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Morocco's renewable energy vision

A giant plant using energy from the Sun to power a Moroccan city at night will open next month.
The solar thermal plant at Ouarzazate will harness the Sun's warmth to melt salt, which will hold its heat to power a steam turbine in the evening.
The first phase will generate for three hours after dark; the last stage aims to supply power 20 hours a day.
It is part of Morocco's pledge to get 42% of its electricity from renewables by 2020.
The UN has praised Morocco for the level of its ambition. The UK, a much richer country, is aiming for 30% by the same date.
The Saudi-built Ouarzazate solar thermal plant will be one of the world's biggest when it is complete. The mirrors will cover the same area as the country's capital, Rabat.

Futuristic complex

Paddy Padmanathan of Saudi-owned ACWA Power, which is running the thermal project, said: "Whether you are an engineer or not, any passer-by is simply stunned by it.
"You have 35 soccer fields of huge parabolic mirrors pointed to the sky which are moveable so they will track the Sun thro

The developers say phase one of the futuristic complex will bring energy to a million people.
The complex stands on the edge of a gritty, flat, rust-red desert, with the snow-clad Atlas mountains towering to the North.
It is part of a vision from Morocco's King Mohammed VI to turn his country into a renewable energy powerhouse

Ghana defender Awal Mohammed gutted over Raja Casablanca's 1-0 loss to Far Rabat

Ghana defender Awal Mohammed has revealed his disappointment following his sides 1-0 defeat at the hands of Far Rabat in the Moroccan league.
The former Maritzburg United man played full throttle but was unable to stop his side from going down and says the loss has left him disappointed.
When you lose you are always left disappointed like every footballer, Awal said after the game


Morocco warns of terror plot from Moroccan fighters in Syria and Iraq

Morocco's interior minister says that Moroccan extremists fighting in Iraq and Syria are plotting terror attacks on prominent figures and sites back home.
State news agency MAP quotes Interior Minister Mohamed Hassad as saying that 1,212 Moroccans belong to terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria, including the Islamic State group, and several Moroccans have committed suicide attacks there.
Hassad told legislators Tuesday the extremists are joining the Islamic State "not only to fight at its side, but also to receive training with a view to staging attacks against the kingdom." He didn't give any details on the possible terrorist plots.
Moroccan authorities have dismantled several cells accused of recruiting fighters to join jihadists in Syria. Human rights groups say Moroccan authorities sometimes go overboard in pursuing alleged terrorists

source: newsoutlook

The world needs to know that the choice is not only Assad or Isis

It seems clear that the immediate goal of the Russian attacks is to degrade and demoralise moderate opposition forces as they, and not Isis, constitute the real challenge to Assad’s legitimacy. Colonel Abdul-Jabbar Akidi, former commander of Aleppo operations, told me that the Russians want to kill us all so they can convince the west that it is either Assad or Isis in Syria. They might also want to create an Alawite enclave as a last resort if the course of the conflict forced Assad out of Damascus.
One Syrian Alawite said: “We prefer the Russians; their manners and way of life are better for us. The Iranians look down on us and have less respect for our faith.” An army officer who defected three years ago told me that it is more likely that Assad’s army would feel more comfortable co-operating with the Russians than the Iranians, who are, in his words, arrogant, sectarian and ideologically driven.
This situation, coupled with a defiant and rather incoherent response from the west, reinforces the uncertainty of many Syrians, whether they are pro- or anti-Assad. Such despair is felt by those who once thought the uprising would oust Assad and open the doors for democratic reforms, and by those who believed Assad’s propaganda that the opposition were a bunch of terrorists and western agents who would be easily crushed.
It is worth recalling the hope of 2011. Syria had been under the rule of the brutal and corrupt Assad family, who ruled by terror, since 1970. Inspired by the Arab spring, many Syrians took to the streets demanding democratic reforms; Assad retaliated with extreme use of military force.
Thousands have since been killed; many others arrested and severely tortured. According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, nearly 250,000 people have been killed since the outbreak of the conflict.

