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Morroco eyes 2019 and 2020 FIFA Club World Cup hosting rights

…made its intentions known at the 3rd FIFA executive football summit in Marrakech

Kathleen Ndongmo

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Fifa Club World Cup

MNorth African’s Morocco have shown interest in hosting the 2019 and 2020 FIFA Club World Cup.

The country made its intentions known at the the 3rd FIFA executive football summit held in Marrakech and informed FIFA President Gianni Infantino of its interest in bidding to host the Club World Cup for two consecutive years.

Morocco hosted the 2013-2014 Club World Cup which was won by Bayern Munich after defeating local club Raja de Casablanca 2-0 in the final match of the seven-team tournament.

The FIFA Club World Cup takes place in January every year with the host country responsible for organizing it for two consecutive years.

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5 killed in a rap concert in Algeria

Seven people who were still in hospital in a critical condition

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Stadium where five young people were killed and dozens more injured

Five young people were killed and dozens more injured in a stampede at a packed rap concert in the Algerian capital, a spokesman for rescue services said Friday. The stampede took place Thursday night as fans thronged an entrance of the August-20 Stadium where rapper Soolking was to perform.

The 29-year-old has won a huge number of fans in the country, his song “La Liberte” becoming a mainstay of anti-government protests that enter their seventh month on Friday.

Captain Nassim Bernaoui of the civil protection unit told reporters there were five killed in the crush: “two young girls aged 19 and 22 and three boys aged 13, 21 and 16.”

five young people were killed and dozens more injured in a stampede at a packed rap concert
A picture shows on August 23, 2019, the exterior of Algiers’ August-20 Stadium where five young people were killed and dozens more injured in a stampede at a packed rap concert the previous night. – The stampede took place as fans thronged an entrance of the stadium where rapper Soolking was to perform. AFP there were five victims of the crush: “two young girls aged 19 and 22 and three boys aged 13, 21 and 16.” (Photo by RYAD KRAMDI / AFP)

Similar News: Protests in Algeria force resignation of lower parliament speaker

Dozens of people were lightly injured, Bernaoui said, 86 of whom were treated on the spot with another 32 taken to hospital. Eight others were transferred to the Mustapha Pacha hospital in Algiers in critical condition, he added.

A medic, who asked to remain anonymous, later said seven people were still in hospital in a critical condition, without giving details on the eighth. In front of the hospital, Ahmed Kadi had red eyes as he waited to collect the body of his 18-year-old daughter Chourouk.

“I didn’t even know that my wife and my daughter had gone to the concert,” he said, holding back tears. They had been separated in the stampede. “The organisers did their job badly,” he said.

Nearby, Abderezak accompanied his friend Rachid Kadri as he collected the body of his 19-year-old daughter Chiraz. “Chiraz wasn’t planning to go but as she had passed her high school exams, her father wanted to give her a present and let her go with her friends,” he said.

“It’s criminal to organise a concert like that at the August-20 Stadium,” he added. According to APS, the incident took place at around 1900 GMT, adding that the concert went ahead as planned but with a 30-minute delay.

 flyers of rapper Soolking lying on the ground outside Algiers' August-20 Stadium
A picture shows on August 23, 2019, flyers of rapper Soolking lying on the ground outside Algiers’ August-20 Stadium where five young people were killed and dozens more injured in a stampede at a packed concert by the musician the previous night. – The stampede took place as fans thronged an entrance of the stadium where rapper Soolking was to perform. AFP there were five victims of the crush: “two young girls aged 19 and 22 and three boys aged 13, 21 and 16.” (Photo by RYAD KRAMDI / AFP)

Similar Story: French police arrest 282 in riotous celebrations after Algeria football win

Algerian journalist Akram Kharief said thousands of fans began gathering outside the stadium from mid-afternoon. More than 30,000 people were estimated to have attended the concert, he reported.

“There were only four small entrances allowing people to enter one at a time,” Kharief said. “This caused a stampede… and people fell” as they pushed to get inside before the start of the concert, he added.

Four concert-goers contacted separately, who were already inside the stadium when the stampede took place, said they had not been informed about it. They said that when they left the venue at around midnight, no rescue services were visible.

The Algiers prosecutor’s office said Friday that it had opened an investigation into the “painful accident” and would identify those responsibly.

Stadium where five young people were killed and dozens more injured
A picture shows on August 23, 2019, Algiers’ August-20 Stadium where five young people were killed and dozens more injured in a stampede at a packed rap concert the previous night. – The stampede took place as fans thronged an entrance of the stadium where rapper Soolking was to perform. AFP there were five victims of the crush: “two young girls aged 19 and 22 and three boys aged 13, 21 and 16.” (Photo by RYAD KRAMDI / AFP)

France-based Soolking, whose given name is Abderraouf Derradji, shot to stardom last year and was to perform just a single concert in his home country Algeria. He dedicated the song “La Liberte” to protesters engaged in months of anti-government demonstrations.

