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April 30, 2012

French journalists claim Gaddafi promised Sarkozy campaign €50 million

French journalists claim Gaddafi promised Sarkozy campaign €50 million

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Monday, April 30, 2012

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French news website Mediapart has published a document it says shows the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi pledged French President Nicolas Sarkozy 50 million (£42 million) to fund his 2007 election campaign.

Sarkozy, who gained power in that election, is now fighting a reelection bid but lagging behind socialist opposition leader Francois Hollande in opinion polls. A run-off election is scheduled for May 6.

Sarkozy and Gaddafi are among the world leaders seen here at the G8 summit in 2009.

Had the deal gone ahead it would have breached French law, which bans political donations of such magnitude. Although the Arabic document, apparently signed by Libya’s then-foreign intelligence head Mussa Kussa, dates to 2006 and does not indicate any cash was actually handed over, some reports claim money was laundered via Panama and Switzerland.

Sarkozy spokeswoman Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said the claims were “ridiculous” and invented by Hollande supporters. She said Sarkozy’s election finances were vetted at the time. Hollande spokesman Bernard Cazeneuve said Sarkozy must now “explain himself to the French in the face of such serious elements backed up by new documents emanating from the entourage of the Libyan dictator himself.”

It is not the first time such allegations have been made. As France backed an uprising which ultimately toppled Gaddafi, the Libyan ruler’s son Seif al-Islam last year made the same claim. Mediapart in March published allegations from a doctor who used to treat a local arms dealer, who said his patient had organised such a donation. Sarkozy himself said the suggestion was “grotesque”.

The newly-released document states as present Libya’s head of African investment, Bashir Saleh; Sarkozy ally Brice Hortefeux; Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi; and arms dealer Ziad Takieddine. It is dated October 6, 2006 and discusses an “agreement in principle to support the campaign for the candidate for the presidential elections, Nicolas Sarkozy, for a sum equivalent to €50 million.”

Hortefeux has denied ever meeting Kussa or Saleh.

Mediapart is a respected left-wing investigative website. It is generally viewed as opposing Sarkozy’s right-wing regime. It claims money was laundered via accounts including one in the name of Sarkozy’s political party’s head’s sister, and says governmental briefing notes indicate regular funding trips to and from Libya. Mediapart says its sources are “former senior officials now in hiding.”

When al-Islam first made his claims, he said “Sarkozy must first give back the money he took from Libya to finance his electoral campaign. We funded it and we have all the details and are ready to reveal everything.” Sarkozy was dismissive when interviewed this year on TF1, saying “I am sorry to see you in the role of a spokeswoman for Gaddafi’s son, frankly I’ve known you in better roles… I am sorry that I am being interrogated about declarations of Gaddafi or his son on an important channel like TF1. When one quotes Mr Gaddafi, who is dead, his son, who has blood on his hands, that is a regime of dictators, assassins, whose credibility is zero… frankly, I think we have sunk low enough in the political debate.”

An investigation is already ongoing into Takieddine. Takieddine is accused of illegally financing Edouard Balladur in an unsuccessful presidential bid in 1995. Sarkozy, who was spokesman for that campaign, denies wrongdoing in relation to it. It is suspected Balladur received kickback bribes from Pakistan in a submarine sale. Investigators believe eleven French engineers were killed in a bomb attack orchestrated as Pakistani revenge revenge for bribe non-payment.

Kosciusko-Morizet suggests Hollande’s supporters arranged the new claims to coincide with allegations made by former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Strauss-Kahn fell from favour after a well-publicised sexual encounter with a hotel maid in the US and last week claimed Sarkozy arranged for allegations to be made in order to prevent Strauss-Kahn running against him for president.

“If he had financed it, I wasn’t very grateful,” Sarkozy said previously about the allegations. France played an active role in Gaddafi’s downfall last year, providing military support to a NATO mission against the Libyan ruler.



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January 28, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: January 28, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: January 28, 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: January 28, 2012

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A compilation of brief news reports for Saturday, January 28, 2012.

If you believe any of these stories deserves more in-depth coverage, feel free to write a full article on the issues raised.

