Multiple protests against French minister accused of rape

A protester with a whistle holds a placard reading 'against the rape ignorance, the parity culture' during a demonstration called by feminist movements in front of the city hall in Paris, on July 10, 2020. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 10 July 2020

Multiple protests against French minister accused of rape

  • The actions started Friday morning in Dijon, where new Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and Prime Minister Jean Castex were meeting with police
  • A dozen feminists held out banners and signs condemning Darmanin and rape culture

PARIS: Women’s rights activists are calling for protests Friday in about 50 cities in France and abroad against President Emmanuel Macron’s appointment of a new interior minister who is accused of rape and a justice minister who has minimized the #MeToo movement.
The actions started Friday morning in Dijon, where new Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and Prime Minister Jean Castex were meeting with police. A dozen feminists held out banners and signs condemning Darmanin and rape culture.
Feminist group Nous Toutes announced other actions in Paris and other French cities as well as at French embassies or consulates in London, Sydney, Montreal, Berlin, Brussels, Barcelona and Tel Aviv.
Nous Toutes national coordinator Pauline Baron called the appointments “a slap in the face” to victims of sexual violence.
The French government said it remains committed to gender equality and defended the new ministers, stressing the presumption of innocence.
Darmanin firmly denies the rape accusation, and an investigation is underway. New Justice Minister Éric Dupond-Moretti is a lawyer who has defended a government member accused of rape and sexual assault, and has ridiculed women speaking out thanks to the #MeToo movement.


Russia says world’s largest nuclear icebreaker embarks on Arctic voyage

Updated 22 September 2020

Russia says world’s largest nuclear icebreaker embarks on Arctic voyage

  • Russian state firm Rosatomflot has called the vessel the world’s largest and most powerful icebreaker
  • The ship was named after a Soviet-era icebreaker of the same name that in 1977 became the first surface ship to reach the North Pole

MOSCOW: A nuclear-powered ice breaker Russia says is the world’s largest and most powerful set off on Tuesday on a two-week journey to the Arctic as part of Moscow’s efforts to tap the region’s commercial potential.
Known as “Arktika,” the nuclear icebreaker left St. Petersburg and headed for the Arctic port of Murmansk, a journey that marks its entry into Russia’s icebreaker fleet.
Russian state firm Rosatomflot has called the vessel the world’s largest and most powerful icebreaker. It is more than 173 meters long, designed for a crew of 53, and can break ice almost three-meters thick.
The ship is seen as crucial to Moscow’s efforts to develop the Northern Sea Route, which runs from Murmansk to the Bering Strait near Alaska.
Amid warmer climate cycles, Russia hopes the route could become a mini Suez Canal, cutting sea transport times from Asia to Europe.
“The creation of a modern nuclear icebreaker fleet capable of ensuring regular year-round and safe navigation through the entire Northern Sea Route is a strategic task for our country,” Vyacheslav Ruksha, head of Rosatom’s Northern Sea Route Directorate, said in a statement.
Prior to its voyage to the Arctic, the icebreaker was tested during sea trials in the stormy waters of the Gulf of Finland, navigating its way through high winds and towering waves.
The ship was named after a Soviet-era icebreaker of the same name that in 1977 became the first surface ship to reach the North Pole.
Russia has stepped up its construction of icebreakers in a bid to increase freight traffic in Arctic waters.
President Vladimir Putin said last year that the country’s Arctic fleet would operate at least 13 heavy-duty icebreakers, the majority of which would be powered by nuclear reactors.