After a weekly French magazine published a cartoon that features a crude caricature of the Prophet Muhammad, the French government immediately closed its embassy and school in Tunisia, and plans to close 20 other embassies and schools on Friday. Steve Erlanger, New York Times Paris Bureau Chief, discusses the cartoon, and what it means for free speech.
Socialist Francois Hollande eked out a victory over Nicolas Sarkozy in yesterday's French presidential election. Sarkozy's belt-tightening austerity measures were his undoing, with Hollande promising higher taxes on the rich and a growing minimum wage for the working class. But the jury is still out on whether Hollande and his Socialist party will be able to combat the Euro-zone crisis that is keeping France in the red. Dominique Barbet, a senior economist at BNP Paribas, and Stephen Erlanger, correspondent for our partner The New York Times discuss the fallout of yesterday's election and what we can expect for the future of France.
We talk to BBC correspondent Damian Grammaticas, who was among a group of foreign journalists taken by train to North Korea's north-west coast to see the final preparations for the rocket launch, and the New York Times' Steven Erlanger explains the demands that the U.S. and its allies are planning before a new round of negotiations with Iran.
A new treaty agreed to in the early hours of Friday by 23 European Union countries, including all 17 euro zone states, may be the most direct discussion of what constitutes sovereignty since the creation of the United Nations. The intergovernmental pact is a major step toward closer integration for the 17 countries that use the euro as currency, as well as the six that hope to join in the future. British Prime Minister David Cameron vetoed a plan by France and Germany to make changes to the EU treaties that would affect all 27 EU nations, saying the deal was not in the U.K.'s interests.
European leaders meet in Brussels on Thursday for the start of a two day summit in what many are hoping will be a turning point for resolving the euro zone crisis. Expectations are high that a deal can be brokered by Germany and France to overhaul economic rules and create confidence in the beleaguered currency. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met with European officials earlier this week, a sign of American interest in reaching a resolution. But some economists and politicians are beginning to question whether, from the U.S. perspective, the euro is really worth saving.
A spokesman for Alassane Ouattara, Patrick Achi told the BBC that Outtara's forces have control of Laurent Gbagbo's official residence. He is apparently holed up in a bunker negotiating his departure. Meanwhile, France has defended its peacekeeping mission in the country as helicopters belonging to France carried out airstrikes in Abidjan. In appears that the civil war has ended in the country, but the future is still uncertain. For more we hear from Veronique Edwards with the BBC African Service and Steve Erlanger, The New York Times Paris bureau chief.
Rebel forces continue to fight for freedom from the Gadhafi regime. They have taken over much of the eastern part of the country, but experts say that Gadhafi will likely retain his hold on the capital city of Tripoli. Complicating the current and future situation in Libya is the fact that it's a tribal country, with some factions supporting Gadhafi and others fighting with the opposition.
Following protests in the region, Moroccan demonstrators flooded the streets to rally for political reform Sunday. Along with calling for the monarchy's power to be re-evaluated, protesters chanted slogans heard elsewhere in the Middle East. Steven Erlanger, Paris bureau chief for The New York Times reports from Casablanca. He describes the protests. The demonstrations were authorized by the government and went peacefully. However, the question is whether this is the beginning of something greater.
After al-Qaida militants were killed yesterday in Yemen and the U.S. embassy there closed due to security threats, how will the U.S. policy towards Yemen evolve next? We talk with Steven Erlanger, a reporter for The New York Times in Yemen, and Charlie Sennott, executive editor of the Global Post, about Yemen's changing role in the U.S. war on terrorists.
(Read Steven Erlanger's reporting from Yemen in The New York Times.)
The U.S. and Iran have discussed uranium enrichment in meetings outside Geneva, and Iran has agreed to open its uranium enrichment plant to international inspection in the next two weeks. For the latest, we're joined by Steve Erlanger, Paris Bureau Chief for our partner The New York Times.