Egypt Independent: World-Main news en French police break fuel depot blockade, nuclear plant strike looms <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" /><p><span id="articleText"><span class="focusParagraph">Police broke up a fuel depot blockade in France on Wednesday and France&#39;s hardline CGT union prepared for a strike at a nuclear plant, escalating a standoff over proposed new labor laws.</span></span></p><p><span id="articleText">France has also mobilized its emergency motor fuel stocks for the first time since 2010, a spokeswoman for oil lobby group UFIP said.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Ministers went on radio morning shows to say the government would stand firm, while CGT chief Philippe Martinez told RTL radio that his union, one of the most powerful in France, would press on with its strikes.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">At stake is a labor reform that the government says is crucial to fight rampant unemployment stuck at over 10 percent of the workforce and which aim to make hiring and firing easier. The CGT says the reforms will unravel protective labor regulation, even though other unions back it.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">So far the strikes have affected oil depot and refineries, triggering shortages, and train and metro strikes have been announced too.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">The nuclear plant strike is a further escalation of a conflict that also threatens to affect the Euro 2016 football championship, which starts on June 10 in France.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">The government has accused the CGT of taking the country hostage.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;A small minority is trying to radicalize things,&quot; Junior minister Jean-Marie Le Guen told RTL radio. &quot;We will unblock the situation,&quot; he said, adding that a union &quot;cannot govern the country.&quot; </span></p><p><span id="articleText">Police used water cannons in the early hours of Wednesday to dislodge some 80 unionists who were blocking a fuel depot at Douchy-les-Mines, in northern France, union and police officials said. Other depots were unblocked by police on Tuesday.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Undeterred, CGT chief Philippe Martinez told France Inter: &quot;We will carry on.&quot;</span></p><p><span id="articleText">CGT workers have voted for a 24-hour strike starting at 1900 GMT on Wednesday at the Nogent-sur-Seine nuclear plant southeast of Paris and workers at other nuclear plants will meet today to decide on possible further strikes, Laurent Langlard, a spokesman for the CGT&#39;s energy federation said.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">The union, which he said represents close to half of workers in the sector, voted for a complete halt of production at the Nogent-sur-Seine plant, he said.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">UFIP spokeswoman Catherine Enck said &quot;a small quantity&quot; of the government&#39;s emergency stock had been drawn.</span></p> Wed, 25 May 2016 07:45:00 +0000 Reuters 2469867 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/05/25/505021/french_gendarmes.jpg Greece starts moving migrants from squalid border camp <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" /><p><span id="articleText"><span class="focusParagraph">Greece sent in police and bulldozers on Tuesday to knock down tents and relocate hundreds of migrants who had been stranded for months in a squalid makeshift camp on the border with Macedonia.</span></span></p><p><span id="articleText">Several busloads of people, most of them families with children, left the sprawling expanse of tents at Idomeni to move to state-run centers further south. Buses were lined up ready to take more, Reuters witnesses said.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">By the latest count, at least 8,000 people were camped at Idomeni in difficult, overcrowded conditions with poor sanitation, ignoring previous calls by the government to leave. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">As many as 12,000 people, most of them Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis, were stuck there at one point after Balkan countries shut their borders in February, barring them from crossing to central and northern Europe.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Greece was the main entry point for more than a million migrants who made it to Europe last year, most after perilous sea crossings. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">New arrivals there have slowed sharply since the European Union struck a deal with Turkey to get it to curb the flow, but the government says there are still more than 54,000 migrants on Greek soil.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">It plans to move people gradually to state-supervised facilities which have a capacity of about 5,000. A total of 2,031 people were moved on Tuesday, police said, 1,273 of them Kurds, 662 Syrians and 96 Yazidis.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;The evacuation is progressing without any problem,&quot; said Giorgos Kyritsis, a government spokesman on the migration crisis. They would be relocated &quot;ideally by the end of the week&quot;, he said. &quot;We haven&#39;t put a strict deadline on it.&quot;</span></p><p><span id="articleText">A Reuters witness on the Macedonian side of the border said there was a heavy police presence in the area, but no problems were reported as people with young children packed up huge bags with their belongings. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">Media on the Greek side of the border were kept at a distance. Inside the Idomeni camp, police in riot gear stood guard as people boarded the buses, state TV footage showed.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">But at the Oreokastro camp near the city of Thessaloniki, migrants already there shouted at new arrivals not to get off the buses because of conditions there, a Reuters witness said. </span></p><p><strong><span id="articleText">Poor conditions</span></strong></p><p><span id="articleText">A police official said about 1,000 people continued to block the only railway tracks linking Greece and Macedonia, closed off for weeks by protesters demanding passage to northern Europe.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Trains were forced to divert through Bulgaria to the east, and some goods wagons have been stranded on the tracks for weeks.