August 19th, 2010
06:41 AM ET

World update: France begins controversial Roma expulsion

An update from the CNN newsdesk in London on some of the stories we're following on Thursday:

France Roma - France’s controversial expulsion of Roma was due to begin on Thursday, with 79 being put on a flight out of the country.  The Roma travelling today are returning voluntarily after being paid 300 euros by the French government, but the interior minister has warned that gypsy camps will be forcibly dismantled and illegal residents deported within three months. The Romanian Foreign Minister has called the move “xenophobic.”

Al-Megrahi release - Reports of planned celebrations in Libya to commemorate the first anniversary of the release of convicted Lockerbie bomber Al-Megrahi have angered relatives of the victims. One year on, many of them are asking the questions, why is he still alive a year on from when doctors said he had less than three months to live? U.S. senator are also asking for a formal investigation into what influence BP’s business interests in Libya may have had on the release process. CNN’s Phil Black ties the strands of this story together.

South Africa strike - Over one million public sector workers continue to strike in South Africa with another union joining in the action. Police fired rubber bullets and used water cannons to disperse a striking crowd in Soweto. The strikes are part of a demand for higher wages.

Football Fanshare - Arsenal fans are trying to set up a “fanshare” scheme, allowing them to have more of a say in their football club by buying shares. Jim Boulden investigates.

Tourism tips - Don't mention the war to a Mexican. Do remember a smiling Japanese person is not necessarily happy.  And always be careful how you pour wine for an Argentinean. These are just some of the tips from the UK’s government-funded national tourism agency, VisitBritain, being published in the run up to the 2012 Olympics.

Bull injuries - A bull leapt out of the arena at a bullring in northern Spain Wednesday and charged into a crowd of terrified spectators, injuring some 30 people, Spanish media said. The incident happened Wednesday evening in the bullring in the town of Tafalla, in the Navarra region.

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. San S.

    I went to a bullfight many many years ago - disgusting. Any time I see a news item on bullfighting I route for the bull. Good on ya, bull! Wish you had gored the matador.

    August 19, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. oneStarman - Walla Walla, WA

    oneStarman JUDENFREI (German: free of Jews) or Judenrein (literally "clean of Jews") was a Nazi term to designate an area free of Jews during The Holocaust, but first the Gypsies were rounded up first – Mon Dieu, quel frommage!

    August 19, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Greg Cameron

    Why is France singling out this one particular ethnic group? And why doesn't anyone refer to France's actions in regards to the Roma as what it is – ethnic cleansing? Ethnic cleansing is not just genocide. Always remember what the Nazis did to the Roma in the Second World War. This truly has unfortunate reverberations in our age.

    August 27, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Fred Flintstone

    We now have many Roma (Gypsies) in Canada.
    They steal everything that is not nailed down.
    They are career criminals.
    In sothern Europe they behave exactly the same way, I have seen it over and over.
    Why would a country like France who is known for appeasing everybody (Muslims are a good exaple) deport a whole ethnic group without a very good reason.
    Wake up.

    August 24, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |