Ensign acquires majority of Trinidad shares to take control of drilling company

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. – Ensign Energy Services Inc. says it will take control of Trinidad Drilling Ltd. after acquiring a majority of the company’s shares by its Tuesday deadline.The Calgary-based drilling company says 56.38 percent of Trinidad shares have been tendered. The 154.1 million shares are in addition to the 26.9 million it also owns, raising its stake in Trinidad to 66.18 percent.Each Trinidad shareholder will receive by Thursday $1.68 per share for a total of about $470 million, with the offer price representing a 17.2 percent premium over the all-share proposal by Precision Drilling Corp., the largest driller in Canada. With all conditions of its offer satisfied or waived, Ensign has extended the deadline until Dec. 10 for Trinidad shareholders who have not done so to tender their shares.Ensign had given Trinidad shareholders less time to consider its hostile takeover bid by pushing its offer deadline ahead of a planned Dec. 11 meeting where Trinidad shareholders will vote on the merger with Precision.If that meeting isn’t cancelled, Ensign says it will use its majority to vote down that offer from Precision.last_img read more

District of Taylor on track to reducing carbon emissions

first_imgTAYLOR, B.C. – At a District of Taylor Council Meeting on Tuesday, Staff provided an update on the 2018 Climate Action/Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Report.This report compiles strategic goals, set out by Council, in an effort to reduce carbon emissions within the District.According to the Report, it shows that the District meets the goal of a five percent reduction of CO2 emissions from 2007 levels as set by Council for 2020. Council’s goal by 2030, is to have a 30 percent reduction of carbon emissions from 2007 levels and to have an 80 percent reduction by 2050 from 2007 levels.Through the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program, the District was able to receive $21,730 in 2018.Since the District is currently on track to reducing carbon emissions, Council has voted to adopt the 2018-19 Climate Action Revenue Incentive Report.The report can be found on the District of Taylor’s website.last_img read more

BJP leader shot at in East Burdwan

first_imgKolkata: A BJP leader from Bhatar in East Burdwan was attacked by some unidentified miscreants.The incident occurred on late Saturday night when the victim, Krishnakali Samanta, was sitting on the courtyard of his house. He sustained bullet injuries in his right leg when the miscreants opened fire at him. As he raised an alarm the accused fled from the spot. The family members of the victim rushed him to Burdwan Medical College and Hospital, following the incident, which has triggered tension among the local residents. The district BJP leaders alleged that Trinamool Congress leaders in the area might have been involved behind the attack. The family members of the victim also alleged that Trinamool-backed goons had attacked the victim, as he has been instrumental in strengthening the party organisation in the Bhatar area. District Trinamool leaders however have denied the allegation and termed the incident a result of infighting within BJP.last_img read more

EXISTING IN HARMONY

first_imgAre spiders and ants friends or enemies? There are no friends and enemies in nature. There is predator and prey. Ants are sometimes predators of spiders and sometimes prey of other spider species. In a strange case , jumping spiders are eating by the large aggressive spitting spiders. The spitting spider can immobilize its prey by spitting on it from a distance. In the Philippines, it lives on the same large waxy leaves as the jumping spider. It normally spins its web right over the nest of the jumping spider, to make hunting just a little bit easier. However, the spitting spider does not come near a jumping spider when the latter positions its own nest near that of weaver ants. This is because the spitting spider is repelled by the airborne smell that these ants release. However, it’s not yet plain sailing for the jumping spider, as it is also a favorite snack of its savior, the weaver ant. Therefore jumping spiders build dense ant-proof nests of an unusually tough and dense weave that are difficult for the ants to tear open. The nest’s hinged flaps of silk at each end function as swinging doors. The spider quickly raises these when it enters or leaves the nest, before any ants can follow, too. Also Read – Feel what you fearSee how clever each species is! Are shrimp safe to eat? Many people think that an animal is safe to consume because it doesn’t kill them immediately or give them an infection in their stomach that lasts for a few days. For instance eating the meat of a cow/buffalo that has foot in mouth disease does give some humans an acne/chickenpox type condition and fever but it is so mild that no one relates the two. Likewise shrimp carry massive amounts of antibiotics (because that is what they have been bred with), heavy metals and PCBs which are the worst cancer giving chemicals that I can think of. These have long term effects – meaning your body can react even a year later. Also Read – HomecomingNow scientists have found that freshwater shrimps are sometimes affected by a parasite, Pleistophoramulleri, which makes the shrimp cannibalistic and far more voraciously hungry. Do you want that kind of parasite in you? There is evidence that parasites can affect human behaviour. A study led by Dr Glenn McConkey, of the University of Leeds Faculty of Biological Sciences, has shown that the parasite Toxoplasma gondii directly affects the chemistry of the human brain. I always say – first you eat meat, then it eats you.last_img read more

State govt to interlink Artificial Intelligence application within 3 depts for humancentric

first_imgKolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government is planning to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the dissemination of human-centric data by forming a linkage between three government departments that provide direct services to the common people.”We feel that it is necessary to have a framework through which departments under the state government can be interlinked so that we can share human-centric data. A high-level meeting on how AI applications can be used in various areas related to agriculture, transportation and health was held on Monday. IIT Kharagpur will guide us and research scholars from the premier institute will be in constant touch with us so that we can establish a human-centric database combining the three departments. We are hopeful that this will create new avenues in various areas,” a senior official of Information Technology & Electronics (IT&E) department said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaWebel Informatics Limited (WIL), the Education & Training arm of West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation (WBEIDC) will take the lead in this endeavour. “We will begin with three state departments — Transport, Health and Agriculture and after getting the desired results we will proceed further,” the official said. The high-level meeting was attended by Additional Chief Secretary IT&E Debashis Sen along with key officials of Transport, Health and Agriculture department and IIT Kharagpur Director Dr Partha Pratim Chakrabarti. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayA private company — PRM Fincon at Rajarhat is working on knowledge of actual case developments of AI in Bengal. The company uses AI to analyse the risk profile of companies and thus advise investors to invest wisely. “They are working on video analytics and their laboratory level prototype is already able to use AI to analyse CCTV feeds to flag if vehicles were crossing lanes and if a two-wheeler rider is wearing a helmet or not and whether it is a soft cap or a proper hard helmet. This would be a great case to improve road safety in accordance with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s “Safe Drive, Save Life” campaign. We have asked Prithwiraj Mukherjee, CEO of the company, to explore the possibilities of developing it further and use it in curbing accidents in New Town,” the official added. IIT Kharagpur’s Centre for Artificial Intelligence that was set up in April 2018 has been applying its research in AI for solving industrial, scientific and social problems such as retail, industry 4.0 and manufacturing.last_img read more

Zidane admits to not playing Bale for attitude problem

first_imgMadrid: With reports of Gareth Bale’s impending departure from Real Madrid continuing to gather steam, the Welshman spent ninety minutes of the last league match of the season for the Los Blancos on Sunday, a 0-2 defeat to Real Betis, on the bench. Speaking after the match, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane said he would not have brought Bale on even if his team had been allowed an added substitution. “It is true, I did not [give Bale a chance to say goodbye],” Zidane was quoted as saying by ESPN. “If I had another substitute to make, I would not have done anything different,” he said. While youngsters Vinicius Junior and Brahim Diaz were picked over Bale in the starting XI on Sunday, Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio were brought on in the second half. Bale and Toni Kroos continued to warm the bench throughout. As the final whistle blew, Bale headed straightaway towards the tunnel, not waiting for the rest of the Real Madrid team. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuZidane said: “I have to look at the day-to-day, and make decisions. And when there is something I do not like, or does not fit for me, I must do what I think best. It might be difficult for the player.” “We cannot forget all he has done here, but I must live in the present, think of the future. We will see [if Bale continues]. I don’t know what will happen, truthfully,” he added. Sunday’s defeat brought to an end an unflattering domestic campaign for Real Madrid. The Spanish giants have finished the season on 68 points, 19 points behind champions Barcelona. “We must accept when things go badly. I am responsible for this. We had 11 games, we won five, lost four, and in the end that is what it is. At a club like Madrid, motivation is difficult when there is nothing to play for. This is not the first bad year in the history of this club,” Zidane said.last_img read more

