by Aida Alami for the New York Times
Lede: “A Moroccan judge on Monday found a journalist and her fiancé guilty of having premarital sex and obtaining an abortion, and imposed prison sentences on them and a doctor convicted of performing the abortion, in a case that critics have denounced as a thinly veiled bid to suppress critical coverage of the government.”
Nut graph: “The trial was perhaps the most prominent example yet in a pattern of arrests and prosecutions of journalists who are critical of the state, on charges seemingly unrelated to their reporting. Last year, Taoufik Bouachrine, the founder and publisher of Akhbar Al Yaoum, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on sexual assault charges, in a prosecution that the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded was unfair.”
Why is this newsworthy? The arrest of Hajar Raissouni has arguably been the most important story unfolding in Morocco over the past month. Her story raises two issues: the ethics of Morocco’s abortion restrictions and the state’s alleged practice of arresting government critics on charges unrelated to their criticism. As of yesterday, we know how this story ends: Raissouni and her fiancé will be imprisoned for one year. Her doctor will serve two.
by Ahmed Eljechtimi for Reuters
Lede: “Doctors have advised Morocco’s King Mohammed VI to rest for several days to recover from a viral lung infection that forced him to miss a remembrance ceremony in Paris for France’s late president Jacques Chirac, the palace said on Sunday.”
Nut graph: N/A
Why is this newsworthy? King Mohammed VI represents the supreme authority in Morocco, so any changes in his health are newsworthy. Furthermore, according to this article, statements about the king’s health are rare.
by Latifa Babas for Yabiladi
Lede: “Moroccan astronomical observatory, Oukaimden, has been part of a groundbreaking discovery, related to a comet from another star system. According to recent data, the observatory announced the detection of gas molecules in the unusual object.”
“In a press release sent, Monday, to Yabiladi, the Moroccan astronomical observatory revealed that it participated to «an historical discovery that has detected gas molecules in» the comet that comes from a different star system.
Data provided by TRAPPIST-Nord, a telescope operated by the Caddi Ayyad University in Marrakech and the University of Liege in Belgium, «made it possible» for a group of researchers to measure the «amount of comet dust emitted by 2I», the Observatory explained.
This discovery will «allow scientists to begin deciphering exactly what these objects are made of and how our home solar system compares with others in our galaxy», the same source added.”
Why is this newsworthy? The Oukaimden Observatory announced just yesterday that it discovered this comet, which contains gas from a different star system. If Yabiladi’s claim that this discovery is “groundbreaking” and “historic” is true, then this story is definitely newsworthy.