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Only African country having a FTA with the US, Morocco Now is the future-proof platform to capture opportunities in a changing world for our US partners! Sustainable, Competitive, Well Proven and Agile in Times Square too!

Over the past 20 years, under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist Him, Morocco developed excellent trade and transport infrastructure and is definitely on the right path of industrial take-off. Tanger Med, the 1st maritime connection in Africa and on the Mediterranean and the 20th worldwide as well as the automotive cluster, which knows the fastest growth rate in the world contribute strongly to the growth of Morocco’s exports which have increased by more than 150 billion MAD between 2010 and 2019, this illustrates Morocco’s development.

“Morocco Now” also responds to the challenges facing the global economy in making a transition to low-carbon production given the environmental emergencies, consumer pressure and the new regulations around the world. The crisis of COVID-19 pandemic has also led to the reorganization of the global value chains towards less global dependence and more regional integration.


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China is going to dominate the world through its advances in AI and other emerging technologies, and the US has already missed out on a chance to prevent it, the Pentagon’s recently resigned software chief has said.

“We have no competing fighting chance against China in 15 to 20 years. Right now, it’s already a done deal; it is already over in my opinion,” Nicolas Chaillan told the Financial Times in his first interview since his shock resignation last month.

Chaillan, who was the first chief software officer for the US Air Force and oversaw the Pentagon’s efforts to boost cybersecurity over the past three years, announced his resignation in September in protest against the sluggish pace of technological progress in the American military.

“Whether it takes a war or not is kind of anecdotal,” but China, which has prioritized artificial intelligence, machine learning and cyber capabilities, is on course for global domination and control of everything from media narratives to geopolitics, he insisted.

Washington might be spending three times more than Beijing on defense, but this money is being used in the wrong areas, said the French-born tech entrepreneur, who became a US citizen in 2016. AI and other emerging technologies are more crucial for America’s future than massive and high-budget hardware projects like fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets, he argued.

One thing holding the US back is the ongoing debate on the ethics of artificial intelligence, while Chinese companies are devoting “massive investment” to AI without a second thought, according to Chaillan.

Chinese firms are also actively cooperating with their government on AI, but US companies, like Google, are reluctant to work with the American authorities, he added.

The former software chief also sounded the alarm over the cyber defenses of US government agencies, saying that they were at “kindergarten level” in some areas.

In the coming weeks, Chaillan plans to testify before Congress in relation to the issue to attract more attention to the danger posed to the US by China’s technological advancements.

Chaillan's resignation made a splash after he announced it in a bombshell letter in early September. He complained that bureaucracy and lack of funding had prevented him from doing his job properly, saying that he was fed up with "hearing the right words without action."

The Pentagon was "setting up critical infrastructure to fail" by appointing military officials with no expertise in the field in charge of cyber initiatives, the 37-year-old argued. "We would not put a pilot in the cockpit without extensive flight training; why would we expect someone with no IT experience to be close to successful?" 

He kept criticizing the Department of Defense after his departure, claiming during a CyberSatGov conference earlier this week that American national security satellite providers were unable to develop "at the speed of relevance" finding themselves stuck in the Pentagon's ecosystem.

NASA was also grilled, with Chaillan saying that it was "a little bit of a disgrace that we had to wait for SpaceX to bring a capability to allow us to send Americans back to the ISS and not depend on the Russians."Souyz rockets, launched by Russia's space agency Roscosmos, have been delivering NASA astronauts to orbit from the shutdown of the shuttle program in 2011 till 2020 when SpaceX developed capabilities to send humans to space.

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US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) has announced that a short-term agreement has been reached on the debt ceiling following weeks of standstill in Congress with Republicans refusing to give support to the move.

Senate Majority Leader Schumer said on Thursday that a deal had been reached with Republicans and the "hope" is to get it passed by the end of the day. Reports indicated that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) had previously signified to his party that he was willing to negotiate a short-term agreement with Democrats, who have struggled to get the 50 votes needed for the expensive Build Back Better infrastructure plan, with moderate Democrats like Sen. Kyrsten Sinema holding back support.

“To protect the American people from a near-term Democrat-created crisis, we will also allow Democrats to use normal procedures to pass an emergency debt limit extension at a fixed dollar amount to cover current spending levels into December,”McConnell said in a statement on Wednesday about the deal.