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;This should have happened a long time ago,&quot; said Anastasios Sachpelidis, a local transporters association representative. The closure was &quot;a big loss,&quot; he said. &quot;We lost clients, we lost money, time and our credibility.&quot;</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Human rights groups had raised alarm about the deteriorating conditions at Idomeni, where children slept in the open, scuffles broke out over food, and Macedonian forces who tear-gassed migrants trying to storm past the razor-wire fence. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">International charity Save the Children said it was also concerned about a lack of basic services such as bathrooms and shelters for children in some of the official camps.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;Many of the children, especially lone children, have been through enough trauma already,&quot; said Amy Frost, its Greece team leader. &quot;Relocations to formal camps need to be managed sensitively to ensure the process is not adding to the trauma.&quot;</span></p><p><span id="articleText">The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said Greece had to ensure the individuals now had access to asylum. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;That has been an issue </span>&mdash;<span id="articleText"> making sure Greece has this capacity to do that. It is something that we have to continue to watch,&quot; spokesman Adrian Edwards told a briefing in Geneva.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">A sharp rise in asylum applications since the EU-Turkey deal has burdened Greece&#39;s asylum system, already criticized as inadequate and slow.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Progress has also lagged on a scheme to redistribute 160,000 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy to other EU states to alleviate pressure on the two frontline countries. Just 1,145 people have been relocated so far.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">The evacuation of Idomeni signaled &quot;the establishment of medium to long-term camps on European soil,&quot; said Melanie Ward of aid group International Rescue Committee.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;How long do we expect people </span>&mdash;<span id="articleText"> so many of whom have fled war and conflict </span>&mdash;<span id="articleText"> to be living in tents in refugee camps in Greece?&quot; </span></p> Wed, 25 May 2016 07:36:00 +0000 Reuters 2469865 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/05/25/505021/greece_border.jpg Trump, aiming to offset money disadvantage, escalates Clinton attacks <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" /><p><span id="articleText"><span class="focusParagraph">Donald Trump this week took his use of sordid accusations against Democrat Hillary Clinton to levels unprecedented in modern US presidential campaigns, in the latest example of the Republican&#39;s unorthodox playbook.</span></span></p><p><span id="articleText">The presumptive Republican nominee is working to gain stronger footing and offset a big advantage Clinton is likely to have ahead of the November 8 presidential election </span>&mdash;<span id="articleText"> a huge campaign war chest that she and her allies intend to use to launch a barrage of attacks against him. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">Trump is using the same strategy he used repeatedly during the Republican nomination fight against rivals like Ted Cruz </span>&mdash;<span id="articleText"> making incendiary statements that US television networks can&#39;t resist covering, giving him hours of free media and putting his opponents on the defensive. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">The strategy may already be working.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Trump has raised more than a few eyebrows with his latest round of attacks against Clinton. He has turned history into headlines that play like a virtual reel in the 24-hour news world of cable TV and the internet.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Trump&#39;s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowsi, said the strategy makes sense.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;Clearly, she&#39;s going to have massive amounts of money,&quot; Lewandowski told Reuters. &quot;The difference is Mr Trump has funded his campaign. What we&rsquo;ve been able to do in this campaign cycle is to generate earned media based on Mr Trump&rsquo;s ability to be a straight talker, and genuine and authentic, and I think that&rsquo;s what drives the news cycle.&quot;</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Trump&#39;s latest salvos include a rape accusation against former President Bill Clinton dating to the 1970s and the suicide of an aide to the former president in 1993 </span>&mdash;<span id="articleText"> events that the campaign links to Hillary Clinton.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">An online video released by Trump has various women accusing the former president of rape or unwanted sexual advances. Trump accused Hillary Clinton of helping to silence the women. The Clintons and their supporters have dismissed the charges as baseless and politically motivated.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Then, in an interview with The Washington Post, Trump suggested that the Clintons may have been involved in the 1993 death of Vince Foster, a former aide to Bill Clinton and a friend of Hillary Clinton, even though more than five investigations, including one conducted by Republican special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, concluded Foster committed suicide in a Virginia park.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Trump was alluding to theories over the years that have been circulated in tabloid publications, in the depths of the internet and in books by the Clintons&#39; foes.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">The attacks have put Clinton on her back foot.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Trump &quot;just continues to gobble news cycle after news cycle,&quot; said Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, who ran the Super PACs that backed Senator Ted Cruz in the primary and aggressively attacked Trump. &quot;Clinton is spending less time campaigning about the future and more time explaining the past than she would probably like.