Case raises France veil-ban issues

A court in Paris has handed a French retiree a one-month suspended sentence for attacking an Arab woman who was wearing a full-face veil.

The court ordered Jeanne Ruby, a retired English teacher, to pay $1,140 in damages to the victim, a citizen of the United Arab Emirates who was on holiday in Paris at the time of the attack.

The incident took place in the French capital in February, as France’s conservative government was in the early stages of hammering out a plan to ban the wearing of full-facial veils in public.

The measure officially became law last month, but it will not be enforced for several months.

Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland reports from Paris on how the case has highlighted potential problems once the veil ban is implemented next year.

Duration : 0:2:9

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“Hank” Skinner: US Supreme Court stays execution

USA – He had just 45 minutes left to live when he was given a stay of execution. The US Supreme Court has once again spared Hank Skinner, citing the many discrepancies in the prosecution’s case against him. Skinner’s lawyers have been appealing for evidence from the crime scene to undergo DNA testing, but so far, the request has always been rejected.

Duration : 0:2:41

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EU’s Reding proposes legal action against France over Roma deportations

The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, will have no choice but to start a legal action against France for its expulsion of Roma, Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said Tuesday during a press conference.

“Enough is enough,” said Reding. “I am personally convinced that the commission will have no choice.”

“I intend to recommend to President Barroso the fast track infringement procedure, so we lose no time,” she said.

Reding called France’s expulsion of the Roma people a “disgrace.”

On Monday French media published a leaked French official memo suggesting the Roma had been specifically targeted by the authorities.

The memo contradicted assurances to EU officials from Besson and Lellouche that immigrants were being treated on a case-by-case basis.

The order, dated 5 August, was sent from the interior ministry to regional police chiefs.

“Three hundred camps or illegal settlements must be cleared within three months, Roma camps are a priority,” it said, according to the BBC.

Besson told France 2 television on Monday that he was “not aware of this circular”.

Last week the European Parliament urged the French government to halt the deportations – a call rejected by Paris.

On Monday Lellouche told the BBC he was “sick and tired” of the criticism directed at France over the Roma.

Duration : 0:3:14

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