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Morocco makes top travel destinations for 2023

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Morocco has been designated by the Washington Post as one of the world’s top travel destinations for the year 2023.

In its special edition which will be published on Friday, the highly respected US-based media company featured the North African country as a “major travel hot spot.”

The publication cited tourism experts and the influx of tourists into the country before and after the 2022 FIFA World Cup where the Moroccan national football team made history by reaching the semi-finals of the tournament.

In the special report, one of the experts, James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel, told the Washington Post that his company believes Morocco will continue to be “incredibly popular in 2023, given the increase in flights into the destination and the ability to get out and have great experiences in one week, 10 day or two-week itineraries.”

The newspaper also quoted other experts including the Vice President of Experiences for Modern Adventure, who said that the company had a 53% increase in bookings compared to 2022 for Morocco.

“If you’re worried about your travel budget, consider visiting as a work exchange volunteer like reporter Andrea Sachs tried in Fez,” the Washington Post report said.

The Post’s coverage is following on the heels of a similar report by the New York Times last year which highlighted the tourist appeal of Morocco’s Essaouira.

In the feature published on December 29, the Times zoomed in on the Moroccan city and its must-see sites and among fun activities to try in Essaouira, the Times advised its readers to visit several places, including the city’s port, to explore the “distinctive blue fishing boats” and fish markets.

The New York Times listed spots like the Salut Maroc Hotel, Dar Baba’s restaurant, and the Le Real Mogador art gallery as Morocco’s cultural diversity and cuisine have continued to put the country on the lists of many tourists from across the world.

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Owners of South Africa bar where teenagers died in 2022 to pay fine or go to jail

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The owners of a South African bar where 21 teenagers died after drinking contaminated alcohol during a party in 2022 have each been ordered to pay a fine or be sent to jail for 100 days.

The couple, who owned the Enyobeni Tavern in the Eastern Cape province, were found guilty of selling alcohol to under-18-year-olds.

The children had attended a party to celebrate the end of mid-year exams at the Tavern where they met their untimely deaths.

Their deaths of the teenagers who were all under the age of 18 with the youngest only 13 years old girl, had caused outrage in the country with many calling for the legal drinking age to be increased.

A toxicology report had, however, revealed that the victims died from suffocation due to overcrowding but further investigations and test later emerged that traces of the poisonous chemical, methanol, were found in their bodies.

The toxicology report is yet to be concluded, but forensic pathologists have suggested their deaths were caused by something they inhaled or ingested.

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Ugandan TikToker remanded in prison for insulting President Museveni, traditional ruler

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Popular Ugandan TikToker, Ibrahim Musana, also known as “Pressure 247”, has been remanded in prison for allegedly insulting President Yoweri Museveni as well as “using abusive and demeaning remarks he made against the Kingdom of Buganda and the Kabaka” deemed to be hate speech.

According to media reports, “Pressure 247” was sent to the Luzira Prison where he will be cooling his feet till March 7, where his bail application will be heard.

The remand order was given when he appeared before the Buganda Road Court on eight counts under the Computer Misuse Act (2021), following complaints from the Buganda Kingdom.

The 27-year-old entertainer was charged with allegedly promoting hate speech and spreading malicious information via his TikTok videos following complaints filed by the Buganda Kingdom.

According to prosecutors, Musana allegedly shared content on his TikTok account between August 2023 and February 2024 that disparaged and incited hostility towards four Ugandan leaders, Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, President Yoweri Museveni, Speaker of Parliament Anita Among, and State Minister for ICT Joyce Naboosa Ssebugwawo.

Musana who pleaded not guilty to the charges, asserted that he was unaware that his actions constituted an offense. He also told the court that he was suffering from psychological challenges and had been receiving treatment at the Butabika Mental Hospital.

He further explained that he felt a spiritual obligation inspired by past Buganda Kings to restore their tombs but lacked the necessary financial resources, and pleaded for forgiveness and leniency.

Despite Musana’s plea for forgiveness and promise to refrain from attacking leaders and removing the contentious content from his TikTok account, the Magistrate rejected his plea and ruled that he should remanded in prison pending his bail application.

His oral bail request was also denied due to insufficient documentation from his sureties.

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