PARIS: France braced for a fresh round of “yellow vest” protests across the country on Saturday, with the authorities vowing zero tolerance for violence after weekly scenes of rioting and vandalism in Paris and other cities over the past two months.
Officials have warned they expect this weekend’s anti-government demonstrations to be bigger and more violent than a week ago, as a movement which had shown signs of fatigue appeared to gain new momentum.
Armoured vehicles and 5,000 officers will be deployed in Paris, where images of burning cars, smashed shops and daylong clashes between protesters and police have made global headlines since November.
“Blue-chip companies, the media, are all in Paris, we’ll be more visible,” Arnaud, a 48-year-old yellow vest organiser for the Seine-et-Marne region near the capital, told media.
Others have called on protesters to converge on the central city of Bourges, which could potentially attract more people from cities farther from Paris.
“I hope that in a city where there’s been no incidents since the start of the movement, the mobilisation will be strong and peaceful,” one of the organisers said, asking for anonymity.
But Bourges city officials weren’t taking any chances, outlawing all gatherings in the historic city centre, removing parking metres, benches and other urban furniture, and closing public buildings and gardens.
Mayor Pascal Blanc told media that residents were “worried,” with banks and other businesses boarding up windows.
Nationwide some 80,000 security forces will be on hand.
Bears growl at Hong Kong bourse
HONG KONG: Shares fell more than one percent Tuesday, hit by concerns over rising Iran-US tensions and as investors await this week’s crucial trade talks between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.
The Hang Seng Index sank 1.15 percent, or 327.02 points, to 28,185.98. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.87 percent or 26.07 points,
to 2,982.07, while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, lost 0.99 percent, or 15.63 points, to 1,560.46.
Pak role in Afghan peace process lauded by SG of NATO
BRUSSELS: Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg during a meeting with Pakistani FM Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi has noted that Pakistan had played a positive role in regional peace.
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO wanted to work with Pakistan on bilateral understanding.
GS NATO and FM Pakistan profoundly discussed security matters being faced by Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Kashmir.
Relevant pieces published earlier:
BRUSSELS: Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister (FM) of Pakistan, has arrived here today on a two-day official visit.
Here he will be signing a comprehensive strategic plan with EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. He will also meet NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at its headquarters in Brussels.
ISLAMABAD: FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi has informed that a strategic plan had been agreed with the European Union (EU).
FM said this while talking to the journalists here today before leaving for Brussels. FM further told that he would sign this agreement with EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. Terming it a positive development Qureshi said it would begin long-term cooperation with the EU.
Qureshi, who is scheduled to meet NATO General Secretary at its headquarters in Brussels, said Pakistan had been cooperating with NATO and extended unprecedented help to US and NATO forces in matters pertaining to Afghanistan. FM reiterated that Pakistan had played a key role in the war against terrorism and NATO had acknowledged that fact.
Krish Das discusses Master of Sc. in Journalism program (VIDEO AND TEXT)
KARACHI: Krish Das, the US Consulate General’s spokesman here, and Dr. Larry Pintak, founding dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication and member of the advisory board of the Center of Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) discuss the CEJ and its various programs including the Master of Science in Journalism.
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