Criticism-hit France sends aid to Libya opposition

first_img Share 165 Views   no discussions News Criticism-hit France sends aid to Libya opposition by: – February 28, 2011 Share Sharing is caring! Tweet Share BBC News France has come under fire for its apparent links to authoritarian leadersFrance is to send two planes of aid to opposition territory in Libya, Prime Minister Francois Fillon has said.The announcement came hours after Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie quit amid controversy over her contacts with the former Tunisian regime.Her decision to stand down was “political not moral”, Mr Fillon said.Paris has been stung by accusations that it was too cosy with the authoritarian regimes overthrown in recent weeks, say analysts.Ms Alliot-Marie was heavily criticised for initially offering French help to quell the uprising in Tunisia.Subsequent revelations about her and her family’s links to the regime of former President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, and the fact that she had taken a Christmas holiday in Tunisia during the uprising made her position increasingly untenable.‘Massive operation’“In a few hours two French planes will leave for Benghazi on behalf of the French government with doctors, nurses, medical equipment and medicine,” Prime Minister Fillon said in an interview with France’s RTL radio – referring to the eastern Libyan town that has been at the centre of the Libyan uprising and is now in opposition hands.“This will be the start of a massive humanitarian aid operation to the populations of liberated areas,” he declared.He said France had not ruled out backing a Nato-enforced “no-fly zone” over Libya – one way it has been suggested that foreign governments could help defend Libyan rebels against the remaining air power of Col Muammar Gaddafi.Mr Fillon insisted Ms Alliot-Marie had done nothing wrong.“She was not at fault,” Mr Fillon said.“This was not a moral decision, but a political one.“The voice of France was no longer audible, because Michele Alliot-Marie had become the object of an unjust campaign.”Ms Alliot-Marie had defended her conduct in her resignation letter to President Nicolas Sarkozy, a copy of which was seen by the AFP news agency, saying she had been “the target of political attacks”.She will be replaced by Defence Minister Alain Juppe, 65, who previously served as foreign minister and prime minister in the 1990s. In 2004, he was convicted of mishandling public funds.Mr Juppe will be replaced by Gerard Longuet, leader of Mr Sarkozy’s UMP party in the Senate and the president’s long-time collaborator.Mr Sarkozy’s chief of staff, Claude Gueant, will become interior minister in place of controversy-hit Brice Hortefeux.Mr Gueant will be in charge of restoring the government’s reputation as tough on crime with a view to his Mr Sarkozy’s expected 2012 re-election bid, observers say.Collateral damageMs Alliot-Marie’s political career has become collateral damage from the wave of popular protest movements across the Arab world, says the BBC’s Hugh Schofield in Paris. Back at the end of December, as the pro-democracy uprising in Tunisia got under way, but before its significance was apparent, Ms Alliot-Marie visited the country on holiday, and, it emerged later, twice flew on a private jet belonging to businessman Aziz Miled.It also transpired that on the same trip, her parents signed a property deal with Mr Miled, a man with close links to the former Tunisian leader.Then in a series of ill-advised semi-denials and retractions about the affair, she only managed to make a bad situation worse, our correspondent adds.Mr Sarkozy was gravely embarrassed by the affair, which came to symbolise in some eyes an unhealthy personal proximity between French politicians and autocratic leaders in the Middle East and elsewhere, he adds.By sending aid to rebels in Libya, Paris now appears to be taking steps to ensure it is seen as supporting democratic change in the region, say analysts.last_img read more

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Spurs’ DeRozan unhappy with NBA bubble rules

first_imgThe league included a 113-page health and safety handbook as part of its restart plan later this month in Orlando. It covers a wide array of topics such as social distancing outside of games and practices to prohibiting doubles in ping-pong.MORE: Damian Lillard doubts players will follow bubble rules”The ping-pong, this is ridiculous, to be honest,” Spurs guard DeRozan said on Thursday. “Guys can’t do this, but we can do this and battle over each other? That part just don’t make no sense to me.”I got through 10 lines of the handbook and just put it down because it became so frustrating and overwhelming at times, because you just never thought you’d be in a situation of something like this. So it’s hard to process.”Ready to make the most of it. Our guys are back in the gym starting today #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/yYEBBetQit— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) July 2, 2020Another area of concern for DeRozan specifically is the mental well-being of the players.DeRozan has been a vocal advocate for players’ mental health and the isolated nature of the bubble could be a challenge for players from a mental standpoint.”It’s tough. You’re taking guys that have been with their families every single day for the last few months and all of a sudden, separating everybody into this one confined space and taking away a lot of the joyful things we do outside of basketball that we won’t be able to do,” the four-time All-Star said. “It’ll be something for every single player when it comes to mental health.”DeRozan is not the first player to voice his feelings over the NBA’s restart plan.MORE: Key dates, schedule and everything to know about the NBA’s restart San Antonio Spurs star DeMar DeRozan expressed his displeasure with the rules the NBA has put in place for the resumption of the season following the coronavirus-enforced break.The NBA is set to resume via a 22-team format at Orlando’s Disney World complex on July 30 after the 2019-20 campaign was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis in March. Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard jokingly said on Wednesday that some players will break rules in the league’s handbook, despite warnings or restrictions.Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal said during a videoconference call that living in the bubble will be challenging for players used to having few rules on the road.San Antonio head to Orlando in 12th place in the Western Conference, four games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the final playoff spot.last_img read more

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