Huge hashish shipment washes up on Spanish beach

first_imgMADRID- Spanish authorities seized 62 bales containing close to two tonnes of hashish that washed ashore on Monday on a beach in one of Spain’s exclaves in North Africa, police said.Officers on a routine patrol spotted several bales at the Calamocarro beach just outside Ceuta, which lies across the Strait of Gibraltar from mainland Spain and is surrounded by Morocco, police said in a statement.They collected 57 on the beach and another five still floating at sea, each bale weighing about 30 kilos. Police said the drugs may have fallen off a ship when bad weather disrupted maritime traffic in the Strait of Gibraltar on Sunday.Spain’s proximity to Morocco, a major hashish producer, has made it a key entry point for drugs bound for Europe.Spanish authorities seized 325.5 tonnes of hashish in 2012, the last year for which figures are available, 74 percent of the total amount of hashish seized in Europe that year, according to the interior ministry.last_img read more

Rabat Slams HRWs Underestimation of Moroccan Human Rights Efforts

Rabat  – Moroccan authorities criticized, Friday, the Human Rights Watch (HRW)’s “deliberate underestimation, in its latest report, of Morocco’s human rights achievements and related reform process.In a statement released by the Inter-Ministerial Delegation for Human Rights (DIDH), Moroccan authorities noted, after reading the NGO document presented at a conference in Rabat, the existence of a “paradox” between the body’s statement which says that HRW is satisfied with how its actions are taking place in Morocco in a climate of freedom, and its “underestimation” of Morocco’s human rights efforts.Moroccan authorities criticized the content of a HRW statement on human rights in Morocco with a title that “deliberately underestimates” the country’s accomplishments, voicing the Kingdom’s refusal of any evaluation or criticism based on allegations. According to Rabat, though Morocco is open to any observations and criticism on human rights or any other field, it refuses any evaluation or criticism based on allegations by a unique source, mainly cases/parties quoted by the HRW report, it added.Rabat has already expressed its opinion about the content of its report on human rights in the camps of Tindouf, particularly, but some conclusions and recommendations were not taken into account.Among these recommendations is the call on the said body to schedule a high-level meeting in New York to shed light on interaction methods with the NGO and ensure more transparency in all cooperation initiatives, but there was no response to this call.The Moroccan government affirmed that the major reform process taking place in Morocco is a process that is “durable, gradual, participatory and open to all concerned stakeholders including national and international NGOs.”“This process did not witness any deterioration, and its dynamic was stepped up after enforcing the 2011 constitution,” it concluded.MWN with MAP read more

Morocco Arrest 57 People Suspected of Leaking Baccalaureate Exams

Rabat – Fifty-seven people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in Baccalaureate exam fraud, the General Directorate for National Security (DGSN) said Saturday.The arrests were carried out in the cities of Laayoune (13 people), Fez (9), Casablanca (7), Meknes (4), Agadir (4), Sale (3), Nador (3), Rabat (2), Errachidia (2), El Youssoufia (2) Khouribga (2), Moulay Driss Zerhoun (2), in addition to Oujda (1), Sidi Slimane (1), Taza (1) and Settat (1), SGSN pointed out in a statement.Investigations, carried out by the decentralized services of the judicial police in coordination with central technical services and laboratories of the analysis of technological traces, have identified several websites and pages on social networks used in the leak of the exams, the same source said. The authorities also seized a large quantity of computers, mobile phones, digital kits and printers used in fraud operations, the same source said, adding that the investigations also led to the arrest of the people who were writing the answers for candidates.With MAP read more

