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by Bernard on Sun Oct 4th, 2020 at 08:58:07 AM EST
Oui ou non: New Caledonia set for fresh vote on independence from France - Guardian
Sunday's vote could lay the foundations for the birth of a new nation in the Pacific after surprising support emerged in 2018 referendum

It's the final week of campaigning and two flags fly above the competing rallies, concerts, and campaign meetings: the French tricolour and the multi-coloured flag of Kanaky.

On Sunday, voters in New Caledonia will go to the polls for a second referendum on the political future of the French Pacific dependency.

More than 180,000 long-term residents of New Caledonia are registered to vote "Yes" for independence or "No" to remain within the French Republic.

Voting is not compulsory, so turnout will be crucial. Supporters and opponents of independence are on the streets this week in a final effort to mobilise their bases and convince uncertain citizens to participate on referendum day.


The Nouméa Accord signed in 1998, provided for up to three referendums to be held in the archipelago: in 2018, 2020 and 2022.

Polls have closed and counting has begun (New Caledonia is UTC+11, one hour ahead of Sydney and one hour behind Auckland). Turnout was 79.63%, six points above from the first referendum two years ago.

by Bernard on Sun Oct 4th, 2020 at 09:41:25 AM EST
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New Caledonia voters choose to stay part of France
NOUMEA, New Caledonia (AP) -- A majority of voters in New Caledonia, an archipelago in in the South Pacific, chose to remain part of France instead of backing independence Sunday, in a referendum that marked a milestone moment in a three-decade long decolonization effort.

In a televised address from Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed "an expression of confidence in the Republic with a deep feeling of gratitude ... and modesty."

Macron promised pro-independence supporters "this is with you, all together, that we will build New Caledonia tomorrow."

He praised the "success" of the vote and called on New Caledonia residents to "look to the future."

The overseas ministry said results show 53.3% of the voters who participated in the referendum on Sunday have chosen to maintain ties with France, while 46.7% supported independence.

The vote has been marked by a very high turnout. More than 85% of voters had cast their ballots one hour before poll stations closed, according to the overseas ministry.


As Le Monde reported, the 'yes' [to independence] got a majority in the provinces with a population who's over 70% Kanak - the indigenous Melanesian who were the first inhabitants of what is now New Caledonia: essentially, the northern part of the mainland and the north coast , plus the outer islands, such as Île des Pins and the Loyalty Islands.

Despite being the "First Nation" of New Caledonia (the name comes from James Cook), the Kanak people represent 39% of the total population; Europeans account for 27%, Polynesians (Tahiti, Vanuatu, Wallis & Futuna) about 11% and the rest (about 20%) come from various countries, mostly South-East Asian, like Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos etc...

As mentioned in the previous comment, per the Nouméa Accord, the local elected assembly (Congress of New Caledonia) can ask for a third referendum that could take place in 2022.

by Bernard on Sun Oct 4th, 2020 at 02:37:19 PM EST
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EU justifies buying surveillance drones for Belarus - Euractiv
The EU has bought 15 surveillance drones for Belarusian authorities, prompting alarm they could be used against pro-democracy protesters.

Lithuanian police handed over the equipment to the Belarusian State Committee for Forensic Science on 16 September - in the middle of a brutal police crackdown, which has seen thousands of people snatched off the streets, beaten, and tortured.

And the EU foreign service paid for them out of an €850,000 neighbourhood project being handled by Latvia and Lithuania.

The security cooperation appeared to go against the EU's vocal support for the pro-democracy movement.

For its part, Lithuania said the drones were delivered in September due to "contract procedures".

But Vilnius "suspended all payments to the Belarusian side related to joint EU-Belarus projects as of 9 August", when the protests broke out.

The drones had not been used for anything yet, the EU foreign service added.

by Bernard on Wed Oct 7th, 2020 at 06:15:57 PM EST
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by Cat on Fri Oct 16th, 2020 at 08:37:13 PM EST
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Exclusive: Top German official hushed up report on China's influence - Axios
Business interests have long shaped Germany's relationship with China, to the detriment of human rights concerns and even national security.

Details: The highly sensitive report, completed in 2018, examined the Chinese government's attempts to influence every level of German government, society and business, according to two former U.S. intelligence officials.

  • It cast a particularly harsh light on the intimate ties between German business and the Chinese government.
  • But before it could be widely disseminated within the German government, as had been intended, a high-ranking official intervened.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel also saw the report, but few others did, said one official.
by Bernard on Wed Oct 7th, 2020 at 06:37:11 PM EST
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by Cat on Thu Oct 8th, 2020 at 06:31:47 PM EST
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by Cat on Fri Oct 9th, 2020 at 09:19:53 PM EST
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Biden win would bring relief but few fixes, says Merkel ally
"'Would it help? I don't think so because (from) what we've heard from Joe Biden ... we will see that many of the existing transatlantic topics will remain, such as Nord Stream 2, energy security, economic issues,' [Peter Beyer] added."
by Cat on Fri Oct 23rd, 2020 at 10:05:42 PM EST
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Rotten to the core

Wilders can shake hands with Trump, Orban, LePen and UK's Farage.

Minorities are hardest hit by the SARS Covid-2 pandemic, so Wilders puts the blame of delayed hart and cancer operation for White citizens on immigrants. So tiresome ...

by Oui on Sun Oct 11th, 2020 at 04:26:27 PM EST
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by Oui on Sun Oct 11th, 2020 at 04:34:00 PM EST
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Nothing that cannot be fixed by beheading a few teachers!

Glad to see Macron is waking up.

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Oct 19th, 2020 at 11:13:13 AM EST
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President Erdoğan slams Macron, says he needs 'mental checks' | Hurriyet Daily News |

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 24 slammed his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, over his policies toward Muslims, saying that he needed "mental checks."

"What can one say about a head of state who treats millions of members from different faith groups this way: first of all, have mental checks," Erdoğan said in a televised address.

Macron this month described Islam as a religion "in crisis" worldwide and said the government would present a bill in December to strengthen a 1905 law that officially separated church and state in France.

He announced stricter oversight of schooling and control over foreign funding of mosques.

by Oui on Sat Oct 24th, 2020 at 09:34:48 PM EST
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by Bernard on Sun Oct 25th, 2020 at 07:36:15 AM EST
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Politics of opportunisme ahead of Election 2021 ... bit of panic instead of setting long term policy. Moving further to the right to head off LePen ... same as other EU States and leading Conservative parties ... kept Mark Rutte ahead of Geert Wilders. Tough talk on ... indeed Turkey and Erdogan.

Fight against separatism - the Republic in action: speech by Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, on the fight against separatism (Les Mureaux, 2 Oct. 20)

... a dog whistle

Defending Judeo-Christian civilization and our liberties ... a poorly researched paper - here.

As things stand, both Macron and the far-right Marine Le Pen are polling at 25 percent for the presidential election set for 2022.

As Le Pen's platform is almost entirely defined by her anti-Islam platform, observers believe Macron is trying to boost his credentials among those who hold anti-Muslim views.

by Oui on Sun Oct 25th, 2020 at 10:13:31 AM EST
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Wilders' Message to President Erdogan

by Oui on Sun Oct 25th, 2020 at 12:55:45 PM EST
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France urges Arab nations to prevent boycotts over Macron's cartoons defence | BBC News |

France has urged Middle Eastern countries to end calls for a boycott of its goods in protest at President Emmanuel Macron's defence of the right to show cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

On Sunday, Mr Macron doubled down on his defence of French values in a tweet that read: "We will not give in, ever."

Some supermarket shelves had been stripped of French products in Jordan, Qatar and Kuwait by Sunday. French-made hair and beauty items, for example, were not on display.

