Sophie's Feed
May 11, 2010

France’s Socialists want to soften burqa ban

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s opposition Socialists on Tuesday challenged a government plan to ban full Islamic veils in all public places, proposing a milder bill based on practicality rather than values.

The government is expected to present legislation next week to outlaw face-covering veils on the grounds that they are demeaning to women, even though legal experts have warned that such a prohibition could violate religious freedom.

May 7, 2010

French approve return of Maori warrior heads

PARIS (Reuters) – The French parliament on Tuesday approved the restitution of tattooed, mummified heads of Maori warriors to New Zealand, centuries after they were brought to Europe and displayed as exotic oddities.

The decision is part of a broader effort by some European museums to return artifacts plundered by explorers, giving in to pressure from communities around the world who want to bring home their dead and lay them to rest.

May 4, 2010

France moves towards returning Maori warrior heads

PARIS (Reuters) – French parliament is set to approve on Tuesday the restitution of tattooed, mummified heads of Maori warriors to New Zealand, centuries after they were brought to Europe and displayed as exotic oddities.

The decision is part of a broader effort by some European museums to return artifacts plundered by explorers, giving in to pressure from communities around the world who want to bring home their dead and lay them to rest.

Apr 26, 2010

French Muslim says has mistresses, not a polygamist

PARIS (Reuters) – A French Muslim threatened by the government with being stripped of his passport for practicing polygamy said Monday he had only one wife and several mistresses.

The case of Lies Hebbadj, an Algerian-born butcher who became a citizen when he married a French woman in 1999, has flared into a major political row with opposition parties accusing the government of exploiting the situation.

Apr 26, 2010

France’s Sarkozy to discuss Iran, currencies in China

PARIS, April 26 (Reuters) – French Prime Minister Nicolas
Sarkozy will look to bury past tensions with China and win its
support in global issues from Iran’s nuclear plan to monetary
reform during a visit to Beijing this week.
Accompanied by Economy Minister Christine Lagarde and other
ministers, Sarkozy will present his ideas for a global currency
system that relies less on the dollar, though officials do not
expect him to talk specifically about the yuan.

Relations between France and China hit a low in 2008 when
protesters disrupted the passage of the Olympic torch through
Paris and Sarkozy met Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Apr 23, 2010

French president’s father makes waves with loud art

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s 82-year-old artist father is putting on his first show in Paris, featuring naked buttocks, exploding television sets and a portrait of French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

A day before the opening on Saturday, however, Pal Sarkozy and his German creative partner, Werner Hornung, appeared to be tiring of the presidential connection and resulting media storm.

Apr 22, 2010

France wants to apply burqa ban to tourists

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s government on Thursday announced it would apply a proposed ban on face-covering Islamic veils to visiting tourists as well as residents, even as skepticism mounted over the legality of the plan.

Junior family minister Nadine Morano said visitors would have to “respect the law” and uncover their faces, prompting critics to speculate whether Saudi luxury shoppers would be forced to unveil themselves on the glitzy Champs-Elysees.

Apr 21, 2010
via FaithWorld

France moves towards banning Muslim veil in public

Photo

President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers speech on security issues in Bobigny, near Paris, April 20, 2010/Benoit Tessier

France is moving toward a ban on wearing face-covering Islamic veils in public, with the government set to examine a draft bill next month amid heated debate over women’s rights and religious freedom.  Most French voters back a ban, polls have shown, but legal experts have warned that it could violate the constitution.

Apr 8, 2010

Tale of gossip and spies hurts France’s Sarkozy

PARIS (Reuters) – A dubious piece of Internet gossip has turned into a political debacle for President Nicolas Sarkozy, with a row over his private life taking up energy and goodwill badly needed for difficult economic reforms.

French media mostly stayed quiet when the rumor of problems in Sarkozy’s third marriage surfaced on the Internet last month.

Mar 31, 2010

France sceptical over NATO missile defence plan

PARIS, March 31 (Reuters) – French Defence Minister Herve Morin on Wednesday expressed doubts over a NATO push for costly missile systems to defend against states such as Iran, pointing to tight military budgets.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a vocal proponent of missile defence, met Morin to discuss issues from the war in Afghanistan to the future of the military alliance.

While Rasmussen said he hoped NATO states would make a decision on missile defence at a summit in November, Morin countered that European forces sometimes lacked even basic equipment such as helicopters.

"Given the cost of a missile defence system and given limited defence budgets, my deeper concern is that missile defence would come at the expense of the military capacity of Europeans, which is already often a European weakness," Morin said in a joint news conference.

Last year, U.S. President Barack Obama scrapped the previous administration’s project to install a land-based missile shield in NATO members Czech Republic and Poland.

Under the revamped plan, based on an updated assessment of the threat posed by Iran, the U.S. will deploy missile interceptors in NATO member states Romania and Bulgaria. The system is supposed to link up with existing NATO hardware.

Western powers suspect Iran of developing nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian atomic programme. Iran denies this. "We need to define missile defence as a mission of the alliance," Rasmussen said. "We are faced with a real threat from missiles, in particular from Iran."

Russia has criticised plans for a shield, seeing it as a threat to its own nuclear arsenal.