Prison Break Star Dominic Purcell injured while Filming in Morocco

by Lee KainoelaniRabat – Dominic Purcell, star of Prison Break series, sustained injuries after an accident occurred while filming for Prison Break Season 5, according to Hall of Fame Magazine.Purcell share the news with his fans on his Instagram account. “Thank god my love @theannalynnemccord was there when my unfortunate accident occurred on set.” Purcell added, “She went into raging #momma mode along with #christianorthup and got me the right care.”He also told his fans not to worry and the show will go on. Purcell mentioned that he was really grateful to be doing well, despite the accident and his injures.The actor later informed his fans he was doing well and and it was his thick skull that saved him after an iron bar fell on his head. He also sustained injuries of a broken nose due to the accident.Purcell’s physician, who examined his wounds, also revealed that his tissue fiber was unusually tough, saving him from sustaining more injuries in the accident.Wentworth Miller, co-actor in Prison Break, shared his thoughts about his colleague’s accident on Instagram, reposting the picture of injuries from Purcell.Meanwhile, there have been speculations about the Scofield family in season five of Prison Break, with the chance that the producers may not opt for a happy ending on the show.Viewers can see more of Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller when Prison Break Season 5 returns in spring 2017. read more

Buffett says Berkshire Hathaway may sell an insurance unit

OMAHA, Neb. — Billionaire Warren Buffett says his Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate may take the unusual step of selling one of its insurance companies.Buffett told CNBC Monday that Berkshire has reached an agreement to sell Applied Underwriters, which sells workers’ compensation insurance. But Buffett said state regulators will have to sign off on the deal before it can go forward.Buffett said Applied Underwriters is a smaller firm that has to compete against two larger insurance companies Berkshire owns that also sell workers’ compensation coverage.It’s usual for Berkshire to sell or close any of its companies. Buffett says his preferred holding period for an acquisition is forever.In the past, the only exception Buffett has made to this policy is for businesses that face the prospect of never-ending operating losses.The Associated Press read more

EU High Representative Federica Mogherini to Arrive in Morocco Today

Rabat – The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini will arrive in Morocco this evening for a two-day visit to discuss the EU-Morocco agreements.Quoted by Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), European sources said that Mogherini will meet with several Moroccan senior officials regarding the EU-Morocco fisheries and agriculture agreements.“This visit is part of the revival of relations between Morocco and the European Union, so as to constitute a closer strategic, deep and ambitious partnership.” Read Also: European Parliament Passes EU-Morocco Agriculture AgreementDuring her visit, Mogherini will also review bilateral relations in the political, economic, security, and migration fields and will also discuss regional policy issues.The visit follows the European Parliament vote on the agriculture agreement. The deal received 444 votes in favor of the EU-Morocco agreement.On January 14, the EU and Morocco also signed the fisheries agreement, which includes the waters off of Morocco’s southern provinces. read more

