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All's Quiet, But

photo, life is a merry go round

The day for kids to ride a merry–go–round, Wednesday.

Jail for Bové

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Wednesday, 16. November:– The Assembly National and the Senat voted to continue the 'state of emergency' today, extending its period for three months. The government's party, the UMP, largely supported the measure, with an assist from the more moderate UDF group.

In the Assembly there were 146 votes against the extension and in the Senat 125 voted against it. The Socialists, Communists, Verts and leftist radicals were handily outnumbered by right–wing deputies and senators.

Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy introduced the text in the Senat for the government at a time when the suburbs have become a lot less turbulent. Although somewhat perplexed, the UDF supported the project.

During the discussion, all speakers praised the conduct of police and firemen during the riots, excepting the Communists.

The vote came after the 20th night of disturbances. Overnight damage has seriously decreased in volume with police reporting 163 vehicles burned and 50 arrests, and no 'major' confrontations against the 11,600 police and gendarmes mobilized.

Deportation proceedings have begun against ten foreigners who have been convicted of taking part in the riots. The leader of the bar in Seine–Saint– Denis has created a group of volunteer defense lawyers to provide legal aid to the foreigners.

Three highly placed members of the government raised the issue of polygamy, for being a factor of the cause of the riots in France. Gérard Larcher, deputy minister for employment, suggested that multiple marriages by immigrants is a contributing factor of racial discrimination.photo, metro exit, bus stop, riders, shoppers Extreme right–wing leader Jean–Marie Le Pen, in a press release, echoed the notion.

The anti–racist organizations, the Ligue des Droits de l'Homme and the MRAP, immediately reacted with disgust and anger at the 'hysterical politics.'

Paris carrying on with life today.

UMP deputy–mayor of Drancy, Jean–Christophe Lagarde, said that it was 'absurd,' adding that problems of parental authority were more often related to mono–parents that to polygamist ones. "More often it is single mothers who find themselves overwhelmed," he said.

On TV–news tonight, the example of a family man with two wives and 17 kids, each and every one with a dad and two moms. Illegal but not unknown. C'est la France!

Counter–Spies See No Jihad

The French counter–espionage unit is the DST, which, as its title of Direction de la surveillance du territoire suggests, is watching over the territory – but it seldom tells the public what's going on even though we pay the salaries.

In an interview to be published Friday in the magazine 'Valeurs Actuelles' and reported today by AP in Paris, the DST's chief, Pierre de Bousquet, says that it hasn't seen any indication that religious integrists are involved with the riots.

He was quoted as saying that the troubles are not related to any religious influence. He said some of the foreign press was making .a big mistake by connecting trouble in France with bombs in London or Madrid.

In contrast he characterized the terrorist menace in France as 'high' and that it was preoccupying. He estimated that there were only a few individuals in France who might be susceptible to participate in terrorism. However he estimated sympathizers to number several hundreds.

Thursday's Weather

Expect a sky full of clouds, some with dark undersides, but most likely with airy spaces between them to let some sun rays caress the earth or our paved part of it. If you do happen to be on an Alp, not close to here – around somewhere else in fact – and if you are above 800 metres you might see some snow. Otherwise, after a morning low of 3 degrees we are supposed to expect a wonderful high of 9 degrees. For Friday, Saturday and Sunday, more cloudy is all we know, with highs not above 7 degrees.

Four Months for Bové

Tuesday, 15. November:– The appeals court in Toulouse sentenced José Bové to a four months' prison term today for his part in the destruction of a genetically–modified corn field at Menville in the Haut–Garonne department in July of 2004. Seven others receivedphoto, weather sky over paris suspended sentences of three months and two months. They were also ordered to pay a total of 97,300 euros in damages to the operators of the corn field.

Sky over the city threatened, but did not drip.

The court exonerated one defendant because he wasn't physically able to destroy any of the corn. In the original trial, the state declined to charge two hundred others who had taken part in ripping out the plants.

For the moment the judge has not ordered Mr. Bové to be placed in prison, expecting, because of the severe penalty, that he will appeal the sentence.

During the appeal process the state prosecutor did not consider the defendants to be 'delinquents,' and he did not request prison terms, suspended sentences or fines. Instead he asked for one–year suspensions of their 'civic rights' – rights to vote, to be candidates for office.

TV–news suggested that Mr. Bové, by side–stepping this suspension, will likely be a candidate in the presidential election in 2007.

One of the convicted, Toulouse municipal councilman, François Simon, said the sentences were an 'bludgeon stroke' designed to break the movement of the 'voluntary mowers,' as those who oppose the open fields of experimental trans–genetic crops call themselves.

The Green party denounced the sentences, calling on the government to stage a public debate about the wisdom of growing experimental plants in the open air. The Communist Party criticised the sentences and characterized them as 'politically motivated' and intended to criminalize 'syndical action.' The lawyer for the plaintiffs praised the 'courage' of the court.

Speak French? Speak it Better!
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