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Regional News • Africa
19 civilians killed in a French army air strike in Mali

A UN Mission in Mali has just reported 19 civilians gathered for a wedding died in a French army air strike targeting jihadists in January in central Mali. France denies any wrongdoing.

Regional News • Europe • France
Nicolas Sarkozy sentenced to prison for corruption and influence peddling
Nicolas Sarkozy sentenced to prison for corruption and influence peddling
Credit: By European People's Party - EPP Summit 14 December 2006 / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The former French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, was found guilty of having tried to obtain confidential information about him from a magistrate, and to obtain a dismissal in an older case.

He has been sentenced to 3 years in prison (1 year custodial and 2 non-custodial).

He can still appeal against this conviction.

Regional News • Europe • Spain
Independentists get absolute majority in Catalonia
Catalan Flag
Catalan Flag Credit: Genlab Frank (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Despite the socialist party (PSC) got more votes at the February 14th election, the independentists obtained 74 seats over 135 in parliament.

"I want to send a message to Pedro Sánchez, it is time to sit down to resolve the conflict and vote in a referendum and release prisoners with amnesty," were the first words pronounced, defiantly, by the ERC candidate, Pere Aragonès.

Regional News • Europe
Overtaken by Covid-19, Portugal requests for European help
Overtaken by Covid-19, Portugal requests for European help
Credit: Copyright Bundeswehr

Doing relatively better than other countries at the beginning of the crisis last year, Portugal is now overwhelmed by the last epidemic wave. Hospitals are saturated and positive cases are exploding. Half of the total 13.000 victims died since the beginning of the year.

Portugal is now asking for help to its European neighbors. Germany sent 8 doctors, 18 nurses and a large stock of medical equipment.

Regional News • Europe • France
Justice condemns French government for climate inaction
Justice condemns French government for climate inaction
Credit: unsplash.com / Anthony DELANOIX

Following the complaint supported by millions of French citizens, the Paris administrative court concluded that the government's actions to combat global warming were insufficient and declared the French state guilty.

The 4 NGOs that initiated this lawsuit say it is "a first historic victory for climate" and a "victory for truth" as France has never acknowledged the "insufficiency of its climate policies" (President Macron has always boasted about his commitment to climate change).

Regional News • Oceania
Repression of demonstrations against the sale of a nickel plant in New Caledonia
Repression of demonstrations against the sale of a nickel plant in New Caledonia
Credit: By Barsamuphe - Own work / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Employees of the Southern Nickel plant demonstrated in Noumea after the violent evacuation of the plant on Thursday. During several intrusion attempts, the police had to fire their weapons to protect access to this Seveso classified industrial site.

The announcement of the sale of the plant by the Brazilian company Vale caused the anger of the separatists who have been fighting for decades against the plundering of the gigantic mining resources of New Caledonia which is a French overseas collectivity.

Regional News • Europe • France
Police violence in Paris: a photographer beaten up during the "March of Liberties"

Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in Paris and other French cities to protest against the "Global Security" law.

Syrian photographer Ameer al-Halbi, a war correspondent known for his coverage of the fall of Aleppo and winner of a World Press Photo award in 2017, was wounded during a police charge while covering the march on Saturday afternoon, AFP reported.

The "Global Security" law would punish punishes the so-called "malicious" dissemination of the image of police officers, particularly during demonstrations.

Controversy over the law was heightened by the heavy-handed evacuation of a migrant camp in Paris on Monday and the revelation on Thursday of the beating of music producer Michel Zecler by four police officers.

Regional News • Europe • France
A history and geography teacher beheaded near Paris

The victim had made a recent intervention in class about freedom of speech where he mentioned the Muhammad cartoons controversy, which pushed the National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor's Office to take over the investigation.

The assaillant has been shot by the police.

Regional News • Europe • France
Europe urges France to ban glue trap for birds

France is one of the last country to maintain a traditional hunting practice of coating branches with glue to capture birds. As it is against European laws, France might face significant fines, hence the new French government is currently considering outlawing this practice.

Hunting lobby is vigorously protesting and denounces a new persecution against hunters.

Regional News • Asia • China
NGO urges governments to take China to court over repression of Uighurs

Human Rights Watch estimates one million Uighurs were detained without any judicial process, solely based on their ethnic origin and religion. In the "political education" camps, the NGO members discovered and documented practices of torture, denial of access to basic health care, denial of the right to practice their religion, and forced political education.

A possible genocide by the Chinese government against the Uighur community is being discussed today since forced sterilization or contraception is considered a crime under international law.

Sending China to the International Criminal Court is not possible because China has refused to sign the ICC Statute. The International Court of Justice could be the right approach, says the NGO, but as it is a state-to-state process, a government would have to be willing to take China to court.