Tag Archives: France

Two French hostages freed near Darfur

The party of France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy is likely to be defeated in regional elections, according to new exit polls. Sarkozy’s center-right UMP party is reportedly losing to the Socialists, a result aided by low turnout. This is the last nationwide vote before the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections, BBC News.

An American consulate worker and her husband have been killed by suspected drug traffickers in Cuidad Juárez, Mexico. Another worker’s husband was also killed, and two children were wounded. The White House has responded to the killings, expressing outrage and vowing to work with Mexican officials to find the killers, NY Times.

Soccer legend David Beckham is expected to miss this summer’s World Cup, which was likely to be his last, after he tore his Achilles tendon in an Inter Milan match today, Sky News. In college basketball news, today the 64 teams who will take part in March Madness, the annual championship tournament, were chosen. Brackets can be found here.

Two French hostages taken in the Central African Republic in November have been freed. Both were working for French aid group Triangle Generation Humanitaire. They were released in the Darfur region and are on their way to the Sudanese capital city Khartoum, BBC News.

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Obama unveils 2011 budget

U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled his $3.8 trillion 2011 budget. The budget will include a $1.56 trillion deficit as the U.S. attempts to climb out of recession, BBC News.

A suicide bomb attack in Iraq killed 46 pilgrims on their way to Karbala. The suicide bomber was a woman, Al Jazeera.

France has denied citizenship to a man who forces his wife to wear a full Islamic veil, Al Jazeera.

An Indian man in Melbourne who said he was attacked by 4 Australians has now admitted to maing the story up. Tensions are high between Australians and Indians living and visiting Australia, BBC News.

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Sri Lanka goes to polls for presidential election today

Following weeks of sporadic violence, Sri Lankans went to the polls today to vote for president. Results are expected tomorrow. Current president Mahinda Rajapakse (BBC News profile) is running for reelection against Sarath Fonseka (BBC News profile), the former military leader who was successful in crushing a multi-decade running Tamil rebellion, Al Jazeera.

Violent bombs rocked Baghdad for the second day in a row. Violence is expected to continue during the lead-up to parliamentary elections in March, CNN.

A French commission recommended the French Parliament pass a resolution banning face veils worn by Muslim women in some public areas, New York Times.

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Christian minority targeted in Egypt

6 Coptic Christians, as well as 1 security guard, were killed yesterday in Egypt as they were leaving church in a drive-by shooting. Family members of the dead called for action by the Egyptian government. Christians make up about 10% of Egypt’s population, Al Jazeera. More on Christians in Egypt from 2009, BBC News.

The Tamil National Alliance announced that it will support the general who led the campaign to crush Tamil resistance in Sri Lanka last year over current President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is seeking reelection. The election will be held on January 26, The Independent.

A French government commission has proposed taxing internet advertisers whose ads appear to internet users in France, Reuters.

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Search for Ship Arctic Sea Continues

The search continues for missing cargo ship the Arctic Sea. The ship was carrying timber worth $1.8 billion from Finland and was last seen off the coast of France. The crew reported being boarded by 12 armed men as it passed through the Baltic Sea, but later reported that the men had left in an inflatable boat. Before loading in Finland, the ship, which has a 15  member Russian crew, sat for two weeks at a port in Kaliningrad, Russia leading some to speculate that unrecorded Russian cargo may be aboard or that the ship is part of a Russian commercial dispute, BBC News. Breaking: Reports that the vessel has been spotted near Gibraltar and is being shadowed by a Russian warship, Al Jazeera.

A South Korean Hyundai worker who has been held by North Korea for nearly five months has been released. Yu Seong-jin, work is a technician at a joint Hyundai Asan park that uses North Korean labor. Yu was accused of criticizing North Korea’s political system. North Korea also claims he was trying to persuade a North Korean woman to defect. The chairwoman of Hyundai Group, Hyun Jung-eun, traveled to Pyongyang to secure his release, Yonhap.

Germany and France both saw .3% growth in the second quarter, indicating that Europe might be pulling out of recession, Reuters.

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Death Toll From D.C. Metro Crash Rises to Six

The death toll from the train crash in Washington, D.C. hours ago has risen to six. The toll makes the crash the deadliest in the history of the Metro. Officials have said 70 were treated with injuries, and 50 of those had only minor injuries, Washington Post.

President Sarkozy of France spoke out at a special parliament session in Versailles against burkas, the full-length garments worn by Muslim women. Sarkozy has come out in favor of banning burkas in France as he feels that “the burka is not a sign of religion, it is a sign of subservience.” The speech was the first made to the French parliament since the 19th century, BBC News.

Four thieves in Somalia who stole three mobile phones and two guns have been sentenced by a Sharia court in a harsh way – they will each have one arm and one leg amputated, in public. The al-Shabab group uses the punishment frequently, but almost never in the capital city of Mogadishu, where the trial took place. Amnesty International remarked that the four were not given a fair trial, BBC News.

The death of a young woman named Neda in Tehran has captured the world. Videos of Neda dying from a gunshot wound to the chest have circulated virally and have been shown on major news networks. The Los Angeles Times has a wonderful story on her here.

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Breaking: Air France Jet Disappears Off Brazil’s Coast

An Air France jet carring 228 passengers to Charles de Gaulle Airport in France disappeared off the coast of Brazil shortly after it took off from Rio de Janeiro last night. The Brazilian Air Force has sent planes out to took for wreckage or any sign of the jet but officials say nothing has been found so far, CNN.

More on the story as it develops.

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