News Article | April 30, 2017
For years, the party leader has held her party together with promises of electoral victory that she might not be able to deliver. MARSEILLE and HÉNIN-BEAUMONT, France — The election is not even over, yet this week, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the notorious former leader of the far-right National Front party, made news in France for appearing to offer an early post-mortem of his daughter’s presidential campaign. “If I’d been in her place, I would have had a Trump-like campaign,” he told France Inter radio. “A more open one, very aggressive against those responsible for the decadence of our country, whether left or right.” It was a bold critique from a politician who, despite multiple runs at the presidency, never managed to come as close as his daughter Marine Le Pen: She is potentially expected to receive as much as 40 percent of the vote in the next round of the election, scheduled for May 7. The elder Le Pen’s comments may, however, be a preview of what’s to come. For members of the National Front, there is seemingly ample reason to celebrate the results of this campaign, come what may this Sunday, and to applaud the woman who made them possible. Le Pen, who took over leadership of the party in 2011 with an aim to “de-demonize” what had previously been a fringe party known for its anti-Semitism and xenophobia, has already secured the National Front its biggest vote share ever in a presidential election and, though still widely predicted to lose in the second round, remains likely to make a strong showing. Yet there are signs that trouble could be on the horizon. Marine Le Pen has spent six years walking a fine line between appealing to a broader swath of the electorate concerned by immigration and the EU and placating her party’s far-right, hard-line base, which is above all interested in establishing a cultural hierarchy that privileges what it views as traditional French ethnic-national identity. Divisions have so far been papered over for the sake of presenting a united election front, but the disparate coalition that currently makes up the National Front may not hold in the wake of electoral defeat. A loss could even force a shift away from the strategy that has made the party what it is today. “One of the major questions that Marine Le Pen will face in the aftermath of the second round is exactly this: Why didn’t the party get what was expected?” said Caterina Froio, an expert on the European far-right at Oxford University. “We will see the splits internal to the party occupying a major, major role in the post-electoral debate.” Were the National Front’s divisions to spill out into the public after May 7, it wouldn’t be the first time this has happened within a far-right party in Europe. Such groups tend to struggle when attempting transition from protest vehicles to parties seeking a role in government; such transitions require expanding the party’s appeal in ways that tend to alienate its base. The leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), Frauke Petry, for instance, recently announced that she would not be her party’s leading candidate in national elections this fall, following months of party infighting over her proposals for relatively pragmatic policies. Nor would it even be the first time internal splits have roiled the National Front itself. The party has faced more than one such split in its more than 40-year history, the most famous of which was when Bruno Mégret, Jean-Marie Le Pen’s No. 2, left the National Front in 1998 over similar disagreements about the direction of the party. (Mégret found Le Pen’s extremist positions too alienating.) Should she lose, it’s unlikely that Le Pen’s role as leader of the National Front would be in immediate danger: Unlike the AfD, the National Front has historically been a family dynasty, and there are currently no real challengers who could take her place. “I don’t see a leadership contest in the cards,” said Dorit Geva, an expert on gender and the National Front at Central European University. “She is firmly in charge of the party, with enormous support and legitimacy.” Should she make a strong enough showing, she could emerge from the election more firmly in charge than ever. But should the loss be brutal, it could empower elements within the National Front that had previously been quieted on the promise of electoral victory. The National Front has existed since the 1970s, when Jean-Marie Le Pen, together with others, brought together supporters from several smaller neo-fascist and anti-Semitic groups. Although it did see some electoral victories over the years — primarily in local or parliamentary races, especially in the more conservative and Catholic south of France — under the elder Le Pen, the National Front was a party that seemed more interested in making noise than getting into government. Since taking control of the National Front, the younger Le Pen, who unlike her father has been clear that she wants to govern, has gone to great lengths to distance herself from her father and his brand of politics. She has kept her focus on immigration, security, and an exit from the European Union while steering clear of traditional hot-button social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. This strategy has helped her take the National Front to new heights, drawing in new voters who are disaffected by the current system and no longer consider it taboo to vote for the National Front. This reimagining of the party’s central message — away from conservative, anti-Semitic, hard-line Catholicism and toward security, immigration, and French identity — was spearheaded by Florian Philippot, one of Le Pen’s top confidants and a vice president of the party. The rebranding has also entailed reaching out to certain groups that had previously considered the National Front anathema: Le Pen has tried to appeal to Jews as their primary defender against radical Islam, for example, while Philippot, who is gay, has helped steer the party away from emphasizing its opposition to same-sex marriage in an effort to bring in gay voters. But this transition has at times met with resistance. The original base of the party has not gone away — nor are these voters necessarily happy with what’s being billed as a kinder, gentler National Front. One faction prefers the more socially conservative policies of Le Pen’s father, particularly in the south of France where the National Front first formed a power base in the 1980s and 1990s. And this faction has a champion in Le Pen’s niece, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, who, at 22, was elected as the youngest member of parliament in a generation. Today, at 27, she is a darling of the U.S. far-right news site Breitbart, a major force within the party, and the self-proclaimed guardian of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s legacy. “I am the political heir of Jean-Marie Le Pen,” Maréchal-Le Pen told the Washington Post this month. “At the Front National, we all are his heirs. He was a visionary.” Maréchal-Le Pen is a staunch Catholic who vehemently opposes same-sex marriage and government funding for abortion. She has never explicitly made the kinds of anti-Semitic comments that her grandfather has — but stood up for him when Marine Le Pen threw him out of the party in 2015 for such comments. Thus far, Maréchal-Le Pen has largely proved a political asset to her aunt: It was Maréchal-Le Pen who warmed up the crowd last week at a rally in Marseille, a city on the Mediterranean coast near Maréchal-Le Pen’s parliamentary district and a traditional stronghold for the National Front. She has been a frequent and valuable surrogate in southern France, where National Front voters tend to be more socially conservative, and, as one of just two National Front members of parliament, has real standing within the party. But there have been disagreements, too — including some very public ones, many of which have provided ample fodder for French media to report on the split between aunt and niece. In December, Maréchal-Le Pen advocated for reducing abortion coverage under the French health care system, a move that forced her aunt to take a position on the issue. Marine Le Pen responded with a flat-out rejection of her niece’s proposal, saying it is “not part of my program.” At times, Marine Le Pen has publicly criticized her niece. In a late March interview with the women’s weekly magazine Femme Actuelle, Marine Le Pen said, if elected president, there would be no place in her cabinet for Maréchal-Le Pen: “My niece is an MP. I don’t owe her anything. I don’t owe anyone anything. I have no favors to return.” She took it even further, criticizing Maréchal-Le Pen as “rather stiff, it’s true — a bit like today’s youth.” However Maréchal-Le Pen felt about that comment privately, she shook it off publicly: Days later, she tweeted a photo of her smiling and embracing her aunt, writing, “Onward to victory!” Online, however, where the National Front has a strong presence, the Philippot-Maréchal-Le Pen divisions have played out among supporters of both factions. After the December spat over abortion funding, supporters of Maréchal-Le Pen began tweeting with the hashtag #MarionEtMoi (“Marion and me”), many of them trashing Philippot. One user described Philippot as “slimy and disloyal”; another said he advocates for a “leftist line.” Though Maréchal-Le Pen is likely too young to pose a real leadership challenge to her aunt, she could, in the face of a loss, use her clout with the party’s conservative wing to put pressure on Marine Le Pen to shift her political and electoral strategy. With the focus in this final stretch on presenting a united front and winning the presidency, few National Front voters at Le Pen’s Marseille rally were interested in discussing the party’s various factions — and those who would said they were the same kinds of squabbles any party has from time to time. “No, no — it’s like in a family,” said Daniel Peju-Guillot, a 62-year-old National Front supporter from Pertuis, a small town in the nearby Vaucluse department, adding that “not everyone can be in agreement” all the time. Jacques Villa, a resident of nearby Montpellier who has supported the National Front for 20 years, said he believes Jean-Marie Le Pen was “too hard” and that Marine Le Pen has made the party “respectable.” But he also noted that he believes both Philippot and Maréchal-Le Pen are important for the party. “I like Marion, I like Florian — a party needs different currents,” said Villa, 68. “It’s normal, and everybody works for a party in different ways, but that’s that.” It could be that the internal conversations about the future of the party — and whether Le Pen will be at the helm — will be put off until after France’s legislative elections, which will be held in early June. Though a presidential victory seems unlikely, the National Front is still expected to make significant gains in the National Assembly, which would introduce a new class of National Front politicians with independent power and influence on the national political stage; how they would fit into what has until now been mostly a family affair remains to be seen. “This is completely new territory for the National Front, because it has been a party run by a family dynasty,” Geva said. “And even though on one hand it looks like a big success that they have all these new members of parliament, the party’s not used to functioning outside of that family dynasty.” “I don’t think it’s clear where the National Front is going next,” she added.
