News from the West Bank, Germany and France

Tuesday's World Events   —   Posted on September 13, 2011

WEST BANK – Palestinians launch statehood campaign

RAMALLAH — The Palestinians on Thursday officially launched their campaign to join the United Nations as a full member state, saying they would stage a series of peaceful events in the run-up to the annual gathering of the General Assembly later this month.

Some 100 Palestinian officials and activists gathered at U.N. offices in Ramallah for a short ceremony, where they announced their plans in a letter addressed to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

GERMANY – Police detain two suspects, search Islamic center

BERLIN — Berlin police on Thursday detained two men suspected of obtaining ingredients for a bomb after foreign intelligence agencies tipped off German authorities to a potential threat, officials said.

The men were detained three days before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and followed a weekend statement by the interior minister that threats to Germany remained “real and intensive.”

Officers searched an Islamic center in Berlin where the pair had spent time and the apartments of the two suspects, a 24-year-old German of Lebanese descent and a 28-year-old from Gaza, a police spokesman said.

The men, who were not otherwise identified, are suspected of working together to plan “a violent criminal act,” and police had watched them for several months, the spokesman said.

A high-ranking security official told the Associated Press that foreign intelligence agencies informed German authorities in late June that the pair posed a potential threat.

FRANCE – Court convicts Galliano in anti-Semitism case

PARIS — A Paris court convicted former Christian Dior designer John Galliano on Thursday for making anti-Semitic insults in a bar but gave him only a suspended sentence, taking into account his apology to the victims.

Mr. Galliano, who didn’t attend the announcement of the verdict, was given no prison time. He was given a suspended $8,400 fine, which means it goes on his criminal record but he does not have to pay it.

from on September 8th.




FRANCE'S hate speech law:

The hate speech laws in France are matters of both civil law and criminal law. Those laws protect individuals and groups from being defamed or insulted because they belong or do not belong, in fact or in fancy, to an ethnicity, a nation, a race, a religion, a sex, or a sexual orientation, or because they have a handicap. The laws forbid any communication which is intended to incite discrimination against, hatred of, or harm to, anyone because of his belonging or not belonging, in fact or in fancy, to an ethnicity, a nation, a race, a religion, a sex, or a sexual orientation, or because he has a handicap. (from wikipedia)