Moroccan Military Officer Assaulted in Dakhla Security Forces on High Alert

Rabat – Forces from the Moroccan military, Royal Gendarmerie, and police in the southern region of Dakhla in Western Sahara are on high alert following an assault on an army colonel, media sources report.The officer was attacked by individuals with covered faces and armed with knives, who then stole an army pick-up truck.In the wake of the assault, the army, Gendarmerie, police have made a coordinated effort to investigate the incident and increase security in the area. Army forces have conducted a sweep of the area in search of the suspects.Early investigations led by a police unit suggested that the attackers likely belonged to drug- and cigarette-smuggling gangs.The assault is the second in a month, following a similar attack on a solider in August.Smugglers are not the only ones who target security elements in the region. Separatists loyal to the Polisario Front have previously conducted assaults against members of Moroccan police.In December 2016 three separatists attacked a Moroccan policeman with knives. After their arrest, investigations revealed the attackers had worked to incite the local population to show support for Polisario. read more

Toronto stock index racks up minor gain as loonie and the price

TORONTO — Falling energy shares weren’t enough to drag Canada’s main stock market into the red, as BlackBerry Ltd. and Bombardier Inc. provided some of the lift.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 8.59 points to 15,618.25.“Overall, it’s a flat day for the TSX,” said Michael Currie, vice-president of TD Wealth Private Investment Advice. “But I think we’re seeing a bit of a reversal and a little bit of profit taking in some places.”The information technology subsector was a top performer, anchored by a nearly 13 per cent increase for BlackBerry stock (TSX:BB) after it reported record software and services revenue on Thursday. Shares were up $1.47 to $13.00 at the close of markets.A bright spot for industrials was Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B). Its shared closed up 11 cents, or 5.24 per cent, to $2.21 — a reversal from the day before when they fell 7.49 per cent after investors weighed the prospect of a 220 per cent duty on U.S. sales of its flagship CSeries passenger jets and the European merger of its railway rivals Siemens and Alstom.Meanwhile, oil and gas companies fell 0.84 per cent on the commodity-heavy TSX as oil prices tumbled.The November crude contract gave back 58 cents to US$51.56 per barrel.South of the border, it was a positive day on Wall Street despite meagre movements.The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 40.49 points to 22,381.20 and the Nasdaq composite index inched up 0.19 of a point to 6,453.45.The S&P 500 index added 3.02 points to 2,510.06, hitting a record high. September is historically the weakest month of the year for stocks, but the S&P 500 has risen 1.6 per cent this month.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 80.32 cents US, down 0.25 of a cent.Elsewhere in commodities, the December gold contract was up 90 cents to US$1,288.70 an ounce.The November natural gas contract gave back four cents at US$3.02 per mmBTU and the December copper contract added five cents to US$2.98 a pound.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter. read more