#CollateralFreedom: RSF now unblocking 21 sites in 12 countries

first_img Help by sharing this information News March 13, 2020 #CollateralFreedom: RSF now unblocking 21 sites in 12 countries June 8, 2021 Find out more They include China, where the human rights website, Civil Rights & Livelihood Watch, also known by the Chinese name Minsheng Guancha, has been blocked by the government since shortly after its creation in 2006. Its founder, Liu Feiyue was sentenced in 2019 to five years in prison on charges of “inciting subversion of state power” and “publishing articles that opposed the socialist system.” Thanks to Operation Collateral Freedom, around 230,000 visitors have been able to access the independent Burundian news website Iwacu since December 2019. Unblocked by RSF in 2018, Iwacu is one of Burundi’s few remaining independent media outlets. Operation #CollateralFreedom circumvents Internet censorship by means of a technique in which “mirrors” or duplicates of the censored websites are created on international servers belonging to the world’s Internet giants located around the world. If a country wants to block access to the mirrors, it must also deprive itself of access to all the sites and services hosted on these servers, which would inflict significant “collateral damage” on its own economy, hence the operation’s name. Saudi ArabiaBahrainBurundiChinaDjiboutiEgyptUnited Arab EmiratesIranPakistanPhilippinesTurkmenistanVietnamMiddle East – North Africa AfricaAsia – PacificEurope – Central Asia Online freedoms InternetFreedom of expressionPredators RSF_en >>> See the RSF website in Egypt <<< RSF’s own website, which publishes information in several languages including Arabic about press freedom violations around the world, is one of the more than 500 news sites that have been blocked in Egypt without reference to the courts, for no clear reason, during the past three years. The RSF site, rsf.org, has been blocked within Egypt since August 2017. Operation Collateral Freedom is enabling Egyptian Internet users to access it again. News Organisation Operation Collateral Freedom is also now unblocking the website of La Voix de Djibouti, a radio station that is Djibouti’s only independent media outlet. Created  in 2010, it is one of the few spaces for free speech and information and, without it, Djibouti would become a news and information black hole. To escape persecution, the radio station is based in Paris from where it broadcasts by satellite and on its website, which is blocked by the authorities. June 11, 2021 Find out more Saudi ArabiaBahrainBurundiChinaDjiboutiEgyptUnited Arab EmiratesIranPakistanPhilippinesTurkmenistanVietnamMiddle East - North Africa AfricaAsia - PacificEurope - Central Asia Online freedoms InternetFreedom of expressionPredators center_img News How and why does RSF circumvent the censorship? In what is the sixth year of “Operation Collateral Freedom,” RSF is adding four more sites to the list of those it is already unblocking by means of a technique known as website mirroring, under which “mirrors” or copies of the sites are placed on international servers beyond the reach of censors. Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 to go further News Iran is stepping up pressure on journalists, including foreign journalists, in run-up to election Receive email alerts RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance >>> See the list of websites unblocked by RSF <<< June 9, 2021 Find out more To mark World Day Against Cyber-Censorship, celebrated on 12 March, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) announces that its “Operation Collateral Freedom” is now providing alternative online access to a total of 21 news websites that are blocked in their own countries. Follow the news on Middle East - North Africa All of these websites are blocked in their own countries – a total of 12 countries – by authoritarian or dictatorial regimes that are increasingly blocking access to independent news sites.last_img read more

Doherty welcomes progress in Gweedore Primary Care Centre campaign

first_img Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Pinterest Twitter Doherty welcomes progress in Gweedore Primary Care Centre campaign Homepage BannerNews Previous articleDiscussions on resumption of rheumatology services at LGHNext articleRural renewal scheme “won’t do a lot on its own” – Taoiseach admin Google+ WhatsApp Google+ WhatsApp It’s emerged that plans for a Primary Care Centre in Gweedore are a step closer this week after the HSE gave a commitment to lease a premises in the area.The plan is to locate the Primary Care Centre in the current out-of-hours NoWDOC building, with the new facility opening after some refurbishments and adaptations have been carried out.Deputy Perarse Doherty has tribute to the local community which has campaigned for the service, and says after a number of false dawns in the past, the indications are the centre is finally set to progress…….Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/pearseprimary.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Twittercenter_img Facebook Facebook 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Pinterest Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal By admin – September 23, 2015 Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan firelast_img read more

