11 Oct

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

English Online International Newspapers

Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.


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Thousands protest in France against Macron’s social reforms

Text by FRANCE 24

Stéphane de Sakutin, AFP (archives) | Demonstrations in Paris on 28 June, 2018.

Around 160,000 people joined demonstrations across France on Tuesday, the interior ministry said, heeding union calls for President Emmanuel Macron to “maintain the social model”, which has come under threat from his ambitious reforms.

Around 20,000 people turned out in Paris, the largest of some 100 rallies across the country.

The head of the hard-left Confederation of Labour (CGT) union Philippe Martinez estimated turnout higher at 300,000 nationwide. The CGT said about 50,000 people marched in Paris at the urging of six of the country’s labour unions.

“We’re not complaining, we’re revolting!” the students, workers and retirees chanted as they marched in the first demonstration since the end of the summer holiday, referring to President Macron’s recent suggestion that the French complain too much.

The ministry said 16 arrests were made, nine in Paris, where one marcher and a policeman were reported hurt after up to 300 hooded anarchists latched onto the rally, throwing projectiles at police, who responded with teargas.

Marchers – mainly young people – carried banners saying they had had enough of “austerity, unemployment”. Many of them said that Macron’s proposed welfare reforms will “disadvantage the weakest in society”. The elderly turned out to voice their disapproval of pension reforms.

“I’ve lost 50 euros a month – I can’t make ends meet any more,” complained François Manugal, a retired 65-year-old from the southeastern city of Lyon.

Martinez criticised Macron’s attempts to reform the economy, in particular issues regarding wages, accusing the government of erroneously believing that “reducing social contributions would be good for purchasing power”.

Pascal Pavageau, the leader of the Force Ouvrière (Workers’ Force) union, urged the government to engage in dialogue “and above all, maintain the social model” as Macron battles sagging popularity on the back of sweeping reforms – notably of the labour code, designed to bring greater flexibility to the jobs market.

Unions are planning further mobilisations in the coming months on specific reforms such as changes to pensions and the unemployment insurance system, but no specific dates have been set.

Professor said Senate committee response to Christine Blasey Ford mirrored her experience testifying against Clarence Thomas

‘Christine Blasey Ford had no support. None,’ Anita Hill said at an event at the University of Pennsylvania.

‘Christine Blasey Ford had no support. None,’ Anita Hill said at an event at the University of Pennsylvania. Photograph: Eric Sucar/University of Pennsylvania

Anita Hill said Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing was a “disservice to the American public”, in her first public remarks since he was confirmed to the supreme court on Monday after one of the most narrowly won confirmation proceedings in history.

Hill said the Senate judiciary committee’s response to Dr Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation of sexual assault against Kavanaugh mirrored her own experience testifying against the then supreme court nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991.

“What happened was not only a disservice to the people who were the principal witnesses, but was a disservice to the American public,” Hill said at a University of Pennsylvania event on Wednesday night. “We were all disserved in 1991 – people wanted to understand sexual harassment. In 2018, they wanted to understand sexual assault.”

Thursday marks the 27th anniversary of Hill’s testimony that Thomas had sexually harassed her when they worked together at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Senate confirmed Thomas, who denied the allegations, four days later.

Hill said it was “a tragedy” that once again, the judiciary committee rushed through its response to the respective allegations, did not interview all the witnesses and in the case of Ford, ignored 30 additional years of research into sexual misconduct.

“Those were all the things that I experienced in 1991 and it was what I experienced in 2018 – that failure to really help the public understand very significant issues and to understand that those issues, and seeking truth in those issues, aligned with the interest of having a supreme court that people have confidence in, they have faith in, they believe in the impartiality of and they believe in the integrity of,” Hill said.

Hill, a professor of social policy, law, and women’s studies at Brandeis University, entered Penn’s Irvine auditorium to immediate, resounding applause and a standing ovation from the packed, mostly female audience of 1,200.

Hill spoke with Kimberlé Crenshaw, a law professor at UCLA and Columbia, and an adviser to Hill’s legal team in 1991.

Hill spoke with Kimberlé Crenshaw, a law professor at UCLA and Columbia, and an adviser to Hill’s legal team in 1991. Photograph: Eric Sucar/University of Pennsylvania

She spoke with Kimberlé Crenshaw, a law professor at UCLA and Columbia law School, and an adviser to Hill’s legal team in 1991. Their conversation was moderated by Dorothy Roberts, a sociology and law professor at Penn.

They were clear about what needed to change to stop this from happening again: a shock to the systems that make, and occasionally reward, sexual harassment. That included the government, the criminal justice system, the legal system and the media.

“Christine Blasey Ford had no support. None,” Hill said. “There was no organization that was on the inside or was connected with the inside, with the decision-makers, that was going to be able to help her. We need to really understand that what we are dealing with, when we talk about these kind of abuses … we are not just dealing with behavior, we are dealing with systems that protect it, and sometimes encourage it, and sometimes reward it, and that is what you saw.”

Despite all this, Hill emphasized, there had been improvements in the past three decades.

That included the substantial research into sexual harassment and assault, as well as the people who had shared their stories and the legislation put in place to improve harassment reporting structures and protections.

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