraft trying to enter the Moroccan airspace without obtaining an authorization from the competent authorities, as a result of the warnings that came from Western capitals regarding the intention of some terrorist organizations in North Africa to carry out attacks on vital installations in the countries of the Maghreb.

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    Nisrine Dinar Offers Morocco 2nd Silver Medal in African Senior Athletics Championships

    Marrakech- The Moroccan track and field team harvested eight medals to end up ninth at the 19th African Senior Athletics Championships, which took place in Marrakech on August 10-14, 2014.

    Rhizlane Siba offered Morocco its only gold medal at the championships, finishing first in the high jump. The Moroccan athlete beat Egyptian Basant Mohamed Mosaad in the final of the competition. Both athletes tied with 1.80m, but the Moroccan won thanks to the number of trials.

    Mustapha El Aziz and Nisrine Dinar clinched the silver medals for Team Morocco in the 10,000 meters and the pole vault respectively. The squad also won five bronze medals.

    South Africa finished tops with ten gold, five silver and four bronze medals, followed by Nigeria (eight gold, nine silver and seven bronze medals) and Kenya (seven gold, eight silver and seven bronze medals)

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    Morocco's Head of government Abdelilah Benkirane greeting French President Francois Holland

    Toulon -  The head of Government, Abdelilah Benkirane, attended Friday off Toulon the ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the landing in Provence.

    In a statement to the press, Benkirane underlined the contribution of Moroccan soldiers in this military operation and in the various battles of the World War II.

    "For their bravery and sacrifices, Moroccan soldiers set the example for bravery and self-sacrifice and greatly participated in promoting the noble values of freedom and patriotism in Europe and the world," he said.

    The ceremony was attended by World War II veterans who participated in the landing in Provence, including twelve Moroccan veterans who were honored Thursday in Paris by the French defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

    In a speech on this occasion, French president Francois Hollande praised the decisive contribution of fighters from several African countries, including Morocco, in the landing in Provence.

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    road accident

    Rabat- Thirty-one people were killed and 1,491 injured, including 74 seriously, in the 1,075 road accidents that occurred in Morocco's urban districts on August 4-10.

    The main reasons behind these accidents are attributed to lack of attention to pedestrians and drivers, excessive speeding, not respecting the stop sign and change of lanes without signal among others, the General Directorate of National Security said a statement.

    According to official statistics, about 99 percent of road accidents in Morocco occur in urban areas and affect mainly pedestrians and motorcycles.

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    Morocco,  Married Woman Jailed After Marrying a Second Man

    Fez- A Moroccan woman has been tried by a Casablanca court for adultery after taking a second husband while still married to another man.

    According to the daily Assabah, a married woman was charged with adultery and is being tried the Criminal Chamber of the Court of First Instance of Ain Sebaâ after marrying a second husband.

    The second husband, who is also behind bars, discovered the prior marriage after a few months of living with his new wife. According to the same source, the woman and her family hid the truth about her true marital status. The story began when the second husband, a wealthy Casablanca man, met the woman in question in Fez.

    The woman told him that she had been divorced two years previously. Having lost his wife, the man decided to marry her so that she would take care of his children. The bride’s family accepted the groom’s proposal for marriage without mentioning her current marital status.

    Leading up to her second marriage, the woman prepared false documents showing she was single , which appeared to be legal, according to Assabah. The truth came to light a few months after the marriage when the second husband discovered that his wife was still married to another man.

    According to the same source, after he realized that he had been deceived by his wife, he tried to expel her from the house, but she adamantly refused causing a huge scene in front of his children. Upon the advice of a lawyer, the husband then filed a complaint against his new wife. After an investigation by the police, both the husband and wife were put in jail. They now await the verdict of the trial.

    Summoned by police, the first husband said he was aware that his wife had married a second husband, but he had refused to prosecute her. He added that he wanted to be rid of her.

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    Morocco, Woman Denied Entry to Hotel's Swimming Pool for Wearing Burqini

    Casablanca- A Moroccan woman from Oujda was denied entry to a hotel’s swimming pool in El Jadida (100 km southeast of Casablanca) for wearing a burqini—a “halal” swimsuit designed for Muslim women—according to Akhbar Al Yaoum in its Wednesday issue.

    According to the same source, Ibis hotel’s lifeguards asked the woman to leave the swimming pool, stating, “burqinis are prohibited in our hotel”.

    The hotel’s decision to ban the woman from the swimming pool was met with widespread indignation by the other hotel guests, who stood in solidarity with the woman against the hotel’s “unjustified swimming pool policy.”