The short-term fix only provides Democrats a few more months to come up with a long-term solution to the debt ceiling that can pass or to get the Build Back Better bill to a place where it can get full Democratic support before they break in December. McConnell's deal, according to him, will "moot Democrats’ excuses about the time crunch they created." He called on the party to introduce "standalone debt limit legislation through reconciliation" to address the looming debt ceiling.


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DC Comics’ Superman is now bisexual, and a forthcoming issue features a romantic encounter between the Man of Steel and a male reporter. The superhero’s woke makeover has caused some controversy, to say the least.

Jon Kent, son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, is a thoroughly modern superhero. He fights climate change and school shootings, and uses his superpowers to stop the deportation of illegal immigrants. Now, in the latest issue of ‘Superman: Son of Kal-El’, he comes out as bisexual, with the comic’s pages depicting a kiss between the Man of Steel and Jay Nakamura, a reporter.

“Superman’s symbol has always stood for hope, for truth, and for justice,” writer Tom Taylor said in a statement on Monday. “Today, that symbol represents something more. Today, more people can see themselves in the most powerful superhero in comics.”

Created back in 1938, Superman was always the quintessential American hero: Strong, masculine, and fighting for “truth, justice, and the American way.” However, DC Comics amended this catchphrase in July when Jon Kent’s story began in the first issue of ‘Superman: Son of Kal-El’, swapping his father’s original patriotic declaration for “Truth, justice, and a better world.” 

By that stage, DC had already hired race activist Ta-Nehisi Coates to work on a race-swapped Superman movie (which has since lost its director, JJ Abrams), and changing Superman’s sexuality was a natural progression for Taylor, who told the New York Times that “the idea of replacing Clark Kent with another straight white savior felt like a missed opportunity.”

However, many fans and pundits – particularly those of a conservative bent – had no issue with the Superman of old. Angered by what they saw as a tacked-on gay subplot, they slated DC Comics online

“Excellent! But for real inclusion, I’d also like to see Lois Lane become pansexual and Lex Luthor identify as a gender-fluid lesbian,” tweeted English contrarian Piers Morgan.

However, supporters of the new, woke Superman dismissed this criticism, arguingthat the people most upset by the change “haven't purchased a single comic book in their lifetimes.”

Despite the dominance of superhero movies at the cinema and on streaming platforms, comic sales have remained lackluster for several years. Woke storylines haven’t managed to connect with a younger audience, and former DC artist Ethan Van Sciver said on YouTube this summer that“there's a palpable sense of desperation” in the industry.

“The comics biz is a disaster right now,” Van Sciver claimed. “It doesn’t seem as though anyone is trying to make money by producing sellable, desirable, collectable comic books. Most creators are using the media of comics to attempt to pitch television shows and movies to Netflix. They're trying to attract media attention by virtue signaling their diversity and inclusion initiatives.”

On the diversity front, Jon Kent isn’t the only LGBT hero unveiled by DC in recent months. Back in August, DC revealed that Batman’s sidekick Tim Drake is bisexual.


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New Delhi, India – Not everyone in India is excited about the upcoming festive season in October and November.

For Afzal, a mutton seller in Greater Noida – a suburb in Uttar Pradesh state neighbouring capital New Delhi – who did not wish to give his real name for fear of reprisal, it would mean a loss of business for nearly 10 days.

“The Bajrang Dal [Hindu far-right group] in this area distributed pamphlets ordering the closure of shops during the festival period. They have become very active ever since Yogi Adityanath came to power,” he told Al Jazeera, referring to the saffron-robed Uttar Pradesh chief minister, who belongs to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“We have nowhere to complain. The police and the municipality officials side with such groups,” adds Afzal, with some trepidation.

Afzal has been fortunate: though he has been targeted, he has not faced any physical violence. Many others have not been so lucky.

On September 23, two Muslim men in Mathura, a temple town in Uttar Pradesh, were badly beaten up for carrying meat. Earlier this month, the government decided to make a large part of the city alcohol- and meat-free.

About a month ago, in Indore city of Madhya Pradesh state, also governed by the BJP, a Muslim bangle-seller, Tasleem Ali, was beaten up because he was selling his wares in a “Hindu locality” allegedly under an assumed Hindu name.