Algerians launched the unprecedented protest movement in February, initially against a bid by veteran President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to seek a fifth term in office.

Bouteflika eventually resigned in the face of mass protests but the movement has not let up, continuing to rally weekly on Fridays to demand a complete overhaul of the political system.

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Egypt’s renovation of Baron Palace sparks online outcry

Mnay have faulted repair works as being misrepresentative of the building’s history and materials to be of poor quality

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Egypt's renovation of Baron Palace sparks online outcry
Ongoing restoration works at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)

Egyptian authorities have defended renovation works at a historic Cairo palace after the site’s new look sparked mockery on social media.

The site, dubbed the Baron Palace, was built between 1907 and 1911 by wealthy Belgian industrialist Edouard Empain. 

The baron also spearheaded the development of the surrounding upmarket neighbourhood of Heliopolis.

Built in a style reminiscent of the Cambodian Hindu temple of Angkor Wat, the striking building set amid lush gardens has long since fallen into disrepair.

READ: Biblio-art: How Polish artist adorns Egyptian monastery with Christian designs

But work to restore the building has sparked outcry.

Many have taken issue with white marble additions to the building’s rosy pink stone exterior, saying the materials are of poor quality and not in keeping with the original style.

One Twitter user asked:

“Who is the fool behind the restoration of Egypt’s palaces? Our heritage is being systematically destroyed.”

A Facebook page called Egyptian Historians chided officials for the “warped” restoration.

Egypt's renovation of Baron Palace sparks online outcry
Ongoing restoration works at the historic “Le Palais Hindou” (also known as the “Baron Empain Palace”) built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo’s northeastern Heliopolis district. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)

“Be honest with yourselves and admit that you ruined it… you are literally demolishing our monument”, a post on the group’s page said.

READ: Tutankhamun gilded coffin receives restoration in Egypt

Antiquities Minister, Khaled El-Enany dismissed online criticisms as “fake news”.

“I didn’t hear one word of truth in all these social media comments,” he said in a statement.

His ministry said the colours of the palace had faded from weather damage over many years.

“The restoration is a real dream and we will breathe life into this abandoned landmark,” Enany added.

WATCH: Egypt begins restoration of Tutankhamun’s coffin

General Hisham Samir, who heads up the ministry’s engineering branch, said the colours were “correct and are backed up by historical sources.”

The works began in July 2017 in co-operation with the Belgian government and will cost 100 million Egyptian pounds (over $6 million), the statement added.

Samir told reporters that the work is expected to be completed by year’s end with plans to open the building to the public by early 2020.

Egypt’s multitude of historical monuments and buildings are a major draw for tourists, though the country has often faced accusations of neglecting these sites.

READ: Contents of two ancient pyramids unveiled in Egypt

The government has recently launched various restoration projects to stimulate tourism, a key sector that has suffered in recent years due to political insecurity and sporadic jihadist attacks.

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Two UN personnel killed in Benghazi by car bomb

Two members of the UN mission were killed and at least eight others wounded including a child, by a car bomb.

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Two UN personnel killed in Benghazi by car bomb
Libyan firefighters extinguish a fire at the site of a car bomb attack in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi on August 10, 2019. - "Two members of the UN mission, one them a foreigner, were killed and at least eight others wounded including a child, by a car bomb" in a shopping area of the Al-Hawari district, the official said. (Photo by - / AFP)

A car bombing in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi killed two United Nations staff on Saturday, a security official said.

“Two members of the UN mission were killed and at least eight others wounded including a child, by a car bomb” in a shopping area of the Al-Hawari district, the official said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which happened as a UN convoy was passing through the area.

Benghazi, Libya’s second city and the cradle of the 2011 uprising that overthrew dictator Muammar Gaddafi, was hit by years of violence targeting diplomatic offices and security forces after his fall.

An attack on the US consulate on September 11, 2012, killed US ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

In 2017, military strongman Khalifa Haftar drove hardline Islamists and jihadists out of Benghazi after a three-year battle.

Haftar, who backs an eastern-based administration that opposes the Tripoli-based unity government, went on to seize Derna, the last city in eastern Libya outside his control.

But bombings and kidnappings have continued.

A May 2018 attack left seven people dead and last month, a car bombing at the funeral of an ex-army commander killed at least four people and wounded more than 30 others.

A Libyan lawmaker is also feared to have been abducted by an armed group in the eastern city, the UN and lawmakers said in July.

Haftar controls most of eastern Libya, and early this year he ordered his self-styled Libyan National Army to purge the south of what he called “terrorist groups and criminals”. 

On the heels of that campaign, his LNA launched in April an offensive to take the Libyan capital from the UN-recognised Government of National Accord. 

The LNA on Saturday announced a truce around Tripoli for the three-day Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha, after the unity government conditionally accepted a ceasefire called for by the UN.

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