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January 12, 2015

Millions march in France and around the world in support of Charlie Hebdo

Millions march in France and around the world in support of Charlie Hebdo

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Monday, January 12, 2015

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Marchers in Paris.
Image: Yann Caradec.

Following the shootings at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, millions of people turned out yesterday for marches in Paris, in cities across France, and around the world. Reported estimates of between 1.5 and 2 million people rallied in Paris, and the French interior ministry estimated 3.7 million or more rallied across France.

44 world leaders attended the Paris march including French President François Hollande; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; British Prime Minister David Cameron; Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy; Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi; the President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority; King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan; Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu; the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov; the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban; and the President of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba.

US Ambassador to France Jane D. Hartley attended. White House Spokesman Josh Earnest responded to criticism for not sending a higher level representative on behalf of the United States: “It is fair to say we should have sent someone with a higher profile.” Earnest said the rally had been planned on Friday and President Obama attending the rally on such short notice presented “significant security challenges”. Secretary of State John Kerry said he already had a prior engagement in India.

Charlie Hebdo has previously published cartoons featuring the Islamic prophet Muhammed. These include original depictions and reprints of controversial cartoons originally by Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Some of these cartoons were on display at the marches.

Marche Charlie Hebdo Paris 07.jpg

Paris: flowers and tributes to the victims of the shooting.
Image: Guerric Poncet.

6 Marche républicaine 11 janvier 2015 Paris - Le crayon comme pancarte AB P1340202.jpg

Paris march: a protester holding up two colouring pencils, in solidarity with journalists and cartoonists killed in the attack.
Image: Basili.

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Paris march: protestors holding up two giant pencils.
Image: Eric Walter.

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Paris march: more protestors holding up giant pencils.
Image: Eric Walter.

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Paris march: marchers fill the street.
Image: Eric Walter.

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Paris march: more marchers filling the streets.
Image: Yann Caradec.

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Paris march.
Image: Eric Walter.

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Paris march: marchers moving up Boulevard Beaumarchais.
Image: Poulpy.

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Paris march: marchers fill the platform at the Miromesnil Métro station.
Image: Basili.

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Bordeaux rally.
Image: LeJC.

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Rally in Bourg-en-Bresse.
Image: Benoît Prieur.

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Rally in Chambéry.
Image: Florian Pépellin.

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Rally in Lyon.
Image: Jitrixis.

Manifestation en soutien à Charlie Hebdo et aux victimes des fusillades, Rennes, 2015-01-11-1.jpg

Rally in Rennes.
Image: Édouard Hue.

Manifestation en soutien à Charlie Hebdo et aux victimes des fusillades, Rennes, 2015-01-11-11.jpg

A sign at the march in Rennes showing a number of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.
Image: Édouard Hue.

Manifestation en soutien à Charlie Hebdo et aux victimes des fusillades, Rennes, 2015-01-11-7.jpg

Rally in Rennes.
Image: Édouard Hue.

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Rally in Rennes.
Image: Pymouss.

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Rally at the Place Royale in Reims.
Image: G.Garitan.

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French flag projected on to the side of the National Gallery in London as a sign of solidarity.
Image: Simeon87.

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Signs, pens, sketch pads and cartoons left as a memorial in Trafalgar Square in London.
Image: Zefrog.

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A pen held up as part of the rally in London’s Trafalgar Square.
Image: Zefrog.

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A man holding both a French and American flag at a rally in Daley Plaza in Chicago.
Image: Stel Cape.

Cologne rally in support of the victims of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting-191954.jpg

A small rally in Cologne.
Image: Raimond Spekking.

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Candle lights at a rally in Moscow.
Image: Ilya Schurov.

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Snow-covered flowers and tributes outside the office of the French Ambassador in Moscow.
Image: Ilya Schurov.

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At the rally in Moscow.
Image: Ilya Schurov.

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Rally in Stockholm.
Image: Henrik M F.

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Rally in Stockholm.
Image: fcruse.

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A pencil in the snow at the Stockholm rally.
Image: fcruse.

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Rally in Vienna.
Image: Haeferl.

Je suis Charlie, Berlin 11 January 2015 (2).jpg

Rally in Berlin.
Image: Tim.