National championship rematch

first_imgANDREW SCHORR/Herald photoAfter an intense home series against No. 2 Minnesota, the top-ranked Wisconsin women’s hockey team is hosting yet another top ranked team, as No. 7 Minnesota-Duluth heads to Madison this weekend. Duluth beat Wisconsin in the National Championship last season, denying the Badgers’ aspirations for a third straight national championship.Minnesota-Duluth dropped a pair of games to the Gophers earlier this year. The Bulldogs are coming off a series sweep over Minnesota State Mankato. Duluth pocketed a pair of 5-1 victories over the Mavericks in Duluth last weekend. The wins over Mankato gave the Bulldogs their first WCHA wins of the season and a good deal of momentum heading into Madison for a visit with the top-ranked Badgers.The Bulldogs’ lineup against Mankato was rejuvenated with the emergence of freshman Elim Holmlov. Holmlov, a Sweden native who has only played in three of Duluth’s 11 games, notched four goals in the sweep.Pernilla Winberg, also a freshman Swede, was voted the WCHA preseason rookie of the year. Winberg has lived up to the reputation thus far, as she leads the Bulldogs with 10 points. With a healthy lineup and a WCHA sweep under their belts, the Badgers can expect a much-improved Duluth team this weekend.Forward Haley Irwin, a preseason first team all-WCHA member, and goalie Kim Martin, who along with Badgers Erica Lawler and Meghan Duggan received votes for WCHA preseason player of the year, round out a group with plenty of big game experience for the Bulldogs. Despite the experience, the Bulldogs are a relatively young team; they have 11 underclassmen and only five seniors.Duluth’s roster features 14 international players coming in from all over the globe to play for coach Shannon Miller. The roster includes eight Canadians from Quebec to New Brunswick. In addition, a strong European influence has been introduced to the Bulldogs’ style of play thanks largely to the Bulldogs’ four Swedish and two Finnish players.The Minnesota series was the first in which the Badgers found themselves facing an offense with as much explosiveness as their own. Wisconsin stepped up defensively, holding the Gophers to only two goals on 62 shots. Senior goalie Jessie Vetter earned the WCHA defensive player of the week for her performance; Holmlov of Duluth won the WCHA offensive player of the week.The Bulldogs will bring a more balanced and less offensive attack to the Kohl Center than the Gophers provided last week. Sophomore Kelly Nash likes the Badgers’ chances in the series against the Bulldogs.“It definitely is going to be an intense series; I think that our team is much more prepared than we were last season. We have been playing pretty well,” Nash said.Despite the Bulldogs’ talented roster and past success, it is Wisconsin that comes into the series as the favorites. The Badgers have cruised to 9-0-1 start and are coming off a big weekend against arch-rival Minnesota. The Badgers’ comeback victory on Saturday over a very talented Minnesota provides plenty of momentum for round two of the Badger’s difficult two-week home stretch.Assistant coach Tracey Cornell mentioned that the Wisconsin coaching staff has been keeping an eye on Duluth and many of the players are familiar with the Duluth players.“[Minnesota-Duluth] always is much-anticipated competition. We track them through video, and the players are familiar with Duluth’s players. It’s just another great WCHA series,” Cornell said.last_img read more