Within a week or so, in Ujjain city in the same state, a Muslim scrap dealer was forced to shout “Jai Shri Ram” (Victory be to Lord Ram), a war cry used by Hindu supremacist groups.

Similar incidents were reported in Uttar Pradesh as well in the same month.

The owner of a horse carriage in Lucknow was forced to chant “Death to Pakistan” on the basis of a fake claim that he had hoisted a Pakistani flag on his carriage.

Then again, in Mathura, a Muslim eatery owner was forced to change its name from “Shrinath Dosa” to “American Dosa Corner” because right-wing groups objected to him using the name of a Hindu god.

All these incidents were recorded in a series of disturbing videos that went viral. The common thread in the videos is that they showcase Muslim vendors and small traders being assaulted because of their religious identity.

Also, the assaulters in all such cases are alleged members of Hindu right-wing groups, who feel emboldened under Modi’s government and exercise significant impunity.

Such incidents are being seen as part of a larger attack on the livelihoods of Muslims, many of whom are self-employed or are engaged in low-paying jobs.

‘Worrying trend’

Nearly 46 percent of Muslims are self-employed in urban India, the largest as compared with any other community, according to data from the government’s National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), 2013.

The report adds that Muslims are the poorest among all religious groups in India and are concentrated in low-paying jobs in the informal sector.

Jeremy Seabrook and Imran Ahmed Siddiqui, in their book People Without History: India’s Muslim Ghettos, have documented a gradual “de-skilling of Muslim workforce” due to globalisation, which has forced them into low-paying jobs.

If these frequent incidents of attacks on Muslim livelihoods are seen “in consonance with some policy measures which the BJP government has taken in different states in the last few years, then it is a worrying trend indeed,” Abdul Waheed, professor of sociology at the Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh, told Al Jazeera.

In 2017, when the BJP government came to power in the northern state, one of its first moves was to shut down slaughterhouses and meat shops. The ostensible reason was that such places were not following legal regulations.

However, till date, no related regulation has been enacted. “The absence of any regulation in this regard makes it clear that the intention behind such a move was to destabilise Muslim businesses,” Manoj Singh, journalist and researcher in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur city, who has been tracking the rise of the BJP in the state, told Al Jazeera.

In March this year, the city council in Gurugram in Haryana state – also governed by the BJP – decided to close all meat shops and ban all restaurants from serving non-vegetarian food on Tuesdays to respect “Hindu sentiments”.

Such measures are likely to affect Muslims adversely. “This is a clear attack on Muslim livelihoods since, traditionally, it is primarily Muslims who are engaged in the meat and poultry business in India,” says Waheed.

Singh argues that such incidents belie the Uttar Pradesh government’s claim that it is interested in the development of all. “We do not see members of such vigilante groups arrested which only means that they have the tacit support of the government.”

Shalabh Mani Tripathy, BJP’s spokesman and media adviser to Uttar Pradesh chief minister, counters such claims.

“The state government is popular even among Muslims because of its various schemes. A narrative is being built by vested interests that the government is anti-Muslim which is not true,” Tripathy told Al Jazeera.

“Some of these videos and incidents have turned out to be fake. Others are being probed; therefore, it will be premature to comment on them. Let me assure you that no one is above the law in the state.”

It appears that such attacks are happening due to an ideological motivation to hit Muslims economically by driving them out of their professions, so that they are forced to convert eventually.

In January 2021, at a Hindu panchayat (mass gathering) in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut, anti-Muslim preacher Swami Anand Swaroop said the Hindus “should decide that they will not buy anything from Muslims”.

“If you destroy them socially, politically and economically, they will begin converting to Hinduism from Islam,” he told a crowd of hundreds.


Economic marginalisation

It is well-documented that Muslim properties have been targeted during various communal riots in India. But focused attacks on small traders and hawkers seem to be a new trend.

As the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in India last year, Muslim fruit-sellers were targeted and scapegoated for allegedly spreading the virus. Posters were put up in several villages announcing that Muslim vendors were not welcome in those areas.

Journalist Singh links the current spate of attacks against Muslims to the upcoming state assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, in which the BJP is seeking to retain power.

“The BJP government has been speaking against Muslims since it came to power, but just speaking against them is not enough to win the hearts of their Hindu supporters in the politically charged state,” he said.