    The woman in question subsequently filed a complaint against the hotel to the PJD MP Abdelaziz Aftati. Aftati strongly condemned the hotel’s decision, in turn filling a complaint against the hotel to the Minister of Tourism, Lahcen Haddad, according to the same source.

    However, this is not the first time a veiled woman was denied access to hotel services in Morocco. Last January, Cesar Hotel in Tangier decided to ban veiled women from entering its premises. The hotel’s controversial decision, made by its owner, sparked widespread public outrage.


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    Repatriation of 16,000 Moroccans in Libya since 2011

    Rabat - Nearly 16,000 Moroccan nationals were brought home since the onset of hostilities in Libya in 2011, the Ministry in Charge of Moroccan Expats and Migration Issues announced.

    Some 12,000 Moroccans were repatriated at the State's costs with the supervision of the ministry in charge, the foreign affairs ministry, Morocco's consulates in Tunis, Tripoli and Benghazi, Morocco's embassy in Egypt, the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity and Moroccan carrier RAM, while some other 4,000 left the country using their own means.

    In terms of logistics, some 5,888 people left the country by sea via the ports of Mesrata, Tripoli and Benghazi, other 3,851 took flights from Tripoli, 1,926 took special flights from Jerba and Sebha, 2,400 via Tunisia, 322 via Egypt and some other 106 via Arab and European countries.

    The ministry recalled that, following the worsening security situation in Libya, a crisis cell involving all concerned ministerial departments was set up on Aug. 1 at the headquarters of the foreign affairs ministry to monitor the situation of Moroccan nationals in the country.

    This cell is tasked, in coordination with diplomatic and consular services of Morocco, Libya and Tunisia, with taking emergency interventions to assist Moroccan citizens, it said, adding that the cell received on its free toll numbers some 1,500 calls for help by Moroccans living in Libya and their families.

    The same source noted that RAM increased the number of its Tunis-Casablanca flights and the seating capacity of its aircrafts by using bigger planes which enabled to bring home from Tunisia some 152 Moroccans, while 91 others will be repatriated soon.

    A crisis cell was also set up in Tripoli to assist Moroccan expatiates there and has indeed received 2,500 repatriation requests from Tripoli and 400 others from Benghazi.

    In addition, a financial fund was made available at the Morocco's general consulate in Tripoli to help Moroccans in financial difficulties, in coordination with consular services and RAM office, in order to sell some 270 Moroccans affordable plane tickets and facilitate their travel via the Ras Jedir crossing point.

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    Morocco Dispatches Humanitarian Aid to Gaza Population

    Al-Ismailia (Egypt) - Three Moroccan planes carrying humanitarian aid for populations in the Gaza Strip arrived on Saturday in the Egyptian military airport of Al-Ismailia (east).

    This is the second consignment of humanitarian aid ordered by HM King Mohammed VI to alleviate the sufferings of Palestinians who are subjected to a barbaric offensive by the Israeli army, Moroccan deputy ambassador to Cairo Ahmed Ait Issa told MAP.

    The Royal Armed Forces will operate 12 fights from Saturday to Wednesday to airlift this relief from the Kenitra military base to the Al-Ismailia airport in Egypt, while the Egyptian Red Crescent will transport it by land to the Gaza Strip via the Rafah border post and hand it to its Palestinian counterpart which will distribute it, Ait Issa added.

    Mobilized by the Royal Armed Forces (FAR), the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation and the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity, the relief includes 41 tons of powdered milk, rice, hygiene products, tents, blankets, mattresses and medical equipment.

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    Moroccan Singer Aziz Sahmouni Seeks to Obtain Algerian Citizenship

    Rabat- Aziz Sahmaoui, a Moroccan artist who lives in France, has reportedly applied for the Algerian citizenship.

    Last Wednesday, the Moroccan-born artist performed at Algeria’s International Festival of music Diwan. On the sidelines of his concert, Aziz Sahamoui reportedly told his audience that he applied for the Algerian citizenship.

    In an interview with Algeria’s daily lexpressiondz, Aziz confirmed that he wants to obtain the Algerian citizenship because of his “huge love for Algeria.”

    “I’d love to be an Algerian Citizen. It would be such an honor for me. May be this is a right, but it will be a joy, a privilege, an honor to be an Algerian citizen,” he said.

    This comes a year after Algeria’s singer, Cheb Khaled was granted the Moroccan citizenship.

    Aziz Sahmaoui was born in Marrakech, Morocco. In 1988, he decided to settle down in Paris, France.

    He is a member of the Orchestre National de Barbes and former sideman of Joe Zawinul. Currently, he is the leader of the Northern Africa fusion group, "University of Gnawa", which mixes Gnawa Trance and African beats.

