Mohamed V University 14th Best Arab University for Computer Science

Rabat – With a score of 9.3, Mohammed V Agdal University in Rabat is ranked in the 14th position out of 19 universities in the Arab region that “have shown strength in producing research in the field of information systems and human-computer interaction,” according to the 2015 Best Arab Region Universities conducted by US. News, a recognized leader in college, grad school, hospital, mutual fund, and car rankings.The ranking determined top universities in the Arab region by field of study. As for the best universities in the Arab region for computer science, three universities from Saudi Arabia made it the top three. They are King Saud University (1st), followed by King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (2nd) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (3rd).Tunisia is ranked first in the Maghreb region with four universities included in the ranking: Université de Sfax (4th), Université de Tunis (9th), Université de Tunis El Manar (12th) and Université de Carthage (7 de Novembre) (16th). Algeria’s Université des Sciences et de la Technologie Houari Boumediene, the only Algerian university that made it to the list, is ranked in the 19th position. No Libyan or Mauritanian universities were included in the list of the Best Arab region universities for computer science. The ranking focused on the academic research performance of Arab universities in the field of computer science. It is based on peer-reviewed literature and documents published in scientific journals by the faculty and researchers of the aforementioned universities in the five-year period from 2009 through 2013.US. News said that there were cases when a university that had a strong focus in a certain subject was ranked in a subject but was excluded from the overall Best Arab Region Universities rankings of the top 91 universities. “U.S. News also wanted to maximize the number of schools being ranked per subject while maintaining the validity of each subject’s analysis and preventing the analytical distortions caused by using unnecessarily low total publication thresholds,” the study added.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

US Sri Lanka discuss disaster preparedness ahead of monsoon

During his visit, Dr. Ernst met with Government agencies, such as the National Building Research Organization and the Meteorological Department, and United Nations humanitarian response experts to discuss improvements to disaster management systems and information sharing, including early detection and warning of deadly landslides.Currently, USAID/OFDA assistance strengthens the Sri Lankan Government’s capacity to coordinate among government agencies and aid organizations, improves flash flood monitoring and warning, and trains hospitals to be prepared during emergencies. Efforts also include a regional South Asia global flash flood guidance system, collaboration on landslide research and technology, and rainwater-harvesting systems as a practical, disaster-resilient water supply option. USAID has provided assistance during natural crises to Sri Lanka since 2001 through OFDA.  To date, USAID/OFDA has provided more than 13 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($85 million) in response to natural disasters in the country.  The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Atul Keshap, US Agency for International Development (USAID) Sri Lanka Mission Director Reed Aeschliman, and Dr. Michael Ernst from USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) met with the Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management and Disaster Management Duminda Dissanayake to discuss Sri Lanka’s preparedness ahead of the monsoon season.  Topics also included past and ongoing US financial and technical assistance for disaster preparedness, management, and recovery. “I am proud that in 2017 USAID/OFDA provided shelter and other emergency items to more than 40,000 Sri Lankans and helped construct 240 rainwater tanks that benefited more than 8,000 people,” said Ambassador Keshap. “The United States also donated critical equipment to public hospitals to diagnose and monitor dengue patients after the floods, helping save many lives.” read more

First Nations filing lawsuits against Pacific NorthWest LNG project

by Linda Givetash, The Canadian Press Posted Oct 26, 2016 1:48 pm MDT Last Updated Oct 26, 2016 at 7:09 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email VANCOUVER – First Nations and environmental groups are planning to file lawsuits Thursday against the federal government and Malaysian state-owned oil firm Petronas in an attempt to stop a liquefied natural gas project on British Columbia’s northern coast.The $36-billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project which includes a pipeline and terminal proposed for Lelu Island near Prince Rupert, received conditional approval from the federal government last month.Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs and the Gitwilgyoots Tribe, which are filing separate lawsuits, want the Federal Court to rule that proper consultation with First Nations did not occur and that would reverse approval for the project.Several elected bands in the area of the terminal have agreed to terms for the project, however chief negotiator of the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs Glen Williams said that isn’t enough.“We’re not affiliated with bands, we’re the ones that have the proper rights and title,” Williams said. “There’s a process in consultation where if there is going to be any impact, the government has a duty to consult and also to accommodate the aboriginal interests.”During the announcement for the project’s approval last month, B.C. Premier Christy Clark said the government had consulted First Nations, but that it wasn’t possible to please everyone.“I think at some time, governments need to lead,” she told reporters.A spokesperson for Pacific NorthWest LNG declined to comment on the lawsuits Wednesday.Requests for comment made to the Federal Ministry of Environment were not immediately answered.The lawsuits come after a Federal Court of Appeal judgment earlier this year blocked the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline in a ruling that said First Nations weren’t properly consulted.They are confident in their case against Pacific NorthWest LNG, Williams said, and expect that the Enbridge suit will set a precedent.“We don’t go to court lightly, we go to court to win,” he said.Apart from the lack of consultation, the groups’ say there is also concern about the environment implications of the project.Williams said the Lelu Island facility could have a severe impact on communities in the area by destroying habitat for local salmon stock.“We’re quite concerned about food supply for future generations,” he said.SkeenaWild Conservation Trust spokesman Greg Knox said conditions imposed by the federal government don’t come close to addressing the environmental concerns of the First Nations.“This particular project will be built over top of probably some of the most sensitive and important salmon habitat in Canada,” Knox said.A lawsuit also being filed Thursday by SkeenaWild argues environmental assessment data provided by Petronas are “incorrect and unfounded,” Knox said.Independent studies by scientists have shown the effects on the salmon habitat will be significant, Knox said.More than 200 scientists and salmon experts have written letters to the federal government this year asking the government to reject the project because of severe consequences.SkeenaWild is also questioning whether the Environment Ministry’s assessment process was thoroughly followed.Knox said his organization will be revealing that a study of the cumulative impact of greenhouse gas emissions from the site wasn’t conducted, a requirement of the environmental assessment agency.“We have evidence showing that the Canadian environmental assessment agency failed to provide the federal government, both the ministry and cabinet, adequate information to make an informed decision,” he said.The conditions of approval state that the project is expected to ship 19 million tonnes of liquefied gas to Asian markets annually and will emit up to 4.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gasses each year.—Follow @Givetash on Twitter. First Nations filing lawsuits against Pacific NorthWest LNG project read more