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Kasai province killings : government releases footage allegedly showing execution of UN investigators

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France's First Round Controversies

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THE CAMPAIGN BEAT

"Front National" makes it to the second round for the first time since 2002

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THE DEBATE

Macron vs. Le Pen: Unprecedented Choice in French Presidential Election (part 1)

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THE DEBATE

Macron vs. Le Pen: Unprecedented Choice in French Presidential Election (part 2)

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ENCORE!

Khatia Buniatishvili, the 'pop star pianist'

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IN THE PAPERS

French press review: Macron 'just a step away' from Elysée Palace

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THE CAMPAIGN BEAT

Will the traditional alliance against France's National Front work in round two?

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TALKING EUROPE

Greek Cypriot negotiator: 'We regret that Turkey is distancing itself from Europe'

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IN THE PAPERS

An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2010-02-03

“Israel is more tolerant of Muslims than burka-obsessed France”

FRENCH PRESS REVIEW: How can a Western democracy, the symbol of liberty throughout the entire world, dictate to its inhabitants the degree to which they can dress, asks Sefi Hendler in today’s Ha’aretz.

How is it, asks the left-leaning Israeli paper Ha’aretz, that in France where no one protests when a woman sunbathes topless, they are waging a war in the opposite direction?

Sefi Hendler looks at the proposed law in France to ban burkas and full veils in any place a public service is provided, including public transportation. He highlights the paradox of a country which symbolizes liberty the world over chosing to dictate how one can dress. What’s more, he says, there are only a few thousand women in France who wear the full Muslim veil. He compares France to Israel where religious dress is not restricted.

“This doesn’t mean Israel is free of discrimination yet still at least in terms of the burka and its variations, Israel appears more tolerant than the country of Voltaire.”

Hendler doesn’t seem to have an answer for integrating Muslim minorities into Western society, but says an obsession with the burka is not the answer.

Other stories in today’s international papers:

New York Times: “Europe Miffed at Obama’s Decision to Skip Summit!”

The Independent: “Israeli commander says ‘We rewrote the rules of war for Gaza’”

China Daily: “Young Net addicts on the rise”
 

By James CREEDON

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