Gronier-Gouvernel H.,France Inter |
Robin G.,Lille University Hospital Center
Gynecologie Obstetrique Fertilite | Year: 2014
Combined hormonal contraceptive is the most used contraceptive method in France among childbearing-aged women. Following the temporary delisting of oral contraception containing a 3rd generation progestin and following the market withdrawal of oral pills containing cyproterone acetate in combination with ethynil-estradiol (35 μg), the impact of these events on our prescribing practice remains to determine. We will especially discuss the cardiovascular risk associated with combined hormonal contraceptives in the light of the most recent publications either with epidemiological or biological data. © 2012 Publie par Elsevier Masson SAS.
Raymond E.,France Inter |
Dahan L.,Service dOncologie Digestive |
Raoul J.-L.,University of Rennes 1 |
Bang Y.-J.,Seoul National University |
And 16 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2011
BACKGROUND: The multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib has shown activity against pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors in preclinical models and phase 1 and 2 trials. METHODS: We conducted a multinational, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial of sunitinib in patients with advanced, well-differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. All patients had Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors-defined disease progression documented within 12 months before baseline. A total of 171 patients were randomly assigned (in a 1:1 ratio) to receive best supportive care with either sunitinib at a dose of 37.5 mg per day or placebo. The primary end point was progression-free survival; secondary end points included the objective response rate, overall survival, and safety. RESULTS: The study was discontinued early, after the independent data and safety monitoring committee observed more serious adverse events and deaths in the placebo group as well as a difference in progression-free survival favoring sunitinib. Median progression-free survival was 11.4 months in the sunitinib group as compared with 5.5 months in the placebo group (hazard ratio for progression or death, 0.42; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.26 to 0.66; P<0.001). A Cox proportional-hazards analysis of progression-free survival according to baseline characteristics favored sunitinib in all subgroups studied. The objective response rate was 9.3% in the sunitinib group versus 0% in the placebo group. At the data cutoff point, 9 deaths were reported in the sunitinib group (10%) versus 21 deaths in the placebo group (25%) (hazard ratio for death, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.19 to 0.89; P = 0.02). The most frequent adverse events in the sunitinib group were diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, asthenia, and fatigue. CONCLUSIONS: Continuous daily administration of sunitinib at a dose of 37.5 mg improved progression-free survival, overall survival, and the objective response rate as compared with placebo among patients with advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. (Funded by Pfizer; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00428597.) Copyright © 2011 Massachusetts Medical Society.
Ronai E.,France Inter |
Garcia A.,France Inter
Actualites Pharmaceutiques | Year: 2014
Although frequent, violence against women is too often ignored. It must be the concern of all healthcare professionals and especially pharmacists who are particularly accessible. As frontline healthcare professionals, they must be able to advise and orient a female victim, with tact and conviction. © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS.
Gautier J.-M.,France Inter
Douleur et Analgesie | Year: 2012
The organization of care offered is currently under review in view of the combined effects of the increased demand for care, the changing needs and expectations of the population, medical scarcity and growing economic pressure. The emergence of diseases linked to ageing, the development of chronic illnesses and the current public health issues call for the development of new support involving the redefinition of the outlines of the health professions. Pain, particularly when it is chronic, has become a national priority since the end of the 1990s. Health establishments must make every effort in order to manage pain. Pain Resource Nurses have developed new skills in the assessment and treatment of pain and/or in a cross-functional mission. Can these new skills be considered as advanced practices? Can the recognition of advanced nursing practice in the field of pain lead to the development of a new job, with a new professional identity? © 2012 Springer-Verlag France.