In Kuwait, a major retail union has ordered a boycott of French goods.

by Oui on Mon Oct 26th, 2020 at 06:38:11 AM EST
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Isn't boycotting within the accepted means of debate?

Of course, it is on both sides a call to tribalism and conflict to get the population to rally behind the leader.

After all, if there was a will to ban certain cartoons all that needs to be done is hire young artists to paint enough variations of the theme, create a foundation that buys the paintings, place the paintings in a vault, hire lawyers to defend against copyright intrusions and make that intention clear. Images of Muhammed - or whatever icon would be selected by such a foundation - could then join the hallowed ranks of Mickey Mouse and Tintin that may not be defamed without consequence. Even corporsations beware, for copyright intrusions are after all the only crime where the EU has joined together to impose punitive damages.

by fjallstrom on Mon Oct 26th, 2020 at 02:40:30 PM EST
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by Oui on Mon Oct 26th, 2020 at 03:40:05 PM EST
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The peril of quoting Twitter about an "information" published by The Sun, not considered the most reliable of sources. Well, Pogba has a Twitter account too, and doesn't need the fellow above to speak for him:

Pogba is reportedly planning to sue The Scum, although I don't know what this would accomplish (in Britain, the tabloids seem to enjoy greater protection than even the Royal Family)

by Bernard on Mon Oct 26th, 2020 at 07:33:10 PM EST
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ASHAMED! Mea Culpa ...

by Oui on Mon Oct 26th, 2020 at 09:33:22 PM EST
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'Boycott French products' launched over Macron's Islam comments | Al-Jazeera |

Hashtags such as the #BoycottFrenchProducts in English and the Arabic #NeverTheProphet trended across countries including Kuwait, Qatar, Palestine, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

In Kuwait, the chairman and members of the board of directors of the Al-Naeem Cooperative Society decided to boycott all French products and to remove them from supermarket shelves.

by Oui on Mon Oct 26th, 2020 at 03:34:04 PM EST
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Anger towards Emmanuel Macron grows in Muslim world | The Guardian |

On the front page of a hardline Iranian newspaper, he was the "Demon of Paris". In the streets of Dhaka he was decried as a leader who "worships Satan". Outside Baghdad's French embassy, a likeness of Emmanuel Macron was burned along with France's flag.

Rage is growing across the Muslim world at the French president and his perceived attacks on Islam and the prophet Muhammad, leading to calls for boycotts of the French products and security warnings for France's citizens in majority-Muslim states.

The backlash has cut across an extraordinarily diverse Muslim world with a myriad of cultures, sects, political systems and levels of economic development. It has stoked historical and present-day grievances from the markets of Herat in Afghanistan to the upmarket neighbourhoods of Amman and the universities of Islamabad.

The author Amina Easat-Daas

by Oui on Wed Oct 28th, 2020 at 08:59:16 AM EST
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by Cat on Mon Oct 26th, 2020 at 10:33:59 PM EST
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reportage
Top EU court backs French pesticide ban
ruling
Judgment in Case C-514/19
Member States may take unilateral protective  measures if they have previously raised concerns about  an active substance with the Commission and the Commission does not adopt protective measures.
[...]
As regards whether the implementing regulations can  be regarded as measures taken by the Commission in response to France's communication, the Court notes that EU legislature thus established a specific emergency procedure that is closely linked to the emergency procedures laid down in the harmonisation regulation. The implementing regulations were not adopted on the basis of the emergency procedures of the harmonisation regulation, but on the basis of other provisions of that regulation. The Court therefore  takes the view that those implementing regulations cannot be regarded as measures taken by the Commission in response to France's communication.
by Cat on Sun Oct 11th, 2020 at 06:03:13 PM EST
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Gag : the French government has already reversed the ban, because French sugar beet producers claim that they have no viable alternative to the neo-nicotinids which are massacring Europe's bees.