EU official resigns over anti-piracy treaty

Rapporteur to the European Parliament Kader Arif has resigned yesterday in protest over the signing of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) by 22 members of the European Union on Thursday. He said “I will not participate in this masquerade.”

Reaction to the signing treaty, which has still to be ratified, was strong in Poland; thousands protested in Poznan and Lublin, and in the Polish Parliament members of the Palikot’s Movement donned Guy Fawkes masks in protest.

The European Commission website maintains that “Anything you can do legally today is still legal after the ratification of ACTA.”



French troops to end Afghan combat role a year early in 2013

Speaking yesterday after a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced France will end its Afghan combat missions in 2013 — a year earlier than planned.

Following the death of four French soldiers at the hands of an Afghan soldier last week, Sarkozy had threatened early withdrawal of French troops.



United States and Philippines discuss enhanced defense cooperation

The United States and the Philippines are discussing the possibility of enhanced defense cooperation, according to officials of both countries. However, there are no plans for bases along the lines of the former United States bases at Subic Bay and Clark Air Base.

The talks come in the context of a shift of United States strategic focus toward Asia, and Chinese claims in the South China Sea.





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May 3, 2011

World leaders react to death of Osama bin Laden

World leaders react to death of Osama bin Laden

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

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Cquote1.svg Osama bin Laden suggested that he was operating in the name of Islam, but in reality he makes a mockery of the fundamental values of his own and every other religion. Cquote2.svg

—Angela Merkel

Leaders and officals around the world have issued varied reactions to the announcement that Osama bin Laden has been killed during a U.S. military operation in Pakistan. NATO has insisted it will continue fighting against militants in Afghanistan, and the United Nations said the death of bin Laden marked a “watershed moment in our common global fight against terrorism.”

Announcing that the al-Qaeda leader had been killed by U.S. special forces during a forty-minute raid on a compound in Abbottabad, near the capital Islamabad, U.S. President Barack Obama said it was “a good day for America.” Speaking at a ceremony to celebrate winners of the Medal of Honor, Obama praised the “anonymous heroes” who took part in the operation. He said: “We may not always know their names, we may not always know their stories, but they are always there on the front lines of freedom and we are truly blessed. As commander-in-chief, I could not be prouder of our men and women in uniform.”

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the chief of NATO, vowed the organization would remain fighting in Afghanistan despite the death of bin Laden. “As terrorism continues to pose a direct threat to our security and international stability, international cooperation remains key and NATO is at the heart of that cooperation,” he said in a statement. “NATO allies and partners will continue their mission to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for extremism, but develops in peace and security.”

The U.N. and the European Parliament also welcomed the news. Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. secretary general, said: “The death of Osama bin Laden, announced by President Obama last night, is a watershed moment in our common global fight against terrorism. The crimes of al-Qaeda touched most continents, bringing tragedy and loss of life to thousands of men, women and children.”

Barack Obama announces the news that bin Laden had been killed. He said it was “a good day for America.”
Image: White House.

David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, said the news “will be welcomed right across our country” and was a “massive step forward,” but warned the death of bin Laden “does not mark the end of the threat we face from extremist terror.” Italian Prime Minster Silvio Berlusconi said: “This is a great outcome in the fight against evil, in the fight against terrorism, a great outcome for the United States and for all democracies”.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said the killing of bin Laden was a “decisive strike” at al-Qaeda. “At his command and in his name, terror was enforced into many countries against men women and children, Christians as well as Muslims,” she said. “Osama bin Laden suggested that he was operating in the name of Islam, but in reality he makes a mockery of the fundamental values of his own and every other religion.”

Several Asian countries also said bin Laden’s death was a step forward in the war against terrorism. Chinese spokeswoman Jiang Yu said “China has taken note of the announcement. We believe the death of Osama bin Laden is a milestone and a positive development for the international anti-terrorism efforts.” Japan, Malaysia and Singapore also welcomed the news.