Doury-Panchout F.,CHU Tours |
Metivier J.-C.,Renault S.A. |
Fouquet B.,France Inter
European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine | Year: 2015
Background. The influence of kinesiophobia on disability in patients with knee osteoarthritis is known, but its influence on functional recovery after total knee arthroplasty remains unexplored. Aims. To assess the influence of kinesiophobia on functional recovery following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in patients with knee osteoarthritis and to investigate if kinesiophobia was more common in obese patients than in non-obese patients. Design. Cohort study. Setting. Inpatients of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation unit of the Château-Renault hospital (France). Population. The study included 89 consecutive patients (mean age = 72.6 years) hospitalized for post-operative rehabilitation after TKA. All patients completed the study. Methods. We evaluated functional outcome by testing maximum passive flexion, pain intensity, the duration of hospitalization, and performance in a six minute walk test. Kinesiophobia was assessed by the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK) score. Obesity was assessed by calculation of body mass index (BMI). A Stepwise multiple linear regression was used to determine significant independent predictors of the distance at the six minute walk test. Results. During the six minute walk test, patients without kinesiophobia walked significantly farther than patients with kinesiophobia (309.5 [83.6] m vs. 264.8 [96.5] m, P=0.048). There were no significant differences in the duration of hospitalization, the maximum passive flexion, or pain intensity between the two groups. The best multivariate model of factors associated with the performance in the 6 minute walk test included the Lequesne's score before surgery, the degree of active extension of the knee at the beginning of hospitalization, the TSK scores (total score, classification with the TSK score, "avoidance" subscale score). The overall TSK score did not differ between the obese and non-obese groups. Conclusion. Our study is consistent with previous reports that cognitive and behavioral maladaptative strategies can impair functional recovery after TKA. Moreover, unlike previous work, the principal end-point of our study is an objective measurement of walking capacity, and not a questionnaire. Clinical Rehabilitation Impact. We suggest that programs aimed at the management of such cognitive and behavioral factors which contribute to activity avoidance during rehabilitation are likely to improve functional recovery after TKA.
Verlhac S.,Robert Debre Hospital |
Verlhac S.,France Inter
Pediatric Radiology | Year: 2011
Transcranial Doppler US, a non-invasive tool for evaluating the cerebral arteries, has evolved significantly during the last two decades. This review describes the practical procedure, and summarises and illustrates its established and "work-in-progress" indications in children. Indications for a transcranial Doppler US examination include, but are not limited to: (1) evaluation of cerebral blood flow velocities in the circle of Willis in patients with sickle cell anaemia to guide transfusion therapy; (2) diagnosis and follow-up of vasculopathy, such as moyamoya disease; (3) diagnosis and monitoring of acute cerebrovascular disorders in intensive care patients, in particular following traumatic brain injury, and during cardiovascular surgery; and (4) confirmation of a clinical diagnosis of brain death by documentation of cerebral circulatory arrest. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.
News Article | January 6, 2015
The deadly attack at a French satirical magazine today coincided with the release of a controversial book depicting a France led by an Islamic party and a Muslim president who bans women from the workplace. The sixth novel by award-winning French author Michel Houellebecq, called “Submission,” plays on fears that western societies are being inundated by the influence of Islam. While French authorities haven’t linked the murders at Charlie Hebdo to Islamists, witnesses cited by Europe 1 radio and Agence France-Presse as saying that two hooded people entered the offices of the magazine, shooting at random and shouting “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great” in Arabic. In the book, Houellebecq has the imaginary “Muslim Fraternity” party winning a presidential election in France against the nationalist, anti-immigration National Front. The cover of Charlie Hebdo’s latest edition features a cartoon of the author dressed as a sorcerer under the headline “The Predictions of the Wise Man Houellebecq.” “A pathetic and provocative farce,” is how Liberation characterized the book in a Jan. 4 review that scathingly said the novelist is “showing signs of waning writing skills.” Political analyst Franz-Olivier Giesbert in newspaper Le Parisien yesterday was kinder, calling it a “smart satire,” adding that “it’s a writers’ book, not a political one.” National Front’s leader Marine Le Pen, who appears in the 320-page novel, said on France Info radio on Jan. 5 that “it’s fiction that could become reality one day.” On the same day, President Francois Hollande said on France Inter radio he would read the book “because it’s sparking a debate,” while warning that France has always had “century after century, this inclination toward decay, decline and compulsive pessimism.” Today, Hollande was at the offices of Charlie Hebdo after raising the terrorism alert for Paris to the highest level. He said France was in a state of shock after the country’s worst terrorist attack in decades left at least a dozen people dead, four more in a critical condition and another 20 injured. In an interview on France 2 TV last night, Houellebecq denied that his book was scaremongering. “I don’t think the Islam in my book is the kind people