News of the Day: October 15, 2019

“Amnesty Says Morocco Rights Advocates Targeted by Israeli Developed Spyware”

Times of Israel 

Lede: “Two rights activists in Morocco have been targeted by surveillance technology developed by an Israeli firm that enables the sender to seize near-full control of mobile devices, Amnesty International said Thursday.”

Nutgraph: I think the lede is also the nut graph.

Why is this newsworthy?: This article contributes to the ongoing persecution of journalists and activists in Morocco. The fact that the attackers used Israeli-developed software further complicates the situation, raised several questions, and makes this international news. 


“Moroccos King Congratulates Newly Elected Tunisian President” 

North Africa Post

Lede: King Mohammed VI congratulated newly elected Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed wishing him success in his new mission.

Nutgraph: It’s a very short article, I don’t think there is a lede. 

Why is this newsworthy?: According to Freedom House, Tunisia is the only “free” country in North Africa. It seems a little strange that Mohammed VI would congratulate a newly democratically elected President given his fear of a Moroccan Arab Spring. 


“Brutalism Springs Eternal in Morocco” 

New York Times 

Lede: “When Aziza Chaouni was a girl, she spent holidays with her grandmothers at Sidi Harazem, a thermal bath complex built next to an ancient magnesium-rich spring about seven miles east of Fez, Morocco.”

Nutgraph: But by the time Ms. Chaouni was an adult herself, Sidi Harazem had fallen on hard times. Fewer people were visiting the baths, and major sections of the complex, including the market and bungalows, were closed. A renovation in 2000 had tried to make the still-open parts of the site more traditionally Moroccan, veneering the concrete with green tile and carved wooden panels.

Why is this newsworthy?: Preserving architecture and cultural heritage is an interesting subject in Morocco, where colonization and tourism have warped art and language.