Australia pledged not to withdraw forces from Afghanistan after the announcement. “Osama bin Laden declared war on innocent people and today he has paid the price for that declaration,” Julia Gillard, the Prime Minister, said. “The mission in Afghanistan will continue,” she added, saying al-Qaeda “will continue”. Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France, said bin Laden was a “promoter of the ideology of hatred and was the chief of a terrorist organization responsible for the deaths of thousands of victims, especially in Muslim countries,” and “justice has been done” for the victims of al-Qaeda attacks.



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May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden killed in U.S. operation in Pakistan, White House says

Osama bin Laden killed in U.S. operation in Pakistan, White House says

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Monday, May 2, 2011

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File photograph of Osama bin Laden.
Image: FBI.

U.S. officials last night said Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader and orchestrator of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and embassy bombings in 1998, had been killed by U.S. special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan near the capital Islamabad.

White House officials say that four others were killed in the forty-minute raid that began at 2000 UTC yesterday—including a woman said to have been used as a human shield. One of those shot is thought to be bin Laden’s son. An American helicopter was lost due to mechanical failure, but no U.S. forces or civilians were killed.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced the news in a statement late last night. “I can report to the American people and to the world, that the U.S. has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden,” Obama said. He confirmed he had been told in August of a lead to the location of bin Laden, and approved the operation last week. The operation involved a “small team of Americans”, Obama said.

The operation, led by the CIA, occurred nearly ten years after the 9/11 attacks. CIA director Leon Panetta notified U.S. legislators Sunday about the news. His body was verified using several methods, including DNA testing with DNA from a dead sister’s body, stored in a Boston, Massachusetts hospital, as well as facial recognition. However, staff at the hospital in question—Massachusetts General Hospital—have not been able to “find any evidence” of the body ever being stored there. U.S. officials said his body was then buried at sea at around 0600 UTC today, “in accordance with Islamic law and traditions” and because of the difficulty of finding a country that would accept the remains of the world’s most wanted man. Saudi Arabia, the country in which Osama bin Laden was born, refused a U.S. offer to take the body.

Celebrations in U.S.; European Parliament says world is ‘safer’

Following the President’s announcement, people started gathering in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., Times Square and Ground Zero—the site of the World Trade Center—in New York, to celebrate; singing the national anthem. Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, said he hoped the death of bin Laden would “bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001”.

The U.S. government is reportedly expecting al-Qaeda to soon release what they are likely to call a “martyr tape”—an audio recording made by bin Laden to be broadcast after his death.

Although the death of the 54-year-old bin Laden, who was the most wanted person in the world, was greeted with celebration in the U.S., analysts have warned that al-Qaeda will “undoubtedly” launch a retaliatory attack. “I think the significance of what has happened cannot really be overstated,” John Gearson, director of the Centre for Defence Studies at King’s College London, said.

President Obama’s announcement of the news.

“There will be concerns that there could be some sort of retaliation, that al-Qaeda may well want to demonstrate that they are still strong and still in the game.” He warned that U.S. officials may “lose their focus” after such a major victory, “and that will provide an opportunity for the remnants of al-Qaeda to reform and grow stronger.”

Cquote1.svg I can report to the American people and to the world, that the U.S. has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden. Cquote2.svg

—Barack Obama

Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Secretary of State, appealed to Islamic militant fighters to use the opportunity of bin Laden’s death to abandon their groups. “Our message to the Taliban remains the same, but today it may have even greater resonance: you cannot wait us out,” she said. “You cannot defeat us. But you can make the choice to abandon Al Qaeda and cooperate in a peaceful political process.”

The president of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, said that “we have waken up in a safer world”, with the news bringing “safety to millions of people”, whilst U.S. senator John McCain sought to remind the American people to “be mindful that al-Qaeda and its terrorist allies are still lethal and determined enemies”. The Kremlin reiterated that “revenge is inescapable for all terrorists”, and that “only a joint struggle against global terrorism can bring a result”.

The United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, sought to remind people bin Laden was “the world’s most prominent leader”, going on to say that “it was of great importance that he was still alive and active, and it is unequivocally a good thing that he is no longer able to pursue terror, murder and mayhem in the world”. Mentioning that security at British embassies worldwide have been increased in the wake of the news, he reiterated that the death of the al-Qaeda leader was a “serious blow”, and that, “like any organisation that has suffered a serious blow, they will want to show in some way that they are still able to operate”.

