The New York Times claims Macron has ordered a “broad government crackdown against Muslim individuals and groups.” The World Socialist Web Site, in a widely retweeted story, accuses Macron of “whipping up … anti-Muslim hysteria.” An American sociologist who researches white supremacists laments that French officials “respond to violent extremism with violent extremism.” What is this “broad crackdown”? Macron’s government has closed a mosque, which was run by a radical imam. A number of arrests have been made. “Anti-Muslim hysteria”? 51 more Islamic organizations are being investigated for alleged extremist sympathies. What about “violent extremism”? There are plans to take away the French passports of 231 foreign-born criminals.
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The islands — two north of Venezuela, one east of Puerto Rico — are on the brink of financial ruin. Without tourists, their economies have shrunk 20 percent. One in five families rely on food aid. Aruba and Curaçao cut salaries in the public sector by 12.5 percent and required a 20-percent contribution from firms to wage subsidies in order to qualify for a previous round of financial support, but it hasn’t been enough. For another cash injection, the Dutch are demanding that the islands cut red tape, liberalize labor laws and reduce the cost of doing business. The goal, Knops said, is to make their economies more resilient in the long term…
Talks about transferring more power to the region, which Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez promised in return for the support of Catalonia’s Republican Left, were postponed when COVID-19 broke out in March and have yet to be rescheduled. So do snap regional elections Catalan president Quim Torra called for in January.
American president Donald Trump reportedly disparaged immigrants from Africa, El Salvador and Haiti on Thursday, asking his advisors, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump then suggested that the United States should bring more people from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he met a day earlier.
The United Kingdom can no longer count on the unequivocal support of its allies and the country’s exit from the European Union is already taking a toll on its international clout.
A three-party “Jamaica” coalition in Germany may not be so bad for Europe as observers fear. The real benefit for Europe would be German domestic policy. After four years of stasis under the grand coalition, the “Jamaica” parties could transform the German economy
French coverage of the Catalan independence referendum has something of the left-right split we saw in Germany, but most of the media are united in calling on Catalan and Spanish leaders to meet each other in the middle.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed on Thursday a political agreement on the EU-Japan trade deal, which would be likely completed within months,expectedly by January. Officials said it was not clear at this stage how the EU-Japan deal would be ratified in Europe. Full national ratification gives every national parliament and some regional ones a veto.