Photo Credit: Morocco World News
April 3rd, 2020
Three stories you need to read today. Compiled and broken down for you by Reporting Morocco student journalists — every day. Brought to you from the School for International Training’s journalism program, Rabat.
Source: Morocco World News
Lede: Morocco’s Ministry of Health has confirmed 27 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to 735 as of 8 a.m. this morning.
Key background: Overnight, three more people died of the virus for a total of 47 deaths in Morocco. At the same time, three more people have recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries in Morocco to 34.
Why this is newsworthy: This news story gives an update on the current number of reported cases of Covid-19 in Morocco. It also includes the number of fatalities recorded, and regions that have been hit the hardest. The Casablanca-Settat region has the highest number of reported cases, and while this might be proportional to the number of people living in this densely populated part of the country, low-income communities living in inner cities may have issues implementing measures such as social distancing.
Source: Deutsche Welle
Lede: For many women in the Middle East and North Africa, physical violence is a part of everyday life. In countries such as Yemen, Morocco and Egypt, at least a quarter of all married women say their husbands have physically abused them, according to a Princeton University study published last year.
Key background: Although nearly half of the countries that make up the Middle East and North Africa region have passed laws to combat domestic violence, they have proven ineffective at tackling the problem and curbing abuse, according to Human Right Watch.
Why this is newsworthy: While measures such as social distancing and the closure of all non-essential businesses have been established across the globe as a way to combat the spread of Covid-19, the article discusses the impact of this on the lives of women in North Africa and the Middle East. Government imposed restrictions have forced people to stay in their homes, causing a surge in reported domestic abuse cases.
Lede: The Official Journal of the European Union, published March 31, has officially included a decision taken on February 20 on products originating from Western Sahara.
Key background: The document indeed reveals many details on the commitments made by the Kingdom to ensure the integration of the products of the Sahara in the «amending agreement».
Thus the association committee, is «to adopt, at the latest two months after the entry into force of the amending Agreement, a decision on the arrangements for evaluating the impact of the amending Agreement, in particular on sustainable development and with regard to the advantages for the people concerned and the exploitation of the natural resources of Western Sahara», the decision reads.
Why this is newsworthy: Given that the majority of Moroccan news sources are currently preoccupied with the spread of Covid-19, news stories covering the ongoing dispute with Western Sahara might fall under the radar of mainstream media sources. This could pose a potential threat to the disputed region wanting independence, both in terms of their vulnerability to the virus outbreak, as well as their fight for sovereignty.