Americans gather at Ground Zero—the site of the World Trade Center—in New York to celebrate the death of bin Laden.
Image: rxb.

Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France, welcomed the news, along with many other European countries. He praised the “tenacity” of the U.S. attack, congratulating the “major blow” the move dealt to al-Qaeda. Eight French citizens were killed last week in a bomb blast in Marrakesh, and, although no group has yet claimed responsibility, it is speculated that al-Qaeda were behind the attack. Sarkozy paid homage to them, as well as other around the world, saying the “victims received justice today and France has thoughts for them and their families”.

Cquote1.svg It is unequivocally a good thing that he is no longer able to pursue terror, murder and mayhem in the world. Cquote2.svg

—William Hague, British Foreign Secretary

Pakistani involvement

Pakistani officials were not informed of the planned raid, with the White House saying this was “essential to the security of the operation and our personnel”. However Obama emphasised that cooperation with Pakistan had helped in finding bin Laden. The operation, described by one senior White House official as “a surgical raid by a small team designed to minimise collateral damage”, was not intended to take bin Laden alive. “It was a kill mission”, said one security official. Bin Laden died after being shot in the head.

Witnesses in Abbottabad have described how the U.S. forces carried out the raid on the compound, which had significant security features, including walls up to 18-foot high topped with barbed wire. “We saw four helicopters at around 2am. We were told to switch off lights of our homes and stay inside,” one witness, who lives in the town of Bilal in Abbottabad, said. The man confirmed he had seen the wreckage of the U.S. military helicopter which crashed after experiencing mechanical difficulties.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the U.S. “operation was conducted [by] U.S. forces in accordance with declared U.S. policy that Osama bin Laden will be eliminated in a direct action by the U.S. forces, wherever found in the world”, noting that almost “30,000 Pakistani civilians” had been killed in terrorist attacks in recent years, with the “nation fully united in [its] resolve to eliminate terrorism”.

Cquote1.svg We saw four helicopters at around 2am. We were told to switch off lights of our homes and stay inside. Cquote2.svg

—Witness in Abbottabad, Pakistan

However, Pervez Musharraf, a former president of Pakistan, criticised the U.S. involvement, describing the operation as a “violation of [Pakistani] sovereignty,” and saying the raid was a “a failure of both Pakistani and U.S. intelligence”; he stressed it would have been “far better” if the Pakistani Special Services Group had carried out the attack. Musharraf went on to say he was “surprised” bin Laden was found in Abbottabad, but added the terrorist leader “had declared war against Pakistan”, and that the news came as a “victory for the people of Pakistan and all the peace loving people of the world”.

The news that bin Laden was hiding just a few hundred metres from Pakistan Military Academy, a similar institution to the U.S. West Point Academy or the UK Sandhurst, has been met with embarrassment on behalf of the Pakistani government, and scepticism from others. “This is a serious blow to the credibility of Pakistan”, according to one Pakistani security analyst. Earlier today, Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai maintained he knew bin Laden was in Pakistan: “For 10 years we told NATO and the world community but for ten years they didn’t listen to our voice. They burned Afghanistan for ten years but Osama was in Islamabad.”

Photograph of Obama and his national security team awaiting updates on the strike mission, yesterday.
Image: The White House.

Whilst many governments worldwide welcomed the death of bin Laden, more than 800 people marched in the Pakistani city of Quetta, paying homage to bin Laden and burning a U.S. flag. According to the organizer, “Bin Laden was the hero of the Muslim world and after his martyrdom he has won the title of great mujahed“. At the march, pro-Taliban and anti-United States sentiments were chanted, before the protesters dispersed peacefully.

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan have denied that bin Laden has been killed, although in a conference call to several Pakistani media outlets, a rebel spoksperson threatened to seek revenge: “If Bin Laden attained martyrdom, then we will avenge his death and we will attack the governments of Pakistan and the United States and their security forces”.

