French voters have started casting ballots for the presidential election in a tense first-round poll that is seen as a test for the spread of populism around the world. More than 60,000 polling stations opened on Sunday for voters who will choose between 11 candidates in the most unpredictable election in generations. Polling stations open in Paris. (AP/Bertrand Combaldieu)
Opinion polls point to a tight race among the four top contenders vying to get into the May 7 presidential run-off that will decide who becomes France s next head of state. Polls suggest far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, an independent centrist and former economy minister, were in the lead. However, conservative Francois Fillon, a former prime minister, appeared to be closing the gap, as was far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon.
A voting machine displays the names of the 11 candidates. (AP/Bertrand Combaldieu) France s 10% unemployment rate, its struggling economy and security issues topped concerns for the 47 million eligible voters. If Ms Le Pen or Mr Melenchon win a spot in the run-off, it will be seen as a victory for the rising wave of populism reflected by the votes for Donald Trump and Brexit.
People line up before casting their vote. (AP/Emilio Morenatti)
Mr Macron and Mr Fillon are committed to European unity and would reform employment rules.
Early voting began on Saturday in France s overseas territories.
A Muslim woman filmed airport security staff in Rome telling her to remove her hijab and be inspected because she was “not safe”. Aghnia Adzkia was returning to London, where she is a student, after visiting friends in the Italian capital when the row broke out. She said staff initially asked her to remove her hijab at the security gate at Ciampino airport.
When Aghnia, who is from Indonesia, refused she was eventually offered the option of going to a private room with a female security officer to be checked. But she felt she had been racially profiled by security and asked them to explain why the hijab inspection was necessary.
Muslim woman films her row with airport security over hijab inspection (Photo: CEN / @aghniaadzkia)
Aghnia filmed part of the argument in which a female security agent can be heard saying: “You are not safe.
“You could hide something in your hair.
“If you don’t take it off, we do not know if there’s something inside, okay ? You are not safe for us.”
Aghnia decided to abandon her flight as she was already late for boarding and re-booked a flight from another of Rome’s airport’s, Leanardo Da Vinci-Fiumicino.
But she was again asked to remove her hijab by security. This time she opted to comply. Posting on social media about her experience, Aghnia said: “I wanted to prove to them that I have nothing to hide and I am not a terrorist.
A female airport security agent tells Aghnia: “You are not safe for us” (Photo: CEN / @aghniaadzkia)
“In the meantime I saw two nuns wearing headscarves, but they weren’t asked to take them off.
“Is this what you call fair treatment and respect ?
Where are my human rights?”
But an official at the Indonesian Embassy (KBRI) argued that, when in Rome, Aghnia should have complied with the security officers’ wishes.
Airport policies on removing items of religious clothing vary in different countries and airports.
Aghnia claims she was racially profiled as she saw two nuns wearing headscarves walk through security unchecked (Photo: CEN / @aghniaadzkia)
In the UK, government advice issued in 2010 states that Some female visitors, particularly those of the Muslim faith, will wear veils or other face coverings for religious reasons.
“They must not be made to uncover their faces or hair in public or in front of a man as this could cause serious offence and distress.
“When required for security or identification purposes, the removal of the veil or face covering must be done in private with only female staff present.
“Following the removal of headwear, the person must be given the opportunity to use a mirror, and to have privacy and time to put it back on.”
preventive police monitoring of high risk people ?
Is that the sort of thing which is called spying & cvauses diplomatic incidents when the CIA do it? Posted on 4/13/17 | 8:55 AM CEST
Ohhh, and when some people were saying that 1-2 years ago, Mrs Merkel and her political allies were calling them racist, fascist and xenophobes. Posted on 4/13/17 | 9:03 AM CEST
Am sure empress ditherer of bankrupt EZ empire the germans will pay the price even more
Posted on 4/13/17 | 9:12 AM CEST
Yes Alan . Spying by security services . Current terrorism shows why we should do it, and a little thought shows us why it s so dangerous to overdo it.
As an example, consider the UK s snooper s charter . It completely tilts the balance between the State and the individual as far as electronic spying is concerned. You can also take international spying on friendly states too far . Take e.g . the UK installing phone taps on the EU in Brussels .
Or the CIA tapping Mrs . Merkel s phone. By your logic, EU countries would be fully justified in trying to tap Mrs . May s phone and using that to improve negotiation tactics on Brexit . After all that s what GHCQ is busily doing with the EU, right?
Posted on 4/13/17 | 9:12 AM CEST
We will never accept terror oh really ?
I m surprised, it seemed that they have so far enjoyed it and made a lot to have it even more while at the same time bashing countries that made safety of their citizens top priority like Hungary or Poland.
What happened ?!? Posted on 4/13/17 | 9:37 AM CEST
What happened? Is there an election looming by any chance?
Should we tell Vlad & the Trolls? (sounds a bit like a 70 s /80 s punk rock band )
Posted on 4/13/17 | 9:43 AM CEST
She d say anything to lure back voters the CDU has lost to the AfD . The Amazing thing is that the average German still believes that Merkel will somehow fix their broken society and all will be well, while they are increasingly governed from Ankara and somewhere from the shores of Lybia. Posted on 4/13/17 | 10:20 AM CEST
Islamic terrorism, she said . Ok,boys in the german independent media, the boss spoke, you can stop with your exhilarating not so clear, maybe football fan, or maybe a foreigner we don t know precisely from where, could be a brasilian tourist, maybe attitude
Posted on 4/13/17 | 10:24 AM CEST
Ooops . . this can t be, can it?
And, now Frau Merkel having invited the many will come up with a plan to interrogate all to find the few
Posted on 4/13/17 | 11:16 AM CEST
Seem to remember the DGSE was reputed to run a most effective commercial/industrial spying operation. A little thought actually shows why it is dangerous to underdo the electronic monitoring bit, many people would I suspect be quite accepting of the snoopers charter concepts and have no principled objections to it . I accept that there others who do.
As for international spying, information interpretation & intelligence gathering is what diplomats have always done, its akin to what the press/media do, electronics just changes the way its done.
Are you seriously suggesting that EU27 are not currently doing something similar?
BTW was it not a falling out with the head of the Luxembourg Secret Service which contributed to Junkers downfall as PM just before he became president of the Commission/
Who were they spying on?
Posted on 4/13/17 | 11:30 AM CEST