“The Muslim community has to be brought to its knees by economically marginalising them even further. This is being done in order to send a signal to the Hindu electorate that Muslims are being shown their place.”

source: By 

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New Delhi:

The University Grants Commission on Tuesday extended the date of applicability of PhD as a mandatory qualification for direct recruitment of assistant professors in universities in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The University Grants Commission (UGC), in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, has decided to extend the date of applicability of PhD as mandatory qualification for direct recruitment of Assistant Professors in Departments of Universities from July 1, 2021 to July 1, 2023," an official statement said.

"The amendment shall be known as UGC (Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and Other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and Measures for the Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education), Amendment Regulation, 2021," it

The Delhi University Teachers'' Association (DUTA) welcomed the move.

DUTA president Rajib Ray said the development comes as a big relief for adhoc teachers working in university departments.

"This is a big victory for DUTA as its timely intervention and pursuance forced the UGC to concede to this demand. The DUTA first highlighted this issue with the UGC on August 14 and then met UGC officials on September 15. The Delhi University (DU) must immediately issue a corrigendum to the advertisement to enable all to apply for the posts advertised in various departments," he said.

The DU had advertised for 251 posts.

DUTA treasurer Abha Dev Habib said the teachers'' body had argued for relaxation in all those clauses pertaining to appointment and promotions which made PhD mandatory in view of the pandemic.
"We hope for a similar relief in case of promotions," she said.

source: NDTV

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MOSCOW: Russia’s Sputnik Light vaccine shows 70 percent effectiveness against the Delta variant of COVID-19 three months after injection. The one-shot product is likely to become the country’s main vaccine, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said on Wednesday.
The findings are part of a Russian push to promote Sputnik Light as an effective standalone vaccine and as a booster that can be combined with non-Russian vaccines.
RDIF, the wealth fund which markets Sputnik Light abroad, cited data submitted by the developer, the Gamaleya Institute, to medical website medRxiv ahead of a peer review. The data was based on 28,000 participants who received a dose of Sputnik Light, and an unvaccinated control group of 5.6 million.
Russia is battling soaring infections and hesitancy about vaccines at home, while struggling to compete in some markets with Western vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca.
Countries around the world are deploying or considering administering third doses of Pfizer or Moderna as booster shots though there is no scientific consensus about how broadly they should be used.
When used as a booster for other vaccines, Sputnik Light, which comprises the first shot of Russia’s two-shot flagship Sputnik V, will be over 83 percent effective against infection by the Delta variant and over 94 percent effective against hospitalization, RDIF said in a statement.
Kirill Dmitriev, head of the RDIF, told Reuters he expected Sputnik Light to become Russia’s main COVID-19 vaccine.
“Eventually, we believe that Sputnik Light could be the main vaccine one year from now when many people will just need to get revaccinated or will have had COVID and won’t need Sputnik V,” he said.
RDIF expects to produce enough Sputnik V and Sputnik Light for 700 million people this year, with around 50 percent of production already located abroad, Dmitriev said.
He said Russia wanted no more than 20-25 percent of the global market and had no ambition to take a monopoly position.
Argentina and some other counties were doing trials to combine Sputnik Light with AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Moderna. Two countries were combining Pfizer and Sputnik Light, he said.
Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya Institute, said Sputnik Light was easy and fast to produce.
Manufacturers have told Reuters that they have had difficulties producing the second Sputnik V dose.
RDIF had hoped to clinch regulatory approval for Sputnik V from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) months ago, but it has taken longer than expected, depriving it of access to more markets.
Dmitriev said RDIF expected the WHO to approve Sputnik V for use by the end of the year. The WHO said on Wednesday approval for Sputnik V was on hold pending some missing data and legal procedures, which it hoped would be “sorted out quite soon.”
Dmitriev said it was possible the EMA would grant approval by the end of this year as well. RDIF had got positive feedback from the EU on clinical trials and expected an EU inspection in the autumn, he said.
RDIF had applied for separate approval for the two components used in Sputnik V, and Sputnik Light would therefore be automatically approved at the same time, he added.
Dmitriev said Sputnik Light had already been registered in 15 countries and he expected it to be approved in 30 other countries in the next month.
The two-shot Sputnik V vaccine is registered in 70 countries.

source: Arab news

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King Mohammed VI chaired today in Fez the inauguration ceremony of Morocco’s newly formed government.