34th Marathon des Sables Recap Stage Two is Defined by Desert

Rabat – The dunes of Erg Chebbi defined the second stage of the Marathon des Sables (MDS) as runners spent nearly a third of the stage’s 32.5 kilometers racing through Morocco’s largest dune field.Competitors left the starting line at 8:30 a.m. and by noon temperatures had reached 29.5 degrees celsius—3 degrees hotter than the first stage.The dunes and heat caused half a dozen competitors to drop out of the MDS by 2 p.m. Only two competitors dropped following the mixed terrain of the first stage, bringing the total number of runners from 781. In general, 11 hours is the maximum time expected to complete the stage. The race’s top finishers for both the men’s and the women’s race made it it in less than five hours.View Also: Marathon des Sables’ Course Through Morocco’s DesertThe men’s raceThe El Morabity brothers firmly held on to first and second place, with Mohamed El Morabity finishing just six seconds ahead of his brother, Rachid, who won the first stage of the marathon on Sunday, April 7.Abdelkader El Mouaziz remained in the top five by coming in less than four minutes after the El Morabity brothers. The three runners, all members of the Maroc TGCC Team, worked together to stay orientated in the dunes.“I did a great job for our team,” Mouaziz said. “I was in charge of the compass in the dunes.”The end of the second stage also brought the MDS’ first international top five men’s finishers. Fourth and fifth place were taken by Antonio Alongi, from Italy and Merile Robert from France—a stark contrast from the Moroccan dominated stage one.Stage Two: Men’s Top FiveRankNameCountryTime1Rachid El MorabityMorocco2:52:302Mohamed El MorabityMorocco2:52:363Abdelkader El MouazizMorocco2:56:144Antonio AlongiItaly3:01:145Merile RobertFrance3:04:02The women’s raceDutch runner Ragna Debats continued to dominate the women’s race, finishing the second stage nearly 45 minutes ahead of the next runner.“Thirteen kilometers of dunes, that was a first for me. I loved it,” Debats said.Behind Debats was American runner Meghan Hicks, who won the MDS in 2013. Hicks climbed to second place after finishing fifth in the first stage—overtaking Moroccan runner Aziz Raji and finishing more than six minutes ahead of her.“I didn’t have the opportunity to train on this type of terrain,” Raji said. “Still, I was able to make it to the Top 3. I hope to perform even better in the next stages.”Stage Two: Women’s Top FiveRankNameCountryTime1Ragna DebatsThe Netherlands3:14:222Meghan HicksThe United States of America3:59:003Aziza RajiMorocco4:05:324Gemma GameGreat Britain4:10:095Lauren WoodwissGreat Britain4:17:03The next stageDetails about the third stage have not yet been released, but it is expected to start at 10 a.m., Tuesday, April 9.Morocco World News will continue to provide updates on the marathon throughout the week.Read Also: Runners Prepare for Morocco’s Marathon des Sables, World’s Longest Desert Race read more

Head of Moroccan Government Denies Making Statement on Relations With Algeria

Rabat – The spokesperson of the Moroccan Government, Mustapha El Khalfi, has denied that Morocco’s Head of Government, Saad Eddine El Othmani, commented on Morocco’s position on Algeria.The minister told Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) that El Othmani did not make any official statement on Algeria, but rather expressed Morocco’s hopes to see the borders between the two countries reopened again.El Khalfi said that El Othmani made his remarks during a “private” discussion during an iftar (fast-breaking). El Khalfi’s statement comes after a news report from Anadolu Agency quoted El Othmani saying that Algeria’s former regime “was very hostile to Morocco.”Anadolu Agency reported on Thursday, that El Othmani allegedly expressed “hope” that Algeria’s rulers “won’t follow the former regime’s policy of fierce competition with Morocco.”El Othmani allegedly told reporters that the diplomatic ties between Morocco and Algeria “can’t  be worse than they were under Bouteflika.”Read Also: Morocco’s Ambassador to the UN: Algeria Created PolisarioThe Moroccan government, however, denied that El Othmani made any official comments on Morocco’s political relationship with their eastern neighbor.The government has made it clear that Morocco is interested in reopening the borders with Algeria.Algeria closed the border with Morocco in 1994.  The country made the decision after Rabat imposed visa regulations on Algerian citizens, following a terrorist attack on the Atlas Asni Hotel in Marrakech.Morocco’s initiatives to reopen the border with Algeria were strengthened in November 2018, when King Mohammed VI called for talks between Rabat and Algiers to break the stalemate between the two countries.On the 43rd anniversary of the Green March,  the King stated that the lack of unity between the Maghreb countries is “an unreasonable situation” which contradicts “the brotherly bonds uniting” peoples of Morocco and Algeria.Talking about the hostile relations between Algeria and Morocco, the monarch admitted that they are “not normal, much less acceptable.”Algeria has been holding a  hostile position regarding Morocco’s territorial integrity, and has long supported the Polisario Front.A Policy of Non-interferenceIn recent years, Morocco has been urging the Algerian government to shoulder its responsibility as a main party in the conflict.Earlier this year, Morocco’s Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations, Omar Hilale, accused Algeria of creating the front, giving it “practically an extra sovereign territory in the Tindouf camps – the only camps in the world that are managed by a non-state entity.”Despite the tension,  Morocco’s government has refused to make known its position on the Algerian protests before and after the resignation of Bouteflika.Asked about Morocco’s position at a previous  press conference earlier in May, El Khalfi  told reporters: “Regarding questions about Algeria’s protests, I will answer you with this sentence: I will not answer this question.”In March, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, said that Morocco maintains a “non-interference” position with regard to the mass demonstrations in Algeria.Bourita said that Morocco will “neither meddle with the internal developments that Algeria witnesses nor comment on them,” according to AFP.Morocco’s policy respects the states’ sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the principle of non-interference in domestic affairs. read more