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    Unidentified Warplane Bombards Libya, Morocco Worries About a Similar Attack

    Rabat- An unidentified war plane has bombarded the Libyan capital Tripoli early on Monday. Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia are required to be more alert than ever before to face foil similar terrorist attacks.

    Explosions were heard in Tripoli, according to Reuters and Egypt decided to cancel its flights to Libya after the Libyan government decided to close the country's airspace.

    China’s Xinhua News Agency quoted the spokesperson of the militant group Central Libya Shield, Alaa Dweik, as saying that the fighter jet” launched airstrikes on some camps near the airport highway in Tripoli where one Islamist armed group from Misrata was based. “ According to the same source, the airstrike killed five militants and injured several others.

    In the face of this volatile situation, Moroccans' fear of the terrorist attack has increased, especially amid the deafening silence of the government who has still not explained to the public opinion the reason behind this unprecedented deployment of the Moroccan army in different cities of the country.

    This airstrike confirms the seriousness of the warning received by Moroccan authorities on the alleged threat posed by the terrorist groups linked to the Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI) and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

    The western intelligence has warned Morocco along with Algeria and Tunisia from possible terroristic attacks using 20 million weapons, including 20,000 portable air-defense systems that have fallen into the hands of the Libyan Islamists during the recent fighting.

    Following this warning, the Moroccan authorities have mobilized 70,000 troops to prevent terrorist groups from carrying out terrorist attacks against its strategic sites.

    Morocco’s Daily newspaper Akhbar Alyaoum reported in its Monday issue that the Moroccan Army has deployed more unites in the coast of Casablanca, as well as several dams of the country, such as Taounate-based dam Al-Wahda, and the Machroue Hamadi dam, located in Nador city, in northeastern Morocco.

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed

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    Morocco's exports

    Madrid - According to figures made public on Monday by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Finance, Spanish exports to Morocco have increased by 6.9 % in the first half of 2014, year-on-year, totaling 2.97 billion euros.

    Morocco continues to be the first African and Arab destination for Spanish exports, said the ministry in a statement on the commercial results of the Iberian country for Jan.- Jun. period, stating that the Moroccan market has received 2,5 % of overall Spanish exports.

    In June, the Spanish sales to Morocco increased substantially by 21.2% to reach 580.3 million euros.

    The figures published by the Spanish Ministry also show that exports towards the African continent decreased by 1.1 % from January to June to stand at 8.33 billion euros. Most important declines were recorded in exports to South Africa (-16.6 %) and Algeria (-7.8 %).

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    Morocco Dispatches Humanitarian Aid to Gaza Population

    Al-Ismailia (Egypt) - Two Moroccan planes carrying humanitarian aid for populations in the Gaza strip arrived on Monday at the Egyptian military airport of Al-Ismailia (East).

    This is the second consignment of relief ordered by HM King Mohammed VI to alleviate the sufferings of Palestinians who are facing a barbaric offensive by the Israeli army.

    This humanitarian aid includes rice, powdered milk, medical equipment (wheelchairs, beds, crutches..) and hygiene products.

    Transporting this aid is made possible in collaboration between the Moroccan embassy in Cairo and the Egyptian Red Crescent which will hand it to its Palestinian counterpart via the Rafah border post.

    Since Saturday, the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) have been airlifting the relief from the Kenitra military base to the Al-Ismailia airport in Egypt.

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    Tinejdad, Morocco - Amid the growing fears of the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in some African countries, Morocco may lose the honor of hosting the 2014 FIFA club World Cup because of the Ebola virus.

    According to the Spanish website Pasion Libertadores, members of the International Federation of Football want to move the Club World Cup to the United States, specifically to the cities of Los Angeles and Miami.

    The same source added that a final decision will be made in this regard, during the next few days.

    However, there is no official statement from the FIFA or the hosting country confirms or refutes the possibility that the event will be postponed or moved to another continent.

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    By Ismail ElOuafi

    Casablanca- Eight passengers refused to board their scheduled flight from Casablanca to Brussels on Tuesday after they found out that Royal Air Maroc (RAM) leases the aircraft from Swift Air, the Spanish company whose plane crashed in the north of Mali during the first week of August, according to

    The anticipated take off of the aircraft was delayed about one hour, when RAM decided to unload the baggage of the protesting passengers to allow the aircraft to depart towards its destination and prevent further delays.

    According to the same source, an RAM spokesman stated that “it is true that some passengers did not distinguish between the airline accident in the north of Mali and the fleet of planes leased by RAM from Swift Air.”

    He said that “Swift Air is a well known company working with international organizations that have everything certified” for safety. Following his statement, he confirmed that the agreement between RAM and the Spanish company will expire soon, and said RAM customers should have nothing to worry about.

