France becomes the 14th country to legalize same-sex marriage


French President Francois Hollande signs gay marriage into law

samesex
AFP May 18, 2013, 10.01AM IST

PARIS: France became the 14th country to legalize same-sex marriage on Saturday after President Francois Hollande signed it into law following months of bitter political debate.

Hollande acted a day after the Constitutional Council threw out a legal challenge by the right-wing opposition, which had been the last obstacle to passing the bill into law. The legislation also legalizes gay adoption.

French justice minister Christiane Taubira, who steered the legislation through parliament, has said the first gay marriages could be celebrated as early as June.

But opponents of the measures have vowed to continue their campaign, with a major protest rally scheduled for May 26 in Paris.

The issue has provoked months of acrimonious debate and hundreds of protests that have occasionally spilled over into violence.

Hollande made “marriage for all” a central plank of his presidential election campaign last year.

On Friday, in the wake of the Constitutional Council ruling, he warned that he would tolerate no resistance.

“I will ensure that the law applies across the whole territory, in full, and I will not accept any disruption of these marriages,” said the president.

It was “time to respect the law and the Republic”, he added.

 

Jaitapur a critical issue: It’s all about money, honey!


English: Internationally recognized symbol. De...

 

IndiPublished: Friday, Feb 15, 2013, 8:00 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

India and France on Thursday reviewed the progress on the controversial Jaitapur nuclear project, which is being constructed by French nuclear giant Areva and India’s public sector nuclear company Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), even as issues related to cost of this this multi-billion dollar deal remains pending.

“Today, President Hollande and I exchanged views on a number of bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of common interest. We reviewed progress on the Jaitapur nuclear power project and reiterated our commitment to its early implementation as soon as the commercial and technical negotiations, which have made good progress, are completed,” prime minister Manmohan Singh said.

India had signed agreements for the 9,900 MW nuclear power project in 2010 but owing to different factors such as protests from locals, difficulty in land acquisition, liability in case of accident and cost of the project, it has not moved ahead a great deal. Environmentalists have also critically opposed its construction voicing concern about seismic activity in the area specially after the Fukushima incident in Japan.

However, the Indian government has reiterated its commitment to go ahead with the project several times but has also admitted that there are issues pertaining to the cost of the project and technology.

In a joint statement released here on Thursday, French president Francois Hollande and Manmohan Singh expressed satisfaction regarding the project. “In the field of energy, the leaders expressed satisfaction in regard to the ongoing collaborative projects in R&D on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and agreed to further strengthen bilateral civil nuclear scientific cooperation,” the joint statement said.

“Recalling the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 4 February, 2009 between NPCIL and Areva for setting up of 6 x 1650 MWe EPR units at Jaitapur, the leaders reviewed the status in regard to the first two EPR units and noted that NPCIL and AREVA were engaged actively in techno-commercial discussions. They expressed hope for the expeditious conclusion of the negotiations. It was emphasized that the nuclear power plant at Jaitapur would incorporate the highest safety standards,” the joint statement noted.

Meanwhile, sources in the central government told DNA: “There has been satisfactory progress on talks regarding the nuclear project. As far as safety issues are concerned, Areva is bringing the latest technology. And even before the reactor at India would be built they would have built nuclear reactor using same latest technologies at several other places. So by the time it would be built in India all those things the company would learn while building those could be incorporated in Jaitapur plant.”

 

 

 

“We don’t want more money… we don’t want Jaitapur”


Mumbai, February 15, 2013

Staff Reporter, The Hindi

The Maharashtra government’s decision to give increased compensation to the Project-Affected People (PAP) of the proposed 9900-MW Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP), in the backdrop of French President Francois Hollande’s visit to India, has met with serious opposition.

The farmers and fishermen fighting against the JNPP on Thursday rejected the increased compensation package declared by the government, calling it a “cruel joke.”

“Never in our struggle against the project in the last three years, had we asked for increased compensation. We are against the nuclear project and will not let it happen even if the compensation is increased further,” said Pravin Gavankar, president, Janhit Seva Samiti, a people’s body fighting against the proposed power plant.

“The corrupt government feels that villagers can be bought. We want to tell them that we do not want money and we do not want the project,” he said.

The government had on Tuesday approved increased compensation. As per the revised package, the PAP would now get Rs. 22.5 lakh per hectare instead of the earlier compensation of Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 4.5 lakh per hectare. However, the government has made it clear that the increased compensation would be solely for the JNPP and not for any other project in the State.

The JNPP, to be set up by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), is a part of the India-France civilian nuclear cooperation. In 2010, prior to the visit of the then President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) had given environmental clearance to the project, with 35 conditions.

“The spineless Indian government seems hell-bent on satisfying the French government at any cost, rather than its own people. Every time those French officials visit India, our government makes announcements related to JNPP. It is the lowest level to which any government can fall,” said Satyajit Chavan, convener, Konkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti, an umbrella body of organisations opposing the JNPP.

The protesters have planned a m

arch in Mumbai during the State Assembly session to be held next month.

 

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