Hollande defends ban on Gaza rally after violence

Updated 21 July 2014

Hollande defends ban on Gaza rally after violence

PARIS: France’s prime minister on Sunday defended a controversial decision to ban a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Paris that went ahead anyway and descended into violence.
The rally Saturday in a northern district of the French capital was initially peaceful, but scores of men later clashed with riot police, throwing stones and bottles at security forces who responded with tear gas, sending locals and tourists scurrying.
“What happened again yesterday in Paris — unacceptable unrest — justifies all the more the brave choice by the interior ministry to ban a demonstration,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Sunday.
Just hours after his comments, a rally in the Paris suburb town of Sarcelles that had also initially been banned ended in chaos as several cars were burnt, others had their windows smashed and young protesters lit firecrackers and smoke bombs.
Early Sunday evening, tensions were still high in the town, with riot police blocking access to the local synagogue, where a group of young vigilantes stood armed with clubs and iron bars, one of them flying an Israeli flag.



The decision to ban the rallies in Paris and Sarcelles were taken out of fear of unrest and amid concern that the Jewish community would be targeted after protesters last weekend tried to storm two synagogues in the French capital.
But the move was met with controversy, particularly after protests that were allowed to take place over the weekend in other cities went ahead peacefully.
Organisers have defiantly called for another rally in the French capital on Saturday, starting at 1300 GMT in the central Republic Square.
The Israeli offensive has stoked passions in France, which has the largest Muslim population in western Europe as well as a 500,000-strong Jewish community.
It has highlighted divisions within French society, a Jewish community increasingly concerned over anti-Semitism, French people of north African descent who include a growing radical Islamic fringe, and far-left activists whose opposition to Israeli policies sometimes verges on anti-Semitism.
Speaking as he commemorated the anniversary of the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup, a mass arrest of Jews in Paris on July 16 and 17, 1942 , Valls warned of “a new form of anti-Semitism.”


Fadli Zon, vice secretary general of Probowo’s Gerindra party, said they had evidence of many instances of cheating.
“We ask the election committee to solve this problem with recounting,” Zon told reporters.
“We will not accept (it),” he said, of the result, adding that the announcement should be delayed until the problem had been resolved.
Officials from the Elections Commission could not be immediately reached for comment.
Indonesia, a member of the G-20 group of nations, was swept by bloodshed in which hundreds of people were killed when strongman ruler Suharto was ousted in 1998 after more than three decades in power.
It has since made a slow transition to full democracy, with this only its third direct presidential election. Analysts said Prabowo would find it difficult to provide the necessary evidence to justify delaying the election results.
“Prabowo’s team would need to have some idea of how the irregularities added up to justify asking the (Elections Commission) not to release the election result,” said Paul Rowland, a Jakarta-based political analyst.
“The problems with the counting process and even intimidation or violence on election day have been relatively insignificant,” he said.


Trump to issue sanctions, stop trade deal, and increse tariffs on Turkey

Updated 3 min 7 sec ago

Trump to issue sanctions, stop trade deal, and increse tariffs on Turkey

  • President vowed to "destroy" the Turkish economy

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Monday said that in response to Turkey's incursion into Syria he will soon issue an executive order authorizing sanctions against current and former Turkish officials, stop negotiations with Turkey on a $100 billion trade deal, and boost tariffs on Turkish steel to 50 percent.

In a statement in which he vowed to swiftly destroy the Turkish economy if it continues down "this dangerous and destructive path," Trump also said that U.S. troops coming out of Syria will redeploy and remain in the region to monitor the situation.

More to follow...