News of the Day: September 12, 2019

“Morocco: Protests as journalist faces jail over alleged abortion”

Lede: “Hundreds of people protested on Monday in front of a Moroccan court as the trial opened of a journalist accused of having a late-term abortion and sexual relations outside marriage.”

Nut Graph: “The case brought against Hajar Raissouni, who writes for the Arabic daily Akhbar Al-Yaoum, has triggered a furious debate in the media and online about civil liberties and freedom of the press in the North African country.”

Why is this newsworthy?: This situation is ongoing and speaks to the larger issue of press freedom in Morocco.

“Moroccan Education Minister Urges Schools to Implement New Law on Use of French in Technical Subjects”

Lede: “Rabat – Minister of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education, and Scientific Research, Said Amzazi, called on Monday, August 26, in Rabat for a collective mobilization to implement the framework law 51.17 at the start of the academic year 2019-2020. He urged all executives in the domain of education to multiply their efforts in order to develop the educational system.”

Why is this newsworthy?: The Moroccan education minister believes that adopting French in school will help alleviate social inequality. This could be a major change to the public school system and is a divisive political topic as different groups support the use of Arabic, French, and English in schools.

“Ajax Amsterdam Tweets Map of Morocco without Western Sahara” 

Lede: “Rabat – Prior to competing in international championships, European clubs announce their selection of players on social networks. Ajax Amsterdam tweeted their selection on September 2.”

Nut Graph: “The Dutch club posted on its Twitter account an infographic of the world map with a photo of each player in front of his home country. The map, however, showed a line separating Morocco from Western Sahara.”

Why is this newsworthy?: Although an Ajax tweet might not seem like national news, sports have the ability to intersect with and influence politics. Western Sahara is a disputed territory in southern Morocco and this tweet from an Amsterdam based soccer team, whose start player is Moroccan Hakim Ziyech, spurred controversy on Twitter and beyond.