Although no images of bin Laden’s body have been released, the Obama administration is, according to ABC News, in possession of gruesome photographs: a “massive head wound” where he took a bullet, with “blood and brains clearly visible”.

The price of oil has dropped following the announcement after speculation that the death of bin Laden will lower the risk of supply disruption in the Middle East, with a barrel of crude oil for June delivery falling by $1.92.



Related news

  • “”Osama to Obama”: Bin Laden addresses US President” — Wikinews, January 25, 2010
  • “Pakistani prime minister says Osama Bin Laden not in the country” — Wikinews, December 3, 2009

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March 17, 2011

Libyan rebels and Gaddafi troops in battle on two fronts

Libyan rebels and Gaddafi troops in battle on two fronts

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

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Libyan government forces and rebel fighters have been fighting in two different cities Wednesday, in both the east and west of the country.

Fighting was reported in the cities of Ajdabiya, an eastern city that is the last settlement before Benghazi, the main rebel location, and in Misrata, the only town still controlled by rebels in western Libya. Rebels claimed to have held off government troops in both cities, though dozens of people are reported dead in the latest violence.

Control of Ajdabiya has reportedly shifted between government and rebel troops in the past two days. Government forces apparently captured the city during the day on Tuesday, but retreated by evening. On Wednesday, the city was under attack by airplanes, tanks and mortars. At the end of the day, the rebels still appeared to control much of the city.

According to a doctor in the city, at least 26 people have died in Ajdabiya in the past two days. On Tuesday, Libyan state TV reported that Ajdabiya was “totally controlled and is being cleansed of armed gangs.” However, a rebel official later said that “[t]here’s heavy, sustained tank shelling and earlier there were air strikes, but now the revolutionaries managed to take seven tanks from those dogs and, God willing, we will succeed.”

Rebel leaders also claimed that warplanes and a helicopter under their command had been involved in the fighting, and said they had superior weapons than government forces. Outside the city, however, government forces were reported to be amassing several hundred troops, as well as increasing supplies of ammunition and weaponry.

In Misrata, rebels claim that they had repelled government forces using tanks and other artillery weapons, though this could not be confirmed. Eleven people are reported to have died on Wednesday in Misrata.

International diplomatic efforts to resolve the situation continue. French president Nicolas Sarkozy wrote to the UN Security Council in support of a proposed resolution that includes the establishment of a no-fly zone in Libya. The international community is still split on the idea of military intervention, though; while the Arab League supports a no-fly zone, a G8 meeting on Tuesday ended without support for the idea.



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March 11, 2011

France first to recognise Libyan rebels as \”legitimate representatives of the people\”

France first to recognise Libyan rebels as “legitimate representatives of the people”

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Friday, March 11, 2011

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  • 15 September 2014: Libya accuse Qatar of intervening on side of rebels
  • 7 September 2014: Libya accuse Sudan of arming ‘terrorist group’
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Flag of the former Kingdom of Libya, which the National Transitional Council and the Libyan opposition in general has adopted as their flag.

France became the first country to formally recognize a newly formed Libyan opposition council as the “legitimate representative of the Libyan people.” The office of French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday it will send ambassadors to the rebel stronghold in Benghazi, and in return the Libyan opposition council will set up an embassy in Paris.

The decision was made after President Sarkozy met with two representatives of the opposition group, the National Transitional Council, in Paris. Mustafa Gheriani, a representative for the Libyan opposition, said he expected other EU members to follow Sarkozy’s lead. Other EU members expressed uneasiness, and declined to meet with the two representatives.

Although the EU has approved tighter sanctions in response to Muammar Gaddafi’s bloody crackdown on the opposition, EU members held back from endorsing a specific opposition group. Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal, whose government still maintains an embassy in Tripoli, cautioned, “There is not yet enough clarity about these opposition groups in and around Benghazi”. Baroness Ashton, spokesman for the EU foreign affairs chief, stated: “We cannot unilaterally rush into recognising groups.” Other members expressed the need for the EU to speak in a unified voice.

