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Japan hails Morocco’s initiatives on Moroccan Sahara

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Moroccan Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita and his Japanese counterpart, Yoko Kamikawa.

 Japan on Friday welcomed, “serious and credible Moroccan efforts” within the framework of the autonomy initiative to settle the Moroccan Sahara issue.

This position was expressed by Japan’s Foreign Minister, Yoko Kamikawa, during talks in Tokyo with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Nasser Bourita, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Based on Japan’s “consistent” position, Kamikawa referred to the Moroccan autonomy initiative presented on 11 April 2007 to the UN Secretary-General, underlining the “serious and credible Moroccan efforts to move the process forward toward a resolution” of the Moroccan Sahara issue.

Bourita, who is visiting Japan, welcomed Japan’s position on the Moroccan Sahara.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Global cyber outage grounds flights, hits banks, telecoms, media

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Passengers wait at Barajas Airport, as Spanish airport operator Aena on Friday reported a computer systems "incident" at all Spanish airports which may cause flight delays, in Madrid, Spain July 19, 2024. REUTERS/Elena Rodriguez

A global tech outage was disrupting operations across multiple industries on Friday, with airlines halting flights, some broadcasters off air and services from banking to healthcare hit by system problems.

While major U.S. airlines – American Airlines (AAL.O), opens new tab, Delta Airlines (DAL.N), opens new tab and United Airlines (UAL.O), opens new tab – grounded flights, other carriers and airports around the world reported delays and disruptions early on Friday.

Banks and financial services firms from Australia to India and Germany warned customers of disruptions.

In Britain, booking systems used by doctors were offline, multiple reports from medical officials on X said, while Sky News, one of the country’s major news broadcasters was off air, apologising for being unable to transmit live, and soccer club Manchester United said on X that it had to postpone a scheduled release of tickets

The former head of Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre Ciaran Martin told BBC Radio that an update to a product offered by global cyberscurity firm CrowdStrike (CRWD.O), opens new tab appeared to be affecting operating systems based on Microsoft’s Windows Operating System.

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Microsoft’s MSFT.O cloud unit Azure said it was aware of the issue that impacted virtual machines running Windows OS and the CrowdStrike Falcon agent getting stuck in a “restarting state,” amid an ongoing global outage.

“We’re aware of an issue affecting Windows devices due to an update from a third-party software platform. We anticipate a resolution is forthcoming,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.

According to an alert sent by CrowdStrike to its clients and reviewed by Reuters, the company’s “Falcon Sensor” software is causing Microsoft Windows to crash and display a blue screen, known informally as the “Blue Screen of Death”.

The alert, which was sent at 0530 GMT on Friday, also shared a manual workaround to rectify the issue.

Over half of Fortune 500 companies used CrowdStrike software, the U.S. firm said in a promotional video this year.

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A Crowdstrike spokesperson did not respond to emails or calls requesting comment.

There was no information to suggest the outage was a cyber security incident, the office of Australia’s National Cyber Security Coordinator Michelle McGuinness said in a post on X. A British government source also told Reuters there was nothing to suggest foul play.

“The world grinding to a halt because of a global IT meltdown shows the dark side to technology,” AJ Bell investment analyst Dan Coatsworth said.

“The severity of the problem boils down to how long it lasts. A few hours’ disruption is unhelpful but not a catastrophe. Prolonged disruption is another matter,” he said.

The outages rippled far and wide.

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Airports in Singapore, Hong Kong and India said the outage meant some airlines were having to check in passengers manually.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, one of Europe’s busiest, said it was affected, while airline Iberia said it had been operating manually at airports until its electronic check-in counters and online check-ins were reactivated. It said there had been some delays but no flight cancellations.

Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA), opens new tab said its operations were disrupted.

The Dutch foreign affairs ministry told Dutch press agency ANP it had been affected. A spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

While there were reports of companies gradually restoring their services, analysts weighed the potential of what one called the biggest ever outage in the industry and the broader economy.

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“IT security tools are all designed to ensure that companies can continue to operate in the worst-case scenario of a data breach, so to be the root cause of a global IT outage is an unmitigated disaster,” said Ajay Unni, CEO of StickmanCyber, one of Australia’s largest cybersecurity services companies.

-Reuters

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Morocco celebrates Wole Soyinka

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Morocco Royal Academy Celebrates Renowned Nigerian Author Wole Soyinka

The Royal Academy of Morocco has honored Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka in a special ceremony, marking the 90th birthday of the acclaimed Nigerian writer.

The event, held in collaboration with the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA), served as a tribute to Soyinka’s immense contributions to African and global literature.

Titled “Africa Celebrates Wole Soyinka in Morocco,” the round-table discussion brought together cultural figures, academics, and diplomats.

It explored Soyinka’s prolific career, highlighting his unwavering commitment to social justice and his unique voice that champions African cultures.

Born in 1934, Soyinka’s literary journey began in Nigeria before flourishing internationally. His works, including “ A Dance of the Forests” (1966) and “ Death and the King’s Horseman” (1975), grapple with tradition, modernity, and the human condition.

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His latest novel, “Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth” (2021), employs satire to critique societal ills.

Permanent Secretary of  the Royal Academy Royal Academy Abdeljalil Lahjomri, lauded Soyinka’s unwavering dedication to portraying African realities in an interview with the local press. He described Soyinka as a “defender of African cultures” and a keen observer of the continent’s complexities.

Lahjomri specifically mentioned Soyinka’s rejection of the Negritude movement, emphasizing his constant fight against all forms of domination.

Wale Okediran, Secretary-General of PAWA, commended Soyinka’s multifaceted talent – poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, and satirist.

He hailed Soyinka as a source of inspiration for aspiring African writers, praising his ability to raise critical questions and elevate African voices on the world stage.

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Soyinka, in his address, expressed his gratitude for the celebration, emphasizing its role in strengthening cultural ties between Morocco and West Africa.

The author drew historical parallels, citing the strong relationship between Morocco and Senegal, exemplified by his friendship with the late Senegalese president, Léopold Senghor.

Professor Raphael Liogier, a scholar at Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, viewed the event as a powerful symbol of Africa’s potential.

“Africa is capable of taking charge, opening up to the world, and opening the world to itself,” Liogier remarked, highlighting the significance of recognizing African talent like Soyinka.

-Morocco World News

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Morocco Embassy denies granting visa to fugitive Kogi former governor, Yahaya Bello

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H.E. Ou Ali Tagma, Ambassador, Kingdom of Morocco

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

The embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Abuja has denied ever granting visa to former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello  who is now on the run.

The immediate past governor is facing an N80.2 billion naira fraud charge but has not appeared in the court since the case began. 

An online publication, Intelregion, had published a report that the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, has uncovered Bello’s plan to leave Nigeria for Morocco via Cameroon.  

 The Moroccan Embassy has denied the report. The ambassador, Ou Ali Tagma informed that “the embassy of Morocco in Nigeria has never granted an entry visa to Mr. Yahaya Bello”  and so, denies the allegations in the said publication.

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The former governor, now at large, is facing a 19-count charge including allegations of money laundering, breach of trust, and misappropriation of public funds amounting to about N80.2 billion.

In statements credited to the former governor, he denied the allegations but paradoxically, refused  to appear before Justice Emeka Nwite on scheduled dates.

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