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Piers Edwards

BBC Africa

The Liberian FA (LFA) is to break ranks with the rest of Africa and vote against Morocco when the decision on who will host the 2026 World Cup is held.

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Why did Moroccan Jews decide to leave the country? Josef Sebag is one of the last Jews in Essaouira

Moroccan Jews and Muslims once lived together but most Jews have left
Morocco was once home to a quarter of a million Jews but most left after the establishment of Israel. Today there is a much smaller Jewish community and a growing disconnect from a younger generation of Moroccan-Muslims. But why did Jewish communities disappear from Morocco?

Morocco severs Iran ties over Western Sahara

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BBC

Morocco says it is ending its diplomatic relations with Iran over Tehran's military support for the Western Sahara independence movement, the Polisario Front.

The Moroccan Foreign Minister, Nasser Bourita said Iran and its ally, the Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah, were training and arming Polisario fighters.

He told reporters that Morocco will will expel the Iranian ambassador in Rabat.

The Iranians are yet to respond to the accusation.

Morocco annexed Western Sahara in 1975, and since then it's been locked in a territorial dispute with indigenous Saharawi people - led by the Polisario Front.

Morocco controls two-thirds of Western Sahara and sees it as part of its historic territory.

However some, including the UN, see Western Sahara as Africa's last colony.

A referendum was promised in 1991 but never carried out due to wrangling over who was eligible to vote.

Thousands of Sahrawi refugees still live in refugee camps in Algeria - some have been there for 40 years.

Our BBC World Service colleagues recently aired this extraordinary documentary about Saharawi athlete Salah Ameidan, which explores the complexities of living under occupation and in exile:

Trump: Vote for US World Cup bid or lose our support

US President Donald Trump has threatened political repercussions for anyone wanting to vote for rival Morocco to host the World Cup in 2026.

In a tweet President Trump wrote: "The US has put together a strong bid with the Canada and Mexico for the 2026 World Cup. It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the US bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don't support us (including at the United Nations)?"

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Morocco is the only other contender, as this Tweet points out:

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The vote to award the 2026 event takes place on 13 June in Moscow at football's world governing body Fifa's annual congress.

Canada, Mexico, USA and Morocco are blocked from voting given their bids. That leaves 207 eligible national associations, requiring a simple 104 vote majority.

The BBC's sports news correspondent Richard Conway says the three North American countries already have the vast majority of the necessary stadiums and infrastructure already in place.

In contrast, a Morocco-based tournament would require significant investment.

Nestlé apologises for wife competition

BBC World Service

The Swiss food giant Nestlé has apologised and cancelled a video publicity campaign in Morocco after it came under heavy criticism for being sexist.

The online campaign, entitled "I want to get married", featured five young Moroccan women vying to be chosen by a mother as the ideal bride for her son.

In the first episode, they were asked to make a pudding using a Nestlé product.

It quickly elicited a strongly negative reaction online, with a number of Moroccans condemning it as out-of-date, reactionary and sexist to choose a wife based on her cooking skills.

Historian Samia Errazzouki, who was previously a Morocco-based journalist, tweeted the poster and last installment of the advert:

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Map of Morocco

Provides an overview of Morocco, including key events and facts about this mountainous kingdom at the far end of the Maghreb

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