One Moroccan University Only Among the World’s Top 800 Universities

The report said that Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech was ranked somewhere between 601 and 800 in the world. Only the first 200 universities are given a specific rank; the others are only given a range.
Last year, Cadi Ayyad University ranked 301 in the same ranking, being the first Moroccan university to make it to the top 400 in the world.
Only one Moroccan university was ranked among the top 800 universities in the world, according to the 2015 World University Rankings, released by Higher Education Times in London on Wednesday.

To assess universities, the World University Ranking uses criteria such as the amount of published research and its influence in the academic world, the amount of the budget for research, and the number of international students enrolled in the Institution.
While Cadi Ayyad is the only North African university in the said ranking, the University of Cape Town, South Africa, is the highest ranked university in Africa, at 120.

Three Egyptian universities, Alexandria University, Cairo University, and Suez Canal University, are all on the list between 601 and 800.

Princess Lalla Soukaina of Morocco welcomes twins in Paris

Princess Lalla Soukaïna of Morocco has given birth to twins in Paris. The 29-year-old welcomed her first children with husband Mohammed El Mehdi Regragui on Sunday 27 September.
The names and gender of the new arrivals have not yet been announced. In accordance with Muslim tradition, the couple will celebrate the arrival of their babies on the seventh day after their birth - Sunday - during an Aqiqah ceremony and the names and gender of the new arrivals will be revealed.

King Mohammed VI is believed to have travelled to Paris to meet his niece's new children on Monday before returning to Tangier, Morocco, the following day.
The new additions to the royal family come less than 18 months after Lalla Soukaïna and Mehdi Regragui celebrated their marriage. The couple enjoyed a traditional evening wedding ceremony at her mother's private residence on 28 May 2014.
Given that it had been 12 years since King Mohammed VI and Princess Lalla Salma tied the knot, the celebration was the royal wedding of the decade.

In keeping with Moroccan tradition, which dictates that a second round of festivities takes place months after a couple have married, the event followed Lalla Soukaïna and Mehdi Regragui's marriage on 11 October 2013.
Lalla Soukaïna, 28, whose mother is Princess Lalla Meryem, is niece to Morocco's current king Mohammed VI and granddaughter to the late King Hassan II.

The ceremony was also significant as it is the first wedding of the second generation of the late king.
King Mohammed VI arrived at the wedding at 6:30 pm with Princess Lalla Salma and their two children Moulay Hassan, 11, and Lalla Khadija, seven, joining the newlyweds' 250 guests.
Lalla Soukaïna and Mehdi Regragui's nuptials were the perfect chance for the family to spend time together and photos from the emotional reception show the king happy, relaxed and smiling in the company of the couple's invitees.

Morocco's King Mohammed VI Calls for Africa Development Plan

In a speech delivered on September 30 by Prince Moulay Rachid to the United Nations General Assembly meeting, Morocco's King Mohammed VI called on the UN and regional and international financial institutions "to draw up an action plan for economic transformation in Africa and provide steady resources to finance it."
"A review of the achievements made under the Millennium Development Goals indicates significant progress between 1990 and 2015," read the King's message. "However, gaps between regions around the world and inside certain countries are still a legitimate cause for concern."
The King warned that in Africa "deteriorating conditions and the people's daily pressing needs cannot be put on hold until international bureaucracy wakes up and makes the necessary decisions… Africa must be at the heart of international cooperation for development in order to help the continent rid itself of its colonial past and unlock its potential."
Citing Morocco's own success in achieving Millennium Development Goals ahead of schedule, as well as the country's National Human Development Initiative, which "has contributed not only to reducing poverty, vulnerability and exclusion, but has also helped reduce inter-regional disparities," the King reiterated that Morocco is "ready to put [its] experience in the field at the disposal of our partners, especially in Africa."
This is especially true on the issue of climate change, according to the King, who stated that "Morocco will spare no effort to make Africa's concerns known and its voice heard, together with those of developing small island states, which are the most vulnerable to climate change."
Recalling Morocco's participation in the Rio Summit in 1992 and the country's "strong, ambitious commitments" announced in 2015 to fight climate change, the King noted that "Morocco is proposing that Marrakech host the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change." more
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