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    Tunisia central bank 'optimistic' after IMF agrees loan

    Tunis - Tunisia's central bank expressed "optimism" Thursday after the IMF released a delayed $506 million loan to support the fragile economy following major steps this week to end months of political turmoil. The loan, part of a two-year, $1.76 billion (1.3 billion euro) package agreed last year, was approved by the International Monetary Fund...

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    Oil prices rise on Libya output doubts, demand outlook

    LONDON - Oil prices rose on Tuesday as doubts surrounding a resumption to full Libyan crude output and the prospect of firmer demand offset concerns over the strength of China's economy. New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in February, climbed 26 cents to $94.63 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for March jumped $1.41 to $107.86...

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    Swiss extend freeze on Ben Ali, Mubarak assets

    GENEVA - The Swiss government on Wednesday extended by three years a freeze on the assets of ousted Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak. The freeze, first ordered in 2011, applies to all assets held in Switzerland by the toppled leaders and by "politically exposed persons in their entourage," the foreign ministry said in a statement...

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  • 20

    Protesters say to keep blockading Libya oil terminals

    TRIPOLI - Armed protesters Sunday refused to lift a months-long blockade of vital oil terminals in eastern Libya, despite a tribal pledge to do so. "We state that we are not going to reopen the oil harbours," said Ibrahim Jodhrane, head of the security guards blockading the main terminals at Zueitina, Ras Lanouf and Al-Sedra. He said initiatives aimed at resolving...

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  • 20

    Algeria must control spending, reduce oil dependency: IMF

    ALGIERS - Algeria must control its public spending and reduce its dependence on hydrocarbons or risk runaway debt levels in the long run, the International Monetary Fund warned on Monday. The OPEC country needs to "strengthen its non-hydrocarbon revenues, control its current expenditure and maintain its public investments," Zeine Zeidan, head of the IMF mission to Algeria, said at the...

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    Berber protesters end blockade of Libya-Italy gas pipeline

    Tripoli — Berber protesters have ended their occupation of a gas terminal in western Libya that prompted the shutdown of an export pipeline to Italy, Libya's National Oil Company said on Saturday. The protesters called off their more than two-week sit-in at the Mellitah terminal near Zwara, west of Tripoli, late on Friday but it...

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    UN to help Libya develop tourism sector

    MADRID - The UN World Tourism Organisation said Wednesday it has signed an agreement with Libya to help the war-ravaged country, which is trying to become less reliant on energy exports, develop its tourism sector. Under the agreement the Madrid-based UNWTO will provide technical support to help the Libyan government develop a tourism strategy and update the laws governing...

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  • 20

    Libya ex-rebels blockade oil refinery

    TRIPOLI - Former rebels demanding medical care are blockading a Libyan oil refinery that produces around a fifth of the country's fuel, a spokesman for the facility said Wednesday. "Men wounded in the revolution (that toppled Moamer Kadhafi in 2011) have stopped all production at the refinery" at Zawiya, Ihab al-Hmidi told AFP. He said the protest at the...

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  • 20

    Algeria parliament backs 11.3% rise in 2014 spending

    Algiers - Algerian lawmakers on Tuesday approved a 2014 budget that envisages a 11.3 percent increase in government spending and projects a deficit of 30.6 billion euros, despite some opposition. The draft budget, the last in Abdelaziz Bouteflika's third presidential term, forecasts economic growth of 4.5 percent next year, compared with 5.0 percent this year, and 3.5 percent inflation....

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  • 20

    Libya federalists announce creation of oil company

    BENGHAZI - Supporters of a federal system in Libya have set up a company to sell oil from terminals they have seized in the east, in the latest challenge to the government. The announcement was made late Sunday by the Cyrenaica Political Bureau, an autonomous group that set up in October its own government in the east in a move that...

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  • 20

    No end in sight to Libya's costly oil facility strikes

    TRIPOLI - Talks between Libyan authorities and protesters blockading oil terminals have reached a deadlock after three months, prolonging a crisis that has cost the increasingly volatile country an estimated $13 billion. The protests have caused an 80 percent drop in production in a country that is almost entirely dependent on oil and gas for its foreign exchange earnings, and...

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  • 20

    Libya to reopen Harriga oil terminal by Monday: govt

    TRIPOLI - Libya's National Oil Corp announced that production at its Al-Harriga oil terminal, halted for several months by protests, is expected to resume on Monday at the latest. "Given improved conditions permitting a resumption  of production and loading (of crude), the NOC announces the lifting... of the force majeure at its Al-Harriga oil terminal," the company's website said on Thursday. Al-Harriga,...

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  • 20

    Algeria inks $668 mln gas contract with Petrofac-Bonatti

    Algiers — Algerian energy giant Sonatrach announced Tuesday the signature of a $668 million (486 million euro) contract with an Anglo-Italian consortium for the construction of a gas compression project in the Sahara desert. The contract was won by British oil and gas group Petrofac and Italian firm Bonatti. The project aims to maintain production...

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  • 20

    Oil prices rise on new Libyan production worries

    New York City — Oil prices rose Monday as traders kept a wary eye on Libyan crude production, where new labor unrest threatened supplies from the OPEC member. New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in December, closed at $98.68 a barrel, a gain of 83 cents from Friday. Brent North Sea crude...

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    Tunisia economy hobbled by political crisis: central bank

     TUNIS- The failure of Tunisia's politicians to resolve a months-old crisis and restore stability is hampering economic recovery, the central bank governor warned Tuesday, while criticising a lack of "budgetary vision." "The political obstacles are starting to have serious repercussions for the economy, and the absence of political vision is the main problem," Chedly Ayari...

