Today 05 December
A French court on Wednesday ruled against extraditing a businessman implicated in a plot to kill Benin's President Thomas Boni Yayi. Patrice Talon, a successful Beninese businessman and one-time ally of the president, was accused in October 2012 of trying to kill Boni Yayi by switching his medication for poison. Three people were arrested in Benin last year in connection with the alleged assassination plot: the president's niece, his doctor and a former minister. The case was later dismissed but the three are still in detention after Boni Yayi launched an appeal.
Arcady Gaydamak, the wealthy Franco-Israeli businessman wanted in France over alleged involvement in an Angolan arms sales scandal, has been freed after two weeks in a Swiss prison, a report said Wednesday. The 61-year-old tycoon had been arrested for not paying 400,000 euros ($542,000) to Luis Fernandez, a former French footballing international and the ex-coach of Betar Jerusalem, a club he once owned. Swiss prosecutors got involved because the money reportedly was meant to be paid via Geneva, but Fernandez allegedly never received it. "Angolagate" implicated members of the French political elite including former interior minister Charles Pasqua and ex-president Francois Mitterrand's son, Jean-Christophe Mitterrand.
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) - Vigilantes hacked 12 civilians to death north of Bangui as communal tensions rose ahead of a UN vote authorising force to stop the Central African Republic's descent into chaos. On the eve of the expected adoption by the UN Security Council of a resolution giving French and African troops the go-ahead, a military source said Wednesday that Christian militiamen had attacked Muslim herders. "Among the victims were children and a disembowelled pregnant woman," the source told AFP, adding that at least 10 other children were hospitalised in Bangui with deep gashes. We've never seen anything like this in Central Africa before."
The draft anti-prostitution law was approved by the lower-house National Assembly with 268 deputies voting in favour, 138 voting against and 79 abstaining. It was sponsored by women's rights minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, who hailed Wednesday's vote as "the end of a long road strewn with pitfalls". "France has placed itself at the side of those who prostitute themselves, against those who take advantage of their vulnerability," campaign group the Mouvement du Nid said in a statement. Critics, who include some of France's most prominent celebrities, say the legislation will simply push prostitution further underground and make the women who earn their living from it more vulnerable to abuse.
President Francois Hollande reacted to being told France is in danger of missing the boat in Africa on Tuesday by challenging the nation's business leaders to double trade with the continent. Citing a report that meeting that goal over the next five years would generate 200,000 jobs in France, Hollande told a major conference of French and African business leaders: "That is our objective: France must double its trade with Africa." Hollande's comments came ahead of a summit meeting with 40 African leaders here on Friday and Saturday, and also against a worrying backdrop for the former colonial power which once had far-reaching economic influence over expanses of Africa. Although the value of France's business links with the continent have steadily increased since its retreat from empire in the 1960s, it has seen its share of the market decline as China and other emerging economies have muscled in recently.