French court bans couple from using ‘ñ’ in baby’s name

A pupil tags a name to a board with the class members' names on the first day of the new school year, in this September 4, 2017 photo, in Quimper, western France. (AFP)
Updated 14 September 2017
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French court bans couple from using ‘ñ’ in baby’s name

BREST, FRANCE: A French court on Wednesday banned a couple from giving their baby a name containing a tilde, ruling that the “n with a squiggle over it” was incompatible with national law.
The couple from Brittany wanted to call their newborn baby boy Fañch, a traditional name in the northwestern region which has its own language.
“The principle according to which babies’ names are chosen by their mothers and fathers must have limits when it comes to using a spelling which includes a character unrecognized by the French language,” the court in the town of Quimper said in its judgment.
Fañch is a name borne notably by two Breton writers, Fañch Peru and Fañch Broudig.
The tilde, an “n” with a small sideways “s” written over it, is commonly used in Spanish.
An official in Quimper had initially refused to write “Fañch” on the baby’s birth certificate, before changing their mind a few days later.
Born in May, the baby already has an ID card and passport with the tilda on it.
His furious father Jean-Christophe Bernard said the battle wasn’t over.
“He will have his tilde, that’s for sure,” Bernard said.
“When? We don’t know. We’ll see with a lawyer and with the town hall what we can do.”


Power cuts from Iran: Afghan traders lose millions of dollars

Updated 57 min 43 sec ago
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Power cuts from Iran: Afghan traders lose millions of dollars

  • Years of low rain and snowfall have led to a drought in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan where temperatures have risen in recent months
  • People in Herat and Nimroz are facing lots of problems from production

KABUL: Sustained power cuts from Iran have badly affected everyday life in Afghanistan’s western Herat province, where traders have lost millions of dollars as a result, Afghan officials said on Saturday.
An Afghan delegation was set to travel on Saturday to Iran to discuss the power shedding which began more than 10 days ago. Iranian officials cited growing warm weather as the reason, saying the country has also cut exports of electricity to Pakistan and Iraq.
Total power imports from Iran for Herat and Nimroz stand at 100 megawatts.
Herat, the second largest city in Afghanistan with an industrial park consisting of scores of factories, has taken the brunt of the power cuts, according Ahmad Khadem, an official for the chambers of commerce.
The Afghan officials described the load shedding as a violation of the agreement struck with Iran.
“People have been suffering a lot. People in Herat and Nimroz are facing lots of problems from production. Poultry and other businesses have lost millions,” said Wahidullah Tawhidi, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s national power company.
Jailani Farhad, a spokesman for Herat’s governor, told Arab News that local authorities have activated two tribunes of Salma Dam in Herat to cover part of the load shedding.
Afghanistan relies on imports of power from Central Asia and Iran.
Years of low rain and snowfall have led to a drought in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan where temperatures have risen in recent months, pushing the need for electricity in the summer hot season in the region.