FRANCE : Why are teachers striking ?

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For the first time since 2011, the union of teachers call a strike on Monday. They want to denounce the recent announcements of the minister of education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, who is, for the first time confronted with the social discontent.

Strike in French education

The motives of this anger are numerous:

The number of teaching posts is being reduced. Indeed, the budget for 2019 plans to delete around 2,650 posts in public middle schools and high schools (550 in the private, and 400 in the administration). On the other hand, about 1,800 posts will be created in the primary sector, by virtue of the priority given to the youngest pupils, wanted by the Secretary. The staff “does not understand” the staff cuts in the secondary sector, even more with the increase in population expected in middle schools and high schools.

The trade unions also criticize the reform of the high school diploma, which comes into force this year. Last February, Jean-Michel Blanquer announced, for 2021 the establishment, of a narrower examination around four tests and the abolition of the general series (literary, scientific, and social-economic) replaced by “specialities” chosen upstream. According to the teaching staff, the ministry has not yet delivered the necessary precision to inform the new high school students of what awaits them. 

Moreover, the government announced in October, a plan to reduce violence in schools which includes among other, the consideration of placing policemen in schools or creating special schools for the most rebellious students. The teaching and police labor unions considered several of these measures unsuitable or “impracticable”.


England is willing to pay for Northern Irish women in need of abortion

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UK government announced their plans to provide abortion services for Northern Irish women. In addition, women seeking an abortion will receive ‘state support to pay for their travel costs’, says the newspaper Irish Examiner.

Source : The Telegraph

While abortion is a sensitive and illegal subject in Ireland, it is not so in other parts of the UK. In order to get an abortion, Northern Irish women often travel across the English soils. In fact, around 700 women a year travel from Northern Ireland to England, Wales or Scotland for abortions. However, those trips cost a lot. The price to pay is often ‘around £900’, The Guardian reveals. It is a fact, having an abortion requires to be financially stable. The problem needs to be fixed and Justine Greening, the Minister for Women and Equalities, declared that the ‘charge was an injustice and the government would change its stance.’

By the end of the year, Northern Irish ladies will access to free abortion services in England. Also, women will be able to arrange an appointment with a healthcare professional, thanks to a central telephone booking system.

As a result, women are not only helped in getting an abortion, their human rights are also slowly being recognized. Indeed, Stella Creasy, British Labour Co-operative politician, noticed women in Northern Ireland were being denied a basic human right and this whole situation could be a step forward. “Today we also pledge to keep standing with them until they have equal access to abortion services in Northern Ireland itself,” she said. “Our sisters need to have their human rights to be upheld and we won’t give up until they have so.” The Guardian reported.

Tiphanie Bénard, IEJ2B

French former minister of interior is given a suspended sentence for two years

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Claude Géant, who is very close to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy is given a suspended sentence for two years after he has been convicted of the cash bonuses he received when he was the minister of interior. He is also banned from the public service for five years and has to pay 75,000-euro fine.


The French politician is accused of « misappropriation of public funds complicity and concealment ». Michel Gaudin, the former general director of the national police is also given a suspended sentence for ten months in the same case. Three other members of his cabinet are charged with “receiving stolen goods” and fined 20,000 to 40,000 euros. 
The case involved cash bonuses that each members of Nicolas Sarkozy’s office took when Claude Guéant was the interior minister. These amounts were deducted from an envelope for costs of investigation and monitoring of police units and handed over by Michel Gaudin. In all, the amount reached a total of 210,000 euros, or 10,000 euros per month, delivered between 2002 and 2004.

Claude Gueant meanwhile, denied having acted illegally justifying himself by stating that he introduced this system following an example of the reform of special funds of Lionel Jospin in 2001.

Sharon Camara.

Burkina Faso: Fall of President Comparaoré

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OUAGADOUDOU, Burkina Faso –  President Compaoré announced  in a press release that he was leaving the power and confirmed his wishes for “free and transparent” election in a deadline of 90 days.

“From this day, Blaise Compaoré is not any more in power ,” launched shortly before local 12:30 am, colonel Boureima Farta, carried on the shoulders of his servicemen. The officer had come, on foot and under escort, since the joint staff, every close relation of the square of the Nation, where the demonstrators streamed in the morning.

The government of Burkina Faso collapsed on Thursday as demonstrators protesting against the president’s plans to stay in the office after twenty seven years, surged through the streets of Ougadougou, the capital. Overrunning state broadcasters, setting the homes of the president’s relatives on fire.

At the same moment, the European Union considered that he “it is now up to the Burkinabe people to decide their future”, after riots against the dictorial regime. ” We call up to the sense of the responsibility of all the political strengths, the army and the republican institutions as well as the Burkinabe people to build together a new future for the country, in a calm way, in the respect for the democratic principles and for the Constitution “, declared a spokesman of the diplomatic service department of the EU.


Agathe Peroceschi, IEJ 1B