France commits to combat racist content on social media

admin   •   March 20, 2018   •   4693

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe speaks at the Elysee Palace after a weekly cabinet meeting in Paris, France, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

France will toughen restrictions against racism and anti-Semitism on the internet and will actively contribute to the fight on a European level.

This was assured by French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe on Monday over the fact that illegal online broadcasts of football matches are more quickly blocked than racist or anti-Semitic remarks.

For this reason, internet hosts and social media sites should be required to remove hateful speech, Philippe said.

Philippe said French President Emmanuel Macron’s government plan to fight on a European level for a legislative project that would force operators to withdraw hateful, racist or anti-Semitic content as soon as possible.

While the number of recorded hate crimes in France has decreased by 16 percent in 2017, the number of violent hateful actions has risen, the premier said. — Reuters

Eiffel Tower closed as France braces for major strikes

UNTV News   •   January 9, 2020

Paris – The Eiffel Tower will remain closed Thursday as France braces for a fourth consecutive day of major cross-sector strikes against pension reforms.

Teachers, health workers, lawyers and railway personnel are participating in a strike called by unions to demand the total withdrawal of a pensions reform bill which was announced in December.

Transport will continue to be affected by strike action with both the national railway network (SNCF) and the transport in the Paris region offering reduced services.

This will be the 36th day of strike action affecting the transport sector, the longest in history.

The SNCF expects traffic to be very disrupted with more than half of train services cut, as well as the Paris subway.

The French Civil Aviation Authority also warned of disruptions and delays and urged companies to cancel a third of their flights to or from Toulouse (southern France).

In Paris, the Eiffel Tower will be closed on Thursday, according to the company that manages the monument, as some of its workers have joined the strike.

From the first day of action on 5 December, when between 800,000 people (according to the Ministry of Interior) and 1.8 million workers (according to the unions) flooded the streets of France to demand the government to reverse a pension reform bill.

According to a survey published on Sunday by Le Journal du Dimanche, more than half of the population (55%) want the government to withdraw the reform.

However, rejection of the strikes has also grown, the effects of which can be seen in the rail and metropolitan transport sector of Paris.

Thursday’s industrial action is the first mobilization of the year and will serve as a test to verify the support behind the protests after strikes on 10 and 17 December failed to raise the same level of support as the first one.

Trade unions have called for “the withdrawal of the reform project and the opening of constructive negotiations to improve the current regime”.

But the clash over pension reforms has seen one of President Emmanuel Macron’s key policies to transform the labour market come under fire.

Macron has led on several labour reforms in an attempt to create a more flexible market reminiscent of Nordic models, but his move to streamline the complex pensions system under one points-based model has triggered the largest unrest of his presidency.

The largest union in the country, the reformist French Democratic Confederation of Labor (CFDT), has opposed setting the retirement age of 64 but has backed the move to create a universal system to replace the current one which has 42 different pension plans in place.

The Government is still negotiating with unions until the reform goes to the Council of Ministers on 24 January.

So far, some concessions have been made such as an earlier retirement for professions deemed dangerous, a revaluation of teachers’ salaries, a delay in the implementation of the plan in the railway sector and for the dancers of the Paris Opera, which since 5 December has been forced to cancel more than 60 representations. EFE-EPA

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Embassy cautions Filipinos in Paris against massive strikes, street crimes

Marje Pelayo   •   January 7, 2020

The Philippine Embassy in Paris has issued an advisory to warn Filipinos visiting and living in France particularly in the capital city.

Tensions continue as angry transport workers launch massive protests against the government crippling major transportation across Paris.

Announcements of massive strikes on January 9 and 10 have reached the Embassy thus it advised the Filipino community there to be aware of the situation and prepare for alternative means to go to work as travel disruptions are again expected.

If possible, avoid the areas where the rallies are being held, according to the Embassy.

Also, Filipinos are urged to monitor updates on the transport strikes through the Embassy’s official Facebook page (#PhinFrance).

Meanwhile, Embassy officials also expressed concern over the growing number of Filipinos being victimized by burglars and thieves particularly tourists.

Paris ranked 14th among the countries in the world with moderate to high index of crimes in the past three years, according to the 2019 Crime Rate Index published by research website Numbeo.com.

This has prompted the Embassy to remind Filipinos travelling and living particularly in the capital city to be extra vigilant and alert at all times.

The Philippine Embassy in Paris can be reached through its 24/7 hotline numbers +33620592515 or through its official social media accounts #PHinFrance.

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Authorities arrest student who posted fake abduction on social media

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 4, 2019

The Cebu Provincial Police has reported that they arrested 21-year-old student on Tuesday (December 3) for posting fake abductions by men in a white van on his social media.

Cebu provincial police director Colonel Roderick Mariano, on Wednesday (December 4), identified the fake news culprit as Brigs Granada Alvaro.

Mariano reported, Alvaro was arrested in their home in Sitio Taboc, Barangay Lo-oc, Danao City and was brought to the police station for investigation. He also said that the culprit has caused alarm to the public by posting fake news.

Danao City Police Chief Lieutenant Colonel Maribel Getigan said they are preparing the criminal case to be filed against Alvaro.

“We are preparing a criminal case for violation of the Revised Penal Code, particularly Alarm and Scandal in relation to (Cyber Crime Law), Section 6, Republic Act 10175,” Getigan said in a statement.

She also added that Alvaro was immediately turned over to the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) for psychological examination.

“He is up for psychological assessment whether or not he is on his normal state of mind,” she said.

Getigan also said that the minor admitted to posting the falsified news.

“Alvar voluntarily offered a statement that the post was a mere false story and his intention is to give warning only to those young adults who are always roaming around the city during night time,” she said.—AAC

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