Contact between EU officials and opposition leaders is occurring. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he had spoken by telephone with Mahmoud Jabril, special envoy of the Libyan Transitional National Council, before he left for NATO talks in Brussels on the Libyan situation. The talks planned to include a discussion of a no-fly zone over Libya.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she plans to meet with Libyan opposition members on her trip to Egypt and Tunisia next week.



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February 26, 2011

France calls on Libyan leader to step down

France calls on Libyan leader to step down

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

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  • 16 February 2015: Islamic State execute 21 Coptic Christians held in Libya
  • 15 September 2014: Libya accuse Qatar of intervening on side of rebels
  • 7 September 2014: Libya accuse Sudan of arming ‘terrorist group’
  • 28 August 2014: US says Egypt and UAE responsible for air attacks on Tripoli
  • 24 August 2014: Renegade General’s forces claim responsibility for aerial attacks on Tripoli
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French president Nicolas Sarkozy

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has stated during a news conference that Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi “must leave,” calling the leader to step down. His comments were made during a press conference with the Turkish president Abdullah Gül in Ankara. Sarkozy also stated that military action to remove Gaddafi isn’t ruled out.

“Our stance is clear. Mr Gaddafi must go. The systematic violence against the Libyan people is unacceptable and will be the subject of investigations and sanctions. Regarding a military intervention … France would consider any initiative of this type with extreme caution and reserve,” said Sarkozy. The United Kingdom is also calling for an arms embargo along with an investigation into war crimes be conducted against Gaddafi.

Sarkozy’s call on Gaddafi to step down comes after violence on Friday alone has left at least five people dead in Tripoli, the capitol of Libya, when security personnel fired on demonstrators. At least 500 people are suspected to have been killed in Tripoli with over 2,000 injured. Gunshots were heard in several parts of the city on Friday. Navi Pillay, head of the human rights division of the United Nations says thousands in Libya could have been killed since the uprising began. Human Rights Watch puts the death toll at 300.

“We think this needs to be brought to the International Criminal Court. We also think that people who still cooperate with Gadhafi should be punished,” added Sarkozy.

Reports say security forces loyal to Gaddafi have used rocket propelled grenades, snipers, anti aircraft guns and foreign mercenaries to repel protesters. Gaddafi blames Osama bin Laden and people on hallucinogenic drugs for the mass protests in the country. “(The protesters’) ages are 17. They give them pills at night, they put hallucinatory pills in their drinks, their milk, their coffee, their Nescafe,” he said on Thursday.

In a speech that aired on Libyan State TV today, Gaddafi said to supporters in Green Square in Tripoli, “We can defeat any aggression if necessary and arm the people. Prepare to defend the nation and defend the oil. [We can] retaliate against them [the opposition]. You, the youth, be comfortable… dance, sing, stay up all night.”



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November 14, 2010

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon resigns

Filed under: Archived,Europe,France,Nicolas Sarkozy,Politics and conflicts — admin @ 5:00 am

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon resigns

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

French Prime Minister François Fillon
Image: Remi Jouan.

The French Prime Minister, François Fillon, resigned yesterday which will allow President Nicolas Sarkozy to reshuffle his cabinet.

The resignation took place weeks after the French parliament passed controversial pension reform. France 3 television’s senior foreign political analyst, Christian Mallard, said “Fillon’s resignation gives Sarkozy the opportunity to shake up the current leadership of some ministries.”

However Mallard, along with many others believe that it is very possible that Sarkozy will reinstate Fillon and that the Prime Minister resigned so that Sarkozy could switch some of his ministers in order to gain conservative support in the 2012 general elections. Earlier yesterday Sarkozy and Fillon were engaged in a meeting and according to President Sarkoy’s office, “[t]he president has accepted this resignation.”

The resignation might also see a reduction from 24 ministers to 16 according to Mallard.



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June 20, 2010

Sarkozy in UK to mark historic de Gaulle war broadcast

Sarkozy in UK to mark historic de Gaulle war broadcast

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Charles de Gaulle during the Second World War

But has the last word been said? Must hope disappear? Is defeat final? No!
—Charles de Gaulle broadcast

Nicolas Sarkozy visited the UK today to celebrate the 70th anniversary since Charles de Gaulle made his war broadcast. The French president and the Prince of Wales laid wreaths at the statue of Charles de Gaulle in London.