Trump meets with Twitter CEO amid bias complaints

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says he had a “great meeting” Tuesday with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey after bashing the company profusely earlier in the day.Trump and some Republicans in Congress have complained that social media giants are biased against Republicans, something the companies have rejected as untrue.Trump gave his readout of the meeting on Twitter, writing: “Lots of subjects discussed regarding their platform, and the world of social media in general. Look forward to keeping an open dialogue!”While some tech company executives may lean liberal, they have long asserted that their products are without political bias.Trump had tweeted earlier Tuesday that Twitter didn’t treat him well and that he would have more followers “if Twitter wasn’t playing their political games.”Kevin Freking, The Associated Press read more

15000 Moroccan Conscripts Begin Military Service Training

Rabat – On Tuesday, September 3, the training operation for the 15,000 conscripts for the mandatory military service for the year 2019-2020 began. The conscripts are now undergoing training in the different training centers of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR).The training will take place at 14 centers spread across the national territory, namely El Hajeb, Kasbet Tadla, Guercif, Temara, Casablanca, Nador, Ksar Sghir, El Hoceima, Meknes, Kenitra, Sidi Slimane, Ben Guerir, Marrakesh and Benslimane.Throughout the military internship, conscripts will be taught moral education, physical education, military history, order and regulation, in order to instill in them moral values, a new lifestyle, and exemplary discipline. The training process will be supervised by qualified executives, officers and non-commissioned officers who have taken courses in pedagogy and personal development to better communicate with the new recruits.Read also: Morocco’s Armed Forces Receive 50 Military Trucks, Vehicles from US ArmyAll conscripts will receive monthly salaries based on rank. Soldiers receive MAD 1,000, non-commissioned officers receive MAD 1500, and officers receive MAD 2,000. Conscripts sent to the southern provinces will receive a bonus of MAD 300.After the end of the one-year military service on August 31, conscripts of both sexes will be assigned to the different ranks of the first military regiment based on their qualifications. read more

Senegal Reaffirms Staunch Support for Moroccos Autonomy Plan

Rabat – Senegalese Foreign Affairs Minister Amadou Ba has reiterated his country’s commitment and ongoing support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan. Morocco submitted the plan to the United Nations in 2007 as a way to reach an agreed upon and mutually acceptable political solution to end the dispute over Western Sahara.The Senegalese official made his statement on Monday, September 16, following a meeting with his Moroccan counterpart, Nasser Bourita.“I would like to reiterate in this regard the strong and constant support of the Republic of Senegal for the Moroccan Sahara, a position that Senegal has been defending for a long time,” said the official. Ba is in Morocco as part of an official two days visit, the first of its kind since his appointment in April 2019.The Senegalese official also reaffirmed Senegal’s determination to support the  UN-led political process to find a mutually acceptable political solution to the Western Sahara conflict.During a joint press conference, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita expressed his satisfaction with the strong diplomatic relations between the two African states. He added that Senegalese diplomacy has always been an ally to Morocco in its fight for territorial integrity.“The kingdom will always be grateful for this strong and active position expressed regularly at regional and international meetings,” he added.CounterterrorismIn addition to Western Sahara, the meeting’s agenda also touched on Morocco’s efforts to fight extremism and terrorism in Africa.The Senegalese official said that Morocco has developed expertise in the fight against terrorism. He added that this expertise could “help African countries face this scourge.”The Senegalese minister added that “Senegal and Morocco have dynamic and strong” ties strengthened through the special relationship between HM King Mohammed VI and President of the Republic of Senegal, Macky Sall. read more