The monarch received members of the new government, including 24 ministers.

Women are well represented in the new government, leading key departments, including the health ministry.

Head of Government Aziz Akhannouch will lead the new cabinet.

The new government includes faces that were assuming either the same position or new duties.

Abdelouafi Laftit and Nasser Bourita maintain their positions as Minister of Interior and Minister of Foreign Affairs, respectively.

Ahmed Toufiq will also maintain his position as Minister of Islamic Affairs.

Mohamed Hajouil was re-appointed as the Secretary General of the government.

Abdellatif Loudiyi will also maintain his position as the Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of the National Defense Administration.

Meanwhile, Secretary-General of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) Abdellatif Ouahbi will take office as Minister of Justice.

Former Minister of Tourism, Nadia Fettah Alaoui will be the new Minister of Economy and Finance.

Fouzi Lekjaa, the head of the Royal Football Federation,  is announced as the Minister Delegate to the Ministry of Finance.

Mohamed Sadiki will replace Akhannouch as Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. Nizar Baraka, Secretary-General of Al Istiqlal Party is the new Minister of Water and  Equipment.

Fatim-Zahra Ammor will become the new Minister of Tourism and Handicraft, replacing Fettah El Alaoui, while Mohamed Abdeljalil will take the post of Transport and Logistics Minister.

Younes Sekkouri will become the Minister of Economic Inclusion, Small Business, Employment, and Skills.

Chakib Benmoussa, Morocco’s ambassador to France, will replace Saaid Amzazi to become the new Minister of National Education, Preschool and Sports.

Abdellatif Miraoui is announced as the new Minister of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation.

Under the new government, Mehdi Bensaid is the new Minister of Youth, Culture, and Communication.

The Ministry of Women, Family, and Social Integration will be led by Aawatif Hyar.

Fatima Ezzahra El Mansouri will replace Nouzha Boucharebas as the new Minister of Housing.

Nabila Rmili will be the new Minister of Health, while Leila Benali will become the  new Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development.

The new Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of Digital Transition and Administrative Reform is Ghita Mezzour.

Mohcine Jazouli will leave his post in the Foreign Ministry to become the new delegate Minister to the Head of Government in charge of Investment, Convergence, and Evaluation of Public Policies.

The appointment of the new government comes just one day before King Mohammed VI will open the legislative year of the Moroccan parliament on Friday.

The monarch will deliver a speech on the occasion at 4 p.m. The speech will be broadcast on national television channels and radio stations.

Source: moroccoworldnews author kasraoui-safaa

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After working in a corporate job for a number of years, budding photographer Tomas Hromjak decided it was finally the right time to take the year-long backpacking trip he'd been planning for years.
Hromjak, from Kosice, Slovakia, quit his job and bought a round-the-world ticket, which would see him visit destinations such as New Zealand, Australia, Los Angeles, Colombia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Bolivia and Germany.
In December 2019, Hromjak set off on the international trip he'd been dreaming of for as long as he could remember.
However, things didn't quite turn out how he'd imagined. Just a few months into his travels, Covid-19 began to spread around the world, leading to widespread border closures and national lockdowns.
Not only did the chaos that ensued see him spend over six months in a place he'd only planned to visit for two weeks, he was also forced to abandon sections of his trip.
But while other travelers might have been tempted to pack up and go home, Hromjak has persevered. Last month, he marked two whole years on the road.
And far from being disappointed by the situation he's ended up in, Hromjak feels incredibly lucky to be one of the few backpackers to have visited some of the most unique destinations in the world at a time when many travelers have been shut out.
"I'm seeing the world from a completely different perspective," he tells CNN Travel from Guatemala. "For me, traveling is about experiencing and learning something new.
source: Tamara Hardingham-Gill, CNN
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The cost of energy was dirt cheap in the spring of 2020 as roads and airports sat nearly empty during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Energy demand is back today as the world economy reopens -- but supply simply hasn't kept up. That's why US oil prices have skyrocketed $120 since crashing to negative $40 a barrel in April 2020. US oil prices finished above $80 a barrel on Monday for the first time in nearly seven years.
Crude gained 1.5% to end the day at $80.52. The last time oil closed above $80 was October 31, 2014.
All of this is leading to sticker shock for many Americans filling up at the pump -- at a time of the year when gas prices typically cool off. The national average price for gasoline hit a fresh seven-year high of $3.27 a gallon on Monday, up by 7 cents in the past week alone, according to AAA. Gas has nearly doubled since bottoming at $1.77 in April 2020.
High gas prices will only exacerbate elevated inflation, squeeze the budgets of American families and hurt President Joe Biden's political fortunes.
Unfortunately, prices at the pump may get lifted even higher by the global energy crisis.
Natural gas prices have skyrocketed so much, especially in Europe and Asia, that power plants and factories may increasingly turn to a relatively cheaper fuel source for electricity: crude oil.
"It's a case of just trying to keep the lights on," said Matt Smith, Kpler's lead oil analyst for the Americas. "This is essentially creating demand that typically isn't there,"