Earlier, Mr Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni visited the BBC radio studio where the famous broadcast was made on BBC France. The broadcast at the time was said to have been listened to by a very small number of listeners. Carla Bruni and Nicolas Sarkozy unveiled a plaque and viewed a tapestry given to the BBC by France as a note of gratitude after World War II.

Nicolas Sarkozy and British PM David Cameron met with 200 veterans during a ceremony at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Nicolas Sarkozy awarded the Légion d’honneur to six World War II veterans, three of whom were British.

In a short speech, Mr Cameron said the anniversary was a “reminder that Britain and France are not just neighbours in the geographical sense but also in the emotional sense.” Mr Cameron held an hour of talks with the French president at Downing Street primarily focusing on economics, Afghanistan and other foreign policy matters. The visit is the first by a French president to mark Gen de Gaulle’s broadcast on 18 June 1940. In the stirring radio appeal, Gen de Gaulle declared himself leader of the “Free French”, spawning the French Resistance, which went on to play a crucial role in defeating the Germans.

Mr Sarkozy’s last official visit to the UK was in March 2008, when he was also accompanied by his wife.



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January 10, 2010

Wikinews Shorts: January 10, 2010

Wikinews Shorts: January 10, 2010 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: January 10, 2010

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A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, January 10, 2010.

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Croatian president pardons convicted war criminal

File photo of Stjepan Mesić

Outgoing Croatian president Stjepan Mesić pardoned 36-year-old Siniša Rimac, a convicted war criminal, jailed for eight years for participating in executions of Serb civilians back in 1991, when Croatia was at war with Serb forces. Among other crimes, he is guilty of killing a 12-year old girl. At that time he was part of a military unit led by Tomislav Merčep, who was never prosecuted.

Rimac’s jail term was shortened by one year, following president Mesić’s decision.

Serbian president Boris Tadić described the act as “anti-european” and “anti-civilisational” that cannot be justified.

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Saudi Arabian court commutes Canadian’s death sentence

Mohamed Kohail, a Canadian resident convicted after a deadly school fight in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia will not be executed as originally sentenced. The country’s highest court, the Supreme Council, cancelled the death sentence but ordered that Kohail face retrial in the case. The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade confirmed this development on Saturday.

Kohail’s younger brother Sultan is also charged in this case and could also be sentenced to death as his case was moved from the youth court to the adult system. Both brothers deny that they had caused the death of Munzer Haraki during the 2007 brawl.

Wikipedia
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Kohail brother murder case
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Thousands attend murdered Ottawa police officer’s funeral

More than 4,000 police officers attended the funeral of Constable Ireneusz “Eric” Czapnik in Ottawa, Ontario on Thursday. Czapnik was stabbed to death outside the Ottawa Hospital’s Civic campus the previous Tuesday while completing paperwork at his vehicle. He was the first Ottawa police officer to be killed on duty since 1983.

Kevin Gregson, a suspended RCMP officer, is charged in connection with Czapnik’s murder.

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Gunman opens fire at ABB Factory in St Louis, Missouri

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
2010 ABB plant shootings

At 6:30a.m. Friday local time (1230 UTC) a gunman entered an ABB factory in St. Louis, Missouri, and began shooting. At this time it appears that he had killed three and injured five others, then himself. St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom says, “”We are very confident that this is the shooter.” Reports say that there were two bodies found on the outside of the factory and two bodies, including that of the shooter, found on the interior.

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Sarkozy wins fraud case; awarded one Euro

File photo of Sarkozy

A French court ruled in favor of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in a fraud case where fraudsters stole money from his bank accounts. He was awarded one Euro (US$1.43, ₤0.89) in damages.

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Creator of Gumby, Art Clokey, dies at age 88

File:Gumby and Pokey – Bendable Figures.jpg

Gumby and Pokey figurines
Image: Bridget DeVries.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

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Art Clokey

Art Clokey, a pioneer in the field of claymation, died Friday due to chronic disease. Clokey was well know for one of the characters he created, Gumby.

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