Geopolitics

Le Monde Witnesses Use Of Chemical Weapons In Syria

LE MONDE (France), BBC NEWS (UK), REUTERS

Worldcrunch

PARIS - French newspaper Le Monde revealed Monday that two of its reporters went undercover in Syria, where they witnessed the repeated use of chemical weapons by the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

In a report issued on Le Monde's website, a special correspondent and a photographer describe the two months they spent clandestinely in Jobar, near Damascus, alongside Syrian rebels.

Describing a battlefield chemical attack, the reporter writes that it was like "a Pepsi can falling to the ground. No smell, no smoke, not even a hiss to indicate the release of toxic gas. Then come the symptoms. Men coughing violently. Eyes burning, pupils shrinking to the limit, vision blurring. Soon the men experience breathing troubles, sometimes sharply, they start vomiting and passing out. The fighters worst affected need to be evacuated before they suffocate."

Syria, which is not a member of the anti-chemical weapons convention, is believed to have one of the world's last remaining stockpiles of undeclared chemical arms, according to Reuters.

The confirmation of what had long been suspected comes as BBC News reveals that European Union foreign ministers are to discuss British and French calls for an easing of sanctions against Syria, so that weapons can be supplied to the rebels.

France and the UK are expected to argue that the move would increase pressure on Damascus for a political solution -- but several EU states are opposed to ending the arms embargo, which expires on May 31.


Guerre chimique à Damas par lemondefr

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Society

A Mother In Spain Denied Child Custody Because She Lives In Rural Area

A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.

A child in Galician countryside

Laure Gautherin

A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."

The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.


Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021

La Voz de Galicia

Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?


The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.

The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.

The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."

The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."

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