Rabat – The government appears to have taken back its decision to deny civil society a position in the National Anti-Corruption Commission, instead giving two Moroccan NGOs seats in the commission for a two-year term as full members.Having reviewed the executive text of the composition of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the head of the commission, El Othmani said during a meeting of the Governing Council on September 21 that two seats will be reserved for the NGOs.“In principle, it is the most representative NGO in this field [anti-corruption] that will be given the seats. However, it will be up to the head of government, the president of the commission, to decide by decree,” reported Telquel. The executive draft setting out the hierarchy of power within the commission had sparked controversy, as it stated that NGOs would not have the status of full members.The director of Transparency Maroc, Fouad Zirari, said to the same source on June 5 that he had learned “by rumor” that civil society organiations would not be invited to the new National Anti-Corruption Commission.“We were involved in the preparation of the national anti-corruption strategy adopted two years ago, which would systematically be followed by the creation of an anti-corruption commission. We learned that the government has finally decided to create a commission alone, without the participation of NGOS and civil society,” said Zirari.The president claimed that “the government does not really have the will to fight against corruption, otherwise it would have integrated the civil society without which nothing could be possible in this fight. The commission would only become a is only a showcase to make a good impression on the international scene.” read more

Bilateral cooperation has steadily improved over the years has spread into new areas of cooperation in recent years he said further in an interview with the President’s Media Division. High Commissioner Skandakumar stated further: “the fact that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull invited our President for a state visit proves the new high in our longstanding friendship. President Maithripala Sirisena left for Australia today on an official visit, the President’s Media Division said.Sri Lanka and Australia enjoy strong bilateral relations, and the current state visit of President Maithripala Sirisena will give them quantum jump, says Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Australia Somasundaram Skandakumar. The last state visit took place six decades ago when Prime Minister Sir John Kothalawala visited Australia, following the setting up of Colombo Plan. Australia is a leading member of the Colombo Plan under which several programmes have been launched for the development of the education sector“.In the new areas of corporation, Australia is looking forward to invest in various sectors including mining, hospitality, dairy and agriculture. The High Commissioner said that the President, who also holds the Cabinet portfolio of Environment, will be visiting the National Arboretum in Canberra, where he will plant a sapling of Mahogany (Toona ciliata). The President is also scheduled to visit the ANU-CSIRO Centre for Genomics, Metabolomics and Bioinformatics where excellent research has been done on development of food crops. “Sri Lanka can learn a lot from these two centres about preserving environment, increasing forest density and agriculture and food crop research,” Skandakumar said. Indicating that there is a huge potential for expansion of bilateral corporation in the mining and education sectors, the High Commissioner emphasized, that Australian investors look forward to mine exploration on the western coastal areas. The recent years has seen a boost in bilateral security corporation, especially in maritime security, between the two countries. Realizing the imperative need for security in the Indian Ocean region, Australia has donated two modern patrolling vessels to Sri Lankan coast guards. The two countries are actively cooperating to curb human smuggling and to prevent maritime piracy.Revealing the details of President’s Sirisena’s state visit, Skandakumar expected many positive outcomes Australian Prime from the President’s meetings with the Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Defence Minister Marise Payne, Education Minister Simon Birmingham, and Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton, where a number of Memoranda of Understanding will also be signed strengthening bilateral collaboration. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Ohio State wideout Johnnie Dixon reels in a touchdown reception in the fourth quarter of the Buckeyes’ 39-38 win on Oct. 28. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorDown 15 points to No. 2 Penn State (7-1, 4-1) in the fourth quarter, No. 6 Ohio State (7-1, 5-0) looked finished. Quarterback J.T. Barrett fumbled the ball, turning it over with 13:13 remaining as the Columbus crowd’s screams turned to dulcet tones. But the Buckeyes never panicked. Cornerback Denzel Ward blocked a punt and two plays later, Barrett hit wideout Johnnie Dixon for a 38-yard touchdown. Ohio State held the Nittany Lions to a field goal and responded as Barrett once again found Dixon, this time for a 10-yard touchdown.And after Penn State went three-and-out, Barrett put the finishing touches on what head coach Urban Meyer called the best comeback of his career. He dropped back and delivered a strike to tight end Marcus Baugh in the end zone to give the Buckeyes a one-point lead, their first of the game, with 1:48 remaining in the final quarter. The advantage would hold as Ohio State survived, winning 39-38 Saturday at Ohio Stadium and remaining in contention for the College Football Playoff.“Honestly, we’ve been in those situations quite a bit, whether it be spring ball or fall camp,” Barrett said. “What was going through my head was Coach Meyer saying go win the game. He says that all the time, go win the game.”Barrett followed up five weeks of increasingly impressive play with the best game of his career which potentially thrust him into Heisman Trophy contention, completing 33-of-39 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns. He also raced for 95 carries on 17 yards, succeeding taking multiple zone reads for 10-plus yards. “I’ve never had a kid play perfect, but damn he was close tonight — 33 of 39,” Meyer said. “I can count four drops off the top of my head and two penalties that kept him from big completions.”Though the Buckeyes outgained Penn State through the air (328-192) and on the ground (204-91), they trailed for the first 58 minutes of the game due to many special teams blunders which have plagued them throughout the season.It took just 15 seconds for Ohio State to seemingly realize its nightmare scenario as Penn State running back Saquon Barkley caught a well-placed kickoff and raced 97 yards, giving the Nittany Lions the early lead, which they nearly never relinquished. The Nittany Lions capitalized on a multitude of Ohio State mistakes as the home team seemingly could not get out of its own way at times. The Buckeyes committed 10 penalties for 79 yards, including four false starts. Safety Damon Webb intercepted a pass in the end zone, but cornerback Damon Arnette was flagged for pass interference which set the Nittany Lions up at the 6-yard line and quarterback Trace McSorley ran in for a touchdown on the next play.Ohio State’s defensive front managed to bottle up the Nittany Lion rushing attack for much of the game, but Barkley broke free for a 36-yard touchdown early in the second quarter and finished with just 21 rushes for 44 yards and four catches for 23 yards.“My biggest concern was not just the fact he’s a great running back, but he had 21 carries for 44 yards, if I’m reading that right. Is that right?” Meyer said, incredulous.McSorley finished the game 17-of-29 for 192 yards and two touchdowns. He made his most prominent impact in the rushing game as he carried the ball 13 times for 49 yards. He had a crucial 10-yard rush on 3rd and 10 early in the third quarter, which extended a drive, leading to Penn State scoring its fifth touchdown and taking a 35-20 lead.In the third quarter, Ward nearly pulled off an interception, but due to both he and wideout DeAndre Thompkins having possession, the Nittany Lions scored a touchdown.Freshman running back J.K. Dobbins exploded for four carries for 50 yards in the first quarter, but was conspicuously absent from the game in the second quarter. He returned to the game in the third quarter and finished with 13 carries for 88 yards. While Dobbins was out, the Buckeyes relied heavily on redshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber, who ran the ball seven times for 21 yards and scored a 2-yard touchdown up the gut in the second quarter.Wideout K.J. Hill set a career high in receptions as he led Ohio State with 12 catches for 102 yards, often acting as Barrett’s short-range target. Ohio State will be back in action Saturday afternoon in Iowa City, Iowa, taking on the Hawkeyes. read more