Je suis Charlie, Brussels 11 January 2015 (122).jpg

Rally in Brussels.
Image: Miguel Discart.



Related news

  • “Twelve dead in shooting at offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo” — Wikinews, January 7, 2015

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March 19, 2013

IOC visits Madrid as part of 2020 Olympic bid process

IOC visits Madrid as part of 2020 Olympic bid process

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Merchandising for the Madrid 2020 bid
Image: Donperfectodewiki.
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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission is in Madrid, Spain this week as part of the city’s bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Sir Craig Reedie of Great Britain is leading the IOC delegation, whom Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy greeted at the start of their inspection process. Of the fourteen-member bid delegation, five have been through this process before as part of the city’s failed bids for the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2016 Summer Olympics bids.

Buen Retiro park in Madrid
Image: Onanymous.

On a cold but sunny day yesterday, the IOC visited four sites on their first inspection date including Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Buen Retiro park and bullfighting ring Las Ventas. Today, the IOC is scheduled to visit the proposed venues for the Olympic village and stadium. The inspection is scheduled to last four days.

Inside of Santiago Bernabeu
Image: Chris Brown.

While at Santiago Bernabéu, IOC members met the Spanish national football team captain Iker Casillas and were given Real Madrid jerseys with their names on them.

As Spain is currently undergoing severe economic problems at the moment, with 26% unemployment currently and public debt in 2012 at 84% of the country’s gross domestic product, the 1.5bn (US$1.9bn, £1.3bn) costs of the Games have been a highly visible aspect of the city’s bid process. Security costs are estimated to add another €149m (US$192m, £127m) to organizing costs. Proponents of the bid including Madrid’s mayor Ana Botella believe the Games would provide an economic boost to the city and the country. IOC President Jacques Rogge is also on the record as stating that he does not believe Spanish economic problems will play a part in the IOC’s decision-making process. Spanish newspaper El Mundo quoted Rogge saying, “The crisis does not affect it, because substantial facilities have in most cases already been built. No major investment is needed”.

Botella outlined some of the costs, quoted by the Associated Press during the IOC visit saying, “The budget that remains for the construction of infrastructure, some 1.5 billion [euros] divided between the three administrations responsible and over a period of seven years, is a perfectly affordable amount.”

Local organizers have promised to follow the legacy of London, using historical landmarks and existing venues with 80% of proposed venues, 28 of 35, already in place, and providing a roadmap for future development of Olympic sites to avoid any “white elephants” that are unused after the Games, a situation that happened with a number of Athens Olympic venues. Madrid’s bid Chief Executive Victor Sánchez, quoted by Agence France-Presse, explained they avoided “[p]rojects that have no real use for citizens after the Games have finished. That is why we have given priority to existing infrastructures and then to other infrastructures that the city has a direct need for. Finally, where a future use cannot be guaranteed, we have opted for temporary solutions. Only three such temporary solutions will be used, while a mere four permanent facilities remain to be built. The result is lower costs, reduced environmental impact and less disruption to the everyday lives of the people of Madrid, all with government backing at central, regional and municipal level.”

Local organizers are preparing to cope with protesters trying to draw attention to Spain’s labor situation who planned to picket outside the Hotel Eurostars Madrid Tower where IOC members are staying. The planned protest is over cuts to the Municipal Government budget. Protesters did not picket yesterday, which was a holiday in Madrid. Bid organizers and the government feared potential strikes by people working for the public transport system. Botella explained to the media that protests and work stoppages should not be seen as evidence that Spaniards would not welcome the Games, but rather unhappiness with local economic issues, which Botella said the Games should help fix. Spain’s current unemployment level is the highest of any European country and the worst the country has faced since the 1970s. Botella’s view is supported by an IOC survey, which found 81% of Spaniards supported Madrid’s bid for the Games.

Madrid is one of three cities currently competing for the 2020 Games. The IOC visited Tokyo, Japan earlier this month and is scheduled to visit Istanbul, Turkey later this month. The host city is to be formally selected at a meeting of the IOC on September 7 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Shortly after that, Rogge is scheduled to step down from his position as IOC President.



