The invaders, the colonists, now they are the colonies, and they are the invaded, and they are the ones to submit to the United States. I don’t understand what is happening in Europe. From here, I believe that, along with the social movements of Europe, we are going to defend the sovereignty and dignity of these people who are also our peers.
Spain has acknowledged a request from the U.S. prompted last week’s blockade of a plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales. The Bolivian plane was grounded in Austria for 14 hours after Spain, France, Portugal and Italy closed their airspace over false rumors NSA leaker Edward Snowden was on board. On Tuesday, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo confirmed for the first time that the rumor came from the U.S. government. He went on to say he is willing to apologize to Bolivia.
On Monday, thousands of people rallied outside the U.S. embassy in Bolivia to protest last week’s forced landing of a plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales. The plane was rerouted to Austria after France and Portugal barred it from their airspace over false suspicions Snowden was on board. The Bolivian government has asked the European countries involved to reveal the source of the false information.
We are not colonies any more. We deserve respect, and when one of our governments is insulted we feel the insult throughout Latin America.
EU officials announced on Monday that France has dropped its opposition to some policy discussions related to Turkey’s accession to the European Union and Turkey is likely to take a long-awaited step on its path towards European Union entry next month
Journalists with the French newspaper Le Monde are reinforcing claims the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against rebel forces. They say they witnessed multiple chemical attacks over the past two months. Following one attack, a Le Monde photographer reportedly suffered blurred vision and respiratory trouble for days.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Paris over plans to give gay couples in France the right to marry and adopt children.
Three big marches converged on the Champs de Mars, a large park next to the Eiffel Tower.
France’s Socialist government is planning to change the law this year.
But the demonstrators, backed by the Catholic Church and the right-wing opposition, argue it would undermine an essential building block of society.
The organisers put the number of marchers at 800,000, with demonstrators pouring into Paris by train and bus, carrying placards that read, “We don’t want your law, Francois” and “Don’t touch my civil code”.
Police said the figure was closer to 340,000 and one government minister said the turnout was lower than the organisers had predicted. A similar march in November attracted around 100,000 people.
The “Demo for all” event was being led by a charismatic comedian known as Frigide Barjot, who tweeted that the “crowd is immense” and told French TV that gay marriage “makes no sense” because a child should be born to a man and woman.
Rebels in the Central African Republic appear to be on the verge of seizing control of the capital of Bangui after taking at least 10 other towns. Central African Republic President François Bozizé has urged foreign intervention from the United States and France to help him push back the rebel advance. The United States says it has evacuated its embassy in Bangui as a precautionary safety measure.
Switzerland and Denmark have joined a growing number of countries backing recognition of Palestinian nonmember observer status at the United Nations. On Tuesday, France’s foreign minister announced the country will vote in favor of a the Palestinian bid for greater U.N. recognition. The move is seen by some as a crucial step toward a possible two-state solution with Israel. Britain is expected to announce its decision later today. Both Britain and the United States have reportedly put pressure on the Palestinians to give assurances they will not use the new status to press war crimes charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court.
The French Muslim Council (CFCM) urged the government on Monday to ban a far-right group that occupied a mosque on Saturday and issued a “declaration of war” against what it called the Islamization of France.
CFCM President Mohammed Moussaoui said the Council also wanted better protection for mosques and Muslim cemeteries against racist attacks, which he said jumped sharply in 2011 and continued to rise this year.
Some 73 protesters from a movement called Identity Group seized a mosque in the western city of Poitiers on Saturday and unfurled a banner referring to Charles Martel’s historic defeat of advancing Muslim troops there in 732.
They stayed for more than six hours before police ejected them.
In a video posted on its website, the movement issued what it called a “declaration of war” on multiculturalism. It also called for a referendum to block further immigration from outside Europe and further construction of mosques in France.
"We demand the dissolution of this group," Moussaoui said.
The public prosecutor’s office in Poitiers has placed four of the protesters under judicial investigation for spreading racial hate and discrimination.
Moussaoui said the protest, the first time a mosque in France had been occupied like that, represented “a new escalation in violence against Muslims”.
Violent acts and threats against Muslims rose by 34 percent in 2011 compared to 2010, and went up again by 14 percent in the first half of this year, he told reporters.
The protesters had come from as far away as Lyon and Nice, near France’s eastern borders, he said.