are afraid of,” he told the broadcaster. “I’m not going to avoid a subject because it’s controversial.” Houellebecq’s book is set in France in 2022. It has the fictional Muslim Fraternity’s chief, Mohammed Ben Abbes, beating Le Pen, with Socialists, centrists, and Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP party rallying behind him to block the National Front. Ben Abbes goes on to ban women in the workplace, advocates polygamy, pushes Islamic schools on the masses and imposes a conservative and religious vision of society. The French widely accept the new environment, hence the book’s title. France is home to Europe’s largest Muslim population, with more than 5 million people of the faith out of about 65 million, a number that’s been growing with children and grandchildren of 20th century immigrants. Very few Muslims have reached top-level jobs in France, and second- and third-generation French people of Arab descent say they often face discrimination. Still, the fear of Islamization has traction in France with opinion polls showing the anti-immigration Le Pen would lead in the first round of the 2017 presidential race. The party topped the Socialist Party and UMP in last year’s European elections. It may score well again in this year’s local ballots. In 2002, National Front Founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine’s father, stunned the country when he made it to the second round of the presidential election. He was eventually defeated when all political parties rallied behind his rival, the conservative candidate Jacques Chirac. Houellebecq has a history of being provocative. His fame can be traced back to 1998 when he published “Atomised,” a nihilist depiction of two half-brothers, Michel and Bruno, and their struggle with living in today’s society. In 2002, the author was cleared by a French court of inciting racism for saying that “all religions are stupid but Islam is the stupidest of all,” and that the Koran was “badly written.” For his latest book, Houellebecq borrows the title of a documentary by the Dutch filmmaker and author Theo van Gogh, who made “Submission” in 2004, criticizing the treatment of women in Islam. He was murdered in the same year by Mohammed Bouyeri, a Dutch-Moroccan Muslim. Charlie Hebdo today posted on its Twitter account a cartoon depicting Islamic State Chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The magazine’s offices were firebombed in November 2011 after it published a special edition featuring the Prophet Mohammed as a “guest editor.” The fire caused no injuries.
News Article | February 12, 2015
Talks aimed at ending almost a year of conflict in Ukraine dragged into the morning as leaders from Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France spent more than 11 hours locked in negotiations to enforce an earlier truce. The leaders moved between rooms inside Independence Palace in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, which has heated marble floors and gilded walls, as negotiations wore on. Serving staff dressed fashionably in black served coffee, tea, sweets and snacks through the night to fuel Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande. “The whole world is waiting to see whether the situation will de-escalate and result in a cease-fire, a pullback of heavy weapons, or whether the situation will veer out of control,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in Minsk before the summit began at 8 p.m. local time Wednesday. The summit may determine if a tenuous peace takes hold or a wider war breaks out, potentially with the U.S. and some European allies supplying arms to Ukraine in a conflict that has already killed at least 5,486 people and left 12,972 wounded, according to the United Nations. A breakdown of talks would strain trans-Atlantic unity in dealing with Russia, as Europe’s consensus on economic sanctions shows signs of fraying. The draft text focuses on the “practical implementation” of a Minsk cease-fire accord reached in September, Alexander Surikov, the Russian ambassador to Belarus, said in interview at the meeting on Wednesday. The Minsk truce was largely ignored before collapsing in January as fighting surged between pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine and government troops. As talks extended past four hours, the leaders shifted to a private discussion without their aides who’d been present earlier. While Russia earlier signaled that a deal is likely, Poroshenko said he won’t accept Russian demands for his country to become a federation and is ready to impose martial law if the conflict deepens. Separatists in Luhansk and Donetsk presented a document setting conditions, including the end to Ukraine’s military operation in the region by Feb. 23, according to newspaper Dzerkalo Tyzhnya. Fighting flared before the summit. Ukraine’s military said 19 government soldiers were killed in fighting around the embattled town of Debaltseve and 78 were wounded during 107 rebel attacks in the past 24 hours. Government forces retook six towns around the port city of Mariupol, Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told reporters in Kiev on Wednesday. Rebels have gained more than 500 square kilometers (190 square miles) of territory since the September truce, Ukraine says. Leaders arrived Wednesday evening in the hall of the Independence Palace, a vast space reminiscent of the Soviet Union. Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, whose authoritarian rule has earned him the moniker “Europe’s last dictator,” received Poroshenko first. The carefully choreographed moment was disrupted by a Russian-speaking journalist who shouted at the Ukrainian leader, accusing his military of killing civilians. Merkel and Hollande entered together, with Merkel receiving a bouquet from the Belarusian leader. Putin entered last, about an hour and a half after the meeting had been scheduled to begin. “Ukraine accepts decentralization for those regions, but the separatists and the Russians would like to go much further,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told France Inter radio on Wednesday. Russia is making “all sorts of demands” about control of the borders, he said. Poroshenko wants “an immediate, absolute, and entirely unconditional cease-fire and to start a political dialogue” at the summit, according to the presidential website on Wednesday. Martial law could be declared across Ukraine “if the aggressor’s irresponsible actions lead to further escalation of the conflict,” Poroshenko told a government meeting in Kiev. It’s “unrealistic” to restore Ukrainian control along the border with Russia in rebel-held areas while fighting continues, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday. It’s also essential to implement previous Minsk agreements that gave a “special status” to the rebel regions and an amnesty for all involved in the crisis, he said. Ukraine’s resistance to locking in territorial gains made by the separatists will be a key point of contention at the summit, according to the German government’s coordinator for ties with Russia. Reaching a cease-fire at the meeting hinges on Russia and Ukraine agreeing on a demarcation line, the official, Gernot Erler, said by phone. “That will be a really difficult point in the talks, because it’ll be hard for the Ukrainian president to explain domestically that considerable additional territory would come under separatist control,” he said. There’s a 70 percent chance of an agreement to halt the conflict, a Russian diplomat said, asking not to be identified as the discussions are still under way. With no news of a deal as dawn broke, journalists waited in the press center for news of a deal -- some sleeping on the floor, others tucking into a buffet of Belarusian delicacies and refreshments that included vodka, local spirits and Champagne. Lavrov remarked only that talks were “super” when asked during a toilet break. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov joked to some reporters around 5 a.m. when he said that talks had ended and the leaders departed. Even if the negotiations produce a truce, it’s not clear how long it would last, much less whether it would end the crisis. “The question is will it stick?” Timothy Ash, a London-based chief economist for emerging markets at Standard Bank Group Ltd., said by e-mail, adding that it’s not clear what’s changed on the ground. Ukraine’s benchmark notes due July 2017 advanced for a sixth day and traded at 56 cents on the dollar at 10:22 p.m. in Kiev. The hryvnia weakened 1.4 percent to 25.97 to the dollar, while the Russian ruble strengthened 0.5 percent against the greenback to 65.15. The rebel documents presented before the talks listed 15 demands to ensure a cease-fire. These included a special status for some eastern districts, the resumption of pension payments and other benefits and local elections, Dzerkalo Tyzhnya reported. A “visible failure” of the Ukraine peace process would put sanctions back on the European Union’s agenda when the bloc’s leaders meet on Thursday, an EU official told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday. A list of wider sanctions is already sealed by the European Council for implementation on Feb. 16 and putting them into effect will depend on the outcome in Minsk, a German government official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Moving to sanction entire sectors of the Russian economy such as finance and technology, though, could strain EU unity as it also faces a challenge from the new Greek government. While the U.S. could act alone in extending sanctions, it has far less economic leverage over Russia, and U.S. President Barack Obama has emphasized maintaining trans-Atlantic unity. After meeting with Merkel in Washington Feb. 9, Obama said the U.S. would consider sending lethal military aid to Ukraine if the negotiations didn’t bring a resolution. Merkel and Hollande have opposed arming the out-gunned Ukrainian military, fearing the conflict might escalate out of control.
News Article | January 16, 2015
Isis supporters have taken many of France’s websites offline in an “unprecedented” hack. In the wake of the terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo that left 20 people dead last week, more than 19,000 French websites have been targeted by pro-Isis hackers. Arnaud Coustilliere, the head of cyberdefence for France’s military, confirmed that this is the first time that any country has ever been hit by “such a large wave” of cyberattacks. The surge is mostly made up of relatively minor denial-of-service attacks. Sky News has also reported that some sites were hacked to show a message reading “The Islamic State Stay Inchallah. Free Palestine. Death To France. Death To Charlie.” As yet the attacks appear to have no organisation, with hackers targeting sites indiscriminately from military regiments to pizza shops. Coustilliere confirmed that no attack has appeared to have caused serious damage, though the military has begun round-the-clock surveillance to monitor the situation. Today, visitors to , and Marianee have all been met with error messages when trying to look at stories. While the source of the problem is not yet known, there is speculation that it’s the next step in this cyber guerrilla warfare. Meanwhile, hacktivist group anonymous has declared war against “enemies of the freedom of expression,” vowing to attack known terrorist websites and social media accounts in revenge of the Charlie Hebdo journalists. Charlie Hebdo itself published its first issue after the shooting at its office. The cover features an image of the Prophet Mohamed, a tear falling from his eye, holding up a “Je Suis Charlie” sign with accompanying text reading “tout est pardonne” (all is forgiven). How much do you know about Internet censorship? Take our quiz!