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The underwater crisis opens the eyes of European partners

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French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said Thursday that the submarine crisis shows that the European Union “can no longer count” on the United States to guarantee protection and asked Europeans to “open their eyes.”

“The first lesson to be learned from this episode is that the European Union must build its strategic independence. The Afghanistan episode and the submarine episode show that we can no longer count on the United States to provide our strategic protection, ”he said in his statements. at Franceinfo.

“The United States has only one strategic goal: China and containment of China’s growth in power,” the French minister added.

According to Bruno Le Meur, both former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden “believe that their allies must be obedient.”

“But we believe that we must be independent,” he defended, adding that “the European partners must open their eyes.”

The crisis between the two countries stems from the fact that the United States, Britain and Australia signed the AUKUS pact (English initials of the three Anglo-Saxon countries), which aims to strengthen trilateral cooperation in advanced defense technologies such as artificial intelligence, underwater systems and long-range surveillance.

The first consequence of this was the cancellation by Australia of the contract with France for the supply of conventional submarines and the intention to buy nuclear submarines from the United States, which caused strong protests and criticism from Paris.

France had a contract for the supply of twelve conventional submarines to Australia worth 56 billion euros. This delivery was canceled by Canberra as the Australian government decided to buy nuclear submarines from the United States.

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The decision was sharply criticized by France, a number of European countries and the leaders of the European Union. Since then, relations with the United States have soured.

The only European country that did not criticize this decision was Denmark, whose Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that she did not understand the position of the European partners. The French economy minister used Thursday’s interview to criticize “Denmark’s support for the United States.”

“It is a mistake to think, as the head of state of Denmark, that the United States will continue to defend and protect us, no matter what happens,” he said, adding that from now on, Europe “cannot count on anyone but itself “.

The two dispersed presidents of the United States and France spoke on the phone Wednesday and agreed to meet in October to ease diplomatic tensions over the Australian submarine.

In a joint statement following the phone call, the leaders of the two countries announced that they would meet “in Europe at the end of October” and that the French ambassador to Washington, summoned for consultations last week, will resume his duties next week.

“The two leaders agreed that the situation could benefit from open consultations between allies,” the statement added, referring to protests in Paris over the lack of advance notice of a protection pact between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.

“President Biden has expressed his unwavering commitment to this issue,” the joint statement added, noting that the US leader believes it is “necessary for European defense to be stronger and more effective” in order to promote transatlantic security and fulfill “NATO’s role”. …

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Luxembourg became the first European country to legalize the production and consumption of cannabis

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Luxembourg became the first European country to legalize the production and consumption of cannabis after local authorities announced this Friday allowing adults to grow up to four plants in their homes or gardens. With permission, a dramatic shift in the country’s approach to the recreational use and cultivation of cannabis is envisioned in light of the failure of the ban to prevent its use.

Thus, people over 18 years of age can legally grow up to four plants per family for personal use. The seed trade will also be allowed without any restrictions on the amount or levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient.

There is also an intention to allow domestic seed production for commercial purposes, but plans for a national regulated production and distribution chain have been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The consumption or transport of cannabis or similar products in public places continues to be prohibited, as is the sale of cannabis or related products other than seeds. Consuming and transporting quantities up to 3 grams will not be considered a crime, but will be classified as a misdemeanor.

Government sources said that the adoption of the law was dictated by the desire to liberalize consumption and cultivation “within its four walls.” According to government sources, a state-regulated production and distribution system must guarantee product quality and sales revenues, which will be invested “mainly in drug prevention, education and health care.”

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France gives a “fuel check” for 100 euros from December

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Starting in December, France will provide a one-time € 100 “fuel check” to an estimated 36 million drivers who earn less than € 2,000 a month due to rising diesel and gasoline prices.

The measure, which applies to dependents and independent workers, unemployed job seekers and retirees, was announced on Thursday by Prime Minister Jean Castex, who, in statements broadcast on TF1, said it was “an exceptional response to an exceptional situation.” …

The financial support will be provided only once and will come after growing public discontent with the global energy crisis, as households are still recovering from the economic fallout from the covid-19 pandemic.

In September, the French government pledged € 100 in financial aid to about six million low-income families to help them pay their electricity bills.

Castex announced that the natural gas price freeze will continue until the end of next year.

The fuel issue is particularly acute in France after the emergence of the anti-government yellow vests movement, which began in 2018 with protests against higher fuel taxes.

The protest quickly turned into a general protest against economic injustice, which resulted in weekly, sometimes violent demonstrations.

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“If I don’t get what I want, I’d rather kill the Americans”: Armed group that kidnapped 17 people in Haiti threatens to start executions

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In a video released this Thursday, the leader of an armed group that has kidnapped 17 people, mostly missionaries, in Haiti threatens to kill them if the ransom is not paid.

The gang, known as the 400 Mawozo, is holding captive all of the kidnapped people – 16 Americans and one Canadian, including six women and five children. For their release, a ransom of one million dollars (more than 862 thousand euros) was required for each, that is, for a total amount of 17 million dollars (about 15 million euros).

“I swear if I don’t get what I want, I’d rather kill the Americans. I shot everyone in the head, ”said Joseph Wilson, who is considered by the authorities to be the leader of the armed group.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which adds that it has not been able to confirm the video’s authenticity, Joseph appears to be speaking at the funeral of five gang members, whose death he attributed to the person in charge of the police. The funeral took place this Wednesday, and the circumstances of the death are unknown.

“Five soldiers fell, but whoever killed them cannot destroy the army. I’m going to spill blood, ”threatens Wilson Joseph.

The video was filmed less than a week after the kidnapping, which occurred over the weekend as a group of missionaries working for the Christian Relief Ministry were returning from a shelter in Croix-de-Bouquet, about eight miles from the capital, Port-au. -Prince.

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