Ladbrokes, 888 and Sky Vegas all warned by the ASA over affiliate promotion

first_img Numerous gambling operators felt the wrath of The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in its latest round of weekly rulings.The decisions related to an advert that had been created by affiliate partners of 888, Sky Vegas and Ladbrokes Casino. Casumo Services was also censured for the same promotion.In total nine complaints were received and upheld by The ASA about the adverts.The advertising watchdog deemed the adverts were irresponsible as they suggested that gambling could provide an escape from personal problems such as depression, and that it could be a solution to financial concerns.In each case, the advert was not provided to the operator for clearance and was published by the affiliate, whilst the operator was completely unaware.This resulted in all three betting companies terminating the agreement with the affiliate in question, stating that the advert breached the terms and conditions that had been agreed upon by the two parties.The ASA stated: “The ad must not appear again in its current form”, adding that each company’s “future ads, including those prepared by affiliates, must be clearly identifiable as marketing communications and to take care to ensure their ads were prepared in a socially responsible way.”The rulings come on the back of Sky Betting & Gaming closing its affiliate hub, citing regulatory concerns and will no doubt have other operators weighing up how they can best monitor their affiliate partnerships in a responsible way. StumbleUpon Submit Share Share GVC absorbs retail shocks as business recalibrates for critical H2 trading August 13, 2020 Bookies Corner: Trump Presidency sinks as US 2020 enters its 100 day countdown July 29, 2020 Related Articles FSB selects Glenn Elliott as new COO August 12, 2020last_img read more

Bekele breaks Farah’s London half-marathon record

first_img“I’m on schedule in my preparation for the London Marathon in April.“There’s no question about the crowds in London being great. They were cheering all around the course and it felt like a great place to be.”Farah decided to concentrate on the marathon having won gold in the 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres at both the London and Rio Games, but a relative lack of success on the road has seen him turn his attention back to the track ahead of this year’s Olympics in Tokyo.jdg/lpShare on: WhatsApp Bekele is backLondon, United Kingdom | AFP |  Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele broke Mo Farah’s course record as he won the London half-marathon on Sunday in a time of one hour and 22 seconds.Bekele took 1min 18sec off the record set in 2019 by British distance great Farah, who missed this year’s edition with an achilles injury.Britain’s Christopher Thompson finished second, with Jake Smith third.Sunday’s event served as a warm-up event for the full London Marathon on April 26. That race is set to see Bekele go up against Eliud Kipchoge, the reigning Olympic champion from Kenya, as the two fastest marathon runners of all time meet in the British capital.“The new course record is a great bonus. I wasn’t focused on time today, I just wanted to win,” Bekele, three times an Olympic gold medallist on the track, told the BBC.last_img read more

DDTV: WATCH DONEGAL PRIEST PERFORM IN HILARIOUS WATER PROTEST VIDEO

first_imgDDTV: Fr. Brian O’Fearraigh has showed his wide range of talents aren’t confined to the altar, by performing in a ballad written about the impending water charges being imposed by the current government. The charges have been strongly opposed by thousands of Irish citizens and Fr. O’ Fearraigh has already publicly condemned a tax he feels is morally unjust.O’Fearraigh has supported the ‘Can’t Pay Won’t Pay’ campaign and believes people shouldn’t be bullied into paying yet another tax as he already knows hundreds of families all over Donegal can’t afford the added weight of another bill.In the video above O’Fearraigh performs the ‘Water Protest’ song and is ably assisted by talented local musicians from The Rosses and Gweedore.Simply click play on the video above to watch and enjoy. 🙂  DDTV: WATCH DONEGAL PRIEST PERFORM IN HILARIOUS WATER PROTEST VIDEO was last modified: May 24th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DDTVFeaturesnewslast_img read more

