Polisario Accuses Morocco and France of Plotting to Sabotage EU-AU Summit

Rabat- The Algeria-backed Polisario Front has once again accused Morocco and France of hatching plots against the separatist organization.The so-called Minister of Foreign Affairs of the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, has expressed anger at French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s statements earlier this month regarding the Africa-European Union Forum.During his visit to Rabat, the French chief diplomat said that the selection of participating countries, to be held in Ivory Coast in late November, must take into account “the realities of sovereign countries.” You Don’t Know Where Your Interests LieThe statement was interpreted by Polisario as evidence of French opposition to SADR’s participation in the conference. Pro-Polisario Algerian media also reported that Rabat and Paris were “conniving” to derail the participation of the separatist entity in the summit.In an interview with Algérie Patriotique, an online media outlet owned by the son of retired Algerian army general Khalid Nizar, Ould Salek accused France of having a condescending attitude towards the African continent.“We are hoping that France will not look down at Africa. This is how it behaves. The recent statements by the French Minister Le Drian unfortunately prove the tendency of some French officials to swim against the current and link their interests and those of France with the Moroccan monarchy, which goes against the aspirations of the whole of Africa,” he said.Ould Salek argued that France – a member of the EU, which seeks cooperation with the African Union (AU) – is going against its own interests by choosing to side with Morocco.“This [EU-AU] cooperation is based on the principle of equality between the two organizations and on a policy of fruitful cooperation for Europe as well as Africa,” he said.The leading Polisario member the reiterated claims made earlier in September by Algeria’s ambassador to Brussels, Amar Belani, who said that joint conference, formerly called “EU-Africa summit” before it was re-labeled as the “EU-AU” summit, would see the participation of SADR. The latter, being a member of the African organization, would be allowed to attend.These claims have been refuted by Moroccan online media outlet Le Desk, citing an unnamed source from Brussels, the EU capital.“As was always the case with preceding summits, Algerians pushed for an inclusion of SADR, but no change was made in that regard,” the source said.Self-Assurance or Self-DenialIn the interview with Algérie Patriotique, Ould Salek seemed very assured of SADR’s imminent participation in the summit. Presenting SADR’s absence from previous summits as a choice, he said he did not see why it would not take part in the upcoming event if it wanted to.Ould Salek also claimed that a Moroccan delegation had rushed to Brussels in an attempt to convince the EU not to invite SADR to the summit.“The EU officials sent the Moroccans packing, telling them to refer to the AU,” he said.He added to the claim another when he said that “in Africa, only Ivory Coast, a country close to France, supports Morocco.”This claim appears ungrounded, as Morocco has several allies in Africa who support the kingdom in the issue of the disputed Western Sahara, such as Senegal and Gabon.During the first faceoff between Morocco and SADR in the AU since Morocco first rejoined the organization in late January, it turned out that the kingdom had more allies that the separatist force and its traditional backers.When Morocco asked in July for a modification in a report’s paragraph referring to Western Sahara as “occupied territories” during a meeting of the Executive Council, 16 member states supported Morocco’s request while only six defended Polisario’s position.Ould Salek presented support for SADR’s participation in the summit as a decision unanimously agreed-upon by the AU member states, even though only 16 countries out of the organization’s 55 members recognize SADR.Still, the representative of Polisario, an organization that depends on the support of AU members with notable influence such as South Africa and Algeria, spoke with striking self-assurance.“It’s obligatory to hold the summit in Abidjan if Ivory Coast, for some reason or another, isn’t disposed to do so,” he said, suggesting that “at least 15” other African capitals would be willing to host the event.As for any attempts by states like France to block SADR’s participation, Ould Salek said with same self-assured tone that their endeavors are “doomed to fail.”The upcoming weeks will prove whether the Polisario minister’s self-assurance has a solid basis or it is rather an expression of self-denial. read more

Fortnite flaw put millions of players at risk of malicious attacks from

A flaw in Epic Games Inc.’s Fortnite opened the accounts of millions of users to the risk of a malicious attack, researchers from Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. said in a report Wednesday. The vulnerability in the authentication process allowed hackers to send a link to the player that, once clicked, gave access to user accounts to buy virtual currency and purchase game equipment that would then be transferred to a separate account and resold. The hacker also had access to conversations held by the player and his friends, which could be used to exploit the account owner, often children under 18.Epic Games recently fixed the flaw, the Israeli cyber security company said. Epic Games could not be immediately reached for comment but has a patch that offered new weapons and bug fixes detailed on its site. It is unclear whether the vulnerability was ever exploited.“Needless to say, that along with this massive invasion of privacy, the financial risks and potential for fraud is vast,” Check Point said. The company’s head of products vulnerability research, Oded Vanunu, said his six- and nine-year-old children play Fortnite, as do millions of school children around the globe. These are the world’s biggest billionaire winners and losers of the year Post Arcade’s top 10 games of 2018 Rapper sues makers of video game ‘Fortnite’ over dance moves “Your kids are playing a game and people can listen to what they are doing,” said Vanunu. “The child thinks he is talking to a 12-year-old kid, but he is talking to adults who might say ‘send me a picture of that and I will give you this weapon.’ This is the craziness of this game.”As of June, Fortnite had been played by 125 million people, and was on track to generate US$2 billion for Epic Games. The game revolves around a cartoonish, last-character-standing battle where players fight for weapons and resources. It’s free to play and available on multiple devices from mobile phones to video-game consoles.Developer Epic makes money from Fortnite by charging players for decorative items like costumes and props. In October, Epic raised US$1.25 billion from an investor group that included KKR & Co., Vulcan Capital and Kleiner Perkins in a deal that valued the closely held company at US$15 billion.Bloomberg.com read more

Womens soccer returns home to take on Fighting Illini

Junior midfielder Ellyn Gruber (5) attempts to win the ball during a match against Pittsburgh Aug. 28 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU won, 2-0.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorNearly three weeks after the team’s last home game, the Ohio State women’s soccer team is scheduled to return to Columbus to face Illinois. The matchup with the Fighting Illini (5-2-1) will be the conference opener for the Buckeyes, as they look to improve upon their current 6-1-1 record, including a 3-0-1 slate at home.The Buckeyes are currently on a three-game winning streak, continuing last week with a sweep at the Hoosier Classic. After goals from junior midfielder Ellyn Gruber and senior midfielder Danica Wu, the Buckeyes defeated Central Michigan 2-0 Friday.Buckeye goalies, senior Rachel Middleman and sophomore Jillian McVicker, helped shut out a St. John’s team, 1-0, that had been averaging 3.5 goals per game.“I (was) very proud of our squad… to be put in a situation to play a rested team on a Sunday morning was unfortunate,” said coach Lori Walker. “We stepped up to the challenge and played very well as a team.”Following Sunday’s match, the Buckeyes have moved up near the top of the Big Ten in some defensive categories as they begin conference play Friday. OSU now ranks third in goals against and corner kicks allowed, and fourth in total goals allowed, only giving up five goals through its first eight games.The teams last met in Bloomington, Ind., for the 2012 Big Ten Tournament championship. The Buckeyes took home their third Big Ten tournament title when they defeated the Illini, 2-1.Coming into the season, the Fighting Illini were picked to finish third in the preseason coaches poll, one spot better than the Buckeyes.Offensively, Illinois is led by redshirt-junior forward Janelle Flaws with eight goals and senior midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo, who has four goals of her own. Although the Illini have scored 28 goals on the season, they have given up 18 goals defensively in eight games.The game is set to start at 5 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. read more