Moral of the story : any pro-environment progress is easily overturned by constituted economic interests. And there is no hope for the planet.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Oct 18th, 2020 at 03:00:57 PM EST
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Same for the pandemic. We tried nothing and are all out of ideas. Our state commerce association is still mad as hell about masks and one of our state governors has a new exciting plan to promote tourism.
by generic on Sun Oct 18th, 2020 at 04:17:45 PM EST
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Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Oct 13th, 2020 at 09:45:38 PM EST
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EU court adviser says Poland, Hungary turnover taxes are legal
"High turnover does not necessarily lead to high profit, but high turnover is a prerequisite for high profit."
'Five Eyes' alliance demands ways to access encrypted apps
"While encryption is vital and privacy and cyber security must be protected, that should not come at the expense of wholly precluding law enforcement, and the tech industry itself, from being able to act against the most serious illegal content and activity online."
by Cat on Fri Oct 16th, 2020 at 05:23:40 PM EST
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Right. It is also urgent to stop teaching German, Italian, Spanish, and especially English in French schools, because they are vectors for dangerous foreigh ideology.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun Oct 18th, 2020 at 03:06:21 PM EST
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Coronavirus: Berlin withdraws ad giving the finger to anti-maskers  - DW
The German capital's tourism authority has withdrawn a controversial advertisement in which an elderly lady gives the middle finger to individuals who do not wear masks.

Visit Berlin and the Berlin Senate on Tuesday launched the advert, entitled "We obey the corona rules," aiming to prevent further spread of the coronavirus and to highlight the importance of safeguarding the health of the elderly.

Above the image of the woman wearing a floral-patterned mask and giving onlookers the finger. The poster reads: "A finger-wag for all those without a mask."

by Bernard on Fri Oct 16th, 2020 at 06:53:05 PM EST
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Exclusive: EU taps Chinese technology linked to Muslim internment camps in Xinjiang - DW
Two EU institutions are using technology produced by China's Hikvision, a firm that has been accused of providing surveillance equipment to Muslim internment camps in the country's northwest Xinjiang province.

Hikvision describes itself as "the world's leading video surveillance products supplier."

The Chinese tech giant has its European base in the Netherlands and has not been subject to any EU sanctions or blacklist measures.

Officials at the European Parliament and the European Commission acquired the company's thermal imaging cameras as part of the fight against the spread of the new coronavirus.

The gadgets can detect a high temperature or fever, which is a common symptom of COVID-19.

Anyone with a temperature of more than 37.7°C (99.86°F) is denied entry.

by Bernard on Wed Oct 28th, 2020 at 04:05:07 PM EST
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Berlin's new airport finally opens: A story of failure and embarrassment - DW
The Berlin-Brandenburg Airport (BER) was slated to open on June 3, 2012. It wasn't the first time the project missed its deadline, but it was the most memorable.

So great was the anticipation, public broadcaster rbb planned to go live for 24 hours covering it. So great was the disaster thereafter, the German satire site, The Postillon, proposed a new grammatical form for discussing the airport's conditional opening -- an event repeatedly kicked down the tarmac never to actually happen.

Just before the opening date, inspectors reported some 120,000 defects, including fire safety issues, automatic doors that didn't open and sagging roofs. Around 170,000 kilometers (106,000 miles) of cable installed in and around the airport were found to be dangerously wired. Some lights couldn't turn on; others couldn't turn off.

It has taken more than nine years, and a series of well-paid airport company managers, to sort out the problems at Berlin's new international airport -- also called Willy Brandt Airport, after the late leader of West Berlin and then West Germany. And now that airport officials say it is ready for takeoff, few airplanes are likely to do so. The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the airline and travel industries into disarray.

by Bernard on Sat Oct 31st, 2020 at 01:42:01 PM EST
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Germany's rail company, Deutsche Bahn, has no immediate plans to offer a high-speed rail connection, as other major German airports enjoy.

Why the plural "airports"? Are there any German airports other than Frankfurt with an ICE connection?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Oct 31st, 2020 at 02:06:55 PM EST
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