Category Archives: Europe

Pope for aid to migrants in Libya

Pope Francis has appealed for the evacuation of women, children and sick migrants trapped in Libyan detention centers as soon as possible, through humanitarian corridors.

During his Regina Coeli prayer, the Pontiff said the refugees’ situation, “which is already very serious, has become even more dangerous due to the ongoing conflict.”

Pope Francis has repeatedly expressed his concern with the conditions of illegal migrants in Libyan detention centers, including those who are sent back after trying to reach Europe by sea. There were also circulating rumors of pro- Fayez Al-Sarraj  militias in Tripoli force the migrants to defend the city, the clams UN-backed government denied.

Franco-Italian alliance for cease-fire in Libya

Italy and France have intensified efforts to end conflict in Libya, Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi said after meeting his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Rome on April 19.

Naturally we talked about the situation in Libya, which is worrying and holds the attention of both our governments,” Moavero explained at  a joint press conference with Le Drian. Our position, an absolutely joint one, is that a ceasefire must be achieved as soon as possible”.

Le Drian underlined that cease-fire and return to negociations are paramount.

“Guinean” champagne charms Africans

In a luxury lounge in Abidjan, customers of Cote d’Ivoire enjoy a special champagne:  Laurent-Perrier? Widow Clicquot ? Moet and Chandon? There is a new brand of  named after Dian Diallo to welcome guests.

This is the first brand of champagne that bears an African name,” says creator Dian Diallo, a 40-year-old Guinean wine expert. “This is by no means an African champagne because it does not exist, an African champagne!” He explains that “Dian Diallo” was developed in the art and know-how of the traditional Champagne method from A to Z, from the vine to the bottling, everything was done in Champagne “in the respect of the AOC,” he says.

Dian Diallo, who studied management, economics and marketing in France, knows the industry well. Before launching in 2017, he worked for ten years for major brands of champagne. “I realized that Africans consumed a lot more sweet and fruity champagne (…), much more than classic dry or semi-dry, because the crude has the acid side they do not like” he added.

By bringing a small dose of cane sugar, we completely remove this bitterness.” This addition allows “to soften a little champagne so that it is delicious” without being “too sweet“. The element of cane sugar is a special feature in Champagne and Dian Diallo is then looking for a champagne that suits him. “I had a very nice welcome and I partnered with a winemaker, Rémi Jacques, Baye“, whose family has been making champagne since 1932. Objective: sell this sparkling in Africa, in relation to the expectations of the public on the spot.

In terms of grape varieties, Dian Diallo champagne is composed of “50% Pinot Meunier, 30% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay, it gives a supple champagne, soft, easy to taste with a touch of freshness, that we can take at all times of the day, “says Rémi Jacques.”But there is no adaptation to an “African taste “, we are not in an industrial product: it’s champagne!”, he concludes.

Dian Diallo sells more than 10,000 bottles a year in Africa in Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Liberia, Cameroon, Gabon, Guinea, and Burkina Faso. He says he enjoys a “strong craze for champagne and luxury goods in Africa“, favored by a middle class with increasing purchasing power.

If he intends to seduce the African public by the quality of his product, he also plays on the continental fiber: “There is a real pride of Africans to see an African evolve in this closed environment,” says Dian Diallo. This marketing specialist invites upscale customers to tastings in hotels and chic places in African capitals.

Macron launches Slavery Remembrance Foundation

Emmanuel Macron announced his support to the project of Slavery Remembrance Foundation, responsible in particular for education and cultural missions, and the commitment of the V Republic to the abolition of slavery throughout the world.

As conceived  by his predecessor President Francois Hollande  the Foundation will be chaired by former Socialist Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who has been carrying on the idea of the project, and will be housed at the Hôtel de la Marine, where the abolition of slavery was decreed on April 27 1848.

The Foundation will also help to put slavery back into the long history of France, from the first French colonial empire to the present day,” writes the French President Emmanuel Macron in a statement published on the occasion of the 170th anniversary of the abolition of slavery.

“Because it is impossible to speak of today’s France without mentioning its colonial past, without saying in particular the unique relationship it has with the African continent, this complex and profound relationship which has become an inalienable part of our identities,” the President continued. Emmanuel Macron added that he supports the project of erecting a national memorial to pay tribute to the victims of slavery in the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris.

The project is a continuation of the initiative of President Francois Hollande who chaired the signature ceremony for the statutes of the “public interest grouping that will prefigure the foundation”  at the Elysée Palace on 3 May 2017. Hollande also declared that it  headquarters would be at the Hôtel de la Marine, the very place where Victor Schoelcher signed the decree to abolish slavery.

The French Republic recognized slavery and the slave trade as a crime against humanity first time in 1794, when legally the slavery was described as a “crime of lese-humanity”. On 23 May 1998 thousands of descendants of slaves organised a demonstration in Paris to demand this recognition. The movement continued, and it was enshrined by the act of 21 May 2001, named the ‘Taubira law’. The Republic then officially recognized slavery and the slave trade as crimes against humanity.

 

 

Italy dismantels jihadist network

Italian police arrested five Maghrebins as part of  a major operation against suspected supporters of Islamist terrorism in central and southern Italy. Previously a teacher, indoctrinating children with martyrdom ideology was also arrested in counter-terrorism operation.

“A vast anti-terrorism operation” was being carried out by special investigation forces based in Rome and region, namely in the nearby town of Latina, police said in a statement.

 The five Tunisians detained are suspected of being part of a broader network connected to Anis Amri, the other migrant from Tunis who killed 12 people when he drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin (2016).

Amri was shot dead by Italian police near Milan four days after the Berlin attack.

 

Zoo rhino killed for his horn…in Paris!

Poachers have broken into a zoo near Paris and shot a rhinoceros dead before stealing his hugely valuable ivory horn.

In the first case of its kind ever in Europe, the five-year-old animal, named Vince, was found dead in Thoiry, west of the French capital.

According to police the zoo raid happened late last night, and it was not until 9am today that zookeepers made the horrifying discovery.

A source speaking to Le Parisien newspaper said “the animal had been shot with three bullets to the head, and his horn was cut off with a chainsaw”.

 

Poachers killed 1,054 South African rhinos for their horns in 2016, a 10 percent dip on a year earlier, the environment ministry said Monday, as officials struggle to quell the slaughter.

Russia to invest in windmills

windmills

Gazprombank will provide a loan of 64.6 billion rubles ($1.1 billion) to the Rosatom state nuclear corporation for the wind farms construction in Russia, according to the Rosatom procurement website, Russian Radio Sputnik reports.

VetroOGK, part of Rosatom, will attract 64.6 billion rubles from Gazprombank in two tranches. The amount of the first tranche is to stand at 57.4 billion rubles, the amount of the second tranche is estimated at up to 7.2 billion rubles. The loans must be payed off no later than December 31, 2026, according to the website.

Rosatom considers wind energy projects to be one of the most promising of their non-nuclear growth points. The state corporation estimated that wind energy market in Russia by 2024 could reach a turnover of about 200 billion rubles a year.

 

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