With the death of Osama Ben Laden his terrorist network has taken a blow, but some of its forces have regrouped and moved westward where various cells have been operating in Yemen, Somalia, and now Mali. The AQIM cell (Al Qaida in Maghreb) is well-equipped with modern weapons taken from the well-stocked arsenals of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and has been applying Sharia law along its path while kidnapping westerners for ransom, among them many Frenchmen who work for large companies in the area such as nuclear giant Areva with interests in uranium mines. While looking for a political solution involving the UN Security Council as well as local and international participants, France, helped only by some Togolese troops and a poorly trained Malian army, is fighting a lonely battle.
|50 years of Franco-German friendship|
Throughout history the two countries have repeatedly been at war with each other and even today they have their pronounced political and cultural differences. But together they form the engine of Europe and they do need each other. So here's to the Elysée Treaty and its continued flowering.
|Ecology Minister Batho: "No danger"|
Delphine Batho, French Minister of the Environment, visited the site and reported that it would take several days to neutralize the stink but that the escaped gas presented no health hazard. The American-owned Lubrizol is a "Seveso" plant - a reference to the Italian town of Seveso where a chemical accident occurred in 1976 that resulted in stringent industrial safety measures known as the Seveso II Directive. The EELV Green Party and the Robin Hood Association have called for an investigation into the cause of the accident and Lubrizol's potential responsibility.
|President Jeroen Dijsselbloem|
The issue remains divisive, but the latest IFOP poll indicates that today 63% of the French are in favor of same-sex marriage, up from 60% a month ago. The bill is expected to be passed by Parliament.