President Jacques Chirac has called for a collective fight against racism in response to France's worst unrest in almost 40 years, saying discrimination poisons society.
Addressing the nation on Monday for the first time since the unrest erupted nearly three weeks ago, Chirac said he had asked parliament to extend a state of emergency declared on Nov. 9 beyond 12 days to three months. Lawmakers were to debate the issue yesterday.
Chirac also announced the creation of national volunteer corps to provide job training for 50,000 youths by 2007. The president said in the coming days he would meet business and labor leaders to discuss work force diversity and more jobs for youths from tough neighborhoods.
"We can build nothing lasting if we allow racism, intolerance and abuse," Chirac said in a televised speech. "We can build nothing lasting unless we fight this poison for society that is discrimination."
The crisis has led to collective soul-searching about France's failure to integrate its African and Muslim minorities. Anger about high unemployment and discrimination has fanned frustration among the French-born children of immigrants from France's former colonies.
Chirac appealed for all to help eliminate attitudes that lead to youths not being considered for jobs because they have a non-French name, a suburban postal code, or the wrong skin color.
"It's about giving young people the same job opportunities," Chirac said. "How many CVs end up in the trash bin because of the applicant's name or address?"
Even as Chirac spoke, the violence continued for a 19th night with at least one attack targeting Muslims.
Vandals threw three firebombs at mosque in Saint-Chamond in the Loire region, causing minor damage, the national police said yesterday. It was the third attack of its kind on a mosque since Friday.
However, the number of incidents continued to drop overnight, with youths setting fire to 162 vehicles by 4am yesterday, compared with 271 at the same time a day earlier, the national police said. Forty-two people were arrested compared with 112 at the same time the previous night.
The numbers have fallen steadily since vandals burned 1,408 vehicles across France in one night on Nov. 6 at the peak of the violence. Police say French youths burn about 100 cars on an average Saturday night.
The state of emergency gives regional authorities the power to call curfews, conduct day-and-night searches of homes or deport foreigners convicted in the violence. About 40 towns, including France's third-largest city, Lyon, have used the measure, imposing curfews on minors.
The decision to extend the state of emergency until mid-February made clear that authorities fear the riots could flare up again.
On a beach in the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen, just a few kilometers from Taiwan’s Kinmen, life is carefree, despite some of the worst cross-strait tensions in decades. Ignoring warnings from Beijing, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday — the highest-ranking elected US official to visit the nation in 25 years — sparking a diplomatic firestorm. China yesterday launched some of its largest-ever military drills — exercises set to disrupt one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. However, on Xiamen’s palm-fringed beach, there was little concern. “A war? No, I don’t care,” a young IT worker surnamed
According to Forrest Gump, life is like a box of chocolates because “you never know what you’re going to get.” Now, an Indian remake of the movie has been hit by boycott calls over years-old comments by its Muslim star, Aamir Khan. It is the latest example of how Bollywood actors, particularly minority Muslims such as Khan, are feeling increased pressure under Hindu nationalist Indian Prime Minister Modi. Laal Singh Chaddha, an Indian spin on the 1994 Hollywood hit with Tom Hanks, is expected to be one of India’s biggest films of the year. This is due in large part to its
ACROPORA REVIVAL: A marine science official said that the results of recent studies showed that the reef can still recover in periods that are free of intense disturbances Parts of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef now have the highest levels of coral cover in decades, an Australian government report said yesterday. Portions of the UNESCO heritage site showed a marked increase in coral cover in the past year, reaching levels not seen in 36 years of monitoring, the Australian Institute of Marine Science said. Scientists surveying 87 sites said that northern and central parts of the reef had bounced back from damage more quickly than some had expected, thanks mainly to fast-growing Acropora — a branching coral that supports thousands of marine species. “These latest results demonstrate the reef can still recover
Screams from soldiers being tortured, overflowing cells, inhuman conditions, a regime of intimidation and murder. Inedible gruel, no communication with the outside world and days marked off with a home-made calendar written on a box of tea. This is what conditions are like inside Olenivka, a notorious detention center where dozens of Ukrainian soldiers burned to death late last month, said a former prisoner of the camp outside Donetsk in the Russian-occupied east of Ukraine. Anna Vorosheva — a 45-year-old Ukrainian entrepreneur — gave a harrowing account to the Observer of her time inside the jail. She spent 100 days in Olenivka