    Edited by Elisabeth Myers

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed

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    Morocco celebrates 61th Anniversary of the King and People’s Revolution

    Fez- 61 years have elapsed since the King and People’s Revolution took place in Morocco on August 20th, 1953. This Wednesday, the Moroccan people celebrate this glorious event in the contemporary history of the country.

    This celebration is a real symbol of the perfect harmony and coexistence between the different components of the country and their king, guarantor of its sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity.

    As usual, King Mohammed VI will deliver a speech on this occasion, which will be broadcasted live on Wednesday evening.

    The Revolution’s anniversary is an important event that Moroccans commemorate proudly every year, an occasion to remember and pay tribute to the struggle led by the late King Mohammed V against the French occupation, and to those who sacrificed their lives in order to free their country from colonial rule.

    August 20th 1953 remains an unforgettable day in the Moroccan memory, a moment that illustrates the Holy Communion between the Throne and the people. The Revolution began when the colonial residence surrounded the Royal palace and enjoined the legitimate Sultan Mohamed V, under threat of arms, to surrender or be exiled.

    To the dismay of the colonial power, this event contributed to strengthen the domestic front in Morocco and the unity of Moroccans behind their legitimate Sultan.

    After two years, this victorious revolution succeeded in freeing the country from the yoke and tutelage of the French Protectorate, paving the way for the advent of the era of freedom and independence.

    Throughout this period, the Moroccan people were sincere and loyal, imbued with the spirit of the legitimate struggle led by the King Mohammed V. They vigorously and unanimously rejected what the colonizers tried to impose upon them. Moroccans chose to stay true to their convictions and continue their struggle for the liberation of their country and the return of the Sultan who embodied the unity of the nation and epitomized its religious values.

    Faced with the rise of armed resistance from the National Liberation Army and an unprecedented increase of its operations throughout this country, the colonial authorities were forced to accept dialogue and open negotiations with the nationalists. Through their dedication, the latter precipitated the triumphal return of the legitimate sovereign Mohammed V and the declaration of the independence of Morocco.

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed

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    Morocco’s Mounir Haddadi Scores Two Goals with Barca in Friendly

    Fez- Moroccan young player Mounir Haddadi is making his way to become one of FC Barcelona’s stars this year.

    The 18-year old player, who was born and raised in Spain, showed the greatness of his talent on Monday in a friendly game against Mexican side Leon de Guanajuato, which the Catalan club won by 6-0

    Hadadi, who came in in the second half in substitution of Neymar, scored his team’s fourth and fifth goals at the 55th and 78th minutes respectively.

    Mounir had already scored two more goals against Helsinki, which makes him Barcelona’s top scorer in this pre-season.

    Last year Mounir one of the top stars of Barcelona’s Juvenil team, the reserve team of Barcelona that plays in the Spanish second division.

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    a film studio in  Morocco's Ouarzazate

    Fez- After parts of the sequel to the blockbuster movie Man of Steel that depicts the adventurous life of comic book superheroes Superman and Batman was set to take place in the Moroccan desert, another superhero movie is heading to Morocco and this time it’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

    The movie crew will be heading to Morocco as the movie’s next filming location for three months after spending all summer shooting in Detroit, Michigan as the famous Gotham city.

    The news was confirmed in Tweet on Mondahy by Moroccan film producer and director, Nassim Abassi.

    Yes!!! @ZackSnyder "Batman v Superman" film starts shooting in Morocco from September 1st until December 13!,” Abassi said in tweet on Monday.

    Directed by Zak Snyder and starring Henry Cavill as Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman, the movie is a sequel to 2013’s Man of Steel and it’s scheduled to make its debut in the United States on March 25, 2016.

    Many international producers and directors found in Morocco’s natural scenery and cinema infrastructure a perfect destination to film their big budget movies, such as Gladiator (2000), Alexander (2004) and now Man of Steel sequel.

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    King Mohammed VI

    Rabat - King Mohammed VI granted his pardon to 310 convicts to mark the Youth Day, celebrated on Thursday (August 21st), the Justice ministry said on Wednesday.

    The detained beneficiaries of the pardon are:

    - 152 prisoners had their prison terms reduced.

    - 5 inmates' life sentences commuted to limited prison terms.

    The free beneficiaries of the pardon:

    - 49 convicts benefited from pardon over their imprisonment terms.

    - 13 had their prison sentences dropped and fines maintained.

    - 3 benefited from pardon over their prison terms and fines as well.

    - 88 had their fines annulled.

    The royal pardon is granted to a number of prisoners by HM King Mohammed VI on the occasion of religious and major national celebrations.

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