$100 oil in the cards?

Citigroup on Monday ramped up its Brent oil forecast to $85 a barrel for the fourth quarter and said crude will likely hit $90 at times. The Wall Street bank cited "price contagion this winter" and the expected switching of power plants away from sky-high natural gas to oil.
Citi added that a "very cold winter" could see Europe "running out of gas" by February.
Oil has long been there as a potential substitute for natural gas -- except until recently, it didn't make any financial sense. That's because for much of the past dozen years, natural gas prices have been very low, making switching to oil uneconomical.
But in Europe, natural gas prices have gone from below $2 per million BTU last year to as much as $55 this fall. That is the equivalent of $320 a barrel oil.
Bank of America has warned that a cold winter could boost oil demand by half a million barrels per day, lifting Brent crude to $100 a barrel. That in turn would cause more sticker shock for American drivers because gas prices are priced off Brent crude.
"We may just be one storm away from the next macro hurricane," Bank of America strategists wrote in a recent note to clients.

Record coal prices in China

It's not just high natural gas prices that are playing a role here.
Chinese coal prices have hit record highs amid flooding in northern China that forced the closure of dozens of coal mines. Coal remains the main source of energy in China, used for heating, power generation and steelmaking. China is now grappling with power shortages,prompting the government to ration electricity during peak hours and some countries to suspend production.
Against this backdrop, gasoline prices have crept higher and higher in the United States -- adding to inflationary pressures gripping the economy.
Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said $3.30 gas prices nationally are likely around the corner.
"Looking out on the horizon, I really don't see an organized drop in prices," said De Haan. "The market is starting to feel explosive. The fundamentals are there for that to continue."

OPEC in the driver's seat

While demand is strong, oil supplies have simply not kept pace.
US oil production has been slow to rebound from Covid -- even as prices have surged. Many US oil companies are leery of once again oversupplying the market and they are far more focused on returning cash to shareholders who have lost gobs of money over the past decade.
Despite the White House's calls for OPEC and its allies to significantly ramp up production, the group has only gradually increased output sidelined in early 2020. For now, they seem content to let oil prices remain elevated.
"They have always been the swing producer," said Kpler's Smith, "but my gosh they certainly hold the power right now."
source: by Matt Egan, CNN business 
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Morocco's King Mohammed named a new government on Thursday after last month's election, keeping the foreign and interior ministers in place but appointing Nadia Fettah Alaoui as finance minister, the state news agency reported.

In a monarchy where the king has final say on all major decisions, the new government's main task will be to implement a development model that the palace has commissioned aimed at reducing inequality, cutting poverty and fostering growth.

Aziz Akhannouch, appointed prime minister after his liberal RNI party came first in the election, has formed a coalition with the liberal PAM and the conservative Istiqlal parties.

The three parties command a comfortable majority in the parliament, with a combined 270 seats compared to the 198 needed to pass legislation.

The new finance minister, Alaoui, who was tourism minister in the previous government, will be one of seven women in the cabinet, including the former mayor of Marrakech, Fatima Ezzahra El Mansouri.

The head of the PAM party, Abdellatif Ouahbi, was appointed justice minister and Istiqlal leader Nizar Baraka took the portfolio covering equipment and water.

The moderate Islamist PJD party, which had been the largest after the previous two elections and whose leaders have served as prime ministers since 2011, crashed to a heavy defeat and said it would join the opposition together with leftist parties.

Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi Editing by Chris Reese and Giles Elgood
source: Reuters