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  • 20

    IMF concerned about Tunisian political situation

    WASHINGTON - The International Monetary Fund on Friday expressed concern over the political and security situation in Tunisia, which has delayed the disbursement of financial aid to the country. "The current political crisis and recent security developments, as well as the deteriorating economic situation among Tunisia's main trading partners, are having an impact on economic activity,"...

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  • 20

    Important gas finds in Algeria this year: minister

    ALGIERS – Algeria’s state-run energy giant Sonatrach has made some “very important” natural gas discoveries this year, Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi said Monday, as the country battles dwindling exports from its vital hydrocarbons sector. Yousfi gave few details on the size or location of the “extremely promising” new finds, saying only that they would be announced soon by Sonatrach. “Algeria’s natural...

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  • 20

    Tunisia economy at risk from political crisis: bank

    TUNIS -  Tunisia's political crisis, triggered in July by the assassination of an opposition MP, is threatening the fundamentals of the country's economy "more than ever", the central bank has warned. Since the assassination on July 25 of secular MP Mohamed Brahmi, Tunisian politics has been paralysed by a standoff between supporters of moderate Islamist party Ennahda, which heads the coalition...

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Editorial

Opinions

  • The Moroccan Gold Eldorado
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    The Moroccan Gold Eldorado, a Myth or a Reality?

    Rabat - Recently, a conspiracy theory video about a large gold discovery in Morocco is making rounds online. The video claims that a substantial gold reserve was discovered and is being extracted by a Canadian mining company called Maya Gold and Silver. We Moroccans are very proud human beings, we love our country and cherish...

  • Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani
    20

    Qatar: How the Tables Are Turning in The Gulf

    Rabat - Amidst harsh sanctions and a long list of demands from its neighbors, Qatar’s ability to thrive under pressure may prove to be problematic for Saudi Arabia. As Saudi Arabia and its coalition attempt to wait out Qatar, the recent spat in the Gulf continues to become more and more global, and severely against...

  • FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H. If the nation doesn’t do more, the U.S. probably won’t quite meet the dramatic heat-trapping gas reduction goal it promised in last year’s Paris agreement to battle climate change, according to a new study. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)
    20

    Climate Change : If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Fix It

    Chefchaouen - Climate change is happening at home and around the world. Chefchaouen is doing its part by embracing clean energy climate solutions and engaging its citizens in climate action. When it comes to fighting climate change, cities and local leaders are best positioned to lead that charge. Local leaders from coastal to landlocked communities are...

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    India Orders Internal Probe into Mistaken Use of Morocco-Spain Border Picture

    Hyderabad - The Indian Ministry of Interior on Wednesday ordered an internal investigation to find out how a picture of Morocco-Spain border was used in its annual report to show floodlights along the India-Pakistan border. What is most embarrassing is that the annual report of previous years was tabled during the Budget Session of Indian...

  • Amid Growing Tension, Thousands of Moroccans Stage Pro-Rif March in Rabat
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    Neglect in Harsh Soil: The Deep Roots of the Rif Crisis

    Rabat - The ongoing protests in northern Morocco started almost eight months ago, but they have their origin in nearly a century of violent repression by the state. The Rif has, in spite of itself, got involved into a peaceful revolt since the death of the fishmonger Mohcine Fikri at the end of October 2016, a...

  • Tamim Bin Hamad al Thani emir of Qatar
    20

    The Qatar Crisis: What Does It Mean?

    Rabat - The recent diplomatic fallout between Qatar and the rest of the Middle East could have serious economic and geopolitical consequences across the globe. Earlier this week, Qatar’s diplomatic crisis took an extreme turn as several Arab states severed diplomatic ties with the Gulf nation.  The original list of countries in the coalition against...

  • Moroccans spend Laylat al-Qadr, the 26th day of Ramadan, at the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca.
    20

    Ramadan: Not just Abstinence from Daily Intakes 

    By Abdellatif Oudra Rabat - The observance of Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam, compels Muslims to fast from sunrise to sunset. But it is not just about abstaining from food or drink.  Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is observed in commemoration of the revelation of Qur’an to the prophet Mohammad,...

  • Morocco Threatens to Terminate Agriculture Agreement with Europe
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    Morocco and the EU: Managing the Future

    Rabat - Morocco enjoys proximity to Europe and is at an advantage of being favoured by the European Union as a close partner on political, economic, and cultural levels. Historical archives and political legacies tie Morocco directly with at least three influential European countries: France, Spain, and England. Demography, kinship, and immigration compel other EU...

  • The Educational and Cultural Implications of the Arab Spring
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    The Educational and Cultural Implications of the Arab 'Spring'

    Rabat - In the last ten years or so, the Arab world has seen unprecedented collapses in the realms of politics and economy, among others. World NGOs regularly release area-specific rankings, in which Arab nations commonly rank at the bottom of lists in education, human rights, and income for instance while they top those of...

  • Thousands Hold Peaceful Demonstration in Memory of Mouhcine Fikri
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    Al Hoceima and the Pedagogical Exercise

    Ottawa - What makes a democracy different from non-democracy? This is the classical and historical question asked by philosophers over the centuries and deeply questioned in the discipline of political science. Democracy cannot prevent inequality as the case in the United States where inequality is the highest globally. Democracy cannot stop corruption like in Brazil...