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/ 17 January 2008

Morocco building collapse leaves 14 dead

Fourteen people were killed and 26 injured when an apartment block being built in Morocco collapsed, the MAP news agency reported on Thursday, saying rescue workers were still at the scene a day later. The accident happened on Wednesday morning in Kenitra when about 30 building workers were on the site of the two-storey housing and shopping centre, MAP said.

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/ 10 December 2007

Dozens missing after boat sinks off Morocco

More than 50 people were missing after an immigrant boat sank off Morocco over the weekend, authorities said on Monday. Officials in the town of Dakhla, on the coast off the Western Sahara, said the boat was heading for the Spanish Canary Islands from Mauritania when it sank on Saturday 28 nautical miles (more than 50km) offshore.

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/ 11 November 2007

Morocco boosts security budget sharply

Draft Moroccan legislation has earmarked nearly 30% of the state’s 2008 budget for security, underscoring anti-terrorism concerns after spring suicide attacks, a government source said on Saturday. The state is expected to pour about 45-billion dirhams (,8-billion) into security, a 29% boost from 2007.

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/ 29 July 2007

SA wheelchair basketball team forge ahead

The South African wheelchair basketball team are on the brink of qualifying for the Paralympic Games in Beijing after advancing to the final of the qualifier on Saturday. Team Sasol beat Egypt 71-53 in their semifinal at the Omnisports Stadium in Rabat and will now clash with Morocco for the one Africa spot at the Paralympics.

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/ 9 July 2007

Morocco warned of terror attacks

The European Union has warned Morocco of the ”almost certain probability” of terrorist attacks in the North African country and urged more security at Western embassies and tourism sites, a newspaper said on Monday. On Friday, Morocco raised the security alert level to the highest rating of ”maximum”, suggesting a terror strike was imminent.

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/ 1 July 2007

Morocco smokes out cannabis crops

Morocco, which has slashed cannabis cultivation by nearly half over the past four years, hopes to eradicate the main remaining area of cultivation in the northern Rif mountains by opening up the region and introducing substitute crops. The eradication programme encourages farmers to switch to other crops.

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/ 12 March 2007

Morocco probes possible militant suicide attack

Morocco said on Monday it was investigating whether an overnight blast was a militant suicide attack after a man with explosives under his clothes was blown up and three others were wounded at a Casablanca internet cafe. The Sunday night blast occurred in the commercial capital’s Sidi Moumen slum, home to 13 suicide bombers who killed 32 people in Casablanca in 2003.

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/ 7 February 2007

Morocco slashes cannabis crop, UN says

Morocco’s multibillion-dollar cannabis crop, the biggest in the world, has shrunk by almost half over three years due to a government eradication campaign and drought. But the next step — convincing farmers in the poor northern Rif region to seek other livelihoods — needs heavy support from the European Union.

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/ 27 November 2006

Moroccan monarch’s powers in the spotlight

Moroccans are currently engaged in a debate about the possibility of reducing the constitutional powers of their king — this after a collective of NGOs issued an appeal titled For a New Constitution That Works. The appeal also speaks of the need for Parliament to be able to investigate and control the executive.

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/ 2 August 2006

Bodies of 28 migrants wash up on Saharan coast

The bodies of 28 illegal sub-Saharan migrants who had tried to reach the Canary Islands washed up on a beach in Western Sahara on Tuesday, Moroccan state news agency MAP reported. The migrants, who had set off from the Moroccan coast in two boats, were discovered in Blibilatte, 40km north of the territory’s chief city Laayoune.

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/ 11 July 2006

Europe, Africans search for ways to stem migration

European and African ministers said on Monday that the waves of illegal migrants seeking a better life in Europe would never be stopped until Europe helps Africa fight poverty. The ministers, meeting in Rabat to reach a plan on migration, were from 50 nations — grouping for the first time countries where migrants start out from, transit countries and the destinations.

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/ 13 June 2006

Growing popularity of Islamists worries Morocco

Moroccan authorities have launched a wave of repression to stem the growing influence of an illegal Islamist movement, which many observers are already describing as the country’s biggest de-facto political party. Al Adl Wal Ihsane (Justice and Spirituality) is now so popular it would probably win elections if it was legalised and decided to enter politics, analysts said.

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/ 1 June 2006

Moroccan fatwa declares women cannot lead prayers

Women trained as religious guides in a pioneer programme are not authorised to lead prayers or to hold the post of imam, Morocco’s official religious authority has ruled. The fatwa came weeks after Morocco’s first 50 female ”morchidat,” religious guides, completed training by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, which oversees Morocco’s mosques.

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/ 9 May 2006

Report: Europe puts Morocco on terror alert

European intelligence services have warned Morocco that terrorists are planning attacks on political, business and tourist targets in the North African country, the Al Ahdath Al Maghribia newspaper said on Tuesday. ”Moroccan security authorities received a message from their European counterparts warning of [potential] attacks,” the newspaper said, quoting ”well-informed sources”.