Monday, April 4, 2011

Ivory Coast

French forces have directly intervened in the Ivory Coast civil war, with helicopters firing on a pro-Gbagbo military camp in order to neutralize heavy weapons allegedly used against the civilian population.

Kepel on the Arab Revolts



Jean-Luc Mélenchon has attacked the Socialist platform as "IMF-compatible." Since he has previously called IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn "l'affameur des peuples," we may take it that this not intended as praise.

Police Instructed on Veils

Three weeks in preparation, a circular has gone out to police around the country instructing them how to approach women with veiled faces. The first test of the new law should be ... interesting. Police may not unveil a woman. If she refuses to unveil herself, she is to "be taken to the station to determine her identity with certainty. If she refuses, the prosecutor intervenes, and other measures will be taken in conformity with common law." It all sounds very antiseptic until one tries to imagine the scene: the woman taken into custody and then subjected to "other measures" to which all common law prisoners are subjected, such as strip searching. For the security of the facility, to be sure: no intention to humiliate anyone or to make an example of where resistance to the "common law" might lead. And the law will be tested, make no mistake: the European Court will be asked to pronounce on this law, about whose compatibility with European law questions have already been raised.