The Latest US employers added a weak 75000 jobs in May

WASHINGTON — The Latest on the May U.S. jobs report (all times local):8:30 a.m.U.S. hiring slowed in May as employers added just 75,000 jobs, a sign that businesses may have become more cautious in the face of slowing global growth, trade fights and the fading stimulus from tax cuts and greater government spending.The Labor Department says the modest increase follows a healthier gain of 224,000 in April. Hiring in the previous two months was revised lower by a combined 75,000. The unemployment rate remained at a nearly 50-year low of 3.6%. The job gains in May were the fewest since February.In the first five months of this year, hiring has averaged 164,000 a month, a solid pace that is enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. Still, that’s below last year’s pace of 225,000.Wages rose 3.1% from a year earlier, down slightly from last month’s gain of 3.2%.___12:01 a.m.With worries rising about trade wars and slower global growth, Friday’s jobs figures for May could serve as a reminder that the U.S. economy is still mostly in good shape.Or, an unexpectedly weak employment report could intensify concerns that after a healthy first quarter, the U.S. economy is actually stumbling.Economists have forecast that the government will report that employers added 185,000 jobs, a solid figure consistent with this year’s average monthly gain. The unemployment rate is expected to remain at a nearly 50-year low of 3.6%, according to data provider FactSet.The economy is showing signs of sluggishness after having expanded at a healthy 3.1% annual rate in the April-June quarter. Consumers have been cautious about spending, and companies are scaling back investment in high-cost machinery and equipment.The Associated Press read more

US says Expedia pays 325000 over Cuban travel allegations

WASHINGTON — Expedia has agreed to pay more than $325,000 to settle U.S. government allegations that it improperly helped people travel inside Cuba or between the island and places other than the United States.The government says the company appears to have violated U.S. sanctions against Cuba.The Treasury Department announced the agreement and settlements with several other companies on Thursday.Expedia, which is based in Bellevue, Washington, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.The Treasury Department says that between April 2011 and October 2014, the online travel agency helped 2,221 people — including some Cuban nationals — with travel services that violated the sanctions.The government says company disclosed the apparent violations.The Associated Press

SecretaryGeneral meets with world leaders ahead of Iraq Compact launch

2 May 2007Ahead of tomorrow’s formal launch of the International Compact with Iraq, a five-year peace and development plan for the war-ravaged country, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is meeting today with officials from the United States, Iraq and the League of Arab States in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. According to his spokesperson, Mr. Ban had a tête-à-tête with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in which they discussed Darfur, Kosovo, Lebanon the work of the Middle East Quartet and the Arab Peace Initiative, in addition to the Iraq Compact.He is also scheduled to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Amre Moussa.The International Compact, which Mr. Ban will launch along with Prime Minister al-Maliki, envisages a reciprocal relationship between peace-building and economic prosperity in Iraq. Under the plan, the Government will work to meet basic needs, protect the rights of all citizens and ensure the optimal use of the country’s resources for the common good. National reconciliation, improved security, better governance and continued economic and social reforms are expected to help unlock Iraq’s own development potential and the Compact commits the country’s international partners to provide financial, technical and political support to help meet these challenges on the basis of mutual commitments.More than 50 countries are expected to participate in tomorrow’s launch, with more than 20 represented at the ministerial level. read more