France Finds Itself Alone Again In Central Africa

December 25, 2013

Little moves swiftly in the 28-member bloc, where many important decisions require unanimity, and all France has gotten is a commitment from other countries to talk about it at a foreign ministers' meeting in January. France also ran into reluctance from its allies in Mali, where its troops intervened in January to push back a rapid advance of al-Qaida-linked fighters toward the capital. With fears that the country could become a base for international terrorism, France deployed first and asked for help later. Little beyond trainers for African troops and logistical support was forthcoming from the U.S. and its European partners. There has been a distinct note of pique from French officials, who seem dismayed to find themselves once again on their own. Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told French radio on Thursday that he wants the "maximum" number my website of troops from EU countries.
More: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/france-finds-central-africa-21317180

Severe winter storm kills 5, delays Christmas travel for thousands in Britain, France

Power supplier Southern Electric said some may not get electricity back in time for Christmas Day. The Environment Agency issued hundreds of flood warnings across all of England and Wales, with a severe flood warning the highest level, warning of danger to life in southwest England. Two people died in car accidents, and one woman's body was pulled from a river in north Wales. In Spain, extremely strong winds battered the northwestern Galicia region, and a tree that fell down on rail tracks prompted the derailment of a commuter train. None of the 10 passengers or the crew members were injured.
More: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/12/24/severe-winter-storm-kills-5-delays-christmas-travel-for-thousands-in-britain/

France to maintain a headscarf ban despite legal advice

The Highways Agency has warned of dozens of road closures and localised flooding. The French weather service had put 23 of the country's 96 metropolitan departments on orange alert -- its second-highest level -- for high winds and waves. By Tuesday afternoon the number affected had dropped to 16. London's Gatwick Airport was expecting disruptions, with some flights likely to be diverted to other airports, and Heathrow Airport warned of problems and urged passengers to check flight details. Flights to and from the northern French city of Lille were cancelled Tuesday due to strong winds but resumed later. View gallery A http://rooseves.sosblogs.com/The-first-blog-b1/11-Reasons-Kanye-West-s-yeezus-Tour-Is-Actually-Incredible-b1-p119.htm woman walks her dog near a wrecked model ship, The Black Pearl, beside the River Mersey at New Bri Some ferry services across the Channel have been halted as well as services between Scotland and Northern Ireland.
More: http://news.yahoo.com/storms-batter-britain-france-disrupting-travel-power-194154824.html

Why Brittany's 'red caps' are a red alert for France's Hollande

REUTERS/Charles Platiau ) France decided on Monday to maintain a ban on Muslim headscarves for volunteer school monitors despite a warning that go!! it overstepped the law requiring religious neutrality in the public service. The Council of State, which advises the government on disputed administrative issues, said in a 32-page analysis that this neutrality did not apply to mothers who help escort schoolchildren on outings such as museum visits. Education Minister Vincent Peillon promptly announced the ban would continue because the Councils opinion also said that schools could impose internal rules against religious wear. The memo (establishing the ban) remains valid, he said in a communique after the Councils analysis was released. France imposed the ban last year as one of several steps in recent years to tighten its policy of strict secularism.
More: http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2013/12/24/france-to-keep-a-headscarf-ban-despite-negative-legal-advice/

Storms wreak havoc in Britain, France on Christmas Eve

In three years alone, including under Hollande's right-wing predecessor, the French have faced 70 billion euros more in taxes. The EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso blasted France's fiscal direction to the BBC."The fiscal policy in France has reached its limit of acceptability,he said recently. France is by far the country [in the EU] where companies pay the highest taxes and that's a problem for growth and employment." The French have reached their limit, say some. It's true that it's very difficult to do structural reform of the economy in this country ... we have a strong legacy of state regulation," says Christian Lequesne, a political science expert at SciencesPo in Paris. "But of course it has to be solvent. The answer has been to raise taxes." But he adds that this policy has become unpalatable and the Socialist government must rethink the tax burden, and find a new balance between solidarity and freedom. In a note leaked to local newspapers in November, the country's regional prefects warned the government that disparate protests around the country are just the beginning, as France is today asociety rife with tension, exasperation, and anger. There is amixture of latent discontent and resignation that risks erupting at anytime, it said.
More: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2013/1223/Why-Brittany-s-red-caps-are-a-red-alert-for-France-s-Hollande

France to keep a headscarf ban despite negative legal advice

The weather was expected to hurt British retailers, eager to cash in on the traditional pre-Christmas rush. "Given retailers' hopes that the last couple of days before Christmas would see a final strong surge in sales, the awful weather could not have come at a worse time," IHS analyst visit this page Howard Archer said. POWER CUTS FOR CHRISTMAS Brittany and Normandy were among the regions worst hit in France, where 240,000 homes lost electricity, while in southern England, 150,000 homes were cut off from the power grid, according to the Energy Networks Association. Spokeswoman Morven Smith from energy company Southern Electric told BBC Radio that some customers would be without power on Christmas Day. British Prime more information Minister David Cameron tweeted: "I'm across plans to get electricity to many without power. My thoughts are with them and those facing travel problems this Christmas Eve." Among those killed by the storm was a 48-year-old man who drowned on Monday in the Rothay River near Ambleside, Cumbria, in northern England. A woman's body was found in a river in North Wales on Monday, another woman died in a three-car crash in Shropshire blamed on the difficult driving conditions while a body, yet to be identified, was found in a stream by a dogwalker in Telford.
More: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/25/us-weather-europe-idUSBRE9BN08820131225?feedType=RSS

Storms batter Britain, France, disrupting travel, power

Credit: Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes PARIS (Reuters) - France decided on Monday to maintain a ban on Muslim headscarves for volunteer school monitors despite a warning that it overstepped the law requiring religious neutrality in the public service. The Council of State, which advises the government on disputed administrative issues, said in a 32-page analysis that this neutrality did not apply to mothers who help escort schoolchildren on outings such as museum visits. Education Minister Vincent Peillon promptly announced the ban would continue because the Council's opinion also said that schools could impose internal rules against religious wear. "The memo (establishing the ban) remains valid," he said in a communique after the Council's analysis was released. France imposed the ban last year as one of several steps in recent years to tighten its policy of strict secularism.
More: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/23/us-france-headscarves-idUSBRE9BM0PI20131223

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