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March 10, 2008

Socialists win second term as Spain\’s ruling party

Socialists win second term as Spain’s ruling party

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Monday, March 10, 2008

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain and leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party.

Mariano Rajoy, leader of the People’s Party.

In the 2008 Spanish general election held on Sunday, the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) has emerged as the winner for the second election in a row, edging out the more conservative People’s Party in a vote characterized by fears of a faltering economy and militant separatists.

With 93 percent of ballots counted, the Socialists, led by incumbent Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, had 43.8 percent of the vote, while the People’s Party, headed by former Interior Minister Mariano Rajoy, had 40.2 percent.

The Socialists are projected to win at least 168 of the 350 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, falling short of an absolute majority, which means they may have to rely on the backing of smaller parties to pass important legislation. The People’s Party is projected to win at least 154 seats.

“I have called the candidate of the Socialist Party and I have wished him luck for the good of Spain,” Rajoy said in his concession speech.

Cquote1.svg I will govern for all, but thinking above all of those who don’t have it all. Cquote2.svg

—José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero

“Thanks to all the citizens who have participated,” Zapatero said after his challenger conceded. “And thanks from my heart to the citizens who have, with their votes, given a clear victory to the Socialist Party.”

“We have worked hard, and it’s been worth the trouble,” he added. “I will govern by improving the things we did well and correcting our mistakes,” he added.

The economy was a large focus of the election, with the unemployment rate rising and inflation at a 12 year high. To ease concerns about the economy, Zapatero said action would be taken to help construction workers that had been laid off, and he promised a 400 euro ($615) tax cut for all workers. “I will govern for all, but thinking above all of those who don’t have it all,” Zapatero said.

On March 7, one day prior to the end of the official campaigning period, former Socialist politician Isaias Carrasco was shot to death in Spain’s Basque region. Zapatero blamed the murder on the ETA, a Basque separatist organization. “We know that ETA is defeated by democracy and repudiated by the Spanish people together and by Basque Society,” said Zapatero. “Its members have no other future than jail.”

At Carrasco’s funeral Saturday, his daughter called for a massive voter turnout as a way of condemning the ETA. The turnout was estimated to be around 75 percent, close to the record 75.66 percent in the 2004 elections. The newspaper El País commented, “Some are already beginning to put out the idea that a bigger Socialist win than predicted by the opinion polls will be due to the killing of Isaias Carrasco.”

The killing drew comparisons to the 2004 Madrid train bombings, which killed 191 people three days before the general election in which Zapatero came to power. The conservative government initially placed the blame on the ETA, despite evidence that the attack was done by Islamic extremists angered by Spain’s involvement in the Iraq War. One of Zapatero’s first acts as Prime Minister was withdrawing troops from Iraq.

During the campaign, Rajoy often criticized his Socialist rival for not doing enough to prevent terrorism and negotiate with the ETA. Zapatero’s failed peace talks with the ETA, which ended with the separatists setting off a car bomb at a Madrid airport, became a highly debated issue in the election.

In his 4 years as president, Zapatero’s government has enacted social reforms that include legalizing gay marriage, allowing for quicker divorces, and promoting gender equality. These policies conflicted with the views of the Roman Catholic Church, and in December, Catholics staged a mass protest against the government in Madrid.



Related news

  • “Spanish Prime Minster condemns killing of Spanish councillor” — Wikinews, March 7, 2008
  • “Spanish councillor shot and killed in the Basque Country” — Wikinews, March 7, 2008

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March 7, 2008

Spanish Prime Minster condemns killing of Spanish councillor

Spanish Prime Minster condemns killing of Spanish councillor

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Friday, March 7, 2008

ETA incidents
Location of Basque Country, an autonomous community in Spain.
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Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, or ETA, is a Basque nationalist paramilitary organization active in Spain and France. The organization’s goal is sovereignty for Basque Country and it uses both political and violent means to further its cause.

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The Spanish Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, agreed with the leader of the Partido Popular (PP), Mariano Rajoy, to cancel the closing events of the General Election campaign, and returned to Madrid from Málaga where he was told of the news during a political rally.