Flawed Survey Tries To Diss Open Source, Fails

first_imgMassive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… So open source goes from quality nightmare for 75% of enterprisesr in Univa’s survey to quality king in Black Duck’s survey. What gives?Reading Between The LinesWell, vendor motivations may help to sway the kinds of questions asked, and the recipients of the survey itself. I’m not suggesting that either company set out to skew results, but neither data sample is likely purely random.Still, I’m more inclined to give credence to Black Duck’s results, despite it being an open-source management and consulting firm. After all, open source is driving the top-three trends in enterprise computing: Big Data, cloud, and mobile. If enterprises were struggling to make open source work, they wouldn’t be using so much of it, and in such business-critical areas.Which is not to suggest that open source has “won” and all proprietary software is doomed. Indeed, according to a recent Barclays survey of IT executives, a mix of proprietary and open-source software will likely persist for some time: IT + Project Management: A Love Affair But let’s not kid ourselves: the days of open source failing because of a lack of enterprise support or insufficient quality are well behind us. There is no shortage of quality companies providing support for leading edge open-source software. And there is no shortage of exceptional enterprise-grade open-source software.The proof? Open source is being adopted in droves. That’s really the only number that matters in figuring out whether open source provides high-quality software.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Related Posts Matt Asaycenter_img Tags:#developers#enterprise IT#Open Source Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Two surveys surfaced last week that paint widely divergent pictures of enterprise adoption of open source. But based on the continued rise of open source in the enterprise, only one is likely correct.The first comes from Univa, a data center automation company that also offers an open-source version of its Grid Engine product. Univa found that while 76% of enterprises surveyed are using open source, a full 75% experience problems running it in mission-critical workloads.Given that so many enterprises apparently struggle to use open source successfully, one might wonder why so many persist in doing so. Back in 2008, Gartner found that 85% of enterprises were using open source, but even that high number is surely underreporting actual adoption of open source because, according to Forrester, “developers adopt open source products tactically without the explicit approval of their managers.”Conflicted Much?Fortunately, Univa doesn’t leave us to guess how to resolve this seeming conflict between mass adoption and poor quality. While open source is rarely mentioned on its website, the one page that gets a lot of open source mentions presents a highly conflicted view on open source, like the following customer testimonials:“…we were finally able to switch our focus away from a malfunctioning [open source] Grid Engine.”“If I went to another company that was using purely an open-source Grid Engine, I would take Univa with me to assure this kind of flexibility and security. I know Univa has my back.“And this product pitch:“Univa Grid Engine is the next generation product that open source Grid Engine users have been waiting for.” These sorts of statements would be a great way to bash one’s competition, but in this case Univa’s marketing is designed to bash itself. Or rather, the open-source project upon which it is based. This message carries through in its survey, which found that 64% of enterprises will pay for better quality, which translates to stability (25%) and enterprise-grade support (22%).“That open-source product we give away? It’s not very good! You should pay us instead of using our open-source software” seems to be the message.Different Survey, Very Different ResultsIt’s a very different message conveyed by the results of Black Duck Software and North Bridge Venture Partners 2013 Future of Open Source survey.  While vendor support was a top-three consideration in 2012 for adopting open source, in 2013 it falls to number 11, well behind competitive functionality, solid security, and better TCO as reasons to use open source.In fact, this survey finds that “Better Quality Software,” which was the fifth-placed reason for using open source in 2011, is now the top reason: 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowlast_img read more

Folayang banking on experience against Nguyen: ‘I have been fighting for a long time’

first_imgMOST READ ONE lightweight champion Eduard Folayang hopes to use his experience against Australian challenger Martin Nguyen in the main event of ONE: Legends of the World on Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT The 28-year-old Nguyen aims to become the first fighter in ONE Championship to hold two titles in two different weight classes at once.Folayang, who turns 33 on Nov. 22, is also banking on homecourt edge with Friday’s event expected to draw a sellout crowd.“I’ve fought many times here in the Philippines and there’s really nothing like it fighting in front of your hometown crowd,” Folayang, who outpointed Ev Ting in his first title defense last April at MOA Arena, said in Filipino.ADVERTISEMENT Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 NU keeps Final 4 bid alive, pulls rug from under FEU Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Folayang, who owns an 18-5 record, has more than twice as many fights as Nguyen (9-1).“My biggest advantage against him is my experience because I have been fighting for a long time,” Folayang, who made his MMA debut in 2007 as part of URCC, told INQUIRER.net in a press conference Tuesday at City of Dreams Manila.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutNguyen, the current featherweight champion, will be going up in weight against Folayang. But Team Lakay’s prized ward doesn’t think their weight difference is going to be much of a factor come fight night.“I think I’ll just be three to four pounds heavier than him inside the cage,” Folayang said in Filipino. Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillioncenter_img CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Alvarez ready to take risk vs Folayang, looks to end clash by ‘knockout or submission’ PLAY LIST 02:18Alvarez ready to take risk vs Folayang, looks to end clash by ‘knockout or submission’00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Games of death