&rdquo; </span></p><p><span id="articleText">The barrage puts Clinton in a bind. So far, she has opted to ignore Trump&#39;s personal attacks and her campaign has offered general pushback. But Clinton risks the negative onslaught dragging down her standing in the public and irreversibly damaging her general election hopes.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;I played a lot of hardball in my life, but I don&#39;t envy what the Clinton campaign is up against here. Trump himself has totally changed the political dynamic,&quot; said Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist who supports Clinton. &quot;What they can&#39;t afford to do is get in the gutter with the guy. He has absolutely no morals or scruples. Getting into the gutter with him is an absolute waste of time.&quot;</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Clinton&#39;s campaign and the Super PACs supporting her won&#39;t be without funds to try to combat the attacks and launch her own. At the end of April, she had US$30 million in her campaign account, compared with Trump&#39;s $2 million. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">And the PAC supporting her, which can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, had $46 million at the end of April </span>&mdash;<span id="articleText"> a total that is likely to grow over the summer. The PAC backing Trump is just getting off the ground.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Clinton will also depend on an army of surrogates to try to combat Trump without having to respond to him herself. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">Trump has already proven he can dispatch opponents without spending much money by defining them to voters through aggressive appearances on news programs. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">Republican rival Jeb Bush had a more than $100 million advantage going into the primary. But Trump painted him as &quot;low energy&quot; and defined him as inept, a characterization Bush&#39;s money was never able to overcome.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">The PACs backing Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz spent millions assailing Trump. Trump was able to leverage extensive coverage of his campaign by the media to combat their attacks while spending little money on advertising.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Trump has been proven an expert at raising attack lines that have already been settled, but insisting that questions remain. He spent years demanding that President Barack Obama produce his birth certificate, despite myriad evidence that he was born in Hawaii including government records of the president&#39;s birth in Honolulu.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">For Trump, some of the attacks are targeted at young voters </span>&mdash;<span id="articleText"> those in their early 20s and 30s were too young to have been immersed in news about the scandals of the Clinton years. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;You have a whole series of the population who either (a) don&rsquo;t know anything about it, or (b) weren&rsquo;t paying attention at the time,&quot; Lewandowski said.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">A Clinton ally said Trump is simply trying to distract attention from his own liabilities </span>&mdash;<span id="articleText"> such as refusing to release his tax returns and his own history of problems with women.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;The more he raises these outrageous and outlandish charges,&quot; said US Representative Xavier Becerra, of California, a Democratic leader in the House, &quot;the more he keeps you pedaling in a different direction.&quot;</span></p> Wed, 25 May 2016 07:18:00 +0000 Reuters 2469863 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/05/25/505021/trumpie.jpg Japan, Canada share 'serious concerns' on South China Sea: PM Abe <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p><span id="articleText"><span class="focusParagraph">Japan and Canada share &quot;serious concerns&quot; over reclamation and militarization in the South China Sea, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday, in an apparent reference to China&#39;s maritime activity.</span></span></p><p><span id="articleText">China and the United States have traded accusations of militarizing the South China Sea as Beijing undertakes large-scale land reclamation and construction on disputed features while Washington has increased its patrols and exercises.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Abe&#39;s comment, made at a joint news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, came ahead of a Group of Seven summit later this week, where maritime security, along with the global economy and terrorism, will be among main issues.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;As for the South China Sea, we share serious concerns over unilateral actions that raise tensions, such as large-scale reclamation, the building of facilities and militarization,&quot; Abe told reporters.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;It is a significant achievement that we have agreed to cooperate to secure rule-based, free, safe seas,&quot; he said, referring to his talks with Trudeau.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">China claims almost the entire South China Sea. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims to parts of the waters, through which about US$5 trillion in trade is shipped every year.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Tokyo has no claims on the waterway but worries about China&#39;s growing military reach into sea lanes through which much of Japan&#39;s ship-borne trade passes.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Trudeau steered clear of the maritime dispute in his comments and instead chose to focus on economic ties with Japan.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;As part of our delegation, Canada&#39;s trade minister is here. She will be meeting with Japanese companies and is expected to make a number of announcements as part of her visit,&quot; he said.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">He did not elaborate on the plans of International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland in Japan. </span></p> Tue, 24 May 2016 14:00:00 +0000 Reuters 2469859 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/05/24/505021/canada_china.jpg