Zapatero spoke to members of the victims family ahead of making a statement from the Moncloa Palace in Madrid at 5pm this evening. He also spoke to the President of the Basque Parliament, Juan José Ibarretxe.

Zapatero told the press that the “ETA is defeated by democracy,” and that the Government wants to roundly manifest that those who took part in the shooting will be arrested shortly, and to express its solidarity with the family and companions of Isaías, in both the PSE Basque Socialist Party and in the UGT trade union.

“Those who carried out this attack will be found guilty,” he said, “just as others had been for carrying out other attacks. The Government will put all its determination and resources to that. Today they have added one more victim to their list of disgrace.”

Zapatero continued, “We know that ETA is defeated by democracy and repudiated by the Spanish people together and by Basque Society. Its members have no other future than jail.” He added that the terrorists had wanted to interfere in the pacific process of the citizens being called to the polling booths, and said that the Spanish democracy would not be challenged by those who fight against its basic principles.

In his first comment since the shooting, the PP leader, Mariano Rajoy, said “Everybody knows what I am thinking. ETA must lose all hope of achieving their political objectives.” He said the only possibility for ETA is to disappear. He expressed his solidarity with the family.

Spanish Interior Minister, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, has commented that ETA ‘will never manage to crush Spanish society’.




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  • “Spanish councillor shot and killed in the Basque Country” — Wikinews, March 7, 2008

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June 29, 2006

Zapatero announces peace talks with Basque separatists, ETA

Filed under: AutoArchived,Mariano Rajoy,Politics and conflicts,Spain — admin @ 5:00 am

Zapatero announces peace talks with Basque separatists, ETA

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Location of Basque Country, an autonomous community in the country of Spain

“The Government is going to initiate talks with ETA” said Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero in a televised speech to Parliament, Thursday.

The historic announcement meant Mr Zapatero’s Socialist-led government were set to begin peace talks with the Basque separatist group ETA for the first time in Spain’s history.

“The process is going to be long, tough and difficult. We’ll handle it with determination and prudence, with unity and loyalty and always with respect to the memory of the victims,” said Mr Zapatero.

At a news conference Mr Zapatero said the proposed talks would discuss the dismantling of ETA’s organisation and the 500 ETA prisoners in Spanish jails but not Basque independence. “Democracy will not pay any political price to achieve peace,” Mr Zapatero said.

The Spanish opposition Popular Party did not give their full support for Mr Zapatero’s peace bid. They particularly objected to talks with Batasuna, the political front of ETA. “Any normal person understands you can’t negotiate with someone whose negotiating weapon is as powerful and hard to argue with as a pistol,” said Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy.

ETA had been fighting a terrorist war since Franco’s era until it announced a permanent ceasefire March 22, 2006. The group was responsible for 817 deaths over its 38-year campaign while staking its claim for territory in northern Spain and south-western France.

ETA says the motivation for talks is so the Basque people get to decide their own future.

Their request last week came after three months of ceasefire. Though ETA had not killed since 2003 it had continued to explode bombs and extort money from businesses.

It is thought a six-year police crackdown on militants and opinion polls that suggested not all Basques wanted independence made violence a counter-productive strategy for ETA. Violence also had become associated with September 11, 2001 and the 2004 Madrid bombings.

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April 4, 2005

Venezuela buys more weapons, now from Spain

Venezuela buys more weapons, now from Spain

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Monday, April 4, 2005

LocationVenezuela.png

The Spanish government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has reached an agreement with Venezuela for the sale of 10 C-295 medium transport military airplanes, two CN-235 Persuader maritime vigilance airplanes, and eleven ships, eight of them exclusively for military use.

The total value of the sales is about 1,3 billion euros. The agreement represents the biggest military sale ever made by Spain.

Several political and Spanish newspapers criticized Zapatero’s decision. Mariano Rajoy, PP party leader, labeled the decision “a monstrous mistake”. The Spanish newspaper Diario de Sevilla editorialized that “the destination of the weapon bought legally on the international market should not fraudulently go to armed, terrorist, and paramilitary groups, etc, that could use them unduly.”

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said that “the weapons are not instruments of war but instruments of peace”. According to Chávez, the ships will be used to step up Venezuela’s coastal patrols against the drug trade.

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