first_imgMagnolia’s Mark Barroca and Jio Jalalon told Chito Victolero that they’ll make up for a lackluster Game 1 while getting ready to face Barangay Ginebra in a no-tomorrow match for the Hotshots on Monday night.The dynamic point guards proved that they can walk their talk.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated CEU stays unbeaten; McDavid finally triumphs Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid MOST READ Jalalon scored 17 points and Barroca accounted for 13 as they led the Hotshots to a 106-77 ripping of the Gin Kings at Smart Araneta Coliseum to forge a deciding Game 3 in their PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal duel.“They told me Sunday (after an 86-75 loss) that they will go all out in this game. And I’m thankful and proud that those two guys played the games true to their promise,” Victolero said in Filipino as he and his Hotshots gathered the needed momentum—and confidence—for the you-or-me match set Wednesday also at the fabled Big Dome.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsTNT kept its composure behind chief gunner Jayson Castro and held off four-time defending champion San Miguel Beer, 93-88, in the nightcap, to also force a Game 3 on Wednesday.Castro finished with 19 points and nine assists, helping the KaTropa in the stretch together with Troy Rosario and RR Pogoy.center_img Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting View comments Ian Sangalang scored 21 points to lead the Hotshots, and together with Jalalon and Barroca formed a three-cornered battering ram that chopped down the hulking Gin Kings to size.Jalalon and Barroca, incidentally, combined for just seven points in the series-opening loss.The Hotshots made use of a blistering 11-0 start that kept the Kings at bay the rest of the way.Magnolia’s largest lead came up to 31 late in the final quarter.“The most important thing here was our mind-set: That we needed to go all out,” Victolero said. “This is exactly what we had hoped for—a chance to compete.”ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte LATEST STORIES Sol Mercado scored 13 for third-ranked Ginebra, who was so out of sorts that it stood as the team-best total in the rout.Ginebra’s imposing frontline of Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar settled for just five points each following a pair of double-doubles in the series opener.“This is a short series,” Victolero said. “We’ll just have to prepare well and just hope the breaks of the next game go our way.”“But I’m liking our chances. We were able to tie it now,” he added.  “With the same level of effort and desire, I think we have a chance.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

The Moroccan minister with a sweet tooth and Benkirane

first_imgRabat- Once upon a time, in the faraway kingdom of Morocco, an Islamist Party leader named Benkirane won the elections of 2011 and formed a coalition government in which he appointed a minister for Administrative Reform named Abdeladim Guerrouj and who was thought to be the youngest minister in Moroccan history. The story has it that this young and promising minister, on the eve of the reshuffle of the government, sensed that he was going to be in charge of another department (i.e. education) and made a big purchase of chocolate to offer to guests on the occasion of the baptism of his first child and made his ministry pay for it on his last day in this department.Abdeladim (meaning the great in Arabic) maybe thought this would go unseen, but unfortunately for him, the minister who came followed him  wanted to start his term with a clean slate. Though from the same party he ordered an inquiry on his predecessor’s financial statement and discovered this gross misconduct. He informed his party leader who conducted an investigation and came to the conclusion that it is indeed a case of embezzlement of public funds. He, in turn, informed his party and threw the hot potato in the lap of the poor Islamist Head of Government Benkirane. In the meantime, the great little minister Abdeladim, with the sweet tooth, has recognized his misconduct but sadly has not resigned, as is the case in many democracies. On the contrary, he is clinging to his seat and the many perks it offers without any shame whatsoever. Oh! I forgot to say that in Morocco, ministers never resign, they are made to resign and this is a very important difference in the cultural ethics of this country.Candy for bitter realityIncidentally, another minister, the socialist Habib El Malki who was in charge of the Ministry of Education some time ago, was known for his daily veracious appetite for expensive chocolate. This minister, without any shame whatsoever had the chocolate delivered to his ministry every morning and the taxpayer paid the bill.It so seems that the Ministry of Education that they are in charge of is so bitter in substance that they have to take some good quality chocolate to sweeten the state of affairs there. Indeed, they are right, after over half a century of independence, Morocco has failed to come up with an acceptable educational system. The Ministry of Education is the most budgetivore (in the sense of carnivore, if you please), as it swallows over 25% of the national budget with very little return. In higher education, over thirteen public universities generate thousands of graduates every year, most of whom end up unemployed. These graduates can be spotted fruitlessly demonstrating near Parliament on an almost daily basis.The great Abdeladim, realizing that he will be in charge of this troublesome ministry, decided to take some chocolate for a good start, maybe taking an example from the socialist minister who made it a rule to start his day with expensive chocolate in order to face the elements. Sadly, the socialist minister achieved nothing with his daily intake of this candy because education, during his tenure, went from bad to worse.As for this poor young minister, great in chocolate intake and small in righteousness, he might face, in the weeks to come, the sack from both his ministerial post and his party position. For he has embarrassed, beyond belief, both his party boss Al Ansar and the Head of Government Benkirane, who has promised over and over to fight corruption.  Baha! Please hand Benkirane a bar of chocolateWill Benkirane sack this young minister to set an example for the rest of his unruly, plethoric team (see my article entitled “Morocco: too much government kills government” published by MWN on 24 January 2014) or will he procrastinate in order to avoid the fall of his coalition. Either decision is bitter for Benkirane. I trust his sidekick Minister of State Baha ought to offer him some chocolate to get on with his bitter tenure. Poor Benkirane. He is receiving a blow after a blow and the last thing he would have wanted is a corrupt minister in his ranks.One of the salient points of his electoral platform was to fight corruption, money embezzlement, and illegal transfer of funds to foreign banks. So far, however, he has shied away from fulfilling any of his promises and, as time goes on, his popularity sinks further and further. By the end of his term he will probably drown completely, the poor soul.Corruption in Morocco is sadly endemic. Many officials consider corruption money as a perk that goes with their office and the same is true of misuse of public funds and embezzlement. Officials use public money at will, with no qualms, because the state is very lax with them if they don’t get caught. Those that are caught face a variety of sentences. Some are punished by imprisonment while others are, at worst, only fired. Furthermore  the state rarely asks them to repay the stolen money, unless it is a truly large sum.In the Moroccan vernacular, language corruption is referred to by the cover term hlawa meaning “a candy or a sweet”. So, if an individual wants something achieved quickly bypass all laws possible, he has to give hlawa money to the official in charge. The chocolate the two honorable ministers paid for with public money is, for them, undoubtedly a perk of their office, no more. They might even think that they did nothing wrong and that is very bad because it means that corruption is deeply ingrained in the Moroccan officials’ psyche, and that is unfortunate.The great Abdeladim Guerrouj, prior to his chocolate episode when he started his ministerial tenure, spoke of transparency and efficiency in practice, now I wonder what he meant and why he used these terms if he was not going to stand by their message. That will remain a ministerial mystery; maybe we will never know what he meant in the first place.The other chocolate minister Habib El Malki, the great socialist in discourse only, of course, was very straightforward in his attitude towards the philistines. Apparently, the first thing he did on becoming Minister of Education, he ordered the employees to use a back door so that he can have the stately front entrance for his exclusive use. He also ordered an elevator built for his own personal use; it cost the ministry millions of centimes. The socialist minister wanted to prove, by all this, that he is special and thus deserves to have chocolate delivered to his office on a daily basis, not paying any attention to possible criticism from the press because of his palace umbrella, bearing in mind that he was always the preferred socialist of the late King Hassan II and his sole interlocutor in the party he belongs to.By not sacking the chocolate minister and not acting on corruption and illegal money transfers abroad, Benkirane is proving to the people who gave him their votes to undertake important changes within the Moroccan political scene that he is, in the end, no different from his predecessors he criticized when he was in the opposition. Benkirane’s various promises to put an end to all forms of corruption and to set up good governance prove to be merely empty promises and hot air, no more.In two years, he will have to face the electorate again in the upcoming legislative elections and the voters will certainly square up against him and his Islamist government will go down history as a government of “much ado about nothing,” that will ultimately go down the drain. The moral of the storyIf you have a sweet tooth in Morocco, better consume Moroccan almond cookies ka’b ghzal “gazelle corns,” with mint tea, they are delicious and safe and by all means stay away from foreign expensive chocolate! It only brings misfortune and bad luck to you and your surroundings. Be warned.The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more